Alrighty, so, to begin, at one point in time, near it's release I ran the Dungeon adventure "The Tyrant's Oath": www.wizards.com/DnD/Article.aspx?x=dnd/d...
My cousins had come down to visit from MI to here in SC, and I decided to grab a random adventure from my folder, and it was this one. I cannot stress enough how much I believe this to be the absolute best adventure I've ever ran since I began DMing D&D in 2002. Anyways, I've been dying to re-run it for my actual weekly gaming group, and then found that it was actually part of a trilogy by the same author, the other being called "Force of Nature". If you plan on playing in either, there is most definitely spoilers ahead.
The Tyrant's Oath takes PCs from 6th, to 7th, and Force of Nature takes the players from 9th, to 10th. There's an initial one as well that starts at 3rd called Remains of the Empire, but I'm going to start at 6th, since Remains seems a bit irrelevant in the trilogy's story.
A very brief synopsis is;
- Players come to random valley, meet roadblock, fight bandits, find out they answer to a Skarn Felstorm.
- Either they go to a monolith in the swamp they can see from a vantage point, or straight to the town, Elkridge.
- SWAMP: They make their way through explosive brambles, then find cultists of Zehir taking captives to the monolith, fight ensues.
- They approach the monolith, but cannot. Volley after volley of arrows drives the PCs off. They meet "Kylar Felstorm", Skarn's sister. They return to town.
- TOWN: They arrive in town to find it under bandit oppression, they are taken in by Vlayn Felstorm. They find Skarn is a bandit queen, daughter of Vlayn, and sister to Kylar.
- Skarn sends bandits to get the PCs, she wishes to meet with them in her fortress up on the mountainside.
-They meet, fight ensues in a training pit to prove their worth to her. She is impressed.
-Vlayn rides in on horseback saying the cultists came into town and abducted Kylar, and that she needs to realize it is time to go to war with the cult in the swamp.
-Skarn agrees, and goes with the PCs up to an altar of Kord higher up on a peak, they all engage in prayer.
-The PCs ride with the bandit army into the swamp and massive epic battle ensues in form of a skill challenge.
-During the fight, they are able to slip in the temple, fight cultists, and go to lower room of 2-room dungeon.
-Fight the yuan-ti leader and Kylar, kylar has turned to the cult and was trying to lure Skarn to save her so that she would join, not the PCs.
TYRANT's OATH END
Force of Nature;
-PCs head back to Elkridge, levels later, find earthquakes. Skarn has become "lord-protector" of the town, rather than an opressive overlord, and the bandit army has been established as the town milita.
-Trace source of earthquakes to an ancient eladrin shrine in the woods, yuan-ti are attempting to destroy it and open a rift to the Feywild.
-They do, and a gargantuan "Sovereign Elk", and archfey, emerges and plows through the forest at walking pace, headed straight for the town, and the Fortress.
-They find they can do nothing to the Elk.
-They venture into the feywild and learn the Elk's origins. Long ago it was an eladrin, he assumed the elk form when he had an epic encounter with a naga exarch of Zehir. He trapped it in a cold iron prison that exists simultaneously on the material plane and the feywild. Him touching it is the only way to open it and release the naga. The yuan ti ventured into the feywild weeks back and drew blood from the elk, and now use it to control it. Eladrin chick gives PCs blood as well.
-They return to the material plane and follow path of destruction left by elk.
-They find some of the town destroyed, but not so bad. Elk has continued to Skarn's old fortress (now a copper/iron mine) where the prison lies underneath.
-Epic battle of fighting the yuan ti and then bonding with the elk, entering it's subconsious, and purifying its mind of the yuan ti and snaketongue taint. He realizes who he is again, and returns home.
FORCE OF NATURE END
I tried to keep it short, I really did. lol Anyways, I've added some of my own other favorite parts from other adventures into here as well. In the tyrant's oath, after they fight for Skarn, but before Vlayn arrives, I've inserted chapter 2 of 3.5's "The Red Hand of Doom". What happens then for me, is Skarn aggrees to go after the cultists, but know's her numbers are not enough, and tasks the PCs with rallying the native elves to the southern wetlands to the cause as well. The PCs travel south, skill challenge to find the elves. Meet them, and do their task; Kill a dragon that's settled down in the area in the ruins of the old capitol, sunk in the lake. When they do, the elves agree to join the final battle. The PCs return and Skarn then takes them up to Kord's shrine and so on. The elves show up mid battle when the skill challenge is looking grim for them and counts as a success. They arrive on their giant owl mounts raining down javelins and arrows as a kind of air support.
My other change is between the two adventures, It's mostly going to be expediting it, saying oh you're 7th level? You're 9 now. But midway, I'm throwing a "Dungeon Delve" at them from the book. The Snaketongue Cultist one, lol. In this mid-time between the adventures, I've deemed the time is called the "Snaketongue Purge" in which the players, as well as Skarn and her men, have been scouring the region for any stragglers left of the cult and their yuan-ti masters, having "Force of Nature" being the last ditch effort of the last of their numbers.
Now throughout all of this, The PCs end up seeing Elkridge a lot, their HQ technically. They also see "Starsong Hill" The elven encampment in the marshlands, as well as "Ironwood Spire" an eladrin settlement in the Feywild. I'd like to figure out how to include one more thing though. I'd like to drop "The Crossroads" ( www.wizards.com/dnd/Article.aspx?x=dnd/d...
), a little place created for The Chaos Scar. Really small place, three buildings (trading post, house, and barracks/inn), and a large tower with cages hanging on it with people in. The Crossroads is where people go to sell black market goods, trade slaves, etc, stuff that's not really lawful.
I want to include it because they get to visit 3 "towns" and all are kinda "goody-two shoes" places, so I want them to go to one "town" where it's completely different. It's simple just to drop it into the region, simple as drawing a dot on my map, but I need ideas for what PC incentives could be to go there.
At what point in the overarching story seems to be a reasonable time to visit such a dirty place? And why? I don't feel as if anything should be put in anywhere in the Force of Nature adventure, it's all about a huge threat, and a time limit, everything's a pressing matter. Whereas The Tyrant's Oath can be a bit slower, rallying the peoples to overcome a growing threat, culminating in a final epic showdown. There's also the between time I have to work with the "Snaketongue Purge" section of the overall adventure as I call it.
So, this has been really long. Apologies, but I needed to get this initial information out before I could actually ask my question, lol. Where can the Crossroads go in? Where would you put it? What are some reasons you could see the PCs going there with these events going on?