Friday 1 January 2021

Sky ov Crimson Flame

Sky ov Crimson Flame is a 0-level adventure by Thorin Thompson. Included is Blights ov the Eastern Forest, a 1st level mini-campaign by Thorin Thompson and Clint Bohaty. Art is by Stefan Poag (including cover and cartography), Jordyn Boci (including cartography), Thomas Harkness, Jim Magnusson (including cartography), Benjamin Marra, Paige Reitterer, Karl Stjernberg (including cartography), Thomas Novosel (cartography), and Nicolò Maioli. The publisher is Owl Knight Publishing.

Disclosure: I backed the successful Kickstarter for this project. In fact, this was the first Kickstarter I ever backed!

This product actually contains two adventures: the 0-level Sky ov Crimson Flame and the 1st-level Blights ov the Eastern Forest. Together the two certainly follow my own advice for devising initial adventures. These ties are not necessary; if you are using just the funnel adventure, you can safely ignore them.

If you are looking for a great funnel, filled with pathos and disturbing imagery, you need look no further. There is enough body horror in this adventure to satisfy the most jaded of players. Seriously - know your audience here! This is neither for the weak nor faint of heart. The adventure comes to a satisfying conclusion (which may not actually conclude the sequence of events; this could haunt the survivors for a long time to come). Another editing pass would have been nice, but the lack thereof doesn't harm the adventure's usability.

I have heard many players list Sky ov Crimson Flame as among their favorite funnels, and it is easy to see why. The adventure includes handouts, a character sheet, and a 3rd level wizard spell, Splinter Souls.

Blights ov the Eastern Forest is more a series of mini-adventures than a single grand narrative. In effect, it is either a mini-campaign or the backdrop of a mini-campaign as the new PCs begin to explore outward from their home village. These adventures offer a variety of tone and substance, and could be used outside of the Eastern Forest for judges looking for mini-adventures to include while their PCs travel. 

The mini-adventures are: Lair of the Yss’sak, Hellspring Hollow, Domain of the Coo'ng, Jhumii-Beyr Glen, Sanctuary of the Sightless Sisters, and The Wrook's Hut.  In addition there is a Bestiary for the Eastern Forest: New Encounters for a Blighted Land. Some of this material would easily fit into a Shudder Mountains campaign.

Transcribed from the tattered pages of Sir Hooticus’ tome comes a new tale of adventure, sorcery and death! Our story unfolds with the sudden disappearance of the raven-haired beauty Belesa and soon turns to hysteria as others vanish from the small farming village of Reed. One by one, friends, loved ones and finally the children scream out in the dark of the night and are lost…

Now, as the Horned Moon rises, a thunderous sound ripples across the night sky and in its wake a falling Crimson Star ignites in the East! The village elders suspect the kidnapped have been taken to an ancient and vile Keep that lies hidden within the dreaded Eastern Forest, for they alone remember the old tales of screaming witch-lights that blazed and dance across the sky in times of yore!

Even now strange ululations cry out as fleeting shadows ride the wind. Who among you will brave the bowels of that foul Keep, where unspeakable horrors must surely await, in an attempt to save those that have been taken?

What is it that turns a land sour? What evil breeds and lurks under the dark boughs of the Eastern Forest, that has for generations cast a shadow of dread over the village of Reed. Is it possible a band adventurers, stout of heart, body and mind can put an end once and for all to the corruption that dwells there?

Blights ov the Eastern Forest sends your adventurers on a dangerous mission to cleanse the evil that spawns from the very roots of the woods and weaves a rich history that ties in the previous adventure with a map, six new areas to explore and a bestiary of horrors to encounter! Walking into the forest is easy. It’s getting out alive that’s hard!

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