It's a bit awkward for a kingdom when their king goes missing. The Players Introduction tells us that King Ivol Lareth II was misplaced when his castle was under attack by barbarian hordes... whisked away into safekeeping by the court wizard, one Keland the Magnificent, who unfortunately then died without telling anyone where he'd hidden the king. Now his realms languish under his talentless son, and the citizens really, really want King Lareth back. Can the party help?
The DM's Background provides the low-down on what Keland did with Lareth, and where he is now. There is more on just why Lareth's son Mellan isn't up to ruling, and so affairs are being managed by one Kaylin, a very smart elf who is Lareth's seneschal. Kaylin doesn't want to use the Royal Guard to search, as she thinks the barbarians will be back soon, so she's seeking to hire in. There's also a note that this adventure doesn't come with a map. The kingdom's a pretty basic city-state with some mountains to the north - you can sketch something if you feel the need, or find a suitable location in your campaign world.
If the party has a reputation already in this region, Kaylin will send to them for help. Otherwise she advertises, and it's up to the party to respond... well, they are supposed to be adventurers, after all. Once they present themselves at the castle, it's clear that everyone's desperate for King Lareth to be found. The only suggestion Kaylin has is that they start by seaching Keland's quarters for clues. They've been sealed since he died about a week ago. Few venture into a wizard's room uninvited, even once he's dead, so it's not been disturbed...
Everything depends on the party finding a single clue, so you may have to 'help' them a bit to find it. Once they do, indications are that Lareth is somewhere to the north, in the mountains some three day's travel away. Some encounters are provided for along the route - even a passing dragon - but eventually they ought to reach their destination, although this is going to require some actual mountain climbing. The party will also have to contend with other denizens of the mountain... and rescue the missing monarch, once they have identified him. Oh, and then they have to get off the mountain safely again!
With a final twist in the tale, this is a cracking little adventure with an interesting quest and a lot of fun to be had along the way. It also bodes fair to increase the reputation of successful parties, and a bard or two ought to be able to get a good song out of it!
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Reviewed: 15 October 2017