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A group of adventurers vanish without a trace... only to reappear captive in a keep long thought abandoned and cursed! But far from empty, the keep is overrun with goblins! Are the goblins responsible for the abduction, or is the frightened young wizard in the keep somehow connected? And what of this other mysterious humanoid tribe hiding in the depths below? Will the adventurers solve these mysteries, or will they end the day as an entrée?

This d20 System adventure module is designed for character levels 1 to 3, and requires the use of a Roleplaying Game Core Book published by Wizards of the Coast, Inc.

The module includes the all-new magic item, the rod of goblin smiting, and the all-new monsters, the lost tribe goblin and the shark zombie.

The Story

A group of individuals (the PCs) carefully selected for their skills have been kidnapped in the dark of night with the aid of an hourglass of sleeping and some burly henchmen. They’ve been brought to a long-abandoned keep where a young wizard by the name of Dalton is seeking an ancient artifact on behalf of his elders. This artifact, some sort of rod, has powers beyond Dalton’s knowledge, but he does know that he needs a fair bit of help to find it in the depths of the keep.

ISBN 1-932295-10-0
Brian F. Schreurs
Douglas G. Sheldon
Artwork by Michael Scott Kulina
Unfortunately for Dalton, about the time he was getting ready to awaken the adventurers and impart his ultimatum (“help me find the rod or perish horribly”, or something to that effect), a band of nomadic goblins happened upon the keep and thought it the ideal home. Dalton, being a bit too young for issuing lofty ultimatums, was unable to combat the goblins and fled to the tower of the keep. The PCs were left to their fate.

That fate proved to be one of waking in a closed room with strangers. The PCs will need to strike whatever kind of truce or bond they find the heart to offer, and venture forth to see what kind of trouble they’re in. Throughout the keep they’ll face hostile goblins; once they find Dalton, he will not readily admit to his treachery, but instead will thank them for saving him and attempt to impress upon them the urgency of his mission. He will readily stoop to lying about the value and quantity of treasure available, or any other means of persuasion at his disposal—including charm spells—to gain the aid of the adventurers in the retrieval of the magic rod.

Below the keep, the party will find more goblins but little else. There’s a mysterious well to get them in trouble, but the artifact that Dalton so badly seeks is located elsewhere—across a water-filled chasm with only a submerged bridge to cross it.

On the other side of the chasm, the PCs will discover a community of goblins like they’ve never seen: thin, ghostly white, and large-eyed, the “lost tribe goblins” have not encountered other humanoids for generations. They lived on the far side of the dungeon before the waters of the chasm rose, and lacking the resources to cross the water-filled chasm, they adapted to solitude after the outside world was washed away. Their sole source of light is the very artifact Dalton seeks so badly to acquire.

Four stars -- "It has a few captivating twists which will help confound and test players. While there are goblins aplenty in this module, they aren’t the traditional cannon fodder tribal mobs of the old game. What they are is different, and that will just add to the challenge any party subject to this module must surmount."

Compounding matters, having been so long cut from the affairs of human and demihuman, the lost tribe goblins possess no hostility toward the party and will steadfastly refuse to fight until it is clear that their very existence is at stake. They will greet the party with wonder and, if the party approaches without drawing blood, will prove quite hospitable—right until Dalton finds an opportunity to steal the artifact.

What now? The group will be faced with a choice: side with Dalton, side with the lost tribe goblins, or side with nobody. By this point Dalton should have proven duplicitous even to the most charitable player, but if they cast their lot with him they will have to fight off the lost tribe as they flee with the artifact, only to be greeted by even more (conventional) goblins on the keep side of the chasm. It will be a tricky spot to be in.

Siding with the lost tribe goblins will mean retrieving the artifact from Dalton before he can escape with it. In gratitude the lost tribe will be quite loyal to the party, to the point of risking a chasm crossing and standing as sentinels in defense of the keep long after the adventurers have moved on.

Taking no side at all… well. Players certainly can do unpredictable things!