This module was written for play at GenCon 2009, as an introduction
to old style free-form adventure gaming. It uses the Swords & Wizardry
Core Rules, which are available as a free .pdf file at the game's website,
www.swordsandwizardry.com. Swords & Wizardry is a "retro-clone"
game, mirroring the rules of the original 1974 fantasy roleplaying
game written by Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson. This original
edition, which consisted of three booklets and four supplements, is
often referred to as "0e." There are actually two versions of Swords &
Wizardry: the WhiteBox version uses only material from the first three
booklets, and the Core Rules (used here) make use of some, but by no
means all, of the material from the four supplements.
For centuries, out in the wilderness beyond civilization's reach,
there has stood an enigmatic tower known as the Spire of Iron and
Crystal. It is a bizarre and ancient structure; four massive, eggshaped
crystals are mounted into a twisting, ornate structure of
rounded metal girders, one crystal at the top and the other three
mounted lower down. Moving lights seen inside the huge crystals
suggest that they are hollow and even inhabited, but no one has ever
discovered the secret of how to enter them. This is not surprising, for
the tower is located on a broad stone ledge halfway up a sheer cliff
face, the glassy walls of which have killed several adventurers who
attempted to climb down to the tower almost a hundred feet below.
Over the course of the last few months, with considerable effort and some
highly questionable methods, the adventurers have assembled quite a bit
of information about the Spire - things not widely known, even among
the wisest sages of the lands. Most importantly, they believe they know
how to enter the structure safely. Once per year, the sun shines through an
ancient runestone at the edge of the great cliff upon which the Spire stands;
for a period of three days when the stars are aligned with the runestone, an
invisible causeway manifests, connecting the highest crystal of the tower
with the edge of the cliff, far above. According to the party's information,
it is only during the first hour of evening, while the sun is visible through
the runestone that the ramp remains in being.
This information promises to allow the party access to the riches of
the tower, which are lavishly described in rumor and lore. They have
equipped a small expedition and made their way through the trails of the
wild borderlands to their goal: the tower and its still-unplundered riches.
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