751 Portal of Ages – Isometric

This adventuring supplement is designed for D&D5e. On out Patreon page you can get it in PDF format (see image). The downloads include hi-res images for the maps. And there is a variant PDF version designed for Shadowdark RPG.

In the dance of time and magic, we found strength in the shadows of what might be, standing united to forge our destiny, and embracing the unknown.

Dungeon’s Inscription

This grandiose artifact was crafted in the for­gotten epochs, a very long time ago. This por­tal is a masterpiece of the Ancients, beings whose knowledge of magic and the cosmos far surpassed that of any civilization known to history. It was designed as a convergence point for the ley lines that web across the Material Plane, meant to harness and channel the raw energies of the universe. Intended as a gateway for exploration and safeguarding realms against cosmic threats or invaders, its creators vanished, leaving behind their enigmatic , mind-bending artifacts.

Over millennia, the portal’s true purpose and opera­tion faded into legend. Thus, the Portal of Ages remains shrouded within a dungeon away from prying eyes. Hid­den down a dark, stone staircase it stands, wrapped by the mists that bathe the Spiral Peninsula.

What the Locals Know

To the scholars and sages of Red Leaf Vale, the por­tal represents the pinnacle of an arcane enigma, offering both the promise of untold knowledge and the peril of unfettered power. Those who have gone there have nev­er returned. Bequeathing a grim reputation to this place.

Unbeknown to the marauding orc leader, Sharp-Teeth Bagark, who dismisses the area as worthless, the Portal of Ages holds the potential to alter the fate of Red Leaf Vale. But for those brave enough to unlock its secrets, the portal could unveil pathways to leverage against any adversity, securing the future of the vale against the shadows of orcish conquest. However, the heroes must give their all if they aspire to come out victorious.

The Portal of Ages may cause unforeseen consequenc­es that could change the heroes’ lives forever.

The Portal’s Power

The Portal of Ages is not only a nexus of ancient pow­er and arcane knowledge. This marvelous artifact offers several ways to help the heroes in their quest to protect Red Leaf Vale. However, even if the heroes succeed at reaching the portal and activating it, they lack the arcane prowess to control the outcome of its use. They must walk into the unknown and embrace unpredictability.

In addition, there is a high risk; they may not obtain what they seek, or perhaps they are presented with some­thing that, in their opinion, does not benefit them much in their quest. Nevertheless, the opportunity to change their stars may be sufficient motivation.

1 A swarm of spiders attacks the target with the least armor on. The insects flee when reduced to half their Hit Points.
2 As the PCs navigate the corridors, ethereal shadows detach from the walls, fragments of people and minds from other dimen­sions. They whisper forbidden secrets that chill the bones (DC 12 Charisma). On a fail, the next save is made with disadvantage.
3 A leech that feeds on magical energy drops on a spellcaster (DC 12 Constitution). On a fail, they lose the use of 1 spell (1 day).
4 The characters stumble upon four skeletons. The undead warriors fight the intruders until slain.
5 Filled with runes and shimmering faintly, two animated armors awaken with a grinding roar. Their eyes glow with arcane ener­gy, programmed to attack anyone who dares step into the chambers of this dungeon, and the sacred Portal of Ages.
6 A barbed devil somehow manages to traverse the Portal of Ages in area 2. The evil creature seeks only violence and death.

Adventure Hooks

Heroes. The characters want to help Red Leaf Vale and believe this forsaken dungeon may hold an answer to the imminent orcish invasion. The heroes can only trust the legends about this place and hope for two things: a weap­on or an artifact to help them defeat the orcs, and the means to retrieve it and make it back home.

Reaching the Dungeon

The heroes must make a spiral trip through the peninsula to reach this place (DC 12 Survival). Failing by 5 or more means the heroes fail to notice the tiger dung on their way and stumble upon a hungry tiger.

Then, they must make a great effort to swim toward the island (DC 12 Athletics). Failing by 5 or more means the heroes arrive at area 1 too tired and out of breath. They acquire 1 level of Exhaustion if this is the case.

The Portal of Ages

After the activation of both crystal balls, two wights come out of the sarcophagi in area 2, the last obstacle before the heroes can make use of the portal’s magic.

It takes 10 minutes and the presence of a magic user. However, controlling what may occur or knowing the outcome beforehand are two impossible things. Each of the four outcomes described in this module (see Development) has a 25% chance of occurring. Roll 1d4.

Level 3-4 Adventure

  • Danger. Risky. Check for a Random Encounter every 20 minutes and after loud noises (4-in-6 chance).
  • Light. Some areas feature magical braziers that stay ever-burning. The monsters within are have Darkvision.
  • Arcane Pulse. A detect magic spell can perceive the portal’s powerful energy from a distance of 300 feet.
  • Time and Space. It is not uncommon for visitors to see spirits and shadows of people from other dimen­sions. The heroes hear conversations in ancient tongues, battles fought long ago, and other events. However, they cannot interact with these visions whatsoever.

1. The Long Descending Stairs

The stairs are a magical oddity: as a creature descends, they leave the Material Plane behind and are transport­ed to a small artificial demi-plane, the dungeon. It exists outside the confines of time and space.

2. The Portal of Ages

The portal is an architectural marvel. Framed by two clock towers, the great arch shimmers with a kaleido­scope of colors that swirl in constant motion.

The heroes can admire the portal all they wish. But they cannot cross it or make it work until they activate the crystal balls in areas 5 and 7 (see The Portal of Ages).

3. Arcane Components

In a dim, dust-laden room lie barrels and crates filled with cheap arcane substances and alchemical reagents.

  • Treasure. A perceptive character finds loot among the trash (DC 13 Perception). A bag of rare spices (15 gp), a chunk of meteorite (75 gp), a lantern made of intri­cate stained glass (80 gp), and a leather bag with 41 gp.

4. Laboratory

A lab-like room brims with the legacy of the portal’s cre­ators, its tables littered with arcane tools and ancient tomes. Shelves of varied specimens and intricate formu­lae bear witness to their vast magical research.

The shadow of a past scientist appears. It cannot be reasoned with, the mind of this person is long gone.

  • Treasure. 10 minutes searching the area yields a pearl (40 gp), a green statuette of an ancient deity (50 gp), and 187 gp worth of arcane components.

5. West Corridors

The heroes are free to explore these corridors. It takes them 10 minutes to activate the crystal ball and retrieve the following from the altars: a potion of healing, and six bars of flowery-scented deluxe incense (15 gp).

  • Spikes. DC 12 Perception. Failing to see the pitfall trap results in 2d10 damage and 10 minutes spent pull­ing the victim out of the pit without causing more harm.

6. Fake Chest

Failing to notice the suspicious bolts and springs by the chest’s lid causes one of the heroes to trigger the trap (DC 13 Perception). Darts fly and poison all creatures standing before the chest: they take 2d8 poison damage and are poisoned for 1 hour (DC 15 Constitution).

7. East Corridors

  • Treasure. This is identical to area 5 but contains dif­ferent treasure. After searching the corridors for 10 min­utes, the characters find two gold urns (35 gp each), rare history books and scrolls (50 gp), and a +1 dagger.

8. Clever Illusion

This is an illusory chest. A detect magic spell reveals the deceit. Creatures who know the chest is fake can see through it and notice a burnt orifice in the wall. Ap­proaching triggers the fire jet, dealing 2d8 damage to all creatures before the chest (DC 14 Dexterity for half).


The characters activate the portal and get rid of the guardians (see Portal of Ages). They then ‘cross’ the threshold and experience a vivid journey where the un­foreseen occurs. Consider the following:

  • Time Manipulation. The heroes glimpse into the past and future, granting them insights into the strat­egies and weaknesses of the orcish invaders, enabling them to make more informed decisions and prepare bet­ter. The heroes acquire new memories and come back armed with foreknowledge of the orcish invaders’ plans and tactics. Their victory is written in the stars.
  • Summoning Allies. Powerful allies from different eras or planes of existence come forth, offering assis­tance in the form of legendary warriors, wise sages, or mythical creatures to stand against the orcish onslaught. The heroes come back bolstered by the strength of new­found allies, or perhaps weapons from another timeline or universe. This turns the tides of war in their favor.
  • Arcane Empowerment. Heroes receive temporary boosts in strength, endurance, or magical artifacts, en­abling them to fight with enhanced prowess or per­form heroic feats beyond their normal capabilities. The heroes come back stronger and wiser than their past selves. They may gain a level, increase their abilities, or obtain wondrous artifacts (GM’s discretion).
  • Chaos in Time. The worst possible outcome. The he­roes are sucked into the portal and travel to a universe where Red Leaf Vale is ruled entirely by orcs. Here, they are the invaders in an improvised fort, planning to take over the vale. Their mission to fend off the orc invaders turns into a mammoth quest: retake the entire vale.

In other words, after crossing the portal, the heroes may either return stronger and wiser to save their world or not return at all after being sent to another dimension. As always, a great reward comes with a high risk. In the case of the worst possible scenario, the risk could be a little too high for the kind-hearted heroes’ taste.

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