Day 2: Gauntlet of Spiragos

Sales, Scarred Lands

Onyx Path’s Month of Nightmares features games, stories, and more to celebrate the spirit of Halloween. Count down the days with us by reading our excerpts, participating in the discussion, or by taking advantage of our special offers leading up to a haunted Halloween.

Gauntlet of SpiragosI wrote this adventure across several months of weekends while my day job was working as Lead Game Designer on the ill-fated WoD MMO. Writing it was a way to keep in touch with my tabletop gaming roots, plus I figured I could illustrate it as well and so keep my art skills polished as well. Well, months turned into years, but once I was able to buy half the rights to the Scarred Lands for Onyx Path, it was only natural that our first adventure be this almost finished one. Didn’t get to do much art for it besides the cover, though, but that’s how plans work out sometimes.

When first thinking about this, I wanted to write a classic treasure hunt adventure that was uniquely suited for Scarred Lands. Having a scenario based on some repercussion of the Titanswar fit that need, and of course it needed to feature one of the iconic SL monster types, as well. I loved drawing the Spider-Eye Goblins, so they got picked as the primary challenge, and in thinking about them, their spider mounts and pets and what sort of god or lesser god they might worship, Spiragos was born.

Or spawned, or whatever.

Those bits of thinking gave me the bare outline for what the adventure could be, and a late-night brainstorming session with my compatriot Aaron Voss developed the idea of the artifacts and just what they were to the Goblins.

All those very basic points are interestingly enough present in the info that players can discover or learn with various skill checks. Its almost like my outline was available to the writer:

Synopsis

The characters obtain a treasure map with an eight-armed symbol, strange writing, and the drawing of a chasm with spiders and flies in it. As well, three unique items, actually titanic artifacts, are illustrated upon it: a gauntlet, a ring, and a dagger. Whether through their own research, or simply being informed by a knowledgeable NPC, the players decipher the meaning of the map and then travel through the wilderness to the Devil’s March. The location indicated on the map is called the Chasm of Flies, so named because, for several generations after the Titanswar, huge clouds of enormous black, biting flies swarmed in and out of the rift in the ground. Eventually, they attracted giant spiders, which grew fat feeding on the flies, and the chasm became a place of webs and cocoons.

In the chasm, the PCs are confronted with physical and terrain challenges—ledges, dangling strands of clinging gossamer, cracks and crevices, with enormous webs at various places blocking line of sight (and also stopping some falls)—as well as spider-eye goblins and various giant spiders. They must find the tunnel which houses the tribal goblin matriarch, along with the goblins’ treasure, where they must defeat the ruler and her champion.

Knowledge (Geography or Nature)

DC 10: The Devil’s March is not inhabited by any of the divine races. Twisted varieties of goblins and other titanspawn dwell there, primarily. But the region is also known for many undead creatures, and even, it is said, the devils and other infernal beings that give it its name.

DC 15: The March is a blighted area that cannot support life. Foraging for food and water there may prove very difficult as a result. Travelers there should stock up well on provisions.

From the Map

A character who examines the mysterious map may make any of the following checks if she is trained in the relevant skill(s).

Knowledge (Dungeoneering or History)

DC 10: The area indicated on the map is called the Chasm of Flies because, for decades following the Titanswar, huge clouds of black flies swarmed around the opening and into the Chasm. As with most creatures corrupted by titan blood, these files grew to monstrosities, raven-sized and deadly.

DC 15: The name of the cavern has become something of a misnomer, however, for the Chasm is now inhabited not by flies but by all sorts of spiders, drawn to the flies as a food source.

DC 20: The Chasm was created during a fight to the death between a lesser titan named Spiragos and the god Vangal the Ravager. The two behemoths battled across the Devil’s March until, at last, Vangal was victorious in destroying Spiragos by cutting off most of its eight arms.

Knowledge (Arcana or Religion)

DC 15: The eight armed symbol on the map is that of Spiragos, the lesser titan of ambushes, one of the offspring of Kadum. Spiragos attempted to ambush the warrior god Vangal, but was slain by him in what later became known as the Devil’s March.

DC 20: Spiragos wielded multiple magic items wrested from those it had ambushed. These included magical gauntlets, rings, and weapons. The titans and gods are known to have adjusted their body sizes to fit any given situation; the titans generally favored enormity, but the possibility nonetheless exists that even the enormous equipment of a titan might shrink to accommodate a human or other smaller being.

I didn’t realize at the time that simply adding a lesser titan would actually be a big shake-up of the cosmology; I just thought it made sense that they’d exist. As it was, that thinking several years ago tied into the kind of expansion on the first edition of Scarred Lands that myself, Stewart Wieck (co-owner of SL), and Scott Holden (SL developer) put forward in our many talks together.

You’ll see more of that thinking in the new Scarred Lands 2nd Edition as the books start to come out for it!

It was a thrill to get an adventure published again after so much time away from writing them (my last one was in one of the first 20 issues of White Wolf Magazine, I think), and I hope the folks will enjoy playing it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

Pick up the Gauntlet of Spiragos introductory adventure PDF for FREE!

  1 comment for “Day 2: Gauntlet of Spiragos

  1. UnsilentMajority
    October 2, 2015 at 12:02 pm

    Purchased this when it was first released and was very happy with it. Haven’t had a chance to use it as it seems my gaming group wants to wait for the big Scarred Lands update before sinking our teeth in.

Comments are closed.