If At First (2007)

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RPG Item: CDX-08: If At First
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Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
Year: 2007
Electronic (PDF, DOC, eBook, HTML, etc.)
21 pages
Size: Letter
English
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A One-Round Adventure for 8th Level Characters

Crimson Codex Faction Adventure 8

From the introduction:

In the time when giants ruled Xen’drik, the masters of the continent performed all manner of arcane research in every imaginable area. One influential giant espoused a theory that creatures’ souls were held in the body by “humors.” The humors also governed the personality and power of a creature. Each of the four humors was tied to one of four elements: fire, water, air, and earth.

With this theory as his guide, this giant (whose name has been lost to the ages) created an underground laboratory to conduct experiments. As with some scientists who delve too deeply into research without first considering the consequences, the giant performed torturous experiments on his subjects, killing scores of them in the name of progress. What became of the giant and his poor subjects is unknown, but his laboratory and the infernal eldritch machine he created have been buried for countless ages. All that has recently changed, however.

The half-giant adventurer Sailoc ip’Ahar had his plans to rain a destructive Siberys dragonshard shower on Stormreach foiled by Codex Serpents in the Crimson Codex adventure CRC-3 Native Intelligence. Sailoc, however, escaped the Serpents. And he is nothing if not determined. Sailoc has again joined forces with one of Virulence’s aberrations—this time a mind flayer named Ichlarzid. They uncovered the giant’s terrible laboratory, and while they do not completely understand what happened there or how the instruments are used, they are utilizing Khyber shards to power the device that drains the soul from a creature, creating an undead beast and storing the souls in shards. Working in coordination with Virulence’s mind flayer lackey Ichlarzid, Sailoc hopes to create an undead army at his command, sending them off to destroy the population of Stormreach that he feels has scorned his talents and impinged upon the sacred ground of his giant ancestors.

The first attempt to send undead into Stormreach was partially successful. A few of the gnoll mercenaries working with Sailoc were turned into zombies, and then he ordered them to invade Stormreach by night, capturing as many living beings as possible and bringing them back to the ruins to feed more souls into the infernal eldritch machine.

Fortunately, Crimson Codex agent Fritz-Roy witnessed the attack, and he was able to defeat two of the gnoll zombies and rescue some Stormreach residents. However, the son of the most powerful Stormreach merchant was taken, along with four of his friends. Since the zombie gnolls wore the uniform of a member of Sailoc ip’Ahar’s army, and the Crimson Codex is familiar with him, something can be done. Intelligence on the half-giant indicates he has found a new hideout in another ancient giant ruin. How he is associated with the gnoll zombies, and what he is doing at this new site, is currently unknown. The Codex needs the PCs to find him and figure out what is happening, and hopefully rescue those who have been taken.

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