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The Savage Tide Adventure Path - [Dungeon Magazine Spoilers!]
When your player characters defeat the Wormgod Kyuss at the pulse-pounding conclusion of the Age of Worms Adventure Path in this very issue, they will have rescued the world itself from an unspeakable danger. They end the campaign as sovereigns of their own nation, inheriting the problems of a kingdom beset on all sides by political and military challenges. From their posh palace chambers in Alhaster they'll look out with a mixture of pride and melancholy at the waters of the Lake of Unknown Depths, remembering the simplicity of their humble beginnings. Chances are strong your players will be looking for new challenges too.
In four short months DUNGEON comes to the rescue with the Savage Tide Adventure Path, a 12-installment campaign designed to take characters from the heady days of first level all the way to the responsibilities of level 20. Running every month from issue #139 to the milestone DUNGEON #150, the Savage Tide takes players on an ocean voyage that begins in the fecund southern jungles and leads deep into the heart of the treacherous Lower Planes.
The action begins in the port city of Sasserine, where canny merchant princes exploit the natural wonder of a vast jungle at the very edge of civilization. There, the PCs find themselves in the employ of Lavinia Vanderborn, a young noble who has just inherited her family estate and colonial holdings after the tragic death of her parents. Her younger brother, Vanthus, has fallen in with a bad crowd, and after stealing an unusual black pearl from the trove of a pirate stronghold, he flees to the family's holdings on a distant tropical island - the Isle of Dread. Following Vanthus across the uncharted southern seas leads the PCs to the dinosaur-ridden island, where they discover that similar strange pearls have been placed in cities throughout the world. When the order is given, these pearls will discharge a massive burst of dehumanizing energy - the Savage Tide - that will turn ordinary citizens into cannibalistic savages.
Exploration of the treacherous Isle of Dread and the mysterious plateau at its center represent a major portion of the campaign, but the PCs will have little time to grow complacent, as pirates and the treacherous Vanthus harry the Vanderboren colony. An attempt to stop the pirates leads to Scuttlecove, a scurvy town of buccaneers, yuan-ti, and worse. The PCs thwart the menace of the pirate fleet, only to discover that Vanthus has kidnapped his sister and taken her to the Abyssal realm of his patron, Demogorgon, Prince of Demons and architect of the Savage Tide. By unleashing waves of madness and rage throughout the Material Plane, Demogorgon hopes to reconcile the feuding personalities of his two heads and increase his standing in the Great Wheel. To defeat the most powerful of demon princes, the PCs must negotiate a planar conspiracy aimed at weakening him in his own lair and destroying him once and for all.
An all-star array of our favorite game designers and DUNGEON contributors are already hard at work on the adventures. Managing Editor James Jacobs, author of last issue's "Into the Wormcrawl Fissure" and the silent puppetmaster behind most DUNGEON adventures, will contribute the first installment, "There is No Honor," in DUNGEON #139. That issue also comes with a poster map of Sasserine and a backdrop describing the locale in detail, the first of several to come throughout the series. James's adventure will be followed by installments from Nicolas Logue, Richard Pett, Jason Bulmahn, Stephen S. Greer & Gary Holian, F. Wesley Schneider & James Sutter, Tito Leati, Keith Baker, Sean K Reynolds, Eric L. Boyd, Wolfgang Baur, and Greg A. Vaughn. As with the Age of Worms, a companion series of articles aimed at players will appear in the pages of DRAGON, and lively discussion will take place on paizo.com. In fact, by the time you get this, a new Savage Tide message board is already in operation.
After defeating Kyuss and the Age of Worms, you and your players have earned a few months off. But don't get too comfortable. The Savage Tide is just around the corner!