The Golden HandPosted by Corwin
This week’s post is a 3-encounter adventure based on the first post I made here back in January. I’m a little embarrassed by the writing/mechanics/damage errors I made before, so I had been planning to update this one for a while. Enjoy!
The Golden Hand is a short adventure designed for five 9th to 11th-level adventurers. The city of Macetol is a paragon of peace, a shining example of justice and order. But beneath its golden streets lies a terrible secret; a violent past that threatens to reclaim power and return the city to tyranny.
The players will descend below the city to stop the ghosts of an order of fanatical knights, fighting off restless souls, a cabal of conspiring clerics, and finally the spirits of the knights and their zealous leader.
Led by a dedicated order of paladins following the will of Bahamut, the city of Macetol is a paragon of peace, justice, and order in a world rife with chaos. But things were not always so calm inside the golden walls. Long ago, during a period of civil unrest, a paladin named Arturius was given absolute power to deal with the rampant crime and corruption.
Calling themselves the Order of the Golden Hand, Arturius and his council of knights decreed a state of martial law upon the city, believing the only way to bring back peace and order was through controlling the population and destroying those that opposed their rule. Serving a perverted sense of order, Arturius and his knights ruled from an ornately decorated table, perfectly round—indicating that all men are equally accountable to the laws of Macetol.
The Order of the Golden Hand ruled the city without tolerance; those accused of dissent and sedition were executed, and the smallest crimes given excessive sentencing without a trial. After years of oppression, the denizens of the city fought back against Arturius and his council, subduing them. As a punishment for their atrocities, a group of wizards bound their souls to the round table, imprisoning Arturius and his council within. The temple itself was buried, and a new temple of Bahamut built on the remains.
Centuries passed, and the people of Macetol began to create a fiction in order to forget their darkest hour—a virtuous story of Arturius and his noble order, who defended the city during its golden age and now rest in a sacred chamber beneath their beloved temple. There are few left who know the truth of Arturius, and they dare not mar the memory of the city’s greatest hero.
But now, the past threatens to return. After a devastating earthquake, the entrance to the temple below was unearthed, the table broken, and the knights released. Those brave enough to investigate have been lost, and those above speak of a dark presence—whispers heralding the city’s return to true order.