The following cease on our tour of the adventures in Keys from the Golden Vault is one other Eighth-level journey, Coronary heart of Ashes. The PCs might be attempting to steal one thing, however there’s a complete lot occurring, that means that the outline of the job leaves loads left to the creativeness.
As with the opposite adventures I’ve checked out, I’m going to be trying on the normal construction and elements that go into this journey. I could not reveal all the things within the journey, however for those who see too most of the constructing blocks, chances are you’ll get the thought of what’s in retailer. If you will be a participant on this journey, now could be the time to hit eject on this weblog submit.
The Golden Vault desires you to steal a human coronary heart from the ruins of a fort in a cursed metropolis. Fairly quick and candy. In principle, you can have one more reason to fulfill up with the survivor of that cursed metropolis, a knight and bodyguard to the native ruler, however the journey doesn’t spend any time on constructing out alternate hooks past working for the Golden Vault.
It wouldn’t be too exhausting to have a relative within the cursed metropolis, set up that the knight is a buddy of one of many PCs, or any variety of different hooks that don’t revolve round receiving a mission from the Golden Vault, however you’ll be fleshing out these hooks by yourself.
This journey takes place within the metropolis of Ghalasine, with many of the motion happening in what’s left of Citadel Cinis. You’ll be capable of discover Ghalasine, as a result of there’s a huge big void hovering over the place.
With the descriptions of the deterioration of town, components of the fort breaking unfastened to drift within the air, and the soulless our bodies of the previous inhabitants of town become elemental husks, I’m getting some main Darkish Souls vibes from this location.
As with many of the different adventures on this anthology, you get a map for the situation, and you’ve got the chance to plan your strategy for getting into the fort and monitoring down the guts you could discover. That mentioned, the flexibility to plan with a structure and the thought that you’re “stealing” one thing (extra context on that later) is essentially the most this journey attracts from heist tropes.
Due to how the area has been warped, and souls have been pulled into the void above town, lots of the guards aren’t folks simply doing a job that you just’re attempting to keep away from, however manifestations of a curse. The center that you just’re attempting to steal isn’t a treasure that has modified palms, however was actually torn from the ruler’s chest to enact the curse. There isn’t actually a twist, apart from possibly doing the “mistaken factor” with the guts, and it could take a crew with a severe vendetta in opposition to the PCs to wish to courageous this case simply to beat them to the punch.
Many of the character particulars on this journey are going to return from the knight in the beginning of the journey explaining that the king’s mage, Charmayne Daymore, grew to become jealous of his different advisors and of the king’s rapport together with his topics. You get extra particulars on the state of affairs earlier than the king’s coronary heart was actually stolen for the ritual if the PCs discover a drow ambassador that has been trapped within the type of a mephit.
In one other “Souls-Like” contact, there are additionally charcoal collectible figurines that Charmayne has used to lure the feelings of a few of her victims for the time being of their demise for potential magical experimentation, and PCs can, after choosing them up and experiencing the final moments of the folks whose feelings are deposited within the figurine, use them as a spell focus that may do further psychic injury to Charmayne.
The motif on this journey is that Charmayne’s jealousy is popping all the things to ashes, and I like that to strengthen this theme, as a substitute of the soulless our bodies being represented with undead, the folks of town are animated husks of ash and embers which are represented with elementals. There are additionally some hellhounds, that are the mutated pets of the king, and some constructs.
The king himself is successfully a golem with an open chest cavity and a few personalized talents. In case you don’t agree with me on the Souls vibes coming off this journey, I ask you to direct your consideration to the paintings for the king in his cursed type.
In a change-up from the opposite adventures on this anthology, you don’t actually run into any humanoids in the middle of the journey correct. Even Charmayne, the wizard whose jealousy precipitated all of this, is presently affected by the curse as properly, and likewise seems as an ashen elemental.
You simply completed up an Eighth-level journey, and also you saved a king. In case you actually need it, you may get lands and a title on your bother. D&D 5e might not have a ton of guidelines for that form of factor, but it surely’s a pleasant narrative boon for those who helped out a king in his second of want.
The Golden Vault will get you a present card for a Thayan Enclave that expired 120 years in the past on Toril. I’m kidding. They reward you with one other uncommon magic merchandise.
In principle, the PCs might get the “dangerous ending” if they’re actually determined to finish the curse and destroy the guts earlier than taking it outdoors of the vary of the curse. That also ends the curse, but it surely doesn’t return everybody to life. Aside from not getting land or a title, it doesn’t seem to be going this route goes to upset the Golden Vault an excessive amount of.
This one could possibly be extra “heist-like” for certain, however I actually like the way it comes collectively, total. After I say that is “Souls-Like” I imply the ambiance, the descriptions, the truth that yow will discover out what impressed Charmayne to enact the curse within the first place by doing a little analysis within the cursed fort, however you don’t really want to know that backstory to repair the curse.
I did wish to contact on the truth that that is the second Eighth-level journey within the anthology. Not solely is it the second Eighth-level journey, however each Eighth-level adventures contain hearts which are symbolically damaged or framed in a poetic manner associated to a curse (“the guts of Ghalasine has all the time been its king”). I believe I’d choose one of many two adventures to run if I had been stringing this collectively in a marketing campaign, simply to protect the affect of no matter story you select to run, and to maintain the guts symbolism reigned in too shut collectively.
It is a good journey to have in your again pocket for these nights when a number of members of your gaming group begin to categorical their love for Souls-style story parts.