Out of the Blight – Dungeon Master’s Guide

Introduction:

In books and the songs of bards passed down over generations are tales of heroes that fought against the darkness. These tales of adventure fill children’s dreams and imaginations with thoughts of honorable paladins in shining armor and powerful wizards wielding magic in an attempt to rid the world of dark forces. When children play, they often imagine themselves as a hero fighting off a tide of Deepspawn pouring out of the Blight as they heroically save the world from the Deepspawn’s leader and deity known as Moander the Darkbringer.

Legends say that during the Time of Troubles heroes severed the Darkbringer’s grip on the world by imprisoning him in a magical void at Tsornyl or as it has come to be known as the “Darkwatch” deep in the forest of Cormanthor located in The Dales. Darkbringer’s consciousness remains in Darkwatch. Prophecies foretell of the Darkbringer’s return, and that a group of heroes, like times past, will rise up and protect the world from his dark touch in the Last Battle.

Out of fear, their self-righteousness, or a thirst for power, a group of zealots called “The Red Hand” led by a man named Lord Karsus has recently begun searching out and imprisoning people that use magic or show abilities that the zealots say are granted to them by the Darkbringer. They call the people they capture Deepspawn or Friends of the Dark. Lord Karsus and the Red Hand believe that magic is the source of Darkbringer’s powers, and to use his power you ally yourself with the darkness and hasten the Dark One’s return. Those who wield magic should be brought to justice and judged by the Light in a misguided attempt to keep the darkness contained.

Now the world is changing, and rumors have begun spreading through taverns and inns that the Blight has reawakened and is slowly creeping southward destroying everything it touches. Panic has gripped the world, what once was a story, or merely bard’s tales have come to life, and the blight has begun moving again. The Last Battle is near.

The Red Hand

The Red Hand are an independent military organization primarily made of Paladins and Clerics dedicated to finding humanoids they refer to as “Deepspawn” and rooting out evil in an attempt to keep the Darkbringer imprisoned in the Darkwatch. Their headquarters is the “Red Fortress” in the city of Athkatla in Amn. Although Amn has the Council of Six, the Red Hand hold so much political and military power there that they are undoubtedly its true rulers. The Red Hand is led by the Lord Captain Commander Karsus. His followers call him “Lord Karsus”.

They typically refer to themselves as “the Blood”. They are commonly referred to by others as “Bloodfists” due to their snowy white tabard with a red fist on the front worn over their armor which is the most distinguishable feature of their uniform and the aspect that makes them easy to identify and instantly recognizable. This is not a name favored by the Blood themselves and is likely to offend them if used in their presence.

Members of the Red Hand have given an oath to search out and imprison humanoids that use certain schools of magic or show abilities that the Blood claim to be granted to them by the Darkbringer himself. The school of magic that they primarily focus on is Necromancy, but they see evil in some Illusion and Transmutation schools as well. They call humanoids they capture “Deepspawn” or “Dark Friends”. Lord Karsus and the Red Hand believe that magic is the source of Darkbringer’s powers, and to use his power you ally yourself with the darkness and hasten the Dark One’s return. They believe that whomever wield certain types of magic should be brought to justice and judged by the Blood in an attempt to keep the darkness contained. Their zeal in this endeavor often borders on the insane and makes them dangerous opponents.

General Information:

  • World: Toril
  • Continent: Faerun
  • Overgod: Lord Ao
  • Demi-Gods: Moander and Mystryl

MacGuffins: (Items of Great Magical Power)

  • Void Stone – The vessel that holds magical energy and keys to the Void Prisons
  • The Staff of the Voids  – A staff crafted by Vastrin, need to defeat Zefmera
  • Ancient Mystrylan tomes spoke of three-time gates—permanent edifices that were imbued with the time conduit spell. One was believed to be buried in a cave in the Spine of the World; another was atop Misken’s Peak north of Novularond, which was sheared off by the Great Glacier ages ago; the last was on Andrus Peak near the city of Cedarsproke in the Vilhon Reach, which has seen many volcanic eruptions over the centuries.

Plot Details:

What makes the heroes special?

  • They are the only ones that have their powers fully intact.
  • They can take control of the Weave and drew on the raw magic from which the Weave was woven.
  • They have not had part of their power stolen by Lord Karsus.

What are the Heroes’ motivations?

  • Defeat Enforcers
  • Find the Void Stones
  • Stop Zefmera from breaking out of the Void
  • Seal the Void Prison

What are Karsus’s motivations?

  • Free Zefmera from the void
  • Enforcers are stealing magic to shatter the Stone that holds the void
  • Zefmera will reward Karsus with the leadership of Her new world

What are Zefmera‘s motivations?

  • To get free from the void
  • while keeping Mystryl trapped in the void
  • To have unopposed power to rule Toril completely

What is Vastrin’s Motivation?

  • To get free from the void
  • Wants to be free from the Weave
  • while keeping Zefmera trapped in the void
  • To take Zefmera Back to where they came and try again
  • Fears the power of Lord Ao

List of Characters:

  • Rogmesh: Slaver
  • Vrox: Slaver (Rogmesh’s Body Guard) M
  • Rhakza: High Inquisitor M
  • Taben: Quest Giver (Leader of the Freebooters) M
  • Freebooters
    • Sealgre (Drow, Rogue) M,
    • Arzizia (High Elf, Wizard) M,
    • Tulu (Kobold, Rogue) M,
    • Atru (Halfling, Druid) M,
    • Milshi (Tiefling, Sourcerer) M,
    • Zithni (Dragonborn, Fighter)
    • Resne (Human, Barbarian)
    • Uzi (Elf, Fighter)
    • Bradku (Dragonborn, Paladin) M
    • Hutra (Dragonborn, Barbarian)
    • Chelso (High Elf, Cleric) M
  • Martek: CR 12 Mentor M
  • Inquisitors of the Red Hand:
  • Enforcers of the Red Hand: Archers CR3, Gladiators CR5, Conjurers CR6, Assassins CR8   M M M
  • Arzizia:  CR 14 Lord Captain of the Enforcers of the Red Hand (Threshold Guardian)
  • Mazoga: M CR 17 Lord Commander of the Enforcers (Threshold Guardian)
  • Crimorn: CR16 Wizard of Great Power (Threshold Guardian)
  • Lord Karsus: Leader of the Children of the Red Hand CR 24 (Staff of the Magi) (Karsus) Wizard of Great Power  (Threshold Guardian)
  • Vastrin: M CR 24 Avatar of Moander the Darkbringer
  • Zefmera: Avatar of Mystryl

Adventure Outline

Chapter 1: Heroes of Legend

Part 1-1: Ordinary World

The adventure starts with you captured by a Slaver named Rogmesh. You are traveling bound and gagged in the back of a wagon headed to an unknown place. You have been forced to drink a tea brewed with the leaves of a Sussur tree, that has suppressed your powers, making you unable to use your magic, and you feel exhausted. You have not been told why you have been rounded up, however, there have been rumors going around Faerun that Lord Karsus has ordered his enforcers to capture and imprison those that show exceptional magical or physical abilities. Create a unique backstory that ends with you captured in this way. What were you doing that made them focus on you? Please make it reasonable for a 3rd level character.

Sussur aka. Deeproot A rare, magical, faerzres-dependent tree with long gnarled branches and banyan-like aerial roots found in the largest underdark caverns. Grows to 60 ft of height, has very few leaves, and absorbs magic, creating massive (i.e. several 100 ft) antimagic fields. The leaves of this tree can be brewed into a tea that when consumes makes a 10 foot antimagic field around the creature that consumed it.

  • Adventure Background
  • Starting Location
  • Heroes’ Backgrounds
  • How the Heroes Meet

Part 1-2: Desert of Desolation (Lvl. 3)

  • Traveling in Captivity lead by Vrox, Rogmesh, Enforcers
  • Travel through the desert to Slavers Camp
  • Meeting with Rhakuth a High Inquisitor
  • Taben’s Rescue Party
  • Encounter – Slave Camp (Vrox / Rogmesh / Enforcers)
  • LEVEL UP!

Part 1-3: Taben’s Hideout (Lvl. 4 – 5)

  • Taben’s Hideout (Main Room, Weapons Room, Library, BATHROOM, Bar, Memory Hall, Water Well,  Barracks, Tabin’s Study)
  • Dungeon 1 – Swamp: Frog Folk (Gnolls) / Beast / Plant / Green Hag
  • LEVEL UP!
  • Dungeon 2 – Old Stronghold: Undead
  • LEVEL UP!

Part 1-4: Enforcers Attack! (Lvl. 6)

  • Enforcers Attack!
  • Dungeon 4 – Lost Tomb of Martek
  • Meet Martek (Mentor)
  • Taben sends characters to White Palms to find
  • LEVEL UP!

Part 1-5: Journey through the Desert (Lvl. 7)

  • Desert Travel (Random Encounters: Leucrotta, Kruthik Hive Lord, Tlincalli, Howler, Adult Kruthik, Couatl, Purple Wormling, Sand Storm, Traveling Thrum Brouthers – Dwarfs Leads them to Mountain Pass)
  • Mountain – Gnolls, Adult Red Dragon
  • Dungeon 5 – Abandoned Dwarven Mine: Yochlol, Sire of Insanity (Modified), Devourers (Modified)
  • LEVEL UP!

Part 1-6: The Town of White Palms (Lvl. 8)

  • Find the Shop Keeper (Zhentarim Network)
  • Learn to Teleport
  • Encounter: Rogmesh, Vrox, Rhakuth, and Enforcers.

Chapter 2: The True Calling

Part 2-1: A visit with Vastrin

In category: Adventure | Out of the Blight