Land of Vampires: Adventure Two
The Land of Vampires series continues with “Basking in the Light,” a five-part level 4 adventure for one GM and one player! In what follows, we’ll cover part one of this duet adventure where the party must choose between the Ring of Light’s draconian conservatism or the dark heart of St. Sebastian.
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This is the second in a series of duet adventures set in Steymhorod that point to an ultimate confrontation with a sinister vampire that has been targeting children. The party has pursued him from the world of Azuria to this strange land. In adventure one, the party arrived in Steymhorod, got their bearings, and attempted to aid the small settlement of Willowhold with their strange illness.
In part two, the party travels north from Willowhold toward the settlement of St. Sebastian. After the horrors of the open road, even the dubious comforts afforded by the party’s handlers in the Ring of Light are welcome. It doesn’t take long for the Brotherhood of Light to require a demonstration of loyalty. Their new hosts task the party with infiltrating the town of St. Sebastian and uncovering its secrets.
Whether they realize it or not, the party is also carrying a secret. As far as anyone in the Ring of Light or St. Sebastian knows, they are the first outsiders to visit Steymhorod in untold ages. This quality makes the party extremely interesting to the powers vying for survival.
Ultimately, the party is forced to decide between the Ring of Light’s control and limitations or the secret darkness of St. Sebastian.
As the adventure opens, the party find themselves in the land of Steymhorod and on the road. This adventure assumes that the party is continuing from the previous adventure “Out of the Witchwood.” The first two hooks listed here address the end of that adventure, while the third offers a suggestion for if your party is coming into the adventure cold. The final hook assumes the party is already in Steymhorod and in need of direction or a mission.
- The Party Saved Wellyn. If the party managed to bring Wellyn back in to Willowhold, “saving” her from the coven, they could be sent up to the Ring of Light which is rumored to be a potential source of enlightenment and comfort. Perhaps they know how to combat the Creeping Corruption?
- The Party is Banished. If the party is expelled from Willowhold, they have few prospects beyond the material from Brother Danuk. The elderly man’s tales (or journals) suggest that the Ring of Light is the safest place in all of Steymhorod.
- Wandering in the Wood. Traveling through a dangerous forest with oppressive fog and the cries of wild animals closing in from all directions, the party crests a hill and sees a walled city with beacon lights about its perimeter. This is surely the only place of safety!
- Rooting Out Evil. A trusted NPC sends the party to investigate the settlement of St. Sebastian and the rumors of a great darkness infesting it.
In the land of Steymhorod, there burns a single flickering flame fueled by zeal and desperate belief. For years the Ring of Light has thrived without walls in spite of the terrors lurking in the darkness. Denizens bask in the light of the Blessed Father and his ever-burning bonfires.
Meanwhile, the population of St. Sebastian slowly ages and dwindles surrounded by the comparatively vivacious Ring. The edicts of Sebastian, the town’s leader, ensure that, with rare exception, newcomers do not pass beyond the town walls. Sebastian’s exclusive policies threaten his people’s existence even as outside threats persist. In spite of the isolation, Sebastian remains resolute, assuring the aging populace that his ways, while seemingly backward, have the best interests of the city at heart.
Conversely, the Brotherhood of Light relies on recruitment. Any able-bodied folk that find their way to the Ring of Light are greeted warmly, as they will serve the group one way or another. Either they join the enlightened members of the Ring of Light, or they become kindling.
A City Surrounded
The Ring of Light and St. Sebastian have a complicated relationship. This is especially true of the two leaders, the venerated Sebastian in St. Sebastian and the enigmatic Blessed Father. Sebastian forbids any of the Blessed Father’s fanatical Brotherhood of Light to enter his walls in spite of their comprising most of the young men in the Ring of Light.
For GM Eyes Only: Sebastian recognizes that the Blessed Father is less than a saintly exemplar. Simultaneously, the Blessed Father knows that Sebastian is hiding a dark secret of some kind. Neither man seems to have aged in the twenty years they have been in simmering conflict. Both men see the other as anathema, a detested nuisance the region would be better off without.
Part One: Through the Night
As the adventure begins, the party is making their way toward the Ring of Light. Depending on which adventure hook you are using, feel free to adjust these accordingly.
Wllowhold is one full day of travel away from the Ring of Light at a fast pace. If the party chooses a normal or cautious pace, or elects to take a rest, then they will have to brave a night under the moon in Steymhorod. The party may have one or two of these encounters over the course of the day, and certainly one at night if they are in the open.
Encounters on the Road
|1||A successful DC 15 Wisdom (Perception) check allows the player to spot a flash of movement heading toward the road. A wight scout riding atop a worg appears 100 ft ahead and begins to turn. If the party fails to evade its attention, then it attacks for sport, but flees to report to the herd if seriously wounded.|
|2||A werewolf stalks the party and attempts to pick off any stragglers but does not hang around for a full fight.|
|3||A small horde of 1d6 zombies shambles toward the party.|
|4||A pair of enticing pumpkins rest on the side of the road. These are actually bumpkins (use awakened shrub stats) and attack if touched.|
|5||The party runs across a disheveled man seeking help but struggling with memory. In actuality he is a ghost who has forgotten his terrible death at the hands of the Brotherhood of Light. He was burned in one of their pyres. If allowed to travel with the party to within sight of the Ring, he goes mad and lashes out.|
|6||The party hears a terrible cry in the woods. Investigating, they find a young deer tangled and struggling in a trap. If the party helps it, the Witchwood blesses them with the aid spell.|
This adventure continues next week with part two of Basking in the Light as the party arrives at the Ring of Light outside the town of St. Sebastian!
Land of Vampires is a serial adventure created under the OGL with 5e SRD resources. The support of our patrons makes this campaign possible. If you’d like to receive a new adventure PDF each month and support our creation of a full duet campaign, join us on Patreon! Alternatively, you can now purchase the first five adventures in this campaign in the DnD Duet shop! (Patrons receive the compiled adventures as part of their patron rewards.)
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