This adventure provides an exciting and entertaining Tier 1 adventure for Adventurer's League. Hailing back to 2014 when 5e was being brought into the world (thank you Mike Mearls), this PDF has some quirks such as referring to the Players Handbook instead of the Dungeon Master's Guide. Season 1 remains a strong favourite in the Adventurer's League back catalogue, and I highly reccommend that you take the opportunity to introduce these adventures into your game schedule.
On the plus side, the variety of encounters and challenges gives each of your players a chance to shine. On the negative side, the run of the adventure is very difficult to complete within a four hour timeslot. You'll need every trick up your DM sleeves to complete it on time. Consider the option of allowing more time for your game group to fully engage with the content.
It would be useful to have a guide to playing this particular adventure within Season 8 of Adventurer's League, and even more so a guide to the entire run of modules. I suggest purchase the bundle for the entire set of adventurers in this series. It's an important point to note because there are very strong themes in the storyline which relate to the wider story arc of these adventures, and have little bearing on the specifics of this adventure on its own.
Those players who think they can easily talk their way through the NPCs should be in a surprise in Part 1. None of them are going to tolerate any nonsense, and in particular the Black Fist are a harsh master. Drop hints about the strangeness of the location that the players arrive at in Part 3.
In Part 2, I also omitted the encounter as a time saving device. The final NPC is where I introduced my first strong accent which brings about the feeling of arrival in a strange place. Make this character as odd as possible to set the scene for the rest of the story.
In Part 3 is where the potential for the most play time to be consumed. The party were most interested in the landing and the village, and enjoyed their interactions with the young girl. I didn't use any accent for the girl, her character as the child is sufficient enough to give meaning to her role. It was at this point that the players challenged each other to question their own values and morality. It was a very powerful moment which made the preparation for this adventure worthwhile. Well done to the writers of this adventure!
Use Part 4 as a build up of excitement, and the real adventure hook. Make this as short as possible, as it leads the players into the action of Part 5.
In Part 5, the drama and adventure comes to a climax, and it's time for your players to get their hands dirty in an exciting and challenging scene. Prepare for this part by understanding the special rules that apply, and the actions and challenges for the players. Allow plenty of time to enjoy this section.
The magic item unlock is from table G, worth 20 Tier 2 TP, and so the players will need to be at least level 8 to be able to purchase it.
Be wary that there a lot of typos across the pages of this PDF, in particular a terribly confusing "The bones were ... gathered from random corpses they dug up"(top right of page 10) is extremely misleading.
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