Cawood Publishing concludes their epic A-series of adventures with finding mythical weapons, fighting in a giant’s stronghold, and battling the forces of Hell. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s wind the clock a bit and look back the A-series, as Cawood Publishing’s original adventure modules for their World of Myrr campaign setting. From humble beginnings, adventurers would face vampiric conspiracies, deadly assassins, and journey across the continent of Myrr to stop an infamous gang. There might be a sea festival, and a race involved too.
You can read my review on the A-series here.
The A-series concludes in these final three products: A11 The City of Magic/A12 Citadel of Aramoor, A13 Dark Tunnels/A14 The Thunder Halls, and A15 The Hell Gate/A16 Dis Pater’s Palace.
Some of the previous A-series products could be adjusted for use in different settings, but the narrative in the last six adventures follow the events directly after A10 Dark City, so you will need context from that module before starting with A11 The City of Magic.
A11 The City of Magic/A12 Citadel of Aramoor (15th-16th level)
The City of Magic takes place after the events of A10 Dark City. The party escapes the city of Bladen and meet with a spy in the city of Nox. Objectively, the players will encounter a new wizard ally from the Wizard Council. Almost immediately, the players experience some naval combat with a pirate ship attacking them on a boat they stole to make their escape. After arriving in the small village of Fayne, the party set off and later contend with cultists of Morthos. Exploring a cave that served as the cultists’ hideout, but they get some loot for their trouble and save a farmer. Once at the town of Hael, the players have some time explore and rest up before the confrontation at Lake Aramoor. Incidentally, the party needs to traverse the lake to reach the city of Nox by boat from Hael.
An island in the center of the lake is the Citadel of Aramoor, full of wizards and magic users. Word of the party’s exploit in Bladen will eventually reach the higher-ups of the Alliance. As the party traverses the lake, a contingent of hobgoblins assails the party’s vessel, along with an adult dragon and an anti-paladin with their nightmare mount. The city of Nox offers plenty of hooks and exploration for the party with plenty of short encounters to provide a taste of the lakeside magocracy. The wizard ally they will meet at the end of this excursion in Nox will provide aid and information, namely powerful vampire-killing weapons underneath the Citadel of Aramoor, which starts the other half of this module. When exploring Nox, players and DMs can organize their priorities, either meeting with the wizard ally right away and then experience the city or vice versa.
The Citadel of Aramoor is designed as a typical dungeon crawl as the party explores the underground chambers below the citadel. One thing to note though is that many of the Dark Alliance’s agents and spies reside in the citadel and so the party will need to operate with discretion to reach the underground portion of the library. I won’t spoil much about what you will find in this hidden dungeon, but by the end of the adventure, the party should hopefully receive some precious items along with critical information to lead them to the next leg of the A-series narrative. Overall, this adventure explores several new locations and includes naval combat, something you don’t see often enough. Some of the encounters in Nox add some texture to the setting while providing great hooks for other potential quests or adventures. Definitely worth the exploration. Aramoor serves as the more “objective” adventure and will lead to a power-up for the party once they reach the end of the crawl.
A13 The Dark Tunnels/A14 The Thunder Halls
Following from the Citadel of Aramoor, the players will have a chance to explore the mountains north of the city of Nox. The adventure will lead the party to tunnels and strongholds owned by giants. The giants are stewards of the vampire-killing weapons from the epic heroes of yore. The Dark Tunnels portion is a mix of cave complex, part dungeon, and very dark with no light sources. You will definitely need to familiarize yourself with the maps provided for the adventure, lots of encounters and one nice big one before moving onto the Thunder Halls.
The Thunder Halls portion of the adventure has the party navigating their way through the giant stronghold, with the King of the Giants supposedly keeping the weapons the party seeks. There are a variety of giants and will definitely give the players their fill of combat against giants, along with some ogres, and enemies from the Dark Alliance. There are some great opportunities for the party to recruit allies possibly or at the very least, turn things in their favor if they go an indirect route. I don’t want to spoil all the opportunities, but if the party decides to play it safe, they might be rewarded for their efforts. By the end of this module, the party should have found the treasure vault and retrieved the legendary weapons.
Almost half of the pages consist of DM resources from stat blocks to maps, tables, and charts. I always enjoy seeing a chase or two in any adventure and Cawood Publishing never fails to deliver. The Dark Tunnels and the giant strongholds have rather extensive maps, so it’s encouraged for the DM to print them and keep them accessible during play. The adventures for A11 to A14 are primarily linked, and while you can choose to ignore the destruction of the Von Bladen family at the end of A10, these products can serve as a standalone story arch. I recommend keeping the A11 through A14 modules together, but you can run them back to back for a great campaign arch. Both products feed into each other rather seamlessly, and so I find it hard to run them separate from each other, though I suppose A13 Dark Tunnels/A14 Thunder Halls could be run by itself with little modification as opposed to its predecessor adventure.
A15 The Hell Gate/A16 Dis Pater’s Palace
A15 continues from A14, but it’s not necessary, as the party will discover (either through an ally or their talks with the giants from the Thunder Halls) that if the Hell Gate were closed, it would create a strategic disadvantage for the Dark Alliance. Since this module has the party roughly around 17th to 18th level, you can expect to fight high Challenge Rating monsters, and what better way than to face two vampires and a small army?
Once past the gate, the party arrives at the Second Level of the Nine Hells known as Dis, a realm full of toxin fumes and loss. The Iron City of Dis is an iconic place in D&D’s heritage, and the party will face the onslaught of the hells from this point forward. Should the party choose to close the hell gate, escape will be challenging and can only be achieved by an infernal device. For comic book fans, this is the equivalent of finding a Mother Box in Apokolips.
Traversing the Iron City of Dis will be dangerous, but that’s part of the charm of a plane in constant gang and turf wars. Once the party reaches Dis Pater’s palace, the next leg of the module begins. They will need the archdevil’s cubic gate to escape the plane.
Dis Pater’s palace is not the faint of heart. There will be constant dangers, with plenty of enemies to whittle down the players’ resources. The party may eventually face the powerful archduke of Dis, and the encounter will be indeed challenging to say the least. Should the party be fortunate enough to retrieve the cubic gate, they can use the item to return to the Material Plane. Defeating Dis Pater isn’t the objective, but if the party feels ambitious, they are more than welcome to try to tackle the mighty archdevil. The goal, after all, was closing the hell gate and deal a crippling blow to the Dark Alliance with defeating one of their vampire leaders and restricting the flow of fiendish reinforcements. The A-series ends on this climactic and epic showdown. What better way to end but with fighting vampires and devils?
The A-series ends with a journey through one of the layers of the Nine Hells, we have the introduction of more cities and locales for Myrr and conclude the adventurer’s struggle against the Dark Alliance. I feel that the A11 through A14 adventures make for a great campaign arch together, though the A13/A14 adventure definitely can be run on its own as a standalone module if you wish to have players face against giants to retrieve powerful magical weapons. The climax of A15/A16 modules are the legendary exploits that bards would tell the world over. Having the vampire-killing armaments from A14 would certainly help but are not necessary to the party’s success so long as there are plenty of magic items at the players’ disposal.
Overall, the adventures are well organized as always, clear and easy to read. The encounters possess the weight of the higher challenge ratings. Don’t rush through the moments, let them build up to their appropriate crescendos, the later adventures will require an experienced party. The DMs have lots of maps this time around, and it’s always suggested to print all your tables and charts ahead of time for ease of reference. Cawood Publishing still organizes these details after the adventure text.
The artwork quality is heightened with contributions from Travis Hanson, and additional artists helped leave some breaks between the text, which was a welcomed addition.
This was a great conclusion to an epic story in the continent of Myrr. I cannot wait to see more stories in the future, possibly on a different continent? Only time will tell, but I do not see Cawood Publishing stopping anytime soon.
You can find the entire A-series as a bundle on DriveThruRPG: http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/246319/Adventures-in-Myrr-5E-Adventures-Bundle
You can find other publications and supplements on Cawood Publishing’s website here.
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