Descent - The Shadow Rune

Castle Daerion
The Shadow Rune - Campaign Quest

On the advice of Baron Greigory, you have traveled down river in search of Sir Palamon — one of the Shadow Binders. As you approach Daerintown in the evening, you hear a strangled cry for help — the Overlord’s minions are already here! The town is under a stealthy assault; the castle must be next.

Your guide informs you that there are four beacons throughout the village, which may be lit to alert Castle Daerion to the danger. If you can light all four beacons, the Overlord’s nighttime raid will be foiled and the castle warned. Should the forces of the Overlord dispatch all the remaining villagers, however, they will surely march straight to the castle and you will be too late to stop them.

As the last beacon sputters to life, an answering light flares on the tall, dark walls of Castle Daerion. The blare of crude war-horns fills the air and the Overlord’s minions turn as one, abandoning the village to race toward the castle. You’d best follow after and ensure Sir Palamon survives the night!

When you reach Castle Daerion, you find the gates already torn asunder by a mighty Ettin. The castle’s guards struggled valiantly, but they were no match for the Overlord’s assault. “The Black Knight,” one gasps, lying at your feet. " Sir Alric is here!"

Within the keep, you hear the aged Sir Palamon rallying the defenders. With reinforcements cut off by your arrival and that of the Daerintown militia, the old knight has a chance—if you can buy him enough time.

Suddenly, there is a crash and a dozen armored soldiers burst into the keep, driving the Overlords forces back. “Thank you, heroes,” says Sir Palamon, leaning on his sword. “I fear that an evil I defeated long ago stirs once more. Dragonlord Gryworn must not be allowed to return!” The old man lifts his sword and sighs through his ash-gray mustache. “My sword was not equal to the task. Come, we must return to Arhynn, and the Barons.”

Rewards

Stamina Potion, Treasure Chest

1 XP, 100 gold coins

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A Fat Goblin
The Shadow Rune - Campaign Quest

Reports of goblins besieging the farmlands north of Arhynn have brought you here, and judging by the smell of smoke in the air, none too soon! You ready your weapons and rush forward, only to be met by a blood-spattered man in rough, simple clothes.

“Goblins,” he shouts. “They’re stealin’ everything what isn’t nailed down an’ burnin’ what is! They’ve got my brother; they’ve got Frederick!”

You’d best save what crops you can, or Arhynn will have hungry winter. But what could be making the goblins so voracious?

The blood-spattered farmer staggers forward again. “Me brother,” he sobs. “They came for him, grabbed him an’ a bunch more besides. He weren’t always a farmer like me, m’lords. Frederick was a Shadow Binder, just like that poor sod got killed in ‘is caravan outside Arhynn last week. They was friends! Why is them goblins killin’ an’ stealin’ all me brother’s friends?”

Clearly, the Overlord is interested in this man. You’d best get lead him to safety.

The goblins were not hard to follow, and now you edge cautiously into a cave in the Caedwyn Wood. Ahead, you hear deep laughter and a croaking voice. “Bring me the prisoners. One of them is the Shadow Binder! So speaks Splig, King of All Goblins!"

You’d better hurry and take out Splig, whoever he is, before he figures out which of the farmers is Frederick!

Victory

The self-styled “king” hurls his prisoner to the ground. “Have him, then!” he bellows. “But you shall never defeat Splig, King of All Goblins!” Then, putting on a surprising turn of speed for a goblin of such impressive girth, Splig rushes out the door.

A big man with a scarred face and white in his hair steps forward to address you. “Thank you, heroes. Reminds me of meself at a younger age. Take me to the Barons… seems I’ve still got work to do.”

Rewards

Curse Doll, Fire Flask, Power Potion, Secret Passage, Stamina Potion

1 XP, 75 gold coins

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My House, My Rules
Manor of Ravens - Mini Campaign Quest

Several expeditions have entered Ithyndrus’ old manor to slay Skarn, the crazed construct that lives within. They never return, however. The house keeps those that enter its walls, cocooned in a web of ever-changing doors.

You pull your arms over your face and throw yourself through another hedge. You have been chasing Skarn through the manor’s grounds, and he appears to be on his last legs. Bits of the manor and small fragments of crytsal fall from his broken body as you hit him with another attack.

He scrambles around the next corner. You brace yourselves as you hear another wave of ravens gathering behind you. The black swarm of feathers and talons swoops into sight, coming in low this time. You spring over the assault, narrowly avoiding the razor-sharp beaks and claws. Turning the corner, you see Skarn smash down through cellar doors, a few ravens swooping in after him.

Sprinting for the manor, you hear the whirl of daggers flying through the air and striking the wall around you. “That’s our manor,” a bandit shouts behind you. You pay him no heed and descend into the darkness before you.

You burst through the door and find yourself not where you whished to be. Turning, you realize the door is gone and evil eyes are watching you. The manor, it seems, has taken sides.

You pick up the large, shimmering rock. It glows blue, with ripples of red bouncing inside. The house shakes and groans in protest as you realize its purpose. Not only these stones pacify the manor, but if they are all reunited, Skarn will be bound inside its walls.

Skarn reaches out to the swirling energy emerging from a black, glowing tear in the wall. He rises a little higher, his body becoming stronger. The scar disappeares. Skarn is regaining power.

Victory

You press the shards of the binding stone together as Skarn speeds toward the exit. You fell the manor fight back, battling to maintain its being. You experience its memories; you fell its loneliness after Ithyndrus died., and share in his love for the ravens; you burn with rage as you watch the bandits pillage its many rooms; you understand its scheme to join with Skarn and continue to grow in power. Then it’s gone. Whether it has disappeared forever or is merely sleeping, you do not know, but the will of the manor has broken.

Skarn’s body nearly shatters as he collides with the cellar doors, which have just slammed shut before him. He turns and plods toward you, his body shaking with anger. Then, seeing the stone in your hand, he charges.

He fights completely abandon, each blow empowered by a fury that nearly exceeds your skill. More than once you fall back as he pulls the walls of the manor down around you. He slows over time, however, and struggles to maintain his energy.

He pulls himself away from you with his remaining arm, propping himself up against a wall. You gather around, ready to deal the killing blow. He reaches up into his chest and retrieves a glowing sphere, which spins and shimmers in his hand. With a sad moan, he lifts it into the air, and it blinks out of sight with a flash.

Skarn crumbles to the floor, nothing but a pile of rubble.

Rewards

1 XP, Shards of Ithyndrus

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Finders and Keepers
Manor of Ravens - Mini Campaign Quest

A restless and chaotic guardian has risen to protect Ithyndrus’ old manor. It is nowhere within, however, and much of the house has been looted. Perhaps it is out to reclaim its treasures and punish those that have tresspassed.

The manor lies silent within its walls. An occasional raven calls from overhead. You skirt the grounds, searching for a sign of Skarn. His massive form has left a clear trail through the undergrowth, but the branches snag your clothes and obstruct your path. You weave and hack your way through, nearly getting lost several times.

A trail of debris, torn and broken finery, leads you south. As twilight starts to threathen your search, you hear carousing and see the flicker of campfires up ahead. Climbing to the top of an aged wall, you gaze down upon a bandit camp. Various items of great worth lay scattered everywhere, obviously stolen from the manor. Men with glassy eyes and slurred speech stumble around the opening, celebrating their newly acquired fortune. Even in their intoxicated state, there is no way you can take the entire camp.

A deep, mechanical roar echoes through the glade, and Skarn tears into the far side of the glade. You quickly move to reacquire some of the stolen treasures during the distraction. You slip down from the wall and sprint toward a tent with its flap ajar. Halfway there, the ground sags beneath you. You stumble and leap to the side, a giant pit opens under your feet. Clinging to the edge, whoops of excitement rise up throughout the camp, and you do your best to climb to your feet as the first wave of bandits closes in on you.

The camp explodes into chaos. Skarn grabs a handful of the treasure, stuffing it into his chest. The bandits lose all order; a few even attack each other. If you plan on leaving with anything more than cuts and bruises, you better start grabbing up some artifacts for yourself.

Defeat

“You’ll pay for this, self-righteous scum!” Ollen Threeblade, the bandit leader screams at you from across the camp. He has rallied a small group of the bandits to himself, but that hasn’t stopped Skarn from having his way with the rest of the camp.

Spectral wraiths soar past you, carrying armful of treasure back to the manor. The branches above you begin to fill with ravens. They swoop down upon anyone who moves to retrieve the items scattered on the ground.

The last thing you see is Ollen Threeblade leaping upon Skarn, thrusting his fist deep into the guardian’s chest. They both disappear from sight, cocooned in a cloud of ravens. When the cloud scatters, they’re both gone, and the ravens turn their menacing eyes on you.

Rewards

Health Potion, Secret Passage, Stamina Potion

1 XP

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Burning Harvest
Rumor Quest

Ascending the mountain, you see thin streams of molten rock emanating from fissures in the uneven terrain. When you finally reach the entrance to the abandoned mine, a gust of hot, sulfuric wind catches you in the face.

It is clear from the surrounding rubble that the giants dug several boulders out of the mountain to widen the mine’s enterance. The great stones themselves were tossed casually to the side.

Just past the entrance, you can see the dull glow of skittering lava beetles, already agitated by Mughin’s presence. Suddenly, the entire chamber is lit by a fiery eruption from the ground.

Defeat

Mughin has escaped, but he’s left behind a map with a small red jewel resting on top of it. You recognize the mountain on the map where the gem rests. It is said that an ancient temple stands at the mountain’s peak. The gem suddenly bursts into flames, destroying the map!

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Death on the Wing
The Shadow Rune - Campaign Quest

Baron Zachareth sweeps imperiously toward you. “I’ve just come from Greigory; I had to turn down his request for a loan. It seems the treasury in Arhynn is nearly empty—soon neither of our baronies will be able to pay our soldiers.” The baron adjusts his tabard and sighs. “Our baronies share silver mines in the Carthmounts. Greystone Watchtower looks out over several of the major sites, and we’ve had no shipments from that region for weeks. I suspect the hand of that devilishly-clever Overlord is at work. Go look into it.”

On your way to the watchtower, you approach a twisting ravine. Suddenly, the sun is blotted out, and then a large and powerful winged figure lands on the stony earth before you. “Greetings, mortals,” he says. “I am Belthir, the Scion of Gryvorn." Then he pauses, as if expecting you to introduce yourself. When you don’t, he moves on. “I bear you no particular ill-will, but I’m here to slaughter every single person dwelling in that tower, and I can’t have you interfering.” With a thrust of his powerful, draconic legs, Belthir leaps to the stony slopes above the ravine ahead. Then, with a swipe of his muscular tail, he knocks a boulder into the ravine. “My minions will slow you down. Until next time, little mortals!” As Belthir spreads his wings and flaps away, monsters appear on both slopes, struggling to shove boulders over the edge into the ravine below.

You’d best hurry if you intend to beat the dragon hybrid to the watchtower.

Ahead, you see the scattered buildings of the Greystone Watchtower settlement—if you hurry, you might make in time!

You come to the last bridge before the watchtower. You can see the guards assigned to the tower going about their business, completely unaware of the doom that awaits them. You’re not sure why Belthir wants to kill them all, but you know that you don’t want that happen—you’d better fight him off, first.

Victory

Bleeding, the dragon hybrid staggers back. “I figured you’d be worthy enemies,” he growls, “but I see I underestimated you.” Then he leaps, spreading his wings and circling up into the sky. “We’ll meet again, my friends!”

One of the survivors come forward. “Sirs, I don’t know how or why you came here, but me and my mates thank you. Here.” He offers you a massive shield of black iron. “Figger that dragon-man came for this. Been nothing but ill-luck since it turned up in one of the mines. Take it away, please!”

Rewards

1 XP, Shield of the Dark God

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Spread your Wings
Manor of Ravens - Mini Campaign Quest

A rogue construct has emerged from a haunted manor. Forged by the power of forgotten relics and unfinished spells, the potential of this beast is unknown, and possibly limitless. You must locate and banish this creature.

You scale the wall just before sunset, the mountains casting long shadows across the manor grounds. Pockets of dark mist blanket the manor in the distance, and it is difficult to navigate through the overgrown gardens and twisting hedges. Shadowy figures watch from the windows as you approach, but you fearlessly push the doors open and step into the darkness.

You enter a small room with a single exit. A ladder climbs thirty feet and then disappears through an opening in the ceiling. You cautiously ascend.

The rookery is fetid and still. Stepping into the darkness, you realize you are not alone. A thousand beady eyes watch you from the walls, alert and fearful. A long moment passes, and you take a step back toward the trapdoor—which slams shut behind you.

The room explodes into chaos. The swarm of beating wings and the shrill, panicked cries are overwhelming. You are lost in the dark mass, disoriented and pushed in every direction. A deep, mechanical roar shakes the floorboards, and the ravens flee toward broken windows. Guarding your face from their claws, you do not see the giant construct leaping from the center of the room.

The glass shatters in every direction as you fly through the window. You trumble down the roof, unable to slow your descent, and roll over the side. Grasping at branches and window ledges, you slow your fall only slightly.

The guardian explodes as he hits the ground. As the last of its pieces roll to halt, an eerie silence settles over the manor. A single raven lands in the middle of the rubble, pecking at a glowing sphere.

Then the pieces start to roll back toward each other. A sudden swarm of ravens encircles the remains and within moments the fervent ravens are pulling the last pieces together around the construct. The beast rises with a wild flail and strides toward the gates.

Defeat

A stream of angry ravens pours down upon you, clawing at your eyes and grasping at your loose items. You take cover against a wall and watch with frustration as Skarn rushes out the south gate.

Turning, he gazes back at you. His legs tear at the ground under him, and he shudders, as if ready to charge. But he turns instead and sprints to the east as another cloud of ravens swoop down upon you.

They do not relent until you are far from the manor grounds. A small number of them never leave, continuing to watch as you work your way back to the manor, searching for a sign of Skarn’s location.

Rewards

Curse Doll, Health Potion, Secret Passage

1 XP

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Crusade of the Forgotten
Rumor Quest

Citizens from the towns have been disappearing for weeks. Some tell of loved ones screaming and crying as they were dragged away by shadow, while others say that the victims simply said goodbye and walked off into the darkness. You have uncovered one thing they all had in common: they are all apostates of the cult of the Forgotten.

The Forgotten is a cult that is said to have died out years ago, but for the last few weeks those that were once its members have been disappearing. Unable to discover what has happened to the missing cultists, you have hatched a desperate plan and spread word around town that you were also previously members of this cult.

You find yourself plodding up a rugged path, a bag drawn over your head and your hands bound. They must have taken you during the night, though you do not remember it. You listen carefully for the next few hours, gathering as much information as your captors foolishly disclose. It appeares someone is reestablishing the Forgotten and is starting by sacrificing many of the “unfaithful” to appease the “dark lords”.

You are jerked to a halt and your hood is removed. A dark cave gapes before you. The black stone contains innumerable carvings and symbols. In a moment you break your bonds and turn on your captors. They fall quickly and you gather your gear before approaching the cave. The etchings on the rock bend and flicker, then retreat into the stone. You draw your weapon and press in.

Victory

The symbols on the floor flare with excitement as they drink up the blood of your enemies. You gather outside with those that escaped. You have saved a few and gathered crucial information. You try not to think of those that were lost to the flames.

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First Blood
The Shadow Rune - Introduction

As you are traveling toward Arhynn, you come across the still-smoldering remains of a traveling caravan. One of the caravan guards, wearing the livery of Baron Greigory, lies wounded nearby. “An ambush,” he gasps. “That ettin is sending his minions straight into Arhynn through the secret path! How could he have known?”

Ahead, you see the lumbering, two-headed form of an ettin. “He said his name was Mauler. You must stop him!”

Mauler’s goblin minions are taking a secret route to attack Arhynn, Baron Greigory’s seat. If too many of his goblins escape off the far side of the trail, Mauler will have triumphed over you. Your goal is to kill him before that happens.

Victory

The ettin collapses to his knees, one of his heads emitting a grumbling wail. The other head struggles to speak: “Though we may die, we are but servants of the almighty Overlord. Our master will be triumphant in the end! Arhynn will fall!” Then both heads grow silent and the beast topples over.

Rewards

Fire Flask, Nothing, Stamina Potion

1 XP, 75 gold coins

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