Gold Community Okay -- Your Turn
    > Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil
        > Campaign Log - Prelude (Banewarrens Spoilers)
New Topic    Add Reply

<< Prev Topic | Next Topic >>
Author Comment
(10/14/02 11:02:16 am)
Campaign Log - Prelude (Banewarrens Spoilers)
The campaign that we have started will place our adventurers in the middle of feuding monsters, cults, aristocracy, churches, and wizard’s guilds. Like many others on this page, I am merging RTTEE and the Banewarrens. But the plot twists and intrigue in the Banewarrens will be extended to RTTEE.

Plot Concept (explained in earlier posts)

Verbobonc is under siege by random attacks. Dopplegangers and other shape shifters have been making random attacks against the citizenry, church, administration, and guard. In truth, these attacks are an attempt to distract local forces from events at the TEE and, more specifically, the moat house. The city is simply overwhelmed and cannot make its usual checks on the temple. Instead, a small band of adventurers is dispatched to investigate.

In this campaign, the authorities and many citizens are aware that the TEE was the work of Tharizdun. Based on this knowledge, the temple is given extra attention with periodic patrols from Verbobonc in addition to the forces in Hommlet. But the terror attacks in Verbobonc have been making this impractical in recent months. The attacks have also had the affect of increasing the strength of the Church of St. Cuthbert in local politics.

When the adventure begins, the PCs will be pitted against the Pactlords of the Quann in their efforts to contact Tharizdun and learn his knowledge (through the Obelisk) about potential openings in the Banewarrens. This means that the cultists in town, those in the Moathouse, and the hobgoblins at the temple will all be one organized enemy (the Pactlords rather than Tharizdun cultists).

After defeating the Pactlords, the party will be summoned before the Church of St. Cuthbert and city leaders in Verbobonc. The party will not have complete information about where the “cultists” were coming from (or headed to). But the Church will bring them to question a prisoner who they have been keeping since the fall of the TEE. The party will be brought before Hedrack who, after negotiating for more freedom in his prison, will give them a brief history about the Pactlords. He will also tell them that the Pactlords sought information about a gateway to powerful, evil magic that may be found near Ptolus (searching for a new city in Greyhawk).

In Ptolus, the adventures will encounter the standard Banewarrens storyline. But when they retrieve the Staff of Shards, it will be taken out of their hands. Depending on the way the campaign develops, I will have an NPC or maybe even one of the PCs (turned evil) steal the Staff and bring it back to Verbobonc. Additionally, many of the “mad” npcs in the Banewarrens module will make subtle allusions to Tharizdun.

As it turns out, Hedrack has not been a prisoner of the Church of St. Cuthbert for many years. Using powers granted by Tharizdun, he slowly brought key members of the Church of St. Cuthbert to the cult. He grew to become the underground leader of the synod in Verbobonc. With spells that prevent the detection of evil, the Doom Dreamers came to Verbobonc to develop a new shrine to the Dark Lord. With their help, the inner and outer fanes were built directly beneath the Church of St. Cuthbert.

The Doom Dreamers knew that one piece of magic existed that could open up a passage to the elemental nodes and free an avatar of Tharizdun. Hedrack was instructed to use his influence to bring the Staff of Shards to the Doom Dreamers. Hedrack developed a plan that tricked both the Pactlords and the adventurers.

After defeating the Doom Dreamers beneath the Church of St. Cuthbert, the party will learn that the staff has already been taken back to the TEE where it is being used to raise an avatar from the Elemental Nodes.

Meanwhile, the Banewarrens are still open because the key has not yet been destroyed. My current plan is to have Hedrack survive the whole campaign. While the players battle Imix, Hedrack will gather many of the banes and he will soon be seeking revenge against the players. He is the real villain of the story.

Of course, this plot is likely to change based on where the players take me. If my players stay focused, this campaign will take about a year. I am sure to change my mind a couple of times during this process.

First Adventure Verbobonc and the Road to Hommlet

The players currently consist of:
Garret Greenbottle, wise-cracking halfling, 2nd level Rogue, 1st level Ranger
Jerrico, somewhat overpowered human, 3rd level fighter
Delrick, deadpan elf, 3rd level cleric

Two additional characters will join shortly when their players are ready. They will likely include a wizard or sorcerer and another fighter type.

Building on earlier adventures, the party went to Verbobonc to deliver a small chest to the Noonday Market Bank. The party entered the city and proceeded to the bank without any interaction on the street. (I am working on their role-playing).

Inside the bank, the party met with the gnome nephew of the bank’s proprietor. As they conducted their transaction, they noticed the guards locking the bank’s doors. Three guards then pulled out repeating crossbows and began to assault the bank’s employees and customers. Initially, the players ran to a back room but they soon gathered their courage and returned to battle the assailants.

After they killed the first guard, they learned that it was really a doppleganger. The players were successful in stopping the attack but the two remaining “guards” escaped. Following the battle, nearby soldiers brought them before Captain Oxley, a paladin who serves both as a leader in the city’s guard and as a liaison to the Church of St. Cuthbert. Oxley informed the party that the city has been under siege by terrorist attacks but that this was the first time that they had captured any of the perpetuators. They planned to try and raise the doppleganger and then interrogate it.

Oxley also promised to reward the party with healing at the Church of St. Cuthbert. But while waiting to meet with a cleric, the party was attacked again by the two remaining doppelgangers disguised as acolytes. Jerrico dropped to negative hp but the party survived this attack as well and, with the help of Oxley, both dopplegangers were slain.

In consultation with Oxley and the Church of St. Cuthbert, the party agreed to travel to Hommlet and investigate the TEE. Oxley does not believe that the events in Verbobonc are connected to the temple, but he has not had anyone visit the town in months. The party was told to contact Elmo when they arrived.

On the Road

On the road to Hommlet, the party ran into another group of low-level adventurers (two fighters and a wizard) who were investigating banditry outside of the guarded toll roads. The six of them agreed to spend the night in a small village two days out of Hommlet. The village was so small that it did not have a name. But it was known for an inn that recently changed its name from Callahan’s to Manticore’s. Over the bar, the stuffed head of a Manticore stared at the party. Manticore spikes decorated the rest of the room as coat hangers.

The bartender was not readily available and instead was engaged in a conversation with a group of other patrons. The party soon learned that the area had been under attack in recent days. A delivery wagon on the way to Hommlet was attacked – the crew slain, and the cargo ransacked. Another family was found murdered in a nearby farm. And a note was found on the door of the inn the night before, reading “We come for the human with the bone ring.”

Callahan, the innkeeper and bartender, told the party a story about encountering a Manticore nearly a year ago. He fought the creature with an axe and claimed to have nearly died before he killed it. On one of its spikes, he found a bone ring that he has worn as a trophy ever since. Based on this story, the community clearly considered Callahan a hero and looked to him for protection during this time of crisis.

The party learned that Callahan planned to venture out at night and “take on whatever was out there.” Delrick, the party’s defacto leader, convinced him to allow the six travelers to join. They agreed to meet at sunrise and, although Callahan arrived late, they eventually set out into the night. On the road, the party was attacked by a band of hobgoblins. They defeated most of the large goblinoids and gave chase to the rest when they fled. During the battle, a scared Callahan admitted that he had found the Manticore already dead in a rockslide.

With Garret, the halfling rogue/ranger, leading the way, they tracked the hobgoblins to their camp. The battle was joined by a group of large bugbears and the majority of the party was slain. All three of their new partners and Callahan were killed and Garret was reduced to negative hp. (Garret was saved by a healing spell.) In the end, the bodies of several hobgoblins and bugbears were left staining the ground.

On the corpse of the bugbear leader, the party found a note reading “On the road to the foul gnome city, intercept Spugnoir’s supply wagon. His probes have become troubling. While in the area, rid of us of the human who wears our ring.” On the bugbear chieftain, they also found another bone ring.

The party returned to the inn and let the locals know that they had cleaned up the problem. They decided to leave Callahan’s reputation untarnished. Reaching fourth level the next morning, the party set out for Hommlet.

(10/14/02 4:16:20 pm)
campaign part not repeated
I feel like a goof posting to my own message.

But I wanted to make sure that it was clear that only the campaign plot is repeated here. The character log is entirely new and I have made changes to the overall outline based on feedback received on this page.

I hope its interesting.


(10/14/02 5:32:23 pm)
Re: Campaign Log - Prelude (Banewarrens Spoilers)
Excellent synopsis! My decision to integrate the BW was rather last-minute, so I wasn't able to perform the planned integration from the start that you have.

I really like the idea of the inner and outer fanes existing beneath the Church of St. Cuthbert. :evil It removes the whole problem of being miles from any "restocking point" (which, apart from the length, was a major reason why I replaced the CRM with the BW). I'm wondering: since the fanes will actually be underground, what ideas/changes do you have in mind? Specifically, how will you handle the outer fane exterior (lightning towers, spider-eater riders, etc.) and the area between the inner and outer fanes, not to mention the black spike itself? Is it all in one massive hollowed-out underground chamber? Or do the fanes consist entirely of "dungeons", with the spire going downwards instead of up (as many of us have decided to do with the BW spire when relocating it from Ptolus to Verbobonc)? How do supplies/cultists get in and out without detection by the Cudgel?

(10/15/02 3:58:43 pm)
not there yet
Thanks Trinity,

I am pretty excited about this campaign. And I have spent a lot of time reading all the pros on this page to get ideas. I don't directly use all of them, but I have learned a lot.

I haven't completely thought out a map of the fanes and the spike. My immediate idea is to have them be separate by the earth. This would be more like a traditional dungeon crawl and not very interesting. At the same time, it is right under the largest church in the region. That should be surprising.

To be honest, I am still trying to figure out a rationale for how it was built. I am thinking that it will already exist as part of the Church of St. Cuthbert. But it will be perverted to serve Tharizdun. That seems to make more sense than having it be built right under everyone's noses.

But I would really appreciate input on all of this. I know that by posting "spoilers" I cut done on some comments. But I am hoping that a few folks find this interesting.

The next installment begins either tommorrow night or Sat depending on a few logisitical details.

(10/15/02 5:55:39 pm)
Re: not there yet
I just thought of an idea... what if the actual TOAC is still in the Lortmils, but a gate to it exists beneath the Church of St. Cuthbert in Verbobonc? That could still make for some political intrigue. A high-ranking cleric of St. Cuthbert is actually working for the EEE (Hedrack in disguise...?). This would work doubly-well if you use Brother Heth as a double-agent for the Pactlords... the PC's would never expect lightning to strike twice in the Church of St. Cuthbert! Once the PC's uncover the link between St. Cuthbert and the EEE, they might even be able to use the gate themselves as a way to the Outer Fane... although after the PC's use it once (or if a spy gets to the outer fane to warn them that their secret gate has been discovered), the doomdreamers would likely either find a way to close it, or always have a massive guard up.

This may actually work well for my campaign, as the party already has heard of the Temple of All Consumption, and knows it's somewhere in the Lortmils...

(10/16/02 12:05:20 pm)
good idea
That is an excellent suggestion.

How would you deal with the absense of the CRM in the new structure? Would it still be part of a dormant volcanoe? Would the CRM be empty? Would it be at the center of a lake in the volcanoe but with out the caves in the rim?

I may take you up on your suggestion. It would make the campaign feel even more epic.


(11/2/02 2:16:49 pm)
Moat house adventure

This is not really a prelude any longer but I thought I would continue on the same post.

I hope people find this hybrid campaign of mine interesting.


The party arrived in Hommlet in midmorning. They strolled around the small town for a short time and then entered a bakery. As they walked in, they bumped in a burly man with a unkempt beard who smelled of alcohol. Jerrico and the man, who introduced himself as Xaod, started an angry conversation. With swords drawn, they challenged each other to a fight with the blunt sides of their swords. Jerrico received a stiff swing to the side of his helmet, but instead of returning the blow he invited the man for an early drink. They got a long famously.

As the four walked down the street, Elmo and three town militiamen approached them. At first the conversation was tense and Elmo handled it as a matter of city defense. But the party let him know of their meeting with Oxley and he overlooked the earlier conversation.

Elmo joined the party for a drink in a pub called Terrigan’s. Elmo was sorry to hear about the problems in Verbobonc but he reported that everything was fine in Hommlet. Xaod gruffly disagreed and told the group about the visions he had been having of a great evil near the Temple of Elemental Evil. He believed these visions to come directly from his god. But Xaod had recently checked out the temple and found only lowly hobgoblins inhabiting the place.

Elmo reported that the only unusual event in recent days was that a local wizard, named Spugnoir, had gone missing. The party recognized Spugnoir from the note they had taken off the body of a bug bear chieftain. Of course, they had completely forgotten about this until Elmo mentioned Spug. They left Elmo at the bar and went with Xaod to Spugnoir’s potion shop. At the shop, they met Spugnoir’s young daughter who told them that her father had been missing since he went to investigate the local moat house. She was clearly distraught and the party decided to investigate.

On the street, Xaod introduced the party to a horribly disfigured halfling. The halfling refused to speak although Xaod vouched for him as a friend and able warrior. IMC, Xaod and Questin Himmble are inseparable. Although they are of different alignments, Xaod accepts the disfigured halfling without hesitation. This is the first time that Questin has had such friend, so he has become extremely loyal to the paladin. I also changed Questin so that his deformities do not allow him to speak.

Xaod told the party that the moat house was a base used by the forces of evil in both the battle of Emridy Meadows and later by the Temple of Elemental Evil. The party made haste to the moat house. The moat house was clearly abandoned and nearly collapsed. They entered the ruined keep and found two dead bodies (one half eaten) inside. Stating the obvious, Xaod muttered, “I sense evil)”. Drawing their swords, they gasped as a young blue dragon peered at them from the other side of a building within the moat house.

The party fought deep blue monster fiercely. They were doing very well until the dragon flew a few feet into the air and kicked up a blinding dust storm. Unable to attack at this distance, the two halflings fled while the rest of the part fought blindly. The party managed to score a powerful critical hit during this blind find. As the party fought on, drop of blood fell from the beast, sparking with static electricity. Critically wounded, the dragon flew further into the sky and let loose with a devastating bolt of dragon’s breath lightning.

Xaod was killed beyond healing. Jerrico and Delrick were near death. And then it happened. Another critical hit with a crossbow bolt from Garret (halfling Rogue/Ranger). Sometimes the dice go where the dice go! The beast flew itself into the moat house wall and died in a fit of sparks and blood.

Quesin was in shock and stood over his fallen comrade. Delrick quickly healed the rest of the player characters. The party checked out the rest of the castle and eventually found the stairs to the dungeon. They called out to Questin who followed them after taking Xaod’s gloves.

This is where I have made my most significant changes. Since I am combining RTTEE and the Banewarrens, I hae the Pactlords and the Cult of Tharizdun working in tandem. Under the direction of Hedrack, the cult was helping the Pactlords to commune with their dark god. But the Pact has been so disrespectful that fighting has erupted. Using their command of the undead the cult has fought off the Pactlords’ troup of a handful of gnolls, hobgoblins and troglodytes. I have made Ysslansh a fighter instead of a cleric. But big U is a member of the Pactlords and he has come to support his organization. As you will see, the cult is pinned with the dragon at the top of the Moat house and the Pactlords below them.

At the bottom of the stairs, the party was ambushed by Geynor Ton and four human warriors. They were easily defeated. In the battle with the Pactlords, most of the key items belonging to the cult have been taken to this room. In addition to the other materials, the party found the following pages of Ton’s journal (edited to fit this adventure).


I do not claim to understand the workings of the Master of All Consumption. But his alliance with these foul-smelling brutes surprises me. I had assumed that they were in the service of the Dark Lord. But they look on me and his relics without respect. Who are they to tell me what to do? No matter, soon we’ll leave this accursed town and I can return to proper service.

Annihilation take you, Hommlet and these Pactlords! They are not of the Church!


Just as the Doomdreamers promised, the Dark Obelisk is here, under a pool in the cave. We discovered that below the pool was a shaft with a false bottom, sealed for many years. Once penetrated, the pool drained into a wondrous cave pulsating with our revered Master. Apparently, the water from the stream above was diverted into the shaft to fill up the pool and hide the cave from unworthy eyes. But, under orders, I have brought unworthy eyes to see it!

Truly the Dark God inspired this plan and I must trust his wisdom. Dark lord, once we have breathed new life into your most deserved worship - Once you are free all shall be set right, and those who deserve it shall meet their cruel, cruel fate. Blessed destruction!

Master Thaque promises that the Pact is but a pawn. I trust his wisdom in this strange partnership. But blasphemy! – the Pact speaks with my Dark God! Speaks through the obelisk!


We fight now. Even Master Thaque could not accept their presence in the shrine and their looting of the relics. They insulted our lord – said that they had learned what they needed from the “imprisoned beast”. I killed one tasty gnoll this morning and I will prepare him nicely. We have the rest of their Pact cornered at the far end of dungeon.


Alas, foul beast! The Pact has sent its monster to attack. What fate has befallen us? It must be a test sent from beyond. We must go on without the leadership of Master Thaque, may his soul rest with the Dark God in the cold embrace of dissolution. Oh wicked, cruel fate. I seek not your judgment in the claws of some dragon!

We have the Pact cornered. But Felstrath is lost in communion. And the dragon circles above. We are pinned.

I heard a gnoll talk of reinforcements coming. He said they learned what was needed and now could leave to the Warrens. One has already escaped! Are we doomed?”

The party soon encountered Spugnoir. He told them that he knew that cult members were using undead to hold back several monsters in the lower part of the dungeon. With his support, the party set off and slew the undead. Spugnoir, having used his last spell, left dungeon, promising to return with reinforcements from Hommlet. The party opened the secret door and began to walk down the stairs to the lower dungeon. And that is were we stopped for the night.

(There are some obvious pieces missing from this adventure. Chat stands out the loudest to me. The party left Hommlet very quickly. I try to encourage the players to interact more in town. But they seem to view city encounters simply as places to go to find out what your goal is and then head off to the caves/dungeon/fallen temple. I am working on this.

In the lower parts of the dungeon, the party will find some materials that were not taken by the cultist when they fled the Pactlords. Part of this will be clues that there are temple members in town as well the possibility of a Pactlord base at the temple. At this point, Chat will become a key player I hope.)

The DM
(11/3/02 7:52:26 pm)
Re: Moat house adventure
Intersting stuff.

I like the Church vc the Pactlords angle and having the dragon be a Pactlord.

Have they found any bone rings yet?

Also, I was thinking about the integration here -- how does Danar play into all this?

According to Monte he basically became a demi-god. Could Danar BE Tharizdun? Or perhaps he is the Champion of Elemental Evil and the cult is trying to collect enough of his essence to raise/revive/restore him...

Too many angles and not enough sleep. I'll noodle over it.

-Thrommel, who needs to be revived a bit himself.

(11/4/02 1:06:25 am)
Re: Moat house adventure
If Danar were a Champion of Old, then perhaps Lareth is the vessel in which he should be reborn.

Aside from that, Daveyn, I too think it's an excellent mix. Had the Banewarrens been out when I began Return.. I would have stol... let myself be inspired greatly from you :) .

Siobharek is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.

The DM
(11/4/02 6:59:46 am)
Re: Another idea
Here's an insane insight I had this morning - the Champion of Elemental Evil is a Bane.

So Hedrack wants to get inside in order to free the Champion who's imprisoned there.

It's scary how obvious that seems now.

-Thrommel, Master of the Obvious, Slave to the EZBoards.

(11/4/02 7:03:09 am)
Re: Another idea
Would it be overkill to connect this with the previously-used "the crystal skull is a bane" idea? Personally, I think it should be one or the other.

And I wouldn't like to peek inside your head, Thrommel, if you get those ideas for breakfast...

Siobharek is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.

<< Prev Topic | Next Topic >>

Add Reply

Email This To a Friend Email This To a Friend
Topic Control Image Topic Commands
Subscribe Click to receive email notification of replies
Unsubscribe Click to stop receiving email notification of replies
jump to:

- Okay -- Your Turn - Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil - Home -

Powered By ezboard® Ver. 7.105
Copyright ©1999-2002 ezboard, Inc.
Accelerated By JXEL