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Servants of Darkness (2e)
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Servants of Darkness (2e)

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Young Bryonna has been judged guilty of consorting with the dark forces of Tepest, and now she will burn at the stake for it. The Inquisitors, priests whose zealousness sometimes stirs whispers of doubt among the people, have condemned her with all the surety that comes with their "holy" power.

Heroes of integrity and justice are needed to ferret out the truth. To succeed, they must travel a perilous path that winds through the labyrinthine tunnels of Mount Lament and lead them to the dreaded Hages of Tepest and Tristessa the banshee. Worse still, they must ultimately face the mysterious Prince of Shadows, who manipulates the denizens of the domain for his own evil purposes. When to stand fast? When to run? Only those who survive can say.

Servants of Darkness is a stand-alone adventure that can also lead the party of investigate the misty chasm at the center of the Demiplanes's Core in The Shadow Rift, the next release for the Ravenloft campaign setting.

For four to six characters of levels 4-6

Product History

"Servants of Darkness" (1998), by Kevin Melka and Steve Miller, is a Ravenloft adventure for the Domains of Dread. It was published in February 1998.

Origins: The Domains Line. Following the release of Domains of Dread (1997), the third iteration of the Ravenloft setting, Wizards of the Coast published just a handful of supplements — probably because the line was on its way out under Wizards.

"Servants of Darkness" (1998) was one of the most notable, because it was the first half of Domains' only multipart adventure, leading into The Shadow Rift (1998).

Adventure Tropes. Good people can do bad things. That's a pretty good trope for Ravenloft, which is much heavier on moral dilemmas than most D&D games, and it's front and center in "Servants of Darkness". As the introduction says, "If this adventure is run correctly, the heroes will almost certainly worry that they have made wrong decisions or that they are being led astray." They must investigate accusations, they must determine the worth of witch-hunters, and they must decide who is worth saving.

The actual adventure, steeped in horror, is heavy on investigation with just a bit of a dungeon crawl at the end, tying the world of Ravenloft to the world of D&D.

Exploring Ravenloft. "Servants of Darkness" is set in Tepest, a domain that was first described way back in Ravenloft: Realm of Terror (1990), but one that hadn't received much attention to date. Players visit both of its villages, Viktal and Kelee. There's even a nice color map of the domain of Tepest that shows its relation to the Shadow Rift … which is of course the heart of the next adventure in the series.

NPCs of Note. Though they won't necessarily appear in the adventure, Laveeda, Leticia, and Lorinda, the three Darklords of Tepest all get full descriptions.

They're not even the only Darklords in the adventure. Loht, the Prince of Shadows, once the Darklord of the shadow elf domain of Arak, is also present — and more integral to the adventure! Arak was one of the original domains from Ravenloft: Realm of Terror, but it disappeared during the Grand Conjunction and so was absent starting with the Ravenloft Campaign Setting (1994); Loht's appearance here was a nice touchback to the changing setting.

About the Creators. Melka is best-known as the lead for the second iteration of the Dark Sun campaign; "Servants of Darkness" was his only Ravenloft work. Miller was more central to the product line, coauthoring Domains of Dread and contributing to most of the later "Children of the Night" books.

About the Product Historian

The history of this product was researched and written by Shannon Appelcline, the editor-in-chief of RPGnet and the author of Designers & Dragons - a history of the roleplaying industry told one company at a time. Please feel free to mail corrections, comments, and additions to shannon.appelcline@gmail.com.

 
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Product Information
Pages
64
Edition
1.0
Publisher Stock #
TSR 9541
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File Last Updated:
February 26, 2017
This title was added to our catalog on February 28, 2017.