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Basic (B/X) Campaign: The Son of Dark

An ongoing old school D&D campaign. Characters will level and accumulate equipment and story along the way. Set up to allow players to be able to come and go in the adventure.

Thirty years ago the free city of Salhantar and the surrounding land was in the black grip of the Tyrant Sar-ato, the Son of Dark, and had been for many years. The Son of Dark, a high priest of Hades, the God of Death, ruled unchallenged, until a group of heroes arose. Eventually this group destroyed the Son of Dark, the heroes led by Alexi Karsis freed the land. Alexi became Lord of Salhantar, and a new era of peace spread across the land. Alexi has remained Lord to the city to this day, advised by his former adventuring companions, including the Lady Helena of Isis.
This peace appears to be broken again soon. An adventuring company, calling themselves, The Adventuring Dead, has uncovered signs first of the followers of the Son of Dark have reformed and organized. These minions were searching through the ruins of the Son of Dark’s old temple, and the Adventuring Dead interfered, encountering a woman priest known as “The Mistress”, whom escaped their grasp. In her remaining possessions, the company found a letter indicating the Son of Dark was giving her orders. The reported this information to Lord Karsis.
Lord Karsis refused to believe the Son of Dark who wrote the letter could be the same as the one he killed, insisting again that he stabbed the Hades follower through the heart, threw him into a bonfire, and put the body in a crypt created by his companion Helena, and warded against any return. The Lady Helena however, contacted the company shortly after this meeting, explaining that the Lord fears what might happen if the Son of Dark returned, there could be much political fall out and difficulty from such a thing, not too mention he is no longer young or fit enough to actually battle the Son again should he have returned.
The Lady, showing greater wisdom and caution, hired the company to seek out the Crypt of the Usurper, where the Son of Dark was interred. She asked them to check to see if the crypt was sealed. On the group’s way back through the city to rest for the night before leaving in the morning, they were ambushed in the streets by ten disguised followers of the Mistress. Two of the number were magic-users, and with a pair of sleep spells later, the company was captured. They were held and tortured for information, and were slated to be slain and animated as zombies to serve the Mistress. Through a feat of bravery and desperation, they were able to break free and defeat their captors, they even managed to capture their torturer, and turn him over to the city guard for questioning.
Their journey to the Crypt was interesting, stumbling blindly into an area were the world of the Lunar Fey, the Nightcourt, the servants of Winter under Queen Maab, bordered the mortal world. Their they encounters a cannushei, a wolf-like bipedal Lunar Fey, named Felisin CarNoch. The fey was polite, and cordial, and struck a fey bargain with two of the party, granting additional magical power to the Cleric of Athena, and a mystical spear of amber to a warrior in the group. Several of the group worry about the price of such gifts, time will tell if their concerns are valid.
Arriving at the Crypt of the Usurper, the group found it’s doors blasted of their hinges, and the wards sealing the place destroyed. They hurriedly left the area, to report this critical information. On their return journey they were witness to a sight few mortals ever see. In the depths of a thunderstorm, they witnessed a war between the Jotun of the storm and clouds. A great siege in the sky, cloud Jotun assaulting a cloud castle. From that great battle, the Adventuring Dead company was fortunate enough to gather some spoils.
Returned to the city, the group explained the situation to the Lady Helena, the Lady then contracted the group for a very dangerous mission, that of re-sanctifying the Crypt of the Usurper. For the crypt is where the last of the minions and soldiers of the Son of Dark, and the Son himself were buried. These minions tended to not stay dead, and would rise again after death as undead of various sorts. The sanctity and wards of the Crypt prevented this. There were fifteen hundred dead interred in the crypt, should all of them arise, it would be very dangerous to the city and surrounding land. (The city can only field 1000 soldiers, an army of the dead of such size would be very dangerous indeed).
The company left again for the crypt soon after. Returning to the crypt, the group encountered a strange new being, likely created in the massive release of magic which must have occurred to free the Son of Dark from his tomb. What at first appeared as a pack of rats, soon became clear to be a single entity, an intelligence or awareness, which had spread out through the bodies of dead rats, and re-animated them. The creatures fought and died as one.
Again, the company bravely continued on with the task set for them. Approaching the crypt, they discovered that the minions of the Son of Dark had indeed arisen, for the crypt was surrounded by hundreds of skeletons and zombies, a short time later, this horde of undead, marched away from the crypt, heading in the direction of the city. The company now approached the crypt and found that the Guardians of the Tomb had been corrupted, a pair of willow trees, which apparently had been alive at one point attempted to slay the company. Though dangerous, the trees were not able to move, and fell quickly to the company, and a healthy dose of fire.
The Crypt was entered, and the group sought out the lowest of the ten floors of the crypt, to carry out the sanctification ritual. Descent into the crypt proved perilous, the group facing several creatures created or corrupted by the power released here. They encountered an infernally empowered centipede, and another creature similar to the rats they had encountered earlier, this time in bat form. They also began to encounter undead, a few damaged skeletons and zombies, and a ghoul.
Deeper they encountered close to one hundred undead on the lowest levels, still working to break out those dead still sealed in the crypt. These, the group avoided, and continued down. The session ends with the group having found the deepest level, and the site where they will need to preform the ritual to cleanse the site, a ritual which will take ten minutes to preform. However, they have been spotted by what appear to be ghoul leaders, whom have been freeing the more powerful undead minions, possibly even mummies. The group must hold for ten minutes, no matter what the undead throw at them, they must hold. If the ritual can be completed, the hundreds of undead which surround the group should return to rest.

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  • Todd A. G.

    GREAT game once again. David the DM did a SUPER job as always. Well thought out story line, great role playing, and over all a fun time. Game session started a little late because we were waiting on the no shows and we had one or two players that showed up late.

    January 19, 2014

  • Edward L.

    My wife and I initially signed up for the Monsters RPG at Giga-Bites at noon but they are full and we are looking to create characters and start an adventure. She has never played D&D just video games like WOW so it is a new experience for her. Are you allowing new characters to be created and played? Is this adventure appropriate for low level noobs?

    January 17, 2014

    • David L.

      Yes, Yes, and Yes.

      January 17, 2014

    • David L.

      Specifically, even though we have had a few sessions, the characters are still 1st or 2nd level. The adventure is set up on the idea of a guild of adventurers, so new people can enter and people can show or not show to session as they like. As for being new to paper RPGs, this is one of the simplest rule sets there is, should be no problem to get up to speed.

      January 17, 2014

  • Ted S.

    David, it sounds like you are in the middle of an adventure. If you finish one this Saturday, will you start a new one on the same day?

    I'd like to play but I prefer not to bring in a new PC in the middle of an adventure.

    January 13, 2014

    • David L.

      Ted, they are starting with the final fight of the prior adventure, and yes, it will continue on afterward. They do have several NPC hirelings with them for that fight as well. If you would like, during the final fight you could play one of the NPCs, and then bring in a character after they are done, unless you happen to like the NPC of course.

      January 13, 2014

    • Paul M.

      I highly recommend the Halfling. It was my hireling and was better than my PC! Hideous saving throws.

      January 17, 2014

  • David L.

    Hmm, considering how cold that back room was last time, if someone has a small portable electric space heater, they might want to bring it along. ha!

    January 17, 2014

  • David L.

    We will be starting this one at the start of an epic fight, which is the conclusion of the previous adventure. (Sort of like Two Towers starts with the Balrog, ok not quite that epic)

    For those whom are playing casters, after the fight, there will be some down time for the PCs, if people wanted to do some spell research there would be time for that, since there was a short discussion of that on the last session.

    January 9, 2014

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