716 The Goblin Gate – Lv6 Shadowdark Adventure

Through the Goblin Gate, past shadows of time and stone, lies the echo of a forgotten goblinoid world and culture, waiting to be rediscovered.

Eroded Inscription

Within the shadowed depths of the Eldergrove Forest lies a mysterious cave. The home to the Goblin Gate. This arcane relic, as old as the hills that cradle it, stands as a testament to a time long forgotten, where magic flowed as freely as the rivers of the world. Its structure is a marvel of intricate craftsmanship, wrought in a time when goblins were not mere scavengers but master artisans and cunning sor­cerers. The stone, dark and impossibly smooth, seems to absorb all light, creating an aura of palpable mystique. According to legend, the gate serves as a threshold to twin chambers that hold arcane secrets and dangers.

The Twin Chambers

While identical in their design, the energies that stir within both chambers are as different as night and day.

  • The Mirror of Ages. In the east chamber, time flows like a malleable stream, allowing glimpses into the past and potential futures. Heroes shall experience visions of ancient goblin ceremonies, forgotten wars, or even their fates. The air in this chamber is charged with a sense of timelessness, and the stone underfoot feels unnaturally cold, as if absorbing the chill of the ages.
  • Crucible of Elements. Goblins harnessed the raw forces of nature here. The very elements seem to dance at the whim of those with the knowledge to command them. The atmosphere is alive with a palpable energy.

Together, these twin chambers beyond the Goblin Gate stand as a monument to the goblins’ mastery over time and the elements, their secrets guarded by the passage of centuries and the wiles of their ancient magic.

Adventure Hooks

  • Heroes of Time. The village of Eldenwood, within Eldergrove Forest, is plagued by unexplained temporal disturbances. Legends whisper of a timepiece hidden within the cavern where the Goblin Gate lies, capable of stabilizing the flow of time. Heroes are called to navigate the shifting realities of the Goblin Gate and retrieve this artifact, as it is the only hope to save Eldenwood from be­ing lost in time’s capricious tides (800 gp, 7 XP).
  • The Codex. An alchemist, obsessed with the lore of the Crucible of Elements, has vanished while seeking the legendary Elemental Codex, rumored to be within the chamber’s elemental walls. The codex contains the secrets of elemental mastery. Adventurers are tasked with braving the unpredictable magic of the Goblin Gate, to either rescue the alchemist or secure the codex for themselves, promising fame and fortune (700 gp, 6 XP).

Level 6 Adventure

  • Danger. Risky. Check for a Random Event every 2 crawling rounds and after loud noises (3-in-6 chance).
  • Light. Some areas feature steel braziers; the rest are in pitch darkness. The denizens of the caverns and the monsters within the dungeon are dark-adapted.
  • Time Phenomena. The magic here transcends the physical barriers of the gate. Every 3 crawling rounds, one of these two occurs: a random character “travels in time”, vanishing from view and reappearing 20 feet away. Or a wall becomes liquid and the ceiling turns into fire, all while a great wind current traverses the dungeon. These effects are not harmful, just flavorful.
1 The heroes’ footsteps begin to echo strangely, forming coherent sentences in ancient Goblin. These echoes seem to warn them. Paying attention for 1 crawling round helps discern this phrase: “Leave, the mastery of time and the elements are beyond you.
2 Amidst the shadows, the ghostly figure of a goblin artisan appears. It gives a disapproving look to the visitors and disappears.
3 A section of the wall animates into a stone golem, a protector of the Goblin Gate. It demands a tribute of knowledge or magic, seeking to test the intruders’ worthiness (GM’s choice). The guardian fights until slain if the heroes offer nothing or fall short.
4 Time warps, and the heroes momentarily witness the goblins forging the Goblin Gate. True masters of their art and craft.
5 For 1 crawling round, all energy spells (fire, water, air, etc.) are cast with advantage and deal double damage.
6 The characters stumble upon six giant centipedes. The mindless insects are hungry and attack the heroes until slain.

1. Dungeon’s Entrance

This tunnel is a winding path carved through ancient bedrock. Moisture drips from the stony ceiling, creating a symphony of soft patterns that echo through the claus­trophobic passage. The slightly slanted passage seems to become a little darker the deeper it gets.

2. Traces of Greatness

Remnants of the goblins’ bygone era are strewn amidst the shadows: ornate carvings etched into the walls de­picting their forgotten lore, and shattered artifacts, once symbols of their unrivaled craftsmanship, now lie forgot­ten in the dust. The air hums with the residual magic of their ancient glory, a silent testament to a civilization that mastered the arcane in ways now lost to time.

  • Treasure (4 XP). If the heroes take a crawling round searching this area they find 250 gp worth of gold, silver, and arcane components. However, the ancient traces of chaos magic coalesce into an invisible stalker. The he­roes may retrieve the treasure after the fight.

3. Spiders’ Nest

The cavern unfurls into a sinister, shadow-draped cham­ber, its ceiling lost to darkness, from which countless silken threads drape like a macabre tapestry. Three gi­ant spiders and one spider swarm inhabit this area. A dagger of the goblin hero is the hidden reward for any­one brave enough to fight the spiders off (3 XP).

4. The Goblin Gate

A formidable, ancient archway. The gate’s surface portrays the goblins of yore, wearing incredible ar­mor and wielding legendary weapons. The majestic gate exudes an air of power and inscrutable purpose.

To unlock the Goblin Gate, adventurers must align the cryptic runes on its surface, each emitting a distinct tone when touched, to compose an ancient melody known only in goblin lore (DC 14 INT). On a failure, the heroes must try a trial-and-error approach. This way, they take 1 hour to find the right sequence, which is long enough for the stone golem to appear (see Random Events).

5. Remains

Crumbled columns and fractured statues are strewn about. Faded frescoes on the walls hint at lost stories, while the remnants of pottery and rusted weapons min­gle with the bones of those who once walked these halls.

6. Empty Cavern

This cavern contains nothing of value. Only rocks, dust, and thin spider webs rest on its cold surfaces.

7. Ancient Engines

Nestled in a series of alcoves, complex goblin en­gines of cogs, runes, and crystalline conduits hum with arcane energy that fuels the Goblin Gate.

The six engines are each protected by potent magical barriers and it is impossible to interact with them. Even today, their magical wards remain as strong as ever.

8. Central Corridor

Beyond the Goblin Gate, the corridor unfurls into a dim­ly lit passage, its walls adorned with fading goblin fres­coes. This pathway soon divides into a fork, each branch leading to one of the twin chambers, beckoning adven­turers with their unique aura of magic and mystery. The archways are obscured by a magical black veil. The char­acters can only see what lies beyond them by crossing.

9. The Mirror of Ages

The chamber’s long, stark walls are lined with pol­ished, reflective surfaces that shimmer with spectral light, casting back not just the images of those who gaze into them, but also glimpses of past events and shadowy visions of the future that lie dormant.

At the room’s center stands an ancient pedestal, upon which rests a crystalline orb, pulsating with a soft, rhyth­mic light that synchronizes with the ebb and flow of the temporal energies swirling through the room. This space, steeped in the essence of ages, whispers past se­crets and murmurs possibilities of what is yet to come.

  • Lost in Time. If the heroes gaze too deeply into the walls of this room, they find themselves lost in hundreds of visions of the past or their future (DC 14 WIS). Vic­tims remain trapped in this temporal snare, their bodies motionless as their minds wander through the endless corridors of what was and what might have been.

10. Goblin Archive

This repository of knowledge, preserved from the zenith of goblin civilization, holds the secrets of their magic, history, and inventions. A treasure trove of wisdom wait­ing to be unearthed by curious eyes and hands.

  • Treasure (7 XP). The heroes find the following if they locate the hidden vault (DC 13 WIS). A stone tablet with silver runes. This is the timepiece that the heroes need to save Eldenwood. They also find a mahogany chess board (40 gp), a wyvern hatching encased in amber (110 gp), two immovable rods (300 gp each), and a +1 dagger.

11. The Crucible of Elements

An ancient altar where elements dance stands at the center of the chamber. The elements converge in an overwhelming whirlwind of beautiful chaos.

The altar’s intricate runes respond to the touch of those versed in arcane knowledge. By placing their hands on the altar and focusing their will, adepts can coax the ele­mental energies around them, bending these raw forces to achieve feats of magical prowess and manipulation.

  • Trap. Only goblins can use this device. Any attempt by non-goblins summons the anger of a chaos elemen­tal (stats of a fire elemental but it changes to air, earth, and water each combat round). Defeating the monster grants the heroes access to the Elemental Codex.

12. Dilapidated Archives

Little remains of these chambers. An injured man hides behind the locked door. It is Farphan, the alchemist. He was no match for the elemental monster and had to hide. What the characters decide to do with the timepiece, the codex, or Farphan, are adventures for another day…

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