The Shadow Rune
The Shadow Rune is a campaign for Descent: Journeys in the Dark Second Edition, introduced in earlier versions of the base game.
The twin baronies of Rhynn and Carthridge lie on the outskirts of Terrinoth, far from the Free Cities. Baron Greigory often hosts his friend and ally, Baron Zachareth, at his seat in the capital city of Arhynn, and, over the years the two baronies have aided one another in times of both war and peace. But now, both baronies are in peril. Monsters stalk their forests and mountains, moving with more purpose and coordination than ever before. A new Overlord is rising, a wicked and dangerous foe, hidden in the shadows, manipulating events according to his master plan. If the Overlord isn’t stopped, Rhynn and Carthridge alike will fall into darkness, and the rest of Terrinoth will soon follow. Fortunately, a small group of heroes are on the road to Arhynn…
List of Quests
- First Blood: The heroes come across the smouldering remains of a recently ambushed caravan, which they later learn was transporting the Shadow Binder Viceroy Pellin. The Overlord is sending a group of goblin archers, led by an ettin named Mauler, to attack Arhynn. The heroes must kill Mauler before he is able to rally his troops further into the city.
- A Fat Goblin: Upon orders of the Overlord, Splig, the self-proclaimed king of all goblins, has sent his minions to capture one of the Shadow Binders, Frederick, while stealing and burning all the farmers' crops. The heroes track down Splig's hideout and attempt to rescue Frederick from the goblins' grasp.
- The Monster's Hoard: If the heroes succeed in saving him, Frederick informs the heroes of his legendary bow, the Trueshot, which is in the Overlord's clutches. While traveling to its location, the heroes are attacked by merriods and other beasts, and must protect the frail Frederick. They make it to the cavern where it is kept, only to be swarmed by the Overlord's forces who are also after the legendary weapon.
- The Frozen Spire: If the heroes fail to save him, Frederick is dragged by the Overlord's minions to the Frozen Spire. The heroes make their way to the spire, only to find the shadow dragon Ruin, who attempts to destroy the stone bridge to the spire. Once inside, the heroes find Frederick. Driven mad from his captivity, he attacks the heroes, and must be subdued and carried out of the spire to regain himself. Unfortunately, the Overlord's minions are there to make escape impossible.
- Castle Daerion: The heroes' search for Sir Palamon, one of the Shadow Binders, brings them to Daerintown which has been overrun by the Overlord's minions. They attempt to light the town's beacons to warn Castle Daerion. At the castle they must hold off the Black Knight Sir Alric Farrow until Sir Palamon can rally enough defenders to repulse the invaders.
- The Dawnblade
- The Desecrated Tomb
- The Cardinal's Plight: The heroes are sent to retrieve the powerful Staff of Light from Cardinal Koth, a former Shadow Binder. They find his cathedral besieged by the Overlord's minions, with Lord Merick Farrow raising the dead to attack Cardinal Koth. Inside the cathedral, the heroes must rescue Cardinal Koth from the newly created zombies, keeping him alive during the onslaught with the help of the healing powers of the holy altar.
- Enduring the Elements: If the heroes save Cardinal Koth, he tells them of the Temple of the Four Storms, where the Shadow Binders locked away the elemental artifacts Gryvorn's sorcerers had created. Lord Merick Farrow has discovered the temple and is attempting to unlock the Storm Stones to unleash a powerful Elemental Lord. The heroes must try to destroy the stones and then vanquish the elemental and stop Farrow from completing his ritual.
- The Ritual of Shadows
- The Masquerade Ball: The heroes attend Lord Theodir's masquerade ball to warn the once Shadow Binder that he might be targeted by the Overlord. When the vampire Lady Eliza Farrow appears, they must stop her from finding Theodir among the masked guests and abducting him to the vaults below. In the vaults the heroes chase Farrow through magically sealed rooms in a race to claim the ancient relic bones secreted deep inside.
- Blood of Heroes
- The Twin Idols
- Death on the Wing: Baron Zachareth informs the heroes that the treasury in Arhynn is running low, and they soon won't be able to pay their soldiers. The heroes travel to Greystone Watchtower to check on the silver mine shipments. There they find the dragon hybrid Belthir, who sends his minions after the heroes in hopes of delaying them to the watchtower. The heroes push forward and battle Belthir on the watchtower's bridge in an attempt to save the tower guards' lives.
- The Wyrm Turns
- The Wyrm Rises
- The Shadow Vault: Baron Greigory has recently discovered the location of the Shadow Vault where is hidden half of the Shadow Rune, in which the dragonlord Gryvorn is bound. The heroes are sent to retrieve it before the Overlord joins it with his half of the Shadow Rune. But with the lead casket containing the Shadow Rune in hand, they are confronted by Baron Zachareth who reveals himself to be the Overlord. The heroes must escape the area before Zachareth captures the casket from them.
- The Overlord Revealed: The heroes travel to the recently discovered location of the Shadow Vault, to assist Baron Zachareth's troops in securing the Shadow Rune. As they approach the vault, they find themselves alone and being attacked by waves of the Overlord's minions streaming from three magical portals. They must seal the portals to cut off the monstrous reinforcements of the Overlord -- who is revealed to be Baron Zachareth himself -- before Zachareth can escape with the key to the Shadow Vault.
- Gryvorn Unleashed
- The Man Who Would Be King
List of Characters
- Baron Zachareth: Baron of Carthridge, one of the Free Cities. He is a close friend and ally to Baron Greigory of Arhynn, and resides in Castle Talon. When the attacks on the Shadow Binders begins, he aids the heroes and Greigory in discovering where the vile Overlord will strike next. However, it is later revealed that Baron Zachareth had been behind the attacks, and plots on reviving the dragonlord Gryvorn by putting the two pieces of the Shadow Rune together. The heroes discover that Zachareth plans to perform a ritual which will allow him to become king of the Daqan empire.
- Baron Greigory: Ruler of the Free City of Arhynn.
- Gryvorn: The lord of all dragons, he was imprisoned in the Shadow Rune by the Shadow Binders during the Dragon Wars. The most powerful of dragons, Dragonlord Gryvorn is sought after by Baron Zachareth, who wishes to wield the dragon's power to conquer Terrinoth.
- The Shadow Binders
- Splig: One of Baron Zachareth's chief allies, and the self-proclaimed "King of All Goblins."
- Belthir: A dragon-hybrid mercenary-for-hire who has been recruited by Baron Zachareth. Called the "Scion of Gryvorn," Belthir claims to have fought in the Dragon Wars. He serves Zachareth only out of necessity to revive the dragonlord.
- Lord Merick Farrow: Once a beloved nobleman, Merick was driven mad when his brother, Alric, was killed in battle. His search to resurrect his brother brought him to his new wife, Eliza, and with her, powers that corrupted his soul. He has since joined forces with Baron Zachareth in search of even more power.
- Sir Alric Farrow: Lord Merick's deceased brother, brought back by Merick's necromantic powers. When Merick sided with Baron Zachareth, Alric was forced to follow suit. He is also known as "The Black Knight" or "Sir Farrow the Pale."
- Lady Eliza Farrow: Lord Merick's wife, and, unbeknownst to the Free Cities, a vampire. It was she who aided in Merick's corruption into a power-hungry necromancer. She joins Baron Zachareth for reasons unknown, but seems to delight in torturing the heroes.
- Ruin: A shadow dragon who serves Baron Zachareth. He guards the Frozen Spire, and is charged with destroying the spire's bridge by Zachareth when the heroes appear.
- Khorayt: Considered to be "greatest of the shadow dragons," he resides in Sir Arcite's tomb, where he is imprisoned. An elven woman tells the heroes that the only way Khorayt can be killed is with Sir Arcite's sword, the Dawnblade, can hurt him.
- Mauler: An ettin ordered to lead an army of goblins into Arhynn through a secret passage. The heroes later discover that Mauler was responsible for Viceroy Pellin's death.
- Elemental Lord
- Sir Arcite: A famous knight from the Dragon Wars. He was killed at some point, presumably in battle. He was buried with the Dawnblade, the weapon which was used to help defeat Gryvorn.
- Heinrich: Baron Zachareth's former steward. He left Zachareth's service years prior, and lived in exile in a cabin by Lake Falstar. The heroes travel to his cabin in search of information about Zachareth's fortress, but find that Heinrich had already been captured. They discover that Lady Eliza had taken Heinrich, and began turning him into a vampire.