So what happens if the PC lose against the slavers and their minions? Well I found that out in the Summer of '82 when our Dungeon master almost but not quite had a TPK on his hands. I heard so rumblings from the peanut gallery that A4 In the Dungeons of the Slave Lords wouldn't be easy to adapt to the Barbarian Warlords of Greyhawk campaign setting.
Let's get some perspective on the quick backgroud history of this module according to Wiki;"In the Dungeons of the Slave Lords, the final module in the series, was published by TSR in 1981 as a thirty-two page booklet with an outer folder, and was written by Lawrence Schick. The cover artwork by Erol Otus features a drawing of a group of myconid (fungus men) fighting a party of adventurers. The interior art was done Otus, Roslof, Willingham, Steve Sullivan, David C. Sutherland III, and Jean Wells."
So this module is wall to wall tournament adventure written all over it which means it can be easily modified to fit the dungeon master's needs. The PC's have been captured & left to die in the tunnel & cave systems beneath the slave lord's lairs. Gone are their fancy magical weapons & their spells so their going to have to think their way out. For a a Barbarian Warlords of Greyhawk campaign there's an almost Edgar Rice Burroughs twist to A4 making this bit more of a struggle for survival. If the PC's have left behind hirelings, tribesmen, etc. to man the various locations used as adventure locations then this module is going to be a kick in the teeth. The party is going to be coming face to face with the true children of the demoness Zuggtmoy.
After the destruction of the Horde of Elemental Evil everything seemed nice & quiet but the human forces had already retreated back to their volcanic island retreat. To lick their wounds & plan for a profitable slaving operation to fund the next rise of the cult. Warfare doesn't come cheap.
"In 569 CY, a combined force was sent to destroy the Temple and put an end to the marauding. This allied army clashed with a horde of evil men and humanoids, including orcs, ogres and gnolls, at the Battle of Emridy Meadows. Men-at-arms from Furyondy and Veluna united with dwarves from the Lortmils, gnomes from the Kron Hills, and an army of elven archers to face the threat of the Horde of Elemental Evil, consisting largely of savage humanoids such as orcs, ogres, and gnolls. The arrival of the elves from the shadows of the Gnarley Forest turned the tide of battle, trapping the savage humanoids against a bend in the Velverdyva where they were routed and slaughtered.
At some point in this battle, Serten, cleric of Saint Cuthbert and member of the Citadel of Eight, was slain. The Citadel was notable for its absence at this pivotal moment in the history of the Flanaess, and their failure to take part in the Battle of Emridy Meadows contributed to the group's decline and eventual disbandment.
After dispersing the Horde of Elemental Evil, the allied forces laid siege to the Temple of Elemental Evil itself, defeating it within a fortnight. Spellcasters loyal to the goodly army cooperated on a spell of sealing that bound the demoness Zuggtmoy (a major instigator in the Horde of Elemental Evil) to some of the deepest chambers in the castle's dungeons.
Meanwhile the PC's have their hands full trying to survive against the Gygaxian monster dungeon ecological system of A4. Which the various caverns & caves inhabitants would like to make them a part of.
If you think that all is lost for the PC's carving out their own kingdom from the ashes of the Slave Lords corpses. Think again!? The PC's have a chance to defeat the slave lords, grab volcanic island lair,& then learn 'the hidden truth' of the Earth Dragon of A4 In The Dungeons of The Slave Lords. I'm modifying the module to fit more in line with some of the systems presented in the Heroic Fantasy Handbook for ACK's.
Occultist and Dread Wraith, Jeff Binder
Deep beneath the island locked in a prison of volcanic glass & obsidian is another piece of the the demoness Zuggtmoy (a major instigator in the Horde of Elemental Evil)remember. So the PC's inherit a sacred duty to watch over the prison but a kick ass volcanic base to begin to expand their own empire of plunder and pillage. This way it loops back around into T1 The Temple of Elemental Evil giving weight to the whole series and a satisfying conclusion.
There are few things to consider before venturing on a whole hog endeavor of running the Scourge of the Slave Lords series with a Barbarian Warlords of Greyhawk campaign. The entire face of Greyhawk is going to be altered. The technological levels are going to be late Roman Empire to Viking era. There are some definitive things to consider here:
- This isn't simply adventure running but empire building in one of the more well known old school settings and its going to require shoehorning here & there.
- Sacred cows NPC's are going to die and their not coming back.
- PC's are going to be shifting the balance of the campaign setting as movers & shakers.
- Not everything is going to go according the definitions of good & evil. There's going to be more then a few innocents killed before this campaign ends. So be prepared.
- Wargaming might be called for during some of the passages of these adventures.
- Have more then a few PC's as backup for one or more of them will be killed during the course of the Slave Lord series.
- Don't be stingy with the treasure because war costs money and lots of it.
- ACK's is designed for exactly this sort of a campaign.
- Don't forget to modify or edit these modules as needed for your needs as both players & DM's.
- This places a whole different spin on Greyhawk but remember there are countless alternative Greyhawks in the planes.