Shadowghast Manor

Wizard of the Coast's newest addition to the dungeon tiles collection.

To facilitate my review of the Shadowghast Manor Dungeon Tiles set from Wizards of the Coast on Examiner.com I decided to run the Tile Trek adventure titled “A Knight in Shadowghast Manor written by Ken Hart. The adventure was written specifically for this dungeon tiles set which means the set included everything I needed. I decided I wanted to run the game as a My Realms adventure set in the Forgotten Realms (Living Forgotten Realms to be more specific).

The group consisted of four adventurers who were looking for work in Waterdeep. They found employment with a minor noble in Waterdeep, Lord Arghost, who was concerned about a series of attacks against merchant caravans heading north from Waterdeep towards Neverwinter. The journey is perilous enough under normal conditions much farther to the north but these attacks were happening much closer to Waterdeep not too far from the abandoned estates of Shadowghast Manor. Lord Arghost feared brigands may be using the manor as a base of operations to launch the raids on the caravans and he was willing to pay handsomely for someone to investigate.

Following an old map provided by Lord Arghost the adventurers traveled north out of Waterdeep spending an uneventful few days on the road together. Leading the party was the honorable Sir Harbek, dwarf warpriest and servant of Amaunator who had been traveling for some time with his companion, Sir Nadarr Redscale, dragonborn barbarian. Guiding them through the terrain was the highly skilled explorer, Shailia, an elven seeker. Present with the party at the personal request of Lord Arghost (and the representative of his interests in securing the roads to the north) was Athena, human mage and magical scholar extraordinaire.

Shadowghast Manor

Approaching the manor...

As they approached Shadowghast Manor Shailia moved ahead stealthily and scouted out the perimeter of the manor itself. She noticed sentries keeping watch through the boarded windows of the manor but she could not identify who they were. Doubling back she guided the group towards the rear of the manor where they entered without alerting the sentries. Much to their surprise they found duergar guarding the rear of the manor and they launched a surprise attack before the duergar could react. Hearing the sounds of battle in the rear of the manor the sentries in the front of the manor (human guards and a duergar scout) rushed to help the duergar but they were too late. The adventurers had cut the duergar to shreds and the human guards fled while the duergar scout turned invisible and went into the crypts below to warn Arturas.

Questioning the sole remaining duergar guard the party learned they had been hired by Arturas to provide security in the manor while he performed a ritual below in the crypts. The duergar did not know exactly what the ritual would do but it had something to do with absorbing the power of Arturas’ ancestors. Searching the manor the party found a letter written by Orobius Shadowghast who told of the folly of his life and the downfall of the Shadowghast family. From the letter the party deduced there were many spirits in the crypts below which possessed immense power and perhaps allowing Arturas to complete such a ritual would be a very bad idea.

Shadowghast ManorThey began to hear the sounds of chanting coming from the crypts below. The manor began to shake and the sounds of the wailing dead tore through the area. The party descended into the crypts and moved into an antechamber and unknowingly avoided a trap on the staircase. I debated moving the trap so it would still be part of the encounter but what fun would that be. They avoided it even if they didn’t realize it. Oh well! In the antechamber they were more than successful at setting off a whirling blade trap (marked by the flame markers in the picture to the right). Shailia noticed a horrific creature coming up the stairs but then fell back to find a way to disable the trap to allow them some room to maneuver. The creature was a bloodfire ooze (not the miniature pictured but I do not have a bloodfire ooze miniature or anything like it) which can be a brutal creature to fight but it becomes even more deadly in tight quarters. With the trap keeping them pinned along the sides of the room the creature nearly TPKed the entire party. Harbek, Nadarr and Athena were all knocked unconscious and Shailia was down to 8 hit points before she landed the killing blow. There was a lot of cheering around the table. This was the hardest encounter in the adventure.

Shadowghast Manor

Facing Arturas!

Moving farther into the crypts the party found a large chamber filled with undead protecting Arturas while he worked at completing the ritual with the help of a succubus servant. They launched themselves at the undead but could not break through to Arturas before he completed his task (I gave them two rounds to do so). Arturas swelled with power and turned to face those who had attempted to thwart his efforts. The succubus used her abilities to worm her way into Nadarr’s mind and turned him against his allies while Sir Harbek locked in single combat against Arturas. Shailia and Athena focused their efforts on destroying the succubus so they could free Nadarr of the succubus’ control.

By the time they turned back to Arturas they found Sir Harbek lying on the ground broken and bloodied. The brave dwarf had held off Arturas as long as he could. Athena unleashed a fountain of flame at Arturas while Shailia began pelting him with all the spiritual energy she could muster. Sir Nadarr moved in on Arturas and continued shoving the villain back into the fountain of flames over and over again. Against their combined assault the villain could not prevail and he was defeated.

Orobius appeared before the adventurers and thanked them for saving him as well as the souls of his departed family. As a gift he healed Sir Harbek’s most grievous wounds and returned the warpriest to the land of the living.

We had a great deal of fun with this adventure and with the new dungeon tiles. The adventure was well written and very challenging. We used it as a My Realms adventure but it could have easily been included as part of any campaign in any setting.

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