As we neared the end of the Red Box campaign, I decided that I liked DMing, but that it would be much more efficient, easier, and enjoyable for me if I was more familiar with the campaign setting. So naturally, as a long-time fan of Dragonlance since I was first introduced to the novels as a kid, I gravitated to that realm. But could I adapt the old school DL1-DLX campaigns to meet 4E? And could we use the same characters? Turns out I found some help online. Someone neamed Ivy actually converted DL1 to 4E, but the rest is up to me. I also decide to transition seamlessly from the Red Box campaign to the DL campaign, all in the DL continuity. So here’s the transition that resulted:
Malareth is killed and his chest discovered.
The large chest in the back corner of the wizard’s laboratory contains Malareth’s treasure: a sack of 200 gold pieces and a +1 magic staff. (any character can ID it – hand over card) Traevus’s box lies open on the central table. The inside is lined with black velvet that cradles a rolled up map.
The map shows the land of Abanasinia, with notes written on the back of it addressed to Malareth:
[Show map and note]
This map shows the lands of Abanasinia. You are to explore this land and identify any threats that our armies may face. I want to know if there is any chance the races and people of Abanasinia may ban together to fight us. What is the state of the elvesn kingdom What about the dwarves that are rumored to be in the south? As for the humans, I want you to recruit as many as possible, and infiltrate the seekers. I want a man on the seeker council in Haven to be our eyes and ears, and to help influence them if we need to. Before you teleport back to report, I want answers to these questions, and identification of any threat to us in the region.
You are to scout this area and establish a stronghold for the area. We will need you to raise an undead army assist us in our assault of the region.
You must also keep an eye out for a blue crystal staff. This symbol of the true gods must NOT be found. We must find and destroy this staff. If you hear of its location, spare no resource in recovering this. Our Queen of Darkness, the god Takhissis, will be most displeased if you fail. She will not tolerate any symbol of the gods of good. The races of Krynn must be kept in the dark as to the existence of the true gods. Their despair must continue.
May the dark queen watch over you,
The companions seek out Traevus, and he gives you 30 gold, and explains that he was hoping to warn the seekers in Haven about this threat. He asks if you have seen the blue crystal staff or any other signs of the old gods, and tells you to keep the map, as you are obviously more capable than he. He urges you to warn people about this threat, and to find some sign of the true gods.
Heading to Solace
You have all had quite the adventure, and having bonded over this experience, you all head to the nearest town, Solace, to unwind and rest. Having spent a significant amount of time there, Black Rabbit suggest that you all head to Solace’s Inn of the Last Home.
Solace is a quaint sleepy village set on the forested eastern shore of Crystalmir Lake. The city is located on a major crossroads in a wide, fertile valley, located in the heart of Abanasinia. It may perhaps be the most unique town on he continent of Ansalon. With only a few exceptions, all the businesses and dwelling places of Solace are built among the branches of mighty vallenwood trees. Broad wooden staircases wind up the tree trunks to provide access to the buildings, and sturdy rope-and-plank bridges form a network overhead connecting important locations. The people of Solace are hale, hearty, and trustworthy folk who are generally open and polite to strangers, even in these strange times. In the shaded branches of the giant vallenwood trees, the townsfolk live in relative peace.
[Show Map of Solace]
The Inn of the Last Home, run by Otik Sandath, is a fine establishment renowned for its hospitality throughout the lands of Abanasinia. Most well known are Otik’s delicious and aromatic spiced fried potatoes. The inn is the largest building in Solace, about forty feet off the ground. It can be reached by a staircase that winds around the trunk of the vallenwood in which it is built. Readily visible from the main road, the Inn has two stories—-common room and kitchen on the main floor, sleeping rooms above. It is a lovely building with gabled roofs and stained glass windows. Stables are located beneath the Inn for the convenience of the guests.
You sit and unwind from your adventures; chatting about highlights such as finding bear (who gracefully departed back into the forests to the West) and rescuing him from the leg trap, just barely defeating the chess pieces, Kerplaaak’s stylish defeat of the chillborn zombie, and the successful teamwork you used to defeat Malareth and his undead creations. You also chatted about the funny and unfortunate incidents of Black Rabbit attempting to cross a stream during battle and almost drowning, Polaris’s failed early attempts at spellcasting, and the Bugbear’s failed suicide bomber attempt. There were also the bigger questions that came up during your adventures: such as the map and note that indicate that some foreign army is scouting out Abansinia for some sort of attack or invasion, or the fact that you met a necromancer—-an evil cleric—-whom you though didn’t exist anymore and who apparently worships one of the old dark gods, there was also Polaris’s vision at the teleportation circle of the dark flying fortress, and lastly, there was mention of the blue crystal staff, some symbol of the true gods that Verminard and Malareth were afraid of.
Being as tired as you all are, and wondering what it all means, you were unable to decide how to proceed.
Hours pass, then days, and finally 3 years pass by. You all have made a home in Solace; loving its large vallenwood trees, and small, peaceful nature. You have a good number of adventures together over the years, but nothing that amounted to the Malareth incident, nor anything that mentioned the old gods, or anything that substantiates the letter from Verminard.
You also make many new friends. Black Rabbit meets a dark haired human, a very capable swordswoman named Kitiara. He falls head over heels for her, and she accompanies you on many of your adventures. He continues to work on his thieving and outdoor skills over the years, loving his town in the trees.
Polaris decides to study for her test of high sorcery—-a right of passage for aspiring mages. She also reunites with her cousin Caramen, who also occasionally accompanies you on your adventures. He’s from the good side of the family; someone she didn’t know too well but has great trust for.
Despite his strange appearance, Kerplaaak also sticks around Solace, albeit with a hood over his face since dragonborne have never been seen around here, but figuring that you two needed someone to keep an eye on you. He often trains with Kitiara, improving his skills with the sword.
Everything has been going well for all of you; however, an autumn breeze is in the air, bringing in not only cool air, but new tales and rumors that instill a feeling of despair, adding some darkness to your bright time. People are, after all, calling this the age of despair for the lands of Krynn. Rumors of amassing armies in the lands north of the New Sea have emerged, with people turning to the seekers and their new gods for assistance. Unfortunately, their cries to the new gods go unanswered. The seeker movement initially started many years ago as an intellectual movement searching for the old or new gods, but quickly turned into a political movement that created new gods, leading to the current Seeker Theocracy that came to power in Abanasinia. Yet despite peoples pleas for help, poverty continues to get worse, and the nervousness about the amassing armies is spreading. At the end of these 3 years in Solace, you find your thoughts and conversations drifting back to Malareth’s map, the foreboding note, and the hope represented by the blue crystal staff. Your home is changing, as is all of Krynn, and with the increasing reports of armies to the north, you all decide that now is the time to act.
You all decide that these damn Seekers will be the end of Solace, if not Abanasinia, so you decide to split up and search for this Blue Crystal staff, or some other evidence of the True Gods, something besides the aged and powerless alters you found in Malareth’s dungeon. You agree to spend the next 2 years searching for such evidence, and investigate the rumors of armies to the north, and to meet again at the Inn of the Last Home and report your findings.
[Give them New Major Quest – Find evidence of the True Gods]