This module is set in the region known as Norworld. If the player's characters have been going through the Norworld campaign, then they are probably lords with lands and titles. If not - they are powerful adventurers who have answered a general call that has gone out to heroes to help the King of Norworld - or whatever name you'd like to give it. More specifically, the King of Norworld is having a problem with poisonous gases being sent over the sea.

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This module is set in the region known as Norworld. If the player's characters have been going through the Norworld campaign, then they are probably lords with lands and titles. If not - they are powerful adventurers who have answered a general call that has gone out to heroes to help the King of Norworld - or whatever name you'd like to give it. More specifically, the King of Norworld is having a problem with poisonous gases being sent over the sea.

The the Baron of Qeodhar has sent two emissaries demanding that Norworld submit. King Ericall of Norworld is organizing an invasion force to put an end to this attack. And Norworld will probably be the playground for the armies and will be ravaged as a result. This module is recommended for characters that at least 25th level with a total of a minimum of character levels.

Very quickly characters will be pushed well beyond the original mission and into brand new realms. If they pay attention they can learn something of the origin of the Alphatian Empire on their planet. It seems the Alphatians actually come from a distant part of the sky. There are some very challenging encounters throughout this module and interactions with the Gods truly brings the characters into the high levels of achievement here. OK - enough about the general stuff - how about the game itself?

Let's dig into this adventure! The introduction presents the backstory as well as describing the immortals that are working behind the scenes either for or against or both the characters. As the characters perform deeds during the various encounters, each of the 3 immortals - representing Law, Neutrality, and Chaos - score points.

The points are tallied in each chapter and throughout the adventure to determine what happens at the end of the adventure. In addition to this immortal scoring system, there is also a simple system introduced for naval battles which are almost certain to occur during the module. Chapter 1 serves as a quick prelude to draw the characters into the main adventure.

The characters are tasked with taking the Norworld fleet and sailing to confront the Baron of Qeodhar - and of course to destroy the source of the poisonous fumes that are causing ruin to the Northern part of Norworld.

After confronting the Baron, for better or for worse, and determining that he is not in any way involved with the gasses, the chapter ends with the characters descending into a giant maelstrom in the middle of the ocean, which is actually a portal to a distant part of the galaxy, and the original home of the Alphatians. In chapter 2, the characters fleet has just been transported to the star kingdoms. In a series of adventures that appear to be inspired by the Odyssey, the characters and their fleet must travel from island to island.

The characters are in the ships and float along with the sky winds over vast distances, with the ultimate goal of getting back to a portal which will transport them and the fleet back to their home world.

The perils include an island of paradise, a sheep tending gargantuan beholder, a mysterious and immortal keeper of the sky winds, a clan of gargantuan cloud giants, a polymorphing sorceress, a gateway to the underworld, a group of sea hags and a gargantuan hydra. And that is not everything but close!!

It is a pretty engaging tour that is required for the party to get from the entry point to the center of the large area via the solar winds at a several thousand mile distance.

There may be some immortal aid necessary to survive certain parts of this chapter. But that shouldn't be a problem! In chapter 3, the characters are now at the stage of their journey where they must travel across the skies of the original kingdoms that made up Alphatia in order to get back to their own world.

Only, the kingdoms aren't quite so willing to let the character just cross their air space with a huge armada. None of them trust that the ultimate goal of the characters is to return home, and why should they - an entire armada just suddenly showing up on their doorstep!! There are 3 kingdoms, along with a powerful merchant guild and a less powerful hidden bandit base, some or all with which the charactes will have to interact.

Trying to cross any airspace is considered an act of war and the "invaded" kingdom will immediately attack with their full force. Certainly the characters can figure out a way to get across - maybe there will be a huge awesome naval battle involved - maybe not. The stats for each of the corresponding fleets and armies is given in the module, and this is pretty much a free form unless the DM decides on a course for the characters to take.

The final chapter details the characters armada traveling through the mists and reaching the fume spewing volcano back on their world. The entire journey has been for this - to destroy the volcano and save Norworld! And the characters have quite a challenge! Oh yea - and there is an undead fleet protecting the volcano - and this fleet is pretty damn stout.

In fact, the character fleet will probably not win this one. But they can try! Once the naval battle has been concluded, win or lose, the characters find themselves on the volcano itself - time to put an end to this evil plot to throw the world into a lengthy and bloody war! The characters must battle through the underground base in the volcano and put an end to the poisonous fumes.

And they'll have to deal with Alphaks - yea - an immortal. Hopefully the characters win, and peace is restored to the world! Upon a successful conclusion and the utter defeat of the demon immortal, the characters are returned back in time to just BEFORE the armada from Norworld was supposed to set sail.

No one else on the planet has any memories of the volcato. In fact, since the characters just went through a time warp, there technically was never any volcano to begin with! And all those dead marines and sailors? Still alive and safe back in their respective ports. All's well that ends well! Actually it isn't even in the actual adventure, it is part of the Roaring Demon New Monster Description at the end of the module.

And I quote:. Uh - what? Anyway - M2 Vengeance of Alphaks fully deals with, well, with the vengeance of Alphaks. Why this was even included I have no idea.

I ignored it. DON'T LIKE - At the very beginning of chapter 2 there is this fruit called zzonga that the marines supposedly smuggle on board ships and causes them to not care about life and just kind of chill - kind of reminds me of pot I suppose. Anyway, the DM is told to just have random bad things happen and blame it on zzonga.

Um - as a DM - no thanks. Maybe I could create a table that I roll against daily - a zzonga table - where random things are listed out - could be a d table even - and these things happen due to this epidemic of fruit that has infested the fleet. But I just ignored the fruit completely.

Maybe have an early run in with it and the eradicate it on every boat. These are boats - things can be searched. I just never really liked this twist. DON'T LIKE - During the entire adventure throughout chapter 2 there is supposedly just this crazy food shortage except for zzonga as Alphaks is cursing and spoiling all the food that the party brings on board or creates.

What a hassle. I'm sure DMs out there liked adding this extra challenge for the characters to overcome. I didn't and I ignored it. LIKE - I personally like the scoring system for the immortals, the seemingly random aid or opposition the immortals supply the characters, and the way the total score determines the ending to the story. Maybe the point system didn't always make the most sense to me, but I still like it. Sometimes the reasons I like things just can't be explained.

LIKE - I like the island hopping approach. Clearly this entire section was inspired by the Odyssey - and that is OK. In fact, the next time I run this I am going to add additional stops along the way. Let your imagination run wild and free! The neverending sailing armada adventure!!

LIKE - I like the 3 kingdoms in chapter 3. Of course I created a very clear path for the characters. And yes - it could take quite a while to figure out where it is.

However, upon defeating the pirates, the documents mentioned in the module are discovered which exposes the plans of Gammar, the "chaotic" kingdom, to join forces with the pirates and invade Belthar, the "neutral" kingdom. Then the characters go on their merry way - with reinforcements. Not saying this is necessary for your campaign, but this is my approach and I like it.

LIKE - Time warp? Everything back the way it was? I love it! So you can basically kill off the entire fleet, you can develop these intense relationships between the characters and whichever members of the naval forces you want, and kill those guys off.

But guess what - they are still alive in the end! Of course they don't remember what happened - actually it never really happened.

But the characters can keep their experience, keep their loot, and keep their memories. But that means that everything that transpired between Delthar, Belthar, Gammar, the Merchant's Guild, and the Pirates never happened. I'm cool with that - it is still fun to run it. And maybe one day the characters will get back there - and this time they know exactly where that pirate base is LIKE - Immortality!

Yes - a path to immortality is opened up to the players. I like that - easy to incorporate and good to go. Now what exactly that means - well - we have to read the rule books! A decent module with plenty to do along with a very happy ending - if the players are successful - and they will be - right?


M1 - Into The Maelstrom

I'm not really contemplating running an adventure for levels 25 to 30, but I certainly like the general tenor of M1 as described. I'm surprised that more people don't seem to have run M1. Maybe people were turned off the by high levels. I got it when I got the Masters and Immortals sets. I should have ignored the Immortals rules and run Alphaks as designed in M1.


M1 into the Maelstrom

TSR, Inc. It is part of the "M" series of modules. The module was designed by Bruce and Beatrice Heard. In this scenario, the player characters lead a magical flying fleet to defend the world against an invading evil. The player characters are playthings of the gods as the strive to increase their power. The kingdom of Norwold is plagued by a gray-green poisonous fog that kills everything in its path and acid rain that creates dry barren soil. The player characters are summoned to the king's court, along with other soldiers and fleets, with the intention of attacking the prime suspect country.

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