An Introductory Adventure for Earthdawn
Emergence is an adventure for the Earthdawn fantasy roleplaying game. The player characters are adepts from a kaer that weathered the centuries of the Scourge and is nearing the time of opening its gates to greet the outside world once again. The kaer is opening some fifty years late, unaware of current events in the outside world. This adventure is the player characters’ first sight of the outside world, allowing the gamemaster to introduce them to Earthdawn and the realm of Barsaive gradually.
The player characters face the growing dissent within the kaer and are chosen to be the first adepts to journey into the outside world in over fifty years. The last scouting party failed to return, making the kaer’s ruling council wary about sending another. Internal pressures in the kaer have forced the decision. The adepts must make their way through the various traps intended to protect the kaer and into the outside world. There they explore the ruins of the town their ancestors lived in, and discover the fate of the party that went before them. The italicized text introducing each section of the adventure is meant to be read to the players. They should also be provided with the information on Kaer Daralon below, since it is common knowledge among the kaer-dwellers.
The adventure includes references to the main Earthdawn (ED) rulebook as well as a few other Earthdawn products. Gamemasters may also find the Earthdawn novel Lost Kaer useful inspiration for its portrayal of kaer-life.
According to the records of the Kaer, Daralon was a prosperous town nestled in a mountain valley in the Theran province of Barsaive (exactly where in Barsaive is left up the gamemaster). It subsisted mostly on farming the valley area and selling some of its famed ironwork and pottery, worked from red clay taken from the riverbanks. The inhabitants of the town paid their tithes to the Theran Overgovernor and their dues for the Rites of Protection and Passage that have allowed them to survive the Scourge.
Kaer Daralon was built over the course of three generations in the mountain caves above the valley. Much of the work was done by the master elf elementalist and builder Dianuus. The natural caverns were expanded and strengthened with elemental magic, all laid out in accordance with the Theran plan. When the early signs of the Scourge came to the Daralon valley, the people entered the kaer and the wards were sealed to wait out the Long Night.
That was five hundred years ago. It is now the fifteen hundred and eighth year since the founding of the Kingdom of Throal (1508 TH). More than fifteen generations of Name-givers have lived and died in the confines of the kaer, waiting and watching the elemental clock designed by Theran magicians to tell when the time of the Scourge would be over. Fifty years ago, the sphere of True Earth stopped its descent towards the bowl of True Water. The clock has been frozen ever since.
This unexpected development has resulted in considerable debate and discussion among the leaders of the kaer, but thus far they have erred on the side of caution. The Therans predicted the Scourge would last as long as another century, but there is a growing belief in the kaer that something terrible has happened and the Scourge will never end. Some of the people have begun to despair and there is an edge of madness to life in Kaer Daralon. The people of the kaer remain hidden deep in the earth, watching, waiting and hoping for some sign that the Long Night has ended.
The History of the Kaer
Kaer Daralon was created by the people of the town of Daralon and the inhabitants of its surrounding farms and villages. The kaer was designed to hold all of the inhabitants of the mountain valley where the town stood. This included a village of T’skrang from the nearby river and several Troll clans from the high mountains. Members of all of the different Name-giver races dwell in the kaer, so there was some friction at first. Minor incidents of violence and conflict arose and were harshly dealt with by the kaer’s ruling council.
In the final days before the closing of the kaer, a party of adventurers arrived in Daralon. They claimed to be fleeing from horrors they had encountered in the foothills of the mountains. The elders of Daralon took this as a sign of the time to seal the kaer. The party of adepts took shelter there as well. Many of them became the founders of the adept traditions known in the kaer today.
Some two hundred years ago, there was an outbreak of plague in the kaer that nearly doomed all of the inhabitants. Dianuus the Master-Builder, himself stricken with the plague, used his magic to cause a rockslide that buried the access tunnel to the most plague-ridden portion of the kaer. This halted spread of the plague and saved the rest of the kaer.
Dianuus and some of the other adepts of the kaer were lost in the tragedy, along with their accumulated wisdom. Some people claim-though not too loudly-that faint noises can sometimes be heard from behind the rockfall that closed off the plague tunnels and that there are ghosts or worse that still haunt those halls. The ravages of the plague and the pressures of life within the kaer began to diminish the population of the community. So the loss of a section of the kaer did not prove overly taxing.
About fifty years ago the Council of Twelve appointed a small group of adepts to exit the kaer and explore outside. The party departed through the Guardian Gate and it was sealed behind them. They never returned. Since then, the Council and their successors has been reluctant to allow any more such expeditions.
Life in the Kaer
Life in Kaer Daralon is very routine and has been for as long as any can recall. Food is carefully rationed out morning, noon and night, usually meals of magically grown vegetables and similar staples with the occasional special occasion calling for meat or baked goods made from the kaer’s carefully protects supply of grains. During the day the kaer’s adults work the lattice farms that provide food, tend to the small herds of sheep and cave lizards in their pens or provide repairs or craft work for the kaer. In the evening troubadours and storytellers read from the Book of Tomorrow and tell tales of the outside world while illusionists entertain and enlighten with their images of the world of the ancestors before the Scourge.
Kaer Daralon is ruled by the Council of Twelve, the wisest and most capable elders among the people. The Council represents the Twelve Passions that are venerated in the kaer. Although the Council members are not always questors, many of them are, and they are chosen to represent their Passion’s purview on the Council. The Council makes laws, metes out justice and administers the kaer.
The other major factions of the kaer include the Swords of Daralon (usually simply known as the Swords) and the Adept’s Lodge. The Swords are a warrior sect that serves as the guardians, police and military. They keep the peace in the kaer and are the only people allowed to carry weapons.
The Adept’s Lodge is made up of the kaer’s surviving adept traditions, who pass on their teachings to suitable students in anticipation of the end of the Long Night. Some Disciplines have died out or were never really represented among those in the kaer. Other disciplines, like the Scout and Beastmaster, have survived in little more than a ceremonial role, since the environments intended for them are limited in the kaer. There is some resentment by kaer residents against practitioners of disciplines that are looked upon as “useless” since they don’t contribute to the survival of the community.
The Structure of the Kaer
Kaer Daralon is laid out like most kaers built under the Theran plan, with a large central chamber surrounded by smaller living areas. The central cavern is lit by a massive light quartz embedded in the roof. This cavern contains the important buildings of the kaer: the Hall of Records, the Adept’s Lodge, council chambers, the temple of the Passions and the garrison of the Swords as well as other administrative buildings. The central chamber also houses Crafter’s Row, a long row of tents and open kiosks were the kaerfolk trade their humble arts and crafts.
The outer edges of the great cavern and several other caves are taken up by lattice farms, high frameworks where the produce that feeds the kaer is grown, aided by elemental magic and the blessings of Jaspree, the Passion of Nature.
In the center of the central chamber is a fantastic statue of the passion Garlen, ten feet tall, sculpted from rose-colored living crystal by Dianuus the Builder. Radiating out from the central plaza are six narrow roads. Five are named for the True Elements and lead to the living quarters for the people. Each living space holds a fantastic sculpture of that element made by the master-builder himself. The Fire Caves were sealed during the plague by Dianuus some two hundred years ago, but the other areas have been more than enough for the kaer’s population.
The sixth road leads to a pair of orichalcum gates between two statues of fierce warriors known as the Guardian Gate. This gate leads into a maze of traps and deadfalls to the surface and the sealed entrance of the kaer.
Beneath the central cavern are deeper tunnels and caves. These were intended for population growth in the kaer, but the population has been shrinking so these areas are abandoned. Few go there save for members of the Swords or the Adept’s Lodge on some strange errand or another. Kaer-lore has it that the tunnels sometimes serve as meeting places for secret cults or other doings best hidden from the rest of the people.
The People of Daralon
Current population of Kaer Daralon is about 3,000 Name-givers. The kaer was constructed for nearly twice that number, but the population has slowly declined over the centuries and some of the lower caverns and tunnels of the kaer have been abandoned, along with the loss of the Fire Caves. Strange subterranean creatures have sometimes been spotted in the lower tunnels and they are normally considered off-limits to the kaer’s inhabitants. There is some concern over the declining population, and some doomsayers claim that the kaer will die out before the Scourge is over.
Most of the population of the kaer is dwarf and human. There are some elves and orks as well. Trolls and t’skrang are rare and have been the worst hit by the kaer’s declining population, the t’skrang especially so. There are only thirty-six t’skrang remaining in the kaer-all that is left of an extended clan-and they fear that they may well die out in another few generations. The kaer has a few obsidimen, most of which spend their time in a state they call the Dreaming.
Doria kel’Ar, human female, Councilor and former High Sword of Daralon. Doria was once acknowledged as the most skilled warrior in Daralon with the office of High Sword, leader of the Swords of Daralon. That was many years ago and she has since retired from the ways of combat: at least with a blade. She has taken up the ways of the Passion Garlen and is still known as a tenacious “she-bear” protecting Daralon. She is wise, comforting , strong-willed and loved by the people of the kaer.
Pelgar, dwarf male, Chief Wizard and Councilor. The wizard Pelgar is an elderly dwarf who came to his office nearly twenty years ago. He is a wizard of no small skill and oversees the activities of Daralon’s magicians, mostly the maintenance of the kaer. A crotchety curmudgeon of a dwarf, he is the terror of magical apprentices in the kaer.
Mabon Rus, human male, Questor of Erendis, Councilor. Councilor Mabon is a follower of Erendis, the Passion of Order and Governance, which makes him well suited for his duties on the council of Twelve. His wisdom in matters of administration is heeded by his peers and he is well known for keeping live in the kaer running smoothly. Mabon is fair but firm, with a strong reputation as a disciplinarian among the children of the kaer. In truth, Mabon is leader of a secret society of kaer-dwellers who worship the Mad Passion Dis (ED, p. 317).
Meer’resh T’Lassor, female t’skrang, Councilor. Councilor Meer’resh is the lahala (leader) of the surviving t’skrang clan in Kaer Daralon. She is fairly young for her role, the old matriarch of the clan having passed on only two years ago. She is considered level-headed compared to some of her brethren, who clamor increasingly for action from the Council.
Netzach Kol, ork male, Master of Memory, Keeper of the Book of Tomorrow and Scholar. Netzach is nearing the age of fifty, ancient for an ork. He credits his long life to this love of knowledge and claims that he won’t die until he knows all there is to know. He lovingly tends to the kaer’s precious stores of books, scrolls and other heirlooms in the Hall of Time. He knows all of the lore and history of Daralon and can often be found telling stories to children in the Plaza in the evenings.
Onara Stonebones, troll female, High Sword of Daralon. Captain Stonebones is the High Sword, commander of the Swords of Daralon. The troll warrior wields her massive stone broadsword like it was a toy. Her booming laugh and good cheer make her a welcome companion and a popular leader. Onara claims she does not involve herself in politics, concerning herself only with keeping the peace.
You are on your way to the central part of the kaer for an evening of stories and tales of the outside world. Since your initiation as adepts, you have thought of little else but the tales passed down by your ancestors of the fantastic world outside your underground shelter: about the sun, the stars, the verdant forests and the great cities like Travar and the dwarf kingdom of Throal. The tales are your tie with that world, that none have seen in hundreds of years.
As you make your way through the great cavern towards the central square, you hear a commotion coming from Crafter’s Row. An argument of some sort, punctuated by a loud crash. From the path, you can see a group of young people have overturned an old woman’s cart, smashing a load of pottery on the ground.
There are at least as many young hooligans as their are player characters. Like many of the people of Kaer Daralon, they are restless and discontent with their underground life. In the case of these young punks, they’ve chosen to entertain themselves by causing trouble. The old woman said something that Jos, the leader of the small band, didn’t like.
It’s up to the player characters whether or not they choose to interfere. As adepts, they have all sworn to use their abilities to protect the kaer and its people. If any of the characters are members of Swords, then they have a duty to intervene, otherwise, they can do as they choose. If the adepts do intervene, things will become tense. They discover the ruffians have crude weapons, farming tools. The player characters (unless they are members of the Swords) are unarmed, since kaer-dwellers are not allowed to carry weapons. The adepts should be shocked and horrified that their fellow kaer-dwellers should be considering violence.
Some quick and clever roleplaying may be able to convince the hooligans to apologize to the woman and go on their way peacefully. Otherwise, there’s going to be a fight. Use the statistics for the Guard Veteran (ED, p. 297) for the ruffians, but reduce all of their Steps and Defense Ratings by 2. They have no armor and only simple weapons. Members of the Swords show up in short order to break up a fight or to talk to everyone involved if the adepts managed to avoid a fight. The gamemaster can decide when to have the Swords appear; 3-4 rounds into a combat is probably a good time.
If the adepts have killed anyone in the fight, they will be arrested and an investigation begun. Remind players that these are not monsters they’re dealing with, they’re misguided young people; their own neighbors and possibly friends. Using deadly force against them would be overreacting, to say the least. Minor injuries will be overlooked by the Swords, but they will still ask the adepts to accompany them to speak with the members of the Council.
The Council’s Chosen
You arrive at the Council Hall in the central chamber. The Hall is a circular building cut from dark gray stone, pierced with tall, narrow windows and a wide entryway flanked by carved pillars. You enter the main chamber of the Hall, one of the largest rooms in the whole kaer. It is surrounded by a high bench where the twelve members of the Council sit. As you stand in the middle of the room, light by the glow of light crystals placed around the room, and look up at the grim faces of the council members, you feel that something far more important than a conflict in Crafter’s Row.
Mabon Rus, the head of the Council, stands and leans forward, his hands resting flat on the bench.
“Adepts,” he begins in a sonorous voice, “you have been brought before us to consider a serious matter. The regrettable incident in Crafter’s Row is only a symptom of the disease that plagues our people. That disease is the fever of madness from our imprisonment below the Earth. Although the walls of our kaer protect us from the ravages of the Scourge, they have become a prison for our bodies and our spirits. For five centuries we have waited for the Scourge to pass, and now the time has come. if Daralon is to survive, we must send another scouting party beyond the Guardian Gate, to the world outside!”
There are two ways the adepts may be called before the Council. Either they handled the trouble with the ruffians well, and the Council believes this is a sign from the Passions that the adepts are the people they are looking for to take on this dangerous missions. Or they handled the whole situation in Crafter’s Row badly, perhaps even killing one or more of the troublemakers. In this case, the Council considers the adepts skilled enough and dangerous enough to make them expendable, therefore useful.
In either case, the Council has chosen the adepts to be the first Name-givers to leave the kaer in fifty years to discover what has become of the world outside. They are the hope of Daralon. Mabon Rus gravely announces the Council’s decision and asks the adepts if they will take up the challenge.
If the players refuse, they’re probably not getting the point. Gently remind them that the dream of every adept is to explore the world outside the kaer, the chance to leave the confines of the shelter where they have lived all their lives. This is their opportunity to be heroes. If the adepts were brought before the Council for punishment, the offer is backed up by the fact that adepts who refuse face imprisonment, a fact the Council will use as leverage to convince them.
Once the player character accept (willingly or through coercion) Mabon Rus tells them they have a night and a day to prepare. They will leave at once. The kaer is a simmering pressure cooker of repressed fear and resentment that may boil over at any moment. Their departure will be announced at the gathering the next evening.
Beyond The Guardian Gate
The announcement of your impending journey beyond the Guardian Gate electrifies the populace of the kaer. Spirits are higher than they have been in longer than you can remember. You gather the equipment you will need and say farewell to family and friends, promising you will return soon. The night of your departure, the people of Daralon are all gathered in the great central chamber. You walk down the road to the cheers and best wishes of the people. When you stand before the giant statues flanking the orichalcum-laced gates, the aged wizard Pelgar nods gravely to you and speaks the spells passed down to him from Dianuus the Master-Builder himself.
The gates open, and the world awaits.
Before the adepts leave the kaer, they are briefed by the Council of Twelve. They will leave the kaer via the Guardian Gate and make their way through the section of Kaer Daralon known as the Stair, which leads to the massive main gate to the surface. The Stair is layered with various traps and defenses built to keep Horrors from breaking into the kaer. Unfortunately, plans for these traps, kept in the Hall of Time, have been lost. The Council has kept this information secret, so as not to dampen the hopes of the people, but the adepts will have to brave the hazards of the traps alone. The Council gives them a talisman created by Dianuus to open the main gates of the kaer.
To aid them, the Council also supplies the adepts with two healing potions and a last chance salve. This gives the gamemaster so leeway if the adepts get badly hurt or one of them is killed by one of the threats in the adventure. If desired, the Council can provide the adepts with other minor magical items, like blood charms, but the gamemaster shouldn’t be too generous (the kaer’s resources are limited, and they can only risk so much on this venture).
Once the adept party passes through the Guardian Gate, the doors are closed behind them, only to be opened again when they return and use a magical key (also given to them by the Council) to send a signal through the wards of the kaer. The adepts are alone in the Stair.
The entry area of the kaer consists of three long, low halls, lined with carved pillars. A spiral staircase at the end of the hall connects it to the one above it in a staggered arrangement (see map). At the end of the final hall is the Great Entrance Hall and the orichalcum doors to the outside. The floor and surfaces of the halls are covered with fine dust and dirt accumulated through the years. Barely visible in the layers of dust are the fifty year-old tracks of the last scouting party sent out from the kaer.
Each Hall also has a trap built into it, intended to kill or at least injure any Horrors that might be able to break through the wards and the Rites of Protection and Passage. The traps of the first two halls are still active and dangerous, while the third trap in the great hall was trigged long ago (see Those Who Have Gone Before, below). The statistics of the remaining traps are:
Spear Trap: Detection Difficulty: 8, Disarm Difficulty: 8, Trigger Condition: Pressure plate, Trap Initiative: 8, Trap Effect: Damage Step 13
Ward Trap: Detection Difficulty: 10, Spell Defense: 10, Disarm Difficulty: 11, Trigger Condition: The trap makes a Spellcasting Test (Step 15) against the Spell Defense of the characters passing it. If the test is successful, the trap triggers its effect. Trap Initiative: 10, Trap Effect: Fireball spell, Damage Step 18
If the characters successfully detect the traps (with a Perception Test against the Detection Difficulty) they can attempt to disarm them. The spear trap can be disarmed with a successful Dexterity Test against the Disarm Difficulty, while the Ward Trap can be disarmed with a successful Spellcasting Test against the Disarm Difficulty. A successful casting of the Dispel Magic spell that overcomes the ward trap’s Disarm Difficulty will also disarm it.
Those Who Have Gone Before
As you enter the final hall of the Stair, you see the fate of the scouting party that left Daralon before you. Four corpses lie in the hall. Three were killed by various wounds while the fourth lies buried beneath a tumbled pile of stones, along with the pale, white corpse of some hideous, bloated creature. Their flesh is withered and gray, almost mummified in the dry air, covered in a layer of dust. Their weapons and armor are spotted with corrosion, but otherwise as serviceable as the day they left the shelter of the central kaer.
One of the bodies lies against the orichalcum outer doors of the kaer, still sealed. The doors that lead to the outside world.
The scouting party that left Kaer Daralon years ago ran afoul of a minor Horror. It turned the adepts against each other and killed most of them, then invaded the mind of the survivor and attempted to force him to return to the kaer. The adept was able to overcome the Horror’s control long enough to close the doors of the kaer and trigger the deadfall trap in the upper hall, both the adept and the Horror were crushed and the kaer was safe.
The Horror gained its revenge, however. With a final act of blood magic, it animated the bodies of the adepts as cadaver men (ED, p. 288), charged to destroy anyone else who tried to leave the kaer. When the adepts approach the orichalcum gates, the cadaver men rise up and attack. They have weapons and armor to fight with, so the gamemaster should adjust their statistics accordingly. Remember, any wound inflicted on a cadaver man causes it to go berserk, attacking up to four times each combat turn.
Once the adepts have overcome the cadaver men, they can use the talisman given to them by the council to open the outer doors and exit the kaer.
The Angry Gargoyle
The great doors of the kaer grind open slowly, allowing a breath of cool, fresh air to stir the ages of dust settled in the great hall. You breathe in that taste of the outside world and think you have never smelled anything so sweet. You prepare yourself for an attack as the doors open. For a Horror to come screeching through the opening to kill and ravage, but nothing comes. Finally, the heavy doors open enough for you to see the outside world for the first time.
It is dark outside, and a gentle breeze stirs the grasses of the hillside and makes the leaves of the trees rustle. You stand for a moment outside the faint light of the entrance, taking it all in. It’s more wonderful and incredible than you ever imagined. The valley of Daralon stretches out below you, gray, black and silver in the light of a nearly full moon. You can see the glimmer of the river below and the bright gleam of the stars above you. Near the river, in the distance, are dark stumps and tumbled piles of stone that can only be the remains of the town of Daralon, the home of your ancestors.
As the doors of the kaer swing slowly closed, you set foot on the ancient, overgrown trail for the home of your people.
Stress the wonder of the adepts seeing the outside world for the very first time. Remember, they have never seen the night sky or a forest or a mountainside except in pictures and tales. The players should feel something of their characters’ awe at finally leaving their kaer. They should also be eager to explore the ruins of their ancestral home, although their enthusiasm might be tempered by a justified concern. They still have no idea what awaits them in the outside world, and the presence of the Horror-corpse in the great hall should give them some cause for concern.
From the vantage of the kaer entrance, the adepts can see most of the valley below. A river cuts through the center of the valley, and the hillsides are heavily forested. On a high ridge overlooking the kaer entrance is the ancient stone tower of Dianuus, the elementalist. The tower’s wards and magical protections allowed it to survive the Scourge intact, and it stands silent watch over the valley. The ruins of old Daralon lie near the river at the bottom of the valley. They are mostly dark, although flickering lights can sometimes be seen there.
Fortunately for the adepts, the ruins of Daralon are haunted by enemies much more mortal than the Horrors. A band of river pirates have taken the ruins as a hideout and a place to stash some of their booty. They rely on local rumors and legends that the ruins are haunted, legends they encourage using illusions and strange lights to scare away intruders. The pirates know nothing of the kaer, hidden behind camouflaged doors. They are aware of Dianuus’ tower above the kaer, but avoid it because of the tower’s powerful magical wards and defenses.
Recently, the pirates encountered a gargoyle (ED, p. 296) hunting for new territory in the valley. They drove it off, but the gargoyle only retreated further up the valley, hiding out in a rocky outcropping and nursing its wound. As the adepts make their way down towards the ruins of Daralon, the gargoyle spots them and tries to ambush them, springing out from behind it’s hiding place to attack. The creature has suffered some damage; it has 4 points of Current Damage and an unhealed Wound. The player characters should be able to fight it off. If the gargoyle suffers another two Wounds, it flies away. Otherwise, it fights viciously, making use of Aggressive Attacks (ED, p. 200).
The Pirates of Daralon
You approach the ruins of Daralon cautiously. There may be more creatures like the one you encountered in the highlands, or even worse, lurking there. You see some flickering light among the tumbled walls and structures of Old Daralon and move as quietly as possible to avoid alerting whatever might be there. As you draw closer, you hear voices and see dark shapes moving around a fire burning in the center of ruined structure. Whatever haunts Daralon, it looks very much like other Name-givers.
There are six pirates in the camp, led by a second-circle swordmaster named Caine. Caine is a human woman who wears an astral sensitive eye in place of the one she lost in battle and wields her curved saber with ruthless efficiency. The remainder of the pirates are not adepts. They will investigate any strange noises or the like in pairs. If the adepts attack, the pirates will fight them fiercely. If things appear to be turning against them, they will attempt to escape using a pair of small boats on the river.
Use the t’skrang swordmaster adept archetype (ED, p. 81) for Caine. Remove the t’skrang racial modifications, increase all of the talents by 1 rank and give her Riposte and Throwing Weapons at Rank 1. Use the Guard Veteran (ED, p. 297) for the other pirates. Drop the magical talent and give them dwarf swords and leather armor. If the number of pirates is too much of a challenge for the player characters, reduce their numbers. If the adepts mow right through them, you can have more pirates show up to help out their comrades.
The pirates’ treasure consists of three cloth sacks holding coins worth a total of 500 silver pieces (mostly Throalic and t’skrang mint). They are kept in a heavy locked chest along with a set of maps of the valley and the surrounding area (which the adepts may find more valuable than the silver).
After overcoming the pirates, you spend some time exploring the valley and the ruins of Daralon. There are no signs of Horrors or other dangers to your people, so you return to the kaer to give Daralon the welcome news of the outside world. You are treated to a hero’s welcome and all of the kaerfolk are eager to hear your tales of the outside world. The Council honors you in a speech to the people and says that Daralon will open its door to the outside, allowing the people to rebuild the home their ancestors left behind so long ago. The Long Night of the Scourge is finally over, and a new world awaits!
Encourage the players to relate their story to the Council and the people of the kaer. Award Legend Points based on the creatures the adepts have overcome in the adventure, along with any treasure they have acquired (ED, p. 242). They get 50 Legend Points for successfully clearing the valley of danger (the pirates and the gargoyle), they also get 50 Legend Points for returning to Kaer Daralon with news of the outside world. The gamemaster can award up to 50 additional Legend Points for creative roleplaying and heroics. For more information, see Assigning Legend Awards (ED, p. 241).
Once the adepts have completed their mission into the outside world and returned to Kaer Daralon, there are many other opportunities for adventure. The gamemaster can use some of the adventure seeds below (along with other Earthdawn products from FASA) to continue the adepts’ adventures in the Age of Legend, kicking off a full-fledged Earthdawn campaign.
The Tower of Dianuus. The tower of the master elementalist Dianuus still stands on the cliff-face overlooking the kaer and old Daralon. It was magically sealed by Dianuus before the Scourge and has remained (apparently) intact. What secrets might it contain, and what magical traps and creatures protect them? Perhaps the council asks the player characters to explore the tower or they might choose to do so themselves. Magical items like the Talismans of Dianuus (from Arcane Mysteries of Barsaive) might be found in the tower, along with some of Dianuus’ magical lore.
The Fire Caves. The Fire Caves have been sealed for centuries, since a plague nearly wiped out Kaer Daralon. The plague is long since dead, but the kaer-dwellers don’t know that for certain. Treasures lie hidden in the ruins of the caverns, including the body of Dianuus himself and, perhaps, some of his magical items (like the aforementioned talismans). The source of the strange noises from the Fire Caves may be nothing more than settling of loose stone, or perhaps someone (or something) has animated the corpses of the plague victims, creating an army of cadaver men for some sinister purpose. It could be a rogue nethermancer from the kaer, who has found a secret way into the sealed caves, or perhaps the horror killed at the gates of the kaer is not as dead as everyone thinks….
Gargoyle Flight. The gargoyle the adepts encountered outside the kaer was only a scout for a small band of gargoyles looking for a new home in the area near Daralon. If it escaped, it may return with allies. If it was killed, its brethren might come looking for it. The kaer’s new settlement might be troubled by gargoyle attacks until the adepts can track the creatures down and drive them from the valley permanently.
Journey to Throal. Now that the Kaer is open, the people of Daralon are eager to renew their ties with the outside world and discover the state of things. The gamemaster can build a long series of adventures around sending the adepts on an extended scouting mission into the outside world. They can go to the Kingdom of Throal and report the opening of their kaer. Imagine their surprise when they learn that Barsaive is no longer a Theran province, and Throal has rebelled against the Empire! Will the adepts choose to involve themselves in the politics of the province? This can provide a lead-in to the events described in the adventure Prelude to War: An Earthdawn Epic.
The Mad Passions. During the Scourge three of the Passions went mad (as described in Earthdawn). The people of Daralon know nothing of this. The followers of the Mad Passions living in the kaer have carefully concealed the true nature of their patrons over the years, existing as secret cults, while maintaining a facade of respectability. One of their questors, Mabon Rus, is even a member of the Council! Now that the kaer is open, what will the Mad Passion cults in the kaer do? Gamemasters may find Secret Societies of Barsaive useful for information on the Mad Passion cults.
Pirates of the Serpent. The player characters have disrupted the operations of the river pirates, but they haven’t overcome all of the pirate-band. Others will eventually come to find out what became of their fellows, leading the a conflict between the newly opened kaer and the pirates, who may want to loot the kaer of its treasures. This can lead to adventures along the Serpent River or elsewhere in Barsaive.