0one Games are building a loosely-connected series of adventures in a corner of the Eerie Woods - which can be placed anywhere suitable in your campaign world, to mix in seamlessly with anything else you have going on. Everything is designed so that it is easy - references to 'a nearby kingdom' for example.
We start off with some background, telling of a hitherto respectable scholar who went a bit off the rails after finding an artefact... add in that since his death many folk have ransacked his manor house in search of said artefact and we have a familiar story. Fortunately before he went totally strange, he left a sketch of the artefact at the religious academy where he had been working which has just turned up... and the clerical-scholars would like some brave adventurers to go and see what they can find. They've already sent an apprentice to look the place over, but he was chased away by 'giant spiders' and unfortunately he ended up dead in an alley with a crossbow bolt in his back, so the party won't be able to speak with him...
A few hooks are provided to help you get the party involved. Once they've been hired the scholars invite them to a meeting where they explain pretty much all of the backstory and show them the sketch, then it's off to Spiderhaunt Manor to start their investigations. The actual journey is left to you to arrange, although there are a few rumours that can be picked up along the way. The Manor itself is a bit of a mess, earthquakes have reduced it to ruins, but there still are places to explore which are described and mapped for you to make running the investigation easy.
There's a villain to this piece, and he is described in detail. Shall we say he's found the artefact and made headway in learning how to use it...? This gives rise to a cinematic climax with the party racing to rescue a sacrificial victim before the final stage in the artefact's activation can occur.
In some ways the adventure is quite basic, but there are lots of little touches that make it come to life and add drama to the proceedings. The plans provided are definitely 'DM eyes only' and thought could be given to providing some player versions to lay in front of them to help them picture the scene. There's also the odd spelling mistake that a good proof-read ought to have caught. But don't be put off, if you have a suitable level party eager for a bit of action this should keep them happily occupied with some good fights and some figuring-out to do. The artefact itself is intriguing and there's scope for further adventure, provided they are not scared of spiders!
Return to Threads of the Orb Weaver page.
Reviewed: 28 January 2017