The material on the page is the property of Jared Rascher and is used here at Candlekeep with permission. This article is to enable DMs to use the "Gates of Oblivion " adventure from Dungeon Magazine #136 in the Forgotten Realms and to futher expand on the material given.
"Gates of Oblivion "
(Conversions from Dungeon #136)
By Jared Rascher
"The Gates of Oblivion" is a high level adventure that involves city from the plane of shadows being summoned to the Prime Material plane, and from the time the city arrives, the environs around the city start to warp and become part of the domain of the city of Lacc, being absorbed by it, and becoming part of the plane of shadow itself.
The cultists of the city of Lacc are slowly trying to destroy each Prime Material plane they visit by abosorbing them into the Plane of Shaodows.
Many elements found in the Forgotten Realms are already present in the adventure, although it is written to be neutral in regard to campaign setting. There are shades, shadow dragons, and creatures from the Plane of Shadows seeking to destroy the Prime Material Plane, and hence summoning oblivion.
The following conversion notes will emphasize how to tie various elements into existing fixtures of the Forgotten Realms.
Starting the Adventure
The idea that the adventure can occur near any large city should still be followed. Essentially the adventure starts when a small town known to a large city falls victim to the destruction of Lacc connecting itself to the Prime Material Plane.
The original plot hook is to have the PCs sent to investigate problems in the small town that is near the larger city that you decide to use in your campaign. Another suggested avenue is presented herein.
The PCs may hear rumors about the strange occurances in the smaller town that falls victim to the first steps of Lacc's appearance in the Prime. The following hook can be used if the PCs are reticent to do a service for the local authorities that summon them, or it can be used to set up the invitation to investigate the disturbance.
At some point in time, the PCs are approached by a tall, well dressed, sharp featured man. He will note some of their past exploits, and will ask them if they are interested in arcane disturbances. He will tell them that some friends of his were wizards that were drawn to a disturbance, and that they witnessed some chilling signs near the small town.
The man will profess to be a Halruuan merchant, and will offer them 25,000 gold to investigate the site. From here the adventure can proceed much as written, incorporating the following additions if you so choose.
The "Halruuan merchant" is actually Nearsith Veludivaar, an agent of the city of Shade. The Shadovar are worried about the other intruders from the Plane of Shadows, and they have some information about the city of Lacc.
If the PCs make a DC 30 sense motive check, they will be able to tell something is wrong. The "Halruuan" is cloaked in illusions to keep an errant shadow from giving away his unique appearance.
If found out and confronted about being a Shadovar, Nearsith will not deny that he is Shadovar, or that the Shade Enclave is interested in Lacc. He will tell the PCs only that Lacc is a city in the Plane of Shadows and that it is trying to establish a permanant portal to the Plane of Shadows in Faerun. Another DC 30 sense motive check will show that the Shadovar knows more than he is saying, but he will not reveal more. If the PCs are interested, he will still pay them. If they offer him any violence, he will simply laugh and teleport or shadow walk away at first oppourtunity.
The Heresy of the Souls Adrift in Shadow
The divine casters in Lacc, and indeed, everyone in Lacc that has any notion of religeon, worships Shar as the Mistress of the Shroud, and beleives in the doctrine of the Souls Adrift in Shadow.
The adherants of the Mistress of the Shroud and the beleivers of the Doctrine of Souls Adrift in Shadow beleive that "true" reality is the bleakness of the Plane of Shadows, that all Prime Material Planes, and in fact all other planes, are distractions from the "truth."
They beleive in obliterating each world they find, and they also seek a means to divert the souls of the dead to dwell eternally in Plane of Shadows as servants of the Mistress of the Shroud. Only when all other planes are destroyed and all, living and dead, dwell in the Plane of Shadow, will the universe be perfected.
Any divine casters encoutered in Lacc and its environs (including Sesorya Girgal; replace combat casting with the Heretic of the Faith Feat) have the Heretic of the Faith feat that gives them access to the Death and Magic domains. Within the Plane of Shadows, the Mistess of the Shroud does not have to deal with her "prodigal daughter" Mystra for magical power.
Appendix 1: Gervas Til
While the city of Balefire may indeed be interested in Lacc and its connection to Faerun, if you wish to tie this character more into Realmslore, Gervas Til, instead of being a drow wizard from Balefire, is instead a half-shadow dragon drow wizard from the Jaezred Chaulssin.
The half-dragon agent is not happy with the intrution of yet another city from the Plane of Shadows, especially not another one that is dominated by humans, and he will gladly pass along advice to the PCs if it means limiting the advance of another human city.
Appendix 2: Sesorya Girgul
As it stands, Sesorya is already states as having been from another Prime Material that was destroyed by Lacc, and that she is not terribly loyal to Tenaris Xin. For our purposes, she worshiped a goddess of death in her home plane, and she helped to shape some of the doctrine of the Heresy of the Souls Adrift in Shadows when she converted to the worship of Shar.
If Sesorya is shown how powerful the PCs are, and they defeat Xin, she will call for a truce, and will withdraw her forces, breifly. At this time, if the PCs do pause in their assault, the Shadovar agent will show up and strike up a deal with Sesorya.
The Shadovar don't mind if Lacc stays connected to Faerun, as long as they can trade freely with it and establish some of their own portals. They will even station troops within the city to aid them, for the benefit of having another conduit to the Plane of Shadows and a second focus to distract the forces of their enemies.
If the PCs do nothing at this meeting, the Shadovar agent will still gladly pay them, as he really does appreciate them doing the difficult job of removing Xin, who was not willing to deal with the Shadovar when the approached him earlier.
If the PCs do not sit idly by, the Shadovar agent will not risk himself on behalf of Sesorya, and will leave her to deal with the PCs, at which time she will resume her attack on them.
Concluding the Adventure
As mentioned above, if the advancing of Lacc is halted, but not all of the gates are destroyed, the Shadovar will open up diplomatic relations with the city, so long as Sesorya is in charge and not Xin. If the PCs actually facilitated this, there could be repercussions on them from the power in the area, though this would only happen if the PCs allow their part to be known. In fact, its possible the PCs may inform local authorities that they could halt the grown of Lacc, but not destroy it.
If the PCs willingly aid Sesorya and the Shadovar, then they will now be a target of the Jaezred Chaulssin, who will consider them a threat at this point. If assasination attempts fail against the PCs, then eventually the Jaezred Chaulssin will simply leak information tying them to the events that lead to Lacc allying with the Shadovar, causing the PCs to have any number of enemies at this point.
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