No Prep Module: Light and Shadow for D&D or RPGs

This adventure can be can be easily customized to a party of any size or level, or run as a level 10 adventure for 5 players. It can work as a small side adventure in an existing campaign, as a standalone one-shot, or the start of a new adventure. Use the links to the tools in their relevant section to customize the adventure to your party.

The party is traveling through the wilderness between adventures or on their way to their next objective. Use the Wilderness Travel Tool to create a journey appropriate for your location and season. Goblin Explorer

The party encounters a goblin explorer. The goblin travels alone, mapping the regions he passes through. His maps are mostly inaccurate. Notably, he has a city marked about a day's walk in the direction the party came from. There was no city there, but he insists he saw it when he passed through a few days before.

If the PCs decide to return to the town and investigate, a magical leyline leads to a general area, and they need to find the hidden entrance to shadowfell. Detect Magic can be used to find the leyline, and discovering the portal to the Shadowfell is a DC 15 Investigation check.

Light and Shadow Dungeon


This dusty, 40-foot-wide, 30-foot-long hallway has a flat ceiling 40 feet overhead. The far wall is lined with pegs, hanging from which are numerous implements of torture. A rough, winding passage leads toward the east.


This 35-foot-high chamber has a dark, vaulted ceiling draped with moss and leaves. Cobwebs fill the staircase, making it difficult to see even the ceiling. The chamber is unlit and reeks of char.

Treasure: Random Treasure


This towering cavern is saturated with mildew and unfolds into blackness ahead. A slender hill on the north side overlooks a river. A bridge of brick spans the river, leading to a vast ledge on the south side that follows the course of the river to the east. A set of tight stairs cut into the rock wind up to the north, and two old stone doors stand in a wall of dressed stone to the east. As a brief tremor shakes the cavern, heavy beams groan under the weight of the ceiling.

  • The gravity in this room is reversed, causing anyone who steps into it to fall toward the ceiling.

East Passage: Door, unlocked.

North Passage: Locked Door (DC 15). Key could be found on nearby creature or chest.


Vast stairs climb to a landing 15 feet wide by 20 feet long. From the inclined passage leading to this rectangular chamber, you see a lantern hanging from the ceiling, shedding bright light. Thickets of mold fill the staircase, making it difficult to see even the ceiling.

  • The lantern continuously ages anyone who stands within its light.


High steps lead down into this long room, where the air is thick with the smell of rot. A smooth pillar of granite rises in the center of the room, nearly touching the 40-foot-high ceiling. Barrels, crates, and sacks line the walls of this room. Chairs made of bones and covered with decorative skulls surround a table, resting atop which is an ornate bowl. Dark stains cover the floor of this area. The walls are cracked, as if they once supported built-in shelves that have been reduced to rubble.

Encounter: 2 Air Elementals (Monster Manual p. 124)


The slow dripping of water rings where it falls from stalactites down into a foggy pond that fills the mossy tunnel ahead. Against the west wall is a massive of spherical ball entirely comprised of swirling liquid fire and rock. The curved west wall is fitted with three windows of leaded glass in steel latticework. Battered pots and kettles are stacked all over. Seven wooden training dummies stand against the walls, all of them burned. Dark, stagnant water pools in the heart of the cavern.

Encounter: Igniguana (Fifth Edition Foes p. 148), Night Hag (Monster Manual p. 178), 2 Succubus/Incubus (Monster Manual p. 285)

North Passage: Door, unlocked.


A mold-covered ceiling hangs above the still, black water that fills this dungeon hallway. The water is five feet deep. The room is covered in poorly cured animal hides and illuminated by smoking torches in bronze sconces. In the center of this room stands a great black desk. Nearby a tasseled rope hangs from a hole in the ceiling.

Treasure: Random Treasure


A horrible odor of decay fills this steaming hot cavern. Benches coated with centuries of dust lie about the floor in jumbled disarray. The stream running through the lair meanders through a natural cavern before tumbling into a great chasm.

Treasure: Random Treasure


The floor has been cut into hundreds of shallow steps, but the walls and ceiling are still natural rock. You come to a black landing 50 feet wide and 30 feet long. A small crack of light shines in from the ceiling illuminating a dusty disk. The pathway to the north is filled with an impenetrable darkness filled with whispers.

North Passage: The corridor is filled with Maddening Darkness as if cast permanently. It cannot be seen through with light or darkvision and deals 8d8 psychic damage each turn on a failed DC 17 Wisdom save.

  • Once the disk is cleaned off it will reflect the light. There are 2 other disks hidden in the walls, that once found and cleaned off will reflect the light through the darkness and dissipate it.


This chamber is made of old wood that struggles underfoot, creaking and groaning. Guttering orange torches set in sconces along the walls illuminate the chamber, and a mighty throne sits on a dais at the opposite end. Moldy wood support beams strains under the weight of the clay ceiling.

Hazard: Yellow mold (On touch, eject sports DC 15 Con, 2d10 poison and poisoned for 1 minute. Take 1d10 each turn while poisoned, repeat saving throw each turn to end. Destroyed by sunlight or fire)


This immense hall is a place of chilly, brooding blackness. From the dark shadows amid the rubble, three pairs of green eyes stare back at you. To the west, a concave corridor stretches for ten feet, ending at a staircase that goes up.

Encounter: Aarakocra Captain (Monster Module p. 3), Fire Elemental Myrmidon (Princes of the Apocalypse p. 213), Magma Mephit (Monster Manual p. 216)

West Passage: Door, unlocked.


A grand, domed ceiling caps the 30-foot-wide rectangular chamber before you. The aromas of grease and well-oiled metal hit your nostrils as you enter. An Azer is surrounded by machine parts, automatons, and cages filled with elves. Upon a pedestal behind the Azer is a huge black orb, slowly spinning in place as magical energy crackles off it.

Encounter: Azer Lord (Monster Module p. 13), Brass Man (Fifth Edition Foes p. 37), 2 Clockwork Watchman (Tome of Beasts p. 65), Hell Hound (Monster Manual p. 182), 2 Small Fire Elemental (Nerzugal's Extended Bestiary p. 40) Azer Lord

  • An Azer Lord transported the city to the Shadowfell for test subjects and souls to use to power his automatons
  • The magic keeping the city in the Shadowfell is channeled through a large orb. It must be moved away from the leyline, but it's so large and heavy that it must be rolled. Rolling it is a stanard action, and can only be done at half speed. While being rolled, if a PC takes damage they must make a Strength save with a DC equal to the damage taken to hold it in place. If the orb stops being rolled for whatever reason, it moves back towards its original spot at the start of every round at a speed of 40 feet.
  • With the ritual disrupted the city is returned back to the Prime Material. The denizens of the city are grateful to the PCs and reward them with 1000 GP and a Cloak of Elvenkind

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