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Candlekeep Murders: The Deadwinter Prophecy


"I love the murder mystery set up here, and I really like Miss Hollypocket. The roleplaying notes for all the NPCs are very well handled, and involving Miirym is a nice touch. I LOVE the Flying Iron Owlbear and the Avowed and library generators are superb. I LOVE THIS ADVENTURE!"

Ed Greenwood, creator of Candlekeep and the Forgotten Realms. 

A Murder Mystery Adventure!

When the players arrive at the gates of Candlekeep in the dead of winter, they don't expect to find the doors barred and no Watcher to greet them. These are no ordinary times in the Great Library however. The Keeper of Tomes was murdered last night, and his body found mutilated at dawn. As the only people not present in Candlekeep at the time of the murder, the council of Great Readers vote to put the players in charge of the investigation.

As they try to solve this complex crime they will uncover many more secrets of the Great Readers, reckon with the Beast of Candlekeep and maybe even discover the fabled Vault of Secrets itself... an archive so powerful that if its tomes fell into the wrong hands civilisation as we know it would be plunged into depravity.

Candlekeep Murders: The Deadwinter Prophecy features:

  • A complex murder mystery to solve, in the style of Arthur Conan Doyle, Agatha Christie and Umberto Eco
  • All Candlekeep locations and lore from Candlekeep Mysteries woven into the adventure!
  • New lore on: the ranks of the Avowed, the Watchers, heating, sports, sayings (and improved lore on theft protection, Alaundo's prophecies) 
  • A beautifully rendered cryptogram
  • Three new monster stat blocks (Beast of Candlekeep, Flying Iron Owlbear, and Animated Crossbow)
  • INSIDE THE GREAT LIBRARY supplement with 24 new Candlekeep locations
  • CANDLEKEEP LIBRARY GENERATOR for creating infinite new library buildings within the Great Library. Generator includes 20 quirky Avowed librarians

Key Details

Candlekeep Murders: The Deadwinter Prophecy is written for a party of 3-5 5th level adventurers. Given that is not a combat heavy adventure, it could be easily adjusted for any first or second tier party. 

The adventure is designed to take 8-12 sessions (of 3-4 hours) to complete. A copy of Candlekeep Mysteries will be very handy (or Mike Schley's map if not). 







About the Adventure

Candlekeep Murders can easily be dissected into two parts. The first part being a murder investigation carefully constructed from the actions of some 7 or 8 scheming personas on Deadwinter's Eve - this requires some prep and repeat reading to run (although more detail is given in the adventure than you need to get going! You needn't remember every last detail, but good running notes will be important). A second part revolves around a treasure hunt scenario around the Great Library, with less prep required and more chance for DMs to improvise and be creative. DMs can run one or both parts, depending on tastes. Everything within the adventure is described using theatre of the mind or the maps included in Candlekeep Mysteries. No original maps are included in the adventure. 

About the Author

Duncan Rhodes is the author of the best-selling Esquiel's Guide to Magic Weapons and the pulp action funathon DRAGONBOWL, amongst other titles. He is also the founder of the blog. 

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Reviews (3)
Discussions (5)
Customer avatar
Petra S March 09, 2023 12:17 pm UTC
I'm so glad I was mindlessly searching around for things I could use to improve my Candlekeep Mysteries-centered oneshot-campaign. I want the stories about the library to converge in an explosive finale that utilizies a lot of the library lore, and this seems perfect! I also appreciate The Name of the Rose touch.

I will have to shift things around a bit as I previously started introducing the players to the Great Readers and I very distinctly did not intend any of them to be overtly evil. On the other hand I do like the idea of making them complicated characters, who might all had motives to murder the Keeper for different reasons. So I will have to tweak the main villain a little bit, also I want the big battle in the end to revolve around breaking free Miirym from the library and using them against the character, so I might switch this up with the Beast part of the story. Anyway, I find this all very inspiring and will use the location generator until the characters get to Tier 3.
Customer avatar
Duncan R March 24, 2023 8:37 pm UTC
Awesome thanks Petra, one of my goals was to really take full advantage of the magical location of Candlekeep, which doesn't really come into play much in the Candlekeep Mysteries adventures.
Customer avatar
Richard M February 28, 2023 2:03 am UTC
Has anyone seen a play through of this? It really helps to see how the adventure unfolds by watching it before I DM it...

any chance of a roll20 port?
Customer avatar
Duncan R March 24, 2023 8:35 pm UTC
Hi Richard, I haven't got any experience in video or streamed content. I do plan to release some 'Running Notes' at some point, so will try to keep you posted. Most likely they will be published for free on my blog
Customer avatar
Sam P January 03, 2023 9:17 pm UTC
I want to run this with a high level party, but there is only one thing I have a hard time with: the fact that they can cast Zone of Truth MANY times, with decently high DCs. How can I keep this a challenge in this instance?
Customer avatar
Duncan R January 03, 2023 10:28 pm UTC
Hi Sam

A few things.

1) Zone of Truth doesn't oblige one to speak / answer questions. If necessary, a suspect could just remain quiet for 10 minutes... ZoT is really only useful in the case of interrogation or a public trial.

2) Many of the chief suspects in this case are high level casters, who might have cast mindblank or could counterspell ZoT, or reasonably have magic items that might protect them from ZoT.

3) Many of the chief suspects have a high deception skill

4) Casting Zone of Truth, socially speaking, is the same as accusing someone of being a liar. This will not go down well amongst the academics of Candlekeep! They would refuse to cooperate, counterspell, or demand that the PCs be removed from the case (they are put in charge by the Keeper of Tomes).

5) In general, when someone starts casting a spell in D&D in a crowded room, it's the arcane equivalent of drawing a sword... it's an aggressive act (who knows what they...See more
Customer avatar
Eric D May 15, 2022 6:28 pm UTC
Any way to get a Fantasy Ground version of this going? Definitely looks interesting! And nice one getting a coveted Ed Greenwood quote! ;) That's enough to make it a must-buy for me!
Customer avatar
Duncan R May 15, 2022 8:26 pm UTC
Hi Eric, actually yes, there's a decent chance, as I'm discussing that now with Grim Press who just converted my adventure DRAGONBOWL for FG:

It was absolutely wonderful of Ed to take the time to read Candlekeep Murders and then to share his feedback... luckily he seemed genuinely impressed with the adventure!
Customer avatar
Duncan R January 03, 2023 10:31 pm UTC
Hi again Eric, forgot to say that yes it's now available on Fantasy Grounds:
Customer avatar
Jacquelyn G December 31, 2021 4:30 pm UTC
This looks fantastic, and I just picked it up. I love all of the influences you listed. I'm looking for a mystery one-shot for New Year's Eve tonight, and I was wondering how long you think this would take to run (at least the first half)?
Customer avatar
Duncan R December 31, 2021 4:53 pm UTC
hey Jacquelyn, thanks for purchasing the adventure!

It would be really tough to run as a one shot I think (I needed around 12 hours to run the first part of the adventure, but I tend to slow play things). You could maybe remove Teles and Kazryn to slim down the number of people to interview, which would help, but still tricky to fit in that timescale...

Apologies for not putting the playing time on the product description. I will do that now! Do hope you enjoy playing it as and when you have more time to play with...



Customer avatar
Jacquelyn G December 31, 2021 4:56 pm UTC
This is helpful, thank you -- I'll definitely run it for one of my regular groups. I can't wait!
Customer avatar
Duncan R December 31, 2021 5:03 pm UTC
Great! Do let me know how you get on!

Also, if you have any issues or something isn't clear you will find my email in the foreword, so feel free to write to me with any adventure-related questions. Or find me on Twitter.
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File Last Updated:
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This title was added to our catalog on December 26, 2021.