Written as a sequel to The Legend of the Steel General, the adventure starts just after the Siege of Draman Del. A large proportion of the western army takes its departure unexpectedly, citing orders received from their monarch. As heroes of recent events, the characters are tasked as ambassadors to this king to find out what's going on.
Along the way - some 20-odd days travel - there are bandits to defeat and a Royal Courier well worth rescuing... he has some items that provide clues to legendary items that will aid the heroes in the fight against evil that is only just beginning. Finding those items involves a series of puzzle-quests and there's also a king to rescue and a climatic battle in the bowels of the earth under his palace while a legendary hero might just manage to defeat one of the seven 'souls' of a dead evil deity... but only if the characters are able to aid him by defeating a device protecting the 'soul' from the one weapon which might do him harm.
It's all heady stuff, but does require a fairly linear approach, with each link in the chain being covered in the correct order if the characters are to succeed in the objectives set for them. The puzzle-quests in particular are quite difficult to follow, most are based on deep background of the legends of Arthad which the players - and likely even their characters - will not know. Once what you have to do becomes clear, the actual doing is not so difficult but mostly involves combat (and failure may result in death). The DM will need to consider carefully how to present the puzzles so that the characters have a chance of figuring them out without actually giving them the solutions.
As always, the presentation is excellent with a series of atmospheric handouts to give to the players as the game progresses. It's an excellent follow-on to the first Arthad adventure, and sets the characters firmly on the path towards legendary status.
Return to The Twenty Sides of the Evil page.
Reviewed: 17 February 2005