THE DARK TOWER OF
BY MICHAEL ASHTON AND LEE SPERRY
the moment the player characters reach the
tower of Cabilar; it may be expanded by
adding the hiring of the characters, their
travels to this area, and their journey home
The following boxed information should be
read or paraphrased to the players at the start
of this adventure.
Four years ago, the sprawling city of Stoutwall
was a haven for people who wanted peace
and quiet. Then the throne was usurped by a
magic user named Cabilar. The wizard slew
the entire city council with a cloudkill, then
Michael Ashton and Lee Sperry, both from Fort
blasted the king with a lightning bolt.
Worth, Texas, were the co-creators of The
However, the king's aged personal attendant
Dark Tower of Cabilar. Michael plans to major
was wearing a necklace of adaptation and
in economics and mathematics at college this
managed to escape the slaughter through a
fall; he names a wide assortment of interests
secret door leading to the king's chamber.
which include running, computers, politics, and
Guessing Cabilar's motives, he hastened to the
gaming. Lee enjoys waterskiing and is a
prince's bedroom, and bade the adolescent
heir come. Together they dashed through
technology and business.
forgotten corridors and emerged outside the
castle walls. The prince's savior brought him
The Dark Tower of Cabilar is an AD&D(R)
by back roads to his godparents. At that point
adventure for 4-8 characters of 4th-7th level.
the strain became too much for the old
The party should have several fighters and at
loyalist, who had a heart attack and died. But,
least one magic user, thief, and cleric. Magical
as he collapsed, he gave to the prince one
weapons are required. Note that falling
item saved from the sack of the palace - the
damage is calculated as increasing by 1d6
symbol of the kingship, a jade crown.
damage per 10' fallen. This should be adjusted
if the revised falling-damage rules in the
When Cabilar discovered that the prince was
Dungeoneer's Survival Guide are used.
missing, he had the city scoured - but to no
avail, as the prince had been spirited away
with his godparents accompanying him.
However, after two days. Travel northward,
the prince's godfather was slain and the
This adventure, derived from a tournament
crown which he protected stolen by a
module, may be easily dropped into most
vampire. The prince and his godmother found
campaign settings with a few adjustments in
shelter in a neighboring city, where they have
names and places. The adventure, begins from
remained these four years.
round; otherwise, he gets normal initiative
dice for the next round.
Now that the prince is old enough to win back
his city, it is time that the crown be brought
Unless otherwise stated, all areas of the
forward. After much research, the lair of the
dungeon and tower are in normal darkness.
vampire has been found. The prince's
godmother has commissioned you to get the
Starting the Adventure
crown. She has discovered that the lair of the
vampire is - interestingly enough - in the same
The journey to the vampire's lair has been
tower that was inhabited by Cabilar before his
long and difficult. You are following your guide
conquest. She promises to pay each and every
down a winding path which cuts across the
member of the expedition a generous reward
face of a cliff, when the trail abruptly swings in
when the mission is complete.
toward the stone itself. The cliff gives way to
an immense cavern chamber 500' long and
For the Dungeon Master
almost as wide; the ceiling is about 250' above
your heads. The guide says that he must leave,
The party must be wary in this dungeon. There
and he beats a hasty retreat back up the trail.
are several lethal traps and encounters, but
After a few moments of staring into the cave,
many that can erode party strength or finish
you see the vampire's tower.
off weak characters. In some places, marching
order plays an important role in determining
At first you mistook it for an immense
the success or failure of an encounter; in
stalagmite. It rises over 100' in the air and is
others, it makes no difference at all.
approximately 200' away. Slowly you enter
the cave. Now you see more clearly that the
The Dungeon Master should note that there
"stalagmite" tower has wooden ledges high up
are encounters that preclude attack by all
on its sides, and several small windows open
members of the party, as the assault comes as
outward perhaps 90' above the floor of the
a door is opened, etc. Wandering monsters
cavern. No other doors or entrances are
have been omitted, as the creatures which
visible around the base of the tower. You
dwell within the tower and dungeon are, for
initially approach the tower from the south.
the most part, charmed or trained to protect
an area, or have no choice in their actions by
the way their room is designed or by what is
protecting their exit. They are also enchanted
No other entrances besides the four windows
to resist hunger and have no desire (thanks to
exist on the tower. Entry into the tower is
Cabilar's magic) to leave the dungeons. All
tricky. First, the player characters must find a
monsters radiate magic if this is detected for,
way to reach the entry windows 93' above the
due to Cabilar's spells.
ground. This may be accomplished by grapnels
and ropes, a thief climbing walls, a levitation
The boxed text is to be read to the players as
spell, or the like. No matter what method is
the need arises. Care should be taken not to
used, it almost surely involves the old, 5' x 5'
disclose any information which the party could
wooden ledges on the exterior of the tower.
not know from its position.
Whenever 200 lbs. or more is placed upon a
The DM should ensure that he knows, at all
ledge, that ledge must make a saving throw of
times, the marching order of the party, its
10 or greater on a d20, with a -1 on the save
general path through various rooms (assume a
for each 10 lbs. over 200. For instance, if a
straight path if none is stated), and what
fighter weighing 223 lbs. (gear included)
weapons are in hand. Weapons require time
stands on a ledge, the save for the ledge is a
to draw. If a weapon's speed is 3 or less, the
12 on a d20. Note that if a 150-lb. fighter
character may attack at the end of the current
an area-effect spell (like a fireball) might not
encompass all of them while they are in the
air. Roll a d10 and use the following to see
how many are caught in any area of effect: 1-
4, one caught; 5-7, two caught; 8-9, three
caught; 0, four caught.
Morale They fight to the death.
stands on a ledge and attempts to pull up a
70-lb. halfling, the effective weight on the
ledge is 220 lbs.! If a ledge fails a save, it
collapses, carrying all upon it down, doing 1d6
hp damage per 10' fallen, cumulative. There
should be ample warning for a reaction: "The
ledge creaks loudly under you," etc. If the
ledge makes its save, loud creaking and
popping noises are heard.
Any flame drake wounded down to half its hit
points or less must land, preferably on a ledge
Even if the ledge survives its initial saving
to do combat.
throw, any shift or addition of weight requires
a new save. If a character tumbling from the
1. Firedrake's Nest.
ledge hits the one beneath it (which he will if
one exists), the lower ledge makes a save also,
Read the following if the party makes it up to
requiring an 18 or above on a d20 to keep the
the tower's roof.
character from falling to the next ledge (or the
cavern floor). Once several characters are
The top of the tower is cluttered with bones,
actively climbing the tower, the firedrakes
sticks, debris, and droppings. In one pocket
from area 1 attack.
of the nest, you see four small leathery eggs
of pinkish color.
As you attempt to conquer your first obstacle,
four red flying reptiles, each 12' in length,
Other than the eggs, there is nothing else of
glide off the top of the tower, turn, and dive-
interest in the lair. The eggs, if carefully
bomb you, belching flame! These ferocious
handled, hatch in four weeks, but they are
creatures look like red-and-yellow scaled
rather fragile and weigh 20 gp each.
dragons, but with only two legs.
2. Access Room.
Flame Drake Nest (EL9)
Assuming someone in the party makes it into
Flame Drakes (4)
one of the four windows on the outside of the
hp 57 (B2 106)
tower, he or she runs into serious trouble
During Combat They are angry at having their
sanctuary violated and are protecting the four
As you clamber in the window, two stocky
eggs in their nest. Breath weapons are used
humanoids lunge out of the darkness and
first; then the firedrakes snap with their teeth.
charge you. Their powerful arms are extended
They do not fly in any sort of formation, and
before them, and you can see that their hands
end in sharp claws! These rocky monsters
rats, and wolves prowl nearby.
glow with an internal heat. Red light spills
from its eyes and mouth, as well as fractures
The first picture is Cabilar's egotistical image
in its outer surface.
of himself as a child; the second is the casting
of his first spell, the third is young Cabilar at
Magma Elemental Tower (EL5)
his tower in the cave, and the fourth is his
pact with the vampire. The room is devoid of
hp 30 (B2 118)
4. Spiral Staircase.
During Combat They were charmed by Cabilar
The spiral staircase winds down the center of
to protect the entryway to his tower, and the
this tower, from room 3 all the way to the
spell has been renewed at regular intervals.
dungeon. There is nothing unusual about this
They attack after the first character steps
staircase except for the fact that it is not
through the window
lighted, and any adventurer venturing down
Morale They fight to the death. A 5'-wide
the steps without a light is 75% likely to take a
staircase in the southwestern corner of the
fall for 1-6 hp damage. This includes
room descends to room 3. The lava children
characters with infravision, as there is no heat
follow anyone who descends the staircase, but
difference between the stairs and the walls to
they won't enter the dungeon levels.
permit useful sight; characters notice this
problem at once and can light a torch or
5. Mimic Step
As the characters descend the final steps of
the spiral staircase to this room, read this:
As the lead member of the expedition steps
on the final step into this room, part of the
stone forms a fist like appendage and lashes
out at the character! What appeared to be a
step comes to life as it grows long, glistening
tentacles and a number of sharp teeth.
3. Painted Room.
This room contains an assortment of old
The walls of this room have painted murals
bones scattered across the floor, along with
other debris usually associated with slain
depicting four scenes. In the first, a baby is
adventurers. None of the debris is valuable,
held in a young lady's arms, while luminescent
being broken or used beyond repair. Only five
visages of the gods smile upon the child. In the
human bodies may be located, all slain by the
second, a teenage boy is standing in a room
mimic and lava children a year before. They
illuminated by a source less light that he holds
were treasure hunters who knew nothing of
in his fingertips. An old man is in the
background, seemingly startled. In the third
the crown or the vampire.
mural, a young man in long robes leans on a
rune-covered staff, gazing at a dark tower in
Mimic Step (EL4)
the shadowy background. In the last picture, a
middle-aged man, holding the same staff as
the one seen in the third scene, greets a
hp 52 (B 205)
gaunt, white-haired man in a black cloak. Bats,
During Combat The lead character finds, in
addition, that he is held fast by the gluey
secretion of the mimic, to be attacked each
and every round until the character or the
mimic is finished. The mimic is only semi-
intelligent, and the DM should keep this in
mind when controlling its actions. It won't go
for the most powerful party member or the
one who is doing the most damage, instead
going for the one who is closest.
Morale The mimic fight to the death.
6. Dungeon Entrance
This room is not actually depicted on the map
of dungeon level I, but the trap door is. The
spiral stair descends an additional 60' before
reaching this room,
The staircase comes to an abrupt end in a
room about 5. square. In the floor is a large
trap door made of stone, with a heavy bronze
ring set into it. The door is 3' x 3'.
The trap door radiates magic and requires a
open doors roll to lift. If the words "Cabilar
King" are spoken, it swings open magically;
this information may be gained by a variety of
spells (identify, legend lore, wish, etc.).
Below you, 10' away, is a four-way
intersection. It appears to be vacant.
The intersection is devoid of other detail.
Characters peering to the left, however, may
(50% chance) see the writings at location 24, if
a light source is present.