Horrors from Durlag’s Tower – Monster Variants

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We don’t go to Durlag’s Tower.

 

Durlag’s Tower, an abandoned dungeon that sends shivers down the spines of many.  For some, it’s a cautionary tale about love, obsession and paranoia.  For others, it’s a giant grave that acts as a memento for dwarven kind.  For some, it’s the ultimate treasure trove that’s just waiting to be explored!  Eternally notorious for a variety of reasons, this accursed place rests a distance from both Beregost and Nashkel.  If traps aren’t the cause of death, the terrible monsters that lurk in the depths likely are.  Or worse yet?  It could the party’s very vices that lead to their own downfall.  Needless to say, the only people that would explore such dangerous ruins have a death wish.

Author’s Note: The Adventurer’s League has recently released an adventure inspired by the classic Durlag’s Tower dungeon from the Forgotten Realms… but more specifically, Baldur’s Gate.  So, I figure, what better time to revive some of the classic monsters from the original dungeon!  Granted, most of them were easy to build variants of classic/existing monsters already in 5E.  So, without further ado, enjoy!  Also, pardon this one being a bit sparse, I’ll post something for the weekend too, I promise!

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Strange Things in Bloodied Wyvern Peak – A Mini Adventure for 5th Edition

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“That’s… not supposed to be there.”

Background:  All of you have been summoned on account of a king’s desperate plea for aid.  Resources have been running low for his people and attempts to trade with outside lands has been shut off completely.  The routes you’ve all taken are too unwieldy and out of the way for caravans to use often, in part because it is longer, far more hazardous and ideal locations for bandits.  All that is known is that the wider passage ways to Bloodied Wyvern Peak have been sealed off and going there is far too dangerous.  Attempts at leaving have been, more often than not, futile as the people feel trapped in their once cozy land.  To make matters worse, the soil and water have slowly been poisoned by something in the mountains.  King Orvalt Delinandor will reward handsomely for your efforts.

Inside the lavish meeting room, a temperamental man in kingly garb fidgets with his fingers as he attempts to give off a composed look.  He ushers each of you to take a seat at one of several ornate chairs, adorned with plush cushioning and fancy stitched patterns.  He rises from his comparatively large chair, himself, as to make a grand speech.

“I would like to thank all of you for making your way to my great kingdom.  Forsaking the usual pleasantries, I’d like to get to addressing our main concern.  The prime routes for trading and traveling has been completely cut off in the last couple of weeks.  Why?  I can’t really say, as most of my scouts haven’t returned for many days.  And those that are either died moments after returning or worse…  On top of that, imports are running low as our commerce has been thrown into peril.  Our soil has also turned bad, poisoning those who have used it.  Any mining operations have been halted, due to reports of collapsed tunnels and monsters.  Any workers, traders or scouts that came back alive from the mountains have returned scarred, plagued or driven mad.  Worse yet, entire towns have vanished lately.  People proclaim they see horrible things and disappear instants later!  Please, explore the cause of this; whether it’s bandits, monsters or worse!  Some blame our miners for unearthing something foul, but I have my doubts.  I’ll award a bonus if you bring any captured subjects back… dead or alive.”

After the meeting with the king, his guards escort you to rooms to equip all of you with proper provisions; climbing equipment, coats and other survival essentials.  After everyone is set with equipment, everyone is taken outside where a carriage sends them towards the outskirts of the mountain.  This ride take about 1 hours time.  The landscape changes from a bleak winter forest into jagged mountainous rock jutting from the earth.  The carriage driver indicates on a map given to you that the route follows the dirt path ahead, in through a canyon-like divide.

AUTHOR’S NOTE:  Inspired by my Barrier Peaks conversion and Epicroll’s short adventure, as well as a lot of retro/pulp sci-fi, here’s my take on the classic sci-fi spaceship into fantasy world crossover.  This adventure is meant for characters of 7th level.  A WORD OF WARNING!  This module gets more and more deadly as time goes on.  Some encounters aren’t meant to be fought, but are meant to be part of a puzzle.  Either way, this is a bit of an experiment for me.  Enjoy.

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Space Whale – A Celestial Creature for D&D 5th Edition!

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Floating within the bounds of wildspace, one can spot what looks like a whale or an orca.  As if through divine power, it glides through the boundless reaches as if it were an oceanic current, all without touching the Phlogiston that so many spelljammers require.  However, this isn’t the only place to observe them.  Many dwell within the layers of the Beastlands, for they are at home in both the water and the air.  Others find ways through their master’s demiplane into the Elemental Plane of Water, as well as of Air.  Sometimes, one can be spotted in the Elemental Plane of Ice as well.  In fact, there has been an allegiance forged with Ben-hadar and Chaan, the Good Archomental forces of water and air.  Many other planar creatures have various levels of respect for them.  The free celestials of Arborea, The Eladrin, have even ridden them into battle in some instances.  However, the Devas and Angels of more lawful planes think lowly of them.

Among deific powers, the Master of the Pod is a lesser power.  However, its message is familiar to many, through acts of joy and freedom.  While known for discouraging battle, the Cosmic Coki inspires courage and virtue in the heat of conflict.  In some cases, this can mean sparing even the most vile of enemies.  Despite rumors, Coki isn’t actually a Beast Lord, despite their demiplane orbiting by The Beastlands itself.  In a similar vein, the Celestial Pod aren’t truly native to said plane either.

Author’s Note:  HELP!  DOC’S ON DRUGS!  Just kidding.  Now seriously, this was an idea one of my friends had played around with for a long time.  This is a mixture of things, tbh; an orca plushie located at a rummage sale, the space whales from Doctor Who and some random ideas thrown at the wall.  I realize that Orcas are not technically whales… in case anyone has doubts.  Also, the adventure I wanted to write was taking longer than I thought…

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