View Full Version : Campaigns / Adventures Sands of Enigma-Campaign Outline

10-10-2009, 12:41 AM
This campaign utilizes much of the material from the D&D book Sandstorm, utilizing Gods and Beasts from that tomb. It can be adapted as well for 4e and Pathfinder rules. The campaign allows the players to take on different paths in their journey and choose a side (or choose none). In the final climax, the fate of the Empire and the waste will depend on them. The adventure also allows you to scale it to whatever you desire in level, understanding that the first few parts have a equiptment light party.

The premise is the players, no matter their origin, have found themselves in the far desert region in the Empire of Carthac with no memory of how they arrived. In addition, they are implicated in the assassination of the Emperor of Carthac and his family. Their only lead to what has happen to them is to trace their steps back into the desert region of known as the Waste and seek out the cult known as the Council of Venom, a cult of worshipers of Al-Ishtus. Along the way they discover they have lived another life for over a year in this land doing many things, some seemingly terrible, other for good. Eventually they discover they are part of a greater plot driven by the gods Al-Ishtus and Solanil and must choose sides.

Long ago, a Yuan Ti came to great land of Carthac in hopes of reigning their dominion on the lands. They and their allies destroyed the merger forces that protected the lush jungle lands. The Yuan Ti then established a temple to oversee the land and its inhabitants. They then built a great City of the Serpent, a hub of commerce.

But the Gods were not all happy at the outcome. The Yuan ti, ignorant of their blasphemy, failed to appease the gods and they cursed the land and made it into the Waste. The Yuan ti were virtually wiped out and any that remained were soon driven out by other creatures. The great City of the Serpent was buried into the waste and their part of history was lost.

New Gods began to appear in the waste for its new inhabitants and the great Empire of Carthac was established by the humans who dwell in greater lush areas of the land. For centuries, the small city grew to its own empire, laying the law across the sands. Only the harsh waste lay untamed.

Though relative peace occupied the empire for centuries, the bloodline of the Yuan ti had not completely died out. Coursing through the blood of many of the inhabitants is the blood of those ancient conquerors. Such a blood line found its way to the Emperor's heart from a beautiful maiden who made her way into the Emperors Harem. From her, the Emperor was given his sixth son, one who bore the blood of the Yuan Ti.

This did not go unnoticed. The Council of Venom, the cult of Al-Ishtus, had made its duty to hunt down the Yuan Ti bloodlines and eradicate them. AI-Ishtus had claimed all Yuan ti sites as his own in the great waste and had made sure none of the creatures would ever surface again. His Council have for centuries used various means to accomplish that goal. On news of the children of the Emperor bearing the blood of the Yuan Ti, he sought out his council of mortal assassins to destroy the abominations. Alas, his council, all were slain by a group of Marruspawn who had reclaimed the City of Serpent as their own.

Fear of the Yuan Ti returning, AI-Istus recruited outsiders of the Empire to do his bidding. Controlling the minds of these individuals he allowed them to integrate into the society for a year to learn the ways of the Council and perform the deed. The deed done, the pawns soon found themselvess in a new land and with no memory of how they got there. AI-Istus discarded his pawns.

But the pawns have an ally. Solanil, the oasis god of the waste had watched silently as AI-Istus used the heroes for his plans. Solanil has her own agenda for the heroes. It was Solanil who arranged for the final child to be spared, distracting him by appearing in the pools in the Palace Garden so he never made it to the bedchamber where his siblings and father lay dead. Solanil's Oasis has been constantly threatened by raiders and creatures aligned to Al-Ishtus. Solanil hopes to use the child as a lure for the high Priests of AI-Istu to draw out their hidden forces to assault the city. The combined forces of the players and the inhabitants of Carthac should be enough to defeat the forces. Solanil however, gives little care of the city itself and what the outcome of Blood Line Yuan Ti could have as the Emperor, just as long as her Oasis is secure. She justifies it by the corrupt behavior the citizens of Carthac display.

The city is assaulted and the players learn that the Yuan Ti spawn has the ability of calling his ancient ancestors to save the city. The players are then left the choice: do they help the council of venom, the evil group complete the task of slaying the last Yuan Ti, or do they side with Solanil and allow the city of Carthac to be destroyed and ruled by the Yuan Ti.


The Emperors Assassins
Awoken from a haze, the party find themselves embroiled in the murdered of the Emperor of Carthac , a desert city in the Barren land known as the Waste, and his family. Covered in the fresh blood of their victims they are pursued by the Royal Guardsmen led by Sephias Johan, the protector of Prince Rahj, the six year old survivor of the Huloon empirical family and now the emperor. With bloody blades still in possession, the fugitives are pursued through the palace, eventually captured and thrown into the bleak Wyrm Prison underneath the city.

Wyrm Prison
From there they learn their fate is to be executed for the assassination of the family. They also discover their memories have been lost. In addition, they each have a scorpion tattoo on their arms. The other prisoners fear them, save a Druid Bhukas called Niskigan (Snake Fang). They eventually learn that they are members of the Council of Venom, a cult of worshipers of Al-Ishtus. He reveals to them the marks on their arms and the stinger scares showing they had survived some ritual from the cult. An opportunity arises and the players have means of escape. They travel through the maze like prison, emerging to the surface in the City of Carthac where they search for refuge.

Kingdom of the Beggars
Escaping from the Wyrm Prion, the players find themselves in the heart of Carthac. Hunted by the guards of the Palace, they seek refuge in the hidden streets of the beggars Bizarre. Evading capture they are forced to meet up with the beggar King, Kulz who claims they owe him a favor. The Players have no choice but to fulfill their bargain with the King of Beggars and steal the daughter of the Caravan Master, Uhngar for his harem. The players learn they have a connection to the God, Solanil, and discover their depictions on the shrine. Completing that task, the players continue their search to find answers of their situation.

Lair of the Psurlon
The players learn of a temple in the waste that may hold a key to their mystery. Braving the Waste they travel to the forgotten temple of Al-Ishtus. On route some the party fall to a sink hole that sends them into a subterranean cavern system where Saltor aberrations are under the control of a Psurlon called Gameda. In the chamber they find the Half-Jann merchant, Malfusha who offers them a reward if he can be returned to the surface. Utilizing their skills, the party manages to escape the caverns and return on their journey. The Half-Jann merchant gives the players a reward before disappearing and allowing them to continue on their journey directing them to the only oasis in the desert..

The Far Oasis
The Party continues their travels and find themselves at the Oasis of Solanil where the Bhuka village resides. But the Oasis has been over run by a Crucian war party and the players must deal with them. Using various tactics, the players manage to defeat the Crucians and liberate the Bhuka. The Bhuka direct the players to the temple and give them blessing of Solanil. Though the blessing is not what they think.

The City of Serpents
Finally reaching the temple the party find it inhabited by Marruspawn and must make their way into the depths of the temple into the secret chambers where they encounter the ghostly Yuan ti Guardians and sacred chambers of Al-Ishtus. Through the ancient glyphs they learn that the waste was the curse from the gods on the Yuan ti who had conquered the lands of the waste and failed to give tribute to the Gods. The players descend further into the treasury but they find the chamber has been robbed. Left for them is a tomb written by their own hands explaining what they must do.

City on Fire
The forces of Al-Ishtus make an assault on the city of Carthac, the players infiltrate the war zone to try and stop the half-Yuan ti from summoning the ghost of his ancestors to stop the invaders.

10-14-2009, 08:29 AM
Awesome.. I like it. :thumb:

now, I just wish I could play in it.