CRITICAL R OLE
CALL OF THE tlETHERDEEP .·
- .. ~
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Brittan y Wa lloch
ON THE COVER
Minttu Hynninen illu strates five adventurers who aim to
release the Apotheon , a forgotten hero of Exan dr ia, from his
prison. On the back cover, a slithering bloodfin hunts in the
sunken abyss known as the Netherdeep.
62000867000001 EN CEUK Disclaimer: The Netherdeep contains magical elements known
ISBN : 978-0-7869-6786-5
First Printing: March 2022 CA to cause life-changing discoverie~ ofancient artifacts, red crystals
growing out ofyour skin, long swims in dark places, aberrant
987654321 fish, and enemies- tofriends-to-ene mies plo ts. Co nsu lt a cle ric
or Ma tthew Mercer to see if the path to the Netherdeep is
right f or you.
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Introduction: Answering the Call .......... 4 Populace......·..... ........................................ 52 Ch. 7: The Heart of Despair ................. 172
Running This Chapter............................ 173
World of Exandria ....................................... 4 Rivals in Bazzoxan ·................................ 53 Within the Heart ...................................... 173
The Calamity.... ............................ ............. 4 Locations in Bazzoxa n ........ ................. 53 De.aling with the Rivals .... .. ................ 173
Locations in the Heart.................... .....}73
Xhorhas ......................................\................4 Betrayers' Rise ........................................... 62 Alyxian Speaks..................................... 173
Battle for the Soul of the Apotheon ..... 175
Ank 'Harel. ....................................... ........... 5 . Gloomsta lke; Escape ................ ............ 62 How To Run the Encounter ............... 175
Lair Actions ........................................... 176
Cael Morrow.......................... ..............-......-5 Features of the Betrayers' Rise .......... 62 Stage 1: Alyxian the Tormented ....... 177
Stage 2: Alyxian the Callous ............. 178
The Netherdeep.. .......................:········· ····· 5 Retreat and Reinforcements ............... 63 Stage 3: Alyxian the Dispossessed .. 181
Ending th e Battle ................................. 181
Ruidus ......................................................... 5 Locations in the Betrayers' Rise ........ 63 Back into the Light .................................. 183
Possible Endings.................................. 183
Story Overview............................................. 6 Confrontation for the Jewel.................. 74 What of the Factions? ......................... 184
What of the Rivals?....... ....................... 184 ·
Rise and Fall of the Apotheon.... ........... 6 · Next Steps ............. ...................................... 75 What of the Deities? ............................ 185
What of Our Heroes? .......................... 186
The Apotheon Awakens.......................... 7 Ch. 4: The Jewel of Hope............. ............ 76
The Apotheon's Call ................................ 8 Running This Chapter.............................. 77 Appendix A: Creatures.......................... 187
Running the Adventure .............................. 8 Using a Stat Block ................... ................ 187
Character Advancement.. ....................... 8 Faction Missions .................................... 77 Adventuring Rivals.................................. 187
Adventure Structure .......................... ..... 9 Rivals in Ank'Harel................................... 77
Rol eplaying the Al)otheon............. ......... 9 Tier 1 Stat Blocks ................................ 188
Story Tone and Player Limits ............... 9 Riva l Developments............................... 77 Tier 2 Stat Blocks ................................ 190
Adventure Flowchart .............................. 9 Arrival in Ank'Harel ................................. 78 Tier 3 Stat Blocks ................................192
Underwater Adventuring ..................... 10 Alyxian Aboleth........................................195
Ruidium ... ..... ...... ........... .............................. 10 Following Aloysia................... ................ 78 Corrupted Giant Shark .......................... 196
Ruidium Corruption .............................. 10 Arriving with Prolix ......... ..................... 79 Death Embrace ........................................197
Rivals ................................ ............................ 11 Ank'Harel Gazetteer.............................. ... 80 Gloomstalker ............................................ 198
Rivals' Goals ........................................... 14 Ank'Harel at a Glance...........................80 Horizonback Tortoise ............................. 199
Rival Stat Blocks................................... , 14 Lodging .................................................... 80 Light Devourer ........................................ 200
Relationships with the Rivals ............. 14 Major Factions ... ..................................... 80 Monastics of the Cobalt Soul................ 201
Character Creation .. .................................. 15 Minor Factions............................... ......... 84 Monastic High Curator ....................... 201
Session Zero ........................................... 15 Alluvium District.................................... 85 Monastic Infiltrator................:.............202
Pronunciation Guide................................. 16 Cerulean Palace .....................................86 Monastic Operative.............................. 202 ·
Circlet Walk............................................. 86 Moorbounders ..........................................203
Guided District .... ...................................87 Occultists of the Vermilion Dream......204
The Ridge................................................. 88 Occult Extollant.................................. ..204
Occult Initiate .......................................205
Ch. 1: A Fateful Competition ................. 18 River District............. .............................. 89 Occult Silvertongue ....................... ......205
Scholars of Allsight................... ............. 206
Running This Chapter.............................. 19 Sand-Herald District............................. 90 Scholarly Agent ................................... 206
Scholarly Excavator............................ 206
Rival Impressions ........................ .......... 19 Sigil District ............................................ 91 Scholarly Mastermind ........................ 207
S cuttling S erpentmaw .......................... 208
Jigow ............................................................ . 19 Suncut Bazaar ........................................ 92 Slithering Bloodfin ..................................209
Adventure Start ......................................... 20 What Lies Beneath ....................................96 Swarm of Sorrowfish.......................... 210
Sword Wraiths .....,................................... 211
Festival of Merit...................................... 20 Vermilion Gambits ...... ............................104 Sword Wraith Commander ............... 211
Sword Wraith Warrior ........................ 211
Locations injigow.................................. 20 Knowledge Is Power ....................... ........ 112
Appendix B: Magic Items ... .... .............. 2 i 2
Final Contest..................... ...................... 28 Ch. 5: The Drowned City .. ....... .............120
The Emerald Grotto .. ........... ..................... 29 Running This Chapter............................121 Appendix C: Medals of Merit ............... 217
The Grand Finale Begins.....................29 Rival Developments...................... ....... 121 Appendix D: Fragments
Keeping Track of the Race............... .... 29 Cael Morrow Ove rview ..........................122 of Suffering ...........................................218
Emerald Grotto Features ..................... 29
Emerald Grotto Locations ................... 30 Features of Cael Morrow ....... ............ 122 Appendix E: Story Concept Art.. ........ 219
Next Steps .................... .....................:......... 35 The Alyxian Aboleth ..................... ....... 123
Uncharted Waters ................................ 124 Appendix F: Poster Map .......................223
Ch. 2: The Leave-Taking ......................... 36 Cael Morrow Locations .......... ...... ...... 124
Running This Chapter..... ......................... 37 Ch. 6: The Netherdeep ...................... ....138
After the Festival ....................................... 37 Running This Chapter... ......................... 139
Netherdeep Overview ............................. 139
Heroic Quest ...... ...... ............................... 37
Ours by Right.......................................... 38 Netherdeep Features .......................... 139
Warring Destinies ................................. 39 Apotheon Lore ...................................... 141
Road to Bazzoxa n ...... ................................ 39 Rivals in th e Netherdeep.................... 142
Travel Pace .......... .................................... 39 Neth erdeep Regions ....... ........................ 143
Random Encounters·............................. 40 Grottoes of Regret..... .............................. 143
Reunion with the Rivals.. ..... ...... ..... .........44 Living Memories .................................. 143
Emerald Loop Caravan Stop .................. 45 Roleplaying the Apotheon .................. 144
Caravan Stop Locations ....................... 45 Grottoes of Regret Locations ............ 144
Arrival at Bazzoxan ................................... 47 Vents of Fury................ ............................. 155
Ch. 3: Bazzoxan..................-....................... 48 Roleplaying the ,:\.potheon .................. 156
Running This Chapter.............................. 49 Vents of Fµry Locations.. .................... 156
Who Has thejewel?............................... 49 Chasm of Yea rning..................................164
No Time for Pleasantries ........................ 49 Roleplaying th e Apotheon ..................164
Bazzoxan Overview .................................. 52 Weird Events ........................... .............. 164
Geography................................................ 52 Chasm of .Yearning Locations........... 165
ANSWERING THE CALL
L ONG AGO, A WAR BETWEEN GODS OF GOOD THE CALAMITY
and evil scoured the surface of the world of
Exandria. Both the noble Prime Deities and A cataclysmic war among gods and mortals oc-
the selfish Betrayer Gods imbued their mor- curred on Exandria centuries ago. This war, known
tal champions with supernatural gifts that granted as the Calamity, ended when the Prime Deities
them strength enough to challenge their divine locked their evil brethren- and themselves-behind
foes. The greatest of these champions was Alyxian a Divine Gate that prevents the gods from directly
the Apotheon, who received the blessings of three interfering with the affairs of mortals. The gods
Prime Deities to save the world from the apocalyp- can still bestow power upon their faithful and send
tic power of the Betrayer Gods. powerful supernatural beings to help enact their
will, but they can't directly touch the mortal works
Centuries later, all knowledge of this godlike hero of Exandria.
has been lost to time, and two groups of adventurers
are called upon to retrace this mythic hero's steps Certain events of the Calamity are of paramount
and free him from his timeless prison. The tale importance in this adventure, particularly the story
begins in lands familiar to Critical Role fans-the of one forgotten hero who was favored by three of
war-scarred wastes of Xhorhas and the glimmering the Prime Deities and stood against the evil Be-
oasis city of Ank'Harel- but ultimately stretches trayer Gods. As with other Critical Role stories,
beyond the Material Plane to a realm of lightless de- this tale involves a Vestige of Divergence, a magic
spair known as the Netherdeep. item born out of the Calamity that grows in power
alongside its bearer. This Vestige, the jewel of
WORLD OF EXANDRIA Three Prayers, is described in the "Story Overview"
section, and its magical properties are detailed in
This adventure is set in Exandria, the world of appendix B.
Critical Role. Its continents include Tal'Dorei,
Wildemount, Marquet, and Issylra. The adventure XHORHAS
begins in a region of Wildemount called Xhorhas
and transitions to the great Marquesian oasis city of Xhorhas, on the continent of Wildemount, was once
Ank'Harel. More information about Exandria can be a land dominated by the Betrayer Gods. It was their
found in Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, but you seat of power during the Calamity, and after their
don't need that resource to run this adventure. defeat, it was left a war-scarred wasteland prowled
by demons. Today, it is a land populated by diverse
The following sections describe events, regions, creatures and people often considered to be mon-
and other elements of Exandria that are significant sters by their neighbor, the totalitarian Dwendalian
to this adventure. Empire. The dominant political power in Xhorhas
is the Kryn Dynasty, founded by drow who fled the
WHAT Is CRITICAL ROLE? Underdark and escaped the fell influence of Lolth
Critical Role is a live-streamed show that airs on Thurs- the Spider Queen. They have discovered the power
of an unusual deity of light and rebirth called the
day nights and stars voice actors Travis Willingham, Luxon. The Bright Queen Leylas Kryn leads her
Marisha Ray, Sam Riegel, Taliesin Jaffe, Ashley John- people to glory in this blighted land.
son, Liam O'Brien, Laura Bailey, and Matthew Mercer.
Each season is a complete DUNGEONS & DRAGONS cam- Many beings lived in the wastes of Xhorhas be-
paign that revolves around a particular band of lovably fore the drow of the Kryn Dynasty escaped the
flawed heroes, with Matthew Mercer guiding the nar- Underdark and built their civilization on the surface.
rative and breathing life into the world of Exandria as Goblins, hobgoblins, bugbears, ores, lizardfolk,
the show's Dungeon Master. Like any D&D game, the kobolds, and countless other beings have banded to-
show is full of drama, laughter, silly voices, dice rolls, gether under the banner of the Kryn Dynasty-some
and stories that will live on in infamy. willingly, others under duress.
Xhorhasian locations the characters will visit in
this adventure include the settlements ofJigow and
Bazzoxan, both described below.
INTRODUCTION I ANSWERING THE CALL
Jmow THE NETHERDEEP
This coastal town in northern Xhorhas is populated A realm of despair, the Netherdeep was created
mostly by goblins and ores. A number of draw, - when the spear of Gruumsh pierced through the
many of them politicians and soldiers of the Kryn Material Plane and into the Elemental Plane of
Dynasty, reside here as well. Tension exists be- Water. It is an extraplanar labyrinth of lightless
tween the people who value the ways of the village trenches, infused with the distorted emotions of
elders and those who prioritize the laws of the Kryn a demigod who is both the Netherdeep's prisoner
Dynasty. The town has a strong cultural tradition and jailer. This location awaits the characters in
of competition, and the local Festival of Merit is the chapter 6.
backdrop for chapter 1 of this adventure.
Two moons hang in the sky of Exandria. One is
The military encampment of Bazzoxan keeps watch Catha, a large, pale orb that cycles through its
over the Betrayers' Rise, a dark temple that was phases once per month. The other is Ruidus, a
instrumental to the Betrayer Gods during the Ca- ghostly vermilion satellite that circles Exandria
lamity. Xhorhasian explorers and settlers built the once every six months.
foundation of a new city around the looming stone
structures of the abandoned sanctum-until de- Catha's brightness is constant, its phases predict-
monic forces from within the old temple threw the able. Conversely, Ruidus exhibits strange behavior,
burgeoning society into chaos. seeming to glow more brightly at times or suddenly
casting off its shadow to appear f~U. The vermilion
As the characters discover in chapter 3, Bazzoxan moon often disappears from the night sky entirely,
is now locked in a stalemate between the Kryn while at other times it unexpectedly flares with
Dynasty's forces and the demons of the Betrayers' bright, ruddy light.
Rise. This unholy site is the subject of constant re-
search and of growing worry for the dynasty. Though this story presents Ruidus as a subject
of superstition and folklore, it intentiona11y avoids
ANK'HAREL discussing the moon's a~tual magical power. Any
The continent of Marquet is scarred by a vast, arid
desert, which was created long ago when the Be-
trayer God known as Gruumsh the Ruiner struck
a cataclysmic blow with his spear into Marquet's
lush jungles. Within this desert is one of the great-
est city-states known to the mortals of this age:
Ank'Harel, also called the Jewel of Hope.
Traders who needed to traverse the desert to sell
their wares founded Ank'Harel around an oasis,
unknowingly locating their new home above the
sunken ruins of an elven city called Cael Morrow,
which was destroyed by Gruumsh in the same spear
thrust that laid waste to much of the continent.
Several factions are active in Ank'Harel, and the
characters can receive help on their mission by join-
ing one of these groups. Descriptions of the factions
are presented in chapter 4.
Beneath Ank'Harel lie the remains of a former Mar-
quesian metropolis. Its true name is lost to time,
since nearly all records from before the Calamity
were obliterated when Gruumsh destroyed the city.
Modern scholars call it Cael Morrow, the Drowned
City. The epithet refers to the fact that the ruins
are submerged in a vast underground cistern- part
of the same body of water that feeds the oasis that
gives life to the city.
Hidden within Cael Morrow is a rift to the Neth-
erdeep, which the characters discover in chapter 5.
INTRODUCTION I ANSWERING THE CALL 5
mystical powers that nonplayer characters in this
story claim to re~~ive from the vermilion moon are
related to Ruidus only so far as people believe them
to be. In truth, the powers those characters wield
comes from a figure called the Apotheon. The true
nature of Ruidus is a topic to be explored in other
Critical Role stories.
Not all people fear Ruidus, but superstitions
about it are widespread across Exandria. Some
of the more well-known superstitions include the
Harbinger. Those who are born on a night when
Ruidus is full are destined to bring suffering to
others or to experience great tragedy in their
Malice. Those who study Ruidus and become ob-
sessed with its secrets are compelled to cause
misfortune and woe.
Misadventure. Plans made or set in motion when
Ruidus is full are doomed to failure , often due to
betrayal or miscommunication.
The story at the heart of this adventure begins long
ago in an age shrouded in myth and legend, as befits
an epic Critical Role tale.
RISE AND FALL OF THE APOTHEON
During the Founding, a time when the gods still
walked the face of Exandria, the world's divine cre-
ators discovered an unidentifiable power seeping
through the fabric of reality. Legends assert that
this alien influence was a threat to all life on Exan-
dria, and the gods banded together to banish it.
This cancerous incursion of dark power is said to
have crystallized into Ruidus, the small, vermilion
moon that hangs in the sky along with Catha, the
world's natural moon. The gods agreed to create a
tale about Ruidus to conceal its alien origin from the
mortals of the world, informing them that it was a
moon of ill omen, and its magical influence was al-
ways to be avoided. This tale concocted by the gods
was not a lie, for Ruidus's alien magic twists the fate
of those who are born or embark on ventures while
bathed in its vermilion light.
Some eons later, a schism rocked the pantheon of
Exandria, splitting the divine beings into Betrayer
Gods and Prime Deities. The Betrayer Gods strove
to ruin and dominate the world, and they battled the
Prime Deities in a war called the Calamity.
Near the beginning of this war, a boy named Alyx-
ian was born in the lands of Wildemount, the seat
of the Betrayer Gods' power, beneath the full light
of Ruidus. He was said to be cursed from birth and
was viewed with suspicion by all around him, except
for his parents. As a young man, he sought to defy
his fate and distinguish himself on the field of battle. THE APOTHEON AWAKENS (
Alyxian found himself embroiled in the most vicious
battles of the war. He fought selflessly and begged Centuries have passed since the Calamity, and
the Prime Deities to help him protect the innocent life has returned to the desert lands of Marquet. A
people caught up in their war. Thrice he asked, and grand city called Ank'Harel has been built around
thrice they answered, granting him greater and a desert oasis. Little did its founders know that the
greater power. He was more than a champion of the water of their oasis originated in the Netherdeep,
gods; he had become the Apotheon- a noble warrior and that beneath the new desert metropolis was
so suffused with divine energy that he was halfway an underwater cavern holding the ruined city of
to godhood himself. In those times, he wore a gods- Cael Morrow.
gifted amulet known as thejewel of Three Prayers
as a symbol of his divine covenants. A new form of conflict entered the story when
the Allegiance of Allsight, an influential group of
Eventually, the war brought the Apotheon to the academics in Ank'Harel, discovered a strange min-
great jungle city now known as Cael Morrow, a uto- eral in the sunken ruins beneath their city. This
pian domain of elves and ores. These ores were the substance- a slick, oily stone veined with blood-like
first generation of their kind, who had been trans- streaks- possessed unknown magical properties.
formed by the spilled blood of Gruumsh the Ruiner. The Allegiance tried to keep its discovery secret,
Although fear had reigned for a short time after the but the news soon attracted the attention of a ri-
transformation, the two peoples soon realized they val faction.
were still kin. The city was the jewel of the lush and
verdant continent of Marquet, and its people gave The Consortium of the Vermilion Dream- a secret
thanks daily to Corellon the Arch Heart for their occult society obsessed with the magic of the Moon
protection. of Ill Omen, Ruidus-heard a rumor about the dis-
covery of this mineral. Consortium agents broke
The Ruiner despised the Arch Heart and swore into the Allegiance of Allsight's excavation site in
to annihilate Cael Morrow and all of Marquet with Cael Morrow and learned about the discovery first-
a single stroke of his spear. He strode into the cen- hand. They dubbed the mineral "ruidium," because
ter of the city, smiting all who dared raise a blade its red veins and its mysteriousness reminded them
against him. When he reached the city's heart, of the light and power of Ruidus.
Gruumsh raised his spear to strike the earth with
cataclysmic force- but his blow was intercepted by The consortium continued sneaking into the ex-
the Apotheon at the last possible second. cavation, hunting further deposits of the mineral,
and discovered a planar rift within the ruins. One
The Apotheon's intervention kept Gruumsh from of their agents succeeded in getting inside the rift-
annihilating all life on Marquet, but the force of his and when that agent returned, she claimed that she
spear thrust still brought the lands of Marquet to had entered a dark, underwater realm where the
ruin. Fire raged across the lush jungle, turning ver- walls themselves were veined with ruidium. She
dant beauty into blasted desert, and Cael Morrow managed to recover a sample and escape before the
was shunted deep-into the earth. Towers toppled, water's intense pressure crushed her body.
stone crumbled, and all trace of the great civiliza-
tion was wiped from the face of Exandria. When that sample of ruidium was torn from the
Netherdeep, the shock of the extraction roused the
In that moment of destruction and death, the Apo- dormant Apotheon from his slumber. All at once,
theon's connection to Ruidus flared to life. A rift was centuries of accumulated grief crashed down upon
torn between worlds, in which alien energy from an him, and the Netherdeep roared with the strength of
unknown realm and the waters of Cael Morrow's his tempestuous emotions.
oasis mingled to produce a lightless realm of wa-
ter and strange magic. There, in what came to be The power that flows from the Apotheon is no lon-
known as the Netherdeep, the Apotheon has been ger truly his own. Try as he might to hang on to the
trapped for untold ages, consumed with sadness, fu- memory of the hero he once was, he is driven en-
rious over his defeat, and yearning for his freedom. tirely by his tortured emotions. Throughout his cen-
turies of isolation, the dormant, dreaming Alyxian
In time, the immortal Apotheon fell into a long had hoped for someone to find and rescue him. But
and troubled slumber. In his dreams, the barren when mortals discovered him, they seemed inter-
caverns of the Netherdeep began to shift. His memo- ested only in stealing his power for themselves. The
ries filled the darkness, and a cocoon of melancholy furious Apotheon tapped into the alien nature of the
formed around his body. From this Heart of Despair Netherdeep to cause ruidium to slowly corrupt all
emerged a crimson element that embodied the Apo- who hold it.
theon's power. It spread, growing and crystallizing
as it moved, until all of the Netherdeep was suffused Alyxian beseeched the three gods he had prayed
with its power. to in ancient times-Sehanine the Moon Weaver
Avandra the Change Bringer, and Corellon the Arch
INTRODUCTION J ANSWERING THE CALL
Heart-to send heroes to save him. Despite being Text that appears in a box like this is meant to be
sealed behind the Divine Gate, the gods were able to read aloud or paraphrased for the players when their
propel thejewel of Three Prayers to a site where Al- characters first arrive at a location or under a specific
yxian once.beseeched the Moon Weaver for aid long circumstance·, as described in the text.
ago. The jewel materialized within a sunken tem-
ple in the Emerald Gulch near Jigow, and the gods When a creature's name appears in bold type, that's
hoped that a good-hearted band of heroes would a visual cue pointing you to its stat block as a way of
find it, learn of the Apotheon's plight, and rescue saying, "Hey, DM, you better get this creature's stat
their tortured champion. The jewel of Three Prayers block ready. You're going to need it." Usually, you
is currently dormant, waiting to be awakened by a can find the stat block in the Monster Manual; if the
determined hero. stat block appears elsewhere, the text tells you so.
THE APOTHEON's CALL Spells and equipment mentioned in the adventure
are described in the Player's Handbook. Magic
The first chapter of this adventure begins in Jigow, a items are described in the Dungeon Master's Guide
Xhorhasian town populated mostly by ores and gob- unless the adventure's text directs you to an item's
lins brought together by the Kryn Dynasty. Smaller description in appendix B of this adventure.
populations of other peoples live among them. Un-
like some other Kryn settlements, the people ofji- CHARACTER ADVANCEMENT
gow have maintained their city's distinctive culture.
Jigow's most popular event is the annual Festival of The characters begin the adventure at 3rd level. If
Merit, in which locals and visitors compete in tests
of strength and cunning. Rivalries are forged, bets your players are creating 3rd-level characters from
are won and lost, and bragging rights are secured
for the year- until the next festival. scratch, assume that each character has the normal
During this event, destiny calls to two adventuring starting equipment for their background and class.
parties: the characters (run by your players) and a
group of rival adventurers (run by you). The grand If you want to run this adventure as part of a
finale of the Festival of Merit sends both groups into
an underwater grotto. Here, the characters discover campaign that starts at 1st level, the adventure
a place where Alyxian prayed to Sehanine the Moon
Weaver centuries ago. Here, thejewel of Three "Unwelcome Spirits" in Explorer's Guide to Wilde-
Prayers waits to be found. The discovery of this
item and a vision in which Alyxian pleads with the mount is ideal for a group of 1st-level characters in
characters to save him from his prison of darkness
and despair set the adventure in motion. If the char- Xhorhas and can be used to advance the characters
acters answer the call, they will come into conflict
with the power-hungry factions that awakened the to 3rd level.
Apotheon, the alien evil of the Netherdeep itself,
and the rivals who have dogged their path since the The Character Level Advancement table summa-
rizes when the characters gain levels during this
RUNNING THE ADVENTURE
Call of the Netherdeep is a DUNGEONS & DRAGONS
adventure optimized for five characters. The player CHARACTER LEVEL ADVANCEMENT
characters are the heroes of the story; this book
describes the villains and monsters the heroes must Level Requirement
overcome and the locations they must explore to 4th Finish the Emerald Grotto challenge in chapter 1.
bring the adventure to a successful conclusion. 5th Arrive at Bazzoxan at the end of chapter 2.
6th Defeat or frighten away the gloomstalkers that
To run the adventure, you need the fifth edition
core rulebooks (Player's Handbook, Dungeon Mas- escape from the Betrayers' Rise in chapter 3.
ter's Guide, and Monster Manual). 7th Reach the prayer site in the Betrayers ' Rise (area
Rl 6) at the end of chapter 3.
8th Complete at least three faction missions in
9th Complete at least one faction mission in chapter
4 that requires the party to visit the sunken ruins
10th Enable the jewel ofThree Prayers to transform into
its Exalted State (see area M9) .
11th Obtain at least three Fragments of Suffering by
exploring the Netherdeep in chapter 6.
12th Enter the Heart of Despair at the end of chapter 6.
13th Defeat Alyxian or enable him to be redeemed in
INTRODUCTION I ANSWERING THE CALL
ADVENTURE STRUCTURE ADVENTURE FLOWCHART
Call of the Netherdeep is divided into seven chap- CHAPTER 1: A FATEFUL COMPETITION
ters, as shown in the Adventure Flowchart.
For 3rd-level characters
ROLEPLAYI N G--THE APOTHEON The characters play festival games, meet their
Alyxian is trapped in an extradimensional prison of rivals, receive a vision, and find a lost jewel.
his own making and longs for freedom. He still has
a connection to several holy sites where he received CHAPTER 2: THE LEAVE-TAKING
power from the gods during the Calamity, and his For 4th-level characters
consciousness reaches out to certain mortals whose
hearts resonate with his own. The characters travel to Bazzoxan to learn more
about the vision they received in chapter 1.
Beyond this, Alyxian yearns to be remembered.
He is a being composed of little more than memory, CHAPTER 3: BAZZOXAN
sorrow, and hatred. He fears that the world has
forgotten his sacrifice entirely-and the Netherdeep For 5th-level characters
has preyed on his selfish urges, instilling in him an The characters defend Bazzoxan and explore an
obsessive desire to be remembered and idolized by evil bastion to learn more about the Apotheon.
a world that seemingly has forsaken him.
CHAPTER 4: THEjEWEL OF HOPE
Alyxian appears to the characters several times
in visions. The version of himself he shows them is For 7th-level characters
the idealized way he sees himself-someone who The characters are whisked to another continent
has always tried to do good but has been punished and must ally with ambitious factions in the oasis
nonetheless. The Apotheon is trying to put his best
self forward to get what he wants out of the charac- city of Ank'Harel to achieve their goals.
ters. This isn't a false persona, but it isn't the whole
picture. In later visions, when the characters are CHAPT ER 5: THE DROWNED CITY
able to speak to Alyxian and ask him questions, For 9th-level characters
probing too deeply can cause the Apotheon to reveal
the more raw, selfish parts of himself. These parts The characters search a sunken city beneath
of him see the characters as pawns-tools granted Ank'Harel and find a portal to the Netherdeep.
to him by the gods.
CHAPTER 6 : THE NETHERDEEP
Ultimately, your job is to try to balance the selfless
man that Alyxian once was with the traumatized, For 10th-level characters
manipulative being that he has become. By the end The characters seek the entrance to the
of the adventure, if all goes well, the characters Apotheon's prison at the heart of his domain.
will realize that Alyxian can be redeemed, and that
helping him overcome his pain and trauma-thus CHAPTER 7: THE HEART OF DESPAIR
restoring the hero who once saved Exandria from
destruction-is a cause worth fighting for. For 12th-level characters
The characters battle for the soul of the Apotheon,
STORY TONE AND PLAYER LIMITS
with all of Exandria hanging in the balance.
Like other Critical Role stories, this adventure
walks a line between optimistic heroism and mor-
ally ambiguous character dilemmas. Heroic and
equivocal choices are contrasted with mo.ments of
supernatural evil. Although this adventure is not
a horror tale, it does involve elements of fear, sus-
pense, and the grotesque.
The events of the adventure should make the
characters feel stressed and anxious, but the players
should be relaxed and having fun. Before starting
the adventure, have a candid conversation with
your players about hard and soft limits on what
topics can be broached at the table. Your players
might have phobias and triggers you aren't aware of;
never assume you know your players' deepest fears,
INTRODUCTION I ANSWERING THE CALL 9
no matter how long you've been playing together. R UIDIUM
Any topic or theme that makes a player feel unsafe
should be avoided. If a topic or theme makes one or The Apotheon's distorted emotions manifest in the
more players nervous but they give you consent to form of a crimson element called ruidium, so named
include it in-game, incorporate it with care. Since because its color is similar to that of Ruidus.
D&D adventures aren't heavily scripted, these
elements might arise unexpectedly during play. Be Ruidium originates in the Netherdeep. It pene-
prepared to move away from such topics and themes trates and grows into all things it touches. Inan-
quickly if any player feels uncomfortable. imate objects that become bonded with ruidium
are imbued with a sliver of the Apotheon's power.
UNDERWATER ADVENTURING Creatures that interact with ruidium can be physi-
cally and emotionally corrupted by it. Their bodies
During this adventure, the characters will explore become laced with ruidium veins, and their minds
sunken grottoes, submerged ruins, and an extrapla- become tormented by the same emotions that haunt
nar aquatic abyss. To run these underwater scenar- the Apotheon.
ios in a smooth and fun manner, familiarize yourself
with the underwater combat rules in the Player's RUIDIUM CORRUPTION
Handbook as well as the rules below.
When a creature is at risk of becoming corrupted,
SWIMMING it must make a Charisma saving throw. The save
DC varies based on the ruidium's virulence. On a
Unless aided by magic, a character without a swim- failed saving throw, the creature gains 1 level of ex-
ming speed can't swim indefinitely. After each haustion (see the Player's Handbook) and becomes
hour of swimming, a character must succeed on a corrupted if it isn't already. From that point on, the
DC 10 Constitution saving throw or gain 1 level of creature takes ldlO psychic damage whenever its
exhaustion. level of exhaustion increases or decreases by 1,
until it's no longer corrupted (see "Ending Corrup-
A creature with a swimming speed- including tion" below).
a character with a ring ofswimming or similar
magic- can swim all day without penalty and SIGNS OF CORRUPTION
uses the normal forced march rules in the Play-
er's Handbook. The first physical sign of corruption in a creature is
a bright red rash, which appears on the creature's
Swimming through deep water is similar to trav- body where it made contact with the ruidium. As the
eling at high altitudes because of the water's pres- creature's level of exhaustion increases, the signs of
sure and cold temperature. For a creature without corruption become more obvious, as summarized
a swimming speed, each hour spent swimming at in the Physical Signs of Ruidium Corruption table.
a depth greater than 100 feet counts as 2 hours for Decreasing a creature's level of exhaustion doesn't
the purpose of determining exhaustion, and swim- affect the physical signs of corruption. Once a new
ming for an hour at a depth greater than 200 feet physical sign appears, it can't be removed from the
counts as 4 hours. creature until its ruidium corruption is ended.
UNDERWATER VISIBILITY PHYSICAL SIGNS OF RUIDIUM CORRUPTION
Visibility underwater depends on water clarity and Exhaustion
the available light. Unless the characters have light
sources, use the Underwater Encounter Distance Level Physical Signs
table to determine the distance at which characters
underwater become aware of a possible encounter. A red rash appears, originating from the
point of contact with ruidium.
UNDERWATER ENCOUNTER DISTANCE 2 Pulsing crimson veins spread across the
creature's skin .
Water Clarity and Light
Encounter Distance 3 Crimson blisters and boils appear on the
creature's skin .
Clear water, bright light 60 ft .
Clear water, dim light 30 ft. 4 Stubby spurs of ruidium crystal protrude
from the creature's body.
Murky water or no light 10 ft .
NETHERDEEP WATER PRESSURE 5 The cre<1ture's crystal protrusions grow
larger and more grotesque.
The Netherdeep has the added danger of extreme
water pressure, the effects of which are described in 6 The corruption kills the creature .
INTRODUCTION I ANSWERING THE CALL
RUIDIUM SPELL COMPONENTS AYO]"A---BE- - - - - - - - - - - -
One ounce of ruidium can be substituted for 500 gp As the de facto leader of a new, unnamed adventur-
worth of any material component needed to cast a ing party, Ayo Jabe has a lot of responsibility on her
spell. A creature that casts a spell using ruidium as shoulders. She and her companions have worked
a replacement component must succeed on a DC 20 odd jobs around the town ofJigow for a few weeks
Charisma saving throw or gain l level of exhaustion now, and she's starting to feel confide nt that they're
after the spell is cast . If the creature isn't already suf- ready for real adventure.
fering from ruidium corruption, it becomes corrupted
if it fails the saving throw. Ayo is a water genasi who was born to ore parents
during a terrible storm in the Emerald Gulch. Her
A creature beset by ruidium corruption also ex- family has lived injigow for generations, and she's
hibits emotional signs of corruption that worsen as eager to leave home and see the world.
its level of exhaustion increases. These symptoms
include amplified feelings of regret, yearning, rage, Ayo picked up her combat skills while working
and despair. A player whose character is corrupted as a hunter for the town of Jigow. She rece ntly
by ruidium can roleplay these symptoms however joined up with her childhood friend Dermot, as well
they wish. (For example, the player could emphasize as Maggie Keeneyes, a mercenary who came to
or amplify their character's flaw, or choose a new town several weeks ago. Despite Maggie's brusque
flaw for their character.) As with the physical signs demeanor, she became a loyal friend of Ayo and
of corruption, all emotional symptoms persist until Dermot, and the three of them have become in-
the creature's ruidium corruption is ended. separable, even as more adventurers have joined
Ayo is hotheaded and appreciates people who
Only a wish spell or divine intervention can cure a make decisions as impuls ively as she does. Nev-
creature's ruidium corruption; simply removing all ertheless, she respects Dermot's even-tempered
levels of exhaustion from the creature cannot. advice and dutifully plays the role of the wise leader.
She has no patience for people who a re indecisive,
Ruidium and the effects of its corruption vanish and she is infuriated by people who don't say what
from the world if the Apotheon is redeemed at the they really mean.
end of this adventure (see "Best Ending: A World
that Remembered" in chapter 7).
When ruidium corruption ends on a creature, all
physical and emotional signs of it disappear from
the creature instantly.
From the beginning, the characters are challenged
by a rival adventuring party. This rivalry starts
small, with the two groups first meeting while they
play games of ski ll and strength injigow. As the
rivals make their own way through the adventure,
they grow in power and ambition just as the charac-
ters do. They are determined to prove that they are
the true heroes of this story.
This adventure presents five rivals. Ideally, the
number of rivals should be equal to the number of
characters in the players' party. If there are fewer
than five characters in their party, remove one rival
of your choice or give one of them a dramatic death
early on. If there are more than five characters in
your party, create new rivals. (Maybe one of the ri-
vals has an identical twin.) Alternatively, start with a
party of five rivals, and keep an eye out for chances
to add new nonplayer characters to the rival party as
the characters meet them.
The following descriptions pertain to the rivals at
the start of the adventure.
INTRODUCTION I ANSWERING THE CALL II
DERMOT WURDER GALSARIAD ARDYTH
When you're the twelfth son of a poor goblin family Beautiful, ethereal, deathly, shadowy- all
inJigow, the only way to make a name for yourself accurately describe Galsariad Ardyth, a drow in his
is to become a great champion- someone who can two-hundredth year of life. He's recently taken up
win bragging contests in the local taverns night the study of arcane magic, and he's pursuing the life
after night. Young Dermot Wurder, however, wasn't of an adventurer in hopes of improving his reputa-
interested in performing feats of strength or agility tion within the Kryn Dynasty. Loquacious, snarky,
• that would win him a boast-worthy epithet. Fame and sarcastic to a fault, he's ready with a barb for
wasn't for him, nor was the aggressiveness that be- any occasion- usually to mask his own insecurities.
coming famous required. He was more interested in
cooking, planting flowers, and sewing clothes- do- A city-dweller from the Kryn capital of Rosohna,
ing the work that kept his family together while his Galsariad is blessed with sharp aesthetic sensi-
carefree siblings dove off waterfalls and wrestled bilities and an interest in ancient lore, especially
stray dogs. history concerning the Age of Arcanum, Exandria's
long-lost magical golden age. He's also the newest
Dermot and Ayo Jabe have known each other long member of the rival party, and both Ayo and Irvan
enough that their first meeting has vanished into are impressed by his ethereal elegance- and have a
the haze of youthful pre-memory. Dermot accom- bit of a crush on him, even if he does talk too much.
panied Ayo whenever he could, packing herbs and
medicines when they went exploring in the woods. Galsariad appreciates people who share his in-
When Ayo recently told him of her dream to form an terests and are willing to spend time studying with
adventuring party, he started training to wear heavy him, though he also likes it when people treat him
armor and threw himself into studying the faith of with respect even if they don't care about magic.
the Luxon so he could wield the blessings of the He dislikes people who keep secrets from him, and
light to protect those he cares about. hates when people judge him for being a novice at
magic even though he's centuries old.
Dermot is fiercely protective of his friends and fu-
riously rebukes anyone who disparages or threatens
them. His deepest need- one even he doesn't know
he has- is to make a friend who will help him real-
ize what he wants for himself.
INTRODUCTION I ANSWERING THE CALL
IRVAN WASTEWALKER MAGGIE KEENEYES
The name "Wastewalker" conjures fear on People might laugh when a 12-foot-tall ogre or-
the plains of Xhorhas, as the name of a clan of ders a drink at a bar and says her name is Maggie,
Xhorhasian nomads. Irvan- Irv to his friends- was but they don't laugh for long. Some people fixate
born into that clan, but he hates the name. He left on her name, her enormous size, her muscles, or
his family when he was a teenager, struck out on the weapon at her side. Wiser folk take notice of
his own across the wastes, and made his way to the Maggie's bright blue eyes. All her life, people have
city of Asarius. Even though the "City of Beasts" is considered Maggie a stupid meathead because of
renowned for danger, Irv felt at home there in a way her size, but her eyes betray her intelligence. She
he'd never felt with his clan. can read others with a glance, whether in conversa-
tion or in a duel. When her eyes dart back and forth
He earned a reputation for being a party animal across a battlefield, they take in enough information
who could put down a dozen drinks in a night and to give her allies an advantage in the fight.
still dance with the vigor and elegance of an archfey.
Irv is young- just a few weeks past his nineteenth Things changed for Maggie when she first arrived
birthday- and he is secretly ashamed of his patchy in Jigow and met Ayo Jabe three weeks ago. She
beard and scrawny, human body. He has a bigger came looking for mercenary work to make ends
secret related to that feeling: he was consecuted in meet but found a true friend instead. Ayo saw the
another life. The act of consecution is a sacred Kryn intelligence in Maggie's eyes and was keen to hear
ritual of rebirth through the mystical power of the Maggie's thoughts. They became fast friends, and
Luxon. Irvan has memories of his previous life as a Maggie would sooner die than let harm come to her
bugbear of Den Hythenos, and he hopes to prove to new companion.
himself that he can do great things without the aid
of his powerful "family" in the Kryn Dynasty. Maggie loves poetry and music with profound lyr-
ics, as well as matching wits with people as clever
He met Ayo and her friends when he traveled to as she is. She hates being stereotyped and has a
Jigow to experience its contests of strength and dim view ofthose who are too quick to judge others.
skill. He sticks with the group in part because he's
interested in what adventures they'll get into, and
also because he's smitten with the group's newest
addition, a drow arcanist named Galsariad.
INTRODUCTION I ANSWERING THE CALL 13
R IVALS' GOALS RIVAL STAT BLOCKS
Each rival has goals. As the characters interact Stat blocks for the rivals can be found in appendix
with the rivals, they might choose to help the rivals A. Each of the rivals has three stat blocks; like the
achieve their goals or use their own knowledge of characters, they become more powerful as the
those goals to manipulate the rivals into doing what adventure progresses. The Rival Stat Blocks table
they want. A Charisma check to ask for help (see shows you which stat blocks to use based on the
"Asking for Help" below) is made with advantage chapter you are running.
if the rival thinks agreeing to the character's re-
quest will help achieve the rivals' goals and is made RIVAL STAT BLOCKS
with disadvantage if it goes directly against the ri-
vals' goals. Chapters Stat Blocks
The Rivals' Goals table summarizes each rival's 1 and 2 Tier 1
goals at the start of this adventure. Some of them
are broadly applicable and might never be defini- 3 and 4 Tier 2
tively achieved. Others are highly specific (such as
Galsariad's goal to match wits with an archmage). 5, 6, and 7 Tier 3
The rivals can acquire new goals as the adventure
progresses, as you see fit. RELATIONSHIPS WITH THE R IVALS
A character can learn about one of a rival's goals When the characters meet the rivals in chapter 1, all
by spending at least 1 minute in conversation with the rivals have an indifferent attitude toward them.
that rival and making a DC 10 Wisdom (Insight) It's up to you to determine when a rival's attitude
check. No check is necessary if the rival is friendly toward a character might change. For example, after
toward the character and divulges the information a combat encounter in which one character saves
willingly. a rival's life or helps a rival achieve one of their
goals (see the Rivals' Goals table), you can decide if
RIVALS' GOALS that deed enabled the rival to see the character in a
new light, changing the rival's attitude toward the
Rival Goals character from hostile to indifferent or indifferent to
friendly. The rules for changing attitude are detailed
Ayo Jabe Become a hero like the ones she has in the Dungeon Master's Guide.
read about in stories ; make a friend
she can be truly herself around; kill a KEEPING TRACK OF ATTITUDES
Since every rival's attitude toward the characters
Dermot Wurder Protect his friends; have a life-chang- starts out as indifferent, it's important to note only
ing holy vision ; discover that he has the hostile and friendly relationships that blossom
value himself, not just as someone between the two parties and the reasons why the
who can help others relationship became friendly or hostile.
Galsariad Ardyth Match wits with an archmage; dis- You can decide that certain actions- such as a
cover a magical secret no one else character killing one of the rivals- automatically
knows; be respected by someone he turn all the rivals hostile against all the characters.
respects The converse isn't true; singular acts of kindness
toward an individual rival aren't as likely to make all
Irvan Wastewalker Experience things he has never the rivals friendly toward all the characters.
encountered before; fall in love with
someone who doesn't know about VITAL NONPLAYER CHARACTERS
his past lifetime; appear mature
despite his youthful appearance Critical Role stories are known for their rich cast of
Maggie Keeneyes Spar with a true tactical genius; write characters. The characters created by th€ players are
a song or poem that causes someone the protagonists of this story. No matter how import-
to weep with emotion; be able to ant this adventure's demigod, power-hungry faction
retire and never kill again leaders, and precocious rival adventurers might
seem to be, it's the player characters' story first and
Nevertheless, these other participants are of crucial
importance. They exist to goad the heroes into making
reckless decisions, to prey on their flaws, to spur the
story forward when it stalls, and to enhance the mys-
teries of the world.
INTRODUCTION I ANSWERING THE CALL
ASKING FOR HELP MAKING MISTAKES
At times, the characters might want help from one Dungeon Masters are fallible, just like everyone else,
or more rivals to accomplish their goals. Any char- and even the most experienced DMs make mistakes.
acter who requests help from a rival must make a If you overlook, forget, or misrepresent something,
successful Charisma check to convince that rival to correct yourself and move on. This is a big adventure
help them. Consider that rival's relationship to the with lots of interconnecting elements; no one expects
character in question, then consult the Conversation you to internalize or memorize every aspect ofit. As
Reaction table in the Dungeon Master's Guide to de- long as your players are having fun, everything will be
termine the DC of the check and the rival's reaction just fine.
to the character's request.
that book are available to them as well. With your
COMING TO BLOWS consent, a character can also receive the Hollow
One supernatural gift described in that book.
As long as the characters haven't slain any of them,
the rivals do their best to avoid killing the charac- Additional race options appear in Monsters of
ters. If a battle erupts between the two groups, the the Multiverse, with bugbear, duergar, goblin, hob-
rivals try to knock the characters unconscious (see goblin, kobold, lizardfolk, minotaur, and ore being
the rules for doing so in the Player's Handbook). In appropriate choices for players who want their char-
situations where that's not possible, Dermot Wurder acters to come from cultures or societies with roots
uses his spare the dying spell to stabilize a dying inXhorhas.
All class options presented in the Player's Hand-
If the heroes surrender, Ayo is usually happy to ac- book can be used in this adventure, and players
cept that outcome. She would prefer to let her foes can choose options from other D&D books with
go free, though she demands they stay out of her your approval.
CHARACTER BACK STORIES
You determine if the situation is dire enough
for the rivals to kill the characters or take them The beginning of this adventure assumes the char-
prisoner, or if they would even refuse to accept a acters are familiar with each other. Are they using
surrender. Jigow as a rest stop on their way elsewhere, are they
residents ofJigow, or some combination of the two?
If the players are unfamiliar with Exandria and
This adventure begins in Xhorhas, where most the lands of Xhorhas, they might find it daunting to
humans are nomads; most elves are drow who live create a back story set in this world. If you have Ex-
aboveground; dwarves and halflings are rare; and plorer's Guide to Wildemount, the Heroic Chronicle
goblinoids, ores, lizardfolk, kobolds, and other crea- section in that book roots a character's history in
tures sometimes seen as "monstrous" elsewhere the lands of Wildemount by helping the player de-
are more populous than gnomes and dragonborn. termine their character's birth nation, home settle-
Whether the characters are natives of Xhorhas or ment, and relationships with family members, allies,
outsiders, assume they are aware of what's said in and enemies. It also helps establish major events
the "What the Characters Know" section below. that happened to the character before the cam-
Regardless of whether you use that information,
Before starting the adventure, consider spending a asking the players the following questions about
game session-colloquially called session zero- to their characters can help them come up with a
establish expectations, share house rules, and help strong back story:
your players create characters. If you have a copy
of Tasha's Cauldron ofEverything, see that book's • What's one small heroic deed you've already
"Session Zero" section for advice on how to lay the accomplished?
groundwork in.session zero for a fun campaign that
exceeds your players' expectations. • Do you give your trust easily, or do people have to
earn your trust?
All the character races presented in the Player's
Handbook are well suited for this adventure. If your • What's one thing you want more than anything
players have access to Explorer's Guide to Wilde- else? How will being an adventurer help you
mount, the race and subclass options presented in achieve it?
INTRODUCTION I ANSWERING THE CALL 15
WHAT THE CHARACTERS KNOW The Luxon. The officia l deity of the Kryn Dynasty,
whose symbol appears on the nation's heraldry, is
Characters begin the adventure knowing the follow- the Luxon. This mysterious divine entity of light and
ing facts, which you can share with the players as rebirth has granted its faithful several esoteric se-
they create their characters. crets, the greatest of which is consecution-the act
of preparing one's soul for rebirth. Through conse-
Kryn Dynasty. The Kryn Dynasty is the dominant cution, some people within the Kryn Dynasty have
nation in Xhorhas. It was found ed by a drow queen lived many lifetimes, often in bodies different from
named Leylas Kryn, who fled the Underdark and the ones they were first born in. In the sequence of
the tyrannical rule of Lolth the Spider Queen along consecution, a drow might become a goblin, then be
with her disciples. The Bright Queen still rules the reborn as a bugbear, the n an ore, and so on- all the
dynasty centuries later, and its cities contain more while gaining greater knowledge about the world
than just drow. Ores, goblinoids, tieflings, humans, through their experiences. This process has no me-
and many others call the cities of the dynasty their chanical benefit, but players can make consecution
home. Countless more denizens of the dynasty are and rebirth an interesting part of their characters'
nomads who roam the wastes in clans, hunting back stories.
mastodons and other Xhorhasian megafauna.
If a follower of the Luxon who has undergone
Jigow. This coastal settlement is actually a the ritual of consecution dies within 100 miles of a
string of villages that are home to a collection of Luxon beacon, their soul is ensnared by it and re-
folk from all over Xhorhas. Goblin and ore clans incarnated within the body of a random Humanoid
founded Jigow, which explains why the settlement newborn within 100 miles of the beacon.
is governed by two elders- a goblin and an ore.
The Aurora Watch (the military arm of the Kryn PRONUNCIATION GUIDE
Dynasty) maintains a presence here, under the com-
mand of a drow called Taskhand Durth Mirimm. The Pronunciations table shows how to pronounce
many of the unusual names that appear in this
Townsfolk tend to be competitive, and friendly adventure.
rivalries are commonplace. Most ofJigow's resi-
dents live in a central region called the Jumble.
16 INTRODUCTION I ANSWERING THE CALL
PRONUNCIATIONS Pronunciation Description
Name ah-LOY-see-uh TELL-fin Elf agent of the Consortium of the Vermilion Dream
Aloysia Telfan ah - LICK-see -in Tragic human hero who sacrificed himself to save others
Aly xian AWNK-har-el Majestic oasis city in Marquet
Ank ' Harel uh -PAW-thee-awn Alyxian 's title, denoting his godlike powers
Apotheon AWR-uh-dreen Goliath coleader of the Consortium of the Vermilion Dream
Aradrine the Owl AYE-oh )AW-bay Water genasi leader of the rival party
Ayo )abe BOUGH-thuh DEER Drow priest in Bazzoxan
Bautha Dyrr BAZ-oh-zan Military outpost in Xhorhas
Bazzoxan BELL-treeth Sword wraith commander in Cael Morrow
Beltreath KEEM Ore member of the Allegiance of Allsight
Bookkeeper Khime KAYL MAW-row Sunken ruin of an ancient city beneath Ank ' Harel
Cael Morrow KATH-uh Exandria 's larger, silvery moon
Catha COAL-boo KAZ Goblin elder of )igow
Colbu Kaz den-DAR-run Halfling coleader of the Consortium of the Vermilion Dream
Dendarron the Sun Bear DER-mott WER-der Goblin priest of the Lu xon and a member of the rival party
Dermot Wurder ex-ANN-dree-uh
Exandria GUY-yaw ill-ee-AIR-uh The world of Critical Role
Gaeya lliera gal-SAIR-ee-add AR-dith
Galsariad Ardyth H A D -ah-rye Drow chef in the Aurora Watch
Hadarai UR-vin Drow mage and a member of the rival party
Irvan Wastewalker juh-MEEL AYE-uh-lee-thee-uh Ghost of an ore priest of Corellon
Jamil A'alithiya Human scoundrel and a member of the rival party
)EE-gow (rhymes with cow) Human High Curator of the Archive of the Cobalt Soul in
)igow kal-EEM tel-AW-rin Ank'Harel
Kalym Telaarin KEL-ker Town in Xhorhas populated mostly by goblins and ores
Khelkur the Gull KREEN Drow warrior in Bazzoxan
Kryn Dynasty LAR-thool Dwarf coleader of the Consortium of the Vermilion Dream
Larthul the Wolf LUCKS-awn Governing body ofXhorhas
Luxon mar-KET Human co leader of the Consortium of the Vermilion Dream
Marquet NAY-vinn TASS-uh-thar Mysterious god of light and rebirth
Naevyn Tasithar nuh-DOE-see AH-nay Continent covered in deserts, mountains, and jungles
Nedosi Anay PAIR-uh-jee Drow scout in Bazzoxan
Perigee POST-rake Half-ore security captain of the Luck 's Run casino
Postraeck PRO -licks Deva agent of Sehanine corrupted by ruidium
Prolix Yusaf roh-SO-nuh Human bandit living in the wastes of Xhorhas
Rosohna roo-lDD -ee-um Tiefling agent of the Allegiance of Allsight
Ruidium ROO-idd-iss Capital of the Kryn Dynasty
Ruidus sah-KEE-ree Corrupting element born of the Netherdeep
Saqi ri THEE-oh NAH-tho-pee Exandria's smaller, vermilion moon
Theo Nathope OO-shroo Drow hunter from Alyxian's past
Ushru VAIR-in THAY-liss A young, innocent avatar of the Apotheon
Verin Thelyss SEEL-ruh-lay Ore elder of )igow
Watcher Sylralei WILD-mount (long i) Drow military commander of Bazzoxan
Wildemount Z)OR-hawss Dwarf berserker of the Sentinels of Memory
Xhorhas Z)OT Continent covered in vegetation and snow
Xot Eastern realm ofWildemount, mostly marshes and grasslands
Goliath archaeologist of the Allegiance of Allsight
INTRODUCTION I ANSWERING THE CALL
CIJ Altl' 1;11 1
A FATEFUL COMPETITION
L IKE MANY OF THE HEROIC LEGENDS THAT RIVAL IMPRESSIONS
echo throughout the annals of Exandrian
history, this tale begins in peace-or what Whenever a rival is present for an event in this
passes for peace in Jigow at festival time. chapter, a "Rival Impressions" section explains
Goblin children run through the streets, screaming how that individual might react to the characters'
with mirth, while ores, humans, drow, and people of actions. These suggestions will help you develop the
countless other folk clink tankards, hurl hatchets at relationships between the rivals and the characters.
targets, stuff their faces with meat pies, and plunge The evolution of a fierce rivalry into a friendship-or
into the frigid waters of the lfolon River- all in the even a romance- is an exciting way to enhance the
name of friendly competition. ongoing story of this adventure. Conversely, a friend-
ship crumbling because of a breakdown in commu-
The characters are inJigow during the city's an- nication or a clash of two unbending ideals is a trag-
nual Festival of Merit. Though they are the protago- edy that echoes the darker tones of this adventure.
nists of this story, today they are but a small handful
of excited festivalgoers amid a merry throng. Many A character can try to change a rival's attitude
of the Xhorhasians present are famed warriors through roleplaying, which you can adjudicate based
skilled athletes, cunning con artists, and talent~d on the social interaction rules in the Dungeon Mas-
arcanists. Among those taking part in the festivities ter's Guide. You can also improvise and adjust the
are the characters' rivals, another group of adventur- rivals' attitudes at your discretion, based on how you
ers whose fates are entwined with the characters. feel the rivals would react in any given situation.
At the festival's end, the characters and their rivals jIGOW
are chosen to dive into the waters of the Emerald
Gulch in search of a prize. Little do they know that Jigow is located in northern Xhorhas on the banks
this plunge will start them on an adventure greater of the Emerald Gulch and the Ifolon River. An amal-
than any of them could possibly imagine. gamation of coastal villages that were originally
settled by several nomadic clans of ores and goblins,
RUNNING THIS CHAPTER Jigow is now home to humans and other folk as well
and the city gained a significant drow population af-'
This chapter has two parts: the Festival of Merit ter Jigow became a part of the Kryn Dynasty.
and the Emerald Grotto. Each part can be played in
a single 3- to 4-hour session. Be sure to review the The villages and townships that make up Jigow
information about the rival nonplayer characters are loosely divided into three major areas: the Meat-
in the "Rivals" section of the introduction before waters, the main dock area on the shores of the
running this chapter. The rivals' interactions with lfolon River; the Wetwalks, a collection of houses
the characters in this chapter will lay the ground- on stilts closest to the wetlands and marshes; and
work for relationships that could last throughout the the Jumble, the most densely populated region of the
adventure. city, where houses are built among giant mangrove
trees or on the backs of horizonback tortoises and
The first half of the chapter is a lighthearted and used as traveling homes.
free-form exploration ofJigow and the Festival of
Merit. Familiarize yourself with the map ofJigow Jigow has a council of elders who help its people
and the locations keyed to it so that you can effec- resolve internal conflicts and a military presence
tively guide the characters as they explore the settle- in the form of the Aurora Watch-the soldiers of
ment and partake in the festival games. the Kryn Dynasty. The dynasty also has a political
liaison inJigow: a drow named Durth Mirimm
The second part is a dangerous but straightfor- (see areaJ9). Serving as an intermediary between
ward dungeon delve into the Emerald Grotto near Jigow's elders and the court of the Bright Queen
Jigow. The characters must overcome a series of Leylas Kryn, Durth cares more about whatJigow
challenges to reach the treasure at the end of the can do for the dynasty than how he can improve the
dungeon before the rivals do. lives ofJigow's citizens.
CHAPTER I I A FATEFUL C OMPETITION )
The Jumble is the heart of]igow and home to a col- FESTIVAL OF MERIT
orful patchwork of local cultures. The traditions of
ancient Xhorhasian peoples, many of them ores and Seven festival games and challenges are described
goblins, live on in the peaceful chaos of the Jumble. in this chapter, as follows:
The twisting, unplanned streets give the district its
name-a med ley of homes, shops, workshops, ath- JI: Best Pies in the Jumble. The Unbroken Tusk
letic fields, amphitheaters, shrines, taverns, stables, inn boasts the best meat pies east of the Ash-
and public spaces for lively gatherings. keeper Peaks. Its owner has offered a prize to the
person who can eat the most pies.
Jigow was built from the sweat of its founders'
brows, the strength of their muscles, and the mu- J2: One-Shot Solution. A maze has been con-
sic of their voices. InJigow, any chance to show off structed in the Jumble. Competitors win a prize if
one's physical, social, or intellectual prowess is a they navigate the maze in one try without coming
welcome one, and there's no opportunity better than upon a dead end.
the annual festival. On this day, friendly and not-
so-friendly contests between residents are settled. J3: The Ifolon Plunge. Some distance offshore
Every public space is filled with festival games, food in the Ifolon River, a rusted spear is lodged into
stalls, or other amenities for the merrymakers, and a weathered piece of a pier that has long since
plenty of shops and private residences have flung rotted away. It is a popular spot for Jigow's most
their doors wide to join in the revelry. talented swimmers to test their speed and skill.
ADVENTURE START J4: Call to Arms. One of the Aurora Watch soldiers
stationed in Jigow has challenged a nyone and ev-
This story begins as the characters enter the Jum- eryone to best her in an arm-wrestling contest. So
ble. Read or paraphrase the boxed text below to set far, she re mains undefeated.
JS: Wetwalks Paddywhack. Members of the
You have entered the Jumble, a large district of Gakthash and Uvuroh goblin clans time their rice
tangled roads and single-story buildings in the town paddy harvests to coincide with the Festival of
of Jigow. Throngs of people, most of them ores and Merit every year. This event turns the mundane
goblins , move through the streets, laughing, singing, act of harvesting into a spirited competition.
running, and sightseeing. All are enthralled by the rau-
cous sights and sounds of the town's Festival of Merit. J6: Herding the Horizonbacks. This year's brood
of young horizonback tortoises must be relocated
You hear snippets of conversations as people pass from the Wetwalks to the Jumble.
by: a gobl in mother telling her children not to go
near the baby horizon back tortoises, a drow guard in J7: Riddles and Rhymes. One ofJigow's elders is
shining insectile armor complaining to his partner fond of ma king up riddles. He has come up with
that his gauntlet was crushed by a hulking ore while several new ones for the festival this year.
arm-wrestling, and a pair of young ores in swim-
wear hollering as they rush toward the banks of the Each of these challenges is described in greater
lfolon River. detail in its own section. Except where otherwise
noted, any number of characters can participate
All around you, colorful signs and banners point to- in an event.
ward festival booths surrounded by cheering people.
On this street alone, you can see a meat-pie eating The characters might want to look for a particular
contest near a shop mounted on the back of a mas- type of game: a contest of athleticism, a test of puz-
sive tortoise, and on the other side of the road, a ban- zle-solving, or a trial of endurance. In that case, they
ner emblazoned with the words "Riddles and Rhymes: must spend a half-hour strolling through the streets
Unbeatable Riddles!" That banner points toward a in search of the type of challenge they're looking for.
three-story temple in the center of the Jumble. The
town is yours to explore-where do you want to go? MEDALS OF MERIT CARDS
A character who wins a festival contest earns one
of seven different magical medals. Each medal is
described in appendix B, and its description also ap-
pears on a card in appendix C. You can hand a copy
of this card to each player whose character won
LOCATIONS IN IGOW
The following locations a re keyed to the map of
Jigow. They include places where Festival of Merit
contests are staged (a reas Jl throughJ7) and other
important locations that the characters might visit
jl: BEST PIES IN THEjUMBLE Agathe gestures toward the raised platform
next to her cooking station, where three people
This contest tests the participants' perseverance are already seated: a cocky male drow flexing his
and endurance. Read: muscles, pointing at people in the gathering crowd
and winking; a female halfling (use the thug stat
The savory scents of meat, pastry, and spices fill the block), sitting very still with a smirk on her face;
air around a three-story building mounted on the back and a young male human, scanning the crowd as
of a gigantic tortoise. A cooking stand and a festival if looking for someone. This individual is Irvan
stage with a long table are set up at the tortoise's Wastewalker (tier 1), whose stat block appears
feet , where an ore stands over a massive oven. She in appendix A. These contestants have the fol-
bustles from the oven to the stage and back, placing lowing modifiers to their Constitution checks and
delicious-looking hand pies at each seat and stacking saving throws, which come into play during the
more of them on a cooling rack nearby. pie-eating contest:
People are already gathered on stage, including a Male Drow: +O
scrawny young human with a mop of brown hair and Female Haffling: +2
a scruffy beard. As you approach, the ore calls out in Irvan Wastewalker: +l on checks, +3 on
a melodic baritone, "Come to sample the best meat
pies this side of the Wastes, yes? I sell 'em for meals saving throws
up there , but I'm running pie-eating contests down
here all day, if you've got an ore-sized stomach." Putting Away the Pies. It costs 5 sp to enter this
contest. On Agathe's signal, everyone seated at the
Agathe Silverspoon is a chaotic good ore who platform can begin eating. The pies taste great, the
moves from counter to counter, deftly slicing a meat seasoned to perfection and the crusts light and
variety of cooked and spiced meats, then folding fluffy. Of course, there's not much chance to savor
them into piecrusts that she places into the oven the flavor of the pies when the goal is to put away as
behind her. many of them as possible.
All contestants can easily eat their first pie,
requiring no check. Eating a second pie requires a
successful DC 8 Constitution check. For every pie
CHAPTER 1 I A FATEFUL COMPETITION 21
L~ ~ J
after the second, the DC increases by 2. The person J2: ONE-SHOT SOLUTION
who eats the most pies before failing a check is the
winner (ties are possible). A contestant whose check This game tests one's memory and navigation skills.
fails is too full to continue eating and must make a To begin, read:
DC 15 Constitution saving throw. On a fai led save,
the contestant becomes poisoned for 1 hour and Near the entrance to the festival grounds, a maze has
feels queasy. been constructed out of four-foot-tall walls of wooden
planks lashed together with ropes and propped up be-
Meeting Irvan. Irvan sits next to one of the char- tween sandbags. Banners are hung over the openings
acters during the contest. If they speak to him be- to the maze , signifying the entrance and the exit. The
fore the contest begins, he merely wishes the char- passageways of the maze are five feet wide. Off to the
acter good luck. He talks more after the contest. side, a tan-feathered aarakocra sits on a chair thirty
feet above the ground, giving him a vantage point
Rival Impressions. Win or lose, Irvan is friendly where he can see the whole area.
toward characters who competed in the contest. His
friendliness evaporates quickly if a character insults A small crowd is cheering on and heckling the peo-
his scruffy and adolescent appearance. ple inside. Near the entrance, an ogre in leather armor
is encouraging a reluctant goblin in a breastplate to
As a new member of his adventuring party, Irvan give the maze a try.
isn't keen on revealing that he's part of a group. But
he does invite any of the characters that he's friendly The way to win is to study the maze from the out-
with to join him for the festival's closing ceremony side, and then follow the only correct path to the
at sunset. exit in one shot. If a creature reaches a dead end,
the judge- a lawful neutral aarakocra named
1'reasure. Each winner of this contest receives a Sharpwatch- swoops down and plucks them
tin medal of the meat pie (see appendix B) shaped from the maze.
like- you guessed it- a meat pie.
Win or lose, a character can't compete in this con-
test again until they complete a long rest.
Maggie Keeneyes (tier 1), whose stat block ap- MEDAL OF THE MAZE
pears in appendix A, has figured out the solution to
the maze, but the ogre's size keeps her from enter- Treas ure . Characters who complete the maze
ing the maze. She wants her friend, a goblin named are awarded a medal of the maze (see appendix B)
Dermot Wurder (tier 1), whose stat block a lso made of smooth driftwood, hung on a piece of rough
appears in appendix A, to go in her place. Dermot, twine. A labyrinthine pattern has been carved into
however, is convinced that even with her instruc- the front of the medal.
tions, he will come to a dead end.
j3: THE lFOLON PLUNGE
Studying the Maz e. A character can study the
maze from the outside and make a DC 14 Intelli- This swimming race pits competitors against
gence (Investigation) check. If this check succeeds, the surging current and sharks of the Ifolon
the character has advantage on the check made to River. Read:
navigate the maze.
Several peo pl e are gat he red o n t he pi ers, arguin g
Entering the Maz e. It costs 3 sp to participate amon g th e mse lves and ve nting th eir ire at a spry
in this challenge. When a character enters the goblin who res ponds to t he ir anger with an amu sed
maze, they must make a DC 14 Wisdom (Survival) expressio n. Suddenly, a bras h vo ice cuts t hro ugh th e
check to try to find the correct path. On a success, chatter, and a blu e-sk inn ed wo man pu she s her way
the character traverses the maze in one shot and through the crowd and stands protecti vely in front
emerges victorious on the other side. of the go blin , yellin g, "Sh e's not gonn a say it again !
If you 're here wi th a team , o nl y o ne member of your
On a failed check, the character gets lost and ends team ca n participate in the challenge! The rules are
up in one of the maze's dead ends. A lost character clear, and if you ca n't handl e it, get off the pi er! " Afte r
can make a DC 18 Dexterity (Stealth) check to try ju st a couple of seco nd s, s mall gro ups of peo ple begin
to backtrack quickly out of the dead end, avoiding to qu ietly murmur amo ng th emselves.
Sharpwatch's notice on a success; the character can
then make another Wisdom (Survival) check to nav- The game is refereed by an impassive , lawful neu-
igate the maze. If either of these checks is a fai lure, tral goblin namecl Omo.
Sharpwatch swoops down and plucks the character
from the maze , depositing them outside.
Acharacter can try the maze as many times
as they would like, paying the 3 sp entrance fee
Meeting Maggie and Dermot. After the event,
Maggie approaches a character who successfully
navigated the maze and congratu lates them. Dermot
follows up, introducing himself and asking if the
characters can help him with a small task:
"It's noth ing urgent," he says, "but if you find my
friend Ayo, would yo u tell her Derm ot 's wondering
what the plan is after th e closin g ceremo ny? She has
dar k hair and blue sk in . She sa id s he was going to
co mpete in a contest by the river- I think ."
AyoJabe can be found competing in areaJ3.
Rival Impressions. Dermot thinks the best of
people and is friendly toward anyone who encour-
ages him to walk the maze or who backs him up by
saying he should sit it out. Both Dermot and Maggie
are hostile toward characters who insult them-
especially if anyone makes fun of the fact that Mag-
gie is too big to navigate the maze or implies that
she lacks insight because she's a musclebound ogre.
CHAPTER 1 I A FATEFUL COMPETITION 23
The blue-skinned individual is a water genasi Danger from Below. After the spear is pulled
named Ayojabe (tier 1), whose stat block appears from the rotten post, two Ifolon striped sharks (use
in appendix A. After breaking up the argument the reef shark stat block) emerge from the depths
on the docks, she returns to her companion, an of the river. Characters who have a passive Wisdom
elegant drow in wizard 's robes. This is Galsariad (Perception) score of 13 or higher notice the water
Ardyth (tier 1), whose stat block also appears in churning more severely as the sharks, riled up by
appendix A. the antics of the swimmers, rise to feed.
Ayo and Galsariad exchange a few terse words Roll initiative for the sharks. They attack contest
before Ayo motions toward the pier. A character who participants indiscriminately, interested in scoring
eavesdrops on them can make a DC 14 Wisdom what they think is an easy meal. A shark tries to flee
(Perception) check. On a success, the character when it has been reduced to 11 hit points or fewer.
learns that the drow offered to cast a Jongstrider Ayo doesn't waste time fighting the sharks; her only
spell on the genasi, but she declined; she wants to goal is to reach the finish line (with the spear, if she
win on her own. isn't already holding it). The other contestants in the
water try to fend off the sharks.
Participating in the Challenge. Entering this
contest costs 5 sp. The goal of this challenge is to Meeting Ayo and Galsariad. Prior to the chal-
swim upstream through the rushing waters of the lenge, Ayo is focused on the race and politely
Ifolon to reach a rusted spear sticking out of a rotten brushes off any attempt at conversation. Once the
wooden post, then bring the spear back to the dock. characters are safe and sound on the pier after the
race, she and Galsariad approach them.
Only one of the characters can participate in this
challenge. If multiple characters from the party Rival Impressions. Ayo is impressed more by
want to take part, anyone after the first must make courage and determination than by success. If a
a DC 14 Charisma (Deception) check. A character character participated in the contest but failed to
who succeeds on this check can compete; those who recover the spear, she claps that character on the
fail the check are ejected from the pier by Omo. shoulder with a crooked grin on her face and says,
"I've never seen anyone give it their all like that be-
Other than Ayo, the contestants are a lanky male fore. 'Cept for myself, I mean." She goes on to tell
ore scout, a broad-shouldered female human thug, the character that she has assembled an adventur-
and a surly male goblin. These nonplayer charac- ing party, and that she'd like to introduce everyone
ters have the following modifiers to their Strength after the festival's closing ceremony at sundown.
(Athletics) checks, which come into play during the
swimming contest: Ayo looks poorly on a character who broke the
rules of the contest to participate. Galsariad, how-
Ayojabe:+4 ever, quietly smiles and inclines his head at that
MaleOrc:+0 character, impressed by their cunning.
Female Human: +2
Male Goblin: -1 Treasure. Omo awards the winner a medal of
the conch (see appendix B) made of sea glass that
Race for the Spear. On Omo's mark, the contes- has been magically crafted into the shape of a
tants plunge into the water and begin swimming. conch shell.
Competitors roll initiative when they dive into the
water, with all participants expected to use the j4: CALL TO ARMS
Dash action every round. Any contestant who moves
more than 30 feet on their turn must make a DC 13 This arm-wrestling competition tests a character's
Strength (Athletics) check at the end of that turn. strength and determination. Read:
On a failed check, the contestant gains 1 level of ex-
haustion and is pushed 15 feet downstream as they You approach a brick building with a sign that reads,
are pummeled by the current.
"Beefslab Butchers." A simple table and two chairs
The distance from the pier to the spear is 75
feet, and it takes an action to wrench the spear have been set up outside. Both chairs are currently
free. A character can pull the spear out of another
contestant's hands by swimming to within 5 feet occupied by people wearing the armor of the Aurora
of them and succeeding on a Strength check with
a DC equal to 10 + the other contestant's Strength Watch, their elbows braced against the table and their
modifier. Whoever returns the spear to Omo is
the winner. hands locked in an arm-wrestling duel. Two dozen fes-
tivalgoers watch them silently, until-SLAM!-the oc-
cupant of the left chair pushes her opponent's arm to
the table and the crowd erupts in whoops and cheers.
CHAPTER l I A FATEFUL COMPETITION
The victor in this contest, and the defending cham- j5: WETWALKS PADDYWHACK
pion of the event, is Maryl Bronzefang, a lawful
neutral, ore gladiator. A native of]igow serving in This game requires teamwork and skill with a
Bazzoxan's Aurora Watch, she was given leave to blade. Read:
return home for the festival. She is flanked by two
compatriots, both female drow veterans clad in On the eastern edge of the Jumble, the docks rise up•
chitinous splint armor. A quiet male goblin com-
moner- Vars, the owner of the butcher shop-sits ward from the river to run alongside wooden shacks
off to the side, managing the wagers made by
onlookers. built on stilts, casting crooked shadows over the wet-
After prodding Dermot to try the maze in area lands below. Some areas of the wetlands have been
J2, Maggie Keeneyes can be found here, eager
to compete. cordoned off to create rice paddies, which are now
Entering this contest is free, though bystanders ready for harvest.
can talk to Vars to place bets on the participants.
Blue and green banners wave over one end of the
Maryl Bronzefang competes only against the best,
and to challenge her, a character must first defeat docks, where two elderly goblin farmers preside over
one of her drow companions. Maryl returns to the
table after at least one character has accomplished the contest. "You know how it goes!" one hollers out
this, casting a challenging grin at the victor and
inviting them to try their luck against her. The first in a reedy voice. "First team to harvest the rice from
character to defeat Maryl receives a challenge from
Maggie. Otherwise, Maggie challenges Maryl after their section wins!"
all other contestants fall by the wayside. These non-
player characters have the following modifiers to This event is managed by two neutral good goblins
their Strength checks, which come into play during named Beetle and Zag. Their farm is jointly run by
the arm-wrestling contest: the Gakthash and Uvuroh goblin clans, and every
year, the goblin couple uses the festival competi-
Maggie Keeneyes: +4 tions as a labor-saving way to harvest their crops.
Maryl Bronzefang: +4
Female Drow: +3 After the pie-eating contest in areajl, Irvan can
also be found relaxing here.
Contest Rules. In any arm-wrestling match,
have both contestants make a Strength (Athletics) Harvesting the Rice. A team of two is required to
check with a DC equal to 10 + the other contestant's participate in this contest, and there is no entry fee.
Strength modifier. If one contestant succeeds and If a character needs a partner, Irvan grudgingly vol-
the other fails, the one who succeeded wins the unteers to be their teammate for the event. When a
match. Repeat the checks as needed until one con- team enters the contest, they are asked to designate
testant fails and the other succeeds. which is the cutter (who cuts the stalks down) and
which is the gatherer (who gathers the stalks and
A character who loses a match and wants to try prepares them for drying). Zag provides the cutter
again must first succeed on a DC 15 Charisma (De- with a sickle before Beetle directs the teams to the
ception or Persuasion) check. On a failed check, the paddies and asks them to await the signal to start.
character is laughed away by the crowd. If a char-
acter loses to the same foe twice, that contestant Each team is responsible for a 20-foot-long, 5-foot-
declines any further challenges from that character. wide strip of a paddy. On Beetle's signal, the teams
race to successfully harvest their strip. Aside from
Betting. A character can place a bet with Vars by the characters, two other teams are competing in
handing him 5 sp and declaring who they think will this race: an imposing female ore and her rambunc-
win the next match. A character whose choice wins tious son (who uses the commoner stat block); and
the match receives 9 sp, and Vars pockets 1 sp. a pair of drow siblings, who wear broad-brimmed
straw hats and constantly bicker with each other.
Treasure. Vars hands anyone who bests Maryl These teams have the following modifiers to their
and Maggie a medal ofmuscle (see appendix B) Strength (Athletics) and Dexterity (Sleight of Hand)
made of ebony and shaped like a flexing arm. If checks, which come into play during the contest:
one stares at it for long enough, the muscles ap-
pear to bulge. Ore Team: Athletics +3, Sleight of Hand +0
Drow Team: Athletics +0, Sleight of Hand +2
At the end of each minute, each team's cutter
must make a DC 11 Strength (Athletics) check; on
a succ~s, the cutter clears a 5-foot-square section
of their paddy. Once a section has been cleared,
the team's gatherer must spend 1 minute trying to
gather and bundle the shorn rice, doing so with a
successful DC 11 Dexterity (Sleight of Hand) check;
CHAPTER 1 I A FATEFUL COMPETITION 25
a failed check causes the team's cutter to make their Maneuvering the Herd. Once all the contestants
next Strength (Athletics) check with disadvantage, are seated on their tortoises, Adan climbs onto the
as the gatherer's bundling work gets in the way. The back of a larger tortoise outside the paddock. With
first team to clear and bundle the rice from all four a yell and a hand signal, Adan begins to lead the
5-foot squares of their strip of paddy wins (ties are group of tortoises out of the paddock.
To successfully maneuver a tortoise to the des-
Treasure. Beetle and Zag award each member of tination, a character must make three successful
the winning team a copper medal ofthe wetlands Wisdom (Animal Handling) checks. The DC for
(see appendix B) engraved with a sheaf of rice , hung these checks begins at 12 and increases by 1 for
on a necklace woven of reeds. each check thereafter. On a failed check, the tor-
toise tries to buck the character from its back. The
j6: HERDING THE HORIZONBACKS character must succeed on a DC 13 Dexterity sav-
ing throw or fall from the tortoise and take 3 (ld6)
This challenge tests the participants' acrobatic abil- bludgeoning damage. On a successful check, the
ity and skill with handling animals. Read: character doesn't fall and can try to maneuver the
Festivalgoers are clustered around a paddock full of
young horizonback tortoises that are shuffling around After a failed saving throw, a character can mount
their tortoise by succeeding on a DC 15 Dexterity
inside the enclosure. The fifteen-foot-tall tortoises are (Acrobatics) check. If this check fails, the belligerent
tortoise makes a Bite attack against the character.
being tended by young herders, who are fitting them Once mounted on the tortoise again, a character can
with makeshift bridles. These individuals are overseen continue trying to move the tortoise along by mak-
ing another Wisdom (Animal Handling) check as
by a tall, attractive ore who makes sure the bridles are described above.
attached correctly. If a tortoise is charmed by an animal friendship
spell or a similar effect, Wisdom (Animal Handling)
The ore waves at you and says, "Have you come to checks to guide it are made with advantage, and it
won't buck its handler on a failed check.
join the horizon back migration? There's a tortoise for
each of you, and a medal to be won if you make it to Treasure. Once a tortoise reaches its destination,
Adan awards its rider a medal of the horizonback
the end in one piece. Last year we had to rebuild three (see appendix B).
houses after the festival! " No two medals awarded from this contest look the
same. Each one appears to be made from some dif-
After the Ifolon Plunge in areaJ3, AyoJabe can be ferent part of a tortoise: a piece of shell, a claw, or a
found relaxing here, watching the tortoises. She tooth. Adan assures the characters that these med-
laughs at characters who refuse the challenge. als were made from tortoises that died naturally.
The paddock is maintained by a horizonback tor- j7: RIDDLES AND RHYMES
toise trainer named Adan, a lawful good, ore scout.
Adan supervises the transfer of the young tortoises This event challenges a character's intellect with a
from the paddock to the open fields on the west side series of riddles. Read:
of the Jumble, where the tortoises will begin train-
ing to become mounts and mobile buildings for the An elderly goblin in blue robes presides over a set
of three tables. One table holds a wooden box, the
A young horizonback tortoise uses the ankylosau-
rus stat block, with these changes: second displays a glittering star map of the Exandrian
• The tortoise can breathe air and water. sky, and on the third rests a row of colored bottles . A
• It understands Goblin but can't speak.
• It has Bite attack that is identical to the ankylo- banner hanging over the setup reads , "Test your wit
saurus's Tail attack, except that it deals pierc- with me, against these riddles three."
Elder Colbu Kaz, a chaotic neutral, goblin priest,
There are as many tortoises available as there are created these three puzzles. Each attempt to an-
characters who want to participate in this event. At- swer one riddle costs 2 sp. Answering at least two
tached to the front edge of each tortoise's shell is a of the riddles correctly is enough to win the contest
makeshift seat big enough for a single rider. (see "Treasure" below). Various other challengers
are trying to solve the riddles, including Galsariad A character who succeeds on a DC 13 Intelligence
Ardyth. This clever drow solves two of the riddles (History or Religion) check recalls the stories re-
after a total of four guesses. If the characters solve garding Exandria's moons, recognizing the second
each riddle on the first try, he is impressed (see line as referring to the superstitions surrounding
"Meeting Galsariad" below). Ruidus and the last line as referring to the divine
portfolio of Sehanine the Moon Weaver. A character
Table 1: The Box's Riddle. On this table are a who succeeds on a DC 11 Wisdom (Perception)
locked wooden box and four metal keys. On a plac- check determines that there is only one red object
ard beside the box is written the following riddle on the star map- Ruidus.
Table 3: The Bottles' Riddle. On this table is a
Bronze, copper, silver, gold- row of seven small bottles filled with colored liq-
Ancient ones from tales of old. uids, and the following riddle in Common:
Match the key to the box's lock;
Amistaken choice begets a shock. Two of us are brewed from blight
And always sat to purple's right .
Acharacter who inspects the keys can see that each
is made of a different metal-one bronze, one cop- Three are juice, one burns like flame,
per, one silver, and one gold. Close examination of
the box reveals that its lock is shaped like a dragon And no two colors taste the same.
with a fluted crest, and the edges of the box are dec- Even flasks hold naught but pain,
orated with engravings of pearls and shells. And shade of sky will leave a stain.
The lock's shape and sea-themed decorations are Though tasty are those at each end,
clues that suggest a bronze dragon- and thus, it's Neither is the winner's friend .
the bronze key that opens the lock. A character who
inserts the incorrect key or tries to pick the lock A puzzle for the keen and wise,
must succeed on a DC 16 Dexterity saving throw or Drink the light to claim your prize.
take 2 (ld4) lightning damage as the lock emits an
electric shock. The bottles, numbered from left to right, have the
A character can make a DC 10 Intelligence check
to recognize that the metallic hues of the keys and Bottle 1. This purple bottle is filled with berry juice.
the first two lines of the riddle are talking about Bottle 2. This green bottle is filled with blight
not just metals but also types of metallic dragons.
Acharacter who succeeds on a DC 13 Intelligence brew. A character who sips from this bottle must
(Arcana or History) check recognizes the shape of succeed on a DC 10 Constitution saving throw
the dragon lock or the box's aquatic decorations as or become poisoned for 1 minute, spending the
indicative of a bronze dragon; if a character saw time retching.
someone get shocked by lightning after an incorrect Bottle 3. This sky-blue bottle is filled with
guess, the DC for this check is reduced to 11. berry juice.
Bottle 4. This white bottle is filled with overwhelm-
Table 2: The Star Map's Riddle. The star map ingly spicy pepper oil. A character who sips from
resting on this table depicts the moons and constel- this bottle must succeed on a DC 10 Constitution
lations visible in the Exandrian night sky, accompa- saving throw or take 1 fire damage from the spice.
nied by the following riddle in Common: Bottle 5. This purple bottle is filled with a liquid
known in Jigow as glow potion. A character who
Two birds sit in a speckled field, drinks from this bottle feels warmth settle in their
One silver and calm, one scarlet with woe. stomach as their skin emits dim silvery light out to
Nigh all year, the red one yields a range of 5 feet for 1 minute.
To silver's illusions, mischief, and shelt'ring glow. Bottle 6. This green bottle is filled with blight brew,
just like bottle 2.
To answer the riddle, a character must identify the Bottle 7. This red bottle is filled with apple juice.
"birds" of the riddle and point them out on the star
map. The answer is the twin moons of Exandria, A character must drink from the correct bottle to
Catha and Ruidus. win, and anyone who attempts the challenge has
only two chances to guess correctly. If someone
guesses incorrectly twice, they fail this riddle. Bottle
5, containing the glow potion, is the correct bottle.
CHAPTER 1 I A FATEFUL COMPETITION ?..7
A character who succeeds on a DC 12 Intelligence ]9: HELTER-SKELTER
check comes to one of the following conclusions:
Though official records call this wood-and-stone
• Bottles 2 and 6 are both directly to the right of a complex the Dynasty Outpost, the rebellious folk
purple bottle and thus must contain blight brew. ofJigow have nicknamed it "Helter-Skelter" for the
chaotic environment that the Kryn officers often
• Bottles 2, 4, and 6-the "even" ones-should be descend into when dealing with the ornery young-
avoided, as they hold only "pain." sters- and not-so-youngsters- of the town.
• If the sky-blue bottle leaves a "stain," it must be The complex consists of two main structures: a
harmless juice, but not the correct answer. low wooden barracks that houses the guards of the
Aurora Watch stationed inJigow, and a two-story
• The first and last bottles must also be juice, as stone dodecahedral building that is the residence of
they are "tasty" but won't win the riddle. Durth Mirimm, a lawful neutral drow elite warrior
who is the Taskhand of the Aurora Watch. Durth
Characters can make multiple Intelligence checks to governs the settlement alongside the two clan
gain multiple hints, but a character who fails a check elders, Colbu Kaz and Ushru.
can't make another until they drink from a bottle.
]10: BLACK ISLANDS
A detect magic spell or similar effect also reveals
the fifth bottle to be the only one containing magi- lBlack basalt islands rise in jagged ridges from the ]
cal liquid. waters of the lfolon River.
Meeting Galsariad. If the characters didn't meet Visitors and natives alike enjoy mingling, chatting,
him at the Ifolon Plunge in areaJ3, Galsariad Ar- and watching the sun set over the river waters from
dyth approaches the characters after they're done the peaks of these islands. The smallest island con-
with this challenge, win or lose. tains the entrance to the Emerald Grotto.
Rival Impressions. Unless the characters solve FINAL CONTEST
each riddle on the first try, Galsariad brusquely
brushes past them, chuckling, "Better luck next Once the characters have participated in as many
time." Nonetheless, he is impressed by characters competitions as they want to, or at a time you feel
who display a ruthless drive to succeed. If this is the is appropriate, the sun begins to set, and the sound
case, he inclines his head and says, "Your cunning of rhythmic drumming echoes throughout the Jum-
is a cut above that of everyone else in this backwa- ble, summoning the participants to the paddock
ter. Do you plan on participating in the grand finale (areaJ6), which has been cleared of horizonback
at sundown? I'd be interested in testing my wits tortoises. Elder Ushru, a neutral good ore priest,
against you." stands in the middle of the road atop a platform of
wooden crates. When all the festival officials and a
Treasure. If a character answers at least two of large throng of revelers are assembled, the drums
the riddles correctly, Elder Colbu Kaz awards that die down, and the elder speaks:
character a medal of wit (see appendix B), which is
sculpted and painted to look like the head of a fox. An elderly ore, dressed in deep blue robes, stands
atop a platform of crates. He smiles at the crowd.
]8: TEMPLE OF THE LUXON "Mighty warriors, brilliant strategists, you have im-
pressed us with your feats of strength, your incisive
The walls of this three-story temple are crafted from wit, and your sturdy bellies," he booms proudly. "But
the main event, as you know, is yet to come. Only
semitranslucent glass that seems to glow with its two teams will be chosen to compete in the final
challenge-a race through the Emerald Grotto, in the
own faint light. The building, which is shaped like a depths of which the greatest prize awaits!"
dodecahedron , is dedicated to the Luxon, the First
Radiance and patron deity of the Kryn Dynasty.
The temple is maintained by Belana Zolaed, a
neutral good drow priest who also conducts wor-
After the One-Shot Solution contest (see area
J2), Dermot can be found here, reciting tradi-
tional prayers to the Luxon and committing them
Elder Ushru explains that he and Elder Colbu Kaz
will choose two teams from among the festival's
most successful contestants and invite them to
engage in a race through a submerged grotto to POTION OF WATER BREATHING
retrieve a jeweled icon that has symbolized the
competitive spirit ofJigow for generations: the Em- KEEPING TRACK OF THE RACE
erald Eye. The winners of the race receive 100 gp
and are hailed as the city's Champions of Merit for The progress of the characters and their rivals
the next year. as they move through the grotto is measured in
rounds. You'll need to keep track of th e number of
Elder Colbu Kaz joins Elder Ushru on the plat- rounds it takes for the party to traverse the locations
form, where they consult briefly, pointing at figures in the grotto, as it affects the encounter in area ElO.
in the crowd and whispering to each other. They
eventually decide on two teams: the player charac- The number of rounds it takes to traverse a lo-
ters and the rivals. Both groups are invited to follow cation and clear its obstacles (if any) is detailed in
the elders to the Emerald Grotto to compete in the the "Race Progression" section of each location's
grand finale. description .
THE EMERALD GROTTO If the rivals enter the grotto after the characters,
they choose whichever path in area E3 the charac-
The Black Islands sit in the mouth of the Ifolon ters didn't take.
River where it flows into the Emerald Gulch, a sea
with a rocky shoreline. A cave in the smallest island EMERALD GROTTO FEATURES
offers access to the Emerald Grotto, a twisting net-
work of underwater caves where the grand finale of The Emerald Grotto is a natural cave system. Un-
the festival takes place. less otherwise noted, its features are as follows:
THE GRAND FINALE BEGINS Ceilings. Chambers are 15 feet high, and tunnels
are 5 feet high.
The characters and the rivals proceed with the
elders to the southeastern edge ofJigow with what Light. Unless otherwise specified, there is no nat-
seems like the entire population in a procession ural light.
behind them. The atmosphere is one of anticipation
and excitement. Water. Most of the Emerald Grotto is underwa-
ter (see "Underwater Adventuring" in the in-
The characters and their rivals follow the elders troduction).
as they wade through the shallows, from one island
to another. When they reach the smallest island,
Elder Colbu Kaz places several potions of water
breathing in front of the contestants- one for each
of them. "Their magic lasts for one hour," he says.
Then, Elder Ushru halts the crowd and raises his
arms to address all assembled:
Elder Ushru stands before the mouth of a cave and
addresses you and your opponents . "You brave and
valiant individuals have triumphed in many challenges
this day; now, the final Test of Merit awaits you!" He
pulls a palm-sized gold-and-emerald amulet from his
robes, holds it aloft, and declares: "This medal's twin
has been placed in the deepest cavern of the Emerald
Grotto. Be the first to claim the Emerald Eye and re-
turn it to this place to be declared Jigow's Champions
of Merit! Begin now!"
Have each character make a Dexterity check. If at
least half the characters get a total of 13 or higher
on the check, the characters enter the grotto first.
Otherwise, the rivals enter first.
EMERALD GROTTO LOCATIONS E2: KELP TANGLE
The following locations are keyed to the Emerald The light that trickles in from the grotto's entrance is
Grotto map. blotted out by the thick patches of kelp that fill this
underwater chamber. The tops of the kelp fronds
El: GROTTO ENTRANCE I brush the ceiling, but between the stalks you can spot
a glimmer of light coming from farther ahead .
IThe entrance to the grotto is a narrow cavern that
leads to a murky pool of water. This is the first fully submerged chamber of the
grotto. The characters must make a DC 13 Strength
Elder Colbu Kaz and Elder Ushru wait here for the (Athletics) group check as they try to swim through
contestants to return. the mass of kelp (see the Player's Handbook for
the rules on group checks). The result of this check
Though the narrow cavern looks like a dead end, determines the time it takes them to move through
characters who enter the pool of water, or who the chamber.
succeed on a DC 13 Wisdom (Perception) check,
notice that the tunnel dips below sea level. The rest Race Progression. If the group check is success-
of the cavern beyond this location is underwater. ful, it takes the characters 1 round to traverse the
room; otherwise, it takes 2 rounds.
Race Progression. It takes the characters 1
round to dive into the water a nd traverse this room.
~l ~ ~ ULCOMPEnTION
E3: CAVERN FORK Race Progression. It takes at least 2 rounds to
traverse this chamber, plus the number of rounds
Silvery moonlight filters in through a gap in the cav- it takes for characters who are caught in the ghost-
ern's stone ceiling. Ahead, the path through the grotto grass to get free. If any characters stopped to har-
splits into two tunnels: one to the south and one to vest algae, add 1 round to the total.
If the rival party entered the grotto first, they take
the southern path at the fork (leading to areas E7, The tunnel opens into a cavernous space. Rays of
E8, and E9). Maggie Keeneyes lingers at the fork, moonlight shine through a wide crack in the ceiling,
waiting for the characters and then encouraging which sits ten feet above the water level. One side of
them to take the eastern path (leading to areas the chamber is covered in the crumbled and muddy
E4, ES, and E6). If the characters try to take the remains of a landslide.
southern path instead, Maggie blocks their way and
defends herself if attacked. If the characters take the As you swim into this area, ripples course through
eastern path, Maggie waits until they're gone and the water as more rocky debris begins to slide to-
then follows the rest of her group. ward you .
Race Progression. If the characters dawdled Each character must make a DC 14 Dexterity saving
while choosing which path to take, it takes them throw, taking 10 (3d6) bludgeoning damage from
2 rounds to traverse the room; otherwise, it takes the landslide on a failed save, or half as much dam-
them 1 round. age on a successful one.
E4: GHOSTGRASS PATCH The landslides that plague this chamber have
partially blocked the exit. To find the way out, a
The walls , ceiling, and floor of this chamber are cov- character must succeed on a DC 10 Intelligence
ered in bioluminescent algae, which emits a faint blu- (Investigation) check. If everyone making this check
ish glow that dimly lights the wide cavern. Two large, fails, the character who rolled the highest eventually
jagged stone pillars, also coated with algae, stand at locates the exit, but it takes more time. A character
opposite ends of the chamber. Surrounding the far who succeeds on this check by S or more also spots
pillar, in front of the exit from this cavern, is a thick a hidden cave at the top of the landslide.
patch of bone-white sea grass.
Hidden Cave. A character who explores this cave
The pale plants blocking the exit to the cavern are discovers a vial containing a potion ofhealing and a
ghostgrass, a carnivorous variety of sea grass. A soggy but usable spell scroll of thunderwave.
creature that tries to swim past the ghostgrass
must succeed on a DC 12 Dexterity saving throw or Race Progression. It takes at least 2 rounds to
take 3 (ld6) necrotic damage and be restrained. A traverse the room. If no character succeeded on the
restrained creature takes the damage again at the check to locate the exit, add 2 rounds to the total. If
start of each of its turns until it escapes. a character stopped to search the hidden cave, add 1
round to the total.
Acreature can use an action to try to free itself or
another creature within its reach from the ghost- £6: QUIPPER DEN
grass, doing so with a successful DC 12 Strength
(Athletics) check. A character freed from the ghost- A school of tiny fish, their bodies shimmering in the
grass emerges on the other side of the patch at the dim light, swirls in formation like an undulating sil-
cavern's exit. very pillar.
Algae. A character can harvest some of the algae A swarm of quippers swims in the middle of this
from the cavern walls with a successful DC 11 In- cave. The swarm attacks characters who move
telligence (Nature) or Wisdom (Survival) check. A within 10 feet of it or deal damage to it. The swarm
harvested patch of algae can be used as a portable pursues the characters into area ElO or back into
light source, shedding dim light in a 10-foot radius. ES if it isn't killed.
Algae removed from the water dies and ceases to
glow after 1 hour. Race Progression. It takes at least 1 round to tra-
verse this chamber. Keep track of how many rounds
of combat the party spends fighting the swarm, and
add that number of rounds to the total.
CHAPTER 1 I A FATEFU L COMPETITION 31
,c- ~ ~
E7: OCTOPUS'S GARDEN Race Progression. It ta kes at least 1 round to tra-
verse this chamber. Keep track of how many rounds
After swimm ing through a small patch of sea grass, the party spends fighting the octopus a nd add that
you emerge into a lo ng cavern . The water here doesn 't number to the total. If one or more characters take
qu ite reach the ceiling, leaving a small pocket of air the time to search the pit, add 1 round to the tota l.
near the top. A slight crack in the ce il ing al lows moon-
light to filter through . At the center of the cavern is a E8: RIPTIDE TUNNEL
pit whose floor is thirty feet deeper than the rest of
the cavern-and you catch the faint glint of metal at This tunne l rises at a steep incline and conta ins a
th e bottom. strong, opposing current. A heavy stone tablet cov-
ered in glyphs and wreathed in sea grass rests on the
A giant octopus dwells at the bottom of the pit and tunnel floor.
attacks a nyone who enters it. A cha racter who en-
ters the pit a nd succeeds on a DC 17 Wisdom (Per- The tunnel is 30 feet long, a nd the curre nt rushing
ception) check notices the octopus at the bottom and through it makes swimming northwa rd difficult. A
is not surprised when it attacks. If reduced to 13 hit character who wants to swim a ga ins t the current
points or fewer, it uses Ink Cloud a nd moves 10 feet must ma ke a DC 15 Strength (Athletics) check. On
away, hoping the characters leave it a lone. a failed check, the character ma kes no progress on
Treasure. Once the octopus is defeated, a char-
acter who searches the bottom of the pit finds 57 sp Tablet. A detect m agic s pell revea ls that the tab-
and a pouch conta ining dust ofdryness in the form let radia tes an aura of evocation magic. The tablet
of eight ma rble-sized pellets that have absorbed has AC 15, 10 hit points, a nd immunity to poison
hundreds of gallons of water. When a pellet is a nd psychic da mage. Destroying the tablet causes
smashed, the act releases a 15-foot cube of water. the current to subside, a llowing creatures to travel
through the tunnel w ithout resistance.
Race Progression. Count the number of rounds use an action to try to dislodge the spear, doing so
it takes for the characters to reach area E9 by with a successful DC 13 Strength (Athletics) check.
swimming against the current. If the characters While the spear is lodged in the shark, apply these
destroy the tablet, they can swim the tunnel's length changes to the shark's stat block:
in 2 rounds.
• The shark glows with silvery illumination, shed-
E9 : DEAD END? ding bright light in a 10-foot radius and dim light
for an additional 10 feet.
IThe tunnel opens into a smooth-walled cavern that l
appears to be a dead end . • If the shark uses its action to make a Bite attack
but misses, it can use a bonus action to swim up
An exit tunnel is hidden behind some rocks on the to 25 feet. This movement doesn't provoke oppor-
east side of the chamber. A character can locate the tunity attacks.
exit in one of two ways:
The shark immediately attacks any creature that
• Acharacter can spend 1 round searching the east enters its chamber. Depending on how quickly the
wall, then succeed on a DC 11 Wisdom (Percep- characters moved through the grotto, the encounter
tion) check. could go one of three ways:
• Acharacter can spend 1 round feeling the Fast Pace (10 or Fewer Rounds). The characters
currents, finding the exit with a successful DC 11 outpaced the rivals. The rivals don't appear until
Wisdom (Survival) check. after the encounter with the shark is resolved.
If no character succeeds on either check, the char- Moderate Pace (Between 11 and 15 Rounds). The
acter who rolled highest eventually locates the exit, characters beat the rivals to the chamber, but not
but it takes more time. A character who succeeds by much. The rivals enter the chamber on the
on either check by 5 or more also notices a cave third round of combat and roll initiative. Unless
concealed behind the kelp on the south side of the rivals are hostile toward the characters, they
the chamber. aid the characters in the fight against the shark;
otherwise, they focus on acquiring the amulet or
Concealed Cave. A character who searches this try to sabotage the characters (though these at-
cave finds three potions ofhealing, likely stashed tempts are never intentionally lethal).
here by a hopeful contestant planning to gain an
advantage in this race. Slow Pace (16 or More Rounds). The rivals get
to the chamber ahead of the characters. When
Race Progression. It takes at least 1 round to tra- the characters arrive, the rivals have reduced the
verse the room and 1 round to find the eastern exit shark to 75 hit points. The characters roll initia-
(or 2 rounds if no character succeeded on a check to tive when they enter the chamber.
locate the exit). If a character stopped to search the
concealed cave, add 1 round to the total. Emerald Eye. A druid ofJigow cast animal friend-
ship on the shark earlier today and tied the Emerald
EIO: MOONSHARK LAIR Eye around its body, then made a speedy getaway.
A character can cut the amulet free by attacking
Silvery light dances along the walls of this underwater the rope around the shark instead of the shark
cave. The water here is a little warmer, and a gentle itself. The rope has AC 17 and 5 hit points. It can
current pulls you toward a crevice in the south wall be removed as an action if the shark is killed or in-
that em its shimmering golden light. Prowling around capacitated. The amulet, which is made of gold and
the cave's pillars is a massive shark. A gold amulet emeralds, is worth 500 gp- though no one in Jigow
hangs from a thick rope tied around the shark's body, will buy it, since it must be returned the town elders
and a silver spear protrudes from its side. once the contest is completed.
The amulet is the Emerald Eye- the goal of this Moonshark's Defeat. When the shark is reduced J
race. The silver spear lodged in the shark's hide has to 0 hit points, it thrashes about in its death throes
been enchanted by the divine power of Sehanine and crashes into the stone pillar in the south part
the Moon Weaver. The shark uses the giant shark of the room, which tumbles into the south wall and
stat block. A character within 5 feet of the shark can cracks it open. Read:
CHA PT ER 1 I A FATEFU L CO MPETITION 33
The dying shark slams into the stone pillar in the The light around the pedestal fades as a spectral
south end of the cavern. The pillar cracks under the figure in the form of a male human rises from the am-
force, teeters, then crashes down against the south ulet. He is dressed in leather armor and a tattered red
wall. The wall fractures and collapses, revealing a pas- cape and wears a sh ield. His face is framed by curly
sage awash with golden light. brown hair and bears a melancholic expression. He
pleads, "I am imprisoned . Please help me."
The newly opened passage (area Ell) leads to a hid-
den chamber (area E12). Suddenly, the ground vanishes beneath your feet ,
and you fall, tumbling through a vortex of golden
Ell: MOON WEAVER'S GATEWAY light. You fall deeper, deeper, deeper, then suddenly
stop. The golden light subsides, and you find yourself
lThe cramped passage bends upward until the tunnel suspended in a pitch-black expanse. You feel water
becomes vertical. Golden light radiates from the buoying you . A vermilion light appears in the distance,
upper end of the shaft. illuminating the melancholy warrior, who is shackled
to the ground by disgusting strands of a fleshy, crim-
Characters who swim through this passage break son substance.
the surface of the water and emerge in a glowing,
air-filled chamber (area El2). He raises his gaze to the heavens and, sobbing,
chokes out, "Moon Weaver, I beg of you. Guide those
El2: PRAYER SITE OF SEHANINE with the power to save me to the site where first I
prayed to you." He looks around , and his eyes settle
The watery environment gives way to a cavern dotted on you. "Oh, gods , there you are! My name is Alyx-
with trees and pools of water. The walls are covered in ian. I am lost in darkness. Long ago, I prayed to the
vines of green ivy interspersed with colorful flowers. Change Bringer in the heart of a temple of evil. I beg
Part of the cavern is open to the sky. you, take my jewel and ..."
In the middle of the cavern is a sphere of pale light You feel consciousness leaving you, as if the pres-
surrounding a crystal pedestal, upon which rests a sure of the water were crushing the life out of you.
golden pendant attached to a fine golden chain. Alyxian's voice is the last thing you hear before you
pass out. "Save me . Please ."
The object on the crystal pedestal glitters like the
sunrise. This is thejewel of Three Prayers, a Ves- If the rivals are present, they can hear the distorted,
tige of Divergence that will drive the course of the disembodied voice of Alyxian as if he were speaking
adventure from now on. The jewel of Three Prayers underwater. When the vision ends, the characters
is currently in its Dormant State (see appendix B for fall unconscious for 1 minute.
the description of this magic item).
What happens next depends on the characters'
If the rivals are present, they are hesitant to touch relationship with the rivals:
the jewel, giving the characters the first opportunity
to do so. If the characters are also hesitant, Ayo Jabe Friendly or Indifferent Rivals. The characters
steels herself and strides forward to claim it (see awaken to find the rivals attempting to rouse
"Disputing Destiny" below). Otherwise, as soon as them. Though they didn't see the vision, the rivals
one of the characters touches the jewel, the entire sensed a surge of energy erupting from the jewel,
party experiences the following vision: then found the characters unconscious in the cav-
ern. If the characters retrieved the Emerald Eye,
the rivals concede the competition to them. Other-
wise, the rivals proudly hold up the amulet, claim-
ing it as theirs, but congratulate the characters on
a race well run.
Hostile Rivals. The characters awaken to discover
that the rivals have absconded with both the Em-
erald Eye and the]ewel of Three Prayers.
CHAPTER 1 I A FATEFUL COMPETITION
Disputing Destiny. If Ayo or another one of the RIVALS TRIUMPHANT J
rivals touched thejewel of Three Prayers, they are
the recipients of the vision instead. The rivals fall If the rivals present the Emerald Eye to Elder
unconscious for 1 minute, and it is up to the charac- Ushru, he declares them the champions of this
ters to decide what to do with them. In this scenario, year's Festival of Merit, and the crowd acknowl-
which is examined further in chapter 2, the rivals edges them with adulation.
are the "heroes" of the story, and the characters
must decide if they want to aid their rivals or take While the townsfolk crowd around the rivals,
back the jewel and claim their own heroic destiny. Elder Ushru approaches the characters. Though
they lost the race, the elder assures them that he
NEXT STEPS chose their group to compete for a reason- that true
merit is something proven not in a single day but
Whether or not the characters retrieved the Emer- rather over the course of an individual's life, one
ald Eye, they can backtrack through the Emerald small act at a time. As a consolation prize, he offers
Grotto and avoid any potential combat. They can them rooms at the Unbroken Tusk inn for the night,
also take the time to investigate places that they free of charge.
didn't check out on the way in.
WHAT OF THE JEWEL?
Unless the characters take steps to conceal the
If the characters present the Emerald Eye to Elder Jewel of Three Prayers, Elder Ushru takes no-
Ushru, he declares them the winners of this year's tice of the item. Even if they do keep it from his
Festival of Merit. The ecstatic crowd surrounds the view, Ushru senses a change in the characters'
characters and offers congratulations. demeanor-something happened to them in the
grotto, something no one in Jigow could have ex-
As the folks ofJigow begin to settle down and turn pected. This suspicion prompts him to speak to the
in for the night, Elder Ushru asks the characters to characters in the morning- leading into the events
hand over the Emerald Eye, in exchange for the 100 of chapter 2.
gp reward and an invitation to stay the night at the
Unbroken Tusk inn free of charge.
CHAPTER 1 I A FATEFUL COMPETITION 35
CtHU»r UI Z
I N THIS CHAPTER, THE CHARACTERS LEARN AFTER THE FESTIVAL
more about the events that occurred in the
Emerald Grotto and the mythic significance The events of this chapter begin at dawn on the day
of theJewel of Three Prayers. Following this after the Festival of Merit. If the characters claimed
discovery, the characters departjigow and travel thejewel of Three Prayers from the Emerald Grotto,
across Xhorhas toward Bazzoxan, a bleak military start with "Heroic Quest." If the rivals claimed the
outpost guarding a fortress of evil. jewel instead, start with "Ours by Right." If the char-
acters acquired the jewel but made enemies of the
Most of this chapter deals with the characters' rivals, start with "Warring Destinies."
journey across the wastes and the challenges and
friendly strangers they encounter along the way. HEROIC UEST
Whether the rivals accompany the characters or Read the following to start this episode:
strike out on their own depends on the relationship
between the two parties and the rivals' curiosity Daybreak comes with a knock on the door of your
about thejewel of Three Prayers. room . The voice of Elder Ushru comes through the
door. "Travelers? I wish to tell you something of grave
RUNNING THIS CHAPTER import. Will you have a morning meal with me?" He
pauses, and then sheepishly adds, "I do have the right
The journey can begin in one of three ways, depend- room, don't I?"
ing on how chapter 1 ended:
Ushru invites the characters for breakfast at the
Heroic Quest. In the Emerald Grotto, the char- Unbroken Tusk inn. At first he is jovial and conver-
acters obtained thejewel of Three Prayers and sational with the characters, but then his tone be-
experienced the vision from the Apotheon. In this comes deadly serious:
scenario, they are approached by Elder Ushru,
who senses that thejewel of Three Prayers is a "A vision came to me last night. A golden amulet rose
powerful magic item and suggests the characters to the surface of a pool of blood, and countless hands
undertake a journey to learn more about it. lunged upward out of the blood to grasp it. In turn,
all the hands fell back into the pool until only one
Ours by Right. If the rivals experienced the vision remained. The one whose hand claimed the amulet
and claimed the jewel, they take the role of the was a handsome man with curly hair and a somber
heroes of the story, with the characters as allies or expression. He turned to me and said, 'They must find
as interlopers who want the jewel for themselves. me. The ones from the grotto.' Tell me, did anything
If the characters meet with Elder Ushru, they happen to you in that place that would help me under-
learn that the rivals have embarked on a quest of stand this vision?"
monumental significance- perhaps compelling
the characters to pursue them and claim the des- If the characters offer information, Ushru doesn't
tiny that they believe is rightfully theirs. recognize the name Alyxian- no living creature re-
members the name of the Apotheon. Nevertheless,
Warring Destinies. If the characters got the jewel if the characters tell Ushru the truth about what
but grievously insulted the rivals (or even killed happened to them in the Emerald Grotto, he gravely
one or more of them), the rivals try to steal the encourages them to travel eastward to Bazzoxan,
jewel in the middle of the night and begin the jour- describing it as follows:
ney to Bazzoxan themselves.
In any event, it takes the characters several days to
reach their destination. Use the Xhorhas Encoun-
ters table later in the chapter to spice up the journey.
The trek is interrupted by a chance for the char-
acters to rest at a caravan stop along the Emerald
Loop-where the rivals might also be camping for
the night. This midway encounter gives the charac-
ters a chance to make friends with the rivals or steal
the jewel from them.
CHAPTER 2 I THE LEAVE-TAKING 37
"Bazzoxan is a grim town under the control of the • Galsariad is curious about what the characters
learned in their vision and is eager for the charac-
Aurora Watch, not a pleasant place to visit. But if what ters to share any magical secrets they might have
you tell me is true, what you have found is a Vestige
• Irvan has no interest in what happened in the
of Divergence, an enchanted relic from the time of the grotto, but he is interested in learning what the
jewel can do.
Calamity known as the jewel ofThree Prayers. People
• Maggie agrees with anyone who expresses con-
do not stumble upon Vestiges without a reason. And cern for the characters but doesn't say much
on her own. She has her suspicions that more
there is no place in Xhorhas where the memory of the happened than what they have related during the
event in the grotto, but she won't push them if they
Calamity lingers more strongly than in Bazzoxan." don't want to reveal the full truth.
Elder Ushru urges the characters to be truthful OURS BY RIGHT
because they might have embarked on a course of
action that will change their lives. If they refuse to If the rivals acquired the jewel of Three Prayers
be forthcoming with information, he sighs, shrugs, and experienced the vision of Alyxian, they are the
and bids them good day. He says they're welcome to ones approached by Elder Ushru in the morning,
stay in Jigow as long as they want, if that's what they and they are the ones who are encouraged to travel
prefer to do. to Bazzoxan. In this case, read the following to
You're eating breakfast at the Unbroken Tusk while
If the characters show little interest in learning locals chat around you . Through the cacophony, one
more about the jewel, perhaps their rivals don't voice catches your attention.
share that attitude. If the rivals were present at the
prayer site in the Emerald Grotto, they didn't experi- "Rumor has it they're going to Rosohna to sell it.
ence the vision of the Apotheon; instead, they heard Elder Ushru met with them and everything, kept whis-
only a muffled voice, as if the speaker were under- pering while pointing at a huge, shiny amulet on the
water. Nevertheless, what they heard was enough to table . He was talking about 'destiny' and other hero-
make them curious. ic-like words. I think they were the group who won the
grand finale yesterday. The amulet looked plenty mag-
If the characters are on friendly terms with the ical, but even if it isn't, it'd be worth a fortune. Yeah,
rivals, the rivals meet up with them soon after the they're traveling down the Emerald Loop by now."
characters' breakfast with Elder Ushru.
Gossip about the rivals' meeting with Elder Ushru
Ayo Jabe doesn't mince words; she wants to know has spread quickly throughout Jigow. Everyone is
what they found in the grotto. If she gets the sense talking about the expensive-looking, possibly mag-
that the characters have stumbled onto something ical amulet they found in the Emerald Grotto, and
big, her eyes grow wide. She decides that she and the characters are bound to catch word of it. People
her group want a piece of the action and proposes are saying that the jewel would probably sell for over
that they travel with the characters, saying that 1,000 gold pieces- maybe twice that if it's magical,
there's safety in numbers. A character who makes a and twice that again if the sellers were to make the
successful DC 13 Wisdom (Insight) check realizes long, oversea journey to a trade hub like the desert
that she isn't hiding anything and wants nothing metropolis of Ank'Harel.
more than to be a part of a grand adventure.
Nothing is forcing the characters to chase down
The other rivals have their own opinions: the rivals, but the thought of losing out on such a
prize is enough to motivate most adventurers. If
• Dermot is genuinely concerned for the charac- they aren't interested in chasing down the rivals, see
ters' well-being. He mentions that he heard what the "Refusing the Call" sidebar for advice on how to
sounded like a voice in the grotto and wants to continue this adventure.
know if the characters heard it too.
REFUSING THE CALL
If the characters don't want to follow the plot or travel
to Bazzoxan, you will need to create side encounters
in Xhorhas that will guide them in that direction. The
characters can find jobs in Jigow as caravan guards,
mercenaries, or bounty hunters; you can use the Xhor-
has Encounters table later in this chapter to determine
how they are challenged.
WA RRING D ESTI NIES PURSUING THE THIEF
If the characters won the Festival of Merit but made A character who notices the thief can try to capture
enemies of the rival party, either by insulting them them. Doing so requires a successful DC 15 Dexter-
or by injuring or killing one or more of them, the ity check to catch up to the thief followed by a suc-
rivals try to get revenge by stealing thejewel of cessful grapple check (see the Player's Handbook).
Three Prayers from the characters while they sleep. If either check fails, the thief escapes.
The rivals' plan is to gather outside the inn where If the character doesn't pursue the thief im-
the characters are staying. One rival then sneaks mediately and instead spends time rousing their
into the characters' room at the inn and searches for allies, grabbing a weapon, or donning armor, the
the jewel. If the thief doesn't return after an hour, thief escapes.
the rivals travel to the Emerald Loop Caravan Stop
(described later in this chapter) and wait up to seven Q UESTIONING THE THIEF
days for their missing companion.
If the characters catch the thief, the rival refuses to
Wtto 's THE THIEF? give away their plan as long as their attitude toward
The likely thief is Irvan, who sees the jewel not as the party remains hostile (see the rules for social
a mystical item but rather a treasure. It could also interaction in the Dungeon Master's Guide). But if a
be the shadowy Galsariad if the magical nature of character succeeds on a DC 18 Charisma (Persua-
the jewel is made explicit. If Ayo was pushed to the sion) check, the rival shares the plan willingly. The
brink by the murder of one of her comrades, she rival also shares the plan under duress if a charac-
could be the thief. ter threatens them with harm and succeeds on a DC
15 Charisma (Intimidation) check. You can grant
The thief wears a thick black cloak with a hood advantage or impose disadvantage on either check if
and mask. A character who sees the thief can use you think the thief would be especially responsive or
an action to try to recognize them through their resistant to persuasion or intimidation.
disguise, doing so with a successful DC 15 Wisdom
(Perception) check. A rival captured by the party tries to escape at the
earliest opportunity, perhaps when most or all of
The attempted theft has three possible outcomes: the characters are asleep or distracted. If the rival
is bound with rope, the rival can escape their bonds
Caught Sleeping. If none of the characters has with a successful DC 15 Dexterity (Sleight of Hand)
a passive Wisdom (Perception) score of 15 or check. If manacles are used instead, the DC is 20. If
higher, the thief escapes with the jewel. The ri- the check fails, the rival can try again after 1 hour.
val party heads to Rosohna. Along the way, they
receive a vision from Alyxian that directs them ROAD TO BAZZOXAN
To reach Bazzoxan, the characters must follow the
Slow to Act. A character who has a passive Wisdom Emerald Loop south before turning east onto the
(Perception) score of 15 to 18 notices the thief Hallowed Path. These dirt roads are shown on the
after they've found the jewel and as they're leaving accompanying map of Xhorhas. Although the roads
out the window. The thief notices the character are well patrolled by the Kryn Dynasty, the wastes
on the way out and runs toward their rendezvous are still dangerous: wandering scavengers, fear-
point (areaJlO). See "Pursuing the Thief" below if some megafauna, and plenty of other threats await
the characters give chase. foolish travelers who venture too far from the road.
Quick to Act. A character who has a passive Wis- TRAVEL PACE
dom (Perception) score of 19 or higher notices
the thief while they're searching the room, but The first leg of this journey takes the characters
before they've found the jewel. This character can through the wastes of Xhorhas, a stark landscape
sneak up on the thief by making a successful DC roamed by mastodons and packs of moorbound-
15 Dexterity (Stealth) check, catching the thief by ers. In the second leg, the characters enter the
surprise. Otherwise, the thief notices that they've valley known as the Barbed Fields, where spines of
been spotted and leaps out the nearest window. stone ranging from 10 to 30 feet tall linger as eerie
The thief then runs to rejoin their friends at the reminders of the Calamity. Between the two halves
edge of town. See "Pursuing the Thief" below if of the journey is a caravan stop where the charac-
the characters give chase. ters can rest, buy items, and interact with friendly
CHAPTER 2 I THE LEAVE-TAKING 39
How long the journey takes and the number of A LUCKY BREAK
random encounters that occur depend on whether
the characters are moving at a normal, fast, or slow Just off the road ahead, the characters spot the
pace (see the rules for travel pace in the Player's corpse of a gloomstalker (see appendix A). Even
Handbook): in death, its corpse is covered in roiling, wispy
shadows. The grass around the creature has been
Normal Pace. The journey takes 12 days, and the trampled flat.
characters have six random encounters: four
encounters prior to reaching the Emerald Loop A character who examines the gloomstalker
Caravan Stop (where they arrive at the end of the corpse, which is riddled with broken arrow shafts,
eighth day) followed by two more encounters. can make a DC 16 Wisdom (Medicine) or Intel-
ligence (Investigation) check. On a success, they
Fast Pace. The journey takes 9 days, and the determine that the creature also has a serious burn
characters have four random encounters: three along its underside, suggesting it was likely killed
encounters prior to reaching the Emerald Loop by archers and some sort of magic that dealt fire or
Caravan Stop (where they arrive at the end of the radiant damage.
sixth day) followed by one more encounter.
lrvan's Ring. If the rivals are traveling ahead of
Slow Pace. The journey takes 15 days, and the the characters, they were involved in this battle.
characters have eight random encounters: five (Otherwise, the gloomstalker was killed by an
encounters prior to reaching the Emerald Loop Aurora Watch patrol.) A character who succeeds
Caravan Stop (where they arrive at the end of the on a DC 18 Wisdom (Survival) check finds a line of
tenth day) followed by three more encounters. footprints leading through the trampled battlefield
and ending at a withered oak tree. Beneath the tree,
RANDOM ENCOUNTERS in plain view, is a silver ring with a small sapphire.
This ring belongs to Irvan Wastewalker, who lost it
The Xhorhas Encounters table presents events that crawling away from the battle after he was wounded
can take place during the trek to Bazzoxan. Unless by the gloomstalker. The ring is worth 250 gp, and
specified, you decide what time of day each encoun- Irvan becomes friendly toward any character who
ter occurs. Encounters marked with an asterisk returns it to him.
(*) are unique and can occur only once, while the
others can happen multiple times. If you roll an AURORA WATCH PATROL
encounter that can't be repeated, roll again for a
new result, or choose one you like. The Aurora Watch of the Kryn Dynasty patrols the
roads in Xhorhas, protecting travelers from both
In addition to random encounters, two encoun- the monstrous denizens of the wastes and unscru-
ters occur at specific points, as described later in pulous individuals who might lurk along the road.
the chapter: Each time this encounter occurs, the characters
meet a different patrol. Choose one of the follow-
Rivals' Reunion. This encounter occurs if the rivals ing options:
left Jigow ahead of the characters and the charac-
ters travel at a fast pace to catch up with them on Patrol at Rest. The characters come across six law-
the way to Bazzoxan. ful neutral Aurora Watch veterans (a mix of lawful
good drow, humans, and ores) who are resting at a
Emerald Loop Caravan Stop. This encounter oc- campsite just off the road. Clearly in good spirits,
curs at the point where the Emerald Loop meets they invite the characters to join them. Traveling
the Hallowed Path-unless the characters choose with this patrol is a lawful good, drow scout who
not to rest at the caravan stop. also serves as a cook. If the characters take a
long rest with the patrol, the food they were given
XHORHAS ENCOUNTERS the night before grants them ldlO temporary hit
points when they awaken the next day.
Patrol in Battle. The characters see six lawful neu-
A Lucky Break'' tral Aurora Watch veterans (a mix of lawful good
drow, humans, and ores) fighting a hezrou. If the
2 Aurora Watch Patrol characters help the Aurora Watch slay the demon,
the soldiers thank them, give them a total of 50
3 Crashed Wagon''' gp as a reward, and promise to commend them to
Taskhand Verin J'helyss when the patrol returns
4 Demonic Carrion'' to Bazzoxan. If the characters do nothing to help,
the soldiers slay the demon, but only after one sol-
5 Feast for the Eyes dier is killed and two others are reduced to Ohit
points (one stable, the other dying).
6 Ill Omen
7 Moorbounder Mayhem1'
8 Roadside Raiders
1square =200 miles
CHAPTER 2 I THE LEAVE - TAKING 4I
Lost Patrol. On the road in front of the characters Treasure. After the will-o'-wisps are dealt with, a
are the bodies of six Aurora Watch soldiers near character who searches the wagon can make a DC
the corpse of a hezrou that is slowly dissolving 15 Intelligence (Investigation) check. On a success,
into black ichor. Two shadow demons and two they find a locked iron box containing 50 gp and a
quasits lurk beneath the soldiers' corpses, waiting potion ofgiant strength (hill). A character who lacks
for more prey to arrive. They fight to the death. the proper key can use an action and thieves' tools
to try to pick the lock, doing so with a successful DC
CRASHED WAGON 15 Dexterity check.
The characters spot an overturned wagon in a DEMONIC CARRION
ditch on one side of the road. The ox that pulled the
wagon is nowhere to be found (it tore free of its har- The characters encounter the corpse of an udaak-
ness and wandered away). Lying beneath the wagon one of the enormous, ape-like demons that have
are the bodies of three merchants- two drow and an prowled the wastes of Xhorhas since the Calam-
ore- who died in the crash. Around the ore's broken ity. The demonic corpse, which is punctured with
neck is a small key that unlocks an iron strongbox countless spears and axes, is slowly melting into a
in the wagon (see "Treasure" below). pool of black ichor. Surrounding the body are the
corpses of two dozen humans wearing hide armor,
Characters who investigate the interior of the as well as the bodies of the warriors' horses. What
wagon disturb three invisible will-o'-wisps, which looks like a carrion bird circles the battlefield at a
illuminate and attack. If any of the wisps are killed, height of 300 feet.
the others decide the characters are too much of a
threat and flee on their next turn. If all three wisps The carrion bird is a vrock that has been feeding
are defeated, the spirits of the slain travelers grant on the mortal flesh strewn about the battlefield. It
one character of your choice a charm ofheroism swoops down to attack characters who disturb any
(see the rules for supernatural gifts in the Dungeon of the corpses. In addition, three quasits hide in
Master's Guide). the udaak's fur and attack non-demons that come
within 10 feet of the udaak's melting corpse.
CHAPTER 2 I THE LEAVE-TAKING
A character who investigates the tracks around MOORBOUNDER MAYHEM
this battlefield can make a DC 14 Wisdom (Survival)
check. On a success, the character sees the tracks The characters hear a wild yell. In the distance, they
of a horse that apparently escaped the carnage. The see a lawful neutral, tiefling scout named Justice on
tracks lead in the direction of the Emerald Loop the back of a moorbounder (see appendix A) and
Caravan Stop. hanging on for dear life as the creature snarls and
bucks about. Two bristled moorbounders (see ap-
Treasure. A character who investigates the car- pendix A) are circling the imperiled tiefling. Justice
nage for at least 10 minutes can make a DC 13 can hang on for another minute at most, and the
Intelligence (Investigation) check. On a success, moment he touches the ground, the bristled moor-
they find a +1 dagger embedded in the hide of the bounders intend to tear him limb from limb.
udaak. The dagger is inscribed with the name of
its owner, Kierchaly Wastewalker. The characters Justice is a trained moorbounder rider, and the
might later learn that this warrior is among the beast he is clinging to is Rice Pudding, his beloved
dead, but his daughter and son survived, and they steed. Rice Pudding was terrified by the other moor-
are now at the caravan stop. bounders that ambushed them along the road. If the
characters scare off the attacking moorbounders,
FEAST FOR THE EYES Justice and Rice Pudding will be saved. A character
can use an action to try to scare off a moorbounder,
The characters see a gloomstalker (see appendix doing so with a successful DC 21 Charisma (Intimi-
A) antagonizing ld3 mammoths that are moving dation) check.
slowly across the wastes, minding their own busi-
ness. The creatures are 3d6 x 100 feet away from Justice is a scout for a caravan that is heading to-
the characters when the encounter begins. ward the Emerald Loop Caravan Stop. He elects not ·
to accompany the characters, but he does promise
The gloomstalker shrieks as it descends upon a to give them a reward once they reach the caravan
mammoth with claws bared, but its attacks have stop. (If the characters have this encounter after
little effect. Frustrated, it ascends into the sky and they pass the caravan stop,Justice's group is travel-
spots the party. The gloomstalker lets out another ing west, in the opposite direction from the charac-
shriek as it flies toward the characters, eager to ters' route, and Justice instead rewards them with 5
feast on their flesh. The characters have at least a gp per character.)
round or two before the gloomstalker gets close
enough to harm them. Hungry and hostile, the ROADSIDE RAIDERS
gloomstalker fights to the death. Assume that
the creature has recharged Shriek by the time it On a rare sunny day in the wastes, characters who
reaches the characters. have a passive Wisdom (Perception) score of 15 or
higher see a cloud of dust being kicked up about
Each time the gloomstalker uses Shriek during half a mile down the road-and it continues to head
the battle against the characters, ld6 skeletons toward them. A few minutes later, the characters
of dead human soldiers burst up out of the ground are surrounded by human bandits mounted on
within 30 feet of the characters and attack them, bedraggled horses. These bandits call themselves
acting on their own initiative count. Skeletons that the Road Raiders. Their leader, a grizzled man
aren't reduced to Ohit points collapse into inani- named Postraeck, is a neutral evil bandit captain
mate piles of bones after 10 minutes or when the who rides an imposing black warhorse. Postraeck
gloomstalker is slain. is better known as Six-Knives because of the six
daggers he carries on his person at all times, each
ILL OMEN of which has a name (Boneshaver, Gleam, Grudge,
Jabby, Pierce, and Tickles). His fellow riders are
While the party is camping at night, one of the ten bandits (lawful evil humans) mounted on rid-
characters sees Exandria's smaller moon flare with ing horses.
bright red light. The moon, which has appeared
as a slim crescent throughout the night, suddenly Six-Knives claims that he's a Kryn tax collector
becomes full. When this happens, each character and that he needs each of the characters to cough
becomes cursed for the next 24 hours. While cursed up 25 gp for the "road 'n' infer-structure tax." No
in this way, a character has disadvantage on ability such tax exists, and the characters don't need to
checks and saving throws. The effect can be ended make any kind of check to glean that these hood-
on a character by any magic that removes a curse. lums are not tax collectors. If the characters pay,
Six-Knives tips his hat with a chuckle, and the Road
The characters have another encounter imme- Raiders gallop away.
diately after they begin traveling the next day. Roll
again on the Xhorhas Encounters table, or choose
an encounter you like.
CHAPTER 2 I THE LEAVE-TAKING 43
If the characters refuse to pay, Six-Knives clicks No Quarrel. If the characters aren't looking to quar-
his tongue and rears his horse. "Let's loosen their rel , this encounter is a roleplaying opportunity
purse-strings, y'all!" he roars, ordering the bandits during which the characters can interact with
to attack. All of them, including Six-Knives, are the rivals.
cowards, and any bandit reduced to fewer than half
their hit points tries to flee in their next turn. FRIENDLY OR INDIFFERENT RIVALS
Future occurrences of this encounter are with Six- If the rivals are friendly or indifferent toward the
Knives at the head of the group- or, if he's dead, one characters, they welcome the characters' arrival.
of his proteges, now a bandit captain- hoping to If the party catches up to the rivals in the daytime,
plunder more coin from the characters' pockets or the rivals agree to travel together for a while. If this
exacting revenge for their earlier losses. encounter occurs at night, the riva ls invite the char-
acters into their camp.
REUNION WITH THE RIVALS
To make roleplaying the rivals easier, have one or
This encounter takes place only if the characters two of them take center stage during this encounter.
are trailing behind the rivals and traveling at a fast Let them ask the questi ons, do most of the talking,
pace to catch up with them. The time of day when and try to get what they want from the characters.
this encounter occurs is up to you. In the morning or The other rivals might be cooking food or engaged
around midday, the rivals are traveling. In the eve- in some other minor activity in the background.
ning, the rivals are making camp. In the middle of
the night, Galsariad Ardyth (tier 1) is on watch; see If you think a rival has a chance to achieve one
appendix A for his stat block. of their goals (see the Rivals' Goals table in the in-
troduction), this is an opportunity for them to try to
This is an open-ended encounter that unfolds in a achieve that goal. For example, Maggie, who wants
certain way depending on the characters' objective: to spar with a tactical genius, might invite a charac-
ter to take a seat at her Dragonchess board and have
Jewel Theft. If the characters intend to take the a game. While they play, she makes conversation
jewel of Three Prayers from the rivals, this will about battle tactics- how she prefers to gang up on
likely be a combat encounter or an attempted in- foes and overwhelm them, rather than engaging in a
CHAPTER 2 I THE LEAVE - TAKING
fair fight, since, in her words, "People who fight fair who call themselves the Acorn Sisters. They permit
don't win fights." Determine the winner of the game some logging but harshly punish anyone who takes
by having each participant make an Intelligence more than they allow.
check at the end of the conversation, with victory
going to whoever rolls the highest. CARAVA N S T OP L O CATIONS
The following locations are keyed to the Emerald
HOSTILE R IVALS Loop Caravan Stop map.
If the rivals are hostile, Ayo Jabe urges the char- Ll: ENTRANCE TO THE CLEARING
acters to keep away. She doesn't want to fight but
makes it clear that her group is prepared to defend Read or paraphrase the following as the characters
themselves. enter the caravan stop:
The characters can't sneak up on the rivals on the The forest pathway opens into a large clearing, nearly
open road. If the rivals are camping, any character a hundred feet across. Music, laughter, and the sa-
who tries to sneak into the camp must succeed on vory aromas of fresh-cooked food and woodsmoke
a DC 16 Dexterity (Stealth) check to avoid being drift through the air. On the west side of the clearing
detected by Galsariad. If Galsariad detects the stands a full-grown horizon back tortoise. On its back
intruders but is friendly or indifferent toward one is the homestead of a family of goblins , who are mak-
or more of them, he is willing to quietly talk things ing repairs to the structure. On the other side of the
out. If not, combat breaks out as he shouts to rouse clearing, seven covered wagons encircle a bonfire, and
his allies. a rope fence has been set up north of this encamp-
ment to contain the wagons' oxen.
If the characters insist on fighting or are caught
trying to steal from the rivals, the rivals attack. L2 : B IGYUYO
EMERALD LOOP Big Yuyo is an adult horizonback tortoise (see ap-
pendix A)-known as a "kinespaji" in Goblin-that is
CARAVAN STOP the home of the Kruzkrenner goblin family. The tor-
toise is named after a Xhorhasian vegetable called a
At the intersection of the Emerald Loop and the yuyo- an ochre cucumber that grows in Rosohna's
Hallowed Path stands a forest known as the Wan- underground gardens.
dering Oak's Grove. A clearing inside the forest is
used by travelers as a rest stop. Read or paraphrase The platforms and structures on Big Yuyo's back
the following as the characters arrive: are made of wood, thatch, canvas, and rope. They
sometimes need maintenance, and the family is
A large sJand of trees rises out of the barren waste- busy repairing their home. They're currently on a
land . The leaves of dozens of towering oaks rustle trip from Rosohna to Asarius to meet up with the
bugbear side of their family.
in the breeze, and the scent of a bonfire wafts from
a trail of smoke rising from somewhere ahead . The Goblin Family. The Kruzkrenner family is made
path through the trees is deeply rutted by the work up of the following people. Some of them are work-
ing on repairs and spending time together on Big
of countless wagon wheels. A wooden sign posted at Yuyo's back, but some might be found elsewhere at
the head of the path bears the decorated shepherd's the caravan stop:
crook that is the holy symbol of Melora the Wild
Mother, and the words "Emerald Loop Caravan Stop." Papa Drazagorr (lawful neutral, goblin veteran)
served in the Aurora Watch when he was younger
A character can make a DC 13 Intelligence (History) and still has an appreciation for military disci-
check to see if they know anything about the cara- pline. These days, he doesn't wear armor or carry
van stop. On a success, they recall that this is a safe weapons, except for a dagger.
and respected way point that has existed for over
150 years. It's said that some of the best hunters in Pops Kelbadurn (neutral good, goblin guard)
the wastes stop here to sell their catches-and that served in the Asarius Town Guard and still has
the best mastodon kor'rundl (see area LS) in the his old chain mail, spear, and shield stored in
Kryn Dynasty is sold here. the command post (area L2f). He's easygoing
Characters who succeed on a DC 13 Intelligence
(Religion) check know that a treant named Wander- Auntie jailer (chaotic neutral, hobgoblin druid) is
ing Oak first seeded this forest, and that she later old and elegant-looking, thanks to her long silver
entrusted it to a pair of dryads of the Wild Mother hair and deep green robes. She calls herself an
CHA PTER 2 I THE LEAVE - TAKING 45
"old witch" and spends much of her time brewing L2e: Starboard Gazebo. This platform holds a ga-
potions and inventing new tea blends. zebo, where the family can relax.
Little Gothby (lawful neutral, goblin noncombatant)
is a dutiful 5-year-old. He doesn't talk to strang- L2f: Command Post. The command post holds
ers but instead heads for one of his dads if he is Drazagorr and Kelbadurn's bed and their belong-
approached. ings, which include a set of goblin-sized chain
Little Chespa (chaotic good, goblin noncombatant) mail, a spear, a shield, two shortbows, two quivers
is 3 years old. She can speak in full sentences, containing 20 arrows apiece, and a wooden chest
and can read and write as well as an adult. She that holds 100 gp (the family's savings) and a col-
likes to hop down off the tortoise and frolic lection of sentimental keepsakes.
through the clearing.
L3: Ox CORRAL
Big Yuyo Locations. Locations keyed to Big Yuyo
are described below: The seven oxen penned here are used to pull the
covered wagons in area LS. They are usually docile,
L2a: Upladder. This ladder leads up at the rear but a character who tries to spook them by making
of Big Yuyo's shell to the platforms on the tor- a sudden noise can make a DC 15 Charisma (In-
toise's back. Little Chespa yells, "Halt! Who goes timidation) check, causing them to rampage around
there?" to anyone she doesn't know who tries to the corral and cause a bit of chaos on a successful
board Big Yuyo. check. The ruckus creates enough of a distraction
to allow one or more characters to search a location
L2b: Re ar Hut. The rear platform supports a hut without being seen by others in the caravan stop.
where AuntieJaller and the two kids sleep. It's
filled with homemade straw dolls and other toys. L4: ADVENTURERS' CAMP
L2c: Central Platform. This central platform sup- The rivals camp here if they arrived at the caravan
ports a 30-foot-tall watchtower. stop ahead of the characters. If the characters are
traveling ahead of the rivals or with them, this
L2d: Archery Tower. This elevated platform is campsite is being used by an Aurora Watch pa-
designed to give an archer a clear view of the trol instead.
CHAPTER 2 I THE LEAVE-TAKING
Meeting the rivals here provides an opportunity MERCHANTS' WARES Price Number
for the characters to interact with them if the Rivals' Item
Reunion encounter has not occurred. 2 gp ld6
Backpack 5 sp 2d6
L5: BONFIRE Blanket 5 gp ld6
Healer's Kit 5 gp ld6
This bonfire is the center of activity at the caravan Hunting Trap l sp 2d6
stop. Gaeya Iliera, a neutral good, drow scout in a Oil Flask l sp 6d6
rugged outfit, is cooking some of the best mastodon Parchment (One Sheet) 50 gp ld4
kor'rundl to be found outside of Asarius. This savory Potion of Healing 5 sp 10d6
dish is a hearty rice bowl topped with spicy grilled Rations (l Day) l gp ld6
mastodon and smoky-flavored kor'run, a vegetable Rope, Hempen (50 Feet) 2 gp ld4
like a deep red squash grown in Rosohna's sunless Quiver of 20 Arrows 2 gp ld4
gardens. A character who partakes of this food Quiver of 20 Crossbow Bolts l cp 2d6
awakens the next morning with ldlO temporary hit Sack 2 gp ld4
points that last for the next 24 hours. Tent, Two-person
Several other travelers are relaxing around the ARRIVAL AT BAZZOXAN
bonfire, playing games, sharing stories, and singing
songs. Among those gathered here are the following This chapter concludes as the characters reach the
individuals: entrance to the fortress-town of Bazzoxan. As they
approach the gate, read or paraphrase the following:
• Tyvak and Moghra (chaotic good, human berserk-
ers) survived the battle with the udaak that the Jutting from the rusty orange mountains of eastern
characters saw the aftermath of in the Demonic Xhorhas are tall spires of black stone. This is the Be-
Carrion encounter. They are the daughter and son trayers' Rise-a foul fortress from times long past.
of Kierchaly Wastewalker and belong to the same Beneath the spires, a vast gate blocks all entry to the
clan as Irvan Wastewalker. If Tyvak sees that military outpost of Bazzoxan, which sits in the shad-
one of the characters has retrieved her father's ows of the Betrayers' Rise . Crumbling and desolate
+1 dagger from that site, she offers to trade her structures huddle between iron watchtowers, and sol-
+1 battleaxe for it and thanks the characters with diers of the Aurora Watch patrol the tops of the walls
all her heart if the dagger is turned over. and the massive gate ahead of you . As you approach,
a guard on the wall barks, "Identify!"
• Justice (lawful neutral, tiefling scout) and his
moorbounder mount, Rice Pudding, are here If the characters are traveling with members of the
if they survived the Moorbounder Mayhem en- Aurora Watch (perhaps the soldiers they met in the
counter. If the characters helped him during that Aurora Watch Patrol encounter or at the caravan
encounter,Justice gives them a pair of goggles of stop), the soldiers vouch for them, responding with,
night that the caravan he's working for had a hard "Friends of the Dynasty!" No further words need be
time selling at their last stop. said, and the entire group is granted access as the
gate is opened.
• The Acorn Sisters, Lanata and Robur, are dryads.
As the caretakers of this forest, they're fine with If the characters are traveling alone, they find
bonfires as long as only dead wood is burned. It's that the guards of Bazzoxan are eager to let them
customary to share food, drink, and song with in. Upon scanning their appearance, a guard asks,
them in appreciation for their hospitality. Charac- "Are you mercenaries? We could use your strength
ters who show them great respect by making an of arms." If the characters are interested or want
offering directly to them awaken in the morning to discuss terms, the guards say they'll bring the
with a charm of vitality (see the rules for supernat- party to the Taskhand-the local authority of this
ural gifts in the Dungeon Master's Guide). settlement- to explain the details. The gate opens,
and the characters pass through into the grim town
Shopping. The caravanners parked around the of Bazzoxan.
bonfire- including Justice's employers, if he is
present-have merchandise for sale. Two neutral
bugbear chiefs guard the wagons, and six lawful
neutral Aurora Watch veterans (a mix of drow, hu-
mans, and ores) resting at the camp are prepared to
apprehend any thieves and drag them to Bazzoxan
The Merchants' Wares table lists the items avail-
able for sale and the number of each item that the
merchants have in stock.
CHAPTER 2 I THE LEAVE-TAKING 47
N IMMENSE TEMPLE OF DUSKY STONE CALLED If the characters get stuck or frustrated, you can
use friendly nonplayer characters such as Verin
the Betrayers' Rise casts a foreboding Thelyss and the faction agents to give them hints
about how they could learn more. Ultimately, the
J,_ shadow over the town of Bazzoxan. The characters need to find the prayer site inside the
- next leg of the adventure sends the charac-
ters deep into this ancient stronghold of evil. There, Starting in this chapter, the characters' rivals use
they learn more about Alyxian's past and where he's their tier 2 stat blocks (see appendix A).
now imprisoned, thereby awakening new power
within the]ewe/ of Three Prayers. WHO HAS THE EWEL?
Bazzoxan is a military outpost locked in a stale-
mate while trying to protect the rest of the Kryn The path to the prayer site can be opened only by
Dynasty from the demons that surge from the using the jewel of Three Prayers. Doing so allows
depths of the Betrayers' Rise.Just as the characters access to a segment of the Betrayers' Rise that has
enter the town, they find themselves facing an incur- never been explored by the Aurora Watch. If the
sion. After the attack, they're welcomed to Bazzoxan characters don't have the jewel, they might need to
by the drow commander of the town's defenders, take it from the rivals- by stealth, by force, or by
Taskhand Verin Thelyss. barter-as described in area B7, later in the chapter.
The characters can interact with the locals and
investigate the town, where they meet agents of In addition, the final confrontation in this chapter
three factions from the distant continent of Marquet. is a duel for the possession of the jewel. Regardless
The characters might ally with one of these faction of whether the rivals or the characters end up with
agents, who all want to control the power hidden the jewel, the adventure continues on the far-off con-
within the Betrayers' Rise- and the characters' tinent of Marquet. The "Next Steps" section of the
rivals might do the same. The characters' journey chapter explains how to transition the characters
through the temple eventually brings them to the from Bazzoxan to their new location.
place where Alyxian asked the god Avandra for her
aid during the Calamity. No TIME FOR PLEASANTRIES
At this prayer site, the characters receive another
vision, unlock new properties of the jewel ofthe This chapter begins as two Aurora Watch guards
Three Prayers, and come face to face with their ri- guide the characters from the gate of Bazzoxan
vals once again. The outcome of this confrontation toward the Gatehold Barracks. Read or paraphrase
not only determines who possesses the jewel but the following as the characters enter the town:
also defines the tangled web of relationships be-
tween the characters, their rivals, and the Marque- From around the corner of a crumbling building,
sian factions-just before the characters are swept five twitching, skinless masses of blinking eyes and
up in a spell that transports them to Marquet. slavering mouths wriggle into view. One of them is
shredding the flesh of a hapless soldier in three of its
RUNNING THIS CHAPTER amorphous maws. Trumpets blare an alarm, and sev-
eral Aurora Watch soldiers hurry into the streets. One
The first part of this chapter is an exploration se- of them, a male drow, pauses to address you. "New-
quence in which the characters interact with locals comers? No time for pleasantries-draw your weap-
and visit locations in Bazzoxan to learn more about ons or get to safety! Find me at the barracks after!"
their vision in the Emerald Grotto and the]ewe/ of
Three Prayers. This section and the dungeon explo- Five gibbering mouthers have sneaked into Ba-
ration that follows are intentionally open-ended and zzoxan and are intent on consuming anyone in their
designed to reward inquisitive characters. path. Opposing them are members of the Aurora
Watch led by Taskhand Verin Thelyss (see the ac-
Because the characters can go anywhere in town, companying stat block).
it's important for you to read both the "Bazzoxan
Overview" and "Locations in Bazzoxan" sections to
familiarize yourself with the town before running
CHAPTER 3 I BAZZOXAN