This week’s adventure is a tribute to Matt James and his website, loremaster.org. Matt regularly creates new and interesting D&D content for DMs and players alike, and his website name inspired an easy encounter based on his exploits. Visit his site and contribute to the forums, or follow him on twitter.
The Loremaster’s Curse is a standalone encounter designed for five 12th to 14th-level adventurers. The soul of an ancient dragon has cursed a scholar, forcing him to release monsters contained within the books of a long lost library. The players must fight back several waves of legendary creatures before taking on the dragon in an attempt to release the loremaster from the library’s grasp.
The winding canyons of Jemas hold many secrets, but even more dangers. Built long before history could remember, the canyon walls give way to intricate sculptures and ornately-crafted temples, carved into the canyons and leading deep into the surrounding mountains. Those brave—or foolish—enough to enter these ancient buildings will tread through the tunnels and hallways left by a forgotten culture; there are few answers as to why the temples are now vacant, or why they were ever there at all. Each room holds antiquities, history, and treasure for the taking, though local tribes warn against such thievery—those who do remove items often disappear without a trace.
Many scholars are drawn to the temple to learn from its history and artifacts, hoping to gain more knowledge and understanding of the past. One such visitor is a scholar known as Mathas, a prominent mind in the world of ancient lore and history. Using his keen mind and experience, it wasn’t long before Mathas discovered a secret chamber within the canyons—an expansive library known as the Halls of Knowledge. Within these annals are seemingly endless scrolls of history, chronicles of ancient battles, and archives about Jemas, years ago, under the rule of a cruel group of dragonkin known as the Pantheon of Urlux.
Entranced by his magnificent find, Mathas began to digest the knowledge within the books and scrolls, eventually stumbling upon an ancient book adorned with draconic emblems. The book, somehow free of dust and the decay of time, seemed to speak to Mathas, intimately guiding him through the history of Jemas and the Pantheon of Urlux and leading the unsuspecting loremaster through a series of magical phrases and rituals that released a soul fragment of one of the pantheon’s malicious leaders—General Xaldraxis.
Freed from the book, Xaldraxis possessed the body of Mathas, using his magical prowess and knowledge to release the legendary monsters contained within the pages of the library. Now, beset upon by the mythical creatures of the cursed loremaster, the people of Jemas look to others for help. Each day, Mathas discovers more powerful entities within the annals; the canyons won’t be able to hold them back for long. It’s only a matter of time before the future of Jemas becomes lost to its own history.