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Adapting the Night Below to Mystaraby David Keyser from Threshold Magazine issue 6
Adapting the Night Below for Mystara
A classic Underdark Campaign in the Soderfjord Jarldoms
by David Keyser
In 1995, TSR Inc. released a 2nd Edition AD&D adventure box set, called Night Below: An Underdark Campaign. It contained three 64 page booklets, sixteen sheets of player handouts, an eight page monstrous compendium booklet, eight reference cards, and three double-sided full color tactical maps. It is designed to introduce the PCs to an area at first level, and take those characters all the way through to about 14th level when they reach the conclusion of the campaign.
At the time Night Below was released, Mystara was in its second and final year of being published as a 2nd Edition AD&D campaign setting, one of many TSR was supporting at the time. As the Night Below used common D&D fantasy tropes, a decision was made to appeal to all three classic fantasy settings in publication, Greyhawk, the Forgotten Realms, and Mystara. This was done primarily by dropping in the names of high-profile NPCs for each setting in a few places, as well as identifying a few of the gods/Immortals.
However, much of the material in the Night Below campaign, including the terrain, the inhabitants, the monsters and the conflicts, matches very closely to Greyhawk. This comes as no surprise as the author of this adventure, Carl Sargent, was a major contributor to the Greyhawk line. The Night Below was written with Greyhawk in mind and the small amount of text devoted to suggestions for Forgotten Realms and Mystara were likely added later in an attempt to broaden the market for the adventure.
This article is an attempt to customize and supplement Night Below so as to make it more integrated with Mystara themes, as well as provide a location where you can drop the campaign into the world with a minimum amount of conversion work.
Statistics are all provided for 2E AD&D, although in a couple of cases rules are adopted in from BECMI D&D and 3.5 D&D where necessary. All of the monsters used in the Night Below box set come from the 2nd Edition 1993 Monster Manual hardcover. If that book is not available then monster manuals from other editions should contain most of these monsters but keep in mind certain creatures get modified with edition changes and may not have the same abilities described here and in the Night Below box set. This article utilizes additional monsters from the Mystara Monstrous Compendium Appendix.
While this article uses 2E AD&D spell names, keep in mind that in the case of spells which contain proper wizard names as part of the spell name, those proper names should be dropped when using them in play. Thus Hornung’s Guess refers to a wild mage that does not exist on Mystara, and Mordenkainen of Mordenkainen’s Force Missiles does not exist in the setting either. The simplest solution is to just drop the proper wizard names.
Why the Soderfjord Jarldoms?
As most of the Night Below campaign occurs underground, the adventure can be plausibly set in just about any country or land on Mystara that you wish to use. The only true requirement is that the surface region is a backwater and unimportant place locally, as the plot requires that there are no powerful forces or guardians nearby that will notice the abductions too early.
The Soderfjord Jarldoms, having no strong central government in the 1000AC era and being relatively wild and undeveloped, more than satisfies that requirement. Soderfjord also has the additional advantage of matching the races used in the Night Below campaign fairly well, and not having had its own Underdark explored and documented beyond the Falun Caverns in the Hardanger Mountains. Lastly, it is still in a reasonably central location that the ultimate plot still can threaten much or most of the D&D Known World as documented in the Gazetteer series. If you do use Soderfjord, it is recommended you have GAZ7 The Northern Reaches as a reference.
In any case, even if you do choose another location for the Night Below, much of this article will still be of use, as it has drawn on as much canon and fan material as possible to link to the adventure.
The standard races and classes are all available for a Night Below campaign, with one exception…half-elves. In keeping with the Mystara setting, half-elves are unknown in this area of the D&D Known World. If a player wishes to play a half-elf, it is recommended they choose either an elf or human race for the mechanics, and give a hint of the other race in parentage by a cosmetic difference in appearance.
In the Soderfjord Jarldoms the population is primarily Rockhome dwarf and Northern Reaches human. PCs with local origins are recommended to be either a human or dwarf, while elven, halfling or other human ethnicity PCs are likely travelers who have come to the Northern Reaches in search of work, trade, or adventure.
All character classes from the Players Handbook are suitable, with all classes other than the paladin having some representation in local communities. Paladins are likely to belong to churches outside the Northern Reaches, such as in Karameikos or Thyatis. Local clerics, who are referred to in the Northern Reaches as godi(plural godar), primarily honor Odin, Thor, Frey and Freya, or Loki. PC human fighters originating in the Northern Reaches also have the option of becoming a berserker, see the Berserkers entry for more details.
The Night Below campaign largely relies on the 2E Monster Mythology book when discussing the various deities (referred to in the book as “Powers”) which are worshipped by the various races encountered in the campaign. Most of these will be addressed in the corresponding entries. No deities were assumed for the PCs, so there are no assumptions or restrictions for the players, they can pick any Immortals they wish. Local clerics honor the Northern Reaches pantheon.
The Night Below campaign did recommend for Mystara campaigns using Thanatos as the deity worshiped by the evil priests encountered in the Night Below campaign. This recommendation was made for each encounter, as these priests, somewhat loosely connected, worship a death god as part of a cult. This adaptation will continue to include Thanatos as a possibility. It will also include Hel who is another Immortal also tied to death. She is well-known and reviled in the Northern Reaches.
For each encounter, this adaptation will also make suggestions for enhancing the death priest encounters based on whether they worship Thanatos or Hel.
For Thanatos, his priests tend to carry a scythe as their primary weapon, may use a death touch once per week, cannot be raised from the dead, and, if they are 6th level or higher, will animate as an intelligent corporeal undead, retaining all of their spellcasting powers, d20 days after they are slain, unless their body is dismembered, destroyed or blessed. At 9th level or higher they get a bonus animate dead spell once per week.1
A scythe in 2nd Edition AD&D is a two-handed weapon that does 1d10+2 hp of damage per strike against small and medium creatures, and 2d6 hp of damage per strike against large creatures. It weighs 15lbs, does slashing damage, and has a weapon speed factor of 8. An acceptable alternative to the scythe is the sickle, a one-handed weapon that is listed in the 2E Players Handbook.
For Hel, her priests can control/rebuke undead as if they were three levels higher than their current level. They also gain access to a set of unique abilities which they select from at appropriate levels.2 See each individual’s entry for recommended selections.
And by all means, feel free to mix things up by having priests of Thanatos and Hel show up in different encounters against the PCs as you choose. While the original adventure suggests that it is one death cult which has members working with the kidnappers, there is no reason that two separate death cults would not each find employ with the kidnappers. Priests of Hel and Thanatos would be unlikely to work closely together, but they would be willing to respect each other’s operations as long they don’t encroach on each other.
Warriors of the Northern Reaches are particularly susceptible to being overcome with battle rage in the midst of combat.3 To account for this, some NPCs in the adventure will be designated as berserkers. A berserker will only fight opponents for as long as any remain. Once all enemies have been defeated, however, the berserker will continue to fight for 1d4 turns as long as anyone is remains standing nearby, attacking allies unless and until the berserker is incapacitated or slain.
The main mechanical advantage of being a berserker is they get +1 hp per hit die and +2 to melee attack rolls while berserk. A berserker enters the battle rage state immediately upon engaging in melee combat. Berserkers never check morale, and will fight to the death, even if their companions flee.
Book I: The Evils of Haranshire
This book provides the introduction to the campaign and details the lands above ground called Haranshire.
Welcome to the Grand Dungeon
The aboleth are the ultimate and villains in this adventure. While the aboleth were never used in Mystara products, they are so central to the plot that they will be left unchanged. For an explanation of their origins on Mystara, as well as their rivalry with the kopru that will be featured later in this article, I recommend reading the Aboleth Presence section from the Savage Tide conversion article4 found in Threshold Magazine #4.
These underground dwarves are not found in Mystara, but there is a close equivalent, the Modrigswerg5. The Modriswerg are clans of dwarves that live throughout the Northern Reaches, and are patterned after the dwarves of Norse mythology. They tend to be great craftsmen and the most skilled have even fashioned weapons for the Immortals, but they also have a greater tendency towards evil and insanity.
Most of the Modrigswerg encountered during the Night Below campaign belong to Clan Sareft, who are considered the most degenerate of dwarves, even among other Modrigswerg. They don’t have much in the way of crafting skills but they are experts on poison and traps. Clan Sareft is predominantly found in the Hardanger mountains which is south of Haranshire, where they are allied with the kobolds in the region. Clan Sareft is allied with the aboleth in this campaign.
Darlakanand, the renegade derro in league with the aboleth, is not from Clan Sareft. He is part of Clan Grabjerge, a clan known for its devotion to dark magics which has isolated itself from all other Modrigswerg. The clan resides on the island of Noslo, which is part of Ostland, in a hidden sanctuary deep within the mountains. Darlakahand was exiled with his closest followers for crimes which even his people reviled. Diinkarazan, the Derro demigod from Monster Mythology, does not play a factor on Mystara at all, unless you choose to introduce him as an Immortal, in which case he would be a minor Immortal in the Sphere of Entropy. The insane Modrigswerg in this campaign are Darlakanand’s fellows who accompanied him on exile, and survived some of his earlier experiments.
The Modrigswerg who are waging a guerrilla campaign against the aboleth all come from Clan Kurwerg.6
It has been established that illithids are not native to Mystara, but some have discovered the world and seek to establish a foothold.7 The illithids who work with the aboleth were some of the earliest arrivals of their kind to this area of the world, and soon established an alliance with the aboleth upon encountering them.
The smaller faction of illithids encountered in Book III who are preparing for war against the aboleth still have the same goals, but they are a rival faction to the illithids working with the aboleth. They represent an illithid world that would like to invade and conquer the Known World at some point in the distant future, but correctly perceive that should the aboleth plan succeed they will need to abandon that plan. The illithids already consider the likelihood of success to be low, so the forces this faction represents are all that will be devoted to stopping the aboleth. The only change this makes is that once the illithid faction suffers the number of casualties specified in the adventure, they will abandon the fight, plane shifting back home and never return.
There are two possibilities for the deep gnomes in this adventure. First, they may be surviving gnomes of the Falun Caverns who managed to flee their home for deeper caverns when the kobolds slaughtered the rest of their kind.8 Gnomes are not distinguished as different sub-races on Mystara, so there are no svirfneblin. Instead gnomes tend to be distinguished by skillset or technology, such as the sky gnomes of Serraine.9 These gnomes have managed to hide from every hostile race for centuries, and have the same abilities of svirfneblin, but these abilities tend to have alchemical or technological origins based on the applications of fantasy physics rather than inherent spell-like abilities.
The second possibility is that they are not gnomes at all, but instead are a friendly clan of Modrigswerg called the Garlindwerg10.
Kuo-toa are another race which was never used in Mystara. The closest race would be the kna,11 an aquatic race of fishmen who need air-breathing magic to survive on land and who are much less psychotic and neutral than kuo-toa. The kuo-toa in this adventure could simply be variant kna.
Another possibility is to make them Hresha-rhak,12 who are virtually identical to kuo-toa and in fact could be kuo-toa.
In either case, it is recommended that the kuo-toa in this adventure have their game mechanics and statistics unchanged, and just emphasize any descriptive characteristics if you do pick a different race. For example, rather than use the Hresha-rhak’s rather extreme vulnerability to fire, use the AD&D kuo-toa’s vulnerability to fire rule.
The Ixzan (Ixitxachitl)
These creatures are known as devilfish on Mystara. No one on Mystara would ever bother distinguishing between the two.
These elves are very close in style to the Shadow Elves13 of Mystara. This isn’t surprising as Carl Sargent created both elf races. This article recommends that the Rockseers are a smaller clan among the shadow elves who were separated from their brethren before the latter discovered the teachings of Rafiel. They had amongst them a disproportionate number of powerful wizards, and managed to make their way north and east before they found a safe place to settle below the Northern Reaches. Here they have developed their unique stone-shaping magic while gradually becoming aware of life on the surface. Unlike the rest of the shadow elves, the Rockseers bear no grudges against the elves of Alfheim. Rather than being tall, they are similar in appearance to shadow elves, short and slight of build, with pale hair and eyes.
The Tanar’ri and the Baatezu
In simple terms, tanar’ri are demons, while baatezu are devils. Demons are well-established on Mystara and ones like the tanar’ri in this campaign are easily explained.14 Devils, on the other hand, never had a presence on Mystara. The reason these tanar’ri and baatezu are at odds is due to the Blood War, which was a plot introduced in the Planescape setting.
Ultimately, this adventure doesn’t need a detailed explanation for why demons and devils are at war. If you don’t use the Blood War in your larger setting, these fiends are at war over some other matter.
The game stats for the baatezu should be left as is, but one suggestion for distinguishing them from demons would be to have them be the fiend equivalent to demons who come from the Dimension of Nightmares.15 Additionally, if you use the original Immortals five dimension terminology, baatezu map onto a different three dimensions in five dimensional space than demons do.16
There are no kopru in the Night Below campaign. This article adds them in as another major faction in Book III. While kopru and aboleth share some similarities such that it is possible to do a full scale substitution of kopru for aboleth, this article builds on the rivalry between kopru and aboleth which was first described in Dungeon Magazine.17
The Campaign Unfolds
Calling Out the Cavalry?
While this section name drops a couple of Mystaran NPCs from the AD&D box sets of that time period, these won’t be relevant to a Night Below campaign set in Soderfjord. There is one legal authority to which the PCs can appeal to throughout the campaign, and that is the Nordhartar Defense League, led by Ragnar the Stout.
The problem the PCs will face is that Ragnar and most of the defense league will be very skeptical of tales of fish-men and other monsters deep below the earth being a threat to the surface world, particularly when they have proven threats like raiders from Ostland or Gnollheim. The people of the Soderfjord Jarldoms have simply never faced a serious underground threat in recent memory.
Furthermore, the defense league lacks funding and support from many jarls, who prefer their independence over centralized control. Ragnar has strong political ambitions which mean every request to the defense league will be weighed against his personal objectives.
Ultimately, this means the PCs will need to pay well for the Defense League to provide a few mercenaries willing to volunteer to serve in hazardous conditions deep underground. So you can let events play out more or less as described in the adventure, with the PCs paying the Defense League directly.
The only exception would be if one or more of the PCs are jarls or direct heirs to a jarl. In such a case Ragnar is perfectly willing to accept political currency, with the jarl legally agreeing to back Ragnar’s future claim to king of Soderfjord.
Capture Them Alive!
Beginning the Campaign
One of the two archers in the first ambush is a berserker. His THAC0 drops to 17 in melee, and he has 8 hp. His XP reward increases to 35.
His companions are unaware he is a berserker, having only worked together a short time. The combat against the PCs is the first time he needed to enter melee during a kidnapping.
Milborne and Beyond
While it isn’t truly necessary, you can tweak the name of Milbourne to give it a feel slightly closer to Soderfjord towns and villages. Suggestions would be Milgard, Milholm or Milbyrne.
4. The Folly The river at Milborne is likely too deep and dangerous to be easily crossed. The bridge is called The Folly locally because 35 years ago the Nordhartar Defense League began building it but later abandoned the project due to lack of funds.
Suggested name changes for this hamlet would be Thurholm, Thoremere, Thurland, or Thurhold.
5. Tauster’s Home For Tauster’s background, he was a significant instructor at the magical college Uppsala in Norrvik, until he had a falling out with his superior. He departed Vestland and found a home in this backwater. He will introduce himself with the nickname Tauster the Deep-Minded, but others will speak of him as Tauster the Short.
Lured Into Darkness
Creeping Along Hog Brook
The encounter here introduces the Bloodskull Orcs for the first time, a large and savage tribe of orcs that lives underground and serves the conspiracy in kidnapping people to take to the cities deep below in the Underdark. Orcs are not common in Soderfjord, the closest humanoids are nomadic gnolls in Gnollheim, with kobolds living in the Falun Caverns farther away.
The orcs are easily explained as being a displaced or wandering tribe from the Rockhome Mountains to the west that found their way to this location in the last decade. While this article makes that assumption going forward, it isn’t difficult to change these orcs to a more savage gnoll tribe or a particularly militant kobold tribe. As a general rule, for every three orcs encountered here and elsewhere, you can substitute two gnolls, or six kobolds. More powerful leader orcs can translate one for one to an equivalent gnoll or kobold leader with the same hit dice.
Mystery of the New Mire
Instead of goblins, this could be a surprisingly cowardly band of kobolds that split off from the militant kobolds in the Hardanger Mountain range in an attempt to find peace and safety
While it is unlikely to come up, the shaman of this tribe honors the Shining One,18 as do all kobolds in these lands. If you stay with goblins for this encounter, the small number of goblins that live deep underground in Soderfjord have had contact with kobolds in the past and have been influenced by them. The gri-gri of the shaman of this tribe can be used to flash a bright light once per day, which forces enemies to save vs spells at -2 or face a -4 penalty to hit for 1d6 rounds. Members of the tribe will all attempt to flee or hide as soon as they see the flash.
Peril on the River
Details on the adjustments to Ranchefus can be found on page XX in the Broken Spire Keep section.
Kidnapping on the Moors
Death dogs aren’t known on Mystara, you could modify them to just be a larger pack of wolves with rabies. An alternative to keep this more of a supernatural encounter would be to possibly use one or two yowlers.19
Gazetteer of Haranshire
This is a good place to discuss where exactly should Haranshire be placed in the Soderfjord Jarldoms. There are plenty of open spaces for a couple of small villages that lie approximately 40 miles apart from each other, with nearby forests, hills, swamp and moor terrain. You can’t get an exact match on Soderfjord for the Haranshire map included with the Night Below box set, but you don’t need an exact match. Once you choose a place you can just pick new locations for most of the major terrain features on the map, trying to get reasonably close distances between each terrain feature, such as the Patchwork Hills and the Hardlow Woods, and the two main villages in the adventure. The Great Marsh of Soderfjord can be used for the Shrieken Mire encounters, with the New Mire being very small and recent allowing you to place it wherever you wish.
The major encounter of the Shrieken Mire does not require any close proximity to any other locations or encounters, so this article doesn’t constrain itself only to locations near the Great Marsh of Soderfjord. News of the fomorian giant encounter which occurs in Shrieken Mire will travel far and wide which can draw your PCs to the Great Marsh from some distance if you choose to run it.
Map of Haranshire as the Jarldoms of Dealand and Vastergard
Map of Haranshire as the Jarldoms of Vithesfeld and Hedden
Map of Haranshire on the eastern banks of the Otofjord
Map of Haranshire as the Jarldom of Otterland
Map of Haranshire along the Stone River
So, utilizing the map on pages 18-19 of GAZ7, there are several excellent candidates for Haranshire:
Dealand (19), with the villages on the north side of the small tributary to Saltfjord River and west of Dorna.
Otterland (26), with the villages on the north side of Saltfjord River and west of Sortfeld.
Hedden (18) with the villages on the north side of Saltfjord River and north of Backwater.
Rurrland (15) with the villages on the east side of the Otofjord River and north of Whiteheart Valley.
Olvasfjord (1) with the villages on the west side of Stone River, possibly lying just on the outside of the border of Olvasfjord. If you want to have these villages living a precarious existence in an uneasy truce with gnoll tribes, you could have them bordering the north of the Angesan River in Gnollheim, with the gnolls tending to live south of the river in the summer and make their way north into Whiteheart Valley in the winter, with the villages often bypassed or seeing only small clans of gnolls in the area with their grazing herds.
Adaptations of the map of Haranshire to the Dealand, Otterland, Hedden, Rurrland and Stone River areas are provided.20
This small lake won’t lie on one of the major rivers marked on the map of the Soderfjord Jarldoms. It will instead lie on the path of a small unmarked tributary that feeds the major river you choose for the setting of Haranshire.
Shiraz is listed as a 7th level ranger and swanmay. Replace her with a female hsiao21 of 7HD. She has no weapons other than her talons, but she retains her remaining magic items. In all other respects Shiraz has the same personality and allies as described in the adventure. Her typical spell list includes bless, command, cure light wounds, protection from evil, sanctuary, aid, hold person, silence 15’ radius, cure disease, dictate22, cure serious wounds.
Aarakocra are unknown on Mystara. If you decide to use this optional encounter, the elf-like bird people known as faenare23 could be used.
The Shrieken Mire
This encounter location will be replaced with the Great Marsh, even if you set Haranshire rather far away from it. While fomorian giants are unknown on Mystara, these giants encountered here and deep in the Underdark in Book III could be explained by the long presence of giants in the Northern Reaches. Perhaps some ancient past atrocity by a clan of giants led them to be cursed, or perhaps all the fomorian giants come from an inbred group of giants that was lost for centuries in the Underdark. A monolith in Book III (see page XX) is another possible origin for fomorian giants. As for this particular family of fomorian giants, they have likely escaped domination and slavery in the Underdark and recently made their way to the surface.
The Halfcut Hills
Unlike most of the people living in Soderfjord, the Parlfray family are not native to the Northern Reaches. The original Parlfray to come to this land was a Thyatian noble with too few prospects in his homeland. He led a small force of colonists and followers to this land and settled it with none of the locals really making more than a half-hearted attempt to contest their presence.
Ruins in the Thornwood
Broken Spire Keep
2b. Guardhouse The bandit fighter in this guardhouse is a berserker. This lowers his THACO to 15 and raises his hit points to 16. His XP reward increases to 65.
24. Ranchefus’ Chamber Ranchefus, being a 5th level priest of Thanatos, wields a scythe +2 (1d10+4 damage) instead of a footman’s flail +2. His death touch causes a victim to save vs Spells or faint for d6 rounds
If, instead you make Ranchefus a 5th level priest of Hel, his profile is unchanged. Optionally he has a few additional skeletons and zombies under his control.
Evil Below the Mines
5. Thief Guards These two halflings are criminal exiles from the Five Shires.
12. Cabin The second bandit fighter in this guardhouse is a berserker. This lowers his THACO to 16 and raises his hit points to 19. His XP reward increases to 130.
15. Storage Cabin The bandit fighter here is a berserker. This lowers his THACO to 16 and raises his hit points to 24. His XP reward increases to 130.
20. The Grand Cavern It is recommended both priest and priestess in this encounter are dedicated to the same Immortal.
If both NPCs follow Thanatos, they each have a death touch attack which causes a victim to save vs Spells or faint for 1d6 rounds. Shilek keeps her sickle as a weapon. Imrin also carries a sickle +1 which does d4+2 hp of damage per strike. If Shilek is slain she will reanimate with the powers of a 6HD mummy in 1d20 days unless her body is dismembered, destroyed or blessed. Her appearance will not change so much that the PCs will not recognize who she is, she will still have her obvious wounds amidst the body’s decomposition. Shilek will either begin trying to pick up the trail of the PCs and stalk them at night wherever they stay, or seek out the Bloodskull orcs and ally with them in anticipation of gaining an opportunity for revenge.
If both NPCs follow Hel, their statistics and equipment remain unchanged. Shilek has the power to cast blight twice per day, this causes all opponents to suffer -1 to hit and damage rolls for the duration of the combat, with no saving throw. Two blights do not stack.
The Orcs Below the World
2. Luthic’s Chamber The matriarch priestess in this chamber honors Karaash,24 respecting the old ways before this orc tribe migrated to this land. She is tolerated by the orc chieftain and priests. Her jagged claw weapons were blessed by a powerful Karaash shaman, they give the matriarch +1 to hit and damage rolls. Any damage caused by the claws does not heal naturally, and each healing spell cast on the claw wounds only heals 1 hp of damage per casting. Her XP reward rises to 650.
She will not reveal herself as a combatant right away if the PCs attack the female orcs and children, preferring to wait until an enemy gets close enough to engage in melee.
Anyone wielding the claws of Karaash who is not a follower of Karaash does d4 damage with a claw strike, with no bonuses to hit and damage.
3. The Bloodskull Protectors Orogs are unknown on Mystara. Garundzer may in fact be a cross between orc and ogre, or he is simply a higher level orc warrior25 than most of his fellows. His statistics remain unchanged. He has the fighting frenzy ability (see next entry) and passes Constitution checks on a 15 or less. His XP reward increases to 270.
4. Chieftain and Priests Most of the orc tribe, including the orc chieftain and priests, worship Ranivorus,26 a relatively recent phenomenon as they fell into madness during their wanderings and coming under the sway of the illithids. Of course if you have decided to use gnolls instead, then they have always worshipped Ranivorus.
Drop the ability of both orc priests to cast aid on themselves once per day, they also don’t get the +1 bonus on attack rolls against elves. Instead, each can target an opponent with a madness effect once per day, the target must save vs Spells at a -2 penalty or go catatonic for 1d4 rounds. Both priests and the chieftain may also enter a fighting frenzy when they are reduced to 0 hp or less.
The base rules for fighting frenzy use the optional “death’s door” rule in the 2E DMG for damage taken each round, healing, and stabilization. The difference is an individual in a fighting frenzy does not automatically fall unconscious. While in a fighting frenzy, they must pass a Constitution check (12 or less on a d20) each round to continue fighting. Failure means the orc collapses unconscious in that round. Should anyone in a fighting frenzy reach -10 hp, they die immediately. If combat ends before they fall, they may attempt to stabilize themselves, provided they pass the Constitution check first so they may act in the round.
Kalyagebek, the 4th level orc priest, wields a footman’s flail instead of a long spear, dealing 1d6+1 hp of damage per strike. His THACO is incorrectly listed as 19, it should be 18. His XP reward rises to 270. The 5th level orc priest’s XP reward rises to 650. The orc chieftain’s XP reward rises to 130.
Book II: Perils of the Underdark
This campaign now moves into the Underdark, with the PCs spending most of their time underground.
Into the Deep Dark
Talking to the Svirfneblin
The deep gnomes only play a supporting role in this campaign. As mentioned earlier, rather than Svirfneblin, these are either surviving gnomes of the Faelun Caverns, or the fan-created Garlindwerg. In either case the people of this city-maze, including the 13th level priestess Carmeneren, honor the Immortal Garl/Garal Glitterlode.27 If you make these people Garlindwerg dwarves, they refer to him instead as Garalin Glitterlode.
If these people are gnomes, this city-maze is not the only location where survivors of the Falun Caverns live, there are other hidden city-mazes in other regions which stay in minimal contact with this one. The gnomes are very careful and spread out, with designated locations for meeting that will not give away the main city location to emissaries from other cities. In this way the gnomes hide and survive amidst powerful enemies.
If these people are Garlindwerg, this city-maze is not their capital city which lies to the south in the Hardanger Mountains. This is a much smaller border city/fortress designed to keep an eye on enemies and provide early warning of invasion forces from this direction. They still largely hide and observe.
Returning to the Deep Gnomes
Svirfneblin Abilities For the purposes of this campaign, the deep gnomes keep their abilities as described in Night Below and the Monster Manual. The source of their powers depends on whether or not you use gnomes or Garlindwerg.
For gnomes, with their Mystaran background, their abilities are not so much spell-like abilities as equipment and gear they discovered or invented. The nondetection ability they have is derived from certain synthesized alloys of rare materials which they have discovered. This alloy throws off magical scrying and can even interfere with magical attacks, which also explains the deep gnome’s magical resistance. The more powerful members are issued more of this rare alloy, which is why their magic resistance can increase at higher levels. They have also created alchemical substances which allow them to hurl a blindness effect at their enemies. Another alchemical substance can react with their alloy to create a blur effect temporarily. Lastly they use pigments and carry camouflage clothing material to create the effect of change self. All of these materials are limited in supply, and hence can generally be restricted to the once per day use that svirfneblin have.
For Garlindwerg, any or all of their abilities may be based on similar means as described above for gnomes. But as Modrigswerg, some of their abilities may in fact derive from magical items which they have crafted. As with the gnomes, they have all the abilities and some magic resistance that the campaign book outlines, it is just that they are less inherent spell-like abilities and more likely a mix of alchemical and magic items that are limited in use and number.
The Gnome Lands
The Burial Grounds
Location 3. Altar of Callarduran Instead of the god Callarduran, this is an altar to the Immortal Glitterlode. Its appearance is identical.
Location 8. Interdicted Chamber This chamber is a hideaway for a sorceress who intended to use it as a retreat while undergoing the transformation of becoming a lich. No further explanation is provided. In Mystara, this chamber was created by Wastoure, a 20th level wizard (24th level in BECMI D&D) who serves a Burrower trapped in the Hollow World. It is one of several of his underground caches that he has established in the Known World as he seeks the means to bring his master to the outer world. 28
Should the PCs find this chamber and take anything, Wastoure will not discover this until after the Night Below campaign is over. When he does find out, he will track down the PCs and begin a campaign of subterfuge to undermine the PCs goals and recover what he can. How he goes about this is left to the DM, but keep in mind he prefers indirect means and will seek to target the PCs through their friends and allies, seeking to turn as many against the PCs as possible.
If you don’t like the choice of Wastoure, there are two other possibilities. The first would be that this is the hideaway of a 20th level hakomon, an Ethengarian wizard who serves the Golden Khan in his royal court.29 The other is this is the hideaway for a high-ranking apprentice of Barimoor, the Alphatian arch-mage currently laboring for Immortality under Ylaruam.30 In either case the wizard in question is planning to betray their master and attempt to become a lich, and will seek out the PCs for death once they learn their place of refuge has been violated.
The Troll Caves
Location 5. Cavern of the Shaman The two-headed troll shaman worships Vadrak, who is better known as Jammudaru31 in the Known World. A massive cauldron lies in the center of the chamber, which may be used for cover by the trolls. The trolls have some wood and charcoal tucked away in a corner of the cavern. Should the shaman get the opportunity, she will be happy to cook as many PCs alive in the cauldron as she can. Her claw attacks do 1d4+5 hp of damage per strike.
After the Trollkill
The hatred the svirfneblin have for derro explained in this section is not relevant in Mystara. If you are using the gnomes of the Falun Caverns, they wish death on the Modriswerg because of past treachery involving the deep gnome’s near extinction at the hands of the kobolds. This treachery may have involved the Modriswerg giving the kobolds military assistance or revealing the location of weaknesses in gnomish fortifications to the kobolds.
If instead you are using Garlindwerg, then this command to wipe out Mordriswerg applies only to the Sareft clan. It would not include the Kurwerg clan whom are a potential ally for the PCs later in the campaign. Note that this latter choice means the PCs would be able to maintain the support of both the deep gnomes and latter derro more easily, something the campaign intended to make much more difficult. Keep that in mind as you run the adventure.
Gnome Talk If using the Garlindwerg, a dwarf PC would qualify for this special honor.
Perils of the Long Path
The Grell Nest
The grells and deepspawn have no precedent in Mystara. The deepspawn can be replaced with a more appropriate Mystara monster, but the grell in particular provide some unique encounters that aren’t easily replicated by substituting in Mystara monsters. Here are some ideas for explaining their existence and giving them a better background While the adventure posits that the deepspawn (or alternative) and grell are in an uneasy truce, all of the suggestions below include the assumption that the deepspawn and grell are more closely allied.
Should you wish to keep the deepspawn, the most straightforward explanation is that it exists as a spawn of a Burrower. This is likely the same Burrower who is relying on Wastoure to bring it to the outer world for freedom. The deepspawn is currently inactive and awaiting activation by Wastoure, who will use it to generate some collection of creatures that can be used for either labor(to extract the Burrower to the surface) or for war (to secure a region for slaves who can then be used to extract the Burrower).
If you prefer to not use a deepspawn, a powerful spellcasting decapus32 with more HD and a slightly larger damage die would make a good substitution. In this situation, the decapus could exist in an uneasy truce with the grell as specified in the adventure.
As for the grells, they become the deepspawn’s dedicated guardians. Their tactics remain the same as described in the adventure, as they leave it in solitude. The simplest explanation for how the grells came to be is that they were created by the deepspawn soon after it arrived in this area. The lightning lances are specially crafted magic items made by Wastoure after he observed the abilities of the grell. He may or may not have had the unwilling assistance of a captured deep gnome or Modriswerg in the crafting of these lances.
An alternative explanation for the grell is that they are creatures of an Outer Being which is in an alliance with the Burrower (or the decapus if you make that substitution), which keeps them as non-native to Mystara and unknown elsewhere. Or they might also be creatures from the Dimension of Nightmares who have allied with the Burrower or decapus.
Should you wish to completely replace the grell, a good alternative would be a collection of evil spirits33 that have migrated into Soderfjord from Ethengar. The advantage of evil spirits is that their powers and forms are very flexible, so you can have them take some or all of the form and abilities of a grell. The evil spirits have similar reasons for protecting/allying the deepspawn/decapus as the grell, though not as fanatically as in the other scenarios already outlined.
Location 6. Philosopher and Phalanx The ring of armor worn by the philosopher grell was also crafted by Wastoure for the grells in addition to the lightning lances. It will not resize to fit larger fingers such as that of a human.
Location 9. Lair of the Deepspawn Should you decide to use a decapus, here are the statistics for an advanced ancient spellcasting decapus which has fed on many underdark denizens for over a century. It has been crafted to mimic the abilities and attacks of a deepspawn as closely as possible.
This decapus casts its spell-like abilities as if it was a 6th level wizard. It may attack while drinking a potion (but not when using its spell-like abilities), when it does this it forfeits two of its attacks that round. A move in a combat round makes it forfeit one of its attacks for each ten feet of movement.
Ancient Decapus Scion34: AC -1; MV 3, (9 in cavern amongst stalactites); HD 14; hp 71; THACO 7; #AT 9; Dmg 1d6+2 each; SA Spell-like abilities; SD Magic Resistance 70%, Regeneration (1hp/round); SZ L(5’ diameter, 12’ tentacles); ML champion(15); Int High (14); AL CE; XP 13,000; Spell abilities(per day): enlarge, magic missile, shield, shocking grasp, ESP, mirror image, hold person(x2); Scion Powers: Enhanced Melee Damage, Innate Magic, Magic Resistance, Regeneration; Additional Possessions: A Flask containing 3 doses of extra-healing potion.
Monsters at War
Quaggoths are another creature with no precedent for being in Mystara. They are typically slaves of the drow, but once again drow do not exist in Mystara. A good choice would be to substitute a flock of darkwings.35 All the caverns which the darkwings occupy will be between twenty and thirty feet high so some can fight airborne. The quaggoth jalds will be larger darkwings with a small hit point bonus. The quaggoth thonot shaman becomes either a massive darkwing or, if you prefer, a deep glaurant.36
Should you wish to keep the quaggoths as is, an intriguing link between quaggoths and the Northern Reaches is the quaggoth berserker rage, similar to the tendency for some men of the Northern Reaches to be berserkers. Thus, one possibility is that these quaggoths were all once human, but have been cursed to be in their current form. The curse may have been placed on them by Odin for acts which were so despicable that they went beyond even Entropic worship. Or perhaps the curse originates from Hel, and quaggoths are a relatively new project of hers where she reincarnates particularly evil men of the Northern Reaches to be quaggoths, in a similar manner to how she used reincarnation to create the Beastmen.37 So far, quaggoths are unknown on the surface of the Northern Reaches.
Location 12. The “Chieftain” of the Horrors The rakshasa here masquerading as the chieftain of the hook horrors comes from Sind38 to the west. It has tracked its brother all this way to the Northern Reaches.
Finslayer This intelligent sword only needs one slight adjustment, that being it is a +4 weapon vs drow. Since drow do not exist in Mystara, you could just drop that entry, leaving it a powerful weapon especially effective against aboleth and kuo-toa. However, this article recommends you choose another race as a substitute for the +4 enchantment against a specific race.
First, you could simply use the dark elves of Niflheim, which may have had a presence in this region of Soderfjord in the past, in place of drow. This article will cover details of the dark elves and the very small role they can play in this adventure in subsequent pages.
Second, in keeping with the theme of Finslayer, you could make the sword +4 vs kopru instead of drow. This choice implies the kopru were present and active in Soderfjord in the past, possibly in allegiance with some of the kuo-toa at the time. Or you could fudge it and say the enchantments which strengthen the sword against aboleth are also effective against kopru.
The Smooth Caverns
Location 4. The Swirl Maze Xorn are not known on Mystara. Being as they are natives of the Elemental Plane of Earth, this isn’t necessarily a problem. These caverns may happen to be close to a rare wormhole connecting to a region of the Elemental Plane where xorn happen to reside. As the xorn have some unique characteristics, there are not any good candidates for a close Mystaran equivalent, but if you do prefer a substitution, earth elementals of similar hit dice could be used.
Caves of the Slime Lord
Location 7/8. The Ruhk’s Lair A rakshasa ruhk is essentially a rakshasa knight. This ruhk also hails from Sind, and it maintains the illusion of appearing as a native of Sind in its half-starved hermit guise.
Location 9. Shrine to Juiblex The demon lord Juiblex is unknown in Mystara, although there is certainly room for him in the Sphere of Entropy should you wish to include him in the cosmology. If not, Jammudaru can be used, in which case the five foot tall idol of Juiblex becomes a five foot tall idol of Jammudaru, featuring an ogre-like creature emerging from a cauldron with skin appearing to be melting away and the face melted except for a deformed snout-like appendage. The five rubies in the idol are inset around the cauldron portion of the idol.
Scales Before the Elves
Caverns of the Reptiles
Location 1. Azzuzir’s Cavern This chamber is the home of a huge and venerable behir. Behirs are not known in Mystara, but the creature is effective as is in this encounter here. I recommend keeping the encounter unchanged, with behirs being just unknown and rare in this region of the Known World.
Location 2 and 3. Caverns of the Shadow Dragon These caverns are the lair of Fandruzsch, a shadow dragon, and his quasit familiar. Shadow dragons do not exist in Mystara, but there is something very similar…a night dragon.39 Night dragons are formerly another dragon type who become night dragons upon swearing service to Entropic Immortals. They are undead and do not have typical age categories, instead there are lesser and greater night dragons. Fandruzsch is a greater night dragon. He appears totally black, except for his eyes which glow slightly. Very faint shimmering of dark blue emanates from his skin in torchlight.
For this conversion, Fandruzsch retains the statistics and abilities of a shadow dragon as detailed in the book. He also gains a few additional abilities as well as a few additional vulnerabilities.
Fandruzsch has a second breath weapon attack, which creates a billowing cloud of absolute darkness. Any living being in the area of effect must save versus Breath Weapon or fall unconscious. The darkness dissipates in 1d6 turns unless disrupted with some air magic such as from an air elemental’s whirlwind or the gust of wind of spell. Negative plane protection provides no defense from this second breath weapon. Fandruzsch can plane shift at will when in an area of absolute darkness, such as that generated by his breath weapon. Night dragons can trap the soul of any unconscious foe by spending a full combat round with its wings wrapped around the victim, but Fandruzsch will not use this ability unless the entire party is defeated. Any physical attack that successfully hits forces a victim to save vs Paralysis or be paralyzed exactly as per a ghoul touch.
Fandruzsch, like all night dragons, is vulnerable to both light magic as well as all the vulnerabilities of undead. The spells continual light, dancing lights, faerie fire, and light each do 1d10 hp of damage per casting, allow a successful save vs spells for half damage. A circle of sunmotes 40 quest spell does double damage. In general, any light spell not covered here does Xd10 damage per casting, where X is the level of the spell. So the 3rd level spell daylight from 3rd Edition D&D would do 3d10 hp of damage. In addition, a raise dead spell inflicts 3d10 hp of damage per casting with no saving throw. Fandruzsch can be turned by a cleric as a type special, but only if he is more than 10 miles from his lair. In general, Fandruzsch is affected by all magic and abilities that affect either undead or dragons, the one exception is the age dragon41spell, which has no effect on night dragons. Fandruzsch is immune to the same spells all undead are immune to. Sunlight destroys night dragons, Fandruzsch will never be encountered outside during daylight hours.
Keep in mind that adding all of these extra abilities to the encounter makes Fandruzsch even more fearsome, he was already capable of wiping out an unprepared party as a shadow dragon. So you may wish to arrange for this encounter to happen later than what the box set anticipates. Adding all of these abilities upgrades the XP award for Fandruzsch from 18,000 XP to 24,000 XP.
Fandruzsch is likely to flee via plane shift should he fail a morale check or be near destruction. He will then begin stalking the PCs in the underdark, seeking a second confrontation to recover whatever they steal from him. His quasit will serve as a scout and spy. Fandruzsch may ally with the other enemies the PCs face later in this campaign, the circumstances of when and where Fandruzsch strikes is left to the DM.
Fandruzsch relocated to these caverns thirty years ago from Oceania on a specific mission to corrupt all three nations of the Northern Reaches. He has captured the souls of several advisers and government ministers in Vestland and Ostland, and they now do his bidding. He has had less success in Soderfjord, but has placed a thrall in Ragnar the Stout’s retinue. His long term plan is not outlined here, for it is hoped that the PCs will put an end to him.
Fandruzsch will be found as described in the caverns, having received a warning from his Entropic master that his lair is in danger. While he doesn’t need food, Fandruzsch still enjoys passing some time catching fish and eating them from the nearby lake. Should the PCs interact with the courts of the Kings of Ostland or Vestland, or Ragnar’s hall, you will need to create NPCs that serve Fandruzsch.
The Halls of the Rockseer Elves
Characters of the Rockseers
The Rockseers are listed as having heights of over seven feet tall. If you are using a isolated clan of Shadowelves, they will all be around five feet tall, plus or minus a few inches. Aljayera is nearly 800 years old, rather than 900, and like all elves on Mystara, is showing his age, appearing as an elderly elf.
The Derro at War
The purple worm encounter is perfectly consistent with Mystara. Should the PCs encounter more worms later on, there are a few good choices to add more variety to this area. Caecillias, fyrsnacas, red worms and slime worms are all excellent choices42 and can be a substitute for tunnel worms.
Groznyj is a berserker. This drops his THACO to 8 in melee and raises his hit points to 63. His XP reward rises to 2000. His companions are well-aware of his battle rage and keep a spell in reserve to disable him near the end of a combat, like charm person or fear.
Haragswald, being a 7th level priest of Thanatos, wields a scythe +2 instead of a footman’s flail +2. His death touch causes a victim to save vs Spells or faint for 1d6 rounds. If Haragswald is slain he will reanimate with the powers of a 7HD mummy in 1d20 days unless his body is dismembered, destroyed or blessed. His appearance will not change so much that the PCs will not recognize who he is, he will still have his obvious wounds amidst the body’s decomposition. Haragswald will either rejoin with his fellow Slavers or begin trying to pick up the trail of the PCs and slay them.
If you make Haragswald a 7th level priest of Hel, his weapon remains unchanged. He has 5 ghouls as an escort and gains an additional +2 bonus to saving throws against Death Ray.
The Watch Post
The Derro at this watchpost are Modrigswerg of Clan Sareft.
The renegade derro are Modrigswerg of Clan Kurwerg. They all have black eyes, black hair and black beards. This is a military encampment of the Siblinghood of the Black Dwarves, and they are committed to the death of all Clan Sareft in league with the kuo-toa. They will behave as described in the book, convinced on first meeting that the PCs are slavers or mercenaries in the employ of the illithids. If the PCs ally with this group, however, the chances of a betrayal are less than the adventure suggests.
Location 5. Chieftain-Savant’s Retreat This is the first appearance of a giant flying spider, which the renegade chieftain uses as well as other derro encountered in this campaign. As far as I know, giant flying spiders were almost never used in D&D outside of this campaign and Menzoberranzan in the Forgotten Realms. These can certainly exist among the Modrigswerg, but a Mystaran alternative would be the skinwing which are used by both red orcs in the Broken Lands and by Shadowelves in their underdark caverns. If you wish to use skinwings, you can use the following statistics to closely approximate the giant flying spider (albeit without any poison attack).
Skinwing Mount: AC 4; MV 6, fly 15; HD 4 to 6; hp 20-40; THACO 17 to 15; #AT 1; Dmg 1d8; SA Infravision 90’; SZ L; ML elite(13); Int Animal (1)); AL N; XP 175 to 420.
If you want to keep the skinwings and the poison, you can transfer the poison(with identical effects) onto some of the weapons of the Modriswerg in particular engagements.
Warrens of the Servitors
The Derro in these warrens, as well as those in the City of the Glass Pool, are Modrigswerg of Clan Sareft.
The City of the Glass Pool
The City and the Kuo-Toa
Location 23. The Slave Pens Most of these slaves are from the Northern Reaches. The elves will all be from Alfheim or Karameikos, change the one half-elf to an elf with everything else about her unchanged. A few of the dwarves will be from Rockhome directly rather than Rockhome emigres in the Northern Reaches. The one gnome at pen G is a traveling merchant from Karameikos. Geronmen, the crippled paladin, serves the Order of the Griffon in Karameikos. When Geronmen was captured months ago he suffered energy drain as well as other wounds.
Crown of Derro Domination This is now a Crown of Modrigswerg Domination.
Location 26. The Dome of the Glass Pool The statue of the Sea Mother should be replaced with some entity of the Outer Beings that best represents whatever the kuo-toa or Hresha-rhak worship. Think in terms of asymmetry and non-Euclidean geometry when describing it to the PCs.
Book III: The Sunless Sea
With the fall of the Kuo-Toan city, Book III begins, where the campaign centers around the city of the aboleth and the various encounters around the Sunless Sea. With the placement of the Sunless Sea under Soderfjord, it is likely that it connects to the Western Sea of Dawn, making the Sunless Sea saltwater.
The Deepest Darkness
The Rockseer Emissaries
The Rockseer elves would be curious about both their surface brethren and the Shadowelf nation. Thus, regardless of whether you run this campaign before or after Wrath of the Immortals, you can still run this encounter with the Rockseer elf emissaries meeting whichever band of elves currently occupies the Canolbarth Forest. They can even meet both bands of elves should your PCs have contacts with both groups of elves.
Disregard all details about Corellon and Lolth and guilt about what the gods have done. This is all completely irrelevant in a Mystara campaign.
Exploring the Great Cavern
The Deranged Derro
The insane derro are Modrigswerg of Clan Grabjerge. They have no means of returning to their home in Ostland.
Rift of the Fire Giants
An Immortal for the fire giants was never established, Surtr may be from Jotunheim, or perhaps he is an alternative identify for Zugzul.43 These fire giants have arrived via underground routes from their homes in the Rockhome Mountains to the west.
The Desperate Marilith
If the PCs do not ally with this band of tanar’ri, there is a 50% chance that this band will ally with the kopru. If this happens, when the PCs are near the baatezu embassy, they may encounter these four fiends with five standard kopru and one kopru behemoth.
The Renegade Illithids
Location 24. Broken Ones These greater broken ones are native to the illithid homeworld, disregard the mention that they come from caverns far to the south.
Shasurita Rather than a half-elf, this woman is a full-blooded human of the Northern Reaches. She is actually a spy in the employ of Thyatis, her contact operates out of the border town Castellan. A subset of her thief skills are modified as follows: Pick Pockets 45%, Hide in Shadows 60%.
The spymaster in Castellan has been assigned the task of tracking down the fate of a few notable Thyatian spellcasters who have gone missing. Shasurita managed to pick up the trail and bypass the City of the Glass Pool, but was captured by these illithids. She will behave as described in the adventure if illithid control over her is broken, but she will depart immediately after taking revenge. Assuming she makes it safely out of the Underdark, she will proceed to Castellan for a full report. Unfortunately by the time this report can make its way to the Thyatian capital and be verified by magical divination, it may already be too late.
Giants in Thrall
The monolith which currently holds these stone giants in thrall may be linked to the curse of the fomorian giants mentioned earlier. First it corrupts their souls, and then over a few years it corrupts and warps their bodies.
Trouble with Fungus
Myconids and Drow are both unknown in Mystara, so this optional encounter could easily be dropped. If you do want to run it, the Drow could be an exiled Dark Elf from the plane of Svartalfheim.
The Dao Miners
The dao miners, being from the Elemental Plane of Earth, are quite rare on Mystara, but not unknown when there is a wormhole connecting to the Plane of Earth nearby.
Isles in the Sunless Sea
Szandur is a pure-blooded Alphatian wizard. She suspects what the aboleth are up to but believes her homeland is far enough away that it is safe. Even if you run this adventure after the events in Wrath of the Immortals, Szandur is still Alphatian, having escaped the cataclysm. Her enemies are unspecified here, but they are likely other prominent Alphatian wizards who would not think to look for her in the Northern Reaches.
The Isle of Shadows
Instead of Tharizdun of Oerth, the lost Dark God that was worshipped on this island is Arik of the Many Eyes.44
Location 1. The Conclave The words “Blessed be Arik” bypass the trap here. Instead of fifty black diamonds, the treasure here is fifty red rubies, each with a base value of 1000 gp, and cursed as described in the adventure.
Location 2. The Hall of Endings As with the previous location, replace the words “Blessed be Tharizdun” with “Blessed be Arik”. The 25 black gems once again become 25 red rubies, with the same value and curse.
Pyramid of the Ixzan
Location 2. Slave Pyramid Most of the slaves kept by the devilfish are Rockhome dwarves, with the remainder of the population being of the Northern Reaches. Very few halflings should be found here, if any, and any gnome slaves are deep gnomes or Modriswerg. The dwarven fighters are all from Rockhome.
Location 3. Ilxendren’s Pool Ilxendren is a devilfish deity introduced in this box set. He may be a minor Immortal of Entropy that had a mortal life as a devilfish in the Underdark, or “he” may be another name for Saasskas,45 the former devilfish of Undersea who is now an Immortal.
Location 11. The Tyrant The ornate silver rod which summons and commands water elementals is not of Drow make. It was crafted by a Modrigswerg smith.
The Isle of Derangement The standing stone is all that is left of a massive cursed stone altar crafted by Modrigswerg in the ancient past.
Geyser Rock If the PCs ally with the marilith and her companions, the kopru will eventually discover the wastrilith tanar’ri here and ally with him. In such a scenario, he will have four standard kopru assigned to him as well as his devilfish followers and water elementals. The PCs may encounter this group in the aboleth city, but the wastrilith will not deviate from his objective and will not seek battle with the aboleth.
Sunkenhome This was an old Dark Elf settlement, not a Drow settlement. The banshee is a dark elf banshee, the spirit of the only dark elf to remain trapped and tied to this place. Her statistics and appearance are the same.
Farewell to the Rockseers
The new location where the Rockseers will relocate to depends on who they have reconciled with, but assuming it is Alfheim/Aengmor it is likely they will settle in some mountain area that surrounds the Canolbarth Forest in territory nominally claimed by Darokin. The Cruth Mountains along Darokin’s southern border are one possibility. The Rockseers may need some help convincing local humanoids to relocate.
The Great City of the Aboleth
In addition to the reason given in the adventure, the aboleth have a second reason for raising their city above the water level. They are well aware of an imminent kopru attack, and raised the city as a security measure. The aboleth anticipate it will hamper the kopru invasion more than it will hamper themselves.
Among the dominated slaves of the aboleth city are a number of human fighters. Most of these are men of the Northern Reaches, and a percentage of those will be berserkers. One important difference to keep in mind for slave berserkers found in the city, the aboleth have dominated all of these slaves thoroughly and any aboleth (or illithid) can instantly stop a berserker by ending his battle rage with a telepathic command. In addition, other races in the city who are commanding officers are given custom coded commands which can also stop this battle rage for a specific slave under their command. Thus any berserker fighting against the PCs will cease fighting once battle has ceased, unless all his commanding officers have been killed or driven off. It won’t be possible for PCs to leave berserkers rampaging through the city as an additional distraction in most circumstances.
All Derro in this city are Modrigswerg of Clan Sareft.
City Location Key
Location 2a-f. Watch Posts If there are four or more slave fighters at a watch post, then one will be a berserker. As these slave fighters are of variable level adjust the berserker’s stats and XP reward accordingly. The Derro savant assigned to the watch post is the commanding officer.
Location 3a-f. Watch Barracks There is one berserker among the four slave fighters at each of these barracks. As these slave fighters are of variable level adjust the berserker’s stats and XP reward accordingly. All Derro savants assigned to the watch barracks are commanding officers for the berserker.
Location 5. The Lurker at the Gate Grongor is a berserker. This lowers his base THACO to 7 and raises his hit points to 121. His XP reward increases to 6000. All Derro savants and leaders assigned to the nearby Derro barracks are commanding officers for Grongor.
Location 11. The Pool-Towers Should any of these aboleth homes contain a human slave fighter, there is a 20% chance that fighter is a berserker. Any kuo-toa priest or whip that may also be in the pool-tower should be considered a commanding officer for that berserker.
Location 12. Construction Points Any gnomes found at these construction sites will be a mix of deep gnomes and surface gnomes.
Location 15. The Raveners Three of the Raveners NPC party are modified here.
Strychnesch is a berserker. This lowers his base THACO to 6. Note that the text accidentally switched his melee THACO (which should be 2 and berserk will be 0) with his ranged THACO (which should be 3). His hit points total rises to 110. His XP reward increases to 9000. All of his companions are considered commanding officers for purposes of ceasing his battle rage.
Jabulanth is a dwarf fighter/thief, rather than a half-elf fighter/thief. He was an associate of Morur Blackheart46committing assault and murder in the Rockhome capital of Dengar for a few years before being caught for a lesser crime and sentenced to exile. He is 4’ 6” tall. His Constitution score increases to 16 and Charisma score drops to 12. His hit points increase to 72, and a subset of his thief skills are modified as follows: Open Locks 95%, Find/Remove Traps 95%, Climb Walls 85%, Read Languages 10%. Normally both half-elves and dwarves are limited to 12th level in thief, so the optional rules from the DMG for increasing the level limit for demi-humans based on a high ability score is being used in the Night Below campaign.
Cyvrand, as a 12th level priest of Thanatos, wields a scythe of smiting. It functions as a rod of smiting, including being a +3 weapon, but does 1d10+5hp of damage per strike. His death touch cause a victim to save vs Death Ray or die. He can cast an additional animate dead spell once per week. His XP reward rises to 10,000. If Cyvrand is slain he will reanimate with the powers of a 12HD vampire in 1d20 days unless his body is dismembered, destroyed or blessed. Cyvrand will attempt to rejoin any surviving Raveners, and if that is impossible, head for the Tower of Necromancy to defend it.
If you make Cyvrand a 12th level priest of Hel, his weapon remains unchanged. Cyvrand has the power to cast blight twice per day, this causes all opponents to suffer -1 to hit and damage rolls for the duration of the combat, with no saving throw. Two blights do not stack. Cyvrand can also cast wraithform once per week.
Location 16. Slave Block I As with the construction points, any gnomes found at these construction sites will be a mix of deep gnomes and surface gnomes. All dwarves are either from Rockhome or the Northern Reaches. You can also demonstrate that the aboleth are kidnapping spellcasters from underwater communities beyond the Sunless Sea by having a few triton mages found here or in slave pens found in sections of the city still underwater.
Location 17. Slave Block II For the human priests, decide or roll randomly as to which Northern Reaches Immortal the human serves. The elven priests honor Ilsundal, dwarf priests honor Kagyar, and gnomish priests honor Glitterlode. As with Slave Block I, priests from underwater realms may be found here or in other slave pens in the underwater sections, candidates would include kna, mermen, and tritons.
Of the four fighters being brainwashed, one of the 5th level fighters is a berserker. Because his conditioning is not yet complete, if he enters a battle rage state he cannot be controlled automatically by any aboleth or illithid , and will continue to rage until incapacitated or dead. An aboleth can still attempt to dominate him, however, and if successful can then force him to stop fighting.
Location 18. Embassy of the Baatezu If you like the idea of making baatezu fiends that are not of the same dimensional space as the standard world, some ways to show this might be to have this tower appear as a two dimensional line from far away, or even until the PCs just get up close to it. The human forms the baatezu might take could actually be their normal form, and they have to polymorph into their alternate form just to look frightening to the PCs. Going into great detail on five dimensional space is beyond the scope of this article, but it is recommended you research the diaboli47 for more ideas.
Location 25b. Second Floor: The Black-Ceilinged Chamber One of the four 7th level fighters at this location is a berserker, this raises his hit points to 7d10+7 and his base THACO becomes 12. His XP reward becomes 975.
Location 25c. Third Floor: Darlakanand’s Laboratory As was mentioned earlier in this article Darlakanand is of Modrigswerg Clan Grabjerge, possibly the greatest mind his clan has ever produced.
Part of the dramatic setup at the beginning of this encounter has Darlakanand using time stop to cast some spells and also rant at the PCs. Can a target of the spell actually hear the spell caster while time is stopped? Time isn’t moving for the target! Perhaps this communication could be done as a telepathic communication and thus the PCs grasp the concept instantly as time stop ends.
The Kopru Faction
These kopru originate from one or more kopru settlements. Where precisely they come from is left up to the DM, the kopru of the Isle of Dread are not necessarily the only location where kopru can be found in significant numbers. The scope and power of the aboleth activity has drawn the attention and response of the kopru, even from thousands of miles away.
This new kopru faction has a unique goal, it seeks to fight its way into the aboleth city and take over the Tower of Domination. The kopru are uniquely situated to do so, as their powers of domination are nearly the equal of the aboleth.
How powerful the kopru faction is depends on how much of a role you wish them to play. It is extremely unlikely the PCs will be able to ally with the kopru for even a short period of time, as the kopru will realize the PCs only wish to destroy the prize they seek to capture.
The kopru faction can be a wildcard for the DM to play at any given time. A battle between the PCs and aboleth may suddenly turn into a three way fight as the kopru enter the fray. The kopru could plunder a site before the PCs can reach it, or rouse the aboleth to full alert just before the PCs make a raid.
This faction can also be used as a tool for the narrative. Many player groups have found themselves getting bogged down, particularly with the number of towers that have to be brought down before the final tower can be breached. If your players are reaching the edge of their patience, the kopru can take down one or more of the towers themselves, letting you bypass some encounters to get to the campaign conclusion. As the Night Below set already has so much hack and slash built into it, it is strongly recommended that the kopru should not be used as an additional set of encounters for the PCs to hack their way through. Of course if the players are having the time of their lives and don’t want the fun to end, then disregard this last bit of advice. The kopru faction should assist the campaign based on what the DM and players need, it can speed things up or prolong the enjoyment.
What the kopru should not be used for is a way to solve the PCs problems for them. The presence of a large kopru force does change the final narrative slightly, but one that players and DMs might find more believable. Rather than the aboleth being unable to stop one persistent party, the persistent party managed to get into the middle of an aboleth and kopru war over regional domination, and used that narrow opening to save the day.
The aboleth had their focus and preparations to stymie the kopru attack that they knew was coming. They didn’t realize the PCs were as great a threat, until it was too late.
Kopru vs Aboleth domination
In comparing the charm effect of the kopru versus the domination of the aboleth, some guidance from the d20 ruleset were integrated, particularly the rule on multiple mental control effects.48 Since 2E AD&D do not provide the charisma scores for these monsters, the 3E D&D scores will be used, 17 for aboleth and 10 for kopru. Should both aboleth and kopru mentally control the same victim and attempt to each have it fight on its behalf, they will make opposed Charisma checks, with the aboleth having a +3 bonus to the roll. If you want to simplify this to one roll, that equates (assuming ties are rerolled) to the kopru having a 34% chance of winning a contest for control, with the aboleth winning 66% of the time. Whoever loses the contest does not have its magical effect ended, so the death of the opposing monster in control would let the loser regain control over the victim.
Comparing Kopru and Aboleth Power
It is useful to compare the kopru and aboleth in terms of their approximate levels of power, knowing how many kopru are a serious threat to an aboleth will tell you how many kopru are a serious threat to the city. They are almost equivalent in hit dice, with the kopru having on average 4 more hit points than the aboleth. Their AC values are close, with the kopru having a slight edge. In terms of damage output, they are roughly equal, with aboleth able to inflict 4-24 hp of damage per round versus 6-24 hp of damage per round for the kopru. This assumes that the kopru’s grapple and tail crush attack can’t work on an aboleth, which seems reasonable. Physically, the two monsters are evenly matched.
More important than this however, is their signature ability and how effective it is against each other. In 2E AD&D, the kopru can charm the aboleth, as the monster entry does not rule out larger monsters, and in Mystara it has been specifically stated that the kopru can dominate “any intelligent creature.”49 Going with this assumption, attempting to use their domination powers on each other, the aboleth must make a saving throw versus death magic, while the kopru must make a saving throw versus spells. Assuming both aboleth and kopru get to take their best pick from the warriors saving throw table as well as the wizards saving throw table, an aboleth saves against a kopru domination on a 10 or better, while a kopru saves against an aboleth domination on an 8 or better. The key difference is that an aboleth who saves against any kopru domination is immune to any further domination attacks from any kopru for the rest of the battle, while kopru remain vulnerable to repeated aboleth domination attacks. Each aboleth can dominate three times per day, while most kopru can only dominate once. So while a kopru has a 65% chance of resisting the first domination attack, over the course of three domination attempts, its odds of resisting up to 3 attempts drop to 21.6%.
So much depends on who wins initiative, the kopru has a slight advantage at the beginning, but if enough aboleth make it through the first round of domination attacks, the battle starts to heavily favor them as combat extends into later combat rounds.
There is a sentence in the Monster Manual entry for the aboleth that dominated targets will not fight on the aboleth’s behalf, but that seems to be completely disregarded for the Night Below campaign.
Note that if you are running this campaign in 3E D&D, both kopru and aboleth use the dominate person spell for their signature ability. This means under those rules, aboleth can still dominate kopru, who are monstrous humanoids, but kopru cannot dominate aboleth. This puts the kopru at a distinct disadvantage, leaving them only able to dominate the minions and slaves of the aboleth.
It is because of the aboleth’s domination powers that the kopru faction has, uncharacteristically, refused to bring any dominated allies or minions, with only one exception. The kopru do not wish to give the aboleth the opportunity to turn their own slaves against them.
General Kopru Tactics
So based on the 2E AD&D analysis, the kopru will be aggressive and push the advantage as long as they have 2:1 odds in their favor. Once their odds drop below that, and especially if combat is prolonged, they are likely to retreat.
For 3E D&D, the kopru are going to need 5:1 odds to be aggressive and push the advantage.
The only exception will be if you decide to have the kopru make a serious push into the Tower of Domination as their final effort to seize control. In such a case, as long as at least one of the three kopru leaders are still alive, the remaining kopru will keep fighting.
Kopru Underwater Camps
The kopru will establish at least two deep and hidden underwater camps at the bottom of the Sunless Sea. These camps are temporary bases and if faced with a significant threat the kopru will scatter and flee only to regroup later at pre-designated rally points. The number of kopru (and kopru behemoths) to be found in these camps will depend on how great a threat to the aboleth city you wish the kopru to be. Use the ratios in the kopru tactics section above as a guideline. A small number of kopru means the aboleth were able to engage and destroy much of the kopru army before they were able to reach the Sunless Sea. The kopru leaders (see below) will be spread out amongst all the camps.
Place the camps wherever you wish, the purpose of these camps is not for the PCs to find and destroy, but only to provide a backdrop for kopru actions against Shaboath.
The Kopru Expeditionary Force
Most of the kopru in the expeditionary force are average soldiers, filling in all needed roles of scout, assault, and magical support. They obey their superiors without question and protect them.
Standard Kopru50 Soldier AC 3; MV 3, Sw 15; HD 8+4; hp 44 (30-60 range); THACO 13; #AT 4; Dmg 1d4 claw/claw/bite, 3d4 tail lash; SA Tail Crush (3d6), charm; SD Inherent resist fire51; SZ M(6’+ long); ML elite(13); Int Average (10); AL CE; XP 4,000; Additional Possessions: One capsule (potion) of extra-healing potion.
Among the kopru are the more elite and powerful warriors. They are the kopru behemoths. They obey their superiors without question, serving as shock troops and bodyguards for their leaders. Kopru Behemoths have a Charisma of 13, giving them a +1 bonus and reducing the aboleth advantage in a contested domination to +2. Attempting to escape a kopru behemoth’s tail grapple requires making a roll under (2/3 x bend bars percentage).
Kopru Behemoth52 AC 1; MV 3, Sw 15; HD 12+4; hp 64 (50-100 range); THACO 8; #AT 4; Dmg 1d4+2 claw/claw, 1d4 bite, 3d4+6 tail lash; SA Tail Crush (3d6+6), charm; SD Inherent resist fire; SZ L(9’+ long); ML champion(15); Int Average (10); AL CE; XP 8,000; Additional Possessions: One capsule (potion) of extra-healing potion, one capsule (potion) of fly, partial carapace armor +1.
The following four individuals are the elite leaders in command of the kopru expeditionary force. They will not be encountered altogether, but prefer to operate alone with small strike forces of standard and behemoth koprus. Important missions inside the aboleth city may have two leaders together.
While some of the choices for low-level spells may seem useless, many of these spells were chosen based on the utility of breaking down magical defenses the aboleth have constructed around the Tower of Domination. Thus even a 1st level divination spell like rung’s Gess, can be used to drain away the magic in the Tower of Summonings.
Elite Kopru 15th Level Wizard AC 0; MV 3, Sw 15; HD 9+4; hp 52; THACO 12; #AT 4; Dmg 1d4 claw/claw/bite, 3d4 tail lash; SA Tail Crush (3d6), charm; SD Inherent resist fire; SZ M(6’ 5”); ML champion(16); Int Genius (17); AL CE; XP 10,000; Spells: Charm Person, Chromatic Orb53, Detect Secret Passages and Portals, Magic Missile, Shield, Blur, Detect Invisible, Invisibility, Mirror Image(x2), Dispel Magic(x2), Fireball, Fly, Lightning Bolt, Charm Monster, Confusion, Minor Spell Turning, Mordenkainen’s Force Missiles, Phantasmal Killer, Chaos, Conjure Elemental, Feeblemind, Mind Fog, Teleport, Death Spell, Trollish Fortitude, Seven-Eyes;5455 Additional Possessions: One capsule (potion) of extra-healing potion, two capsules (potions) of fly, ring of protection +2, ring of spell storing(Force Field), wand of frost(11 charges), wand of illusion(9 charges), wand of knock(15 charges), wand of polymorphing(7 charges).
Alzazzerz is one of the most powerful kopru mages on Mystara, one who has steeped himself in the lore of the Adhuza Empire56 at the peak of its power. He is dedicated to this mission but is a pragmatist and realizes the odds of success are low. He has a secondary mission to steal as much magic and knowledge as he can from the aboleth city, and when leading missions the kopru will be more likely to attack other targets where such can be found. He keeps a teleport spell handy at all times, for a quick exit back to a kopru camp when a mission goes awry, and for leaving this area altogether should all of his fellow elite fall in battle and he realizes he has no hope of capturing the Tower of Domination. Alzazzerz has a higher Dexterity than the kopru average, giving him a bonus of -1 to AC. Due to his greater intelligence, Alzazzerz can charm up to three victims, instead of one as a normal kopru can.
Elite Kopru 13th Level Priest of Demogorgon AC 0; MV 3, Sw 15; HD 10+4; hp 66; THACO 11(8 w/rod of flailing); #AT 3; Dmg 1d6+4/1d6+4(L 2d4+3/2d4+3), 3d4 tail lash; SA Tail Crush (3d6), charm; SD Wisdom bonus to saves, Inherent resist fire; SZ L(7’7” long); ML Fanatic(18); Int High (14); AL CE; XP 12,000; Spells: Cause Fear(x2), Cause Light Wounds(x2), Curse(x2), Detect Magic, Protection from Good, Aid(x2), Chaos Ward, Detect Charm, Hold Person, Resist Cold, Silence 15’ radius, Watery Fist, Animate Dead, Cause Disease, Dispel Magic(x2), Miscast Magic, Random Causality, Cause Serious Wounds, Chaotic Combat, Protection from Good 10’ radius, Protection from Lightning, Dispel Good, Slay Living, Entropy Shield, Harm;5758 Additional Possessions: One capsule (potion) of extra-healing potion, three capsules (potions) of fly, partial carapace armor +1, ring of protection +1, ring of spell storing(Force Field), rod of flailing(13 charges).
Clazzarz is the lieutenant commander of the kopru forces, second only to his superior, Malsssis. Clazzarz considers this an unholy mission commissioned by Demogorgon himself as the means to bring about the restoration of the kopru empire. He hates aboleth more than any other being. While his dedication to the cause is unshakeable, he has requisitioned additional flying capsules in order to beat a hasty retreat should it become necessary to fall back. He is also ambitious and treacherous, and should there be an opportunity in the Tower of Domination to do away with Malsssis and seize glory for himself, Clazarzz may turn against her and strike at her from behind. He would only do this if victory looks well in hand and Malsssis is very weakened. Clazzarz has a Wisdom score of 16, and has the special thrall of Demogorgon Dual Action ability that he can use once per day. Clazzarz has a Charisma of 16, giving him a +2 bonus and reducing the aboleth advantage in a contested domination to +1. Due to his greater intelligence, Clazzarz can charm up to two victims, instead of one as a normal kopru can.
Elite Kopru 16th Level Priest of Demogorgon AC -2; MV 3, Sw 15; HD 11+4; hp 80; THACO 9(6 or 4 with flail) ; #AT 2; Dmg 1d8+5(L 2d6+4(2d6+6 vs aboleth)), 3d4+1 tail lash; SA Tail Crush (3d6+1), charm; SD Wisdom bonus to saves, Inherent resist fire; SZ M(8’+ long); ML Fearless(19); Int Exceptional (16); AL CE; XP 13,000; Spells: Cause Fear(x2), Cause Light Wounds(x2), Curse(x2), Detect Magic, Protection from Good, Sanctuary, Aid(x2), Chaos Ward, Detect Charm, Hold Person, Resist Cold, Silence 15’ radius(x2), Watery Fist, Animate Dead(x2), Cause Blindness, Cause Disease, Dispel Magic(x2), Miscast Magic, Random Causality, Abjure, Cause Serious Wounds, Chaotic Combat, Free Action(grants kopru swimming movement rate on land), Protection from Good 10’ radius, Protection from Lightning, Spell Immunity, Cause Critical Wounds, Commune, Dispel Good, Slay Living, Entropy Shield, Harm, Word of Recall, Unholy Word;59 Additional Possessions: One capsule (potion) of extra-healing potion, two capsules (potions) of fly, amulet of proof against aboleth domination and illithid mind blast(17 charges), four beads of force, partial carapace armor +1, oversized flail +3, +5 vs aboleth, ring of protection +3, ring of spell storing(Force Field).
Malsssis is the supreme commander of the kopru forces, and the main reason the kopru have managed to get this far. While it was Alzazzerz who learned of the aboleth plans for domination after years of scrying, it was Malsssis who made a kopru response possible. Through frequent communing with her patron Demogorgon, constant sacrifices of sapient beings and enormous efforts at divination, Malsssis was able to come up with the devices that can snatch power from the aboleths at the moment of their victory. It was also her leadership that convinced the kopru to form an army which was the only possible way for her to get near to Shaboath. Now that she is so close, she will let nothing stop her, for she believes that she is Demogorgon’s instrument of salvation which will lead the kopru to the restoration of their empire and a new golden age (for kopru). Any being that stands in her way is only suitable for domination and/or destruction. While she will use tactical retreats when necessary to withdraw from battle, when it comes to the final push at the Tower of Domination, she will fight to the death rather than lose her chance. Malsssis has above average kopru strength and a Wisdom score of 18, and has the special thrall of Demogorgon Dual Action ability that she can use twice per day. Malsssis has a Charisma of 18, giving her a +3 bonus and reducing the aboleth advantage in a contested domination to +0. Due to her greater intelligence, Malsssis can charm up to two victims, instead of one as a normal kopru can.
Dark Naga Lesser Scion60 AC 2; MV 16, Sw 16; HD 14; hp 96; THACO 6; #AT 2; Dmg 1d4+2 bite, 2d4+2 tail sting + poison; SA Poison deals 1d2 damage and sleep for 2d4 rounds, Permanent water breathing spell effect; SD Immune to acid and poison and ESP, +2 save vs enchantment/charm, Magic Resistance 60%; SZ L(14’+ long); ML champion(16); Int Exceptional (16); AL LE; XP 12,000; Spells: Dictation, Feather Fall, Hold Portal, Hornung’s Guess, Blindness, Displace Self, Filter, Minor Malison, Suggestion;6162 Lesser Scion Powers: Enhanced Melee Damage, Enhanced Movement, Magic Resistance; Additional Possessions: One capsule (potion) of extra-healing potion.
Yn’vildarr is an exceptionally powerful dark naga, a lesser scion of an only partially diluted bloodline that can be traced all the way back to the Serpentine Empire.63 While dark naga are virtually unknown to those on Mystara, small remnants of the Serpentine Empire can still be found in isolated areas, and dark nagas have allied with the kopru for mutual benefit.64 Yn’vildarr’s bloodline allows her to keep up with the kopru as well as provides her with powerful resistances against aboleth domination attacks. For these reasons the kopru have brought her along and given her a high-rank command. She is fully committed to this endeavor and will even consider sacrificing herself (provided she passes a morale check) if it will enable a kopru victory. Of the commanding elite, she is the only one who cannot hope to control the aboleth Tower of Domination. If all the other kopru commanding officers are slain, Yn’vildarr will retreat and attempt to organize a general retreat among remaining kopru forces.
Only when the kopru attempt to seize the Tower of Domination (which may or may not happen depending on kopru success on their attacks on the city) will all remaining leaders join together for the final assault in an attempt to seize control of the tower and the city. Any of the three kopru leaders will be able to seize control of the Tower of Domination once the grand savant is slain. Note that each leader has a means of casting the spell force field in order to prevent the grand savant explosion from destroying the tower. The moment the grand savant is slain and begins its death throes, the kopru most senior leader will use an organic magical device in the shape of a nautilus to begin attuning to the Tower of Domination. This procedure also completes and activates the strengthened mass domination effect. After five combat rounds, starting once the grand savant is slain, all the PCs face a magnified domination attack with a saving throw penalty of -6, unless all kopru leaders are slain before then.
Should the tower not explode from the death of the grand savant due to kopru action, but the PCs still emerge victorious, you can have the nautilus devices cause the explosion through magical feedback or perhaps have a chunk of the tower collapse and fall away. The city will still sink into the sea as described in the adventure.
If all the kopru leaders are slain before the grand savant is killed, or before the Tower of Domination is even breached, any surviving kopru will retreat out of the city and abandon the military campaign. They know their only chance now is getting as far away as possible.
Special Magic and Powers of the Kopru
Malsssis’ Amulet This amulet completely shields the wearer and negates any attempt at domination by an aboleth or mind blast by an illithid. One charge is used per attempt.
Partial Carapace Armor +1 Kopru can wear bits and pieces of armor to protect their arms and chests. They usually use pieces taken from giant crustaceans and occasionally enchant them. This grants a -2 bonus to AC.
Rings of Spell Storing with Force Field This item breaks the rules as rings of spell storing normally can’t hold a wizard spell more powerful than 7th level. The kopru painstakingly forged these in underwater volcanos using extremely rare ores and enchanted them with the blood sacrifices of powerful shamans from enemy underwater races. The force field spell actually comes from the 1991 Rules Cyclopedia, there it is an 8th level spell and allows one to create a perfectly spherical force field with a 20 foot radius at a range of 120 feet. This is just large enough to contain the aboleth grand savant’s body, and protect the kopru should the grand savant explode after being slain. No kopru leader will use these rings for anything other than containing the grand savant after it is slain, as they believe (erroneously) it can cast disintegrate spells which easily destroys the force field. If the kopru manage to capture the Tower of Domination, they would be willing to use any remaining rings to capture the PCs. These rings turn to worthless slag once the spell is cast from it.
Thrall of Demogorgon Dual Action ability65 This ability allows the cleric of Demogorgon to take two full combat rounds worth of actions in the same combat round. If you roll for initiative, the cleric of Demogorgon gets two rolls for initiative, and takes one full round of action at each initiative roll. If you use initiative phases, the cleric of Demogorgon takes one full round of action at an early initiative phase, and the second full round of action at a late initiative phase. Two spells can be cast in one round this way. This ability cannot be dispelled.
Appendix I : Timeline
The following timeline is based on the assumption that the Night Below campaign will kick off anytime between 1000-1003 AC. Adjust the years in the timeline if you wish to move the start to some other year. This timeline is based on both the dates suggested in the Night Below campaign book as well as the constructed timeline made by David Ross.66 It is adjusted in order to accommodate local Soderfjord history.
Prehistory : The aboleth are invited to Mystara by the Carnifex.
2500 BC Gnomes and Modriswerg enter the area that will later become the Northern Reaches and settle hills and mountains as continental ice sheets recede.
2400 BC The aboleth locate the Sunless Sea deep below what will later become the Northern Reaches. Construction of the aboleth city Shaboath begins.
2300 BC Adhuza, the kopru empire, is on the ascendant and near the peak of its power in Thanegioth.
1700 BC Giants, trolls, and gnolls are driven south into the Northern Reaches in successive waves of migration.
1700 BC Kopru Empire is in steep decline, Thanegioth is now an archipelago.
1500 BC Sophisticated gnomish and dwarven cultures co-exist with primitive giantish clans in western uplands of the Northern Reaches.
1000 BC Nithian Empire conquers and dominates human cultures in the Northern Reaches.
597 BC The kopru invite the aboleth to build a city under the Isle of Dread, in exchange for aboleth assistance in helping the kopru rebuild Adhuza.
500 BC Nithian Empire collapses, weak mainland human cultures in the Northern Reaches at mercy of giant clans.
490 BC Kobold clans invade the Falun Caverns in Soderfjord and massacre the gnomes who live there. The Valoin gnomes are transported to the Hollow World. Some gnomes escape and flee to Karameikos.
488 BC A few surviving gnome families manage to evade the kobolds in the Falun Caverns and proceed deeper into the Underdark. They become the deep gnomes.
378 BC A thriving human civilization begins to manifest in the Thanegioth Archipelago, developing architecture, magic and theology.
350 BC The aboleth seize control of kopru territory in the Isle of Dread, enslaving and partially dominating the kopru
304-303 BC The kopru provoke war between the aboleth and the human civilization on the Isle of Dread, the aboleth are defeated.
300 BC The aboleth abandon attempts to reclaim the Isle of Dread from the kopru, many make their way to Shaboath.
221 AC The Rockseer elf Aljayera is born.
500 AC Sons of King Cnute from Ostland settle in Soderfjord.
602 AC The sword Finslayer is created for the ranger Pajarifan against a kuto-toa menace deep beneath Soderfjord.
614 AC Kingdom of Vestland established.
625 AC Pajarifan perishes in the Underdark, his sword is lost.
763 AC The Rockseer elf Darafayen is born.
776 AC Sardinius (Sarden) Parlfray, son of a Thyatian count, arrives in Soderfjord with followers and family.
782 AC Spire Keep built by Sardinius (Sarden) Parlfray, who has adopted the title Jarl. Other local jarls grudgingly accept his presence.
809 AC The paladin Ludwig (Lothar) Parlfray destroys a cult led by an evil priest and assassins in the Battle of Hardlow Woods.
863 AC Village of Milborne founded.
874 AC Hamlet of Thurmaster founded.
898 AC A fiend in the service of Thanatos (or Hel) slaughters everyone in Spire Keep. Elman Parlfray, the eldest heir, being absent from the keep at the time, survives.
899 AC Elman Parlfray relocates his family home to the Halfcut Hills and begins construction of Parlfray Keep. He gives up the title Jarl in exchange for ownership of the surrounding lands including Thurmaster.
906 AC Patchwork Hills carved into terraces.
940 AC Garlstone Mine ceases to be profitable, it is abandoned.
950 AC The Nordhartar Defense League is formed at the Council of Soderfjord, creating the Soderfjord Jarldoms.
953 AC Carman family builds a log dam, creating the Eelhold reservoir.
961 AC Humanoids (gnolls?) attack Thurmaster and surrounding farms and are defeated by Lord Parlfray’s mercenaries.
965 AC The Nordhartar Defense League attempts to build a bridge across the river at Milborne. Project is abandoned halfway due to lack of funds..
970 AC The shadow dragon Fandruzsch arrives in the Northern Reaches to begin his plan of corruption, he establishes a lair underneath Soderfjord.
971 AC Parlfray mercenaries drive out monsters from an area of the Thornwood now called the Blessed Wood, this operation is referred to as the “scourge”.
984 AC The Eelhold dam breaks, flooding farms to the south. Soon after a water elemental is bonded to the place with a local nixie keeping it acquiescent.
986 AC Tauster flees Norrvik and settles in Thurmaster.
994 AC Humanoids from the Great Rock Dale raid the lands around Milborne and Thurmaster during the “bitewinter”. The ranger Kuiper and the local militia stop them, losing 17 men but inflicting far more casualties on the humanoids.
999 AC – The Goblins of the Ring arrive from the Underdark and settle near established farms. The New Mire begins to form as the ring leaks water from the elemental plane.
1001 AC – The Frey/Freyja priest Semheis becomes the godi at Milborne.
1001-1002 AC - Beginning of the Night Below campaign…
Appendix 2 : Name Changes
While Carl Sargent had a number of talents as a game designer, assigning NPC names was not one of them (Otyl Erys? Really?) . Many of the NPC names, especially in the first book, use a somewhat random naming convention that is often found in Greyhawk adventure modules. The table below provides a list of suggested name conversions for all significant NPCs to give them a name more suitable to the Northern Reaches and surrounding countries, as well as the book and page number where the NPC is listed.
As Norse wives did not adopt their husband’s family name, the tradition is kept here, with wives not having the same last name as their husband.
Bk1, p13,16 Bk3, p23-24
Rhorvald the Watcher
Katla the Carpenter
Dagrun the Old
Bk1, p14, 16
Saemund the Goblin-Strangler
Geirmund the Lame
Bk1, p16, 24
Tindr the Deep-Minded/Short
Ingunn the Wolf-Tamer
Bk1, p21, 23
Bk1, p27-28, 49
Ljotolf the Itinerant
Gardi the Odorous
Saeun the Long-Fingered
Rollo the Red
Bk2, p2-4, 11-12
Havard the Black
Bk3, p 19
Gunnar the Mighty
Kalf the Stubborn
Bk1, p4, Bk3, p61-63
Appendix 3 : Other Resources for Improving The Night Below
Back in the final days of 2nd Edition and the early days of 3rd Edition, one big fan of The Night Below campaign, a certain David Ross, put together an impressive collection of pages on his website discussing the campaign, both its shortcomings and strengths. Over time he developed a lot of excellent advice as well as good suggestions for changes. While he discontinued the site, most of the material can still be found on the archive at the Wayback Machine. If you plan to run it, I recommend checking it out.
3See the 1991 Rules Cyclopedia p161 and/or Dungeon Magazine #23, p14
4See Threshold Magazine #4, p 141-142
5See GAZ7 The Northern Reaches, p24-28
7See Polyhedron Magazine #100, p
8GAZ7, The Northern Reaches, p6
9See PC2 The Flying City of Serraine
11See Mystara Monstrous Compendium Appendix, p68
13See GAZ13 The Shadow Elves
14See Threshold Magazine #4, p128-129
16See http://pandius.com/out_geom.html for a brief primer on what all this talk of five dimensions and the Nightmare Dimension is.
17See Dungeon Magazine #144, p50
19See Mystara Monstrous Compendium, p121
20Editor’s note: all the maps provide an adapted terrain and suggested location for the major point of interests and settlements presented in the Haranshire map to different locations in Soderfjord. Each map has a scale of 3.2 miles per hex (i.e., 2.5 hexes for each hex of the Gazetteer map).
21See Mystara Monstrous Compendium Appendix, p62
22The dictate spell is found in 2nd Edition Spells & Magic
25See GAZ10 The Orcs of Thar Players Guide, p14-16
28For more information on Wastoure, see DDA2 Legions of Thyatis, p7, 28-29
29See GAZ12, The Golden Khan of Ethengar
30See GAZ2, The Emirates of Ylaruam
32See Mystara monstrous compendium appendix p. 24
33See GAZ12, The Golden Khan of Ethengar
34A scion is rare and exceptional member of a monster race, usually from a powerful bloodline. See DM’s Option High Level Campaigns p61
35See Mystara Monstrous Compendium Appendix, p 23
36See Mystara Monstrous Compendium Appendix, p 25
37See GAZ10, The Orcs of Thar for details
38The suggestion that rakshasas exist in Sind comes from HWA3 Nightstorm, p 19.
39See Dragon Magazine #163, p 44-45 or Heroes of the Princess Ark, p 92 from the Champions of Mystara box set
40See Tome of Magic, p 112
41See Tome of Magic, p 105
42See Mystara Monstrous Compendium Appendix, p 118-119
43See DA1 Adventures of Blackmoor, page 62, and Codex Immortalis, vol I, page 138.
44See B3 Palace of the Silver Princess
45See PC3 The Sea People, p 59
46See GAZ6 The Dwarves of Rockhome, p 69-70
47See Mystara Monstrous Compendium Appendix p 26 and the Immortal Set rules.
49See PC3 The Sea People, p23
50See Mystara Monstrous Compendium Appendix, p69
51See PC3 The Sea People, p23
52See PC3 The Sea People p23 and/or Dungeon Magazine #144 p60
53The spell Chromatic Orb is found in the 2nd Edition Complete Wizard’s Handbook
54The spells Detect Secret Passages and Portals, Mordenkainen’s Force Missiles, Trollish Fortitude and Seven-Eyes come from the 2nd Edition Spells & Magic
55The spells Minor Spell Turning and Mind Fog come from the 2nd Edition Tome of Magic
57The spells Miscast Magic, Random Causality and Chaotic Combat come from the 2nd Edition Tome of Magic
58The Spells Chaos Ward, Watery Fist and Entropy Shield come from the 2nd Edition Spells & Magic
59See footnotes 55 and 56.
60See DM’s Option High Level Campaigns p61
61The spells Dictation and Displace Self come from the 2nd edition Spells & Magic
62The spells Hornung’s Guess, Filter and Minor Malison come from the 2nd Edition Tome of Magic
63See Threshold Magazine #5, A recent history of Davania
64See Dungeon Magazine #144, p58
65See the 3.5 D&D Book of Vile Darkness, p 67