DANGER AT EVERY TURN
Never was anything great achieved without danger.
WOUNDS: OLD, NEW, AND GAPING
The days immediately following the conclusion of Tyranny of Dragons (Adventurers League Season 1) saw the city of Mulmaster receiving refugees from the town of Phlan, now claimed by the great, green dragon Vorgansharax (also known as the Maimed Virulence). The gates of the Mulmaster were opened, but it did not take long for the age-old moniker The City of Danger to rear its ugly head: elemental cultists had begun to infiltrate Mulmaster, planning to set into motion a plan that would eventually prove to be catastrophic.
Several groups within the city held tenuously to their power over the following months. The Hawks, long considered as something of a secret police, found a receptive audience in the Lords’ Alliance.
The Cloaks, keenly aware of the coming danger, were able to fatten their ranks from the inbound stock of refugees and would-be heroes. The Blades would find their loyalties tested time and again, as conflict arose not only across the city but also within their own ranks. The Thayan Embassy grew curiously silent, seemingly content to shore up their own defenses as emotions were heightened and battle broke out.
When attacked from all sides, the city had few options. The attack levied by the insane elemental cultists was costly in more than simple resources: it sapped the hope and drive of the citizens. Now, faced with a bleak future, how best can the city rebuild?
THE ADVENTURERS LEAGUE SEASONS
Defining the timeline of the Forgotten Realms is a truly heroic undertaking, but there are many players that wish to play adventures in a specific chronological order or in a desired window of years (in Dale Reckoning, often simply referred to as «DR»). The information contained here is intended to take place after the events of DDEP2 Mulmaster Undone, which sums up the storyline details of the D&D Adventurers League content spanning all of Season 2; the entirety of this content is referred to in this document as Elemental Evil.
If you are running adventures from Tyranny of Dragons, it is highly unlikely that any of the information here will be useful to you. However, you are free to use it at your discretion. Other adventures after Elemental Evil are assumed to use this material as a foundation where ever Mulmaster might be concerned. This includes, but is not limited to, any adventure produced under the Convention- Created Content program.
USING THIS SUPPLEMENT
Many content designers, adventure creators, and novelists have spun stories in and around Mulmaster, the City of Danger over the years. When you run a game in this space, it is important to note that you are by no means required to know all of the history that has come before—though some helpful resources are noted here for your easy review:
- DDEX2 Elemental Evil Player’s Pack
- DDEX02-01 through DDEX02-16
- The Arcane Edict in Mulmaster
- The State of Mulmaster (pre-Devastation) &
Cloaks tracking sheet
- The State of Mulmaster (post-Devastation)
- TSR 9474 The Moonsea (2e)
- WotC Mysteries of the Moonsea (3.5e)
The events discussed later in this supplement discuss significant spoilers for the entirety of the second season of the D&D Adventurers League. These adventures, commonly referred to as Elemental Evil, make a great starting-off point for players and DMs looking to make their mark around the Moonsea.
Furthermore, now that conventions can request approval to create their own custom Adventurers League content in and around the Moonsea it becomes even more important to share the ramifications of the decisions of the heroes of the Realms. As participants in a living campaign, the characters have many opportunities to significantly impact the current and upcoming storylines, and though it can be difficult to point out exactly how the decisions of one party impact every other party around the world… sometimes it can be very easy, as we saw in DDEP2 Mulmaster Undone. The aftermath of this adventure and the decisions of the players is known simply as «the Devastation” to the Mulmasterites.
Suffice it to say, abundant spoilers lie ahead. If you have not yet played the Elemental Evil adventures and do not wish to know the effects of the actions of the characters that have already played this material, turn back now.
AFTER THE DEVASTATION
Where once Mulmaster sported a bustling harbor and fast-paced shipping businesses, and contained a hint of the sea in the air, the city now smolders and smoke taints the breeze.
Many of the low, squat red brick buildings of Mulmaster were able to weather the onslaught, though most of the wooden structures and towers took significant damage. In some areas open portals to the elemental planes rage and twist, unpredictable in their nature but dangerous all the same. Elemental fire blazes bright with no sign of sputtering out, and sinkholes — portals filled with raw elemental earth — litter the northern and western sections of the city. Zhentarim spies skulk amidst the ruined warehouses while overworked laborers strain to shore up the levies around the shattered remains of the harbor; the watchful eyes of the Cloaks gaze over the entire city, but their attentions have been more focused on the rebuilding efforts rather than the enforcement of magical law as they were in the past.
The City of Danger is as it ever was: rife with opportunity, hand-in-hand with the culture that made it famous. The damage caused by the assault of the Elemental Cults has re-opened old wounds and disrupted new alliances, and the days ahead promise that the troubles the people of Mulmaster thought they knew were only just beginning. Through and through, this is indeed an evil city populated by evil people; heroes are in short supply and high demand, and the stakes are higher now than ever before.
Where once the city boasted a population of nearly 50,000 residents, this number has tumbled significantly. The devastation claimed nearly 8,000 lives, and over the intervening months another 13,000 left, starved, or went missing. With nearly half of the city now vacant and smashed, there is a lot of work to be done.
The political structure of Mulmaster is as much a feature of the City of Danger as the harbor, the Tower of the Wyvern, or the Zhent ghetto. This is indeed a multi-layered governmental machine, with nuance and rhythm, but rotten at its core.
The acknowledged leader of the city is the High Blade Selfaril Uoumdolphin. His word is final on all matters within the city, from tariff disputes at
Southroad Keep to accusations of treason and murder. He is served, in turn, by the Blades, a group of sixteen lords entirely loyal to him and his decrees. From here, the Cloaks enforce the edict of arcane intolerance as they have for many years, and the Hawks serve as the secret enforcers of the laws of Mulmaster. Zors and Zoras—such as Zora Culkin— comprise the local nobility, and whether born into it or purchased, these men and women operate with broad authority, often commanding their own small militias.
Most visitors to the city do their best to keep their head down, set out to complete their business in short order, and make haste to exit the area as soon as possible. Punishments for breaking the laws of Mulmaster are often quite severe. For example, the Cloaks are quick to threaten an unregistered mage with a death sentence for casting even the simplest of spells.
Although a permanent gate to the elemental plane of water did not open in the Moonsea, a large number of devastation orbs from the Cult of the Howling Hatred and the Cult of the Eternal Flame detonated in the harbor by adventurers seeking the fastest resolution to a problem that was outside of their ability to resolve. While these decisions mitigated much of the damage that might have been incurred, the harbor as it was ceased to exist on that day. Littered with the ruins of destroyed buildings, smashed ships, and the churned-up debris from the bottom of the Moonsea, its water is now only a few feet deep and the loose silt obscures ship-destroying treacherous detritus.
With ships no longer able to enter the area and no serviceable docks along the nearby shores of the Moonsea proper, trade is largely restricted to the roads to the south and east. The larger problem, though, is that the harbor represents the primary food source for many of Mulmaster’s residents, and the wave of devastation has almost entirely eliminated this option. The people are now entirely reliant upon the Zhentarim Market or the Thayan caravans, neither of which offer desirable prices or goods.
There has been some work performed towards making the harbor navigable again, but it will likely be many years before all of the debris is cleared out. Perhaps the aquatic elves of the Moonsea could be convinced to help, but they are reportedly upset about a number of cultists exploiting undersea resources and searching for artifacts from their ancient kingdom.
TOWER OF THE BLADES
The Tower of the Blades serves as base of operations for the Blades of Mulmaster, the ruling council that answers directly to the High Blade. Additionally, several hundred guards, both private and conscripted from the city’s armed forces, live and work here. It is said that secret dungeons exist below the Tower, and that dozens of hidden passages honeycomb the ground below and even lie within the walls themselves.
TOWER OF THE WYVERN
This ornate structure serves as the home and offices of the High Blade of Mulmaster, Selfaril Uoumdolphin. In addition, a dozen Cloaks reside here as part of his personal retinue, along with about a hundred guards and soldiers. The building also provides employment for dozens of servants that have been tasked with the care and maintenance of the facility. The facility is actually a full-fledged castle, with multiple towers and thick walls built of imported marble from the Dragonspine Mountains and stained glass windows from all over the world.
Rumors persist that the dungeons below the Tower actually lead to a diabolical pleasure pit, full of hedonists and succubi. However, the doors are sealed with solid masonry and potent spells, and the Cloaks often remove careless explorers from Mulmaster in short order.
THE TOWER OF ARCANE MIGHT
The Cloaks of Mulmaster are an arcane brotherhood that seeks to protect the city from mystical threats both internal and external. In the old days, casting arcane spells was expressly forbidden save for members of this group, but ever since the assault they have had a more tolerant view—to a limited extent. While they are allowing more people to join, they are by no means a forgiving organization.
Their stone tower took a fair beating but still stands. Perhaps out of a sense of pride, or a desire to connect with the citizens, the Cloaks have so far refused to undertake full repairs upon their home; they seem to be wearing the damage like a badge of honor. Rumor has it that many of the original protective enchantments crumbled during the attack, but without those spells the tower would likely have collapsed in upon itself, trapping or killing that remained those within.
Rastol Shan has been active in his efforts to recruit and train new Cloaks, including posting ads and broadsheets around the city indicating this need.
The pay may not be much, but the Tower includes living quarters, laboratories, and research spaces for the group.
The term «Thayvian” is a more elegant phrasing of «Thayan”, though the Red Wizards will not tell their visitors this outright. They find that their subtle games are best played over long timelines, so as to keep scrutiny of their motivations and goals to a minimum. Although the crumbling of the city exacted a heavy toll upon the arcanists, they did not delay before beginning their repairs. Through the use of their necromancers and abjurers, they quickly rebuilt the walls around their embassy, higher and thicker than before; in mere days, their home and support buildings were complete, and all of their labor had been supplied by the unfortunate citizens that perished during the assault.
In order to build goodwill in the city, they began to slowly mete out rebuilding efforts to spaces near their own holdings. They did not ask for compensation from the city, and they did not seek out approval for their work. They worked overnight, but not in secret; they asked for survivors to move along so they would be able to avoid witnessing their deceased loved ones working to restore the city. The Thayans may have referred to Mulmaster as a conquered territory in the past, but now they openly refer to it as The Gem of the North. Some of the more observant Mulmasterites have reported archaeological goods and wagons flying Thayan colors coming in and out of the city under the cover of night.
Curiously, one of the Zulkir—essentially the Thayan ruling council—took up residence in the City of Danger. Dar’lon Ma, Zulkir of Enchantment, has taken a firm interest in the daily activities of the city. He has been seen many times in the public company of Rastol Shan, master of the Cloaks, and the two seem to have developed a close bond.
THE ZHENT GHETTOES
The Zhentarim ghettoes in the southeastern portion of the city experienced some of the most extreme damage during the siege. Nearly every building was destroyed or suffered major fire damage, and in a few places some portals to the elemental plane of fire still rage. While thankfully small in size, their continued presence is still quite dangerous.
However, the Zhentarim and the Red Wizards of Thay appear to have resolved some of their former issues, and the Thayans have extended some of their rebuilding efforts into the run-down section of town the Zhentarim call home.
The Cloaks and Hawks have routinely turned a blind eye towards this part of town; historically it was because of the deeply-rooted loyalty that the residents held towards to the Zhentarim, but more recently it is due to the influence of those foreign wizards. So long as the crime stays down, bodies don’t turn up elsewhere in the city, and the fires are controlled, the city seems to be willing to politely look away.
Many resources are unfortunately denied to the residents of Mulmaster thanks to the destruction of the trade routes including the harbor and roads. The Zhent quartermasters have been quick to identify these opportunities, though, and several of the stores around Mulmaster are now part of a larger Zhent Market organization. Outwardly, these associated venues have pledged a portion of their proceeds to go directly into the reconstruction efforts, the truth is that each of these storefronts is actually an outlet for illicit goods, illegal tasks like murder-for-hire and poisons, and can procure nearly anything that an enterprising agent of the Black Network might need—for a price.
PROCURE ILLICIT GOODS
In the D&D Adventurers League Player’s Guide, there is a reference to an activity entitled «Procure Illicit Goods».
Thanks to the upheaval in this area and the general instability of the black market, this faction activity for members of the Zhentarim is alive and strong!
SHRINES & TEMPLES
The City of Danger has held numerous shrines and temples dedicated to a large number of deities, and the modern day is no exception. The damage caused here has served to strengthen the faith and resolve of many of the surviving citizens, though a few deities are reduced in their visibility here.
The worship of the God of Lies has gained some strength in the days since the attack, and the Black Lord’s Altar yet thrives. Many of his followers are con men and charlatan, and with Mulmaster in such a state…opportunities are plentiful. His temple crumbled a bit, and though his faithful are not moving quickly to repair the building it is still a beautiful facility. Tall black-and-red spikes rise from the walls and roof at odd angles, a visual dance of danger and unholy rhythm. Crimson light streams out of cracked windows, bathing the space around the temple is a palpable sense of malice. Non¬worshipers are never allowed inside, and it is said that certain divine wards have been installed to ensure the security of this place of worship.
The temple to the Maiden of Pain, known as the High House of Hurting, crumbled nearly to dust during the assault. Her faithful have been slow to return. As befitting her faith, it is said that anguished, pained wails can be heard from the rubble. The people of Mulmaster have chosen to leave the rubble in-place and are not yet seeking to rebuild her house. Even so, visiting clergy feel a closeness to Loviatar if they sleep among the ruins, often claiming that they were whipped mercilessly throughout the night by unseen assailants.
Several elemental rents have taken up residence here, spouting large plumes of elemental fire and belching noxious gases. The castle-like structure known as the High House of Swords is largely intact, though most flammable materials have long since burned away. The Order of the Gauntlet and the paladins of Tempus would love to return the facility to its former glory, but their efforts to shut down the elemental portals have thus far been thwarted. Most people that seek to pay their respects to the Foehammer do so from the street, or by seeking out employment with the Blades.
As the worship of Mystra is disallowed within the walls of Mulmaster (save for observances as made by some members of the Cloaks in a private shrine within the Tower of Arcane Might), some people that seek to pay their respects to the gods of magic do so at this spacious complex near the northwestern wall. Quiet and studious, the clerics here spend their time poring over tomes of lore that chronicle the earliest days of the civilizations around the Moonsea and scribing spells so that the Lord of Spellcraft will be appeased. This temple is known locally as the Tower of Mysteries.
This temple—a casino, really—did not fare well. When the flying airships of the Cult of the Howling Hatred began to drop from the sky, several landed in the city. The ship that crashed here was a former riverboat ironically named «The Lucky Coin”. The destruction of both the boat and the temple were near-complete, but the faithful of Lady Luck swear that it is a sign from their god. They have begun repairing the boat and plan to re-open it soon as a land-locked casino river barge, resort destination, and place of worship for those that observe the Smiling Lady. Formerly known as the Gate of Good Fortune, the surviving residents have a more colloquial name for it: the Lucky Coin.
Where once the worship of Bane was accepted amongst the citizens of Mulmaster, it has largely fallen out of favor. Their temple was razed in the attack, and the agents of the Black Hand have not taken this very well at all. It is whispered that the faithful of the god of Tyranny are also responsible for the erection of the shrine to Kyuss; if this is true, it may signify that dark days are fast approaching.
Beneath the scraps of the wrecked ships and ruined docks, a shallow space has been scraped out of the mud. Now lined with bristly green worms and the shed carapaces of other invertebrate vermin, this shrine to the Writhing God is tended by those that fear his return. Not long after the city began their efforts to rebuild in earnest these insects began appearing in larger numbers. Though the worship of Kyuss is rare even in the jungles of Chult where his faithful are the most numerous, the mere presence of this shrine seemingly indicates that the City of Danger may have even harder days ahead.
Near Southroad Keep stands a hill with a disheveled shrine dedicated to Lathander, the deity of renewal. Beneath the grime and filth, it can be plainly seen that the bronze holy symbol—that of a dawning sun on the horizon—is in very good repair, as if someone regularly performs upkeep on it. The soil surrounding the holy symbol and the thick bronze post that it rests upon is churned up and seems to be constantly damp, with an appearance not unlike the mounds that worms leave behind after a rainstorm. The faithful of Lathander are in short supply since the catastrophic events of late, but his clergy are strong in their faith.
As befitting the Beastlord, this shrine is adorned with the severed feet of wild animals as well as other grisly trophies. It stands just outside and slightly north of Southroad Keep, and drives away almost as many curious travelers as it attracts. Worship of Malar is not common inside the city walls, but failing to respect him—and the dark side of nature that he represents—during a hunt or a trip through the forest is simply foolish.
Themes of subterfuge and deception run deep in Mulmaster, and the shrine to the god of those classic arts is no exception to this rule. Outwardly it looks like a small building standing in the middle of the street, but therein lies the deception: inside it is a maze of mirrors and wardrobes, each lined with cloaks, decorative masks, and other symbols of high fashion. It is said that one cannot enter the shine of Mask if she herself is not wearing a mask, but scholars have often debated the meaning of this legend as deception and lies can serve as an immaterial mask for one’s identity or personality. The residents of the city have not mustered the courage to test this theory, though.
The shrine to Umberlee has not been maintained or tended to in some time. It now rests amidst the ruins of a broken and rotting boardwalk atop a sandbar; the harbor is far too treacherous for people to trek out to it and pay their respects. In a sense, this represents the spite of the sea, but in another…if the Bitch Queen is not given her due respect, her ire is known to be legendary.
INNS AND TAVERNS
THE BLACK BLADE AND BLOODY BOAR
This establishment is loud and boisterous, and makes no apologies for the actions of its patrons. It is said that everyone that steps foot into the bar is expected to either buy a round or bare-knuckle fight another patron, and though the regulars look tough they will neither confirm nor deny such rumors. If someone wanted to get a less-than-legal job done, it is said that the Black Blade is a great place to begin searching for a contractor. This bar can easily be identified by their distinctive sign outside: a wooden sculpture of a boar being impaled by a rusty iron sword.
THE LEANING BOOT
The patrons of the Leaning Boot don’t ask many questions, and if someone needs to ask where to find the Boot they are unlikely to gain entrance. For years, it has been located in the basement of a building near the harbor, though it has moved locations a number of times due to raids by the Hawks, City Guard, and—rumor has it—even the Cloaks. The entrance can be identified by the presence of a weather-worn black leather boot nailed to a doorframe. Only the most dedicated of drinkers spend any appreciable amount of time here; sailors, old locals, and some very cranky dwarves are among the regular patrons. The Boot only serves vat-fermented drinks, such as beer and ale; no spirits are served here.
The Oxpit Tavern is a rowdy place for travelers and locals alike to congregate. Bards frequent this establishment and provide entertainment in exchange for food and drink, as the Tavern is well known for their roasted ox recipe.
TRAVELER’S CLOAK INN
Much of the Traveler’s Cloak Inn was safe from the rampage of the arcane siege engine that the Cult of the Eternal Flame unleashed from the Zhentarim ghettoes, though the neighborhoods around it were not so lucky. The employees of the Inn swear that a sparkling dome rose around the building, but some of the citizens swear that the building was fully engulfed by the blaze but was rebuilt upon the following dawn. Whatever actually happened, the Traveler’s Cloak Inn is taking customers, serving wines and ales, and offering stable space for trusty steeds just as they did for many years prior to the assault.
Widely considered to be a high-end establishment, the Traveler’s Cloak Inn offers a fireplace in every room and three complimentary meals for every prepaid night’s stay. At a cost of 20 gp per night per room (+5 gp for each stabled mount], the high cost is actually supported by its patrons. All meals are prepared by a highly skilled Waterdhavian chef, and a master dwarven brewer resides in the cellar, crafting ales, mulling ciders, and carefully selecting the right icewine to compliment the meal.
THE WAVE AND WINK TAVERN
A bawdy dance hall and festival space just a few blocks from the Tower of the Blades, The Wave and Wink has long been a favorite place of respite for travelers, merchants, and sailors. The occasional noble can be spotted here, often attempting to be remain as low-key as possible, as certain pleasures are rumored to be had if the coin is right.
The balcony inside this large building suffered some structural damage during one of the earthquakes that rocked this part of the city but it was quickly repaired. The cost of the repairs and upgrades has been wrapped into the door charge, which is now 5 sp. They offer a bar that is well- stocked with mid-grade liquors and ales, but the choices are plentiful and they offer a «Buy Five, Get One Free” promotion
The Wave and Wink is the most frequented dance hall in Mulmaster. Many people wanting a good night out on the town go to the Wave and Wink for good, rowdy entertainment. The cover charge is 2 sp. Food is served here, but the wide selection of ales and wines is its largest draw.
THE WINDSNUG HEARTH
A favorite spot for visiting merchants and traders, this inn & tavern has a small bar and serves all food directly to the patron’s room. The food is often more upscale than other similar establishments around the city, with meals starting at 1 gp for lamb chops and honeyed mead. Due to the clientele, it is not uncommon to see a number of beggars and pickpockets outside in the street, and to discover a con man or two lying in wait in the tavern.
Southroad Keep is the longest-standing building in Mulmaster, and the recent attacks were unable to bring it down. Although it did suffer massive structural damage and the prison complex beneath it flooded with brackish seawater, the walls of the keep can still truthfully claim to have never been breached. As in the days prior, it continues to serve as the seat of standard government; tax collectors, members of the guard, and visitor information services can all be found here.
While the Keep tends to be the center of bureaucracy and therefore more often than not can be seen to be full of people working hard but not appearing to make much, if any, headway, the Red Wizards have been granted their own smaller gate adjacent to Southroad Keep. Under the orders of
Rastol Shan, this gate was established and remains manned by a select group of Cloaks; only the Red Wizards and those that fly their banner are allowed to freely enter or exit via this route; all other travelers are detained for lengthy inspection.