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Friday 1 October 2021

Friday Fantasy: Lady Trevant’s Bones

Lady Trevant’s Bones is an adventure for Dungeons & Dragons, Fifth Edition. Published by Critical Kit, it is designed for a party of four to five Player Characters of Sixth Level and is intended to be played in a single session, either as a one-shot or as part of an ongoing campaign. It involves two warring factions of Elves, a peace summit, an ancient tomb, hallowed ground, and a dread necromancer. The scenario involves some interaction, but primarily emphasises combat and exploration.

Lady Trevant’s Bones takes place on Orphan’s Bay at the far reaches the Cantorus Dynasty, the default setting for many of the adventures from Critical Kit. Here the leaders of two long feuding nations of Elves, the underworld dwelling Evershades and the maritime Midnight Banner, both descended from the same sea-faring Sea Elves that split roughly four thousand years ago, have come together at the Perigee Summit in light of terrible news. A necromancer and Moonshade exile, T’Zraam, has broken into the tomb of Lady Trevant, the first leader of the Evershades, and is probably going to try and raise her from the dead and in doing so, take command of the Evershades Elves. Unfortunately, neither participant at the Perigee Summit can send anyone into the tomb after T’Zraam, as both the Evershades and the Midnight Banner regard her tomb as hallowed ground. Thus outsiders are needed… Enter the Player Characters.

Several reasons explain why the Player Characters have come to Orphan’s Bay and the Perigee Summit are suggested. The best and strongest simply has them deliver a sealed letter to the summit containing proof that a captured spy was not sent by either nation of Elves. This gets the Player Characters to the summit, proves their bona fides, and it makes a possible scene with the spy a whole lot easier to work into the scenario. The other suggestions, such as investigating the disappearance of the spy, wanting to look for treasure, and so on, are nowhere near as detailed as the first option, and consequently, will leave the Dungeon Master with more work to develop them and involve the Player Characters. The only issue with the involvement of the spy is that his surname is ‘Burgess’. (Fortunately, there is no MacClean.)

If the Player Characters agree to enter the tomb, they are quickly ushered to the mouth of a cave on the shore. This is the entrance to the tomb of Lady Trevant. The whole complex consists of eight locations. The first five of these consist of damp caves hung with spider’s webs and infested with spiders, and the Player Characters will have to fully explore most of these to progress to the tomb beyond. There is a simple puzzle to solve, the Player Characters having been given the means to solve it before entering the caves, and this will require them to back track a little. Once this is solved, they can descend to the tomb itself where they will encounter the first of several undead, including a multi-trunked elephantoid undead! Inside the tomb itself, the Player Characters will confront T’Zraam as the necromancer conducts the ritual to raise Lady Trevant from the dead. This should be a fairly tough fight given the encounter that the Player Characters will have had outside the tomb beforehand.

In addition to the scenario, Lady Trevant’s Bones provides the Dungeon Master with the stats for T’Zraam, three new monsters, three new magic items, and background on both the Evershades and the Midnight Banner. The latter is accompanied by a timeline for Orphan’s Bay and broaden the details known about the region. The monsters are in keeping with the setting—almost evergreen Evershade Zombies which keep coming back and may be tough to finally put down and Moonspiders, denizens of the caves who appear not to eat Elves… The treasures are good too, The Bracelet of Cardinal Points being perfect for any nautical campaign and a Spirit Box in which a ghost can be locked. Plus there is a nice bit weirdness to be found in Lady Trevant’s tomb as well.

Physically, Lady Trevant’s Bones is decently done, but it needs a further edit and the maps could have benefited from a direction compass. The full colour artwork is excellent and the Dungeon Master should certainly use it to show her players as necessary.

Lady Trevant’s Bones does need a little more development. It is not clear what happens if T’Zraam manages to raise her and if so, what does she come back as. Similarly, what happens if the Player Characters fail? Both are left to the Dungeon Master to determine.

Its short length means that Lady Trevant’s Bones is more of a mini-scenario, one that can very easily be completed in a single session or evening’s worth of play. It has a stronger emphasis on combat and exploration than roleplaying, so may well be better for some groups than others and it does leave some information for the Dungeon master to answer herself. Nevertheless, its brevity and its simplicity in terms of set-up does mean that it would be relatively add to a Dungeon Master’s campaign. All it needs is two feuding factions of Elves, whether that is High, Wood, Drow, or other.

Overall, Lady Trevant’s Bones is decent combat focused scenario for mid-Level characters which with a little effort slots easily into a campaign.

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