IMO this is a great adventure. I even appreciate that it pays homage to the original 0 level module. What adventure isn’t over the top – it’s what heroes are born for. In this case the caretaker has been watching for characters just like these to meet his needs and their success at escaping the seasoned adventurers at the Drowned Fish allows him to set his plan in motion.
It is not about impressing the goddess, but rescuing a small part trapped in the Elemental Chaos (EC). For this the plan calls for inexperience characters to reach out to her benevolent side breaking through her anger as was done in the original adventure. In that adventure the novice characters managed to stay her hand for a short while in order to escape the island before she took vengeance on the orcs that defiled her temple.
The jaunt to the EC is short; the caretaker’s portal can only be maintained for 24 hours. The earthmote is stable (page 7 sidebar) and is no danger of erupting into fire or anything else. While they are in the EC the earthmote is subject to “Cold winds and rain whip around you, and flashes of lightning and peals of thunder” but this is for atmosphere and not a true danger to the characters. This could be just another form of the storm the goddess used to destroy the original island or an attack by the EC or powers dwelling there.
- In Area 3 there is a dark area among the trees of the lower left not seen in the upper level, which was a well in the original adventure. I have placed it back to allow the characters a glimpse of the true horrors and power of the EC.
The marooned goblins are more than just a coincidence; it is a warning of the dangers of elemental rifts, which can be found out from the goblin captain when he explains they were suck into an elemental vortex in the natural world.
These goblins may also foreshadow some other event such as a raid on Neverwinter or another port city. In this case the raiders may be a part of the Sithisila Fleet - a buccaneering goblin society, which besides preying on the weak have been known to hire out as mercenary naval support that has a secret base in the Moonshea Isles where the Korinn Archipelago and the original island are located.
Due to the estranged aspect being open to the influence of the EC; I’m having her come back as a new goddess. In my home campaign I’m using this to bring Umberlee (as an aspect of Solkara) into the PoL styled campaign as the sea goddess and demote Melora to strictly “land” wilderness although I may replace her totally with Mielikki. This will allow me to put more emphasis on the power of the Primal Spirits of the wilderness. (I never cared for Melora’s twin roles).
And yes, a rejuvenated Denek will become a CE Epic-leveled Waveservant. It is my belief that his failure to sense the intensity of the goddess kept him from reaching epic power and the ability to open a planar portal from a [ritual] book is reached at level 18 placing him at the top of the paragon tier.
I fail to understand how the story does not fit into the D&D Mechanics this is a 0-level and the mechanics are simple to use. I never try to top my adventures; each is a unique situation created to challenge my players. Some times I feels as I fail, but more often the comments of the players prove me wrong.
If they still talk about past adventures with that far away look in their eyes as they relive them I know they enjoyed it.