Rappan Athuk Mythic Playtest (Inactive)

Game Master pinvendor

Let's grind these rules and leverage them to pieces.

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Ephemeral GameMaster
The Legend of Rappan Athuk wrote:

Many hundreds of years ago, the forces of good allied to destroy the main Temple of Orcus in the ancient city of Tsar. With their temple in ruins, the surviving high priests of this accursed demongod fled the city with an army of enemies on their trail—an army of heroic fighters, clerics and paladins—led by Zelkor, a powerful wizard. The exact fate of these evil priests was then unknown, for not only did the remnants of the followers of Orcus disappear from all human reckoning, but so did the army of light that followed after them disappear as well. Some said that in the eternal scales the loss of so many good men was a fair price to pay to rid the world of so much evil.

The evil cult, however, had not been destroyed. The surviving priests and their followers instead settled on a hill near the Forest of Hope, a sylvan woodland near the Coast Road. There they found a vast underground complex of caverns and mazes, carving out a volcanic intrusion beneath the hill. There, the priests of Orcus found the perfect lair to continue their vile rituals. For many years, they carried on in secret, hidden from the light and from the knowledge of men.

Many years later, their underground delving completed, the evil priests erected a hideous mausoleum and a sunken graveyard atop the hill. It is believed that these graves are in fact the final resting place of the pursuing army of heroes that had been destroyed to a man. Soon after the mausoleum was erected the peaceful creatures of the wood began to disappear. Though many rangers and druids investigated these happenings, the cause of the creatures’ disappearance was not immediately determined. Some years later a powerful group of adventurers, led by Bofred, a high priest of Thyr, investigated the evil happenings and found the sunken graveyard leading to a labyrinthine complex. Bofred and his companions found great hordes of evil creatures in the complex. Though some of his companions returned from their expedition, telling tales of fantastic treasure and ferocious monsters, Bofred was never seen again—lost in the catacombs beneath the cursed mausoleum.

For the last one hundred years, ranks of adventurers have ventured to the newfound dungeon. Many fell prey to bandits and monsters in the surrounding wilderness. Rumors suggest that of those who survived to reach the mausoleum and sunken graveyard, most were slain by guardians of green stone or perished on the very first level. Those rare few who return from deeper treks speak of horrible undead and creatures that cannot be slain. All who have explored Rappan Athuk offer this one universal piece of advice: “Don’t go down the Well.”

Ephemeral GameMaster

The keelboat arrives at Zelkor's Ferry in the afternoon. Your characters debark and are pointed the way to Bristleback Inn and provided some rough directions to various other amenities.

Map of Zelkor's Ferry

As you move through the settlement, you will find the inhabitants robust and determined. They do not eye you suspiciously, but they do watch you warily.

Everyone roll 1d100 twice separately. Also roll 1d10 separately.

We are assuming you know one another and have decided your paths converge as you are each here to pursue the rumors of the legendary dungeon Rappan Athuk.

Female Human Monk 1/Champion 1; Init +1; Perception +8; HP 18/18

Mai steps off the ferry and looks with interest at the surroundings. "Very basic, is it not?"

1d100 ⇒ 46
1d100 ⇒ 51
1d10 ⇒ 10

Ephemeral GameMaster

  • Drappy, keelboat marine told you this about the area around Rappan Athuk: "Gnolls've been spotted along the caravan route south of the Foothills. It's said they be holed up in a ruined keep overlooking the caravan route. Best watch yourself iffen you head down there."

  • A scholar you met before setting off told you this about the area around Rappan Athuk: "The Troll Fens are aptly named. They are brimming with trolls, poisonous snakes, quicksand, and other hazards."

  • Rumor about the area close to Zelkor’s Ferry told to you by the keelboat's cook: "That there Mouth of Doom is cursed, ya hear. It's a certain fact anyone who enters it will become weaker and weaker over the course of ten days no less."

What you choose to believe is entirely up to you.

"It does certainly have that... rustic charm."

1d100 ⇒ 45
1d100 ⇒ 76
1d10 ⇒ 1

"Tis good hearty simple folk. Ja, a nice place to start our explorations." He says in his thick Teutonic accent.

1d100 ⇒ 93
1d100 ⇒ 31
1d10 ⇒ 2

Ephemeral GameMaster

  • Word on the road before you left the keelboat docks for Zelkor's Ferry is: "Recently the champion Corondel fought and defeated the green dragon Springdread in the Forest of Hope. Corondel subsequently disappeared. It is rumored that the dragon wasn't killed but badly wounded, and now lurks deep within the forest killing all who stray too deep."

  • You have been told many times: "Rappan Athuk? Bah! No one ever gets out of that place alive!"

  • A merchant embarking the keelboat that just dropped you off tells you something everyone seems to say around here: "If you're a smart lass, you'll listen. Don't go down the well!"

Choose what you believe wisely.

  • You have been told many times: "Rappan Athuk? Bah! No one ever gets out of that place alive!"

  • A battle cleric you met gave you this advice: "Prayers to the goddess Hecate can sometimes be used to defeat guardians sacred to her."

  • Over a cup of beer, the keelboat's first mate advised you the following: "The Mouth o' Doom...it's a bleeding entrance to the dungeons of Rappan Athuk. And it's only just a little south of Zelkor's Ferry! It's a wonder the town's still there, it is."

What you believe is on your own head...and possibly your companions.

Ephemeral GameMaster

At this point, assume the events play out as written in the little narrative that makes up the Player's Guide. This means you should have been provided with several leads as to possible entrances and descriptions of some of the possible horrors inside the dungeons. Also, consider the suggestions the townsfolk of Zelkor's Ferry make regarding preparations and provisions.

There are other travelers that are already at Bristleback Inn.

GM rolls:
1d10 ⇒ 3 then 1d4 ⇒ 1
1d10 ⇒ 8 then 1d6 ⇒ 1

Two men have taken up temporary residence. One seems cheerful and proud of a growing beard. He asks for news of distant lands as he takes some practice puffs on a well carved wooden pipe. His young face lights up when any of the newly arrived tell stories of their journeys. The other is an older man with sad eyes. He watches all the newcomer warily and seems to be looking over his shoulder constantly. he tries to keep his distant, and becomes nervous when anyone speaks to him.

Ephemeral GameMaster

In case this isn't clear, the region surrounding Rappan Athuk is open for your exploration. You may choose any direction to take or entrance to seek out. If it helps give you perspective, you are in the Northwestern corner of the area which surrounds Rappan Athuk. There is forest and wilderness to the south and east with an ocean coast running north and south not far to the east. You arrived on a river that runs from the west towards the ocean in the east. You know further east past Zelkor's Ferry, the river meet's the Old Coast Road which runs north and south close to the coast a few miles inland. This is a very dangerous route that runs close to many known or suspected entrances to the dungeon of Rappan Athuk and Forest of Hope. Many monster sightings and bandits plague this region. Caravans are always heavily guarded and the pay is good.

From the day wandering around talking to the villagers of Zelkor's Ferry, Pieter is pleased. He will do something no-one else has done go in and come out whole & sane.


  • Found alternate entrance.


  • Lord took her in.
  • Exited via teleport from goblins area.


  • Mouth of Doom Entrance - Maze that might lead to Rappan Athuk

    Ulman Dark

  • Necromancer & healer


  • Troll Complex to North of River
  • Evil Temple to North of River - backdoor entrance(?) - Very Deadly
  • Due East of dungeon, there's a cave that could be an entrance. Along the river; collapsed tunnel.(Dragon nearby)

  • Entire complex built into a sunken area - Great Doors wizard-locked

  • Dark Archive

    Female Human (Chelaxian) Cleric 1/Hierophant 1; Init +2; Perception +3; HP 14/14

    Nicci fumbles with her gear and drags off the keelboat last, pushing her chainshirt's helmet back from where it has slipped over her eyes. "Wish the guy I took this off of had been a little smaller," the Chel grumbles, "Hey, wait for me! Where do we start?" She looks around the little town with some dismay. "Not many choices, are there?"

    1d100 ⇒ 81
    1d100 ⇒ 71
    1d10 ⇒ 1

    "Pappy's story certainly seemed... colorful. But perhaps this 'Mouth of Doom' would be a good place to start. I use the word 'good' lightly, mind you. I still think coming here was a terrible idea."

    Female Human Monk 1/Champion 1; Init +1; Perception +8; HP 18/18

    Mai shakes her head. "I have heard bad things about the 'Mouth of Doom' -- if my sources are to be trusted. Many are not trustworthy, I fear, for there are numerous tales of this place. They cannot all be true."

    Dark Archive

    Female Human (Chelaxian) Cleric 1/Hierophant 1; Init +2; Perception +3; HP 14/14

    "I don't like his story. Sounds like they lost their religious first. It's an evil omen." Nicci looks around darkly, the effect somewhat ruined by her helmet slipping over one eye. "Dammit! I need to get this refitted before we go anywhere!" She pulls it off and sets it on the floor next to the chair where she's seated.

    "Who's buying the next round?"

    Male Tiefling Vivisectionist 6 [HP 44/44 | AC 17, Tch 12, FF 15 | Fort +5, Ref +7, Will +4; +4 against poison | CMD 19 | Init +6, Perc +9]

    "Superstitious nonsense," Mordin mutters, "Pick a direction and go. It'll be impossible to get anything done if we try to account for every crackpot warning we get."

    Despite his brashness, Mordin is all too happy to buy everybody's drinks.

    1d100 ⇒ 29
    1d100 ⇒ 45
    1d10 ⇒ 5

    Female Human Monk 1/Champion 1; Init +1; Perception +8; HP 18/18

    "Still, Mordin, it is good to learn the lessons others have already paid for, especially when they are offering them free," Mai says calmly.

    Raising his mug to Mai's good words, he nods sagely.

    "Da, the Mouth of Doom seems like obvious starting point." he pauses; "I don't like obvious." he looks worriedly at Nicci.

    Guards had interesting story, if we could find tunnel by river-bank. We look there and sneak in back way." he rasps a finger across his chin. "However, not a woodsman; not I. Anyone of you think you could find it?" he queries whilst sipping upon his drink.

    Ephemeral GameMaster

    • A man in a roadside tavern held the tavern crowd enrapt with a tale about one unfortunate Rappan Athuk adventuring party: "It was a group of swimming trolls that did 'em in, it 'twas. In the deep caverns, they're said to fight alongside the goblin miners. Only Ponch One-Eye made it back the surface from that group."

    • Same as your roll of 45 above for Cereza.

    • One of the dockworkers loading supplies for the keelboat's departure told you: "An adventurer went into the Mouth of Doom a year ago. He bragged about having a lucky gemstone sewn into the heel of his boot. But word around here is he's ne'er been seen again. Ha! Guess it tweren't such a lucky stone after all!"

    What is lies and what is truth? Think carefully...

    Dark Archive

    Female Human (Chelaxian) Cleric 1/Hierophant 1; Init +2; Perception +3; HP 14/14

    Nicci rolls her eyes. "We have to start someplace. Maybe just haunt the roads or the woods for a while, so we can retreat back to town quickly if need be?"

    She shakes her head and mutters to herself why does that sound like wishful thinking?

    "If we do that. Keep to the river." he says in his heavy Teutonic accent; "We move quickly, certainly and without getting lost."

    He flexes his muscles at the healer; "You clever, I like you."

    Dark Archive

    Female Human (Chelaxian) Cleric 1/Hierophant 1; Init +2; Perception +3; HP 14/14

    Nicci raises her eyebrows, then rolls her eyes again. "Let's go look around a bit before the sun sets, shall we?" She rises from the table and pushes the sleeves of her chain shirt back off her hands, then slings on her pack and checks that the symbol of Desna is hanging around her neck where it should be.


    Female Human Monk 1/Champion 1; Init +1; Perception +8; HP 18/18

    Mai unfolds her hands and rises. "If you wish. If we are going to stay here tonight, I would prefer to leave some gear in our rooms here at the inn."

    "I am always ready." Pieter replies finishing his drink. Pushing the bench back with a glint in his eye, he looks to the rest of the group then to the sky outside. "Yes, I like the look of this."

    Cereza blinks at Pieter, and then looks to the healer.

    "To the river, then. It is a place to start at least."

    After taking a single, delicate sip from her glass, she stands.

    Ephemeral GameMaster

    Amelia conspiratorially advises Mai when she inquires about paying in advance for a room, that she runs a sort of safe-keeping bank for goods in a room below the inn's food larder.

    "You just pay 5 gold a week for a trunk that only you see the contents of...think of it like a chest for safely depositing items," she tells Mai. "We have lots of adventurers who need a place to store things between trips out into the wilderness and Rappan Athuk. Not everyone wants to sell everything to ol' Rasmus. Sometimes there's things people need to keep for honor and proof of their deeds, but still have comrades they have to go back for in the dungeon once they have recovered from their own wounds. We make sure that stuff stays safe." Amelia winks. "And for reasons I am sure you understand, it's better you kept this side business o' mine to yourself."

    She adds, "And if you don't return for three cycles of the moon, we open the chest and put it back in the dungeon." She waits for Mai's reaction for a moment and then bursts into laughter. "I am just telling tales. We will sell it of course."

    Gutmark the Ferryman is willing to take the party either east to the south side of the river or north across the river for 2 GP per person.

    Pieter nods and digs into his purse; "Heard there was a tunnel upon the river bank? In the Dragons range." He hands over the gold and looks to the others, especially Nicci, just in case they need the contents of his bulging purse.

    With a practised grace he moves onto the Ferryman's ship offering his hand to any other who needs it. "We are here to destroy the evil!" he announces simply.

    Female Human Monk 1/Champion 1; Init +1; Perception +8; HP 18/18


    Mai smiles at the woman's merriment. "That seems quite fair, but I have nothing of value at the moment. I think we will make our first ventures today and, with the grace of the gods, be back with something to store. I hope to see you again soon!" With a bow, she departs the inn without booking a room or the storage chest.

    Digging out the required fee, Mai pays Gutmark and hops nimbly onboard without the need for aid, giving Pieter a quick smile for his thoughtfulness. "Are we going into a tunnel right away, or exploring the area first?" she wonders aloud, "The caves sound very dangerous."

    Dark Archive

    Female Human (Chelaxian) Cleric 1/Hierophant 1; Init +2; Perception +3; HP 14/14

    "Two gold!?" Nicci snorts. "Is that your standard rate or special 'adventurer's discount'? I can't imagine the average person being able to cross the river!" She grumbles as she digs out a couple of gold and hands it to the man with ill grace. "Wish I was better at swimming," she mutters, sotto voce, as she plops down into the boat, helmet slipping over her eyes again.

    "Explore, find lay of land! Sound good." Pieter answers Mai, with a full nod at her cleverness. Whilst Nicci's words inflame his thoughts at the injustice as he realises how the common man would fare. "Maybe he charges us extra so others go free." there is a hint of certainty to his words. Implying that the ferry-man should probably do this.

    Ephemeral GameMaster

    Gutmark raises an eyebrow at the group.

    "I can assure you, the request to cross is so infrequent that if you didn't pay the cost, it wouldn't be worth my time away from fishing to even bother. If you think it so much, feel free to swim across with that heavy armor, Miss."

    With that statement, Gutmark taps the visor of the over large helmet on Nicci's head causing it to clang shut.

    Ephemeral GameMaster

    Gutmark looks at the group again.

    "Of course, you could just strike southwest and head around the lake if you wish. Then you could head east and south without crossing the river. The Mouth of Doom is down there. I know." Gutmark says that very definitively.

    Pieter nods, pleased that the man is an honest fisherman and not ripping off the locals. "Ja, heard there were mazes in there. Und hordes of villains." He shakes his head at the thought of vileness; "But surely it's picked clean?"

    Despite his slightly self-ish sounding words he knows that to conquer the dungeon he'll need to have powerful weapons as well as amazing companions.

    Dark Archive

    Female Human (Chelaxian) Cleric 1/Hierophant 1; Init +2; Perception +3; HP 14/14

    "I can barely swim without armor," Nicci's voice echoes hollowly inside her oversized helmet. She pulls off the overlarge ironmongery, looks up at Gutmark, and laughs. "No, I'm fine with taking the scenic route for once. It will give us the lay of the land. But if we have to do this much more, I may end up helping you fish, Ferryman."

    Pieter runs his hand through his hair, forcing himself not to imagine Nicci swimming without her armour. "Ja, Mouth of Doom leads to da Big one. But are we ready for that..." he wonders slightly.

    "Practise team-work." he states.

    Male Tiefling Vivisectionist 6 [HP 44/44 | AC 17, Tch 12, FF 15 | Fort +5, Ref +7, Will +4; +4 against poison | CMD 19 | Init +6, Perc +9]

    "I would not object to warming my feet in the frying pan for a little longer," Mordin remarks, before taking another draught of ale, "There will be no moment of reprieve once we get into the blasted place."

    With a heavy Teutonic accent he asks; "Mr Ferryman, you heard of the goblin village? It might have door to Rappan Athuk."

    Male Tiefling Vivisectionist 6 [HP 44/44 | AC 17, Tch 12, FF 15 | Fort +5, Ref +7, Will +4; +4 against poison | CMD 19 | Init +6, Perc +9]

    "Talk while we ride, Pieter," Mordin says to the paladin curtly as he steps onto the ferry. Frowning at the empty glass of ale he took from the inn, he chucks it into the river. Looking to the ferryman, he scowls as he counts out however much money the fare is. "Just take us across the river, ferryman. If we don't get moving now, we never will."

    Sovereign Court

    Male Oread Armour Master/1 Guardian/1

    With a slow heavy tread an armoured figure approaches the group talking with the Ferryman. His speech seems as slow and deliberate as his movement "Would there be room for one more?" Belgeon trudges over to the Ferryman to pay the fare "I should like to cross the river as well..."

    Ephemeral GameMaster

    The ferryman eyes the heavy armored figure as its weight causes one side of the ferry to list.

    "Pardon me, would you and you stand on the opposite side of our armored guest?" He seems to be gesturing to Pieter and Cereza.

    "Come on Pieter, I don't think they need a swim in the river," Cereza says with a titter as she hops aboard. She loses her footing for a moment when the weight shifts again, but regains her balance.

    "Of course, more the merrier." He nods to the armoured figure and moves to the other side of the boat trying to even it out. He puts a hand out to the summoner to help steady her, he has a soft grin at her joke.

    "Very dangerous being here alone." Pieter states obviously; "We are here to fight evil. Join us." he ascribes his motives upon everyone.

    He thumps his chest with a tinkle of mail; "I am Pieter, you may even make your fortune - stick wit us."

    Ephemeral GameMaster

    Gutmark pushes off from the dock with a long pole. It takes about 15 minutes to get across the river. The ferry bumps up against the bank next to a small dock for disembarking, and Gutmark jumps out to tie the ferry down.

    He eyes each of the party members somberly one-by-one. He seems determined to memorize each of their faces.

    Somewhat morosely he says, "May the gods watch over your steps."

    Dark Archive

    Female Human (Chelaxian) Cleric 1/Hierophant 1; Init +2; Perception +3; HP 14/14

    Nicci disembarks, carrying her helmet under one arm. At Gutmark's words, she steps forward and holds out a hand with a smile. "May Desna protect your road, Gutmark. We will meet again."

    Pieters face splits into a wide grin, unperturbed by what could be a final look. "Da, he does. He watches over me and learns." the paladin says proudly, gently rubbing his side. Under all the clothing lies a scar from a fatal wound.

    Carefully he gets onto the docks and thanks the man.

    Cereza smiles politely at the ferryman, hoping that the face he remembers is full of joy and confidence.

    "So, where to now?" she asks the others as they move away from the dock.

    "I thinking we head up stream, see if there's a tunnel dere." he says simply. "We could head to Mouth of Doom, but that's a trap!" He knows it's said to lead into Rappan Athuk but is dubious of the entry and the promise of treasure.

    Sovereign Court

    Male Oread Armour Master/1 Guardian/1

    1d100 ⇒ 87
    1d100 ⇒ 64
    1d10 ⇒ 1

    "Apologies, I suppose I do not realize my weight, I did not mean to rock the boat." Belgeon looks towards the others and nods "Thank you. I am Belgeon, I am pleased to join you."

    When the ferryman looks Belgeon's way he would see glowing orange eyes beneath the metallic helm.

    When they arrive he is more careful about tipping the boat, but doesn't move any faster "We will continue up stream then?"

    Ephemeral GameMaster

    Belgeon Silverkin:
    • Before you left your home an old retired adventurer says tells you with sadness in her eyes, "Rappan Athuk? The living don't return from there, boy. Only the dead. They just don't know it yet." You still see the haunted look in her eyes sometimes when you dream.

    • One of the wagon drivers of the merchant caravan you rode with told you, "Be a time, I was off adventuring in these hills. We found a jet black temple there. None of the party I was with who entered it ever returned. Not one."

    • A man in severely dented armor and his arm in a sling rides alongside a morose woman whose head is bandaged. They are leaving Zelkor's Ferry as you approach the gates. The man meets your eye and says bitterly, "They'll tell you, 'Don't go down the well.' You won't listen...but you should." He says no more, and then the two are gone.

    If you feel these rumors to be true, trust them at your own peril.

    Female Human Monk 1/Champion 1; Init +1; Perception +8; HP 18/18

    "Which way to the spiders?" Mai asks curiously.

    Dark Archive

    Female Human (Chelaxian) Cleric 1/Hierophant 1; Init +2; Perception +3; HP 14/14

    "Spiders? Eurgh," sighs Nicci, "Why's it always have to be spiders?"

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