EPIC4-1 Shooting the Moon
New Plots Revealed
Tsien Chiang has machinations to rule all of Faerûn. She
siphoned some of the power of Corellon and Lolth, two
of the original three members of the Seldarine. To
complete her deific power, Tsien requires something
from Sehanine Moonbow, the elven goddess of the
moon, who after the Spellplague revealed herself as an
aspect of the goddess Selûne. With the power of the
third, she will have achieved the power she needs to
enact the next phase in her plan.
As is often the case with the gods, devout belief can
often become reality. Selûne wore her elven aspect like
a heavy cloak, and when she discarded it, so strong was
her following that a portion of her godhood was kept
alive as a vestige. Sehanine’s most powerful priestly
order, the Knights of the Seven Mysteries, knew the
truth of Sehanine’s identity and made plans for the
inevitable. The Knights preserved a fragment of
Sehanine’s power through a High Magic ritual.
The highest order of the Knights of the Seven
Mysteries brought Sehanine’s vestige to the hidden city
of Myth Dyraalis in the Forest of Myr. However, the
mythal’s wards ran amok during the Spellplague,
petrifying the city’s inhabitants and the surrounding
forest. The Knights died along with their city, but the
mythal’s magic preserved their spirits and bound them
to Sehanine’s vestige.
Tsien is working with two accomplices. Karadrach,
who is corrupting Words of Creation into Words of
Destruction and who attempted to assassinate Corellon
in EPIC3-1, and a yet-to-be-revealed third conspirator,
who appears only as a radiant angel and whose identity
will be revealed in a future adventure.
[tidbit from the Library at Candlekeep]
- • The book Tsien Chiang: Myth or Legend? examines
many reports of Tsien’s magical strength,
comparing them to other contemporaries such as
Szass Tam and Fzoul Chembryl. A key passage
reads, “Tsien Chiang was already immortal prior
to her return. She was originally defeated only by
exiling her, and the entire kingdom in which she
lived, to another realm. Since then, she has stolen
power from the gods Corellon and Lolth and
made some sort of abyssal pact. She has greatly
imbued four magic gems, her hearts, since their
recovery freed her. Recent attacks against the
sorceress have described her as invincible.”
[information from Ha-Teh (Spite) Chiang, one of Tsien’s daughters whom the PCs spared during the assault on Tsien’s palace]
- • Tsien Chiang has been focused on learning to
manipulate so-called Words of Creation.
- • She has been working with a corrupted angel,
named Karadrach. PCs recognize this angel as the
one they fought in EPIC3-1.
- • Karadrach is the expert on Words of Creation,
and corrupting them, as evidenced by his work
on Arvandor. He’s been teaching her, though he
clearly knows more than her, and Tsien is
worried he is holding back a means to bypass her
- • There is a portal in the palace that goes to
Karadrach’s stronghold, where he is served by
creatures that worship him.
- • One of the times that Tsien met with Karadrach
on the other side of the portal, she also met with
another powerful female. Tsien Chiang came
back from that meeting with the abyssal shard
she used in the Demonweb.
- • Her mother has further plans for Carceri.
Apparently the involvement of the PCs stopped
events there before something important could
finish, just as they did in Arvandor and the
- • She’s been avoiding confrontation with the PCs
because one of her prophecies foretold the PCs
as a great danger to her until she completes a
ritual she’s working on.
Tsien Chiang has many military plans of conquest
to conquer the entire world. Some of her early
targets include the Dalelands and Akanul, after
which Tsien Chiang expects the rest of the world
to hurry to surrender.
- • She has begun negotiations for an alliance with
Szass Tam in Thay and at least one of the Netheril
- • A PC can find many notes on Tsien’s work at
empowering her hearts. A DC 37 Arcana or
Religion check grants the PC full knowledge of
the effects of Tsien’s hearts (Lament, Discord,
Treachery, and Doom) from Encounter 4.
- • Some of the work is on corrupting or using
inverted versions of the normal Words of
Creation, aimed at results of pure destruction
rather than creation.
[when the PCs journey through the portal to Corendath (actually The Barrens, Oublivae’s realm), they confront Karadrach and “The Blessed Angel” (actually Oublivae herself)]
Another altar of an angel glows at the far side of a
grand cathedral. Stained glass windows show many
scenes of saints and paladins fighting against demons.
A pair of angels stands next to the altar. One looks
familiar and bears a falchion covered in altered Words
of Creation. The second angel has a feminine cast and
looks exactly like the angel depicted on all of the altars.
She says, “Delay them, Karadrach, as long as you
can. The world needs time without their interference
and even a few moments will let the future play out as it
She disappears in a pulse of power that washes out
from where she stood, sweeping across the entire
cathedral. In its wake, a pair of huge dog-headed
demons and several angelic figures of black energy
appear to menace you.
When the wave of power passes over you,
everything seems to slow, almost freeze. Then time
crashes back to full speed as the demons roar in fury.
EPIC4-2 Age of An Exaltation of Ruin
New Plots Revealed
The heroes have just returned through a portal, only to
find that thirty years have passed. They are actually
within the Barrens, a layer of the Abyss ruled by the
demon lord Oublivae, Queen of Ruin. They have been in
the Barrens since they took the portal to Corendath (at
the end of EPIC4-1), a kingdom that was pulled into the
Abyss by Oublivae thousands of years ago. The Barrens
is a dark reflection of the real world, showing the ruin
and destruction of civilizations, a perfect glimpse of
Oublivae has been working alongside Tsien Chiang
and Karadrach on all of their attempts to destroy
Arvandor and the Demonweb. It was Oublivae who
informed Tsien of the Hungering Dark in Carceri
(EPIC3-2), and it was Oublivae who gave Tsien the shard
of the Abyss with which the sorceress almost destroyed
the Demonweb (EPIC3-3).
Oublivae tries to mislead the PCs into believing that
thirty years have actually passed. She savors their
abandoned hopes and relishes their grief. She wants the
PCs to succumb to despair, become corrupted by dying
hunger, and turn into her instruments. At a minimum,
keeping the PCs lost in the Barrens gives Tsien Chiang
time to work on her ritual to release the Hungering
Because of Oublivae's control of the Barrens, it is
almost impossible to discern that it is not truly Faerûn.
Oublivae has put the events of this adventure in motion
to advance her own agenda. It’s just a question of how
thoroughly and perfectly her plans play out. A perfect
outcome for her is:
- • Kill the PCs one by one, while opening them to
- • Drive the PCs to decisions that cause them to
- • Tempt the PC to use the tainted powers destroy
them or devour them (see Appendix 1).
- • Eventually inform the PCs of Tsien’s plans and
how to stop the sorceress. Oublivae's best case
scenario is to give the PCs just enough
information that they stop Tsien but die in the
While the potential future Oublivae has shown is
interesting to her, she believes that if Tsien is in control
of the Hungering Dark, Tsien might create an empire
that can never fall. The destruction of existing
civilizations is good, but Oublivae thinks she can do
better. She’s patient enough to play a longer game, so is
willing to let the PCs have a chance to stop Tsien.
“The world that played out in your absence is a marvel,
is it not? It is finally true to a destiny that was wrought
by the gods millennia ago when they crafted the
[from Szass Tam / Elminster]
Once the PCs defeat Szass Tam, Elminster ceases to
attack and the undead flee the area. Elminster is
thoroughly mad from his ordeal, and cannot be saved.
Amidst gibberish, heartfelt thanks, and cryptic
commentary, he draws a thin journal from his robes and
presses it on the PCs. The journal is filled with notes
concerning the ritual that Tsien performed to summon
the Hungering Dark. The notes are quite complex, but
seem less useful now that the ritual is already complete.
[Tsien’s ritual isn’t *really* complete but appeared to be complete in fake-Faerun courtesy of Oublivae]
[from Fzoul Chembryl]
Fzoul is aggressive and clearly hates Tsien Chiang. He
cheerfully explains how he defeated her, but show
frustration at her escape and counterattack.
- • He attacked with a horde of devils, angels, and
beholders. She killed many of them. Acceptable
- • Unfortunately, when he delivered the final blow,
she discorporated, an ability only the gods should
have that lets them return soon after death.
- • Fzoul sought out Sinmaker, the fiendish
apothecary formerly imprisoned in Carceri (see
EPIC3-2 Cracks in the Crimson Cage). Fzoul
learned that Sinmaker has a concoction that
overcomes a deity’s ability to discorporate, but
the fiend hides on Sigil where gods may not
- • Before Fzoul's minions could find Sinmaker, Tsien
ambushed Fzoul and enthralled him. Now he, the
tyrant of Faerûn, must follow her every
- • It is too late to secure Sinmaker’s aid. The gods
have sealed off Faerûn, so travel to Sigil is
Tsien Chiang has ordered the PCs' deaths, so Fzoul can
only speak for so long. Once the major conversation
points are resolved, Fzoul initiates combat:
“Perhaps if you’d been there, the witch would have been
defeated.” Fzoul snarls in frustration, as if fighting
some compulsion. “But what-ifs are pointless. The witch
wants you dead, and that’s that. Time for you to die.”
- • Tsien Chiang plans to become the new goddess
of magic. She has stolen power from Auril,
Corellon, Lolth, and Sehanine.
- • Tsien used the power of those four gods to break
the Hungering Dark out of Carceri, drawing it to
Faerûn under her control.
- • Everything is four-fold with Tsien: four hearts in
four locations with the power of four gods.
Manshoon hopes to restrain her impulses when
she redesigns how magic works.
The PCs also find a strange religious device on
Manshoon. It is made from pieces of four holy symbols,
to Auril, Corellon, Lolth, and Sehanine with a shriveled
piece of muscle caught in the middle. A DC 21 Heal or
Nature check identifies the muscle as part of a frost
giant's heart. PCs who played CORE2-11 The Sign of Four
intuit that this is a piece of Thrym’s heart.
You appear within a familiar teleportation circle.
Soldiers of your army snap to attention and salute as
you appear in the Palace of Bones, where you
unknowingly entered the Abyss. One runs off to report
A large hourglass that you last saw held by
Oublivae rests in the middle of the circle. As you notice
it, a voice speaks in your mind:
“I am Creation’s Hourglass. I observe the passage of
time, from its beginning, through the richness of its
development, until inevitably I shall witness its
Oublivae’s realm did not show an authentic
depiction of that conclusion. It is likely that a true end
approaches, and you will be central in events leading up
to it. I wish to accompany you on this journey. I foresee
that you will find me useful.”
The soldiers that the PCs met in Encounters 1 and 2 are
here waiting for them, but alive and well. The PCs can
quickly learn that they have been gone for several
months. Most of their armies left, but a dedicated group
remained to ensure the PCs could return.
The PCs are escorted out of the chamber and the
palace so they can see outside.
The palace is surrounded in a shimmering dome of
force. Beyond that dome, the entire island of I’Cath is
wracked by violent magical storms.
A woman in ritual robes of High Imaskar channels
power into the dome. “The sorceress Tsien Chiang was
attempting to prevent your return,” she says.
She turns from her task to gaze solemnly at you. “I
believe there is little time remaining, and much to do.”
The story continues in
EPIC4-3 Dark Hearts of Madness