Overview: The players are tasked with recovering the Shattered Scepter, a powerful artifact that was split into three fragments and hidden throughout the Sword Coast. The scepter must be reassembled to prevent a mysterious organization from using it for nefarious purposes. The adventure takes place across various locations on the Sword Coast, including the bustling city of Waterdeep, the treacherous Mere of Dead Men, and the ancient ruins of a forgotten kingdom.
Background: The Shattered Scepter was once a powerful artifact wielded by an ancient ruler who united the lands of the Sword Coast. Upon his death, the scepter was split into three fragments and hidden to prevent it from falling into the wrong hands. Recently, a secretive organization known as the Shadow Cabal has been seeking the fragments, intending to use the scepter’s power to establish their control over the region. The players must locate and recover the fragments before the Shadow Cabal can succeed in their plan.
- A mysterious stranger approaches the players in a tavern, offering a hefty reward for the recovery of the Shattered Scepter.
- The players hear rumors of the Shadow Cabal and their search for the scepter fragments, sparking their curiosity.
- An old friend of the players sends them a letter, pleading for their help in locating the fragments and stopping the Shadow Cabal.
Act 1: The Setup The players begin their adventure in Waterdeep, where they can gather information about the whereabouts of the scepter fragments. They encounter various NPCs, including a sage who provides them with a riddle that hints at the locations of the fragments. They also learn of the Shadow Cabal’s intentions and the danger they pose. As they gather supplies and prepare for their journey, they may encounter agents of the Shadow Cabal who attempt to thwart their efforts.
Act 2: The Journey The players travel to three different locations to recover the fragments of the Shattered Scepter, each with its own unique challenges and encounters:
- The Mere of Dead Men, where they face dangerous creatures and navigate treacherous swamplands to find the first fragment.
- A haunted forest, where they must solve riddles and confront the restless spirits of ancient guardians to obtain the second fragment.
- The ruins of a forgotten kingdom, where they must navigate deadly traps and battle the Shadow Cabal’s minions to recover the final fragment.
Act 3: The Climax With all three fragments in their possession, the players must venture to a hidden temple where they can reassemble the Shattered Scepter. They face off against the leader of the Shadow Cabal in a climactic battle, as well as a powerful guardian summoned by the reassembled scepter. Upon their victory, they secure the Shattered Scepter and prevent the Shadow Cabal from achieving their sinister goals.
- Gold and valuable treasures found throughout the adventure.
- The Shattered Scepter itself, which grants the wielder potent magical abilities.
- A favor from a powerful NPC, which can be called upon in future adventures.
Conclusion: With the Shattered Scepter in their possession, the players have thwarted the plans of the Shadow Cabal and brought peace to the Sword Coast. However, rumors suggest that the organization still operates in the shadows, plotting their revenge. The players’ actions may have far-reaching consequences, leading to new adventures and challenges in the future.
Appendices: Include maps of the various locations visited throughout the adventure, stat blocks for NPCs and monsters encountered, and handouts with the riddles and clues the players discover. Include guidelines for adapting the adventure to different levels of play and suggestions for incorporating the adventure into an existing campaign or setting.
Appendix A: Maps
- Waterdeep city map, highlighting important locations for gathering information and supplies.
- Mere of Dead Men, detailing the swampy terrain and notable encounter areas.
- Haunted forest map, showcasing the riddle locations and areas of interest.
- The forgotten kingdom ruins, featuring key locations for traps and encounters.
- The hidden temple, illustrating the layout and rooms where the final confrontation takes place.
Appendix B: Stat Blocks
- Shadow Cabal Agent: A versatile and cunning enemy skilled in combat and subterfuge.
- Swamp creatures: Various beasts and monsters inhabiting the Mere of Dead Men.
- Restless spirits: Ghosts and other spectral entities encountered in the haunted forest.
- Ancient guardians: Constructs and magical beings that protect the forgotten kingdom ruins.
- Shadow Cabal Leader: A powerful adversary who commands the organization and its resources.
- Scepter Guardian: A formidable magical creature summoned by the reassembled Shattered Scepter.
Appendix C: Handouts
- The sage’s riddle: A cryptic clue that guides the players to the locations of the scepter fragments.
- Ancient inscriptions: Writings found in the forgotten kingdom ruins that provide information on the history of the Shattered Scepter and the ancient ruler who wielded it.
Appendix D: Adventure Adaptation Include suggestions for scaling the encounters and challenges based on the players’ levels, as well as tips for integrating the adventure into different settings or campaigns. Offer ideas for expanding the adventure, such as further exploration of the Shadow Cabal’s motives and operations, or the discovery of additional secrets surrounding the Shattered Scepter.