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Friday’s 4e Freebie: Oracle of Orcas by Alea Publishing

Earlier this week, I had the distinct pleasure of reviewing Alea Publishing’s Adventurer’s Guide to Cthonia. If you have not checked out this product, please feel free to read my review, as it is an incredible world setting based upon Medieval Europe, as it emerges from the Dark Ages, but with the important fact that Magic exists!
Oracle of Orcas
If you’ve ever read any of the Katherine Kurtz’s Deryni Series, then you know how fascinating a setting can be, in which the practice of magic and sorcery can be at odds with a powerful religious organization (ie The Church), all within a strict feudalistic society. There can be no end to the drama and intrigued that can happen when powerful forces such as magic and religion fight against each other.

So in keeping with that “Cthonia” theme, I decided to dedicate this Friday Freebie to a FREE mini-adventure created for the Feudal Lords World Setting, and usable with the Adventurer’s Guide to Cthonia.

Oracle of Orcas
  • Designers: Joshua Raynack & Heather Raynack.
  • Illustrators: Joshua Raynack and Sade.
  • Publisher: Alea Publishing
  • Year: 2009
  • Media: PDF (7 pages)
  • Cost: FREE (available from RPGNow)

Oracle of Orcas is a mini-adventure, or Exploit, for ninth level Adventurers that can be used with the Feudal Lords Campaign Setting, but can also be adapted to any campaign setting. The Exploit consists of two combat encounters and a skill challenge, and can be used as an adventure hook to start a larger quest, and can be used to add one (or possibly two) recurring villains to your campaign.

The Exploit is based upon a Prophecy regarding the creation of a great death knight that will one day become a terrible force of destruction against all humanity. Cultists of a Fallen Angel called Orcas, seek to find clues to raise up the death knight as an ally to their cause.

For those unfamiliar with the setting, the Fallen Angels from the Adventurer’s Guide to Cthonia are an interesting concept, and they form the opposition to The Church in the World of Terra. Essentially, they are the evil souls of men and women who did great evil when alive, and have achieved a sort of elevation to demi-god status after death. While virtuous souls ascend to become Saint, these Fallen Angels are the anti-Saints, and have their own worshippers and believers. Of course, in a non-Feudal Lords campaign, Cultists of Orcas could easily become Cultists of Orcus, Lord of the Undead.

The Skill Challenge in the Exploit is a very unusual one – reading arcane sigils that have been marked onto the flesh of an ettin, who is bound in sleep by powerful sorcery. Unlike other more free-form skill challenges, this one takes using certain skills in a particular order in order to allow the adventurers to read the sigils marked over, and even under, the somnambulant giant. This requires both Arcane knowledge to read the markings, but also brute strength and stealth to manipulate the giant’s body in order to see the markings – without waking him up.

All this leads to a final encounter with the Cult, who have desecrated a church in order to locate what they believe to be their goal. Again, the Exploit is just the beginning of what can be a larger quest, so the adventure need not stop at the burning church. The Authors give a few suggestions on how to carry the adventure on further, should a Dungeon Master wish to do so.

This free mini-adventure from Alea Publishing is a nice bit of work, and worth picking up, even if you just need something to quickly fit into an evening of D&D gaming. The three encounters are nicely written, and while lacking maps, are descriptive enough for Dungeon Masters to create their own encounter tiles as needed. It’s definitely worth the download, And is available here from RPGNow.

So until next blog… I wish you Happy Gaming!

About The Author

Michael is an Adept of a Secret Order of Dungeon Masters, and dwells in a hidden realm with his two evil cat-familiars, deep within the Vale of Wolverines, called by some "Michigan". He has been esoterically conjuring D&D Campaigns for nearly a Third of a Century, and has been known to cast ritual blogs concerning Dungeons & Dragons every few days with some regularity. Michael has freelanced for Wizards of the Coast, and writes reviews of D&D and other Role-Playing Game products on EN World News.


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