This post is going to be development thoughts, plans and steps taken to create Cormyr Adventure. Lot's of spoilers obviously. Very short synopsis In Chapter 1 Player will stumble across itinerant cleric of Mystra, who will give quest to investigate false Temple of Mystra in Wheloon. Clearing out this false Temple will grant new quest of finding out where dominated petitioners were sent. Which will lead in Chapter 2 to Vast Swamp area with lizardfolk. Then Lost Refuge facility in Chapter 3, which contains portal to Plane of Shadow. Entering Plane of Shadow in Chapter 4 Player would browse Shadow Citadel facility, Shadow Swamp camp and the Monastery. Following lead in Chapter 5 Player will enter The Black Rift area in which he will eventually enter Ritual Chamber and challenge final boss. The Story The story present in the book is quite obscure, unobvious, and hard to figure out. Moreover, setting of this Adventure is strongly tied to Forgotten Realms setting, with own pantheon and regions. I will try to lay out this story in my own words. The key component of the Adventure and Forgotten Realms overall is never-ending conflict between some gods. FR has a lot of gods of different rank as present in Faiths and Pantheon book. There are 30 major deities and quite of few others. In this Adventure Player need to know at least basic information about Selune, Mystra and Shar. Pantheon Wars Lord Ao created the universe which now holds the world of Toril. (Ao is out of business / unreachable grand god. Toril is kind of Earth in FR.) Eventually the shadowy essence coalesced to form beautiful twin goddess, polar opposite of each other, one dark (Shar, NE, night) and one light (Selune, CG, depicted as the Moon). Then they both produced goddess Chauntea (NG, goddess of earth, agriculture, depicted as rose) which is embodiment of Toril. Then sisters had fight and Selune tore the divine essence of magic from her body and hurled at her sister, tearing through Shar's form and pulling with it similar energy from the dark twin. This energy formed Mystra (NG, Mother of all Magic), the goddess of magic. Although Mystra is composed from good and evil magic she favors Selune. This all matter because mortals can use magic in FR through the Weave which is embodiment of Mystra. The Weave is manifestation of raw magic, a kind of interface between the will of a spellcaster and the stuff of raw magic. During eternal war between Selune and Shar, latter created alternative way of interface between raw magic and mortals – Shadow Weave. The key difference between the Weave and Shadow Weave is that latter works normally in places of Dead Magic and Wild Magic zones. To use Shadow Weave user must have feat Shadow Weave Magic (pre: Wis 13 or patron deity Shar), price -2 to Wis permanently. This leaves opportunity for Shar to dominate over region, where Weave does not function normally, e.g. – dead magic zones, where her minion users of Shadow Weave can easily deal with any foes. Nemesis Main nemesis of PC in this book will be dragon Despayr. But his boss lady is Esvele Greycastle – human cleric 13 of Shar. PC will not see or fight her in this book. They will encounter her in second chapter of next book – Shadowdale. She has a Project – create dead magic zone. First place to implement the project is Vast Swamp near Cormyr region, - the story of this book. Second project will be in Shadowdale – the second book. Artifact Shadow Shard is going to be used, it takes living person and tears hole in the Weave, it also transforms a victim to undead of shadowslain type. Now she needs minions and manager of the project. She picks crippled mutant young adult dragon Despayr, who was born without ability to produce acid in Breath Weapon, also could not use any magic. His dragon sister Tyra was slain in her lair in Vast Swamp by tribe of lizardfolk named Dragonslayer. I guess it kind of annoyed him as he defeated and enslaved the tribe afterwards. Esvele met and easily subdued him. She explained him that he was chosen by Shar, thus mutant, and picked the Shadow Shard from his hoard and instructed him how to use it, also bonus of Shard Breath Weapon. Dragon Despayr accepted protection and the project. He used the Shadow Shard to mutate Dragonslayer lizardfolk tribe into undead, which are now called Shadowscale. While bringing much of the Vast Swamp under his control, Despayr discovered Lost Refuge facility containing Dusk Lord's Passage portal which led to Plane of Shadows. Then he relocated his lair into it into Black Rift region. Business Scheme Esvele built her business flow in this scheme: Naïve petitioners are lured to false Temple of Mystra in Wheloon (Cormyr), where they are dominated using Starry Gnosis artifact. Manager of this step is her fellow priestess Neadaenya Arthas. Dominated victims are sent to Lost Refuge facility deep in Vast Swamp. On the road they are watched by Dark Creepers in Tomb of Chonis. Lost Refuge is managed by Kithlord Thieraven, male shadar-kai sorcerer 6. He oversees petitioners are sent via portal to bleak copy of Lost Refuge on other side, in Plane of Shadows. He has formidable force in the facility. In Plane of Shadows the bleak copy of Lost Refuge is called Shadow Citadel. It is being managed by Jherremor, large outsider. Petitioners then are embarked onto Necreme boat which is led by shadar-kay ferrymaster Sithierel, who will take them via Shadow Swamp to Monastery of Ebon Dome. If the boat is not available, then petitioners could go different route through undead lizardfolk Shadowscale Warren. Monastery of Ebon Dome is managed by Zatharmas, male tiefling warlock 5. Petitioners are sent then to canyon Black Rift. The Black Rift is large canyon, which has number of bridges between two walls. Each connection between bridges is essentially encounter. Last point is Ritual Chamber on big rock island. Ritual Chamber is final boss encounter in this Adventure. It is big prison-like chamber and place where ritual of the Weave tearing is being performed by dragon Despayr.