Mark of Nerath Encounters
Wolf Runners of the Trade Road
by Bill Slavicsek
It is a time of magic and monsters, a time when only a few scattered points of light glow with stubborn determination amid a rising tide of shadows. It is a time when only the bravest heroes dare tread the wilds of the unknown . . .
Magroth the Mad—an erstwhile emperor and tyrant from the time of Nerath, the world’s last empire—yearns to be free of his eternal prison in the Shadowfell. And Orcus, the Demon Prince of Undeath, has a plan to help him. But in order for Magrorth to be free and raise a new kingdom in the world, one that will rule eternally in darkness, he must carry out a series of tasks—among them the elimination of Nerath’s remaining royal bloodline, and with it the possibility of defeat.
The encounter that follows recreates a scene from my Dungeons & Dragons novel, The Mark of Nerath. Although the scene in the novel features the heroes of the story, you can also use it to form the basis of an encounter in your campaign.
In the novel, the wizard Albanon and the paladin Roghar are traveling east out of Fallcrest along the Trade Road when they find the path ahead blocked by nine unsavory figures and a pair of large, gray wolves. These are members of the infamous Wolf Runner bandit gang, including their leader, Sylish Kreed.
The scene, as it takes place in the novel, starts out in the favor of the Wolf Runners, since only two adventurers (who are around 5th level) and a pseudodragon oppose them. By the third round of combat or so, however, five more adventurers come to the aid of Albanon and Roghar. I’ve changed some details of the encounter to make it more suitable to run in the game, but the tone and the basic structure of the scene remain the same.
How will the encounter play out for your group of adventurers? Give it a try and find out!
Mark of Nerath Encounter (704 Kbs PDF)
Bill, a life-long gamer, has been a professional in the industry since 1986 when he joined the staff of West End Games as a game developer and editor. His first design project quickly followed, and over the years he has designed products for numerous game systems, including Ghostbusters, Paranoia, Dungeons & Dragons, Star Wars (d6 System and d20 System), Torg, Alternity, and d20 Modern. He has worked in a variety of D&D campaign worlds, including Al-Qadim, Birthright, Council of Wyrms, Dark Sun, Eberron, Planescape, and Ravenloft, and he has designed and developed boardgames and dice games as well as roleplaying games. In 1993, Bill was hired as a game designer/editor by TSR, Inc., and in 1997 he made the move to Wizards of the Coast with the rest of the company. Late that year, he was named R&D Director, and he has held that role ever since. As R&D Director, Bill drives the creative strategy for D&D in all its expressions, and contributes to the overall strategy for the brand. Under Bill’s direction, D&D’s 3rd and 4th Edition product lines were launched, and today his team continues to creatively develop game products, novels, and related material for Dungeons & Dragons.