Dues For The Dead

DDEX1-04, “Dues For The Dead”, is the fourth adventure in the Adventurer’s League Tyranny of Dragons Campaign Path.

We started this module on Sunday, 25 March 2018, and concluded it on Friday, 6 April 2018. Players present were Elinor, Sonya, Meghan, Nick and Warwick.

Official Blurb

For years, the Most Solemn Order of the Silent Shroud has tended the dead at Valhingen Graveyard, providing them a peaceful eternal rest. Now, that rest has been disturbed by a necromancer seeking out a key to re-activate the Pool of Radiance. An adventure for 1st-4th level characters.

Synopsis of Play

The party were summoned to meet with Doomguide Yovir Glandon following a series of deaths at Valhingen Graveyard. Glandon feared the rise of undead in the catacombs beneath the graveyard, and asked the players to investigate.

They did so, with the help of a Kelemvorite acolyte called Cassyt. They found the catacombs infested by undead, and traced their source to the lair of a Red Wizard, Rorreth Monforoth, who teleported away before he could be questioned. Among his belongings, the party found evidence he was working with the Cult of the Dragon to dig a tunnel towards Valjevo Castle.

During their investigation of the catacomb, the party happened on a trio of Welcomer thieves, including Grumash the Unreliable, who had become trapped during an unsuccessful robbery. The party turned the thieves over to the Black Fist. Two of them were hung. The third - Grumash - escaped his cell in mysterious circumstances. The Welcomers were not pleased by the party’s actions.

Upon reporting to Yovir, the party recommended that the catacombs be further opened up to the public. Kiara made a donation to allow the temple to build enhanced classroom and dormitory facilities to take on more acolytes. Cassyt was promoted to a full member of the Kelemvorite order.

Behind the GM’s Screen

As the official blurb gives away, the “Pool” referred to in Rorreth’s notes is the Pool of Radiance, last seen in the novel and videogame of the same name.

The module explains that the tomb of Miltiades, a legendary paladin of Tyr, can be found somewhere in the catacombs. This is problematic from a canon perspective. In the novel Pools of Darkness, Miltiades’ crypt was shown as being on the surface of the graveyard. Further, in the novel Pool of Twilight, Miltiades was resurrected by Tyr and it’s entirely possible he’s no longer buried in Phlan at all. On the other hand, it’s been more than 100 years since the events of those novels - possibly he has died again and been re-interred in a new, underground crypt?

The unidentified statue of a bug-person seen in the catacomb stairwell is a depiction of Jergal, the Scribe of the Dead, who has served various Gods of Death throughout history by recording the names of those who die. Cassyt’s inability to identify him to you is inexcusable - he should have been instantly recognisable to any priest of Kelemvor. It’s almost as if the DM missed the paragraph containing this information and was therefore unable to relay it to you…

The module briefly introduces two other clerics of Kelemvor called Drolo and Fedya that we skipped over. They get a single paragraph, in which they point the players towards Yovir Glandon.

For the record, the clerics who were eaten by the undead prior to the start of the adventure were: Brother Rasoran, Sister Bethel, and an unnamed acolyte.

Cassyt made a big deal of the “magical defences” on the treasure buried in the catacombs. She was mostly overstating it - the defences amount to nothing more than a “magic mouth” spell which warns potential thieves to reconsider their actions, with no further follow-up.

The elaborate lightning trap in the tomb of Sedrair II (the one the skulls described) was real, though, and reasonably dangerous to low-level characters. As far as I can tell, “Sedrair II” has never previously been mentioned in a Forgotten Realms product. Sedrair’s crown was worth a hefty 250 gp, although if the trap was set off it would melt the crown down to a mere 50gp of metal. Another 130 gp of loot was strewn around the tomb. Taking any of it would have destroyed your relationship with the Temple of Kelemvor though.