of this Module, “The Final Test”, is a simple one: Four apprentices have
come to the end of their apprenticeships and have been set a ‘Final Test’
by their Masters. The characters have not been informed about the
Test: of what it entails, what’s expected of them. They are only
told at the last minute that all they have learned during their studies
will come into play; that their actions and conduct will determine if they
need a further year’s study to ‘mature and re-learn lessens obviously forgotten’
if the Test is failed.
Some very basic
and easy-to-follow notes on the setting of the Module follow. They
include details about the game world where the adventure is situated and
information on some of the minor characters within the Game.
The Game is set within the Kingdom of Pallum. This is a fictitious Kingdom ruled by a wise and just King whose father before him conducted his affairs in the same manner. Things have been stable in the Kingdom for the past fifty odd years – basically for as long as anyone can remember.
Within Pallum there is a secret organisation of Mages known as the Order of the Crimson Flame. The Order has Chantries in every major city and along every major trade route in Pallum. This Module focuses on one such Chantry located along Pallum’s southernmost trade route – the Iron March.
There are four Masters of the Order of the Crimson Flame who run the Iron March Chantry. They are:
Irdrid of Thalm
= Old man with a walking cane,
sharp wit and iron will.
Morgum the Magnificent = Mid fifties, bald patch with two tufts of hair either side.
Jyroth of the ‘Bumbling’ Ways = Average man with scar running from left cheek to jaw.
Kodan the Noble = Thick spread of black hair, always neat and proper.
Irdrid is an authority on the creation of Golems and automatons. Morgum is interested in animals, woodlands, nature and other such natural phenomena. Jyroth is an enigma, with unknown interests and is often thought of as a fool by his peers. Kodan is a sage specialising in the history of the Kingdom of Pallum and Illusion magicks.
The talents of all four Masters are visible throughout the adventure as each Master has had a hand in the final test their students must sit.
The Iron March Chantry is situated a day’s walk south of a small village called Willowbrooke, and five days south-west of the nearest major city, Duram. Right next to the Chantry lies an enchanted wood – called Allbryte Wood – which the Masters often venture into secretly for arcane purposes.
itself is a large two-storey manor house that rarely receives visitors.
Few travel to the Chantry as it is private property and not easily visible
from the Iron March trade route.
Main Characters in the
There are a
number of characters that make an appearance within the module. They
are outlined here for easy reference by the Game Master (save for the Masters
of the Iron March Chantry who are described on the previous page).
Naebelus the Centaur
the players meet during their first night within Allbryte Wood. Naebelus
has been asked by Master Morgum to waylay the apprentices by drugging them
and taking their backpacks.
Gryff the Criminal
A murderer who
the players stumble across nailed to a tree for his crimes. Gryff
is suffering from agonising bouts of pain due to his crucifixion.
He represents a moral test the Mages must undergo – do they help a fellow
human being in pain or allow this murderer to die as his punishment dictates?
The Faerie Knight / Silver Knight
is simply an honourable Faerie who has agreed to face the characters by
arrangement with the Masters of the Iron March Chantry. He is made
out by Naebelus to be a Knight ‘who guards the crossroads at the end of
the forest in honour of a fair maiden now deceased…’ but in reality is
but a minion of the Wood aiding the Masters by challenging the apprentices
to a fight for the love of the challenge.
There are also
a number of creatures that make an appearance within the Module.
These creatures are not sentient (nor some of them real!) but they are
listed here once again for quick reference by the Game Master.
This Troll is
an illusion created by Master Kodan. It has been designed to distract
the apprentices and test their skills and wits.
The Gargoyle / Golem
is really a Clay Golem crafted in the form of a Gargoyle by Master Irdrid.
Only a magical blunt weapon can destroy this creature – a weapon that is
held by the Silver Knight and surrendered only when he is defeated.
Below lies the
general structure of this Module. All Scenes occur in consecutive
order (ie: they follow one another!), but there are two Evening Events
that are slotted in when the party encamps in the wood for their first
and second evenings. As such encampment can occur at any time these
Events lie outside the linear structure of the plot.
Scene #1: The Journey begins
This is the
introduction to the Module for the players. The characters leave
the Iron March Chantry and walk to the village of Willowbrooke where they
stay overnight in an Inn with their four Masters.
Scene #2: The Final Test
lead their young apprentices away from Willowbrooke revealing to them a
secret path leading into the mysterious Allbryte Wood. It is here
that Master Irdrid reveals unto the four young lads that they must pass
a test of wits, knowledge, and conduct to graduate beyond the rank of apprentice
or else spend another year within the service of the Order of the Crimson
Scene #3: The Pit of Stumbling
As the players
begin their journey a pit lies hidden under refuse and litter in the middle
of the path. The pit is an introduction as to what lies ahead, simply
being an event that is designed to waste the player’s time and break their
confidence just a little.
Scene #4: The Trail Ends
The party reaches
a fork in the road and has to make a decision: do they keep following the
main trail off to the left or deviate down a goat track veering sharply
to the right? Both way the path ends and the players’ end up lost
in the wood…
Scene #5: The Great Chasm
The sound of
water draws the players ever onwards through the wood, leading them an
old Bridge that crosses a 100-foot chasm and back to the path! Trails
leads down into the sixty feet drop where a river seems to coarse and rage
its way to the right. Players must cross the chasm one way or another
– swim the river or cross the Bridge – in order to continue their sojourn.
Scene #6: Trolls, Trolls, Trolls!
Troll appears to challenge and delay the players on their journey!
Evening #1: Beware of Strangers
Centaur, invites the party into his camp to share his hospitality for the
evening. Under the ruse of friendship, Naebelus plans to drug the
players and make off with their equipment to increase the difficulty of
their journey through Allbryte Wood. Along the way his disarming
charm and entertaining tale is all an attempt to lull the party into a
false sense of security...
Scene #7: A Mystic Rune
A magical Rune
lies in wait to trap the unwary players and once again delay their journey.
Scene #8: A Moral Conundrum!
Gryff, is crucified to a tree alongside the path. A sign above his
head lists his murderous deeds and the names of his seven victims.
Gryff is in great pain, dying slowly and in agony on the tree. What should
the apprentices do?
Scene #9: The Poisoned Pool
With only a
day’s supply of food and water (regardless of whether the players’ packs
have been stolen by Naebelus), the players reach a dappled pool of tranquil
water where they may rest and drink from. Needless to say the pool
is poisoned with a toxin which induces a coma. A hidden warning and
cure lies near the pool – but there are not enough vials of anti-poison
Scene #10: Twisted Vines
A section of
the Wood about half a mile in radius near the path possesses roguish vines
that attempt to entangle and waylay members of the party.
Evening #2: Rest and Reverie
evening befalls the players as they try and take rest to face the adventures
the next day bring.
Scene #11: The Silver Knight
A Faerie Knight
guards a crossroads challenging any that come unto it to duel with him.
The Knight will let anyone to challenge him only once per day, allowing
his opponent to choose the terms of the duel: a battle of wits, steel or
magic. Once defeated the Knight will disappear leaving his equipment
behind where he once stood.
Scene #12: Prison-matic Wall
The way out
of the forest is blocked by an extensive, multi-coloured magical wall that
reaches as far as they eye can see. To escape the players must dispel
this Prismatic Wall with three magic items they have collected along their
Scene #13a: The Guardian of the Scroll
A scroll sits
on a stone pedestal at the end of a path with a Clay Golem shaped in the
form of a Gargoyle protecting the scroll. To escape from the Wood
the players must capture the scroll and defeat its guardian.
Scene #13b: The Treasure Trap
of copper bits and pieces lie at the end of a path… What is the purpose
of these chests? Hidden within one of them is a ring – a magical
ring – that the players need to help dispel the Prismatic Wall blocking
their escape from the Wood!
Scene #14: Finale
their way through all of the tests and out of the Allbryte Wood the players
will return to the Iron March Chantry. There, each apprentice must
face the Four Masters alone, explaining what they have learnt from their
Final Test and why they failed several of the tests within the Wood.
Those who convince the Masters they are ready are granted their leave –
those who do not must remain as apprentices with the Order of the Crimson
Flame for yet another year.
How Is the Module Supposed
The Module is divided into several Scenes which are small, individual events in their own right.
All the Scenes set within the Allbryte Wood (except for one or two) are tests set by the Masters of the Iron March Chantry. The tests range in difficulty from simple (such as ‘the characters co-operate to escape from a trap’) to difficult (a moral decision must be made about the life and death of a murderer!). At the end of such Scenes is a little box explaining what the players need to do to fail a test…
‘The Final Test’ is supposed to be about the four Masters attempting to determine if their apprentices are ready to venture out on their own into the real world. The Masters expect their apprentices to fail at least one test as there is a lot for them to do… The idea is that those tests which are failed are learnt from, with each character gaining an opportunity at the end of the Module to ‘justify their mistakes’ and prove to the Masters they are mature enough to graduate.
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