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O2 Blade of Vengeance (Basic)
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O2 Blade of Vengeance (Basic)

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You are Erystelle of Dorneryll, famed elfin champion and magic-user. After years of adventuring, you have come home to the Emerlas?the hauntingly beautiful elfin woodland at the tip of Canolbarth forest. A place of legends and of peace.

The journey has been long, but soon the winding forest track will bring you to Dorneryll, the majestic oak tree home of your childhood. Ahead, you glimpse a plume of smoke curling lazily into the sky. Dorneryll is close, and your mind floods with thoughts of home.

Suddenly, your reverie is shattered! The thin plume of smoke is gone, and in its place a column of red flame leaps high smoke the trees.

Dorneryll is under attack! Gripping your lance, you urge your mount into a gallop. Starbow surges forward; your war dogs close on her heels . . .

Blade of Vengeance is an adventure for one player and one dungeon master, featuring a lone elf against the forces of evil. Can you save the Emerlas from destruction? The answer waits inside.

Product History

O2: "Blade of Vengeance" (1985), by Jim Bambra with Phil Gallagher, is the second "O" One-on-one adventure for the Basic D&D line. It was published in February 1985.

Origins (I): Another One-on-One. When TSR published O1: "The Gem and the Staff" (1983), it was a very innovative idea, an adventure intended for just one GM and one player. O2: "Blade of Vengeance" (1985) follows in its footsteps, and once more it puts very tight constraints on its play. This one is for a level 7 elf.

There is one big chance between "The Gem and the Staff" and "Blade of Vengeance". This newer module doesn't have player evaluations and features just one player map. That's because it was originally written as a module, while "The Gem and the Staff" was originally written as a tournament.

Origins (II): From the UK with Love. Though it's not part of the "UK" series proper (1983-1985), "Blade of Vengeance" was produced by TSR UK. It was the second Basic D&D adventure produced by that group, after X8: "Drums on Fire Mountain" (1984). As a TSR UK adventure, "Blade of Vengeance" follows many of the tropes of the other British publications, including an integrated graphic design, often mixing text and graphics, and a more story-oriented plotline.

As it happens, "Blade of Vengeance" was also TSR UK's second one-on-one production, following their work on UK5: "Eye of the Serpent" (1984). Together the two "O" adventures and "UK5" represented TSR's entire one-on-one production before the advent of AD&D 2e (1989).

Origins (III): An Elven Adventure! Finally, "Blade of Vengeance" represents TSR's first racial adventure". That's not as facile as it sounds because the categorization isn't solely based on the fact that "Blade of Vengance" happens to feature an elf PC. Rather, the environment and the problems of "Blade of Vengeance" are all elven, creating the first real spotlight for the race.

Bambra's elves in "Blade of Vengeance" seem very Tolkien-esque, full of geneologies and ancient legends. With that said, they're also quite naturalistic, leaning toward the faerie side of elven heritage.

Adventure Tropes. "Blade of Vengeance" is an Expert-level adventure, which means that its biggest focus lies on wilderness travel. This adventuring mixes timed events with a hex crawl. Many of the encounter areas get their own grid maps, reminiscent of more recent encounters; the adventure then ends in a classic dungeon crawl.

Graphics Tropes: The Maps. Some of the encounter maps feature isometric drawings, an attractive innovation.

Exploring the Known World. Most of "Blade of Vengeance" is explicitly set in an area of northern Alfheim called the Emerlas. It was the first extensive exploration of the elfin kingdom of the Known World and a meaningful one, as the wilderness travel allows for the detailing of a wide swath of land.

With that said, none of the later works from TSR reference the areas detailed herein. GAZ5: "The Elves of Alfheim" (1988) doesn't explicitly conflict with "Blade of Vengeance", but neither does it incorporate it. A better merging of these two visions of Alfheim would wait for decades, until fans were driving Known World development with publications like Thresholhd #10 (2015), which discusses "Elven Realms".

About the Creators. Bambra was a core member of the TRS UK team. He also worked on two of the other TSR UK Basic D&D adventures, CM6: "Where Chaos Reigns" (1985) and B10: "Nights' Dark Terror" (1986).

About the Product Historian

The history of this product was researched and written by Shannon Appelcline, the editor-in-chief of RPGnet and the author of Designers & Dragons - a history of the roleplaying industry told one company at a time. Please feel free to mail corrections, comments, and additions to shannon.appelcline@gmail.com.

 
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Russell H April 03, 2017 9:52 am UTC
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Well that didn't take long! Scan recently updated and is now print quality. I would gladly alter my previous rating of this product to a 5 star rating.
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Product Information
Author(s)
Artist(s)
Rules Edition(s)
Pages
32
Edition
1.0
Publisher Stock #
TSR 9108
File Size:
42.77 MB
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File Last Updated:
March 29, 2017
This title was added to our catalog on February 14, 2017.