The Dominator, Kymbria in Chains, Part One: A Land Abducted

Welcome to the first module in The Dominator campaign Dungeons and Dragons adventure series — Kymbria in Chains, Part One: A Land Abducted! It is the first episode in The Dominator campaign series. Enjoy it here for free!

The Dominator campaign series will include a number of original, unofficial and unaffiliated open gaming license, modules that will take four-to-six 5th Edition Dungeons and Dragons players from level 12 all the way to level 20 and beyond. The players will journey in a worlds-spanning epic to the fractured and abducted fairy land of Kymbria, plumb the depths of Murkmak’s Pit — a horrific dungeon realm designed to lure, trap and sacrifice heroes to The Dominator, and last of all come to the Nether-Realm — a demi-plane death trap that The Dominator has turned into a vast hunting preserve where a rogues’ gallery of fiends pay for the privilege to become predators to heroes.

Live Dungeons and Dragons Play Action!

I am running The Dominator as a live campaign that transitions from a traditional Dungeons and Dragons game world. Play is live-streamed on Twitch Saturday Nights about once every three weeks at Ted Burgess’s Twitch page. Please stop by and join us live as the players confront The Dominator’s web of dark design. Afterward, videos of these live games along with character profiles are provided here in the Dominator Campaign Archive. In addition, I’m providing walk-throughs of these and my other published modules about once every few weeks every Sunday or Monday Night on my Twitch page.

Because we love WOTC and Dungeons and Dragons, we want to take this opportunity to promote some of the amazing game books we use at our tables when we play games like this one. Please find them here if you haven’t already: The Monster ManualThe Player’s HandbookThe Dungeon Master’s GuideVolo’s Guide to MonstersMordenkainen’s Tome of Foes, Fizban’s Treasury of Dragons, Xanathar’s Guide to Everything, Tasha’s Cauldron of EverythingSword Coast Adventurer’s Guide, and the new Monsters of the Multiverse.

Kymbria in Chains presents Kymbria as a mini-sand-box campaign adventure. It details Kymbria’s isolation by the Mist Wall, provides various challenges for adventurers seeking to enter Kymbria either by road or by river. It introduces new monsters in the form of Foulings and details key NPCs — King Murmak the Pale, Shebril the Lich, Mistfire the Druid Unicorn, King Laurynth of Ravenscorne, Regent Rilfawn Drallenor of Kymbria and his daughter Valenthia (some are detailed below, others appear in future modules). This series also provides roleplay notes and encounters as well as specific location details for the major features of Kymbria — The Pit, The Fouling Hills, The Gauntwood, Shebril’s Ford, Mistfire’s Grove, Ravenscorne, and Kymbria itself.

This module is intended to be usable as a plug-in to any adventure setting. As such, some land features and campaign details given are intentionally vague so that they can be easily changed to fit your game world (whether a homebrew, official WOTC setting, or another OGL product). In particular, Shedra, Rathlespin and the Goldenthread Tavern are meant to be readily interchangeable with NPCs and locations from your campaign world.

(Warning: if you are a player in The Dominator campaign adventure series STOP READING NOW.)


Our game series begins when the players learn of a great tragedy besetting the elven, fairy realm kingdom of Kymbria. This small kingdom now suffers a series of terrible afflictions following the ruin of its sister kingdom Athaelys at the hands of the Fouling King Murmak The Pale, the traitorous wizard turned Lich Shebril Lillenscar, and King Laurynth of Ravenscorne — all implements of The Dominator.

Kymbria Campaign Map

Shedra’s Tale

The players learn of this event when their sponsor, Shedra, relays to them news of Athaelys’s ruin and Kymbria’s capture. Shedra is a former adventurer, a 15th level Human College of Lore Bard, whose health was recently ruined by a strange magical curse. This affliction suddenly ended Shedra’s adventuring career. However, her great renown, deep well of knowledge and large network of connections makes Shedra an invaluable ally to the players. Now, Shedra acts as a lore-giver for the players as she alerts them to the troubles afflicting Kymbria.

Accompanying Shedra is Rathlespin — a world-famous expert on monsters and malign entities. Shedra called Rathlespin to meet with her and the players at the Goldenthread Tavern — a local haunt and common meeting place for the players, Shedra and other travelers.

Shedra is a friend to elves and fairy of all kinds. In her early days as an adventurer, she received a special boon from the Unicorn DruidMistfire — who resides in her grove in western Kymbria. Shedra contacted the players because she trusts them. She knows if anyone can help Kymbria, it’s them. Read the following flavor text when the players meet with Shedra.

“It is good to see you all again. Yet this occasion is one of great tragedy. You may have heard of trade flows along the river recently being interrupted. For months now, traffic has been troubled ever since two fairy realms were ripped out of place and slammed into a kind of half existence in our world. Athaelys on the river’s north bank near the barrow lands and Kymbria on the south near the great wood.

“I say ‘half existence’ because the entire place is surrounded by a wall of swirling mists blocking all travel except by land or boat. Any flying thing is forced to land by violent winds. Teleportation through the barrier is impossible. All who cross the mist wall enter fairy. So boats traveling on the river must pass through the wall, travel down the fairy version of the river north of Kymbria, then return to our world after about ten miles.

“Trouble is, there’s a ford on the fairy world’s river that doesn’t exist here. This ford is filled with rocks and is too shallow for most boats to pass freely. Larger boats heavy with trade goods must be lifted past the rocks to continue. It often takes days.

“By itself, the mist wall and the ford would present new obstacles and hazards. But they’re only a foretaste of worse to come. The entire north bank, once a fairy kindgom called Athaelys is a stinking ruin. Its former woodland realm — now a dead forest called the Gauntwood. Behind this deadland is a defile called the Fouling Hills. Fouling after the terrible dark fey who’ve descended from those hills to over-run the place. These Foulings raid any boat passing down the river near their lands. Possessing mighty arms and dark magic — they are dreadful foes.

Shedra looks to Rathlespin. He runs a hand through his hair, glances back at her, then picks up the thread of Shedra’s dark tale.

“Little is known about Foulings. Reports coming back are sparse. They are generally covered in pale and glistening scales, possess glowing eyes of varying colors, tend toward the humanoid, but range greatly in size and shape. We assume they are fey because they inhabit the fairy world — if that’s what you could call this fractured place. What is known — they are raiders. They are attracted to the benevolent who are most capable. Though they loot and pillage, they appear to be fanatically devoted to the task of kidnapping people, hauling them off to their lair, which they call The Pit, and then sacrificing their captives to a being they worship called The Dominator. The more benevolent the captive, the greater its ability to defy evil, the more rabid the Foulings’ desire to subdue and to take. One exception appears to be elves — whom, regardless of anything, they appear to desire to capture, sacrifice, or kill above all others.”

Rathlespin pauses, then turns back to Shedra who takes a breath and continues.

“With Athaelys ruined and now home to Foulings, only Kymbria remains. Sundered from its links to the fairy world by the mist wall, Kymbria is now a place under constant siege by Foulings. The mist wall prevents easy passage as most who walk through it beyond the river or the road become lost — tending to wander for days or even for weeks before coming to a familiar place. Travelers on the river are under constant threat of attack. And the road, well, the road passes through what’s left of Athaelys which is crawling with Foulings.

“So this is what we know of The Dominator. Rumor, trouble, myth. A god to strange creatures called Foulings devoted to sacrificing powerful, benevolent beings, particularly elves, in his name. We can only guess that this sundering of Athaelys and Kymbria from the fairy world and hurling it into ours was his doing, or that of his servants. To what end, we can’t guess. But these Foulings have already captured much plunder in the form of lives. Many a hero — taken, then hurled, into their sacrificial Pit.”

The Fall of Athaelys and the Foulings Rise

The land of Kymbria is beset by the invasion of monstrous, cursed creatures called Foulings (see Appendix). They are the most visible cause of Kymbria’s fall and remain at the heart of its present woes. But they are more a symptom than a source of the larger trouble. One revealed in the tragic tale of their emergence. Of sabotage, dark plots and of the making of horrors.

Shebril the Elf Hater

The Foulings’ origin begins with Shebril the Lich — who has long harbored a deep and unreasoning hatred of elves. A member of The Dominator’s Confederacy, Shebril sought for ways to fill The Nether Realm’s hunting grounds with elves and powerful elven heroes. Shebril reveled in the notion that these elves would suffer and die as prey to The Dominator and his cabal of fiendish guests — who paid to hunt all manner of heroic prey. In The Nether Realm’s early days, Shebril used his various guises to trick elves to journey there by various paths. But an opportunity arose when Laurynth — an elven bladesinger of Athaelys — fell prey to Shebril’s lures and became ensnared in the Nether Realm.

Laurynth Father of Destruction

Laurynth traveled with an adventuring company of humans and elves. Though a casual observer would think of him as benevolent and well-intending, Laurynth’s actions hinted at a corruptible nature that intrigued The Dominator. For Laurynth harbored a great lust for power that was uncharacteristic to his elven bretheren. Rather than hunt Laurynth, The Dominator gifted him with one of the twin blades of Anauroch (see Appendix) from his arsenal. A mighty, vampiric sword named Vylslayke, this blade encouraged Laurynth to betray his companions who were trapped in the Nether Realm along with him. The blade said to Laurynth — “I shall give you the power to escape, to gain all you desire. Yet to attain this power, you must kill your friends.” Vylslayke lusted for the blood and life force of good beings to devour. And the benevolence of Laurynth’s companions filled Vylslayke with hunger. Laurynth succumbed to the sword’s influence, slew his companions and from their deaths gained great power. Vylslayke drank the lives of his victims, filling Laurynth with an unnatural taint of baleful vitality.

After witnessing Laurynth killing his companions, the Dominator decided to allow him to escape from the Nether Realm. Laurynth returned to Athaelys with Vylslayke. Celebrated as a hero for his escape from a world beset by fiends, Laurynth swiftly rose to notoriety as a prince of Athaelys. Setting aside Vylslayke, Laurynth attempted to walk a path of peace. He was deeply troubled by his own crimes. His nights — tortured with memories of his friends’ deaths. Though he never spoke of his crimes to anyone for fear that all he had gained would be lost. During this time, he fell in love with Valenthia, daughter of Rilfawne. Rilfawne saw Laurynth as a melancholy hero who seemed haunted by the horrors of his past. He felt compassion for what he perceived were Laurynth’s spiritual wounds at the hands of the Dominator and his terrible realm.

Finryke — Child Marred by a Father’s Sins

When Laurynth asked to marry Valenthia, Rilfawne blessed the union. Following the marriage, the people of Athaelys elected Laurynth for their king. Laurynth’s reign lasted only forty years, however. His only son, Finryke, always dark and brooding, fell steadily into pain and madness. He was pale and shy as a child. His playmates avoided him — as he was a bully who seemed to enjoy harming animals. Valenthia, in fear of her son and helpless to overcome his evil urges, fled Athaelys in grief. “My love,” she said to Laurynth. “You brought me great joy once. But a darkness hangs over our son that I cannot pierce. I am powerless against it. I can no longer abide here in grief. Farewell!”

Devastated by the loss of his wife, Laurynth redoubled his efforts to find a cure for Finryke. But his son’s malady only deepened. Healers began to whisper that Finryke was cursed. Meanwhile, the boy’s condition worsened. Over time, his features grew feral. At seventeen, his eyes sparked with an unnatural red light. Years later, scales began to form over his body even as his left hand sprouted long, black claws. Finryke became afflicted with a fevers. He developed strange hungers. Often, he complained that voices talked to him from the darkness. One night, Finryke stole Vylslayke from the vault where Laurynth had secured it. Taking the sword, he disappeared with it into the Hills north of Athaelys, never to be seen again.

The Foulings Emerge

Soon after, elves traveling on roads near the Hills began to disappear. At first, these disappearances were isolated, rare events. But after a few months, abductions grew in frequency even as traveling groups of ten or more fell under threat. The Hills became a place of foreboding. Rumors spread in Athaelys that pale-skinned monsters with glowing eyes were raiding any who ventured into the highlands. Laurynth gathered a host to hunt down the kidnappers. What he found after he set out was a horror beyond imagining. Hundreds of creatures that resembled his deformed son roamed freely over the ridges and swarmed in the gullies. Laurynth’s lieutenant Glendoras called the creatures Foulings and so the name stuck. They raided his force by night, then melted into hollows by day, drawing Laurynth ever deeper into the Hills. Elves wounded by these terrors were stricken with paralysis. Those not killed by the Foulings at first recovered, only to grow ill a day or two later. The sickness caused pale scales to cover their bodies, wicked lights to spark in their eyes, ultimately transforming the elves in more Foulings. Half of Laurynth’s force was dead, transformed, or captured before he turned back in defeat. As he did, Finryke, now fully a monster, called out to mock him.

“You killed for power!” Finryke shouted, his voice hissing in the shadows, as he pointed Vylslayke at his father. “I am the result! What strength you did not claim will be my own! Go and return to ruin and defeat! For I am Finryke no longer! I am Murmak the Pale! For The Dominator has bleached me with his gifts of great power. But fear not! I will rule in stead of you. I will hold the might that you should have taken!”

Sarynfel Destroys Athaelys

Finryke’s words filled Laurynth with dread. Over the years, guilt for his crimes became a crushing weight. He could not meet the malign gaze of his son, even as a child. In his glowing eyes, he could see the heinous murder-act repeated again and again. But he still could not bring himself to confess. Instead he quietly lamented what he’d done.

Returning to Athaelys, Laurynth found only ruin. The dragon Sarynfel had descended upon the woodland realm even as Laurynth’s army entered the hills. His people were left defenseless to the great wyrm. They perished or fled. Sarynfel drove the refugees into the hills where they were taken by Foulings. So the monsters’ ranks were swelled even further. Sarynfel spewed out various poisons as he settled into his new lair — which became known as The Gauntwood after its skeletal trees, poison clouds, and roaming undead.

Laurynth fled south with a remnant of his people. Coming to the east of Kymbria, he took a basalt upthrust of rock for his new abode. This he carved into a tower. Calling the new realm Ravenscorne, he lives there still. A sad and dour king among the tattered remnant of his people.

Worship of the Dominator and the Rise of the Mist Wall

In Kymbria, the Regent Rilfawne had long-since grown wary of Athaelys’ troubles. The split between his daughter and Laurynth brought foreboding. The appearance of baleful Finryke at the annual moots sent a shiver down his spine. But members of the elected Council could not be troubled. Business from the river was booming. Shebril made great wealth in trade at his Ford both in tolls to ferry vessels across the rocks and in goods from the other lands of fairy. Shebril’s apparent generosity in the form of gifts sent out across Athaelys and Kymbria fed a general sense of malaise. So Rilfawne bided his time for want of any ear willing to hear his worries. Out of everyone, Rilfawne’s own daughter Valenthia was the only one to share his concerns. Her regular pilgrimages to Mistfire — the unicorn-druid — were at least a small comfort. Her fear of her son had lit in her the fire of purpose. She’d organized a group of Knights of Luna. An all-female force of paladin pegasus riders. Many elves either mocked or ignored them. Times were peaceful. Their martial training seemed useless to most.

When Finryke stole Vylslayke and abductions were reported, the Knights of Luna stood up. They escorted travelers on roads through the hills. They aided refugees fleeing the ruin of Sarynfel. Few criticized Valenthia and her knights then. They instead looked to the Knights for strength and comfort. Some even suggested they hadn’t done enough to prepare — for they were only a small company and the troubles besetting Kymbria were suddenly vast.

A great evacuation of Athaelys ensued even as Foulings poured down from the Hills. Those captured were brought to a new Fouling Fortress called The Pit. Valenthia and her Knights of Luna scouted this fortress to find that Foulings were using elves as ritual sacrifices to a dark god. These elves were sacrificed by being hurled into a pool of mercury in the Pit’s deepest recesses. A magical gateway to a Nether Realm ruled by a Fouling god called The Dominator. An evil god already feared throughout Kymbria due to Laurynth’s own harrowing tales of adventure and escape.

Now all of Athaelys was in ruin and over-run. Sarynfel came to rule over this once-vital woodland kingdom. A place of terror crawling with both Foulings and undead that the elves now called The Gauntwood. To its north, the Fouling Hills frowned over a brutal and desolate land. The very earth grew corrupt. Oily fires alighted from the ruined hills as lightning storms without rain clawed across the highlands. From this corruption, the Lich Shebril drew magical strength. For it is the nature of all undead to feed on sickness, weakness, death. And without the life-giving community of elves, the land fell prey to his terrible magic. Channeling the dark energies of a dead and preyed upon land, he raised the Mist Wall and thus sundered the whole of Kymbria from the lands of fairy. Now isolated, Murmak, Sarynfel, Shebril and their monstrous servants turned their eyes south to Kymbria’s capitol. It was only a matter of time, they believed, before it too fell to their evil advance.

Entry into Kymbria — By Road or By Boat

After receiving Shedra’s request for aid, the players will have to decide how to enter Kymbria. If the players require inducement, the abduction of a close associate by Foulings or a mysterious disappearance in the vicinity of Kymbria may provide adventure hooks. Additionally, The Dominator may have more personally harmed one of your players or some players may have ties with Kymbria through family or other associations. Use your creativity and discretion.

Regardless, if the players do not wish to risk becoming lost in the Mist Wall surrounding Kymbria, the two known ‘safer’ ways to enter this Fairy land are either by a road entering Kymbria from the North or by a boat running up the river (both the river and the road are intentionally left unnamed so that you may easily plug Kymbria into a traditional or homebrew campaign setting).

If the players decide to brave the Mist Wall instead, they find themselves surrounded by swirling mists that seem to remove them from space and time. Once the players enter the Mist Wall, they find themselves separated from one another. No matter how they call out, shout, or move, they grow further and further apart. At last, alone, and in silence, each player must individually find their way out of the Mist Wall. Have each player roll a DC 21 Wisdom saving throw. On a success, the player emerges from the Mist Wall one day later at the place they entered without mishap. On a failure, the player is trapped in the Mist Wall for the day and does not emerge. They may roll this save again on the next dawn. If the player fails by 5 or more they are trapped in the Mist Wall for one week after which they may repeat their saving throw.

Time passes strangely in the Mists. Players do not suffer from starvation or lack of water while trapped. If a player is trapped for more than a week, creatures that travel between realities may hone in on a lone player as prey. Roll a d20. On a roll of a 1, the player is attacked by four Phase Spiders. These spiders are native to the mists and can see through them without impediment. The player, however, suffers from heavy obscurement by the mists. The player is thus considered blinded and can only resolve the Phase Spiders as blurry, monstrous forms. If the player defeats these Phase Spiders, they are not troubled again.

If a player rolls 26 or higher on their Wisdom save to navigate the Mist Wall, they have learned the trick of traveling through this planar barrier. They may see and gather their party members in the mists. They may then forge a path with their companions to Kymbria through the Wall. They appear at a random place of your choice on the borders of Kymbria (see map above) and may begin their adventures within Kymbria from that point (continue to the other modules in this adventure series for reference materials).


The road into Kymbria forges a crooked path into mists tainted by pollution. The nearby Fouling Hills continuously emit smoke and poisonous vapor from cracks that have riven the land. These vapors now mingle with this section of the Mist Wall. Players passing through it find themselves coughing in a sooty and sulfurous air.

It takes about one day for players to travel through the Mist Wall and into Kymbria. While in the mists, they experience mild disorientation as night bleeds into day and swirling mists take hold of their senses. Regardless, so long as players stick to the road, they are not in danger and will eventually pass through the Mist Wall uninhibited.

After crossing the Mist Wall boundary, players pass through a flat and green land mostly shrouded by the mists spilling down from the wall. When the mists finally clear, they reveal a road formed of white but stained bricks. The road plunges through a pass in steep and craggy hills. Before them, and blocking the road, is a Fouling (Dreadclaw) riding a Ghoulish Giant Spider. Dreadclaw is supported by six War Orcs (Area 1 on the Road Ambush Map). Two more Ghoulish Giant Spiders are visible clinging to hillsides — one to the east and one to the west (Area 5). The towers flanking The Pit are each manned by two War Orcs and one Fouling. The large table-like rock also serves as a perch for yet another Fouling supported by two more War Orcs who stand on the ground in front of the Pit’s opening (The towers and table rock are at Area 3). In addition to these visible forces, six Ghoulish Giant Spiders and four Foulings hide among the trees to the west (Area 2). Meanwhile, a reserve of one Fouling and four War Orcs lurks just inside the Pit’s entrance (Area 4). Read the following flavor text:

The sulfurous mists pull back their dark curtain. Before you, a white road cuts through dark hills oozing with pollution. To your right, a wood strewn with giant cobwebs looms. Your eyes catch shadowy movements among the trees. But when you turn to look, you see only gnarled trunks and branches supporting dark leaves pricked with thorns. To your left, a great crevice opens in a hillside. Gaping like a rocky maw, the opening falls down into a dark pit. Beside this pit are two towers hewn from dark wood. Orcs and pale, scaly creatures with glowing eyes lurk among these fortifications or stand leering at you near the pit’s opening. In front of you, another of these scaly creatures blocks your path. It rides a giant spider about the size of an ox that propels its bulbous body through the finger-like motions of its eight boney legs. Clusters of black eyes stare at you from its head. Behind the spider and its pale rider are six more orcs. The rider’s eyes glow with a sickly green light at your approach. It lifts one hand to point a black-clawed finger at your. Through pointed teeth, it hisses the word ‘halt!’ in the common tongue.

Road Ambush Battle Map

Dreadclaw has orders from Murmak to halt all traffic leading into Kymbria by road. To this end, he is aided by a large force totaling 16 War Orcs, 8 Ghoulish Giant Spiders and 9 Foulings. He will order anyone on the road to halt and to give up all weapons. If travelers comply without offering resistance, Dreadclaw will bind his new prisoners, confiscate their gear, and haul them off into The Pit. Anyone with a passive Insight of 12 or higher is able to guess Dreadclaw’s intentions. At this point, it becomes clear that the only way out of capture is fight or flight.

During combat, Dreadclaw orders all forces to surround and attack the players. Monsters in the woods spring up and attack from the player’s right flank, The orcish reserve in or near the Pit rushes out to join the Ghoulish Giant Spider on the left flank. Those in the towers pepper any of their enemies with javelins and spells. Dreadclaw on his Ghoulish Giant Spider along with his six War Orcs serve as a blocking force.

Captives — anyone with a passive Perception of 13 or higher notices two cages — one at the base of each tower. These cages serve as confinement for a total of eight elfish captives. These are mainly Kymbria natives caught on the road returning to their land. One of these prisoners, however, is Blaes — a level 11 Monk. Blaes is a refugee from Woodglen Monestary. He’s the only surviving member of a group of elfish raiders who’ve been harassing Murmak’s Foulings near The Pit. He was finally captured after an ambush destroyed his company earlier in the day. All captives, being elves, are bound for sacrifice to The Dominator in The Pit’s depths.

If the players defeat Dreadclaw, the captives will beg that they free them and then flee. Players lingering on the Battlefield will hear noise of orcs and Foulings approaching from the Pit within only a few minutes. If they linger for more than five minutes, a new force of 30 War Orcs, 12 Orc Archers, 4 Trolls, 2 Hill Giants, and 4 Foulings emerge to attack them. Give the players plenty of warning before these monsters arrive. If the players flee, this force instead retakes the fortifications around the Pit as a pursuit is organized. See ‘hunted’ in the Ruins of Glenwood Monastery module of this adventure series.

Treasure: Each Fouling carries four Emerald Coins for a total of 36 (20 gold value each).


Entering Kymbria by boat requires the players to travel upstream. Progress is slow as the Mist Wall steadily builds before them like a landed thunderhead. At last, after about a day of rowing or sailing, the prow of their vessel pierces the mists. As the vapors swirl around them, the current goes slack. The vessel now seems to cut swiftly through the water. But no matter how fast they row, they remain surrounded by roiling clouds. After about one day of steady rowing (the winds die within the Mist Wall, so sailing is not possible), they at last emerge into Kymbria. The mists fall away like the spray of some massive wave. To their south and west, they behold the great cherry trees and pristine lands of Mistfire’s Grove. To their north, the lands rise into the outskirts of the Gauntwood. There the ground is riven with channels through which run a dark and poisonous ichor. In the distance, skeletal trees are locked in perpetual autumn.

The players have now emerged into Kymbria. The map below provides their relative location on the river leading into Kymbria just east of the main map’s edge. It is also the site of a river ambush by the forces of Murmak. Place the player’s boat on the river in the lower left portion of the map when the encounter begins. As the boat comes abreast of the area marked A, the fouling leader Funkpaw springs the ambush. Along with him in area A are five Foulings (for a total of six Foulings). They are supported by two Ghoulish Giant Spiders in Area A. These hide among the trees and require a DC 20 Perception check to spot. Behind them are eighteen War Orcs gathered in groups of six at each location marked C. In addition to these forces, Funkpaw has formed a pact with the Hydra named Flamesprit. Flamesprit lurks in the water at Area B. Neither the Hydra nor the War Orcs are visible to the players on the boat.

When Funkpaw triggers the ambush, the six Foulings use their jump ability to assault the boat or attack the party with spells and ranged attacks from the trees (an even split of three jumping onto the boat and three using spells from shore is a good mix). If necessary, they caste Haste to double the distance of their jump. Meanwhile, the Ghoulish Giant Spiders hurl webs from shore and the War Orcs advance to pepper the boat with javelins. While the players are distracted, Flamesprit the Hydra swims underwater toward the boat close to the river bottom. Once beneath the boat, Flamesprit attacks, attempting to capsize the boat. Flamesprit can make one Athletics check with each of its heads (5). If it meets a DC of 20 on one of these checks, the boat is capsized and its occupants end up in the river in a space adjacent to the upside-down boat. Flamesprit then surfaces to attack.

River Ambush Battle Map

If the battle turns against the ambushers, Funkpaw and Flamesprit will attempt to flee. If they are successful, they will warn Murmak that powerful adventurers have entered Kymbria. Armed with this information, Murmak will send scouts to keep tabs on the party’s doings in Kymbria.

Players defeating the river ambush are free to continue their progress along the river. As they pass the Mistwood, they will notice monsters on the south bank at the Dark Landing. You will find this encounter in the Mistfire’s Grove module of this adventure series.

Treasure: Each Fouling carries four Ruby Coins for a total of 24 (20 gold value each).


The Monsters of Kymbria

From the Gauntwood to the Pit to the Fouling Hills and through various incursions into Kymbria, this land of Fairy is over-run with new and terrible monsters. The Foulings themselves come in many varieties. And Shebril has created various undead terrors that haunt these lands. You can find their game statistics below.

Fouling  — 5e stats

Medium Fiend, chaotic evil 

Armor Class 17 (Natural Armor 3)
Hit Points 77 (11D8+22)
Speed 35 ft, Climb 35 ft, Jump 35 ft

17 (+3)20 (+5)14 (+2)12 (+1)14 (+2)18 (+4)

Saving Throws Con +5, Cha +7
Skills  Athletics +6, Arcana +4, Intimidation +7, Stealth +11, Perception +5
Damage Immunities: Poison

Damage Resistances: Necrotic

Condition Immunities Charmed, Frightened, Incapacitated
Senses Darkvision 120 (can see in magical darkness), Blindsense 20, passive Perception 15
Languages Common, Abyssal, Elfish, Telepathy 60 Feet

Challenge: 6 (2300 XP)

Magic Resistance: Foulings make saving throws against spells, magical attacks, and divine powers with advantage.

Spider Climb: Foulings can climb on difficult surfaces, including upside down on ceilings, without needing to make an ability check.

Spellcasting: Foulings cast the following spells, requiring no spell components and using Charisma as its spellcasting ability (DC 15, +7 to hit)

Cantrips: Shocking Grasp (Necrotic or Lightning Damage), Toll of the Dead, Bladeward

Level 1 (4 slots): Absorb Elements, Magic Missile, Feather Fall

Level 2 (3 slots): Misty Step, Web, Darkness

Level 3 (3 slots): Haste, Slow


A Fouling can cast a leveled spell or make one melee or ranged attack, make one bite attack, and cast a cantrip. A Fouling can make a bite attack or a rapier attack using its hasted action (if hasted).

  • Rapier. Melee Weapon Attack: +8 to hit, reach 5 feet, one target. Hit: 10 (1d8+5) magical piercing damage and 5 (2d4) necrotic damage.
  • Shocking Grasp+Black Claw. Melee Spell Attack: +7 to hit, reach 5 feet, one target. Hit: 10 (2d8) Lightning or Necrotic damage and 8 (1d6+4) magical piercing damage. and the target cannot take reactions until the start of its next turn.
  • Toll the Dead. Range 60: DC 15 Wisdom Saving Throw. On failed save 2d8 (10) or 2d12 (14) Necrotic damage if the target has already taken damage.
  • Bite. Melee Natural Weapon Attack: +8 to hit, reach 5 feet, one target. Hit: 8 (1d4+5) piercing damage and 4 (1d6) poison damage. Hit target makes a DC 14 Constitution save. If the target fails, they are poisoned. If the target fails by 5, they are unconscious. If the target fails and are an elf or fairy they contract the Fouling Sickness. If they fail a second DC 14 Constitution save at the end of the next day, they fall unconscious for 4 days after which they awaken as a Fouling.


Foulings are pale, covered in white scales, have eyes that glow in various colors (red, yellow, ice-blue, green, orange), and have long black claws that sprout from their left hands.

Ghoulish Giant Spider  — 5e stats

Large Undead Monstrosity, chaotic evil 

Armor Class 15 (Natural Armor 3)
Hit Points 40 (7d8+5)
Speed 30 ft, Climb 30 ft

14 (+2)15 (+2)12 (+1)7 (-2)11 (0)6 (-2)

Damage Immunities: Poison

Skills: Stealth +7

Condition Immunities Charmed, Exhausted, Poisoned
Senses Darkvision 60 (can see in magical darkness), Blindsense 10, Passive Perception 10
Languages Common

Challenge: 2 (450 XP)

Spider Climb: The spider can climb difficult surfaces, including upside down on ceilings, without needing to make an ability check.

Web Sense: While in contact with a web, the spider knows the exact location of any other creature in contact with the same web.

Web Walker. The spider ignores movement restrictions caused by webbing.


Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 5 ft., one creature. Hit: 7 (1d8 + 3) piercing damage, and the target must make a DC 12 Constitution saving throw, taking 9 (2d8) poison damage and becoming paralyzed on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one. A creature poisoned in this way can roll a saving throw at the end of each of its turns to remove the paralyzed condition. If the poison damage reduces the target to 0 hit points, the target is stable but poisoned for 1 hour, even after regaining hit points, and is paralyzed while poisoned in this way.

Web (Recharge 5–6). Ranged Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, range 30/60 ft., one creature. Hit: The target is restrained by webbing. As an action, the restrained target can make a DC 13 Strength check, bursting the webbing on a success. The webbing can also be attacked and destroyed (AC 10; hp 5; vulnerability to fire damage; immunity to bludgeoning, poison, and psychic damage).


Ghoulish giant spiders are dark grey, hairy undead monstrosities with great clusters of black eyes, bulbous bodies and dripping fangs that propel their bulks on creaking

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