330542_Fire and Darkness—CHAPTER START_ Art By Kent DavisWe’ve lastly come to the tip, the ultimate journey on this anthology, Hearth and Darkness. Suitably, the PCs get to try to steal one thing well-known. On this case, they are going to be sneaking into an efreeti warlord’s fortress, previous fiends and dragons, to steal the E-book of Vile Darkness. This last journey within the anthology is for Eleventh-level characters.

Spoiler Warning

You may be capable of piece collectively far more of the construction of this journey in case you preserve studying. So if you’ll be a participant on this journey, it’s best to do what you’ll do in case you see the E-book of Vile Darkness itself and stop studying!

The Hook

Along with simply sending the PCs their customary key if they’re working for the Golden Vault, there are three extra hooks that you need to use to supply the job to the participant characters.

  • A human chief residing close to the efreeti’s fortress is contacted by an Arcanololth working for the genie, and brings this info to the PCs in an effort to weaken the facility of the efreeti warlord.
  • A member of The Fated, a faction based mostly out of town of Sigil, is worried in regards to the efreeti having the E-book of Vile Darkness as a useful resource, and so they want to rent the PCs to steal the e book to allow them to guard it.
  • A warlock that when had the arcanoloth as her patron has discovered in regards to the e book and desires to show that she has reformed by providing the data to the participant characters.

Once they get the job, in addition they get a duplicate of a map of Brimstone Fortress, smuggled out by the arcanoloth.

The Setting

This journey takes place in a distant location close to a volcano, primarily throughout the common environs of the efreeti’s fortress. Whereas it isn’t explicitly said, the efreeti secured the E-book of Vile Darkness from cultists that have been making an attempt to lift a useless dragon as a dracolich, which is a fairly good excuse to make use of the setting that has a longtime cult of dragon-worshipping cultists focusing on creating dracoliches, the Cult of the Dragon within the Forgotten Realms.

Heist Tropes

The PCs are left vast open for the way they wish to try this heist, however they will time their entrance into the fortress to coincide with a Cambion service provider that often visits. Whereas it’s not the happiest trope from the PCs standpoint, the Erinyes guards on the fortress can see by magical disguises.

The efreeti maintains a jail within the fortress, and there’s the chance for the outdated “jail riot distraction” to be employed. Along with this, there’s a prisoner that the PCs can befriend that may assist as yet one more distraction.

It’s additionally a fairly stable recurring trope that probably the most helpful factor that the villain owns is saved in their very own quarters, and that’s the case right here as effectively, full with a harmful decoy of the e book and a sophisticated safety system across the vault. On this case, the vault being a demiplane.

Moreover, if the PCs meet up with the arcanoloth that smuggled the data out of the fortress, they’re more than pleased to tag alongside and assist the PCs, however they’re additionally ready to double-cross the PCs. The arcanoloth is certain by contract to not steal something from his employer, but when the PCs steal the E-book of Vile Darkness, it’s completely okay to steal the e book from the thieves.

The DM additionally has the choice of utilizing the “shock, the villain is definitely at dwelling” trope, because the villain’s schedule is erratic and he may present up on the fortress at any time, and makes use of aircraft shift to reach. That makes it more durable to foretell his presence, and simpler to make use of as a twist to complicate a heist that’s going alongside too effectively.


We get some persona particulars for the efreeti second accountable for the fortress, the arcanoloth administrator, the dragon watching the skies over the fortress, a number of of the prisoners, and some quirks in regards to the employees that works within the fortress as effectively. I like that though it’s not a part of the mission, the PCs can make sure that the prisoners prepared to riot really pull off their jailbreak (though they solely want to return again and encourage them to riot a second time to perform this). I additionally like having the ability to befriend an ogre that simply needs its doll again.


The fortress’ guards embody a pink dragon and several other totally different fiends. There are duergar employees, and salamander troops working as muscle. The service provider, his crew, and the prisoners are all humanoids, aside from the aforementioned potential ogre pal. The executive and residential space features a beholder and a few golems. I’ll provide you with three guesses about what the false e book is. Total, it is a good number of totally different creatures.

After Motion

If one of many PCs is foolish sufficient to attempt to attune to the E-book of Vile Darkness, it might be tougher to show it over to a faction just like the Golden Vault or the Fated to observe over it. If the adventurers handle to keep away from doing one thing foolish like attuning to one of many evilest books within the multiverse, their rewards will range based mostly on who employed them.

  • A stronghold and a retinue in the event that they work for the native chief
  • An Amulet of the Planes in the event that they work for the Fated
  • A reward from the Blessings part of the DMG in the event that they work for the halfling looking for redemption

The Golden Vault gives the PCs a magic merchandise, however on this case, it’s a really uncommon magic merchandise, which is sensible while you simply stole an artifact for them.


I’m fairly pleased with this journey, and it’s a suitably epic wrap-up for a marketing campaign, in case you use the anthology in that method. Stealing an artifact from a warlord from one other aircraft of existence is certainly value some bragging rights.

I used to be a little bit shocked when the cultists weren’t outright named as belonging to the Cult of the Dragon, however I used to be additionally a little bit shocked that they didn’t affiliate the cult with Vecna, given how strongly 5e lore has been tying him to the E-book of Vile Darkness. I imply, he’s even acquired a built-in carrying case in his ribcage for the factor.


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