crows-rest-island[1]By Megan Robertson

Good introduction to Adventureaweek’s own campaign setting, or just a good adventure for 1st level characters.

Publisher’s blurb: “Shrouded in whispered rumors, Crow’s Rest Island has been avoided as long as any can remember. Nothing but death, and the memories of those long gone, greet any who take to land upon the isle’s shores. It is to this island that the PCs will find themselves driven as a storm threatens to drive their ship below the waves. Awaiting the PCs are far more than ghost stories upon this island, for there lives a very real threat, hiding here among the legends that keep sailors at bay.

“A classic ghost story that casts the PCs not as adversaries to the specters, but rather as their benefactors, Crow’ Rest Island challenges the PCs with a tribe of foul kobolds, a haunted village, and the forgotten servant of a long departed ice devil. An excellent introduction to the Adventureaweek.com campaign setting, this adventure gives the PCs their first glimpse into Vikmordere culture. A0 may also be easily ported to any setting containing a northern wilderness near a large body of water.”

Megan’s Review

Designed as an introduction to the whole Adventureaweek campaign world, the putative setting of all their adventures (although most can be readily translocated into a suitable part of the campaign world of your choice) this short adventure is also intended to serve as a lead-in to A1:Crypt of the Sun Lord, if you’re intending to use that.

The basic concept is simple, and yet an elegant way to get around the constant problem of your character knowing the world he lives in far better than you, his player, does by saying that the characters come from a nearby kingdom which is actively encouraging adventurers to move to an outlying fishing village called Rybalka. It’s a wild and dangerous place, so much so that ordinary citizens are reluctant to move there even if offered payment. Clearly some braver souls, some adventurers, are needed!

The way to get there goes across the massive ice-cold Serpent Lake, pretty much an inland sea, and passes a ill-omened island, Crow’s Rest Island. Sailors are full of tales about people who have been shipwrecked there, tales of horror and haunting far worse than merely being shipwrecked and having to survive.

There’s a comprehensive backstory to inform you about what’s really going on, and then we get into the adventure proper which starts with the characters aboard ship… and there’s a storm blowing up! The ship is swiftly covered in snow to the extent that the captain decides that it is less risky to stop at Crow’s Rest Island than it is to continue the voyage. And so it begins…

Although quite simple, the adventure is atmospheric and there’s plenty of material to aid you in setting the scene, snow-covered and brooding with a mysterious crow that somehow only the party can see. Beautiful illustrations and lush maps provide visual cues to supplement the descriptions. There’s plenty to do, with negotiations with spirits as well as a couple of brawls… and the adventurers should emerge back on shore as the storm dies down and their ship is ready to resume its voyage. But, boy, they will have some tales to tell of their exploits!

If looking to start a campaign with a bang, this ought to fit the bill, excitement a-plenty yet all perfectly do-able by first level characters.

Book Details:
Authors: Joshua Gullion, Stephen Yeardley, Will Myers, Nathan Land, and Jonathan G. Nelson
Publishers’ Reference: A0
ISBN: n/a
PDF, 23 pages
Date: November 2012

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