What happens when you have a wounded black dragon take over a keep that belongs to a group of elves cursed with lycanthropy? You get Warriors of Sehanine, an adventure written by some of the best of the DMsGuild alumni, including Florian Emmerich (Poison Potion Press), JVC Parry (Call from the Deep), and Ashley Warren (ENnie-nominated Writer for the Uncaged Anthology). Warriors of Sehanine is a new adventure featured by Poison Potion Press, creators of Shore of Dreams, which you can find my review for it here. Once again, Poison Potion Press brings their A-game on design, layout, and quality, and I couldn’t be more excited to read it. The adventure is designed for 3rd to 5th level characters with an estimated 12 to 16-hour gameplay.
Here’s a breakdown of my review process with published adventures:
– Layout & Organization
– Story/Narrative content
– Themes (if any) and use of them
Disclaimer: A digital copy of Warriors of Sehanine was provided by the author for review purposes.
Kindness and Secrets
I won’t try to spoil the main storyline, but the adventure hooks for Warriors of Sehanine provoke emotional resonance yet still addresses typical fantasy tropes. I especially enjoyed the adventure hook about the party hunting the dragon in question, following its trail from either a previous adventure or as part of a commission elsewhere. The rest of the hooks are heartwrenching and portrays the drama of a beaten group of elves, including a mother desperately hoping her children are alive after the dragon’s assault. The adventure starts not far from the city of Baldur’s Gate, it can easily be adapted for other locales and even different settings. I will address it in later sections, but this adventure provides a plethora of customization options and suggestions.
There is a backstory about the Warriors and their lycanthropic past, something the players will learn about throughout the adventure. This can be problematic and builds excellent tension for the narration once the secret is revealed to the party. How the player characters react near the middle and later portions of the adventure can create some interesting tensions. There are even secret motives and agendas from one of the survivors that provided layers of complexity and possibly a link for future events. My mind was already racing with options and scenarios for these characters even after the adventure.
Exploring the Woods of Sharp Teeth
Once the player characters accept to aid the Warriors, the next portion of the adventure shifts into exploration and navigation. The process to handle extended travel and random encounters are detailed and thorough. Several of the encounters have implications to the later portions of the adventure once the characters reach the Ravenglade Keep, where their actual prey, a young black resides within. Several of the encounters deal with the local wildlife and the dangerous creatures that hunt within the woods. There are a handful of distinct encounters that warrant particular interest for DMs if they want to give their players the most out of this adventure and tale.
The ones that stand out the most: the Ghostly Fox chase, the Rallying Orcs, a greeting from Duskbringer (the black dragon), and a coronation procession of kobolds. There is an optional storyline DMs can integrate into this adventure. It involves a green hag in disguise trying to siphon the powers of the ghostly fox spirit to form a powerful coven in Sharp Teeth. The catch? The hag needs a grimoire to complete the ritual to bind the ghostly fox.
Exploring and discovering the various denizens within the woods crafts anticipation for the main event at Ravenglade Keep against Duskbringer, including even a chance encounter with the dragon. This harkens back to one of my favorite narrative elements from Curse of Strahd when Strahd taunts and torments the party from time to time. It’s a great parallel that builds resolve and urgency, even when you include the main plot of saving the children.
Monsters on Both Sides
I love the dynamic of the adventure’s main feature, the black dragon, Duskbringer, and the will-o-wisp named Valarken. There are a variety of outcomes on who is defeated first and if either one manages to escape. Plus there are several locations within the keep to lead to a final confrontation. There’s also an experiment gone wrong that might turn into a bittersweet interaction with the children you’re supposed to save. I appreciate that the elf children can be helpful and given levels of competency. This way, if you find them early in your expedition of the keep, the players can still explore the rest of the former elven stronghold.
If anything, running the complete adventure series, including the optional Witches Three side adventure presents a host of challenges and conflicts. The motivations for the green hag, Marla, present a clear danger to the woods and to the player characters as well. I highly recommend DMs who run Warriors of Sehanine, to also run this optional storyline. The amount of customization and tailoring already draws considerable praise for its detail and scope. If you wanted to make this into a more extensive campaign, consider the nefarious exploits from the will-o’-wisp, Valarken, corrupting other NPCs or recruiting another terrible creature to attack the Warriors in the future. Alternatively, the hag Marla and the Witches Three side story can expand on deeper plots for the Woods of Sharp Teeth.
If you have read my previous review on Shore of Dreams, you’ll not be surprised by the upcoming response: BUY IT.
The adventure costs $4.95 and provides 36 pages of a stellar story, plus you get access to maps, handouts, and TrashMobMinis (review for TrashMobMini here) featuring the NPCs of this adventure. Warriors of Sehanine displays the masterful craft and ingenuity of its contributors, along with the complexity and depth of its unique cast of characters. Once again, this adventure receives my high praises for its layout and organization: aesthetically pleasing and easy to reference, just like Shore of Dreams. An excellent adventure near the city of Baldur’s Gate while they explore the largest metropolis of the Sword Coast. A special shout out to the creators for continually producing and creating beautiful, masterful creations.
Get your copy of Warriors of Sehanine at the DMsGuild: https://www.dmsguild.com/product/283029/Warriors-of-Sehanine
Follow Poison Potion Press on Twitter: @PoisonPotPress
Follow JVC Perry on Twitter: @JVCParry
Follow Ashley Warren on Twitter: @ashleynwarren
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