The warning is well known throughout the area. There is a curse upon Thraxford Castle and all who enter its gates. A Curse of rotting flesh, of unlife as one of the undead, for all who die within its walls must rise again at dawn to play out a danse macabre of their lives the day before. It is a Curse lain upon the soldiers and occupants of Thraxford Castle by The Bastard King’s slaughter of his kin. None can leave and all who put a foot within a thousand paces of that accursed place will fall foul of the curse… Bastard King of Thraxford Castle is a macabre, gothic mini-location inspired by both British medieval history, Hammer horror films, and even British Dungeons & Dragons adventures drawn from the pages of White Dwarf magazine back in its heyday, such as ‘The Lichway’ by Albie Fiore (White Dwarf Issue No. 9, October/November 1979). Published by Leyline Press and like The Isle of Glaslyn and The God With No Name before it, Bastard King of Thraxford Castle manages to fit an adventure onto the equivalent of four pages and then present it on a pamphlet which folds down to roughly four-by-six inches. One the one side it provides all of the details of the descriptions of the outer and inner wards, whilst on the other there is a map of the whole of the castle, plus descriptions of the actual keep.Bastard King of Thraxford Castle is designed for use with Old School Essentials Classic Fantasy and presents a location supposedly on the Isle of Kybaros . Here the Bastard King took his last stand against invading forces after he had risen up and defeated King Hardrada at the Battle of Ashing Hill, and was cursed for his hubris. One of the great scenes later in the scenario depicts this battle—taking place in the castle’s great hall—and if the Player Characters are not careful, they may actually get caught up in the nightly (knightly?) reenactment! The scenario is designed for Player Characters of low to medium Level, and a Cleric, although any party upon discovering the true nature of the situation in Thraxford Castle going full bore slaughtering the undead and attempting Turn Undead, will themselves in a for surprise—the dead rise the following morning, the undead rise again as more powerful creatures of death, and they themselves are trapped for the duration... can the Player Characters discover the secrets and a way to solve their predicament and that of the inhabitants of Thraxford Castle?
Physically, and once again, Bastard King of Thraxford Castle is a piece of design concision. It is compact and thus easy to store, and unlike The God With No Name, this makes better use of the format, with the inner and outer wards of the castle described on the one side, and the keep on the other along with the map. Besides the cover, the only illustrations in the scenario are those of the new creatures. Those are decent, as is the map of the castle. The scenario does need another edit though.