Written to introduce the winning entry in the Creature Competition: Head-to-Head run on the Wizards website in the summer of 2005 to your party, this adventure begins at a wayfarer's inn that has plenty to attract passing adventurers: good beer, comfortable beds and rumours of nearby buried treasure. What's not to like?
The background gives you plenty of information about what (and who) is to be found nearby, and even suggests several locations for the adventure if you are using the Greyhawk, Eberron or Forgotten Realms campaign worlds. Nice idea, would have been better had the author troubled to state which campaign world each location suggested was situated in! There's an adventure synopsis and several hooks to get the party into the action.
The adventure begins when the party arrives at the Hostel of the Sacred Stone, the establishment in question. There's loads of detail to enable you to bring it to life for your players. The 'sacred stone' in question is a relic of a renowned stone giant paladin, Saint Sonnlinor Stoneheart, and regulars will regale newcomers with plenty of stories about Stoneheart, who used to prey on pilgrims to a monastery dedicated to a dwarf deity until one courageous cleric converted him... to the extent that he became a paladin dedicated to that very same god!
The dwarves had built an underground aqueduct to supply their monastery, and that's where the rumoured treasure is to be found... and where the second part of the adventure takes place, assuming the party head out to try and find it. Asking around in the Hostel will glean them quite a bit of useful information before they go. It makes for a good delve, although some of the monsters do rather give the impression that they just sit around waiting for adventurers rather than having their own lives to lead! The descriptive detail is good, however, although the map is a bit small and not very clear. And as for what they might find... and the party likely will think it's merely treasure!
The neat bit is, this is not the end of the adventure. If the party take what they find back to the Hostel, more will be revealed which in turn leads to a second delve. If the party is successful here as well, the final truths will be revealed... better hope your web-search skills are good, as references are made to information on the Wizards website at the time, some of which are no longer there or take a bit of finding at best. Whatever transpires, the party will have attracted the notice - if not emnity - of some really powerful beings, which you can weave into further plotlines as appropriate. It's quite a devious little adventure, containing far more than appears at a first glance, and has the potential to take your campaign in some quite unexpected directions.
Return to Legend of the Silver Skeleton page.
Reviewed: 9 July 2016