I've somehow managed to agree to DM for a third group of friends. They are all brand new to D&D and eager to try it. As I'm already DMing two original campaigns, I thought I would just run them through a published adventure. So I picked up Tales from the Yawning Portal and started reading the Sunless Citadel to familiarize myself with it, and I'd just run it right out of the book.
Then I got to this line "No one knows for sure what the Sunless Citadel once was, but legends hint that it served as the retreat of an ancient dragon cult". And now all I can do is try to figure out how to involve the Poison Dusk and Rhashaak in the adventure and convert it to Eberron.
To start, I'm throwing out the suggestion on page 9 of the Yawning Portal to put the Sunless Citadel near the Mournland. In this version, the Sunless Citadel is located north of Wyrmwatch, in the foothills of the Endworld Mountains in western Q'barra.
The adventure hooks require the following modifications:
Rescue Mission: The brother and sister are in fact scions of House Tharashk, and they were part of a prospecting team investigating the rumors of the Sunless Citadel to see if the ravine that swallowed the structure would grant easy access to dragonshards. Talgen is a half-orc ranger with the Lesser Mark of Finding, and his half-sister Sharwyn is an unmarked human wizard. Their mother, Kerowyn Hucrele Tharashk is human and also unmarked. She offers salvage rights of coin and relics from the Citadel, not mentioning the dragonshard deposits she and her children believe to be in the area.
Solving a Mystery: As an added note, the goblins who sell the fruit can be overheard to speak incredibly archaic goblin amongst themselves. Also there should be no implication of "wretched" goblins.
Wyrmwatch replaces Oakhurst as follows:
The Village Hall is the center of government and is also the Shrine to the Silver Flame. The mayor of Wyrmwatch is Elder Wedon Nevillom, a veteran of the Last War and puritanical preacher of the Silver Flame (no divine magic).
The General Store is run by Kerowyn Hucrele Tharashk a non-marked member of House Tharashk. Kerowyn came to Wyrmwatch with her two children to look into mining prospects in the Endworld Mountains, since mining operations in the deeper Q'Barra jungle have been running into violent troubles with the local lizardfolk. The store is the end-point of a House Tharashk supply line looking to invest in Wyrmwatch if Kerowyn can make good on her hunches about the Endworld mining prospects.
At the Ol' Boar Inn, an excoriate of House Jorasco can regularly be found drinking her troubles away. Her name is Dem "Corkie" Nackle, and she can use Cure Wounds from her least dragonmark 3 times a day (for a price). She is not very forthcoming with her reason for being exiled to the "ass-end of Khorvaire", and will not admit to being an excoriate without prodding.
For the Rumors Heard section on page 11, replace the following bullet points:
Second bullet point: Beyond the Endworld Mountains in the northern Blade Desert, an ancient ruin is said to be inhabited by a serpent cult. A DC 20 Religion or History check allows a player to know this is likely a vague reference to Krezent, and the serpent cult are the Shulassukar. Followers of the Silver Flame receive advantage on the check.
Fourth bullet point: The missing "adventurers" are a team of prospectors and surveyors employed by House Tharashk, and include both of Kerowyn's children. They are a half-orc ranger (Talgen Hucrele d'Tharashk), a human wizard (Sharwyn Hucrele Tharashk), a paladin of Dol Arrah (Gweldolyn ir Braford), and a human fighter (Kerrik Demsey). Gwendolyn is from Thrane, and wielded the magic sword Shatterspike.
Sixth bullet point: Garon, the barkeep of the Ol' Boar Inn, says he served with some hobgoblins in the Last War, and the language the goblins who sell the wondrous fruit sounds more formal and stiff than the goblin he learned from his former comrades. He think they may be a lost enclave of "Dhakanni" goblins, from their ancient empire.
The Sunless Citadel was built during the Age of Monsters when the dragonborn of Q'barra expanded westward into the Blade Dessert and the Talenta Plains to clash with the Dhakanni Empire. It was originally built as a fortified outpost for their expansion, but when the borders of the dragonborn nation spread, the Citadel was largely forgotten until it became a festering ground for the Posion Dusk. The guards and wardens of the fortress fell into depravity and began worshipping Masvirik, the Cold Sun. When the dragonborn nation fully collapsed back to the jungles of Q'Barra, the Citadel remained the westernmost holdhout of Masvirik's influence. Eventually the cultist's rituals and foul magics began to worry even the far-off Dhakanni, and with the help of orc druids they laid siege to the Citadel. While the druids sunk the structure into the earth, a strike-force of hobgoblins and bugbears stormed the citadel to assassinate it's leader, a green-scaled dragonborn warlock drawing on the immense power of the Overlord. The dhakanni strikeforce was slaughtered, but not before landing the killing blow on the warlock with a druid-crafted spear of white ash. The spear pinned the warlock to the shattered floor of the deepest level of his bastion.
Following this victory, the Dhakanni established a permanent clanhold beneath the Endworld Mountains, to stand vigil against the influence of this demonic threat on their eastern border. When the Dhakanni Empire collapsed thousands of years later, Clan Durbuluk vowed to maintain its vigil.
Over the centuries, the posion of Masrivik infected the druidic magic of the ashen spear that slew the dragonborn cult leader. The spear began to grow as if a living tree, rooting itself in poisoned ground. Clan Durbuluk has monitored the situation for centuries, considering it their absolute duty to maintain their vigil even though their Empire is no more.
Only in the last decade has the spear-tree begun to bear fruit, and this has somehow drawn the attention of a druid of the Children of Winter named Belak. He has deceived the Durbuluk tribe into allying with him, learning of their ancient alliance with protector druids who helped strike down the ancient evil of the Citadel. The goblins believe that by dispersing the fruit to the surface, the poison influence of the tree will be lessened. Belak knows that the twig blights swarming over the surface will cull the weak and prepare the natural world for the coming winter.
The kobold tribe is currently under the strengthening sway of the Poison Dusk. Their tribe has, for generations, revered a black dragon egg. How they acquired it has been lost to memory, but they know it has been an egg for more generations than they can count. The kobolds have lived in the jungles of Q'Barra, caring for the unhatched egg, for as long as they can remember, until they attacked a softskin caravan and found a perfect, death-white apple among the spoils. When they "offered" the apple to the egg, it hatched into a black dragon wyrmling. Still young, the wyrmling can barely talk, but it has directed the tribe, somehow, through the jungles and into the mountains, to the Sunless Citadel.
The wyrmling is the direct offspring of Rhashaak, and the binding magic of Hakatorvak should have rendered all of the eggs infertile. However the poison influence of Masrivik, so far from Hakatorvak due to the fruit of the tree, allowed the Overlord to hatch the egg and possess the wymrling. Should it gorge itself on more fruit from the spear-tree, it will rapidly grow and become a new avatar for Masvirik. If the Players ally with the Kobolds and clear out the goblins for them, the consequences of clearing the way for Masrivik's freedom can be the seed for an epic campaign.
Under general features of the ravine, the Investigating reveals "graffiti" in ancient Dhakanni goblin lettering, rather than dwarvish. (In my estimation, the Goblin language would have its own script, and due to Dhakanni's ancient cultural domination, gnomish, halfling, and orc languages use the Goblin alphabet).
Prophesised by dragons...tempered by magic...forged in war...
The Book-House: Find Eberron products.
The Book-House: Find Eberron products.
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