Suddenly, the illustrious city of Lighthall disappears from your very presence, replaced by five mystical coins imbued with extraordinary abilities. These powers enable transportation to a fantastical realm filled with floating islands, remarkable magic, and armies fighting on the cusp of annihilation. The fate of Lighthall hangs in the balance and hinges on the defeat of a single nefarious individual: Durhan the Conqueror, a wicked enchanter.
Gathering his forces with the armies of Volde, Durhan prepares for his ultimate attack on Trann. Overcoming him is crucial to safeguarding Eloysia, but saving Lighthall presents an entirely different challenge. Precariously positioned at the ferocious core of the sun, the city teeters on the brink of devastation. The salvation of Trann, its esteemed Ruling Wizards, and Lighthall itself all rest on the remarkable abilities of the coins and the courageous adventurers willing to undertake this vital quest.
The overarching theme of the adventure takes place in a different plane, where a quintet of virtuous wizard-kings are locked in battle with a wicked archmage known as Durhan. Through his dark magic, Durhan has succeeded in capturing the noble wizards and invoking a spell that causes their entire capital to disappear, sending it aloft into the unknown. The player characters are faced with the task of journeying to this unfamiliar realm to rescue the wizards and restore the capital, thereby saving the day.
The adventure unfolds over five distinct sections. The first part is titled “A City Vanishes,” and it begins with the PCs’ cherished city, assumed to be their capital in the Norworld campaign setting, suddenly disappearing. This vanishing act is a ripple effect of the evil wizard’s spell from another dimension. Concurrently, they witness five magical coins descending from the unknown, sent as a final warning from the good wizards and as keys to enter their dimension.
In the segment named “Hard Work for Small Pay,” the adventure guides the PCs on a challenging journey to unearth five mystical coins from wild, untamed locations near where their city once stood. Along this treacherous path, they will cross paths with an enigmatic family of sphinxes, face the chilling presence of a watery specter, negotiate with an aggressive tribe of underwater devilfish, and align with a mountain giant mercenary whose sole mission is the defeat of a formidable blue dragon.
Story moves forward towards the “Journey to Eloysia,” where the heroes utilize the mysterious coins to traverse the boundaries between worlds, arriving in an unfamiliar planar realm. All that remains of the once-thriving capital are the safeguarded dwellings of the five benevolent wizards. Within these enigmatic sanctuaries, the adventurers uncover hints and tools that guide them to the concealed prison of the good wizards. In a daring mission, they manage to liberate the imprisoned sorcerers and evade impending peril, igniting a glimmer of hope in a realm shrouded in mystery and darkness.
Following with “Battle with Durhan,” the adventurers are called upon to confront the malevolent ultra-wizard Durhan directly. The challenge is not simply to fight him, but to command and inspire the virtuous wizards’ forces in a stand against his invading legions. This high-stakes clash unfolds in a War Machine mass-combat scenario, a strategic battleground that may either enthrall or displease, depending on one’s affinity for such intricate rules and warfare dynamics. The fate of the realm hangs in the balance, and the heroes must rise to this extraordinary task.
In the climactic section known as “Journey to the Sun,” the heroes, fresh from victory in the realm of the benevolent wizards, face a harrowing realization: their own city remains imperiled, cast into the fiery core of their sun. The stakes are elevated further as they embark on an unprecedented voyage to the sun’s very heart. There, they must engage in diplomacy with the sovereign of this blazing domain, a negotiation laden with risk and urgency. The fate of their home city depends on their courage, wisdom, and the success of this extraordinary mission.
In reviewing this adventure, I’ve largely bypassed the overall construct of the planar realms, but a hint may be gleaned from the name of the final chapter. My central quarrel with this adventure arises from the characterization of these otherworldly locales. Instead of conjuring the grandeur and mystique of high fantasy, they strangely resonate with elements of science fiction, and they are delineated in this manner.
Take, for instance, the good wizards’ plane of Eloysia, a domain that defies conventional understanding as an inverted solar system. Far from being an empty void, the space beyond the solar system is actually solid. Within this bizarre cosmic enclosure lies a sun, orbited by myriad small, flat asteroid-nations, all facing toward its radiance. Distinctions among these floating landmasses are made based on their function: the innermost area is designated for mining, a middle zone for agriculture, and the outermost realms cater to urban life and sophisticated culture. Meteorological phenomena, including rainstorms and gigantic fish-like entities, traverse the interstellar space.
The peculiarities extend to the very edge of these realms. If you were to stumble off an edge, the solar wind would not gently float you into the abyss; instead, it would drive you to plummet thousands of miles to the firm boundary of the system.
The originality of these concepts is commendable, but they may jar those expecting a more traditional, fantastical approach, instead providing a surreal fusion that can feel more akin to speculative science fiction. The experience might leave some yearning for a narrative that better aligns with the archetypal, enchanted realms often depicted in the genre.
You can easily convert this to any Dungeons & Dragons edition with just a little imagination: Convert Old Dungeons and Dragons Adventures