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The Return of Randal Morn (2e)

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In part one of the Randal Morn Trilogy, "The Sword of the Dales," the legendary leader of Daggerdale, Randal Morn, was captured by unknown assailants as he sought to regain the great weapon for which that adventure was named. A stalwart band of enthusiastic heroes was recruited to ride to his aid, yet all they recovered was the Sword itself and a message: "Seek me in Spiderhaunt Wood." In the second part of the trilogy, "The Secret of Spiderhaunt," those same adventurers found Randal and freed him briefly, yet he was almost as quickly torn from their grasp by an agent of the evil Zhentarim, seeking to end the threat of Randal Morn's return to power.

In this final episode, the heroes must follow the kidnapper's trail and rescue Randal Morn again before the Zhentarim finish interrogating him and the axe falls upon his neck. Armed with the Sword of the Dales and aided by a powerful spirit that lives within the weapon, the heroes must march into the heart of Zhent-occupied Dagger Falls, free Randal Morn, and save the city from utter destruction. The job is dangerous - perhaps more than the heroes can handle - yet those who would live in songs and legends cannot concern themselves with living to a ripe old age!

This is the final part of a trilogy of modules that began with "The Sword of the Dales" and "The Secret of Spiderhaunt."


Product History

"The Return of Randal Morn," by Jim Butler, is the third and final adventure in the "Randal Morn Trilogy." It was published in October 1995.

Ending the Randal Morn Trilogy. This adventure concludes the trilogy of adventures that began with "The Sword of the Dales" (1995) and continued in "The Secret of Spiderhaunt" (1995). 

The next trilogy of Forgotten Realms adventures, released the next year, would focus on "Undermountain" (1996), although they wouldn't be as tightly connected as the adventures in this trilogy were.

It's All about the NPCs. As with the previous adventures in this trilogy, this one focuses on several NPCs - which is sort of a trademark of the Forgotten Realms. To be precise, the PCs are caught between Randal Morn and the villainess Gothyl, though it's ultimately the PCs' actions that will decide the fate of Daggerdale. Late in the adventure, the PCs may also get to meet other two more icons of the Realms: Khelben Blackstaff and Elminster.

Adventuring Tropes. Of the three adventures in this trilogy, this one is the most typical of AD&D adventuring in the 90s: It's all backstory and plot, with big events occurring all around and the PCs being brought along for the ride as they move through various set encounters. Run well, it can give the PCs the feeling of taking part in the major events of the Realms; run poorly, it can feel like a railroad they have no control over.

Expanding the Realms. This adventure returns to Dagger Falls and Daggerdale, areas that had previously been featured in FRQ3: "The Doom of Daggerdale" (1993). There are certainly new details to be found on the town and dale in this adventure, but it's more notable for the fact that Randal Morn (probably) reclaims Dagger Falls from the Zhentarim - a major event in the Dalelands.

Farewell to Daggerdale. Daggerdale was a major focus of Forgotten Realms adventures from 1993-95, with four total adventures set in the area. It has never gotten the same attention since, although it also appeared in three novels around the same time: All Shadows Fled (1995), Cloak of Shadows (1995), and Finder's Bane (1997). And of course it receives a mention in Volo's Guide to the Dalelands (1996).

About the Creators. The "Sword of the Dales" trilogy was Butler's first published work for TSR. He would produce all three adventures for release in 1995 and then would continue with more Forgotten Realms books in 1996.

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

We (Wizards) recognize that some of the legacy content available on this website does not reflect the values of the Dungeons & Dragons franchise today. Some older content may reflect ethnic, racial, and gender prejudice that were commonplace in American society at that time. These depictions were wrong then and are wrong today. This content is presented as it was originally created, because to do otherwise would be the same as claiming these prejudices never existed. Dungeons & Dragons teaches that diversity is a strength, and we strive to make our D&D products as welcoming and inclusive as possible. This part of our work will never end.

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TSR 9488
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File Last Updated:
October 14, 2013
This title was added to our catalog on October 15, 2013.