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HWA2 Nightrage (Basic)
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HWA2 Nightrage (Basic)

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Snakes fly, stones walk, and colossal monsters burrow in the world's crust?do these omens foretell catastrophe? Perhaps so, for now the dark elves walk in the sunlight, wearing armor that turns the sharpest blades and strongest spells. They are poised to conquer the fabulous Hollow World.

But what is the armor? How does its creation involve the ancient, mile-long Great Annelids, as well as those wondrous creatures, the feathered serpents? The mystery's solution draws your heroes across three thousand miles, from ruins to seaports, through the trackless caverns beneath the World's Spine, and finally to the eternal land of Nithia. There your heroes discover the true meaning of "Nightrage"!

Product History

HWA2: "Nightrage"(1990), by Allen Varney, is the second of the Hollow World Adventures and also the second of the Blood Brethren trilogy. It was published in December 1990.

Origins: Hollow World Adventures. "Nightrage" is the second of the Basic D&D Hollow World adventures. It forms part of an overarching story where Thanatos attempts to unleash chaos in the Hollow World. The modules are written to allow play in any order, but Varney thought the result was more trouble than it was worth and says that they should just be played in order.

Adventure Tropes. The basic design of the Hollow World made travel between its kingdoms difficult. So, how do you create an adventure series that goes against this core precept of the setting, instead offering a tour of the Hollow World through visits to multiple lands? A sandworm-like annelid burrower eats the characters and then leaves them behind as … waste.

The rest of the adventure is more elegant. Like its predecessor it's a mix of episodic events and sandboxed investigations. Though there are some minor lairs, there are no major crawls in this adventure.

Exploring the Hollow World. The heart of "Nightrage" takes place in Nithia, the Egyptian-influenced Hollow World realm. "Nightrage" features riverlands and desert alike, fleshing out the area. More details would appear in HWR2: "Kingdom of Nithia" (1991)

However, Varney also introduces two brand-new lands. The first is Colima, a small town near Azca. It offers an example of the otherwise unknowns "stonecarver" culture, which would get a bit more attention in HWR1: "Sons of Azca" (1991). The second is the floating continent of Ashmorain, home to feathered serpents.

Monsters of Note. The feathered serpents are a unique Hollow World race that appears for the first time here, where they're extensively detailed. The serpents reappear in "Sons of Azca"; obviously, they're a cognate to AD&D's coautl.

The Known World's elementals also make several appearances and reveal how unique they are in D&D lore — primarily because they act like individuals, not elemental forces. They're named and even have unique characteristics. For example earth elementals are sedate and fire elementals are passionate; a fire elemental named Aura Grandiose is even said to be a "high-ranking artist".

About the Creators. Freelancer Varney had previously worked for Steve Jackson Games, but was now writing for a variety of publishers. His TSR work started with M4: "Five Coins for a Kingdom" (1987) and now continued with a whole trilogy of supplements.

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

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Jeremy R October 05, 2016 4:34 am UTC
I don't remember the basic design of the Hollow World making traveling difficult. There was cultural stasis, which kept them the same. But there were no barriers to travel or indeed, even wars between cultures.
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