Invasion of Dragonscar Keep, or A Favor for Elegance, is a short (6 hours) adventure by Levi Mote.
Made for 3 to 6 players of level 8, this is an adventure containing several horror elements – making it a good choice for a Halloween one-shot. Speaking of horror, let’s go over some content warnings: there is a heavy element of body horror (of the “infested by a parasite” variety) as well as some mentions of suicide.
With that taken care of, let’s delve into the story. Dragonscar Keep is the nickname of a town with a population of approx. 1000 people – it’s actual name is not used, so as to allow you to use any town you’d like in your setting. The players get a letter from Elegance, a Tiefling the party is previously acquainted with. Elegance is a concubine of Sir Reginald, the town’s Duke, and they inform the players that they believe the Duke – and many others – have been replaced by some sort of shapeshifter, and ask for help.
When the players arrive at Dragonscar Keep, they find the town under martial law and people going missing after a mysterious sickness. After a bit of asking around (or causing trouble, as players are wont to) the party will find -or will be found – by the resistance, a small group including Elegance trying to get to the bottom of these disturbing phenomena. After some interactions with them, a sudden and grisly event forces the resistance to take action, and follow a secret path to the Keep’s throne room. There, the truth is revealed: The impostors are slaad, impersonating the Duke while using the townspeople as hosts to spawn more of their kind and then puppeteering the corpses with intellect devourers. What follows is a deadly fight to stop them from proceeding with their plan and gaining total control over the town.
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There are more details and a comprehensive backstory that explains how the slaad came to be, and I quite like the sinister plan that led to this situation. There are also alternative ways the players can follow to get to the end – a handy flowchart at the beginning of the adventure gives a good idea of what you can expect.
In terms of content, besides the story mentioned above we also have a series of encounters presented, with easy/medium/hard/deadly variants. There aren’t any maps included, but you can use any appropriate generic map for each. There are also stat block for each enemy encountered, as well as of course descriptions for the NPCs the players might interact with.
Overall, Invasion of Dragonscar Keep is a short and sweet horror one-shot that should keep your players guessing until the final reveal. If you’re looking for something to run this Halloween, look no further!
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