Adventure 1: The End of Days
As the PCs enter Blackfall, one of the first things that they should notice is the
amount of sickness and disease abounding throughout the First Ward. Hope seems to be
slim, as many of the patrons of the First Ward lie writhing in the streets, delirious from the
effects of disease.
After receiving their summons from King Maelbrek IV, the PCs are greeted by a
heavily armed Royal Escort and taken to the Palace of Blackfall. There, Chancellor Corith
Pyrd greets them and brings the PCs into a meeting room. He announces to the PCs that
Maelbrek has fallen ill with the plague that has swept the city, and that the various guilds of
the city have shut the gates separating the First and Second Wards—no one from the First
Ward can enter the inner portions of the city.
Pyrd has reason to believe that Jason Sa-Raine, a necromancer slain by the Acolytes
of Pelor several months ago, is behind the plague, Sa-Raine’s laboratory was sealed by orders
of the King. With the king ill and the chancellor in charge, Pyrd wants answers. He
commissions the group for two tasks: finding some way to stave off the plague from within
the city itself, and infiltrating Sa-Raine’s lab to see if his notes could provide an answer.
Section 1a: Ravings and Delusions
Goal: Find a way to slow/cure the plague from within Blackfall.
- Black Market—The leader of the Assassin’s guild, Sergei Stantinov, can potentially
steal Wands of Cure Disease from the Temple of Boccob. The temple is located in
the Second Ward, so they are sealed off from the masses. Sergei does not work
without payment, though—he has been making quite a killing off of the plague and
wants the PCs to make it worth his while. He wants the heads of both Bohemond,
the High Templar of Heironeous, and Garrick Nordheimer, the Head City
- Cure the plague singlehandedly—A properly equipped cleric/druid could, potentially,
cure the plague in two days. However, Mordecai does not let up, and must be found.
- Fire and brimstone—the plague is worst in the slums, where abandoned buildings
are home to many homeless persons. Simply wiping them out could slow the
plague’s spread enough to find a cure.
- Look to the plainsmen—The medicine men of the herders outside of Blackfall often
have medicinal therapies that can work wonders during plagues. However, they
often require tasks or supplies from those who would come seeking their aid.
- The PCs are being stalked by Mordecai, the Cancer Mage. Eventually, he will have
them ambushed by thugs. Mordecai is a devotee of Orcus and follows Izorek. If the
PCs find Mordecai’s hideout, they will also find notes on how he created the plague.
The healers at either the Temple of Heironeous or the Temple of Boccob can help
to stem the tide. The Temple of Pelor, with Izorek in charge, will hinder the PCs in
- The Temple of Pelor, under Bertrand/Izorek, has been preaching that the plague is a
sign of the End Times. They claim that the gods’ wrath is great upon this city, and
that cleansing fire is needed to appease them. Naturally, this is Izorek’s doing, as he
attempts to sway the populace towards the worship of Orcus.
- The PCs begin hearing of a new play that has been showing up randomly in the First
Ward. The play, called “The King in Yellow,” is set to debut in the Second Ward
within a few days. Graffiti across the First Ward often depicts a strange yellow
marking on walls, and delirious plague-victims often ask “Have you seen the Yellow
Section 1b: Into the Abyss
Goal: Infiltrate the laboratory of Jason Sa-Raine and attempt to find a cure.
(Lair found in Magic of Eberron: Karnnathi Research Facility.)
- Encounters with aberrations in the city sewers. Behir fight?
- Encounters with undead in Sa-Raine’s lab. Still programmed to defend against interlopers.
- Ernst Zolar, a half-elf lich, still resides in one of the living quarters of Sa-Raine’s
laboratory. While a lich, he has no designs on Blackfall whatsoever—he truly wants
to take his research and continue work outside of the city. The PCs may aid or
destroy him as they see fit. If the PCs parlay, he explains that Sa-Raine had nothing
to do with the plague—rather, another mage in the city named Mordecai is behind it.
If they aid Ernst, he can show them the more hidden portions of Sa-Raine’s lab and
give them access to the legions of undead that Sa-Raine had created, in an attempt to
take over Blackfall.
- At the edge of a warded secret tunnel leading from Sa-Raine’s lab to the illithid lair,
Bohemond has placed a message. As a member of the group that infiltrated Sa-
Raine’s lab, he saw exactly what was going on—Sa-Raine was still trying to take over
Blackfall, while simultaneously being engaged by the illithid right on his doorstep.
This, essentially, put him into a two-front war which he ultimately lost. Bohemond’s
message tells the PCs vaguely of the dangers beyond the tunnel and asks that they
come to meet him in the Temple of Heironeous.
- As the PCs go to leave, they are ambushed by an illithid scouting party. Among the
illithid’s thralls are a Swashbuckler and a Warlock. If the illithid are freed before the
pair die, they can become useful allies against the illithid in the future.
Adventure 2: The King in Yellow
The PCs, having averted the plague that has swept Blackfall, now have several leads
to go on. The message left by Templar Bohemond should remain deep in their minds. A
meeting with him should take place shortly after their return to Blackfall proper.
Bohemond will meet with the PCs in a secret vault beneath the Temple of
Heironeous. He asks them many questions about their business in Blackfall and what they
have discovered so far. Bohemond becomes increasingly distressed and begins filling the
PCs in on what he knows from the past. He also glances occasionally at an empty, still-
locked display case that once held a weapon of some sort. Bohemond is loathe to explain it,
but eventually succumbs, telling of a daring raid by the Orcus-devotee Izorek to retrieve the
sword known as Afterlife. Izorek since vanished, after Bohemond pursued him up the side
of MoonRaker Spire. Many bizarre creatures have been seen there, so Bohemond believes
that the illithid now hold one of the most potent weapons in the world—Afterlife.
However, this is not the only difficulty. On a late night walk, Bohemond spotted a powerful
noblewoman, Lady Aribeth deWinter, meeting in a dark First Ward alley with a creature that
could only be an illithid! Needless to say, the PCs must tread carefully in finding out what
connection might be had there…
Section 2a: Needle and Spire
Goal: Deduce what happened to Afterlife and find the truth about Izorek.
- Climbing up the side of MoonRaker Spire is difficult. While the mines criss-crossing
the lower foothills are numerous, as the adventurers near the caldera, it becomes
more and more difficult to climb. Aerial encounters, particularly of the
pseudonatural variety, should do well here.
- Illithid occasionally run scouting raids inside the caldera and through the lower
mines, hoping to find some cast-off technology that they may have lost in another
time-stream, or simply to pick off some miners for dinner. These scouting parties
often include umber hulks, which use their burrow and tremorsense abilities
- Fiery encounters should take place more often as the heroes enter the caldera. While
not active, the volcano is not extinct, as many would believe. Rather, a properly
discharged series of spells could, indeed, cause the volcano to become active and
flood the city with lava.
- If the PCs defeat the major encounter within the caldera (TBD), they will find the
remnants of Bertrand, the priest of Pelor. Needless to say, this will raise questions in
their mind of how to proceed, as the person impersonating Bertrand must be quite
Section 2b: The Curtain Falls
Goal: Find what connections “The King in Yellow” has to the nobility and stop its performance.
- Since this portion of the adventure is primarily character-based, many different
events can occur here. Depending on how stealthy the PCs are, they may or may not
be detected. If they are, Lady deWinter does not hesitate to call the City Watch on
the PCs for harassment and trespassing, if applicable.
- Lady deWinter is extremely hard to defame, though the PCs may try their best. Her
brother sits on the Council of Eleven, who practically run Blackfall, and her husband
was knighted by King Maelbrek himself. However, before the showing of “The
King in Yellow,” there is a “nobles only” premiere party, which she and her husband
will be attending. If the PCs can attend, they can more accurately track her
movements and motives.
- The play itself is a series of subtly implanted psionic suggestions, each with a Will
DC of 16. The longer the PCs stay within the play itself, the more likely they are to
be enthralled by its sanity-shattering hidden messages.
- The backstage area holds several important clues that point to the connection
between Lady deWinter (and several other nobles) and the illithid beneath Blackfall.
For the most part, the nobles are not enthralled—rather, they see Y’Golonac as a
new trend and a possible savior for this ‘wretched city’. Most of these nobles live,
simply for the joy of the illithid’s forced orgies and the drug-induced stupor of the
mind flayers’ opiates.
- Expect a chase scene with Lady deWinter when the PCs find the illithid notes in the
backstage area. While the PCs should probably already know of the entrance to the
illithid lair through Sa-Raine’s lab, they may not know about the entrance in the
MoonRaker Spire caldera unless they’ve rendezvoused with the prior group.
Regardless, it should be clear that there are two specific entrances within Blackfall.
The Final Encounters:
When the PCs reach the illithid lair, they should begin to feel worn down. Their
allies may be running out of spells or even dead. Regardless, they must press on, lest the
illithid “succeed” in their attempt to raise Y’Golonac. Use the map of the illithid outpost for
the final encounters, with the summoning chamber replacing the elder brain’s lair.
The final battle should include:
- At least 2 Ulitharid
- 2 Brain Golems
- 4 illithid, including Xiltictn (Psion) and Lincorlq (Body Tamer)
- 4-6 Umber Hulks or other suitable meat-shield
- Any remaining actors from “The King in Yellow”
- Lady deWinter (Fleshwarper/Adept)
If the PCs Succeed:
The illithid threat is forever vanquished and Izorek’s claim to rule is at an end. King
Maelbrek dies peaceably in his sleep and Chancellor Corith Pyrd executes a lawful transfer of
power over to an elected oligarchy. Bohemond and Garrick (if they still live) are both
elected to the Council of Nine. Some of the PCs may also be elected, if they so choose to
If the Illithid Succeed:
The PCs, their allies and Izorek are dead. The ritual to raise Y’Golonac takes place,
but something goes amiss. The entirety of Blackfall is surrounded by thick, gray mist and is
transplanted to a rocky, barren world known as Bluetspur. There, Y’Golonac’s madness
reigns and the illithid quickly lay siege to the city. The citizens who are not immediately
devoured or enthralled go utterly mad. The illithid rejoice in their newfound power, until
they realize that they are trapped in this land, unable to expand or conquer any longer.
If Izorek Succeeds:
The illithid plot has ended, but the noble PCs have fallen. Izorek uses his influence
as Bertrand to infiltrate the Council of Nine. Three years later, in a war with a neighboring
country, Izorek takes command of the army and makes his claim to the empty throne of
Blackfall. By this point, he has so warped the clergy of Pelor that they now openly worship
Orcus. Fear reigns, and Izorek rules with a brutal sword in each hand: Afterlife and