Atlas   Rules   Resources   Adventures   Stories       FAQ   Search   Links

Original Lost Caverns of Tsojconth - found in Karameikos?

by Demos Sachlas

The original version of module S4 "The Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth" was actually published for OD&D (see "The Lost Caverns of Tsojconth" ('76 Tournament Edition)) and as such, holds a tenuous connection with Mystara. In fact, the first page of the adventure states that "the caverns of Tsojconth are a nexus in probability, where several alternate worlds touch" and so a location on Mystara is quite plausible.

In searching The Piazza, I found a previous thread discussing Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth placement but this only concerned the AD&D version of the module, which added a substantial wilderness portion to the adventure. The earlier version was limited to a description of the lost caverns, only.

I've long been intrigued by an unlabeled cave symbol from the Cook/Marsh map of Karameikos. Could this be a suitable location for the lost caverns of Tsojconth?

Having run the adventure for my Holmes-based/OD&D group, I can tell you that it's a nicely crafted dungeon, designed by the master, himself (with a little help from Rob Kuntz). The party were largely levels 6-7, and I found the lethality was much less than the souped-up killer dungeon appearing in S4. I realized that here was a great 2-level dungeon complex to challenge Expert-level adventurers.

Inspired, I pulled together a 16-page document combining the original version with some room descriptions from the latter version, complete with a B1/B2-style rumor table. Going further, I fashioned this in a B1-style "stock your own dungeon" and included a monster and treasure list drawn from the original adventure, but with a liberal dosing of B/X creatures. Finally, I include a "new monsters" section for the OD&D versions of those creatures in the original tournament version.

Another great location would be as the Cave of the Unknown from module B2, doubling down on the Gygax quotient of that adventure. In fact, I believe that Gary likely based the Shrine of Evil Chaos from B2 on S4's loose sequel, "The Forgotten Temple of Tharizdun" (ultimately published as WG4). This would make a nice Gygaxian triptych as the basis of a B2/Tsojconth/Tharizdun campaign, taking PCs from 1st to name level. The Greyhawk references are actually very few in WG4 (the module code notwithstanding) and I can easily see the terrifying Tharizdun as a setting-spanning elder evil...