Adventure Front: The Hollow Manuscript

Another Adventure Front using the Dungeon World system! I do not plan on making this into a detailed adventure as I did for The Crystal Dust Road, but I did test-run this and it was a lot of fun! My party ended up dramatically disrupting the Book Thieves’ Auction and then fighting Prof. Werther in an undersea bunker.

Description:

Merlin University dwarfs all other magical libraries. Its vasts collection spans four ground structures, two floating ‘sky’ buildings, and one underground cavern. The library’s collection includes everything from the extremely popular “The Children’s Big Book of Common Beasts” to the mysterious Hollow Manuscript. Many books can be checked out by the public, but many more due to their rarity, danger or both are kept locked under layers of protective spells, enchantments and trustworthy stone and iron. These require special permission to view.

Recently, though, books have started to vanish and more than books; nothing with words upon it is safe. Journals disappear from satchels, newspapers from patrons’ hands, even call slips. Luckily, so far only reading material located within the public area of the library has vanished.

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Part 3 of the Crystal Dust Road – The Finale

The finale to the Crystal Dust Road!  Links to: Part 1 and Part 2.

The Surrounding Countryside

Below are a few suggested encounters to use if your PCs decide to explore the countryside. If playing a short game, you may want to skip directly to the graveyard.

The Caves

The cliffs near the trade road hold numerous caves. Before they were captured by Ergithia, the goblins used one of the caves as their home. If the PCs find this cave, read the following out loud:

The air is heady with the smell of pine and damp earth, but a cool breeze wafts up from a man-sized hole in the mountain’s rock. A rope tied around a nearby tree disappears into the opening.

If the PCs go inside, read the following out loud:

The rope leads to a large, natural cavern big enough to comfortably house 20 people. Against one wall stand racks of bunk beds, held together with twine. In another corner, glass instruments and colorful bottles lie strewn about on a table. Pots, blankets, firewood and food rot on the ground.

Continue reading “Part 3 of the Crystal Dust Road – The Finale”

Three Libraries

Happy Labor Day! Today is a short post, just three libraries:

Grand Library

Whispers echo off all the walls of the grand library: a huge column lined with shelves upon shelves of books. A pinpoint of light shines down from the glass-dome ceiling. In the middle of the floor, surrounded by a low-banister gaps an open pit. More bookshelves line its side, descending into the dark. Librarians at a central desk use summoning spells to move to the books between the shelves and patrons’ hands. The books’ rustle in the air as they move so that the whole library sounds like a flock of birds in flight.

Hidden Library in the Tundra

Only a simple stack of rocks with a wood door marks the library’s entrance on the tundra. Opening the door reveals a well-lit staircase leading far beneath the ground. After traveling for ten minutes, you reach the library’s main chamber. Cool air flows from the many passageways which branch from here. Shelves chiseled directly into the cave walls hold an array of books and scrolls.

Library Ruins

Water drips onto the rotting books. “Books” being a generous term for the piles of rotting pulp sprouting mushrooms in this forgotten library. Under the constant sound of water, you can hear the scurrying of bugs and….perhaps larger creatures. But the ancient librarians had kept a few books safe beneath glass displays or locked away in special chambers. And a few books were lucky – hidden in spots that stayed dry.