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Seekers of the Ashen Crown (4e)


This stand-alone D&D adventure is designed to tale characters from 2nd to 5th level.

Although nominally set in the Eberron campaign setting, Dungeon Masters can easily incorporate it into their "homebrew" D&D campaigns.

In the adventure, a secret agency known as the Dark Lanterns hires the player characters to recover fragments of the Ashen Crown, an artifact left behind by a goblin empire and sought by various agents of evil.

Product History

"Seekers of the Ashen Crown" (2009), by Scott Fitzgerald Gray & Chris Sims, is the official adventure for 4e Eberron. It was published in July 2009.

Completing the Eberron Line. In the 4e era (2008-2012), setting lines were short; the original plan was for each to contain just three books: a big player's book, a big campaign book, and a big adventure book. The Eberron line managed a bonus adventure thanks to Free RPG Day: "Khyber's Harvest" (2009). So when "Seekers of the Ashen Crown" (2009) came along to finish the Eberron line, it was actually the second adventure for the setting.

In 4e settings, players were meant to move from 1st to 2nd level in an adventure in the main Campaign Guide, then to go from 2nd to 5th level in the major adventure. Eberron follows that plan with the Campaign Guide's "The Mark of Prophecy" and "Seekers of the Ashen Crown". "Kybher's Harvest" was also a second-level adventure, so it didn't necessarily fit into an overall path for Eberron adventures.

Like most of the early 4e adventures, "Seekers of the Ashen" crown was laid out as a folio containing two adventure books: a short book that overviewed the adventure and contained supplementary information like new magic items; and a larger book detailing all the encounters in neat two-page spreads.

Adventure Tropes. "Seekers of the Ashen Crown" offers one of the most standard sorts of D&D adventures. It's not just a MacGuffin quest: it's a MacGuffin quest where players collect parts of a MacGuffin to later assemble into a mega-MacGuffin.

The innovation in "Seekers of the Ashen Crown" instead lies in its details. Where the "HPE" adventures (2008-2009) had primarily focused on encounters as individual locales, "Seekers of the Ashen Crown" reimagines them as individual scenes, each with their own cinematic flair. A fight between an airship and a dragon probably best exemplifies this, but the idea carries through the adventure and would continue into Wizards' very successful Encounters organized play adventures (2010-2014). "Seekers of the Ashen Crown" also gives more attention to NPCs and roleplaying than previous 4e adventures.

Beyond that, "Seekers of the Ashen Crown" mixes together many elements of successful adventures throughout D&D's history. It has dungeon crawls and wilderness journeys. There's also opportunity for investigation and role-playing, which help to break the adventure away from being just an encounter-based railroad. Finally — as you'd expect in a 4e adventure — there are a few skill challenges too; they were generally considered innovative.

Expanding Eberron. "Seekers of the Ashen Crown" doesn't expand the world of Eberron — except perhaps through its attention to the goblins of the Dhakaani Empire. However it provides a great introduction to the world. The adventure starts in the city of Sharn, but quickly turns into a globe-trekking epic. Players fly in airships, fight as gladiators, and involve themselves in archaeology. The pulp genre at the heart of Eberron is front and center.

Future History. "Heart of the Forbidden Forge" in Dungeon #167 (June 2009), by Luke Johnson, is a seventh-level adventure that can be run as a sequel to "Seekers of the Ashen Crown". The Kech Shaarat goblins are at it again, with new plans to unite the Dhakaani clans.

About the Creators. Gray has written occasionally for D&D since the waning days of 3e. In 2009, he also coauthored E3: "Prince of Undeath" (2009). Sims similarly got his start in 2007 and also contributed to a few books in the "HPE" series, including P2: "Demon Queen's Enclave" (2008) and E1: "Death's Reach" (2009).

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 

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File Last Updated:
July 20, 2015
This title was added to our catalog on July 21, 2015.