This post covers part three of Basking in the Light, the second installment in our Land of Vampires series. In part three of this level 4 adventure, the party enters the walls of St. Sebastian! Inside, they’ll find a story rather different than that of the Ring of Light, and perhaps a secret or two! But ultimately, it will be up to the party to choose their side.
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Part Three: Behind the Wall
As the party moves around the Ring of Light, they notice several groups of armed guards wearing armbands indicating membership to the Brotherhood of Light. They should also grow irritated (or worse) at the restrictions of the Ring’s rules and the disapproving looks and snide corrections they receive in the case of non-compliance. If they wish to take a long rest in the Ring of Light, they may do so at The Lantern.
When the party is ready, they are free to make their way to the gatehouse of St. Sebastian. The gate remains open during the day, but there is relatively little traffic across the threshold. A pair of guards size them up as they approach. The more capable of the pair steps forward and holds his hand up, asking them to halt.
Jeremy Vansyn, Captain of the Guard
One of the youngest citizens in all of St. Sebastian, Jeremy is a charismatic leader and dedicated caretaker to his mother, Maria, and many of the elderly citizens of the city. Jeremy uses the veteran stat block.
Motivation: I will protect this walled city and the people in it who are like family to me.
Flaw: I sometimes take on more than I can comfortably handle. I carry my small world on my back.
The most important information that he can offer the party is:
- Anyone is welcome in St. Sebastian, provided they aren’t in the Brutal Brotherhood. And as long as they leave before nightfall.
- The Ring of Light siphons off people from St. Sebastian. It’s like a leech sucking away the lifeblood of this place.
- The “Blessed Father” has had it out for poor old Sebastian ever since he wasn’t allowed in. Sebastian had his reasons. He’s excellent at reading people and determining their motivation.
Jeremy orients the party to the town of St. Sebastian. He returns to his post once the party is comfortable.
Pacing and Combat
As the GM, you know how to read your player. Some will love the social interaction aspects and discovering everything about St. Sebastian and her rival. But if your player is more combat-oriented, we’ve included a couple opportunities to bring in that pillar of play.
Inside the Walls of St. Sebastian
Tavern: The Notched Fang
Weaponsmith: Evangeline’s Armaments
General Store: Godwin’s Goods
Homes: The town is largely residential. Investigating closely, it becomes clear that fully one in three dwellings are uninhabited.
Gardens: There are several small shared farming spaces that citizens use to augment their food supply. Gourds and root vegetables are the norm.
Potential bumpkin encounter! (Use the awakened shrub stat block.)
Cemetery: In the northwestern corner of the settlement lies a sprawling graveyard featuring mausoleums and headstones. There are reflecting benches, a pond, and a gazebo.
Potential zombie encounter!
Church and Clinic: At the back end of the cemetery, is a small, pristine church presided over by Sebastian’s friend Lazarus who tends to the physical and spiritual needs of the city’s citizens.
A Chance Encounter
At some point (or after one of the potential encounters above) as the party explores St. Sebastian, they notice a thin, severe older man making his way toward them.
The venerable leader of St. Sebastian has been in charge here for as long as anyone can remember. He uses the benign vampire stat block that can be found in Appendix A. (The blog version of the adventures does not include the Appendix or stat blocks. In this case, adapt the vampire spawn stat block by eliminating the regeneration ability, multiattack, and bite action. However, he can cast detect thoughts at will.)
A character succeeding on a DC 18 Wisdom (Insight) check can pick up on the fact that he is undead, while a 20 will allow the player to learn he is indeed a vampire. Sebastian attempts to conceal the fact that he is the namesake of this settlement and that he has lived well beyond normal human years. As he talks with the party, he nips at a beautiful silver flask. (A flask of enlivening, which allows him to preserve freely given blood so he does not need to feed on others.)
Motivation: Though damned myself, I militantly protect my corner of this cursed place and the people in it.
Flaw: I can be overly strict and severe when it comes to this town.
Sebastian wants to understand the party and their plans in Steymhorod to stop them if they threaten him or his town, or to leverage them if they can be allies. He makes liberal use of his detect thoughts action and is intrigued by the fact that they do not hail from this dark land. Should the party reveal they are hunting a vampire, a successful DC 18 Wisdom (Insight) check reveals to the player that he seems defensive and a little worried.
Their Meeting Goes Poorly
If Sebastian determines the party has arrived with malicious intent, seeking to harm himself or ruin St. Sebastian, or if they are working directly with the Blessed Father, he summons 6x guards and Jeremy to toss the party out.
Their Meeting Goes Well
The most important information that he can offer the party is:
- The Blessed Father and his cronies cannot be trusted. The party should be wary. They may smile and smile, but they will either bend the party to their cause…or turn on them.
- Relatively few strangers come through St. Sebastian to trade anymore. There is occasional movement from Barasov to the east and Willowhold to the south. And of course, the saudad come and go freely.
- I runs this town, but this region is controlled by an absentee lord who hasn’t been seen in a decade. Lord Nassarq, a vampire. Even when present, he didn’t bother St. Sebastian too much.
- Nassarq (the vampire the party is hunting) is a vassal to the Lord of the Land, Lord Adrian Mandruleanu Ruskalovich Drogo.
Sebastian is a gracious host and may invite the party to his simple two-story home but turns them out in the face of outright snooping. The party may even be invited to stay in St. Sebastian if they succeed on a DC 20 Charisma (Persuasion) check. (Part Five will include a section on Investigating Sebastian with descriptions of the rooms of his home.)
When the party is done investigating, shopping, and interacting with the denizens of St. Sebastian, Jeremy seeks them out with a request: Won’t they please try to do something about the Blessed Father? Jeremy believes in Sebastian, and Sebastian believes that there is something really wrong with the Ring of Light’s leader.
If the party would look into the Blessed Father and catch him breaking his own rules, then perhaps the people in the Ring of Light would realize they’ve been taken advantage of, and we could all get along better.
If they secured Sebastian’s blessing, and assuming the party is small in number, Jeremy invites the characters to stay with him while they’re in the city—he has a spare room with a bed and a sofa where they might make themselves comfortable.
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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