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Dungeons & Dragons 3.5: King Xeros of Old Azlant

King Xeros of Old Azlant

A strange vessel constructed of opaque crystal has suddenly just appeared in Absalom harbour. Who better to investigate it that a party of Pathfinders?

The introduction to the adventure gives plenty of detail for the DM, covering the creation of the ship over ten thousand years ago, what it's been doing since, who is operating it now and a thorough description of it. A plan view of the vessel is provided, but an illustration would have helped to translate the exotic appearance described into something that could be readily visualised. All that anyone knows, however, is that it appears to be of Azlanti origin and - according to those who can read their script - it's called the King Xenos. Legends tell of a magical vessel of that name being launched just before Earthfall, when the Azlanti were wiped out.

The first trick, of course, is getting in. The decks are smooth and there is but one entry point. Oh, and the Harbour Guard who have already borded the vessel have set off the automatic defence system, which consists of pop-up flame throwers and defence constructs which move to attack! Once those have been dealt with, there's still the little matter of gaining entry. Whilst the way to do so seems perfectly clear when you are sitting reading the notes, it is likely to appear very mysterious to the characters attempting to gain admission!

Indeed, this continues throughout the entire exploration - it all makes sense when you have the scenario to read but unless you're just going to tell your players what is going on it is difficult to see how on earth - or even Golarion - they are going to be able to figure it all out just from what their characters can see, hear or otherwise experience. For best effect, let them be baffled. It is a weird and strange vessel and it ought to be very confusing for the characters. Care needs to be taken that bafflement does not turn to frustration.

This has potential to provide an excellent adventure that serves to remind all involved that Golarion is indeed a rich and strange world, not merely some cod-mediaeval place with a bit of magic bolted on. However it could just as easily become an exercise in frustration and who enjoys that?

Return to King Xeros of Old Azlant page.

Reviewed: 13 February 2016