5-Minute Adventure: Shrine of Thiseir for Swords & Wizardy and Next

While the following is a new 5-minute adventure it is a departure from a normal 5-minute adventure in two ways. The first is obvious as it is listed in the title of the post and that is tha tI developed the adventure to be usable in both Swords & Wizardry Core (4th printing) and the Next playtest rules of the world's oldest fantasy roleplaying game.

I do not know how well I succeeded in this goal and feedback is greatly needed if I am to improve my ability to both use and develop for Next Playtest and eventually (and hopefully) 5e.

The second departure is in moving the 5-minute adventures away from the generic Town of the previous adventures and over to a Roman based setting. This comes in for two reasons. 1 I wasn't able to produce a map and grabbed a PD one from the web and 2 I wanted to be as simple as possible while I experimented.

One final note before I shut up and everyone can see the adventure. Monster stats for both Swords & Wizardry and Next are missing from the adventure. I give page numbers for the big 2 monsters for S&W and reference where one can find them in Next's many booklets. This was done simply not to step on WOTC's toes and break the NDA that everyone testing Next agreed to.

That's it, enjoy! And remember: Feedback!

Adventure Set-Up
On the rocky shoals above the Carbian sea sits the first abbey of the Loman lord, Gius Ulpo. Built during the time of expansion into the dread Barbarian north, the abbey was meant to bring the civilizing influence of the Goddess, Theseir. For 500 hundred years, long after the fall of the Loman colonies in the North the abbey has stood and has spread the word of Theseir.
Never have the bells of the abbey been silent, never have the songs of monks been quieted … until now. Three days ago a great column of fire was seen off the coast of the Carbian, since that day, the bells have not rung, the monks have not been heard.
In truth, and unknown to the folk of the nearby hamlet of Reave, the column of fire was the heralding light of a Orc warband from the Wastes across the sea. Never before have orcs from the wastes ventured into the lands of man, but now they have and a small contingent have remained behind in the abbey to use as a beachhead and stronghold for future attacks.
Only one monk remains alive, hidden in the mock of the latrines, all the rest are dead or taken back tot the Orcish lands to be sold as slaves.
The players have been hired to investigate why the bells of Thiseir have stopped ringing and to bring news of the fate of the monks back to the hamlet’s headmen, Tyovir.
Approaching the Abbey
A single wide dirt lane winds through thick forest up to the cliffs the abbey is built on. It is the only way unless the players wish to climb the two hundred feet shear cliff side that protects the abbey on three sides.
Dark Forest
While traveling through the forest the players have a 3 in 6 chance of encountering one of the following.
Roll (1d12)
1d6 Wolf pack
1d4 Dire Wolf Pack
1d6 Bandits
1d6 Orc Patrol
The Lost Twins*

 *The Lost Twins are two young children named Ahan and Tala who were orphans staying in the abbey until the attack. Both are injured and scared. If the Players agree to help the two to the Hamlet they have a 4 in 6 chance of facing a hag who is stalking the children.
The Abbey itself looks as if it was once a fort for the Loman legions. Thick high walls rise up thirty feet from the ground. Two bored looking orcs guard the open entrance way, and there is a 3 in 6 chance that three more orcs with bows will be on the wall when the players approach.
Area 1 – The Courtyard (no map)
A large yard of packed dirt stretches across the interior of the abbey, several burned out wood and thatch buildings smolder to either side of the courtyard. Several military tents are set up in the center of the court-yard, each about 10 feet from a large, recently dug, fire pit. A close inspection of the pit will find several gnawed on human bones.
The only building still intact is the church in the very center of the abbey. Long shallow stairs lead up to it’s closed, impressive looking wooden doors.

Church Door: The door to the church is locked tight and a string, attached to a crossbow will release should it be opened (Next DC Dex 15 to disarm). Anyone caught by the arrow is injured for 1d6.  If playing Swords & Wizardry  a normal open-lock or door check will suffice. If playing Next the DC for picking the lock is Dex DC 15 or Str DC 20 to force open.
Monsters: 4 Orcs sleep in the tents, resting from a long night of drinking the abbey’s wine and eating the abbey’s livestock and monks. 2 more Orcs sit about the fire, laughing as they shine weapons and armor.
Area 2 – Entrance Hall
This large rectangular room connects to the main Shrine to the smaller Pilgrims shrine to the right. The room is bare but careful examination (Next Wisdom (Perception) DC 10, Intelligence (search) DC 11) show signs of slaughter and fighting in the room.
Area 3 – Pilgrim’s Shrine
This small shrine has a fountain with water that is piped up from the sea below through magical means and smells of clean air and salt. Two Orcs sit around a pile of relics tossing lots to see who claims them as his own.
The Orcs are so involved in their gambling that they do not at first notice the players. If playing Swords & Wizardry this gives the party surprise in the initiative order. If playing Next this gives the players Advantage.
Area 4 – Pilgrims Way
This long winding tunnel is shrouded in complete darkness. Anyone with knowledge of the Monks of Thiseir know that all pilgrims are to bathe before entering the temple and can assume that the passage leads to bathing pools (Next Intelligence (Knowledge Religion) DC 15).
Area 5 – Pilgrim’s Pool (no map)
A large rectangular room dominated by a large 4’ deep pool of crystal clear water in the center and surrounded by pillars of the cleanest white. If playing Next The players feel at peace here and gain an additional 1hp on healing spells/potions/skills if the choose to rest here. If playing Swords & Wizardry the players automatically recover 1hp.
Area 6 – Thiseir’s Shrine
The large shrine to the Godess of civilization is titled in marble with mosaics depicting Loman life covering the floor. Pillars inlaid with gold stretch up 60’ to the vaulted ceiling of the main shrine and large braziers light and heat the room. A large marble altar sits in the rear of the room in front of a 30’ statue of the goddess
Rutgix the leader of the Orcish contingent left behind in the Abbey has befouled the shrine of Thiseir and turned into a mockery of a throne room. He sits lazily upon the alter eating a leg of monk and laughing cruelly to the piteous cries of one of his own men as a dire wolf savages the man.
Monsters: 4 Orcs sit on the steps of the altar watching their comrade die slowly to the direwolve’s savage teeth. The lone dire wolf is intent on its meal and will not pay the players mind unless he is threatened.
Development: Rutgix has a letter on him in the crass Orcish language. The note contains details of an upcoming surprise attack on the hamlet.
Area 7 – Monk’s Repose
This small room was once used by the Monk’s of the Abbey to pray and mediate on the philosophies of their goddess. Now, pieces of meat, animal and humanoid alike are strewn across the floor mixed with the filth of body waste and stale wine.
Monsters: 3 direwolves sleep in this room. In Swords & Wizardry they have a 3 in 6 chance of awakening in Next a successful Wisdom (Perception) of DC 15 will alert them to the players.
Area 8 – Monk’s Way
A long hallway shrouded in darkness that leads back to the Monk’s bathing area (see Area 5)
Concluding the Adventure
The players have a 4 in 6 chance of being able to make it back to the hamlet before the Orcish attack. If they’ve translated the note they will be able to warn Tyovir of the attack. If warned Tyovir will beg the players to help his people evacuate to the caves in a nearby sea cliff. If the players agree they have a 2 in 6 chance of coming across 1d6 Orich forward scouts and 1 in 6 chance of encountering the full raiding party(8d6 Orc Warriors).
Should the players fail to reach the hamlet in time they will discover it burning, its population mostly dead and 4d6 Orc Warriors looting the remains and slaughtering the survivors.
Creature Index
All the creatures in this adventure can be found in the Next playtest packet or the Scourge of the Sword Coast adventure. Orcs can be found on page 109 and direwolves can be found on page 115 listed under Worgs of the 4th printing of Swords & Wizardry Core Edition.

Human Bandits (S&W): HD 1; AC 7[12]; Atk Weapon (1d8); ST 17; MV 12; Al N; CL/XP 1/15

Hag, Lesser (S&W): HD 4; HP 28; AC 5[14]; Atk Claws (2d6+Poison);SV 13; Mv 10; AL Ch; CL/XP 6/400; SP Evil Eye Once per day can cause target to loss his mind for 3 days on a failed saving throw, Fearful Appearance at beginning of encounter all players make a saving throw if failed treat as if fear was cast on them for 3 rounds.

Orcs (S&W): HD 1; AC 6[14]; Atk Weapon (1d8); ST 17; MV 12; Al Ch; CL/XP 1/15

Owlbear (S&W): HD 5+1; AC 5[14]; Atk 2 Claws (1d6). 1 bite (2d6);SV 12; Mv 12; AL N; CL/XP 5/240
Rutix (S&W): HD 3; HP 19; AC 5[14]; Atk Weapon (1d10 Greataxe);SV 14; Mv 8; AL Ch; CL/XP 4/120
Rutix (Next): Use Orog on page 77 in the Scourge of the Sword Coast Adventure.



  1. Replies
    1. Recommended for 4-5 players of 2nd to 3rd level.

      I ran it through with 4 characters of 3rd level with both systems. It was a little more difficult for the S&W crew but only 1 death in the dire wolf pens/Monk's Repose.

  2. Thanks :)
    Have you other 5-minute adventures?

  3. There are several others on the blog. I'll see about posting a collected link post tonight or tomorrow.


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