DMs Guild Review – The Heir of Orcus: Verse 4

The fourth chapter in The Heir of Orcus AL campaign is a descent into Cthulhu-inspired madness.

A review copy of “The Heir of Orcus: Verse IV” was provided by the publisher. Find more DMs Guild Reviews on my website and YouTube channel.

Support my work by using affiliate links for shopping and pledging via Patreon.

Designed by: Anthony Joyce

After an odd left-turn into cyberpunk in the previous verse, the fourth chapter of The Heir of Orcus adventurer’s league campaign is a return to form – specifically the madness-inducing form of Cthulhu and his terrifying minions.

The Heir of Orcus: Verse 4 is designed for 8th level parties, featuring a well-designed dungeon crawl and two excellent side quests.

The adventure begins aboard an airship headed toward the Moonsea region, where the Heir of Orcus cult has been sighted. Previous campaign NPCs like Ser Titus and Vindictus make an appearance to send the PCs on their way to the Caves of Writhing Nightmare, a labyrinthine dungeon filled with multiple branching paths, sanity checks, and lots of deliciously nightmarish creatures and events, like a fused, screaming pile of cultists, a portal into the Far Realm, and lurking Star Spawn horrors.

Before hopping into the main quest, however, the party can be given two bonus objectives (designed by Jeremy Forbing).

dms guild

The Midnight Carriage features an intriguing hook: a curse on a family sends a nightmare-pulled, death knight-helmed carriage to pick up a family member and take them to a place to witness an evil act. The knight has reached out to the party’s associates (a unique partnership between knights of Tyr and cultists of Zariel) after witnessing some cult activity.

After climbing aboard the evil carriage, the party is dropped off in a cave where they witness a captured dwarven woman screaming about her children. The surprise twist is that her children are eggs (dangerously within reach of intellect devourers) and she is an adult silver dragon in disguise. The party must navigate this tense scenario, all while the poor cursed knight is battling the death knight for allowing others to interfere with the scene.

It’s an amazing side quest that could easily become it’s own mini-adventure with a bit of expansion. The second bonus objective, Last Call, is slightly less compelling, but features a talking dog, a tavern full of patrons, and a basement full of cultists.

The layout and artwork through the adventure are gorgeous – as are the full color maps, including two grid battle maps with DM and player versions. The comprehensive module also includes every statblock referenced in the adventure, and detailed role-playing notes for all the NPCs.

The Adventurer’s League module is basically just the one big dungeon crawl, but it’s a darn good one. The fantastic side quests and excellent production value and art design easily elevate Verse 4 as the strongest module in the series yet.

Pros:

  • Caves of the Writhing Nightmare is a twisted dungeon dripping with Far Realm themes.
  • Excellent Bonus Objective side quests that serve as their own mini-adventures.
  • Over a dozen pages of creature statblocks and role-playing details for important NPCs.
  • Full color maps for each dungeon location, including DM and player versions.
  • Fun (but optional) call-backs to previous Heir of Orcus adventures and NPCs.

Cons:

  • None!

The Verdict: The Heir of Orcus: Verse 4 provides a straight-forward but well-designed Adventurer’s League dungeon crawl in a richly themed cavern full of Cthulhu monstrosities and madness.

A review copy of “The Heir of Orcus: Verse IV” was provided by the publisher. Find more DMs Guild Reviews on my website and YouTube channel.

Support my work by using affiliate links for shopping and pledging via Patreon.

Author: roguewatson

Freelance Writer

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