This is a mini-setting made up of several factions, desert-themed monsters, Dyson Logos maps, random desert encounters, and a Big Score everyone's trying to get. There's absolutely no order to the locations; you can mix and match them at will.
Old Rabat seers have long predicted the return of Velile, an ancient sorcerer-king. Sure enough, last month an adventuring party entered the city of Thule with a huge red gem: one of Velile's Six Eyes.
Now the hunt is on for the other five. According to Rabat prophecy, they will be scattered in ruins across the Long Desert.
This mini-setting provides three dungeons suitable for the location of an Eye. Any one of the other factions may have one or more eyes.
The perpetually frazzled Zoran Astorian manages the daily work of this Merchant's Alliance tower: receiving orders, sending out hunting parties, and storing supplies. A bureaucrat assigned to the frontier, things change way too fast for his liking but he has enough of a head for organization that things at least get done. He's the third son of a noble family, and flirts with the women who come through but never gets anywhere.
Upon first arriving at Tower 97, it is being attacked by an enraged catamel. Incompetent Hunters attacked it nearby, and the random direction in which it chose to run happened to take it right up to the tower.
The Azure Tomb
The pyramid known as the Azure Tomb gets its name from the bright blue stone used in its construction. It was nothing more than a landmark lying a few hundred yards from a popular trade route until the appearance of Velile's Eyes. A recent party of Hunters excavated its entrance and attempted to infiltrate it, only to lose most of the party to animated statues in the entrance hall.
Animated scarab statues stand in the alcoves halfway down the entrance hall (use the stats for a gargoyle) and attack any intruders.
The rest of the pyramid contains Rabat zombies, skeletons, mummies, and banshees; servants buried with the pyramid's primary occupant, a wizard who has reanimated as a wraith along with his two faithful flameskull minions.
This is the resting place of Yekile, one of Velile's lieutenants and a fearsome warrior. His Amethyst Legion was buried with him, along with their fearsome canine companions.
The skeletonized body of a catamel lying just outside the pyramid might hint to the players of the large nest of stirges which have taken up residence here. They attacked the catamel elsewhere, and it ran in a panic, taking them with it until it collapsed here. They ate their fill, but now huddle in the pyramid, half-starved. They do not disturb the dead—which have no blood to drain—but will attack anyone who enters with a great frenzy.
The pyramid contains a number of mummies and death dogs, culminating with Yekile himself, a Mummy Lord who awakens as the PCs enter. Because he has just awakened, all his enemies have resistance to the damage he deals, and he can only perform one legendary action per round.
The Fortress of Fire
This old fortress, once a holy place for an obscure order of knights, is now connected to the elemental plane of fire. Its lower floor houses fire elementals while the upper floors have become home to snake folk.
The fire elementals came first. One of the knights, experimenting with sorcery, accidentally forged a permanent portal between the lowest level of the fortress and the plane of fire. Fire elementals and fire snakes poured through, overwhelming the small number of knights living there. The fortress was too remote to recover, so the order abandoned it. There's little in the fortress to entertain a fire elemental, so those elementals aware of the fortress mostly use it as a hideout when they need to escape the politics or dangers of their native plane.
The snake folk found the fortress some months ago as they began exploring this area for ruins. The extra heat only makes the fortress more pleasant for them, and they're more than a match for the fire creatures. With no way to close off the portal, the snake folk are content to let the fire creatures have the lowest level, which doesn't directly connect to the upper levels anyway.
Any original valuables have long since been burned away, but the snake folk keep several treasures they stole from other ruins here, possibly including an Eye of Velile. Choose items appropriate to your party's level from the Dungeon Master's Guide.
|1||Giant vultures eating the body of a lone hunter who has a valuable ring and a scroll containing orders|
|2||Dust mephits attacking two travelers, a noble and bodyguard on a secret mission seeking safe passage through the desert|
|3||A group of snake folk treasure hunters excavating a small ruin|
|4||Zombies wander an old battlefield; several mass graves and a barrow lie nearby, the latter of which is the lair of a wight|
|5||A hostile group of adventurers|
|6||A small caravan fending off an attack by oculuses who they stumbled upon in the middle of a mating ritual|
|7||A jawjack hunting a deer that gets away just as the PCs draw near|
|8||A catamel under attack by dozens of stirges (after killing a significant number of stirges, the remaining stirges fly away)|
|9||A pack of thirsty gnolls attacking a brachelys that has nested next to a well|
|10||A group of Hunters attempting to take down a blue dragon that has holed up in a small, ruined tower|