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Fade to Red part 2

by argentmantle from Threshold Magazine issue 24

Fade to Red is the first episode in an adventure path that takes place over the course of several issues of Threshold magazine and as separately released PDFs. The first part of Fade to Red, with the Introduction and Chapter One, was published on Threshold issue #23 which can be downloaded here:

[Image: Slagovich map]

Chapter Two: A Murder at Every Corner

A return to any of the sites of peoples disappearance or discovery of their exsanguinated bodies can provide the party with some valuable clues. These clues will help lead them to investigate the sewers in Chapter Four, possibly skipping Chapter Three. It is entirely possible for a party to skip over this section since they have been provided with information that leads them back to Axe Street or the sewers.

The Locks

If the PCs investigate The Locks where the body of Alexandru Olteanu was discovered, they’ll note nothing of importance. He was found in one of the lock control rooms. This room is a mechanically inclined character’s dream: with rusty gears, levers, pulleys, winches, and gauges. There is a large manhole covered entrance to the sewers in the floor of the room.

High District

The High District contains three crime scenes in it. It is also the home of the Tarasovs and their respective families.

Home of Iulio Musat

The home of Iulio Musat sits on one of the more modest streets, it has a small flower garden in the front. The scribe was probably abducted from here 23 days ago. The yard and frontage are well gardened, the scribe or someone in his family must have spent hours keeping the garden manicured and blooming. The brick path through the garden leads to a door that has been nailed shut. It looks like whoever Iulio’s survivors were have left the city. It seems like a scuffle had occurred in the garden in front of the house, corresponding to where the guard believes that he was attacked. A Wisdom (Perception) check with a DC of 20 or Intelligence (Investigation) check DC of 15 will note a small piece of cloth in one of the bushes. This piece of fabric is of more inferior quality and has awful bits of dry sewage on it.

There is an entrance to the sewers about seventy feet down the street.

Vintage Street

This street runs through one of the more affluent sections of the city. Twenty days ago, Nelu Dalca was abducted from the road in the dark of night after leaving one of her client’s homes. Determining which of the houses was that of her patron is nearly impossible. No one is sure where she was taken. There is a manhole near one of the homes.

That same townhouse with the manhole in front of it is the home that belonged to the Tarasovs. The kidnappers were not supposed to hunt or drop bodies in the same area. However, the orcs got lazy with their amount of success. The young couple was kidnapped in front of their home just four nights ago.

If the party investigates the manhole, they can move down the rungs and find a piece of silk, torn from an expensive man’s shirt. In fact, scattered around the area at the bottom of the ladder are some torn pieces of clothing, a very expensive jeweled dagger, and a woman’s shoe. There are also some discarded ration packages that look to be Hulean. On a DC 15 Intelligence (Investigation), the party will note there appear to be three sets of adult human tracks, two women and one man, in the sewer mud. They can make out that there were several humanoids as well as, oddly, a human child.

[Sidebar: Steel Seed A Fine Piece of Asset]

Nelu Dalca was pretty enough to work as a companion for many of the wealthy families in Slagovich. However, she was also knowledgeable, though she lacked a formal education. Initially, she did work as a prostitute; however, she managed to step away from such base pursuits. One of her previous patrons allowed her access to his collection of books and through which she educated herself. This education, though basic, granted her a keen mind to get a glimpse into the workings of etiquette, decorum, and politics. She put this knowledge to good use and had started to teach the young scions of some of the families on using their position and charms to influence others. She is also an expert on the elaborate etiquettes of the Inheritors.

The young woman did have reason to fear for her life, though she didn’t know it. Her benefactor was secretly an Inheritor operating in Slagovich and was grooming the young woman to become an Inheritor. She had squirreled away a considerable sum of gold with the church of Freyja to purchase a raise dead scroll that was used on her behalf. She immediately changed her identity and is laying low while she debates staying or moving to one of the other city-states or nations of the Savage Coast.

If the party decides to investigate her house or try to figure out her patron, she might decide to find out a bit more about the group or even make herself known. She has bleached her hair before dying it red and going by the name Corinna Proca. Unfortunately for the PCs and their investigation, but fortunately for her psyche, she was clubbed over the head and did not wake up while in the sewers.

Vlaicu Estate

Located on Jewel Road, near Vintage Street, is a gorgeous but small mansion. This is the home of the Vlaicu family. The path to the house is blocked by a gate and a pair of guards in the livery of the Vlaicu family. They will insist that anyone loitering moves along and are under orders not to let anyone ‘unexpected’ onto the grounds.

The characters will be politely told that the Vlaicu family is mourning the death of their daughter and her husband. They will ask the characters to respect their wishes for privacy and direct any questions to the city guard. These guards are used to working in the city and are quite civil and polite. If the characters try to sneak by, they will use the minimum amount of force and subdual damage whenever possible.

Tarasov House

Down Jewel Road and then Ruby Avenue is the impressive Tarasov House. This large townhouse is repainted an immaculate white when the vermeil haze even starts to tint it pink. It sits behind a wrought red steel fence that stands as a mute testament to the family’s wealth. At the center of the fence’s frontage is an impressive gate that is flanked by a small guardhouse.

In the guardhouse there are a pair of guards in the silver and red colors of the Tarasov and a guard in blue and white of Slagovich. The guards will explain that the family has returned to their estate outside the city and that if the party would like to contact them, the best way is via a letter sent to the estate. The guards are like the Vlaicu guards and are polite to a fault. They will gladly give the address for correspondence to the Lord and Lady. If the party would like to leave their condolences, they will gladly take their names down in the list of people who had called upon the house when the masters were absent.

The Tarasovs have left the city and are contemplating their next steps, thinking that the Vlaicu family is behind the deaths and kidnappings of the families’ heirs. At present, the party has limited means to contact and very little business with the family. This will change in future adventures.


The slums of Slagovich are located far enough from the docks to not share in the wealth of the cities trade. The buildings range from very modest but well-maintained homes to dilapidated, run-down shacks that serve as both shop and house. Usually, neighborhoods or wards would have swung one way or another but given the very nature of Slagovich’s disparity of wealth and the highs and lows of mercantile life, the conditions vary building by building and street by street. People here tend to look the other way when something happens and are even less likely to assist the town guard in doing anything but finding their way out of the area. This has started to change a little bit with the rash of vampiric murders that have happened in the confines of the city.

Near a Storm Gate

Three weeks ago, the body of Iulio was discovered naked and lying face down near one of the many storm gates. An examination of the area will yield nothing as the muddy street. If the party examines the storm gate, have them make an Intelligence (Investigation) check with a DC of 15. If successful, they’ll discover that the gate has been forced open from the inside just enough for a medium-sized humanoid to get through. A roll of 20 on the Intelligence (Investigation) check will have them discover several muddy prints in the sewage on the walks, these prints appear to be that of a clawed humanoid, actually a gnoll, who has wrapped their feet. This is a widespread practice in Hule, although the custom is not well known outside of the country.

Freeman’s Way

The small home of Stela Antonescu sits along the front of Freeman’s Way. The building is cheaply made, though it does look like someone has worked rather hard to keep it from falling down over the years. From here, Stela Antonescu was abducted eighteen days earlier with her body dumped two days later. The widow has worked very hard to keep the home repaired for herself and her adopted daughter. Her husband, brother-in-law, and sister-in-law were killed almost a decade ago during Hule’s attack on the city. She worked as a tailor to support herself and her niece, Catalina.

If the party investigates the home, they’ll find Catalina working in the small shop stall that makes up the front of the house. The woman is very quiet, shy to begin with, and burdened by grief. She believes that she was at fault for not locking the small house’s door.

Upon investigation, which she is willing to allow, an Intelligence (Investigation) check DC 15 will reveal that the window was forced open and the kidnappers came through it. They will also find a claw mark in the wood. Her body was discovered on the street in front of the house. If they investigate further, they will find several booted footprints that lead back to a sewer grate.

Builder’s Row

On the morning after Stela Antonescu disappeared, the body of Nelu Dalca was discovered on Builder’s Row. This is one of the roads with houses in relatively good condition, though modest, in the slums. The courtesan’s body was found near a storm drain that is connected to the sewers below. If the party investigates the drain, they’ll discover that it looks like the pipe was forced open enough for someone to push the body through without even coming on to the surface. On a successful DC 10 Intelligence (Investigation) check, they’ll notice that several of the bars have been filed loose. They’ll also find a dagger of Hulean manufacture.

Sawhorse Road

The row of houses down Sawhorse Road seem to a textbook example of the homes of the slums of Slagovich. There is a small house in the shadow of a larger rundown house that fits the description of the house Michel Polnar disappeared from ten days ago. If the party investigates the exterior of the home, they’ll discover a large storm gate behind the house. Examining the interior of the house is an entirely different matter.

Michel Polnar was an experienced caravan guard who was a little paranoid. The front door of the house is trapped with a simple statue pull trap that pulls a large statue onto the unlucky entrant.

Statue Pull Trap

Mechanical Trap

This trap uses a tripwire to pull a heavy stone statue onto the person opening the door.

The tripwire is two inches off the ground and is rigged around the statue and a peg at the bottom of the door. The DC to spot the tripwire is 10. A successful DC 10 Dexterity check to remove the tripwire harmlessly. On a failed check, the trap triggers.

Anyone who inspects the door can quickly determine that a peg has a piece of wire around it. As an action, a character can remove the cable, safely disarming the trap. They can also choose to open the door from the hinges, triggering the trap safely.

When the trap is triggered, the statue is pulled onto someone coming into the house. Any creature in the doorway must succeed on a DC 15 Dexterity saving throw, taking 11 (2d10) bludgeoning damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one. Once the trap is triggered, the floor of the area is filled with the remnants of the broken statue and becomes difficult terrain.

Beyond this, the party will immediately note that the place has seen a scuffle. The table is knocked over, the cutlery and crockery are shattered and scattered, the chairs are broken, and there is the distinct smell of death in the place, but the source is not readily apparent. There is a door that leads into the bedroom of the house. Investigating the front room will yield the characters a fair bit of curiosities and a few things of value:

• 8 small bags of spices. These were probably pilfered from the caravans Michel has guarded totaling about 20 gp if sold to a spice merchant.

• 4 trade bars of silver worth 15 gp each.

• 11 small curios collected from the Savage Coast, Hule, and Sind. Each is worth about 5 gp if sold at the bazaar or half that if just merely sold to a shop.

The total amount of treasure for this hoard is 135 gp.

The bedroom of the house is a wreck, there is blood splatter on the wall, and there is the gory sight of a decaying orc on the floor near the foot of the bed. Apparently, Michel gave the kidnappers a fight. Investigating this room and the corpse will yield some valuables and a few clues:

The orc has the same basic outfit as the orc kidnappers. The body is clad in a black suit, black leather armor, a black bat-winged shaped cloak, and boots that have been darkened with soot. The orc was armed with a great club that it is still clutched in his severed hand. The hands and face of the orc were painted with white face paint, but the rather wet process of decay has caused them to run.

There is a suit of chainmail, fitted for a solidly built human male, and a short sword discarded on the floor. The short sword is functional and well-balanced, clearly something someone depended on.

Searching the room can yield the party a bit more loot. On a DC 15 Intelligence (Investigation) check, the party will discover Michel’s savings under a floorboard:

• 67 gold coins.

• 2 chunks of yellow quartz worth 50 gp each.

• A pair of onyx dice worth 25 gp.

• A map detailing the various caravan routes around the Savage Coast, Hule, and Sind, worth about 100 gp.

• An 8-ounce piece of cinnabryl.

The total amount of treasure for this hoard is 292 gp.

The party should receive a minor milestone experience for this discovery. For a first level party, this should be 25 experience points each.

If the party alerts the city guard of their findings, the guard will overlook any loot that the party may have taken. They’ll immediately start looking for humanoids in the city. The rumors of a vampiric murderer will begin to subside. If they go down this path, they should receive an additional experience reward for a major milestone. For a first level party, this should be 75 experience points each.


The docks of Slagovich are a marvel of magic and engineering. A massive cavern in the cliffs is large enough for ships to enter. Here, they can spend a not small amount of gold to have the Slagovich lock workers fill the cavern, eventually moving the vessel. Through a vertical shaft, a ship can gain entrance to the locks and artificial harbor of Slagovich. These docks see ships from every nation of the Savage Coast and beyond throughout the year, delivering a variety of cargoes.

The docks themselves are maintained by the merchants and government of Slagovich, and a large number of buildings have sprung up around it. The many different buildings around the docks cater to mercantilism and the needs of sailors. With the constant stream of people in the area, it is well patrolled and rather well lit.

Seedy Dragon tavern

The Seedy Dragon is a large but rather average building on the docks. It caters to sailors from around the Savage Coast and the Gulf of Hule with an extensive offering of wine, ales, and spirits. The tavern is not as ‘low-class’ as its name might suggest. Many of the staff wear ‘sailor’s garb’ and speak with ‘fake’ foreign accents. The bar is also gaining a reputation for a drink called Dragon’s Breath that is a mix of various spirits and juices from Yavdlom that produce a misty cloud at the top of the glass when mixed. The staff doesn’t know much more than that Petar was a regular who stopped coming a little less than twenty days ago. They will say that he left shortly before closing, as usual, and hasn’t been seen since.

There is a spill gate near the Seedy Dragon that leads to the sewers. If the party searches it with an Intelligence (Investigation) DC 15 check, they’ll discover that the lock has been broken and there are scratches on the inside of mechanism, like it was picked by amateurs.

Spice Dock

The body of Michel Polnar was found naked at the front of the Spice Dock a week and a day ago. Ships carrying spices and other small but valuable cargoes are unloaded here. Also, it is a dock used by ships carrying people of importance who can quickly disembark. Unfortunately, the traffic that moves through the docks has obliterated any evidence that might have been in the area.

There is an old spill gate to help with overflows from the central harbor. The entrance has a lock dangling on it that has been opened. A chain has been used to hold it closed.

The Wharf Pen

The Wharf Pen is a small wooden building that is stuffed with frontend offices for several of the major shipping concerns of Slagovich. The stalls each contain an ‘office’ for ship’s pursers and accountants to tally up what is owed to captains. Illya Sandros was working late twelve evenings ago and failed to show up for work the next day. It was two days later that her corpse was discovered behind the building.

There is a small entrance to the sewers behind the building that a man, or orc, could squeeze through.

South Gate

The South Gate area of Slagovich is home to a bunch of business that caters to the arriving and departing caravans of the merchant city. Though not as prosperous as the areas around the harbor, it is still better off than the slums. It is here that the body of Petar Diaconsecu was discovered and that the guardsman Dragomir Stanasila was abducted.

The Amber Grease Restaurant

The Amber Grease may be a restaurant in the loosest definition of the word. Really it is a small shack that the halfling owner Bello Fireheart uses to fry fish and potatoes. He sells these fish and chips to many of the natives returning to the city or those about to leave as a ‘taste of home.’ This simple fare nets the halfling a good amount of coin. Bello doesn’t know anything more than that the body was discovered against the back wall of his establishment.

The body of Petar Diaconsecu was discovered behind the little shack, sixteen nights ago. It is not far from a sewer grate at the edge of the road. Unluckily, the party won’t find anything more than that as Bello pours the grease, scraps, and trash from his little enterprise down the grate. It’s a filthy greasy mess.

Beggar’s Luck Street

Not far from the south gate is Beggar’s Luck Street. It is filled with well-maintained buildings and seems to be a burgeoning little street. This is the road that Dragomir Stansila was last seen walking down after his shift sixteen nights ago, the same night that Petar’s body was found.

The street has enough traffic that no clues will be found; however, there is a sewer gate nearby. The sewer gate stinks to high-heaven and party will note that is partially off its hinges. This is because after knocking the guardsman unconscious, he woke up and fought back against his kidnappers at the entrance, kicking the metal bars, before they pummeled him into submission. There is the badge of a guardsman laying in the muck that party can find on a DC 10 Intelligence (Investigation) check. If the party succeeded with a 15 on the check, they will discover a set of lockpicks covered in grease. The pouch they are contained in is made from camel hide, a beast common in Hule and Sind. A hand raised in benediction marks it as having come from the coffers of the Sanctified Land.

Radia Lighthouse

Standing above the entrance to the caves that give Slagovich access to the sea, Radia lighthouse stands as a beacon to the ships of the Savage Coast. It also serves as a daily reminder to the people of Slagovich of the importance of commerce in the region. The Radia is not just a lighthouse for trade, it serves as the home to a small cloister of priests of Ixion. They maintain the tower and conduct their services in the connected buildings.

The body of Dragomir was discovered two weeks ago along the side of the steps leading up to the lighthouse. The guardsman had been tossed from the steps when he was unceremoniously dumped. The guard has examined the area thoroughly and found no clues. The party might note that in the rather long stairs that lead to the lighthouse, there is a sewer gate. The gate looks like it rusted in place. If they investigate the entrance, they’ll discover that the gate is actually quite useable. An Intelligence (Investigation) check with a DC 15 will let the party find that the gate appears to have been recently used, with scrape marks on the walls.

West Gate

The West Gate section of the city handles many of the caravans that make their way in and out Slagovich. The buildings are better than those in the slums, but only marginally. The real wealth comes from the seaport and business conducted there. This section of the city is also home to a disproportionate number of inns and taverns that cater to foreigners.

Barrier Street

Whether the street is named after the wall along the edge of the city or the fact that the Great Wastes of Sind are not too far to the west from Slagovich is a mystery. This street is packed with narrow houses that seem to be located right on top of each other. Immediately behind the road are the stables of the Tawny Mare Inn.

Cocis House

Next to one of the houses is a small memorial of flowers and tokens. This marks the location that Marica Cocis was discovered thirteen days ago after being abducted there three nights earlier. If the account of the guard and her husband is to be believed, she was found as if trying to climb back in through the window.

An investigation of the area was conducted by the guard immediately after discovery of the body. However, they didn’t yield any results. The orcs were busy when the body was ready to be dumped, leaving the gnolls to do the work. The gnolls decided to play a ghastly prank, posing the body like it was trying to get back into the house.

There is a gate to the sewers behind the house, near the stables of the Tawny Mare. This entrance has been forced open recently and cleaned of the manure and muck that one would expect to find. There are several sets of muddy footprints leading in and out of the passage.

The family of the deceased is home. They will answer the door and basically insist that they have spoken to the guard about the murder. Ulthor, the husband, is quite insistent about allowing his family peace and may be frantic if the party presses. Ulthor is concealing the fact that his wife had stolen a great deal from the Koroni’s. One thing that they will note is that the interior of the house is very well furnished for anyone but a wealthy merchant or minor noble. This is because Marica was stealing from the Koroni family and selling bits of jewelry or pocketing coins.

Stable Street

Stable Street is the next road over from Barrier Street. The street is home to the cities common stables and the inns that provide such services to their patrons. The inns and business have a reputation for catering to the tastes of those from the Savage Coast.

The Tawny Mare Inn

The Tawny Mare is a massive 3 storied wooden building. Out front of the building is a large hitching post that the stablehands and grooms take horses of customers around back for care, shelter, and rest. The interior is a brightly lit tavern on the lower floor and quiet, well-appointed rooms upstairs. The inn has already returned to regular business, having rented the room Conrad Sandyman disappeared from a week ago. Also, they’ve cleaned the area his body was discovered two nights later. This was quite thorough, removing any evidence that might have been found.

The staff of the inn is worried that their establishment might get a reputation for being unsafe and will quickly dismiss the party’s question.

The party might look nearby the inn. On a DC 10 Wisdom (Perception) check, they will discover a rope made of camel hair with a grappling hook that has been discarded in the alleyway leading to the stables. This is definitely of Hulean manufacture.

There is a sewer gate that is described above under the Barrier Street section above.

West Wall

The walls of Slagovich are ten feet thick, and about twenty feet tall, except at the towers that dot the perimeter. The stone was quarried nearby and mudded in place over the years with some of the older walls being torn down to provide used stone for new sections. The western wall is no different than the others, and it is here that the body of Gaius Martellus was discovered three days past. The space where his body was discovered has been walked over by many booted feet.

Not far from the space is a sewer grate that leads below. The party won’t find any extra clues.

Merchant Ward

The Merchant Ward is actually nothing more than a street with an impressive title. The street is home to shops, restaurants, offices, and stores that cater to the wealthiest members of the city’s population. The shops all have glass windows with bars that showcase and protect their wares. Small patches of landscaping and lawn give this street a peaceful air in the bustle of the city; all to help nobles and merchant spend their gold a little faster. The streets must be swept daily and the guard patrols this area often, keeping the lower classes from bothering their betters.

Precinct House

Duty in the Merchant Ward is a posh one for the city guard. Unluckily, two nights ago, this sleepy little guard house has become the dumping spot for the bodies of two young nobles. The Tarasovs were dumped on the marble steps of this small but magnificently decorated watch station. The area has been thoroughly ‘investigated’ by the guard. There is a small shrine dedicated to Halav, and another dedicated Ixion and Tarastia set up on the yard where people have left flowers and notes for the families after the murder.

If the characters spend an undue amount of time here, they’ll be approached by members of the city guard who want to know their business.

A pair of guards, bedecked in more ornate and generally more expensive versions of the town guard uniforms approach. Both have slightly overweight builds. Apparently, this duty is pretty cushy. One of them loiters back, hand on his sword, clearly trying to be intimidating while the other speaks. “What are you doing here? What business do you have here?”

The guardsmen are quite suspicious, thinking maybe that the party might be agents of the vampire. The letter that Celestyna provided them will naturally alleviate this suspicion. The PCs can talk their way out of any trouble on a DC 15 Charisma (Persuasion) check, or they intimidate the guards on a DC 10 Charisma (Intimidation) check, leaving them to continue their investigation.

Not more than twenty feet from the entrance to the precinct house is an entry to the sewers. It is slightly concealed from the streets, which probably explains why the guards didn’t examine it, requiring a DC 5 Wisdom (Perception) or Intelligence (Investigation) check. If the roll is a 15, they’ll note that the sewer grate is slightly ajar.

This is a gnoll sewer sneak who is observing things to make sure that the clandestine activities aren’t discovered and the sewer connection remains unknown. The gnoll is not paying close attention and is more concerned with a carving that the gnoll has been working on, possibly allowing a perceptive and sneaky party or character to sneak up to the gate. Have any party members attempting to sneak up make a DC 10 Dexterity (Stealth) check. If successful, the gnoll doesn’t spot the character before they can get up to the cover, the gnoll realizing he’s caught will open the sewer cover and attack. This will give the party surprise on the first round of combat. If they fail, the gnoll tries to immediately flee, but a piece of his clothing is caught on the grate. He will spend the next round freeing himself and then attacking as per usual.

If the battle is joined within sight of the guard, these watch members will react bravely by retreating to ‘get help.’

After the battle, the guards will come back, bringing reinforcements from inside. These guards are pretty much built like the two encountered earlier. They loiter, talking about how they are ready to defend the city against humanoids from the sewers. Onlookers will immediately start to pool about. One of these onlookers is Nelu Dalca/Corinna Proca, an agent of Inheritor who was actually the victim of a previous murder, see the A Most Valuable Piece of Asset sidebar above. If the PCs have been involved in previous investigations, they’ll note her brilliant red eyes match those of one of the murder victims. She’ll attempt to not be obvious but is curious about the situation. She, like most of the onlookers, will start to dispel the rumors of a vampire attacking the city.

Since the party will most likely investigate the gnoll they’ll find the following:

The gnoll is wearing a suit of black studded leather that is well fit to him and carries a scimitar and knife that he was using to carve a piece of wood an effigy of the Master of Hule. This should give the party more than enough evidence to start thinking that Hule is behind the attacks. If the PCs have not discovered the map of Player’s Handout #2, one of the gnolls carries a map that seems to lay out the old sewers of Slagovich. The plan has notes about times when guards patrol past written in Hulean on the back.

As you finish your examination the gnoll, a rather portly guard, dressed as a sergeant but with more flourish than the regular guards come out of the precinct house. He’ll come over to the guards and demand an explanation. He seems to want to find out why he was disturbed and less concerned about the situation of dead gnoll on the yard. He grunts a bit, realizing the situation, whispering to the guards. After a quick discussion, he’ll turn to the party, “You’re the ones who discovered this?”

The guard sergeant is a little lordling named Georgi Saleski, party members from the city will recognize the name as one of the more successful merchant families in the town.

“Well, hmmph, I’m pleased with the success of these private investigators hired by the city at the behest of the Saleskis. You should probably consider investigating the sewers further while we secure the area.”

Georgi will insist that the PCs take a reward, a pouch of gold coins, for their services as a bonus. It is apparent that the Saleski is trying to make it appear his family is involved in solving the attacks. He’ll insist that the onlookers depart so that the scene can be secured. He will ask that the party leave the area, either into the sewers or to disperse with the crowd so that the guard can clean up the mess.

The pouch from Georgi contains 25 gp.

The party earns experience for the gnoll and a minor milestone. 50 xp per party member.

[Sidebar: Precinct House Environmental Elements]

The alleyway contains several elements that might help the players describe their characters’ actions. The well-manicured lawn and swept streets of the ward don’t leave a lot of exciting loose environmental elements in the area. There are the steps and railing that lead up to the precinct house, the manhole cover, and the manhole itself.

[Sidebar: Scaling the Precinct House]

Scaling the Precinct House encounter is a relatively straightforward affair. The first option is to allow the gnoll to make a regular perception check to note any party members who sneak toward them. Adding an additional Gnoll Sewer Sneak is an excellent way to increase this encounter’s difficulty. Assuming the gnoll has coated their weapon in poison is a unique way to add a bit of variable amount of danger to the battle. Certain poisons like Carrion Crawler Mucus or Drow Poison are especially thematic since they disable the victim, making kidnapping much easier.

[Sidebar: Steel Seed: The Saleskis]

The party might have their first run-in with the politics of Slagovich with their encounter with Georgi Saleski. The Saleskis are landowners in the city and the surrounding farmlands, accounting for a significant amount of the food that is produced locally. The party could embarrass him, take his money and agree, or question a bit but play along. All three of these actions have pros and cons that might be important later in the campaign.

If they choose to embarrass him publicly by loudly proclaiming that they are working for the Church of Halav, they’ll make a powerful enemy. The crowd will laugh, but the scion of the house will quickly cover his words with that the Saleski family is a patron of the church.

If they choose to take his money and agree, he won’t be angry, but the Saleskis and their agents aren’t liked by everyone. This includes the Tarasovs, another powerful family in Slagovich. The Saleskis are also known for their abuses of the legal system, having had their ‘lessers’ evicted from properties, disenfranchised, or fined into nothingness.

The final option for the PCs is to question a bit, maybe quietly tell him that they are not working for him. He’ll take this as a hint not to press further, thinking they might be completely ignorant about the politics of the small nation-state.

The Tombs

The characters may want to examine some of the bodies of the murder victims. The priestess will attempt to dissuade this since the dead of Slagovich are interred in above ground mausoleums called oven vaults. These brick tombs or crypts are sealed with the deceased within. Since they sit fully exposed to the sun day in and day out, they quickly reach a high temperature, effectively slowly cooking the body within until it breaks down. After this grisly process is complete, the remains are returned to the family, friends, or just buried in an urn. Considering that most of the bodies have been in the vaults for at least a week, the corpses might be rather ghastly.

Chapter Three: A Bloody Axe

The characters may decide to return to the scene of the most recent crime on Axe Street. The alleyway doesn’t yield any immediate clues to the party. However, not far down the street is an entrance gate to the sewers beneath Slagovich. On a successful Intelligence (Investigation) or Wisdom (Perception) check DC 15, they will note that several of the boards have been pried loose from the rickety construction of the Gentle Emporium.

At the same time, there are two shops in the immediate area of the alley and gate: the Gentle Emporium and the Brewman’s Bower. During the day, the party will be able to enter these two stores that cater to the lower social rungs of the city.

If the party investigates during the day, use the Brewman’s Bower and Gentle Emporium sections below. If the party decides to stake out the area, use the Breaking Up Breaking and Entering section instead.

The Brewman’s Bower

The whole building looks to be in a state of reconstruction or renovation. The sign out front has been repainted with a smock and tankard. The exterior walls have a few new boards along their flanks, and the door looks to have been freshly replaced. The roof is made of a copper that has tarnished a bit in the humid air, turning black and green, though places look to have been freshly polished out. There are a few frames in front of the shop, possibly for some additional construction.

Upon entering the shop, the party will discover that the halfling owner, Yarseath Broadbrew, has been reasonably successful over the last couple of years, specializing in clothing and equipment for tavern workers, brewers, winemakers, and distillers.

The interior of the store looks to be the reason for all the new construction outside. The racks are lined with clothing of all sorts for people in the trade of selling or making libations. There are also shelves with various tools and devices to help people brew beers, distill spirits, and craft wines. There is the faint waft of pipe smoke mixed in with the smell of new leather, fine wood, and cloth.

Across the store, sitting on the counter is a rather stout halfling with thinning brown hair. He looks at the group and gives a smile with his pipe between his teeth. Gracefully, for his size, he hops off his perch and walks up with a wave. “Friends, I’m Yarseath Broadbrew. You new to tavern work? Or new to Slagovich?” He says with a bit of an Espan accent.

If the party looks over the contents of the store, they’ll find everything from tavern wenches’ clothing to leather aprons for protection while distilling to a host of pieces used to fit hoses and barrels during the processes. There are also collections of well-made glasses, cups, and tankards. Oddly, some of the clothing and leather work is astonishingly well made.

The halfling is quite chatty, asking as many questions as the PCs ask. Mainly, he is concerned about tavern keeping, winemaking, distilling spirits, and naturally, his passion for brewing.

If questioned about his background or the shop, he’ll explain that he worked as a brewer for forty years and realized that there was an untapped industry out there. No one seemed to cater to the specific needs of those sorts, so here he is. He was from one of the Baronies and moved to Slagovich four years back. Since then, well, “you can see the trade has been good for me and the city.”

If they question him about the night of the attack on Celestyna, his response is one of disappointment:

He’ll shrug his shoulders and frown a bit, “No, friends, I’m sorry. I mean, I heard about it when the guard came by after the attack to ask me the same.” He pauses to take a puff off his pipe, “I’m a bit of a heavy sleeper after I have had a few and the Dragon has a new bottle of rum. So, I was passed out upstairs. Guess I was lucky enough to have not been getting home when that all happened.”

If the party explains they were the ones who saved the cleric, he’ll nod, smile and be genuinely impressed.

“Well, that’s good, my thanks for helping keep the streets around my house safe…” He laughs a bit, “Hel’s garters, I’m surprised you didn’t hear me snoring upstairs.”

He’s not overly suspicious and is more than happy to answer any questions the party puts to him. He doesn’t know too much other than rumors and the like which he hears from his customers from the taverns.

Once the halfling senses the party is done with the questioning, he’ll motion to wave them out with a smile, pause and then quickly invite them back over:

As you’re about to leave, the halfling takes a puff of his pipe then his eyes seem to narrow and immediately waves you back over. “Wait, wait… now thinking back, I do remember a strange thing about a week ago. A man and, maybe a gnoll, though it might have been the ugliest lupin I’ve ever seen came into the place. They looked around like they were in the wrong place. I got a bit suspicious after they asked if I was from Hule. They talked amongst themselves in that language for a bit, made up some excuse, and showed themselves out. I swear to Terra I hadn’t been drinking that day and was as civil as I am now. I think they went over to the Gentle Emporium after. That be helpful to you?”

That’s really the only information that he has.

[Sidebar: Steel Seed: Brewer’s Bower & Yarseath Broadbrew]

The halfling proprietor of the Bower is surprisingly well connected throughout the city. If tavern workers overhear anything, it’s likely that the halfling has heard it too. This is especially true of the girls who work at the dock pubs and taverns, though it extends into even into the higher-class establishments. Yarseath is a master tailor and leatherworker who can fashion outfits that are very fashionable and show enough skin to help increase tips. So, quite often, successful tavern workers shop here. He has also made a large number of clothes for the ‘working’ girls and guys of Slagovich but doesn’t confess to it initially. Yarseath is also more than willing to create leather or cloth armor for the adventures, especially if they strike up a friendly relationship with the halfling.

In truth, Yarseath is a good brewer but a far better tailor and leatherworker with an ear to the rumor mill of Slagovich. He could make a valuable source of information for the party while they are in the city.

The Gentle Emporium

The Gentle Emporium is not in the best of shape from the exterior. There are gaps in the walls that one could peer through in the right light. The wood is treated just well enough to keep it from rotting away and clearly, the place requires some repair. There is a sign out front that shows it to be a general store with the name carved out below. The roof is made from brickwork that is slowly crumbling away, showing off the apparent low regard the owner has for the property.

The store is owned by Antonio Vasilescu who doesn’t share his halfling neighbor’s success. He sells a variety of wares, mostly for Hulean transplants to the city. He does his best to keep in relatively cheap items, sometimes this is done by buying used items and others by merely purchasing the most inexpensive goods available.

Just to add insult to the injury of the appearance of the place, the thin door sticks as you open it to go inside. The smell of incense trying to hold back the scent of mold and age immediately accosts you as you enter the dark shop. No windows help to push back the dark, leaving only a pair of lamps one in the front and one at the back of the store to dispel any questions about the merchandise.
Across the shop, a swarthy man looks up at the party and smiles at the group. He is dressed in the standard attire of a Slagovich commoner, just Hulean in complexion. In slightly accented Slag, “Hello, welcome to the Emporium, something I can help you find?”

The party may have suspicions about Hule by this point. A Wisdom (Insight) check DC 10 will note that the man is clearly uneasy. The party could be trouble for him. He eyes them a bit suspiciously as they come into the store.

Asking him questions about the night of the attack on Celestyna, he’ll reply quickly,

“I was sleeping upstairs and heard nothing.”

If questioned about his identity, the man will quickly reply:

The man smiles again, “Antonio Vasilescu, from here in Slagovich,” he says in accented Slag.

Another Wisdom (Insight) check or just PCs with common sense will recognize that this is a lie.

The party may try to get further information out by trying to Persuade or Intimidate the man, he’s close to breaking, only requiring a DC 10 check. Showing him the letter from Celestyna will net the same results. He’ll break and immediately spill his guts, probably oversharing:

Like a dam breaking, the man starts to blather, “My name is Aatif al-Nawaz. I’m from Hule, please I just wanted to escape the clergy there. I didn’t want to be a holy man there. I’m not like the rest of them.” He pauses, probably just enough to breathe. “I came here and have sold wares from my homeland to my fellows who have also escaped. And now, now, I think that some of them are trying to kill me.”

If pressed he’ll reveal that he knows that there is a human and gnoll from Hule here in the city, recent migrants he thought, but they came here to buy a lot of familiar and cheap Hulean foods. ‘For friends,’ they had explained.

The pair were very gruff and smelled funny, like filth of the city (sewers). They paid with gold coins, something that few of his customers have, and paid in advance, something that none of his customers do.

“They are coming tonight to get more stuff, and I think they are going to kill me. Please, please! Help me. Save me, I don’t want to die, and I don’t want to go back to Hule. I’m a good follower of Ixion, now.”

The man is no longer lying and genuinely fears for his life.

This fear is rightful as the Huleans were very much going to abduct him as another vampiric murder victim. However, now the conspirators are not bothering with such niceties. They’ll settle for just murdering him in the night.

He’ll beg with the party:

“Please, please, keep me safe. They said they’ll be here tonight during the darkest hours.”

Antonio/Aatif doesn’t have any real wealth to give to the PCs for their services as guards, but the motivation to get to the bottom of the attacks should be reason enough. He doesn’t want to leave the shop as it is his only source of income and is afraid the town guard might string him up for being Hulean. Assuming the PCs stay the night at the shop, move to the ‘A Gentle Tap in the Night’ section. They can wait outside and, in that case, use the ‘Breaking Up Breaking and Entering’ section.

If the party turns him over to the guard for protection or report him for being Hulean, he’ll be taken in by the guard and disappear into the dungeons of Slagovich. They can still await the second meeting at the Gentle Emporium and start to disrupt the Hulean plans. If they wait in the shop, use the ‘A Gentle Tap in the Night’ section. If they wait outside, use the ‘Breaking Up Breaking and Entering’ section.

The party might find some allies willing to shelter Aatif, and that is the Temple of Halav or by the Temple of Ixion at the Radia. Celestyna will accept the PCs decision if they have him stay at the temple. The Temple of Ixion will allow one of their faithful, Aatif, to remain in the safety of the temple for a couple nights for a small donation of 10 gp per night. Aatif doesn’t have the means to pay for this so the PCs will have to pay for his protection.

If the party leaves Aatif to his fate, his fears are realized. The proprietor is found dead the next morning in a gruesome manner. He was brutally tortured before his head was cut off. If the PCs were snooping around the area or asked Yarseath Broadbrew, they’ll be questioned by the guards. The guards will not have any reason to disbelieve the PCs, so they’ll get let go. (This assumes the PCs didn’t kill Aatif and torture him.)

If the party learns Aatif’s story, they earn a minor milestone.

25 xp per party member.

A Gentle Tap in the Night

If the party chooses to stay inside the shop, three gnoll sewer sneaks will come in the night.

If Aatif is with the party, he will stay in the bedroom of the upstairs apartment. During their investigation of the exterior, they may have discovered the loose boards on the wall of the shop and boarded them up. If they did not, the gnolls will try to sneak through the boards and gain entrance to the shop. If the party blocked that route of attack, the attacking gnolls will try to burst through the front door. If that way is barred, the gnolls will give up and retreat into the darkness and then the sewers.

Assuming the attackers do get into the shop, the gnolls will move together, concentrating their attacks on a single foe to quickly bring them down. The gnolls will use their size and strength to push the shelves or racks at the PCs to disrupt their lines and move to attack weaker targets or spellcasters. Their sudden rush action should be used to rapidly move around or through the party’s lines to flank or surround a party member. Gnolls will fight to the death and expect no mercy from the party.

[Image: Hule shop 1]

[Image: Hule shop 2]

Key to the Gentle Emporium

E1 Storefront

The sometimes stuck door leads into this dark room. Here a pair of lamps on the front and back wall provide all of the available illumination over a variety of clothes racks, shelves, and counters that are filled with all sorts of Hulean goods. The scent of burning oil, age, and mold all seem to blend together to before they come to your nose. Behind the main counter of the small room is a wooden chair.

E2 Storage and Stairs

Leading from the main room of the shop is a door that leads into a small area that is home to a few items, some barrels, and crates. Another small oil lamp on the wall illuminates the area. There are a set of stairs that lead up to the second story of the build.

E3 Stairs and Kitchen

This small room is lit by another oil lamp. It is also home to a dining table with remnants of a meal or perhaps the start of meager meal already laid out. There is a small stove tucked in the corner flanked by a shelf that holds a few cooking utensils, pots, and some ingredients.

E4 Bedroom

This room is a bit larger than the kitchen and is home to the shopkeeper’s bed. There is a door in the other wall. A single dresser with a few bottles on top of it sits next to the bed. A lone oil lamp shines in the room.

E5 Living Room

This is the only room in the whole building with a window. It’s only ten feet deep and twenty across but it is home to a bookshelf with a couple of books on it, a writing desk and chair that are pushed up under the window, and a rocking chair. The room is also adorned with a tattered rug on the floor to ward off some of the cold.

[Sidebar: Gentle Emporium Environmental Elements]

The store and house above are full of environmental elements that can help the players describe their actions.

Storefront Environmental Elements

The store area includes the main and interior doors, two lamps, several shelves, a large counter, two large racks of clothing, and a chair behind the counter. Additionally, the shelves are stacked with various things like bags of food stuffs, cheap knick-knacks, a few pieces of leather, and similar small merchandise.

Storage and Stairs Environmental Elements

The backroom is home to some rope that was used to secure any number of boxes. It also contains packages, crates, boxes, an oil lamp, the stairs going up, and some additional or replacement stock for the store.

Stairs and Kitchen Environmental Elements

The kitchen area features the stairs going down and a door leading deeper in the building. The room has a table with a partial meal on it, an oil lamp, a shelf with pots and pans, some cooking knives, and other utensils. There is also a stove in the corner.

Bedroom Environmental Elements

The bedroom of the store/house has a door at each side, one leading to the kitchen, the other leading to the small living room. It has a bed with a blanket and pillow on it, dresser full of clothes, and a single oil lamp.

Living Room Environmental Elements

The living room has a door that leads back into the bedroom. There is also a window looking out over the street below, complete with shutters. There is a bookshelf with a rocking chair opposite. Under the window is a small chair and desk with a few papers, some ink, and a pen on it.

Breaking Up Breaking and Entering

If the party decided to wait outside or only approaches during the night, the trio of gnoll sewer sneaks will attempt to sneak through the alleyway and go up to a loose group of boards on the wall of the shop. If so, one of the gnolls will work as a lookout while the other gnolls open the hole to sneak through. Use the passive perception scores of the gnolls to determine if the gnolls can detect any party members sneaking up. Aatif, if still at the store, will wait in his bedroom for his fate. The party can fight the gnolls in the street or chase them into the store.

In both encounters, the gnolls will abandon any attempt at overcoming the PCs to attack Aatif.

If the party runs into significant difficulty with the gnolls, a random patrol of city guards can be used to rescue them. Aatif is relatively worthless in combat but can serve as a distraction while the gnolls focus their attacks on him.

Each of the gnolls is wearing a suit of black studded leather and carries a scimitar and a dagger. If the PCs have not discovered the map of Player’s Handout #2, one of the gnolls carries a map that seems to lay out the old sewers of Slagovich. The plan has notes about times when guards patrol past written in Hulean on the back.

Aatif will thank the characters for saving him. The man has little to give beyond his gratitude. After this near fatal encounter, Aatif will finally decide to flee Slagovich. The merchant will be heading somewhere further away from the reach of Hule.

The DM can use the alley map and environmental elements again for Breaking Up Breaking and Entering encounter.

Scaling Up the Encounters

Scaling up both a Gentle Tap in the Night or Breaking Up Breaking and Enter can be done at the same time. Exchanging one of the gnolls for a gnoll pack lord adds a bit more damage to the monsters in this encounter for a second level party. A DM may also add additional Sewer Sneaks or perhaps some Orc Kidnappers to make the battle more difficult.

Since the Huleans have scoped the place out, sending a second team of Sewer Sneak Gnolls to scale the back of the building and attack through the windows can spread the party out, forcing them to fight on two fronts without adding too much many extra bodies to the encounter. If Aatif is with the group and hiding upstairs, he’ll run downstairs to avoid these attackers adding even more confusion to the fray.

600 xp for each party member and a major milestone.

Chapter Four: Into the Dark

The PCs may have gained a level in the events of the previous chapters. Unless they have immediately headed straight to the sewers, they have most likely earned a significant portion of the experience necessary to adventure toward second level. Considering the fast pacing for some of the events in this adventure, it is recommended that the training rules for downtime not be used for characters advancing for level 1 to level 2, if the party earns enough experience for additional advancement then the DM should feel free to use their preference for training. The encounters in the sewers are still scaled for a first level party but still pose a challenge to a second level party. Upon entering the sewer system for the first time read or paraphrase the following description:

The sewers of Slagovich are just as disgusting as you thought they might be. There are the usual filth and general nastiness that one would expect for a city this size all dripping, oozing, flowing, or coagulating in these passages. The sound of dripping and moving water is sometimes interrupted by the noises from above. There is a general cool dampness to the air that is anything but pleasant that bears an unpleasant tang. The smell can only be described as incredible. Unluckily, it is not incredible in a good way at all. Breathing in through your nose is more like walking into a wall with every breath. Small things like worms, rats, and insects of all sorts skitter, crawl or ooze across the ground. All you can hope is that they are not searching for their next meal in the mess.

The passages are made from old stone, it was probably once gray but has long since weathered into a fairly hideous brown color that varies with patches of moss, mold, liquid, and other wastes from the city above. There is a foot and a half of stone on each side of the passage with a two-foot wide ditch in the middle that collects the bulk of the foulness. Figuring out the depth of that little cut is a bit more difficult, as the water is too murky to peer through. The ceilings range from seven to eight feet, and the corridors are usually just five feet across. There is a little bit of ambient light that leaks in through grates, gates, and manholes above but not enough to see by. If they’re going to explore the sewers, the party will definitely want to bring a torch or twelve.

Sewer Random Encounters

Besides the encounters noted in the rooms below, the sewers are home to a variety of dangers and inhabitants. The DM should feel free to roll on the table below, choose one of these, or add their own encounters to give the party additional experience points or treasure as needed:

Roll Encounter

1 1 Homeless Afflicted

2 2 Thugs

3 6 Rats

4 1 Ghoul

5 3 Giant Leeches

6 1 Mud Mephit

7 8 Giant Rats

8 Corpse infested with a swarm of rot grubs

9 2 Giant Centipedes

10 1 Gnoll Sewer Sneak

11 2 Orc Kidnappers

12 1 Carrion Crawler

Moving through the sewers is a test for anyone with less than a strong stomach between the stench, sights, and things living down here. The DM should feel to speed up or slow down this process, allowing the party to work through the maze with as much or little difficulty as they see fit. The sewers can be mapped out in a single game session or just an hour or two.

[Image: Sewers Players map]

[Image: Sewers DM map]

Key to the Slagovich Sewers

The following is a list of the encounters on the Slagovich Sewers map.

S1 Entrance

Entering the sewers is everything you expected it to be. Except for the stink, which is even worse than what you dreamed up. The passage opens up away from you deeper in the sewers, hopefully the sewers are better laid out than the city above.

S2 Trapped Room

The passage opens up in this room and branching out in different directions with many passages to choose from.
As the party moves across this room, they’ll have a chance to notice a tripwire across the floor in the muck.

Poisoned Crossbow Trap

This trap consists of a tripwire strung across the and connected to a pair of hidden heavy crossbows. The crossbows are aimed to hit the center of the room, basically fire in front and behind the tripwire, striking anyone who disturbs the tripwire and anyone immediately behind them.

Trigger. A creature that walks through the tripwire triggers the trap.

Effect. The trap makes two attacks against the triggering creature. Each attack has a +8 attack bonus and deals 5 (1d10) piercing damage on a hit. This attack can’t gain advantage or disadvantage.

Anyone hit by the bolts must make a DC 10 Constitution saving throw. On a failed save, the creature takes 7 (2d6) poison damage and is poisoned for 10 minutes. On a successful save, the creature takes half as much damage and isn’t poisoned.

Countermeasures. A successful DC 15 Wisdom (Perception) check reveals the tripwire. A successful DC 15 Dexterity check using thieves’ tools disables the tripwire, and a check with a total of 5 or lower triggers the trap.

S3 Guard Room

When approaching this room, the party can make Wisdom (Perception) checks, if successful at DC 10, they’ll overhear laughter in front of them and make out a little bit of light.

You enter the room and see a pair of yellowish furred, dog-headed humanoids sitting on chairs that look like they were fashioned out collected trash. These gnolls don’t know the party, don’t care to get to know them, and immediately reach for the crossbows they have sitting in their laps.

These gnolls are guards for the conspirators, they just aren’t doing a good job of it. When the party searches their corpses, they’ll find the following:

• leather armor

• shortsword

The gnolls have a few coins in their purses totaling 7 gold, 4 silver, and 6 copper coins between the two.

S4 Trapdoor Room

The passage seems to slope down for a bit before you realize that it has opened up into a larger room again. What strikes you as strange is that muck and filth here seem to be pushed to one side of the room. This leaves the center of the room still flooded by whatever liquid makes up the sewage.

If the party investigates the room they’ll need to make a DC 10 Wisdom (Perception) or Intelligence (Investigation) check to notice a trapdoor in the floor. This trapdoor is locked. A creature proficient in thieves’ tools can pick this lock with a DC 15 Dexterity check. If successful, they discovered a way into the caverns through the entrance that leads them to C1.

S5 Abandoned Afflicted Colony

You enter a room as the passage opens that looks like it was used as a makeshift home for several people. There is a simple fire pit and a few sleeping mats that are elevated out of the water. There is a collection broken pottery and spoiled food near the firepit. Finally, on second glance, you notice a body. The corpse appears to be a red colored male human with scales, claws, and bony spurs protruding from his partially decomposed body. He was wearing tattered clothes. This might have been somewhere that Afflicted stayed, keeping out of sight of the city above. There doesn’t appear to be anything of value.

This area was used by a small enclave of Afflicted until the Huleans moved in. The gnolls and orcs attacked these poor souls, killing the one whose body the PCs discovered. If the PCs search the area, a DC 15 Intelligence (Investigation) check will allow them discover a single book of poetry that might be worth a gold coin since it has been dried after being soaked in water.

S6 Leech Breeding Pit

You notice that the water in this room seems to move a bit more than liquid in the other rooms. It’s with more than a bit of disgust that you notice that it is because there are things moving in the putrid fluid. Looking down, you see that the creatures are leeches, swimming to and fro. Across the room, two rather large leeches slither and swim in the gooey sewer water.

There are two giant leeches and a leech swarm in this room. They’ll attack the PCs instinctually but are too slow to give effective chase.

This room is empty besides the writhing mass of leeches and the party will be hard pressed to clean out the leeches before another swarm moves toward the target.

[Sidebar: Scaling the Sewers]

The Sewers

Creeping around the sewers and other such disgusting places is a good way for someone to get sick. One method of scaling the adventure for a higher level party is to have them be exposed to a disease after being injured.


If wounded by a piercing or slashing attack while in the sewers, a character must succeed on a DC 10 Constitution saving throw or contract a disease. Until the disease is cured, the target can’t regain hit points except by magical means, and the target’s hit point maximum decreases by 3 (1d6) every 24 hours. If the target’s hit point maximum drops to 0 as a result of this disease, the target dies.

Guard Room

Additional gnolls can be added to this encounter to provide a quick way to increase the challenge for a larger or tougher party. Another way to increase the difficulty is to swap the gnoll sewer sneaks out with gnoll flesh gnawers. These gnolls hit harder than the sewer sneaks. Increasing the difficulty of the guard room can also be done by adding a gnoll pack lord.

Leech Breeding Pit

An additional giant leech or swarm can be enough of an adjustment for a party one member larger or with a little more power than a starting group. A couple of hungry leeches can replace the giant leeches or be added to the mix for an even more experienced group.

[Sidebar: Sewer Environmental Elements]

The sewers are an awful place. There is muck, liquid, refuse and garbage everywhere. The following gives some suggested elements for the encounters listed above.

S3 Guardroom Environmental Elements

This room is like much of the sewers with enough filthy solids floating in a vile liquid, complete with other trash that is scattered about. The slippery floor under the muck might be enough to put the gnolls on poor footing. Here however, the characters have a couple more options, literally the two chairs made out of salvaged trash.

S6 Leech Breeding Pit Environmental Elements

This room is full of a noxious liquid that is full of moving leeches. There is an ample scattering of trash, slippery floors, and more than enough garbage to rebuild the city out of scrap.

[Sidebar: Steel Seed: The Sewers of Slagovich]

The maps in this adventure are not at all inclusive of any significant fraction of the city’s sewers and the maze of other tunnels that riddle the area. The DM should feel free to add more passages and rooms to the structure or craft entirely new paths for exploration. The party could easily earn a large amount of coin by cleaning out the tunnels of threats of all sorts. They would be compensated fairly handsomely for the otherwise disgusting work.

The sewers have been built, torn out, replaced, and changed over the last five hundred years to accommodate the growth of the city. This means that there are no comprehensive maps of the underground region. This is something that city would like to correct. Additionally, there are caverns of all shapes and sizes deeper down and the city government would pay handsomely for maps and notes on those subterranean spaces.

Chapter Five: What Lies Beneath

Upon entering the caverns from the sewers, the party should be rewarded with a major milestone and a long rest. Though the caverns are labyrinthian and would take decades to map and explore completely, the party will be just exploring three rooms, including the passage and two rooms that were hewn into the stone by ancient Nithians.

The caverns were carved by the crashing of waves over thousands of years. It shows that no sane hand, though perhaps an insane one, would carve these passages. The scent of the sewers is washed away by a new smell, the scent of stone and sea. In fact, the crash of the sea below is barely audible in the meandering passages.

C1 Passage

Choosing the right path is easy, as the various humanoids have left an almost marked trail of blood, tracks in the dust, and even a few scraps of clothing. Various passage splinter off to go into unknown reaches but there is a clear path that seems to lead to the root of the murders in Slagovich.

If the party stays the course, they’ll eventually work their way down a couple miles of caverns that slope up and then down, lead off in every direction. Eventually the passages twist back on themselves into a single route. This route leads them to the Hulean’s base of operations. As they approach the entry to the headquarters, they’ll start to overhear voices echoing down the stone walls. These noises soon carry the sound of Hulean words interspersed with laughter.

The party can attempt to sneak up to the doorway of the headquarters, which is in fact a doorway that was carved into the stone and sealed with a stout wooden door hundreds of years ago. The party will need to roll a Dexterity (Stealth) check of at least 10 to remain undetected.

You’ve walked for what seems like a league under Slagovich when finally, at the limit of your vision, you can make out the faint outline of a rectangular shaped door. The door seems to be warped a bit maybe from the sea air or the passage of time but the frame around it is clearly shaped by something other than hand of nature.

The door is not locked or barred.

C2 Hulean Headquarters

When you’re past the door, you can see into a rather large cavern that is partially worked and shaped with right angles and stairs. The workings of a makeshift camp or living quarters have been set up here. There are straw sleeping mats, some with real pillows and blankets strewn about. There is a firepit and a few bags of flour, packages of meat, wheels of cheese, and even some vegetables near it. At the far side of the room is another doorway that is carved from the stone and far more ornate than the one you just entered. Of course, between yourselves and that other door are a couple of small groups of orcs and gnolls wearing black who were enjoying the peaceful camp life. Unfortunately, those humanoids will not be inviting you to simply pass by.

If the party has been relatively quiet, they’ll most likely have surprise during the first round of combat. After that the fight might degenerate into a simple slogging match between the orcs and gnolls and the adventurers. The party will need to use their heads to get by this group and end the threat to Slagovich.

There are 2 orc kidnappers, 2 gnoll flesh gnawers, and 2 gnoll sewer sneaks present.

On the fourth round of combat, the gnoll cleric of Ranivorus will come join the fray from the far room. Adding his abilities to the party’s foes.

Once the combat has been resolved, the party will have a chance to look around for treasure, tend their wounds, and press forward.

C3 What Shouldn’t Be Here

The battle to get here was challenging to say the least and the reward when you open the door doesn’t seem to be quite what you expected. The room in front of you is beautiful. Lovely symbols or pictures adorn the walls. Whether they are a language or just decoration you have no idea. Some are painted over, with symbols to some fell god or another. In the center of the room are a pair of large stone tables that look to have been made for either sacrifices or perhaps to do research. Across the room appears to be an archway that was caved in, sealing off whatever lay behind under a mountain of stone. Investigating this will have to wait, because standing in the room is a lone balding human with a mace in hand. He snarls, screaming that he will slay the infidels as he attacks in a blind rage.

This is actually an anticlimactic fight, the final villain being a single Acolyte who should succumb to the party’s attacks rather quickly.

Searching through the spoils of the entire headquarters takes a bit of time. The items found around the camp, beyond the possessions listed on the monster descriptions are as follows:

• 87 Copper

• 60 Silver

• 153 Gold

• Sundry supplies (50 gp)

• 1 collection of popular bard's tales (25 gp)

• 37 gallon(s) of ale (74 sp)

• 2 bottle(s) of fine wine (20 gp)

• 1 banded agate worth 10 gp

• Magic +1 flail bears the detail of a gnoll with serpent’s coming out of its mouth as the flail heads. It psychically encourages acts of malevolence.

An investigation of the room will turn up nothing tangible, the characters have never seen the writing which adorns the walls, and they find that they can’t really think about it except when they are looking directly at it, and they generally have a problem even trying to focus on it. Any attempts to copy the symbols runs into a series of unfortunate events. They’ll be able to vaguely describe it. Pens will snap, ink will smear, chalk will go powdery, and charcoal blemish across the whole of the rubbing. The more drastic steps the party takes will result in more drastic actions to keep the language from being replicated. This includes such drastic things as fingers breaking, limbs cramping, and anything else to keep the room from being ‘rediscovered’. This is the power of the Spell of Oblivion that was worked on the Nithian culture. However, in the Savage Coast, the spell wasn’t quite as effective as other places in the world. The party will leave the cavern knowing that they found something, just not remembering exactly what it was. They’ll be tempted to go back but there are few means they have at their disposal to actually work around the Spell of Oblivion.

One thing that they will remember is that there was a map of the area on the walls. On it was pictured quite clearly the famed cinnabryl mines of Slagovich.

[Sidebar: Cavern Environmental Elements]

There is a thin coating of dust around the whole of the caverns without much else.

C2 Hulean Headquarter Environmental Elements

The roughly hewn room that the Huleans are using for their base is full of environmental elements that can inspire players. There are stairs, two doorways, sleeping mats, discarded clothing, four loaded crossbows, a firepit, two unlocked strong boxes, barrels of ale, boxes, and even wheels of cheese for the party to use to keep the gnolls and orcs in their place.

C3 What Shouldn’t Be Here Environmental Elements

This room is relatively empty except for the door the party entered through, a sleeping mat of the priest and his personal supplies of some food in bags, a waterskin, and three bottles of wine. The two stone slabs might be a good place to take the high ground in the fight. Of course, the scattered debris from the collapsed archway might be useful too.

[Sidebar: Scaling the Caverns]

The battle that takes place at the end of the module is a Deadly encounter for a first level party, Dangerous for a second, and Hard for a party of third level adventurers. Adding additional gnoll sewer sneaks or orc kidnappers can add a few extra monsters without tipping the scales. The other option is to change the Acolyte in C3 with a more powerful spellcaster.

[Sidebar: Steel Seed: Expanding on the Caverns]

If a party of elves went about mapping the caverns, more than one would probably pass on from old age before the task was complete. The caverns under Slagovich are truly a DM’s paradise with plenty of twisting passages, forgotten rooms, and caves that might lead deeper still and reveal their time guarded secrets. If the party wants to venture back down into the caverns, the DM should be able to craft many exploration missions that take them underground. Are there more Nithian rooms, maybe something from the Oltecs, did the original Traladaran colonists hide things down here, maybe there is a hidden stash of smokepowder, or a pirate’s stash? That’s up to you and your players to find out.


The party will have questions, the players may have questions, and some will be answered in the next adventure, some in adventures after that. For now, they’ll have a long walk back to Slagovich through the caverns and be able to prove that the Hulean ‘vampires’ who had threatened the city have been put down. They can bask in the fruits of their labor and the hard won spoils of their adventures.

The one thing that the party might have is the picture that they found drawn by a gnoll on the map they found. How did the gnoll manage to copy it down? What exactly is going on?

Producing any sort of evidence, maps, from the flail to the heads of the Hulean cleric or the gnoll is enough proof for Celestyna. The Temple of Halav will make good on any payment the party is owed and the priestess will even put in a good word with some of the noble families and even the Margrave. Of course, the whole city turns an angry eye to the Huleans for this round of treachery.

The next adventure, “Red Ore Dead,” will take the party around the rest of the city-state, dealing with a problem with the cinnabryl mines, finding out what happened to some of the Knights of Halav, and quite possibly igniting a war along the Savage Coast and in the city. Look for it in Threshold 24 and available shortly after as a PDF. Can’t get enough of the Savage Coast? Check out the forums at and check out many of the great fan products, theories, and materials at the Vaults of Pandius at

Appendix: Monsters


Medium humanoid (human), any alignment

Armor Class 10

Hit Points 9 (2d8)

Speed 30 ft.


10 (+0) 10 (+0) 10 (+0) 10 (+0) 14 (+2) 14 (+2)

Skills Persuasion +6, Religion +2

Senses Passive Perception 12

Languages Hulean, Slag

Challenge 1/4 (50 XP)

Spellcasting. The acolyte is a 1st-level spellcaster. Its spellcasting ability is Wisdom (spell save DC 12, +4 to hit with spell attacks). The acolyte has following cleric spells prepared:

Cantrips (at will): light, sacred flame, thaumaturgy

1st level (3 slots): bane, cure wounds, sanctuary


Mace. Melee Weapon Attack: +2 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 5 (1d8) bludgeoning damage.

Gnoll Cleric of Ranivorus

Medium humanoid (gnoll), chaotic evil

Armor Class 15 (Chain Armor)

Hit Points 33 (6d8 + 9)

Speed 30 ft.


14 (+2) 14 (+2) 12 (+1) 10 (+0) 14 (+2) 10 (+0)

Skills Intimidation +2, Medicine +2, Survival +4

Senses Darkvision 60 ft., Passive Perception 12

Languages Hulean

Challenge 3 (450 XP) Spellcasting. The orc is a 4th-level spellcaster. Its spellcasting ability is Wisdom (spell save DC 12, +4 to hit with spell attacks). The gnoll has the following cleric spells prepared:

Cantrips (at will): guidance, mending, resistance, thaumaturgy

1st level (4 slots): bane, cure wounds, guiding bolt

2nd level (3 slots): aid, flame blade

Rampage. When the gnoll reduces a creature to 0 hit points with a melee attack on its turn, the gnoll can take a bonus action to move up to half its speed and make a bite attack.


Multiattack. The gnoll makes two attacks with its flail and uses its Incite Rampage if it can.

Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 5 ft., one creature. Hit: 5 (1d4 + 2) piercing damage.

Flail. Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 7 (1d8 + 2) bludgeoning damage.

Incite Rampage (Recharge 5–6). One creature the gnoll can see within 30 feet of it can use its reaction to make a melee attack if it can hear the gnoll and has the Rampage trait.

Giant Leech

Medium beast, unaligned

Armor Class 12 (natural armour)

Hit Points 27 (5d8 + 5)

Speed 15 ft., climb 15 ft., swim 15 ft.


15 (+2) 15 (+2) 12 (+1) 2 (-4) 10 (+0) 4 (-3)

Skills Stealth +6

Condition Immunities blinded

Senses blindsight 30 ft. (blind beyond this radius), passive Perception 10

Languages —

Challenge 1/4 (50 XP)

Amphibious. The leech can breathe air and water.

Fire Disruption. A leech that takes any fire damage, it must make a Constitution save, DC 20, or stop grappling.


Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 5 ft., one creature. Hit: 5 (1d4 + 2) piercing damage.

Bleed. Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 5 ft., one creature. If the leech hits with this attack, the target must make a successful DC 10 Dexterity save. If successful, the target suffers 4 (1d4+2) points of piercing damage. If the save fails, the leech attaches to the victim. While attached, the leech swarm doesn't attack. Instead, at the start of each of the leech's turns, the target loses 7 (2d4+2) hit points due to blood loss and the leech regains one hit point.

The leech swarm can detach itself by spending 5 feet of its movement. It does so after it drains 10 hit points of blood from the target or the target dies. A creature, including the target, can use its action to attempt to brush off the leeches with a DC 5 Strength check.

Hungry Leech

Medium beast, unaligned

Armor Class 10 (natural armour)

Hit Points 27 (5d8 + 5)

Speed 15 ft., climb 15 ft., swim 15 ft.


17 (+3) 13 (+1) 12 (+1) 2 (-4) 10 (+0) 4 (-3)

Skills Stealth +6

Condition Immunities blinded

Senses blindsight 30 ft. (blind beyond this radius), passive Perception 10

Languages —

Challenge 1/2 (100 XP)

Amphibious. The leech can breathe air and water.

Fire Disruption. A leech that takes any fire damage, it must make a Constitution save, DC 20, or stop grappling.


Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 5 ft., one creature. Hit: 5 (1d4 + 3) piercing damage.

Bleed. Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 5 ft., one creature. If the leech hits with this attack, the target must make a successful DC 11 Dexterity save. If successful, the target suffers 5 (1d4+3) points of piercing damage. If the save fails, the leech attaches to the victim. While attached, the leech swarm doesn't attack. Instead, at the start of each of the leech's turns, the target loses 8 (2d4+3) hit points due to blood loss and the leech regains one hit point.

The leech swarm can detach itself by spending 5 feet of its movement. It does so after it drains 10 hit points of blood from the target or the target dies. A creature, including the target, can use its action to attempt to brush off the leeches with a DC 5 Strength check.

Gnoll Sewer Sneak

Medium humanoid (gnoll), chaotic evil

Armor Class 14 (Studded Leather)

Hit Points 22 (4d8 + 4)

Speed 30 ft.


12 (+1) 14 (+2) 12 (+1) 8 (-1) 10 (+0) 8 (-1)

Saving Throws DEX +4

Skills Stealth +3

Senses Darkvision 60 ft., Passive Perception 10

Languages Hulean

Challenge 1 (200 XP)

Rampage. When the gnoll reduces a creature to 0 hit points with a melee attack on its turn, the gnoll can take a bonus action to move up to half its speed and make a bite attack.


Multiattack. The gnoll makes three attacks: one with its bite and one with its shortsword.

Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 4 (1d4 + 2) piercing damage.

Short sword. Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 5 (1d6 + 2) piercing damage.

Sneak Attack (1/Turn). The gnoll deals an extra 3 (1d6) damage when it hits a target with a weapon attack and has advantage on the attack roll, or when the target is within 5 feet of an ally of the gnoll that isn’t incapacitated and the gnoll doesn’t have disadvantage on the attack roll.

Sudden Rush. Until the end of the turn, the gnoll’s speed increases by 60 feet and it doesn’t provoke opportunity attacks.

Orc Kidnapper

Medium humanoid (orc), chaotic evil

Armor Class 13 (Hide Armor)

Hit Points 15 (2d8 + 6)

Speed 30 ft.


16 (+3) 12 (+1) 16 (+3) 7 (-2) 11 (+0) 10 (+0)

Skills Intimidation +2

Senses Darkvision 60 ft., Passive Perception 10

Languages Common, Hulean

Challenge 1/2 (100 XP)

Aggressive. As a bonus action, the orc can move up to its speed toward a hostile creature that it can see.


Greatclub. Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 9 (1d12 + 3) bludgeoning damage.

Swarm of Leeches

Medium swarm of Tiny beasts, unaligned

Armor Class 10

Hit Points 24 (7d8 - 7)

Speed 15 ft. climb 15 ft. swim 15 ft.


9 (-1) 11 (+0) 9 (-1) 2 (-4) 10 (+0) 3 (-4)

Damage Resistances Bludgeoning, Piercing, Slashing

Condition Immunities Charmed, Frightened, Grappled, Paralyzed, Petrified, Prone, Restrained, Stunned

Senses Darkvision 30 ft., Passive Perception 10

Languages --

Challenge 1/4 (50 XP)

Amphibious. The leech can breathe air and water.

Fire Disruption. A leech that takes any fire damage, it must make a Constitution save, DC 20, or stop grappling.

Senses Blindsight 10 ft., Passive Perception 8

Swarm. The swarm can occupy another creature's space and vice versa, and the swarm can move through any opening large enough for a Tiny worm. The swarm can't regain hit points or gain temporary hit points.


Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +2 to hit, reach 0 ft., one target in the swarm's space. Hit: 7 (2d6) piercing damage, or 3 (1d6) piercing damage if the swarm has half of its hit points or fewer.

Bleed. Melee Weapon Attack: +2 to hit, reach 0 ft., one target in the swarm's space. If the swarm of leeches hit with this attack, leeches will attach to the target. While attached, the leech swarm doesn't attack. Instead, at the start of each of the leech's turns, the target loses 5 (2d4) hit points due to blood loss or 3 (1d4) hit points if the swarm is below half health.

The leech swarm can detach itself by spending 5 feet of its movement. It does so after it drains 10 hit points of blood from the target or the target dies. A creature, including the target, can use its action to attempt to brush off the leeches with a DC 5 Strength check.

Unlikely Alliances

Ranivorus was furious as he paced back and forth. His taloned feet scraped against the floor of this small cave on the mortal world. Every stride he took tore at the stone beneath him. His thoughts were like a tempest, the madness stirring the storm clouds of thought. Loki, no, it was Bozdogan he called himself in Hule, had caused this mess. Loki’s infernal meddling and scheming with Hule had put his chosen gnolls into a dangerous position. The method of their creation could be found out. If the path of doing a thing could be gleaned, could its undoing be learned as well? If someone learned how to undo the gnolls, would his fate be the same? The yellow furred large gnoll yowled in frustration, his muzzle twisted with a smile.

The sun outside the cave was relentless, the light didn’t bother him per se, but he had no love of the thing. If he did not love it, most likely the mad gnoll hated it. Why was he here? Yes, yes, the summons. He had debated turning his formidable packs of gnolls on Hule, but that would serve little good without a plan to defeat Loki’s nation of sycophants. It might also bring about an even deeper fracture inside the Sphere of Entropy. Oh, mother Hel, or was it Nyx? He shook his head. Yes, one of the mothers of the Sphere and Father Thanatos would be angry if he warred openly against Loki like, wait, wait, no Bozdogan, that. He had even asked Thanatos to mediate the problem, but the great Hierarch had only laughed and dismissed him away.

The sun outside is getting brighter, I hate the sun. Yeenoghu, or was he Ranivorus, grew more impatient. He was not wrong though, the sun had become brighter, and any but an immortal would have gone blind. A few instants longer and the fiend noted that the sun grew so intense that a mortal standing nearby would have their eyes boil and run down their cheeks with the fat burned within. WAIT!

Suddenly standing in front of the fifteen foot tall gnoll was a man with golden skin and eyes that flamed with the fury of the sun. At his waist was bound a sword that was licked with a corona of the sun itself. The Hierarch of Energy looked at the fiendish gnoll with contempt but stayed his hand and his words.

Ranivorus moved his hand to the hilt of his flail and girded himself to attack the Hierarch of Energy. He cackled madly and prepared to give up this manifestation form with a furious fight. Die well, I will, he thought just before Ixion held his hands outward and open, trying to appear as unthreatening as possible. The fiery being spoke a moment later, his words echoing the same contempt that he showed through his eyes.

“Be still, pup. If I had to destroy this form of yours, I would have already burned you with the fury of the sun,” the creature of energy spat at him.

“Why have you asked me here Ixion if not to do battle?” Why indeed, a most curious question. Was this one of Loki’s tricks? Perhaps Nyx had taken the night off and let Ixion have the dark places of the world too. The thoughts boiled up again, but Yeenoghu tried to stay as focused and coherent as he could, trying not to lose the matter at hand.

“No, my fellow, since we’ve dispensed with required animosities of our spheres, shall we get to the matter at hand?” The question was rhetorical and if Ixion had waited the Immortal Patron of the Gnolls would’ve barked an affirmative, “I’ve become aware of a certain situation under Slagovich, as have you, I suppose?”

“Yes, I know of such a place. I know what is in that place. I...” the gnoll-lord was cut off by the hiss of Ixion’s voice.

“No, you do not. That place, like others in that wretched red land, escaped our notice. We should’ve burned it. But it escaped our notice.” The fiery eyes stared at the gnoll. “And your children are at risk of being destroyed by it.”

“Yes.” The gnoll didn’t add anything else, not for respect of the Hierarch of Energy but just because the other Immortal would cut him off. He would find a way to get back at the disrespect, but open conflict would leave him banished from Mystara to form a new manifestation.

“Then you understand that this cavern contained a Nithian outpost, and that outpost might perhaps be the place where the gnolls were created?” The energetic being toned down his brilliance, trying to be less menacing, displaying that he could be friends for a time with the loathsome Immortal of Madness.

“Yes.” Another single word answer.

“Then, our goals align for a time. And on this rare occasion, I would like to propose a truce between us to deal with the threat.” The words being spoken felt like poison being drunk by Ixion. Hearing them was just as painful for Ranivorus, standing there. It looked for a moment that the gnoll had been punched in the face.

“To what end?”

“The destruction of the cavern that holds so much threat to both of us and the rest who do not even know it yet.”

Yeenoghu nodded, “Yes. For a time it will be.” Yes, for a time, he would do what he needed to preserve his children.

Shadows of Vengeance

Far from that clandestine meeting and not long after the Princess of Darkness walked down the concourse of Pandius. She wore the swaths of inky blackness around her form like a gown that seemed to flow on its own. A radiant elemental moved aside as she strode past, besides respect for the Queen of Night, it knew that even here Nyx could utter a word and plunge him into a realm of perfect darkness. What disconcerted the being more was that Nyx was grinning, her fangs twisted in a smile. Her smile would probably end poorly for something.

Nyx’s meeting with Tarastia had gone well, she had spoken with the Judge about certain things on Mystara, precisely the matter of things surrounding a strange occurrence called the Red Curse and especially how justice had been so twisted by Ixion’s actions. How could one punish so many innocents, so cruelly in the act of “justice?” These things might seem trivial in the eyes of most Immortals, but not trivial to the Princess of Darkness or Patroness of Justice and Revenge. The Patroness of Darkness noted the energy being that had made way for her; she acknowledged its presence with a nod before continuing her return to the portal to her own domain. Tarastia had been at first unsure at the appearance and news that Nyx had brought her, but the Hierarch of Entropy was no stranger to persuasion, and she had many months to prepare. In the end, the patroness of revenge was called to action by a much more personal story. All she had to do was show Tarastia one of her children, a woman who had been turned vampire, one who had crusaded for Ixion and was abandoned by the Sun Lord and his paladins in the darkest places of Mystara.

A Dog’s Eye View

The jackal-headed humanoid shifted in his library; an odd sensation swept over him. It was like a time long past, when Nithia had been strong. This wasn’t as strong but the feeling was the same, somewhere, someone had taken an interest in the ways he had helped build. Was it Thothia? He wondered, expanding his senses. It was not Thothia or his favored Lupins, yet it was near many of them. The lands of the Savage Coast, a most curious thing. He would wait and see what became of this. Nithia had been scoured from the lands for a reason, if he had hoped there might have been redemption. He focused his senses on the world within the world and the Nithians there, living in Ka’s museum of time.

Yes, he would have to keep a close eye on things in this Savage Coast. There was much risk but the possibility of much reward. How magic could leap forward if the world could see just a little bit of the old powers.