Shadows Over The Moonsea

DDEX1-03, “Shadows Over The Moonsea”, is the third adventure in the Adventurer’s League Tyranny of Dragons Campaign Path.

We started this module on Tuesday, 5 March 2018, and concluded it on Sunday, 25 March 2018. Players present were Elinor, Sonya, Meghan, Nick and Warwick.

Official Blurb

Life on the Moonsea isn’t easy. Bandits, pirates and cruel lords dominate the land, threatening those who make an honest living there. Now, a new scourge is prowling the waters: a ghost ship has been striking small coastal villages, leaving its victims whispering about the “eye of the dracolich”. Join the adventure and learn the truth behind this threat! An adventure for 1st-4th level characters.

Synopsis of Play

The players were summoned by Doomguide Yovir Glandon to Valhingen Graveyard. Glandon was worried about reports of a “ghost ship” on the Moonsea, reports apparently substantiated by the word of a survivor who was driven mad by one of these attacks. The players agreed to investigate.

The players gained little from the madman, named “Yip” by the priesthood of Kelemvor due to the distressed “yipping” sounds he made. Their investigations let them onward to meet Aleyd Burral, a lieutenant of the Black Fist with a sincere interest in investigating the ghost ship attacks. They also consulted with the gnomish scholar Fillistrom Wunderkundoodle. Those investigations led them to journey up the coast to an unnamed island (referred to on this wiki as Fisherfolk Island), the likely site of the next attack.

Upon arriving at the island, they found its inbred villages to be sullen and uncommunicative, with the exception of a young orphan girl named Elisande who took a liking to them. They met and questioned the only other outsider on the island, one Verik. Upon being pressed, Verik confessed to being a servant of the Cult of the Dragon, working for a wizard named Ixas. Ixas commanded a ship crewed by kobolds, and was pillaging the Moonsea coast looking for evidence of a Green Dragon Mask, an artifact prized by the cult. They used a magical statuette of a dracolich to cloak their comings and goings in fog and storm, and dressed the kobolds in costumes of bones to make them look like skeletons.

Verik suspected that the Dragon Mask may lie on the Fisherfolk Island, in a secret cave in the island’s forest. Upon investigation, however, the players discovered that if the mask had ever been here, it had long since vanished. Instead they discovered that the villagers were cultists of Tiamat and 60 years ago had made an infernal bargain to rid themselves of the rapacious crew of the pirate ship Audacity that were enslaving them. The pirates had been dragged away to the Nine Hells, but by entering the cave the players had unwittingly broken that bargain, and now the Audacity was free to return to Faerun.

The Audacity and Ixal’s vessel collided in the seas off the island, and the crew of hellish pirates fought Ixal and his kobolds. The players helped to defeat both vessels, and all the enemy combatants were either killed or dragged back to the Nine Hells. The players retrieved Ixal’s dracolich statue and turned it over to the Harpers. They brought Verik to Phlan in chains and turned him over to the Black Fist, who hanged him from Stojanow Gate. They let Elisande come with them and live with Kiara in Gnometown. They impressed Aleyd Burral and made a friend within the Black Fist as a result.

Doomguide Yovir Glandon was also grateful for their intervention. He asked them what he should do about the remaining fisherfolk. They recommended he send his second in command, the paladin Geran Kelt, to lead a missionary expedition to the island, and he took their advice.

Behind the GM’s Screen

The villagers of the island are written in the module with an accented dialect that is probably meant to sound Creole but mostly just sounds horribly racist. The version you played abandoned this suggested accent.

The timeline of attacks by the ghost ship simply doesn’t line up with Aleyd Burral’s investigations or the arrival of Yip. Don’t read anything into it - no one’s lying to you, it’s just an error in the module.

While the activities of the Cult of the Dragon will continue to play a big part in this adventure path, the story of the Dragon Masks is largely covered over in the hardback Tyranny of Dragons adventures, Hoard of the Dragon Queen and Rise of Tiamat. We’ll continue to see some interplay between your adventures and those in the hardback books as we continue forward.

If you had given the dracolich statue to Yovir Glandon, he could have used it to heal the mind of the madman Yip. Don’t feel too guilty, though - I completely missed that prior to running the adventure for you, and as a result Glandon gave absolutely no hint that he could do this or that he would like to see the statue. My bad.

If Pieta had been more successful on his Investigation rolls in the captain’s cabin on Ixal’s ship, he might have also found a pair of valuable Turmish statues, which have no story use but could have been sold for 100 gold pieces each.