Once upon a time, there was an idea--an idea formulated by Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson in 1974 and published in a little paperback book called Underworld Adventures. The idea was simple: it is a lot of fun to go into a dungeon and kill evil monsters. Why is the dungeon there? No one knows. Why do the monsters usually fight rather than talk? We aren't really sure. Why are there 16 trolls in a cave with a jug of alchemy? No one cares. What do all the monsters eat? We don't know that either (although "adventurer" probably tops the list). And we don't have to know these things. This isn't an ecology experiment, it's a dungeon--the quintessential setting for pure swords and sorcery adventuring.

This adventure pays homage to that original idea. True, there are opportunities for role playing, but most of this module is dedicated to "roll playing". Hopefully, while exploring the halls of Rappan Athuk, you will recall the thrill of discovery, the terror in your heart when you fought your first skeleton, the joy of rolling your first natural 20 and the despair you felt when that 1 came up for your poison save.

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The Ruined Fort
Dusk Mirrormoon crept through the tall grass, her dagger between her teeth. She kept her eye on her target: an armed bugbear, defending his post. She crept over the low wall of the ruined fort, filled with several large tents. She took her dagger from between her teeth and continued her advance. She moved quietly between the wall and a tent, careful not to make a sound. Her enemy was on-guard, pacing back and forth where he stood. Suddenly, he moved toward her, head tilted to one side and eyes squinting in the darkness. Dusk ducked low under the eroding wall. She was relentless. She continued to move forward, even with the thought that the bugbear may have heard her. She was close, now. She climbed the eroding wall of the ruined fort to be next to her target. Finally, she leapt from her hiding place in full view of the surprised bugbear. Her dagger at the ready, she thrust her weapon forward...and missed. Damn!

Skorukh waited in anticipation for his comrade to finish her stealthy maneuver. He would have rather just blown the whole place up, maybe set the tents ablaze as the bugbear army ran out screaming in terror, maybe he could glue them to their spots while they burned alive like the field of grass they were standing in...whoa, focus. Bugbears are popping out of the grass like prairie dogs!

Saint Seldaleyra sensed that her friends were in trouble. She moved into the middle of the ruined compound and was never touched by anything. Being a Saint can be boring sometimes, but at least she has a team of heroes to help her in her quest. Well, it was boring until a goliath walked out of a tent with a huuuuuge greataxe!

Malakai (the cave troll) witnessed the bugbear army's death at his hands. He swatted at the barbarians like they were flys on tarpaper. "Smash! Death! Kill! Ooh, what is that shiny axe?" He didn't know what to think when the greataxed warrior stuck the sharp object in his body and let go. The axe kept digging into his flesh! And, it burned!
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The Fifth Guardian
After leaving the latest chamber and dragging along Ryu, the draconic cohort of Lord Rayven Vehrscyal of the Scarlet Night, the party enters a large cavern. The cavern is filled with fungus and mushrooms as far as their gloomy eyes can see.

Lord Rayven decides to teleport back to town with Ryu in tow. He has to deal with this "problem." Meanwhile, "Cloak," Dagger, and Zaknyran Olrileon get attacked by large mushrooms! The mushrooms advance and use their strange tentacles to try and grab the party members.

After dealing with the weird mushrooms, skinless mutated zombies attack them! Lord Rayven returns (without Ryu) and fireballs the area, damaging everyone its radius. The meat puppets fall but each body begins knitting its flesh back together. Zaknyran rips off the head of one, but it still regenerates! Lord Rayven hurls an orb of acid at another, but it still regenerates!
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A Race Against Time
Saint Seldaleyra has been in Bard's Gate for a while, now, helping the helpless and feeding the underfed. While in the marketplace, a winged snake appears with a scroll and a pulsing crystal. The scroll denounces that the crystal is a bomb, and there are 7 more of them scattered throughout the city. These other bombs will explode in 3 hours, but the one she is currently holding will explode in 30 seconds!

Skorukh has been tired of seeing the exotic hides of his ancestors being sold on the street. He formed this picket line three days ago. While marching outside "The Second Skin," a local exotic pelt store in Bard's Gate, he notices a peculiar sight: a simply-dressed human is running down the street at an alarming rate. He hands his picket sign off to one of his acquaintenances and rounds the corner to see this poorly-dressed female, now, throwing a pebble into the nearby canal. Two seconds later, KAAAAHBOOOOOOOOOM!!

Malakai has a hangover. As it is difficult to remember what happened the night before, apparently someone smoked all his herbs and ate all his mushrooms. Now, he has no materials to cast his spells, so he had to go into the most heinous city to get some because his usual hook-up is currently out of stock. But, Malakai did get a tip from one of the locals that M'kele Sese Sese at the "JuJu Fetish" is supposed to have some premium herbs and prime fungus. While scoring a wheelbag from M'kele, he feels a rumble, waves his hand behind his back, and says, "whoa, 'scuse me, dude." He walks out of the shop to see chaos ensue down at the local market.

Dusk Mirrormoon left "Shylor the Augurer" displeased. Had it not been for her run of bad luck recently, she never would have spent 3 harps on a lousy psychic. She's been here for a while and only makes enough money for food and lodging by picking other thieves' pockets. She makes sure to never stay in the same inn more than once and always has a different look about her. When she nears the marketplace, she feels the earth shake and a column of water nearby blasts 30 feet into the sky. Curiously, she rounds the protestors and sees the Lyreguard surrounding a few suspects. Interesting...
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Test of Sacrament
Continuing away from the open pit, the party enters through the door they left before. The acrid smell hits "Cloak", nauseating him. The rest of the party see before them a large hall filled with greenish-black liquid and balance beams. They begin moving across the beams, careful to not dip themselves into the acidic liquid.

Rayven Vehrscyal spider climbs around the room and opens the nearest door. As the door pivots, he is thrown into a small room filled with the same acidic bile. After some deliberation, "Cloak" tries to open the same door and joins Rayven in the trap, landing face first in the acidic liquid. Rayven grabs "Cloak" and escapes the deadly room. Using his magical boots, they rejoin the rest of their balancing party.

Everyone decides to head to the other side of the strange hallway. They move towards the double doors. Some slip and fall into the green fluid while others move through it with acid protection. Zaknyran Olrileon notices slimy patches across "Cloak" and realizes that he is not looking very well. "Cloak" has a disease for slimy patches are growing on his arms and face. Everybody is a little more cautious to stay out of the ooze.

Rayven reaches the double doors first and opens them. It's another trap! All the balance beams sink into the disease-ridden, acidic fluid. Everyone races to get out of the hallway, minus Rayven who has protected himself from the acid. He finds an illusionary wall and something else.

A creature attacks him and engulfs him, while Zaknyran removes the diseases infecting him and "Cloak". Dagger rushes to retrieve her compatriot, Rayven. Zaknyran informs her where he is, even though no other exit exists in the pool of slime. "Cloak", recovered from his nausea, soars through the room and dives through the wall to end up in the creatures belly. Dagger steps through the wall and sees a huge black blob but no party members.

Rayven appears on the other side of the room like a beacon in the darkness. He throws an orb of fire at the black ooze and destroys the creature before it finishes off his party member.
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"Beware of Purple Worms!"
Based off a rumor of a side entrance to Rappan Athuk, the party of adventurers continued their journey toward the bridge spanning the river near the Dragonmarsh Lowlands. Shi-Jo Kara spotted a small opening near the river. A stream of steady water spilling from it. She took off her gear and squeezed into the opening, swimming against the current. She arrived inside a large canyon. The rest of the party soon joined her, and they climbed the sheer cliff to a narrow walkway. After walking several miles, they entered a great cavern. Goblins mined the cavern walls and paid no mind to the small adventuring group.

Over hills, around lakes, and between cavern walls, the group walked. They came to a pair of iron doors. Locked. Shi-Jo's bain, but this did not stop her. She hacked at the door with her magical sickles and eventually cut the lock out of the door. Inside the vault was dust. Upset at her misfortune, she pocketed the lock and led the party onward through the cavern.

Veering toward the sound of thunder rumbling in a large cave of the cavern, the group came upon a breathing wall. Shi-Jo introduced herself in several languages, but the wall did not seem friendly as it awoke. The party looked up to see the mother of all purple worms!

Arya Darkwing was the first to be eaten. Shi-Jo attempted to come to her partner's rescue but was pierced through her heart by the creature's powerful tail. She died instantly. All the while, Sis is trying to keep her party alive until "big momma" swallows her whole.

While inside her gut, Sis discovers that Arya is still alive, barely! She heals her compatriot and herself, but the crushing walls of the stomach and the acid dissolving their flesh is too much to handle. With her dying breath, Sis heals her friend one last time, but her martyred attempt just delayed the inevitable.
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