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LENGTHY BUT VERY GOOD ADVENTURE
on July 30, 2007
Eyes of the Lich Queen is a campaign/adventure book designed for the Eberron setting although with a little creativity and work, it can really be dropped into any fantasy campaign of your choosing if you do not play in Eberron. You'll require all of the standard books to play. The adventure is designed for four 5th level characters although five or six may be more reasonable. This is a good ol' fashioned quest adventure with the players seeking an artifact called The Dragon's Eye. The ancient artifact was created during the age of Demons and its said the Eye can give the holder total domination over dragons. The dragons are none to happy about someone finding the artifact that had been considered mere legend. They set out to find the Eye for safekeeping. Meanwhile, the lich queen Vol is dead set on finding the Eye for herself and has set her agents about finding the artifact.
The adventure is plated out over four parts and at 126 pages, is a fairly lengthy adventure, designed to take the player characters from 5th to 9th level by the time the campaign is finished. The journey will take the group over 5,000 miles in their travels although DM's are encouraged to give players a sense of the vast distances they are traveling without bogging them down with random encounters every step of the way. The designers are looking for an epic feel to their adventure, not a tedious one. The players will be drawn into their adventure with the promise of a great treasure, hired by a Silver Dragon named Sur'Kil, who will appear to them in the form of a middle-aged human.
The first target is the Temple of Kha'shazul, located in the jungles of Q'barra, and home to various tribes of Lizard Folk. Sur'Kil speaks only of ancient relics to be found within the temple but does not mention the Eye specifically. With the ancient temple is where the players will first hear mention of the Eye and, should they survive the temple, report their findings to Su'Kil. Sur'kil then sends the players on the path of another ancient artifact hunter who sought the Eye. Next up the players go island hopping, encounterin pirates, and eventually finding themselves at the prison fortress of Dreadhold, searching for an old gnome who has important symbols and notes tattooed into his skin that will lead the players to their next clue on the trail of the Dragon's Eye.
Like the other adventure books, Eyes of the Lich Queen presents the locations in full, and in brief overview, with the specifics of each encounter area coming after that. The thing I like most about the book is the sense of wonder and scope of the entire adventure. This isn't just a jungle crawl but a truly epic, world-spanning quest to exotic locations, cities, and yes, dungeon settings as well. There's also a strong sense of intrigue as well. The players are not only pitted against the creatures they encounter along the way, but also against the forces of the Lich Queen Vol and her deadly agents who believe the players may have already located the eye. Of course, it will take a deft DM to really bring this all home to the players and hopefully, yours is one!
There's a lot to do in Eyes of the Lich Queen and it need not be followed in linear fashion...again, a skilled DM can really make this a great time for the players. There are scores of maps in the book! I personally don't play Eberron, but as I said, it's no big deal to drop this into, say, a Forgotten Realms campaign or even one of your own designs. One Beef...I'd have liked to seen this at around $20 rather than $25.
REVIEWED BY TIM JANSON