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The Secret of Echo Cave

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The Secret of Echo Cave

In Search of the Side Quest


Hill GiantGreetings, intrepid seekers of adventure! Here's a fresh offering from Smiling Orc Publishing – a module born from those nights when you, the Dungeon Master, and your party yearn for a break from the main campaign. We all know that feeling—the itch for a side quest, a chance to veer off the beaten path. Drawing inspiration from the classic days of AD&D, this module recaptures the essence of meeting at the local tavern, planning the next daring escapade, and venturing into the wild unknown. It's a nod to the times when you and your comrades set out to explore dungeons, navigate tricky traps, face monstrous adversaries, and liberate glittering treasures – all in the name of glorious adventure.

So, dust off your gear, gather your companions, and get ready for a journey fueled by the spirit of camaraderie and conquest. Smiling Orc Publishing invites you to relive the thrill of yesteryear, where every twist and turn promises the excitement of uncharted territories. The call to adventure beckons—are you ready to answer?


The Adventure Hook

As you traversed the winding stretches of the King’s Highway, a familiar figure appeared on the horizon – none other than your seasoned comrade, Buzagrum “Buzzy” Ironshanks. Fate had reunited you both at this crossroads, and in the shadows of parting, you arranged to rendezvous in the rustic hamlet of Brix a week hence. Buzzy, brimming with enthusiasm, hinted at a fortuitous discovery that awaited your ears. He pledged to regale you with the details upon your meeting, and with that, you parted ways, bound for your separate destinies. After a strenuous week of adventures, your anticipation grew for the respite and camaraderie promised in the Village of Brix. The Old Toad, a venerable inn, beckoned as your destination. Yet, as you stepped into its dimly lit confines, Buzzy's presence was notably absent. Seeking information, you turned to the innkeeper, who directed you to a letter left in your name. Breaking the seal, you unfolded the parchment and read Buzzy's missive.

Esteemed Friends,

I trust this letter finds you in good health with all limbs intact. Apologies for my absence; reconnaissance deemed it necessary. Allow me to elucidate. A moon's turn past, my travels led me to the capital, where I pledged my sword as an escort to a caravan bound for the mysterious Frontier. In the company of an aged spice trader, Jerro Stoutfoot, tales of an ancient demon cult led by the formidable Gromm Burrell unfolded.

Jerro, an amateur archeologist, dedicated his leisure to unraveling this legend. Gromm, a powerful warrior, once presided over secret temples that echoed with the sinister whispers of the occult. In death, Gromm found sanctuary in a mountainous tomb, replete with his worldly treasures. When his leadership waned, the cult crumbled, and the whereabouts of Gromm’s tomb vanished into the annals of time. Or so it was believed! His quest led him to the Great Library of Augustus at Seaborn, where a manuscript revealed vague landmarks – a village, a pond surrounded by ancient willows, a sentinel watchtower, and a cavern within the mountains. Brix, as it stands today, marks the very locale of the ancient village, and the manuscript hinted at a cave in the foothills leading to the temple.

With the acquired map, Jerro aimed to assemble an expedition upon his return and asked me to join him. Fate, however, had other designs. Ambushed on the journey home, Jerro was fatally wounded, and his lifeblood ebbed away. In his final breath, he bestowed upon me the map and a plea to uncover Gromm Burrell's tomb.

I hastened ahead to verify a rumor I had heard. Should I not return within two days, assume the worst and embark on the quest without me. The map and a small talisman now reside within St. Hedwig’s church, concealed by me within a book. The priests are ignorant of my hiding place, and they resist any pursuit of the tomb due to apprehensions of the lurking malevolence. To open the tomb's enchanted door, you must locate the three original keys. The talisman shall guide you. It glows in the presence of these keys. Local lore may hold clues; seek the wisdom of the villagers.

To fortune and glory,

Buzzy


Sample Pages

Inside Cover

Page 11

Page 15

Regional Map

Temple

 

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30
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File Last Updated:
December 31, 2023
This title was added to our catalog on December 31, 2023.