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The Haunted Manor

The Everston family was always considered odd by the citizens of Smallville. The wealthiest family of the village, they kept to themselves, rarely if ever coming into town. No one ever claimed to have seen the family, not even the delivery boys who would bring supplies to the manor house once a month from the village. With the manor house several miles out of town and back away from the main road, no one really took notice when the family disappeared.

For a hundred years, the estate has stood empty with rumors that the house is haunted. Travellers have reported seeing ghostly lights floating through the ruins and the sound of a woman crying. The people of Smallville have always given the Everston Estate wide berth, but now you find yourself standing before the estate with darkening clouds gathering overhead and lightning arching across the sky.

Posted by Hugh on November 10, 2002, 15:19

Excerpts From the Journal of Abd al-Azrad

First day of Patchwall 567 CY

The duergar have attacked the temple from the lower levels. I should have seen this coming after Durll stormed out of here. I don’t know for certain what the disagreement was about but I suspect it had something to do with Akazar’s quest for the Heart of Nerull. We have forced them back and are now raising reinforcements from the catacombs. If the duergar return they will witness the glory of Nerull firsthand.

Third day of Patchwall 567 CY

The duergar raids continue against us still. Our defenses are weakening; today the duergar almost made it into the chapel proper. We have even raised the duergar fallen to aid in our defense. However, we are losing ground and I fear the next assault will be our last.

Fifth day of Patchwall 567 CY

I have taken over the duties in the chapel for Neezer today, as he was feeling queasy. There has been no sign of the duergar since Akazar used the Rod of Undeath to raise those who were interred in the catacombs and sent them into the lower levels. We have collapsed the passage down to avert further raids. Why Durll would turn against Akazar now is a mystery. It couldn’t be because of his winning personality. I suspect Durll must have received a better offer for the Heart of Nerull. Akazar’s obsession could very well have been the undoing of us all.

Ninth day of Patchwall 567 CY

Today Gathras and Delnor have both come down with the same sickness as Neezer. No form of healing, magical or otherwise, has been effective. I hope that a cure can be found before it spreads further. Perhaps we should give Akazar to Nerull in exchange for a cure.

Twelfth day of Patchwall 567 CY

Yesterday Neezer died from his ailment and today I saw his desiccated corpse rise again. Unfortunately, we had to destroy him. His shell was intent on destroying all he saw. Akazar said he was going to pray for guidance but I suspect he is cowering in fear. I do not relish having to destroy any of the others if a cure can’t be found.

Fourteenth day of Patchwall 567 CY

This accursed sickness that has spread through the temple has now taken hold of everyone including myself. I find myself almost too weak to write but write I must. I blame Akazar and his obsession for this curse and if only I had the strength, I would send him to Nerull myself. He has locked himself away in his private sanctum and hasn’t been seen in days. Now all I can do is wait and pray to Nerull to take me.

Posted by Hugh on December 12, 2002, 21:11

The Sword of Illiven

The Sword of Illiven

Long ago this sword was wielded by Illiven, a great defender of the Elves. At the time the sword was mundane, but Illiven refused stubbornly to use a more powerful weapon. As Illiven continued to grow in power, Corellon Larethian took notice to Illiven and blessed him, giving the sword extraordinary powers. With the help of the sword, Illiven’s power grew even more.

Many tried to take the sword, believing that they could control its amazing power if they could wrest it from Illiven’s hands. However they found that the sword was cursed as well as blessed. Those who tried to use it found that it was no better than a weaker magic sword. After Illiven’s death, the sword was eventually lost in battle and the secrets of its true power lost to all but the gods.

The sword was found again, ironically by gray elves. It was passed down over time, and many discoveries were made about it, though its origins were still unknown. The gray elves found that if a warrior was powerful enough, he could put some of his own soul into the sword and the sword would become more powerful. However, problems were also found with the sword. Anyone who used the sword had strange things happen to him. A tattoo of an elf using the sword would appear on their skin. The wielder’s hair would change color and length. Often the wielder would become possessive of the item, refusing to even sleep without it. It was also very common for an owner to refuse to use any type of weapon other than the sword. It was not uncommon for a user to be weakened by the sword instead of strengthened. More powerful warriors who used the sword were driven insane.

Unfortunately, none had any idea as to how powerful the sword really was. After encountering the curses placed upon it to discourage use, the elves resolved to only use the sword in emergencies. The sword was to be kept in a shrine to Ehlonna unless it was needed.

When Valon first took up the sword, it was a +1 longsword. To others, it looks like a stick with a few leaves on it.

When Valon reached 5th level, the sword’s magic provided “sure striking.” To others, the leafy stick appeared to blossom, and often attracted a bee or two.

When Valon reached 7th level, the longsword became +2 (with sure striking). To others, it now bears fruit in addition to leaves and blossoms, which attracts more bees. Sure to be an annoyance, the sword now hums Flight of the Bumblebee so that only Valon can hear it.

When Valon reached 11th level, the longsword added the “chaotic” special ability. This of course angers the bees, some of which now are really big bees (not to be confused with Bigby).

Posted by Tim on December 18, 2002, 15:04

Map to the Heart of Nerull

Copyright 2003 by Hugh and Kristin Johnson

Judging by the layout of the map, the party is assuming the trip from Smallville (the town with the black dot beside it) to the “Heart” (at the “+”) to be 100 miles northwest. This takes us up past the Realstream and into the Barrier Peaks.

Posted by Kristin on January 8, 2003, 14:33

Map of Orc Mines and Slave Camp

Copyright 2003 by Hugh and Kristin Johnson

A quick rendering of the Orc Mines and Slave Camp, courtesy of Drusilia Silverwood.

Posted by Kristin on February 12, 2003, 14:58

Map of Witch Lord’s Tower

Copyright 2003 by Hugh and Kristin Johnson

View of the Witch Lord’s Tower, 50 undead orc huts and longhouse, courtesy of Drusilia Silverwood.

Posted by Kristin on February 12, 2003, 15:03

Map of Our Travels Thus Far

Map of Our Travels Thus Far

Our Travels Thus Far, courtesy of Drusilia Silverwood.

Updated Waterday, Flocktime 5, 592 CY

Posted by Kristin on February 14, 2003, 19:43

Excerpts From the Journal of the Witch Lord

Coldeven 27, 592 CY

The others have moved the timeframe up again. Damn them all to the Nine Hells! How do they expect me to keep up with their demands? I will have to conscript more workers for the mines. Fortunately, there is a tribe of kobolds that just recently moved into the area. Durll says he is looking for weaknesses in the defenses of Mordorzack. The dwarves there will serve nicely as will their mines.

Planting 9, 592 CY

Durll has returned. He has found the entrance to Arun-tosa, the fabled Lost City of the Dead. He swears that the Heart is there. With its power I will wrest power from Kragas. I need to learn patience— it wouldn’t do to move too quickly lest the others discover my plans. I still don’t entirely trust the gray dwarf, but he has proven useful.

Planting 16, 592 CY

My minions continue to bring me ore from the mines. It is amazing how easy these simple creatures are to control. However, production is still behind. If I am to meet my quota we will need more slaves for the mine. The residents of Bissel should prove useful in the future. I will attend to that matter after my ascension.

Planting 20, 592 CY

At last my phylactery is nearly complete. Tonight I will be prepared to complete the final ritual. Once the ritual is finished, nothing will stop me from reaching Arun-tosa. I will need to thank Belial for his assistance once this is over.

Posted by Hugh on February 17, 2003, 10:25


Everston Estate:
Mithril Dwarven Waraxe, masterwork, Ghelt
Pair of gold candlesticks (25 gp)
3 moonstones (80 gp, 40 gp, 20 gp)
Rod of Undeath (destroyed)
Map to Heart of Nerull, Drusilia [view map]
Journal of Abd al-Azrad, Drusilia [read excerpt]
116 silver coins
134 gold coins
2 bloodstones (70 gp, 50 gp)
2 Potions of Cure Light Wounds

Dreadwood, Temple of Ehlonna:
Sword of Illiven (Longsword +2, Sure Striking, Chaotic), Valon [read description]

Spider Goblins:
Scroll of Summon Monster I, Fafnir
Scroll of Misdirection, Fafnir
Oil of Slipperiness
2 Potions of Remove Curse
1 amethyst (110 gp)
700 gold coins
1500 silver coins
Cloak of Elvenkind, Ghelt
Wand of Color Spray

Goblin Caves:
4 blue quartz (10 gp each), traded to stone giants
152 gold coins

Orc Slave Mines:
1 azurite (10 gp), traded to stone giants
456 gold coins
47 platinum coins

312 copper coins (dropped)

Witch Lord’s Tower:
Healing Short Sword of Pelor +1, given to the avoral Yasmin
Dagger +1 of Returning, Fafnir
Serpent Dagger, masterwork, given to kobold king
Witch Lord’s Journal, Drusilia [read excerpt]
27 gold pieces
Ring of Protection +1, Korin
Ring of Jumping, Fafnir
Ring of Wizardry I, Fafnir
Bracers of Armor +1, Korin
Potion of Detect Thoughts, given to seeress Zorlla
Wand of Acid Arrows, Pockets
Star Ruby Scepter (removes specific collars only)

Ornate Silver Helm, Key to Barraktor, Ghelt

Hill Giant:
1 black pearl (500 gp)
1 banded eye agate (11 gp)
1 azurite (7 gp)
Potion of Blur

Potion of Levitate, Pockets

Harpy Lair:
400 gold coins
1 deep green spinel (140 gp)
1 jade (110 gp)

Keen Elven Longsword +1, Drusilia

Ettin Lair:
250 gold coins
Amulet of Natural Armor +1, Fafnir
iron box with 8 bars of jade (50 gp each)
Short Spear +1, Markus

Mithril Chain Shirt, Valon

2 Javelins of Lightning
6 Crossbow Bolts +1, Pockets
Urgrosh +1, Ghelt
Dwarven Half-Plate +1, eaten by rust monsters
Ring of Protection +2, Ghelt
Boots of Speed, Korin
Heavy Crossbow +1
Dwarven Waraxe, Improved Initiative, magical

60 gold pieces
Gold & Moonstone Ring (75 gp), Pockets
Silver & Sapphire Necklace (250 gp), Pockets
5 amethysts (100 gp each)
Aramis’ Silver Greatsword, returned to Aramis
2 Arrows of Detonation, 4 Arrows of Lightning, Drusilia
Potion of Cure Moderate Wounds
62 copper pieces (dropped)
35 silver pieces

2 rubies (50 gp each), Pockets
4 moonstones (50 gp each)
Silver Earring “Cirsus” Lockpicks/Protection +2, Pockets
3 Crossbow Bolts of Lightning, Pockets
Greater Holy Symbol of Pelor, Drusilia
+2 Mace of Disruption, Drusilia
Urkel’s Remains, taken to Arborea by Aramis
Map of Catacombs below Arun-tosa, Valon [view dungeon]
3 1 Potions of Cure Moderate Wounds, Valon
2 Potions of Cure Light Wounds, Ghelt
1 Potion of Cure Light Wounds
3 Scrolls of Restoration, Drusilia
Plate Mail +1
Large Steel Shield +1
Bastard Sword +1

Mighty Composite Longbow +3, Aramil (Destroyed by fire elementals)
23 5 Arrows +1, Aramil
Cloak of Resistance +1, Pockets
6” Jade Disk with Nerull’s Symbol (Key to Heart Chamber)
Vampire Spawn’s Spellbook, Fafnir [read excerpt]
Band of Intellect +6, Fafnir
Ring of Protection +2, Valon
Ring of Wizardry +1, Aramil
Scroll of Cloudkill, Sequester, Telekinesis, Fafnir
Staff of Frost, Fafnir
Rod of Absorbtion, Valon
Potion of Gaseous Form, Pockets
Bracers of Armor +6, Aramil
Wand of Cure Critical Wounds, Ghelt
Scroll of Firestorm, Blade Barrier, Flamestrike, Drusilia
Heart of Nerull (destroyed)
2 banded agate (11 gp each)
3 obsidian (8 gp each)
2 moss agate (9 gp each)
3 blue quartz (12 gp each)
4 freshwater (irregular) pearls (10 gp each)
5 bloodstones (30 gp each)
5 moonstones (50 gp each)
2 white pearls (110 gp each)
2 deep green spinels (120 gp each)
1 amber (80 gp)
3 black pearls (600 gp each)
2 aquamarines (400 gp each)
2 violet garnets (500 gp each)
2 golden yellow topaz (250 gp each)
1 deep blue spinel (800 gp)
2 emeralds (1100 gp each)
1 fire opal (1200 gp)
1 blue sapphire (1000 gp)
2 fiery yellow corundrum (850 gp each)
1 blue diamond (6000 gp)

Catacombs below Everston Estate:
2 bloodstones (50 gp each)
1 letter from Durll, Drusilia [read excerpt]
+2 Frost Greatsword, Ghelt
800 gold coins

1 jade octopoidal illithid idol (600 gp)
4000 gold pieces
200 platinum pieces
+1 Slick Banded Mail

Ring of Swimming, Ghelt
Potion of Levitate
Potion of Hiding
Potion of Intelligence
Scroll of Silent Image, Blindness/Deafness, Aramil, Fafnir
Wand of Charm Person
Wand of Darkness
Ceremonial Electrum Dagger with Star Ruby (1056 gp)
Electrum Bracer with Citrine Gems (140 gp)
Silver Talisman with Black Star Sapphire (4762 gp)
Gold Medallion with Ruby (1629 gp)
12” Marble Statuette of Warrior with Golden Armor (5412 gp)
Platinum Medallion with Blue Star Sapphire (1617 gp)
Thin Silver Bracelet with Azurite Charms (115 gp)

64 silver coins
70 lbs. of melted gold and platinum coins
Scroll of Protection from Arrows, Arcane Lock, Change Self
+2 composite short bow, magical, Pockets
Spear, magical

*stuff in this color has already been used or divided up for funds
**stuff in italics hasn’t quite been identified....

Posted by Kristin on February 25, 2003, 15:45

Map of Smallville

copyright Hugh and Kristin Johnson, 2003

Map of Smallville (population 417) in the March of Bissel.

Posted by Kristin on February 26, 2003, 19:52

Monster Roster

Everston Estate:
2 small monstrous spiders
4 goblins
2 lemures (mostly avoided)
15 zombies
6 zombie rats
8 skeletons
2 ghouls
3 monstrous centipedes
colony of piercers (mostly avoided)

Dim Forest:
1 piercer (“Spike,” collateral damage)
6 small monstrous spiders
10 spider goblins
1 aranea

6 stirges

Goblin Caves:
12 goblins
1 ogre

Camp (aka wandering damage):
bear and bear cub (avoided)
4 monstrous spiders
pack of wolves (avoided)

Orc Slave Mines:
21 orcs
Four Feather

Witch Lord’s Tower:
75 orc zombies
2 elven wights
1 mentally-challenged “lich” (7th level sorceror/bone creature template)

Kobold Caves:
4 kobolds (collateral damage)
The Mule

Hill Giant Area:
6 hobgoblins
1 hill giant
1 hill giant (mostly avoided)
3 hobgoblins (mostly avoided)

Harpy Lair:
2 harpies

Camp (aka wandering damage):
5 worgs

Ettin Lair:
1 ettin-wight
4 grimlocks

27 shadows
1 wraith
6 vargouilles
1 poltergeist (we couldn’t find it)
16 zombies
2 shadow demons
7 skeletons
1 bisected ochre jelly
swarm of bats (avoided)
4 rust monsters
5 abyssal centipedes
4 abyssal maws

16 ghouls
1 allip
2 skullduggers
4 wights
4 dretches
1 shoggti
36 plague zombies
1 lich, Arkon (ran away from!)
2 vampires
4 wraiths

Arun-tosa, central tower:
5 necrophidia
2 flesh golums
2 wraiths
2 vampire spawn
1 vampire, Kartharsis (fled)

Arun-tosa, catacombs:
9 wraiths
2 wights
8 shadows

6 bonebats
3 allips

Arun-tosa, catacombs:
1 ghoul, Urkel (by his request)
8 vampire spawn
40 dire rats
10 wraiths
1 vampire, Kartharsis

Arun-tosa, Chamber of the Heart of Nerull:
4 mummies, spellstitched
4 vampire spawn
1 half-golem, Korin
1 ghost, Jonathan
1 lich, Arkon

Under Smallville:
The Smallville subterranean terror (ousted!)
1 bisected black pudding
1 death pike
3 large monstrous spiders
1 drider, Kalanaar

1 huge red dragon (ran from)
1 magma ooze
1 lich, Arkon (parlayed)
1 roper
1 patch of shriekers (avoided)
12 duergar
1 mind flayer/illithid metropolis (ran from)
1 gelatinous cube
1 beholder
1 beholder, Xorn
1 umber hulk
2 illithids

Temple of the Void
4 ancient warrior statues
3 human monks
1 clay golem
1 flesh golem (ignored)
1 stone golem (ignored)
1 Void Monster (got away)

City of Greyhawk
2 chaos beasts
1 assassin

3 phase spiders
1 greater medusa
1 stone minotaur golem
1 dark tentacles
1 huge water elemental
1 greater basalisk
1 large fire elemental
1 large earth elemental
1 large water elemental
1 large air elemental
1 mirror Pockets
1 mirror Aramil
1 mirror Drusilia
4 human assassins
Durll, balor (left our plane)

        Creature Types:
        • aberration
        • animal and beast
        • construct
        • dragon
        • elemental
        • fey
        • giant
        • humanoid
        • magical beast
        • monstrous humanoid
        • ooze
        • outsider
        • plant
        • undead
        • vermin

Posted by Kristin on April 27, 2003, 11:49

Map of Arun-tosa, City of the Dead

Copyright 2003 by Hugh and Kristin Johnson

View of Arun-tosa, City of the Dead, courtesy of Drusilia Silverwood.

Posted by Kristin on April 29, 2003, 17:00

Vampire Spawn’s Spellbook

Level 0
(Abjuration) Resistance
(Conjuration) Ray of Frost
(Divination) Detect Poison
(Enchantment) Daze
(Evocation) Dancing Lights
(Evocation) Light
(Evocation) Flare
(Illusion) Ghost Sound
(Necromancy) Disrupt Undead
(Transmutation) Open/Close
(Transmutation) Repair Minor Damage (T&B)
(Transmutation) Mage Hand
(Transmutation) Mending
(Universal) Arcane Mark
(Universal) Prestidigitation
(Universal) Detect Magic
(Universal) Read Magic

Level 1
(Divination) True Strike
(Divination) Detect Secret Doors
(Abjuration) Protection from Chaos/Evil/Good/Law
(Conjuration) Grease
(Abjuration) Shield
(Necromancy) Ray of Enfeeblement
(Illusion) Nystul’s Magic Aura
(Illusion) Change Self
(Transmutation) Enlarge

Level 2
(Transmutation) Knock
(Divination) See Invisibility
(Conjuration) Summon Monster II
(Divination) Locate Object

Level 3
(Evocation) Fireball
(Evocation) Ice Burst (T&B)
(Conjuration) Corpse Candle (T&B)
(Abjuration) Nondetection

75-page tome found in the catacombs below Arun-tosa.

Posted by Kristin on July 9, 2003, 10:36

Message from Durll


Recover the dark stone. When it is in your possession, contact my agents in Hochoch.


Message written in Undercommon, found on the body of a drider in the catacombs below Smallville.

Posted by Hugh on August 6, 2003, 14:52

Map of Hellfurnaces Underdark

Copyright 2003 by Hugh and Kristin Johnson

View of the Hellfurnaces Underdark, courtesy of Drusilia Silverwood.

Posted by Kristin on September 3, 2003, 00:05

Map of Temple of the Void

Copyright 2003 by Hugh and Kristin Johnson

Layout of the Temple of the Void, prior to our visit, courtesy of Drusilia Silverwood.

Copyright 2003 by Hugh and Kristin Johnson

Layout of the Temple of the Void, after our visit, courtesy of Drusilia Silverwood.

Posted by Kristin on October 3, 2003, 23:52

The Legacy of the Void

By Sir Kaldwell the III

The entity named the Void, if indeed it is truly a living creature and not some abomination borne out of a mind overindulged with madness, is a thing not of any known origin. I first learned of its supposed existence from a traveling minstrel by the name of Jellical Mersell, who’s mental state I must say was just this side of Pandemonium, while traveling abroad as I was wont to do in those days. I met him upon the road one dark and moonless night and he seemed to be of the opinion that the very Gates of Hell were opening in the direction that he had just traversed from. Seeing as I had no true desire to see the Gates of Hell or its inhabitants we quickly left that place. It wasn’t until that dawn that he told me his tale and I began to suspect that his mind may perhaps be of the same consistency of the watered down oat meal that we had for breakfast that very morning.

The following tale, or as much as I could comprehend from the ravings of a minstrel with such impaired faculties, is as follows. It apparently all started one dreary, chilled evening just before the final advance of the cold winter. Jellical and his companions were at a local tavern, as the first flakes of snow were beginning to drift down from the heavens, trading tales of great deeds accomplished as we are all wont to do on long cold nights in the companionship of fellow travelers. It was during this time of revelry that Jellical and his companions first heard the rumors of a thing that existed only to destroy. They tracked it not by sound or by smell but by the vast trail that can only be described as a complete lack of existence that it left in its wake. Everywhere that they followed the entity they found nothing. Not the type of nothing that you find in an empty room but in the type of nothing that you would find if you couldn’t find the room. As the troupe of stout adventurers, with more than a few adventures under their collective belts, continued to follow the complete annihilation of everything, they discovered to their dismay that according to all known maps where there should have been three villages there was, indeed, none at all. It was during this time that the entity gained its infamous name “the Void,” for it seemed to swallow up all that came into contact with it. According to my delirious companion it seemed that the creature fed off of living matter and magical energy, growing ever stronger and larger the more it found to devourer. It was when the minstrel’s cadre met the creature for their final engagement that they witnessed the creature’s true destructive abilities. The Void struck out with tendrils of the darkest of night and simply winked anything it touched out of existence. Armor, shield, weapons, flesh, anything that came into contact with the beast simply vanished as if it or they had never existed. Poor Jellical was the sole survivor of that ill-fated encounter.

Reports of the Void are now beginning to filter in to the capital city. By all accounts, the abomination has grown in size and encompasses half the Barony of Halurn. It seems that the Baron’s own elite forces cannot even contain this horror as man and steed both cease to exist. The priests say that they cannot even resurrect the dead as it seems even the spirit of anyone slain by the creature is also lost. I fear that the King’s advisors may have underestimated the threat that this thing represents as they continue to ponder the problem at hand.

The Void now encompasses all the northern provinces. It is inconceivable how quickly this thing is able to spread. However, the King’s advisors say they may have a way of dealing with the Void. I find their plan preposterous, however, it seems to be the only plan that anyone has been to come up with. They intend to entrap the creature within what they refer to as a magic antimagic containment field. I don’t even put up the pretense that I comprehend what they are blathering on about. I just pray that what they intend to do works as they say it will.

After immense research into the Void I have come to the conclusion that this entity is not a unique phenomenon as it first appeared. It is quite possible that these things may very well exist on other planes and worlds within the prime material plane. I have concluded that the creature, even though it feeds upon magical energy, may very well be susceptible to magic or items that cancel out magic.

The King’s advisors are ready to implement their plan but I fear that too much time may have elapsed since the introduction of the Void to our world. If the creature had been successfully dealt with in the early stages of its spread it is very possible that it could have been destroyed. I am casting this journal into the astral plane in the hopes that it may someday save another world from suffering the same fate as our own.

Found in the Great Library of Greyhawk.

Posted by Hugh on October 26, 2003, 22:33


The battle ended, successfully, with Ghelt pulling the “imposters” out of the mirrored realm, at which point they disappeared. Pockets was still confused by the whole incident and ran back into the mirrored realm. After resting, our remaining heroes trudged back through, following Watch, who successfully tracked Pockets—who had died while apparently trying to rescue Valon from the clutches of Durll and his minions. In a heated battle in which Aramil also made the ultimate sacrifice, our remaining heroes fought Durll and his horde of demons and assassins. Drusilia summoned five hound archons, who surrounded Durll. In the resulting battle, Durll showed his true form, that of a 15’ tall demon, and with a roar he was returned to whatever Hell had spawned him.

Dru and Ghelt were able to revive Valon, who had brought news that the Void had been “dealt with” by some powerful wizards and order had been restored in the City of Greyhawk and throughout the region. Ghelt, Drusilia, Fafnir and Valon returned to Smallville with the bodies of their fallen comrades, to live in the quiet peace of the tiny town until the next adventure beckoned....

Posted by Kristin on December 22, 2003, 10:14