One of my most popular series of posts was an intellectual exercise to see how Moldvay’s Basic Edition would look like if the monster section only had creatures from the Fiend Folio. Although I did end up making Wandering Monster Tables and I did stock a dungeon using them, I never took the whole exercise to the next level: producing a version of the Caves of Chaos that would have come with that Fiend Folio’d version of Moldvay’s Basic Edition.
Given the popularity of both B2 and Moldvay’s wonderful little red book, I decided to take on the task. I can’t speak for other folks who write adventures, but there are those that fight you every inch of the way (my continuing struggles with my version of The Chateau des Faussesflammes immediately comes to mind) and those that seem to write themselves. When I started thinking about re-imaging the Caves of Chaos infested with Fiends from my favorite Folio, the adventure definitely fell into the latter category.
I have a similar variety of monsters in store, with a similar spread of HD, a similar amount of available treasure, a far more naturalistic make-up for why those monsters are there and a little over 40 more rooms to explore. Here is a little background to whet the appetite (and put a fire to my feet to get this thing done):
The Caves of Cormakir the Conjurer
Also called The Caves of Cormakir the Chaotic or The Caves of ChaosAlmost two decades ago, a group of adventurers happened upon a collection of caves on the edge of the Wilderness. They explored them, rid them of all the horrors that dwelt within and returned laden with the riches that adventure sometimes brings. One of their number, Cormakir the Conjurer, decided to make the caves his own with the intention of having them be a new vanguard against the forces of Chaos that lurked in the Wilderness.
Unbeknownst to all, there was something yet undiscovered within the caves that corrupted Cormakir to his core. Rather than making the caves a vanguard, he turned them into a laboratory for creating vile creatures intent on wrecking havoc upon Civilization. Fortunately, his experiments got out of hand before he was able to mass an army of Chaos and several of his menagerie escaped. Thus warned, his former companions and a small force of soldiers descended upon the caves and put an end to Cormakir and his depraved research.
Though the survivors went thoroughly through the Conjurer’s demesne, they could not find what it was that had corrupted him. Thus, they abandoned the caves for fear of being corrupted themselves.
That battle took place ten years ago. There is now growing evidence that there is a new master of the caves, who is sending out raiding parties of humanoids intent on not only wrecking havoc, but taking prisoners. A call has gone out throughout the area for a new generation of adventurers to return to the Caves of Cormakir the Conjurer and rid it of its evil once and for all.