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The Whispering Cairn is an adventure module published in Dragon Magazine #124 (July 2005). It is the first part of the Age of Worms Adventure Path, a series of linked adventures.

Spoiler alert: The following article contains spoilers for a Dungeons & Dragons product.

Plot

Background

In an age before history, ancient beings fought an epic battle to decide the fate of the multiverse. On the side of Law stood the Wind Dukes of Aaqa, ancient beings older than the human race. In the armies of Chaos fought Miska the Wolf-Spider, a powerful demon prince, who was defeated only by the most powerful artifacts ever known: the Rod of Law. The Wind Dukes who fell in this battle were buried in grand tombs on the worlds in which they were slain.

Thousands of years ago, an enigmatic cult leader named Kyuss led his followers to a distant jungle on another continent, where they founded a grand city of stone monoliths. There in the jungle they discovered massive metal plates left in a bygone age by a forgotten civilization of mysterious six-armed beings known as spell weavers. The plates revealed a premonition of the apocalypse time known as the Age of Worms.[1]

Kyuss decided that he would bring about this age.

He dredged up an ancient spell weaver monolith of great power, and in a massive ritual sacrificed the lives of all of all of his followers to become a god. But this came at a price for Kyuss: he was trapped within the monolith, where he waits patiently until this day.

Synopsis

The player characters explore the Whispering Cairn, burial chamber of the Wind Duke Zosiel in the Cairn Hills near the seedy mining town of Diamond Lake. Therein their progress is blocked by the ghost of Alastor Land, a boy who died exploring this tomb decades ago.

Alastor cannot rest until his remains are buried with his family, but upon visiting the old Land farmstead it turns out that a necromancer named Filge has stolen the bodies to animate as skeletons. They must trick him to his hideout and return the Land family's bones to progress through the Whispering Cairn.

There they uncover the hidden tomb of Zosiel and recover the ancient artifacts buried with him, while discovering ancient frescoes detailing the history of the ancient Battle of Pesh.

Campaign settings

Eberron

In Eberron, Diamond Lake is located in Breland, within sight of the city of Sharn. The Whispering Cairn dates back to the Age of Demons, when the Wind Dukes, powerful genies of air, fought the beings of Khyber.

Forgotten Realms

In the Forgotten Realms, the adventure is based not in the town of Diamond Lake, but in Daggerford, a town at the northern bank of the River Delimibyr. The adventure takes place in the Year of Lightning Storms, 1374 DR. The Whispering Cairn lies in the Forlorn Hills. The Wind Dukes of Calim were djinni generals of the Calim Empire, who destroyed the efreet general Memnon, servant of Kossuth, with the Scepter of Calim in the Era of Skyfire.

World of Greyhawk

Like many D&D third edition products, Greyhawk is the default setting for this adventure. The adventure takes place in 595 CY.

Diamond Lake and the Cairn Hills are native to Oerth, and located near the Free City of Greyhawk. Loot from the tombs is credited with establishing the Free City's early growth.

References

  1. Age of Worms Overload (2005).
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