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The Gleaming Cloud Citadel - 5e adventure


Note to all VTT Players: The Gleaming Cloud Citadel is now available to buy converted for Fantasy Grounds

Eszteban, the Archmage of the Gossamer Robe Order, hides atop his tower in the Gleaming Cloud Citadel, denying his fellow wizards access to the knowledge of the Upper Library with a series of deadly traps and obstacles. Who will be brave enough to disarm this labyrinth, unravel the Order's secrets, and confront the potentially deranged archmage? 

Welcome adventurers to my first 5th edition D&D adventure, which has been something close to a year in the making!

An old-fashioned three-session dungeon romp, The Gleaming Cloud Citadel is a love letter to my early days playing Dungeons and Dragons in the late 80s and the 90s... days of pitting your wits against devious puzzle rooms, roundabout riddles, magical guardians - and even shadowy versions of yourselves.

Much as I loved those days, I wanted to add a degree of 5th edition credibility and intrigue into the mix, and those that dare to enter this booby-trapped tower of arcane research will come face-to-face with a body of double-dealing mages, each with their own motivation, and each ready to manipulate your PCs to obtain their own ends. How they handle these powerful wizards will determine whether your adventurers succeed on their quest. 

The Gleaming Cloud Citadel includes:

  • 22 page adventure (3-4 sessions)
  • Two adventure hooks that should work for any party
  • Mix of encounters (4-6 combats, plus 2 riddles, 1 puzzle, room of traps, and various NPC interactions)
  • Variety of skills-based challenges
  • The Discoveries spellbook, containing 29 new wizard spells (including electric missile, flash bang, Eszteban's serpentine surprise and Valkas' tremendous tremor)
  • 6 NPCs with full stats and backgrounds
  • 10 maps, purpose-built for the adventure (with links to electronic versions for you to incorporate into your Fantasy Grounds / Roll20 campaign).
  • One David Bowie reference.

Other Useful Info

The adventure is formatted exactly like WoTC official adventures for ease of use and reference.
Designed for 10-11th level characters, I have recalculated all combats for 5th and 6th levels, and 7th to 9th level adventurers.

The adventure nominally takes place in the Graypeak Mountains of the Forgotten Realms, however it is self-contained and can be dropped into any campaign setting as a stand alone adventure. I do also include one suggestion on how this adventure could provide a natural follow up for the Curse of Strahd storyline, where your PCs are in search for a cure for vampirism. 

About the Author

Duncan Rhodes is the blogger behind the popular Hipsters & Dragons Blog (, and the author of several best-selling products on the DMs Guild, including his Platinum best-selling book Esquiel's Guide to Magic Weapons

A big fan of the Waterdeep: Dragon Heist storyline, he wrote a series of "background hooks" that DMs can use to intertwine players' back stories into the campaign; while his magnus opus is DRAGONBOWL, the story of a gladiatorial games that takes place in the bowels of Mount Waterdeep, rife with corruption, double dealings and intrigue. 
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Reviews (7)
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November 24th, 2021
This is a gorgeous adventure, beautifully written and lovingly put together with so many small, thoughtful details woven in and such a playful and witty style that make it a pleasure both to play and to DM. It's easy to tweak and add your own hook [...]
October 6th, 2021
I have ran this for two groups now (slightly modified both times for lore reasons) but I feel like it works really well as written! It's a really fun dungeon crawl and I really loved all the puzzles especially. The puzzles aren't very hard, [...]
February 26th, 2018
This is a brilliant adventure. The hooks are relatively straightforward, but presented in a fashion that would be easy enough to customize to any PC party to generate personal investment in seeing the story through. The design is elegant, fun, and cont [...]
February 26th, 2018
This is a great adventure that takes it back to the basics. It's well written and has great art. Love it! [...]
February 13th, 2018
Superb Work, loved the adventure in general, the NPcs, the artwork, the traps, everything, give it a try because its totally worth it. (Sorry for my english, not my native language) [...]
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File Last Updated:
February 08, 2018
This title was added to our catalog on February 08, 2018.