It's time to heat things up in your campaign with this desert miniadventure. Merchant caravans have been disappearing as they cross the sands. Who or what is responsible and, most importantly, why is it happening? The PCs can make strange alliances or deadly enemies as they seek out answers to these questions.
This is a good side trek adventure -- it's easy to insert into an existing campaign any time the player characters are traveling near a desert. Alternately, its villain can become the central antagonist in a longer story that you devise.
Desert Sands is suitable for four 13th-level characters and features lots of opportunities for druids and rangers, so get out your copy of Masters of the Wild and dig in!
Some quest for glory and adventure. Some seek power. Different goals motivate different heroes and villains. As for Vythenus the efreeti, he seeks gold. But his quest is not his own?.
Vythenus had the ill fortune to be summoned by a red dragon, who bound him to acquire 500,000 gp worth of treasure for her. To say the genie resented this mandate is to say the Elemental Plane of Fire is "a bit warm." Obliged to serve, Vythenus takes his time gathering the wealth; he conscripted some fire giants and set up a lackluster operation in the desert, raiding and destroying caravans. And slowly, the efreeti plots his revenge
This scenario can take place in any desert area that lies in the middle of a trade route between two cities. Special opportunities exist for player characters (PCs) who take the ranger and druid classes; for the latest new skills, spells, and equipment available to those classes, see the new guidebook Masters of the Wild.
Over the past few weeks, most of the trading caravans that left the small city of Hesron to travel through the desert to the large city of Gryth never arrived. No one knows who or what impeded the shipments?.
Gwendolyn F.M. Kestrel
Gwendolyn F.M. Kestrel is an editor for Wizards of the Coast's Roleplaying Games R&D department. Recent credits include editing Faiths and Pantheons, Oriental Adventures,Magic of Faerûn, and Defenders of the Faith. Addicted to education, she's currently enrolled in a Ph.D. program in cognitive studies with the University of Washington's Department of Education. Check out the website she created for her fiancé, game designer Andy Collins.