For some reason I decided to write up a really stupid campaign based on how Dawnguard, the DLC for Skyrim, should have gone. Considering I’ll probably never actually be a dungeon master and be able to do a campaign, I’m going to dump this wall of text for you, a whole one-off campaign with maps but only suggested enemies, for you to play if you want to. It’s all free to use because it’s an obvious parody and isn’t even very long.
I’ve also gone and made a bunch of maps for this campaign, which you can download by clicking here. Enemies and levels kinda depend on your group. I wrote this with 2-4 characters in mind and low level ones at that, but the rest is up to you.
Anyway, let us begin.
You’ve been hearing rumours ever since you landed in the small fishing town of the Raft. The wooden town, known for its wicker baskets and strong, fruity mead, had never been the most peaceful of places, what with it being quite close to the nearby city of Gusthelm, where separatist activity had been going on and off for years. But as you are sitting in the inn, just drinking and passing the time until the carriages leave for the next town, a strange visitor has been seen, wandering around the streets asking people if they have seen anything unusual lately, things related to bats, things moving around in the night and strange, unexplained cuts and bruises on people’s bodies from when they were asleep.
The visitor is a half-orc called Durak, and he’s wearing some basic studded armour, but across the battered leather pieces across his left arm is a bright blue sash with an unusual symbol on it. Durak is somewhat well-known across town for asking, and he’s finally spotted you, a group of adventurers in the inn. Somehow he must have missed you the first time.
“Strangers, you look like the strongarmed type. The Sunguard are looking for people like you.”
Players may ask him questions:
“Sunguard are vampire hunters. Formerly the best vampire hunters. We’re reforming.”
“Are you interested?”
“Well, we offer bounties as well, if you are in need of more persuasion.”
“Good! Meet us at Fort Sunguard. If you follow the southern path from the Raft, towards the Yesterwind border, you will find Dayjump Canyon. We will meet you there.”
After Durak leaves, the rest of the inn goes quiet, surprised that someone who is not a town guard has offered to join, but everyone goes back to their business.
Once you leave the inn, you have two choices. If players head straight to the Dayjump Canyon, they will find that the path ahead is suddenly lit up, as they stumble across a recently burned down house that had also been somewhat fortified. There are several bodies lying around.
A very high perception test will allow a player to see a trail of blood, leading to a dying half-elf by the name of Dale, trying to crawl to safety, bleeding from what looks like massive claw marks across the neck, chest and legs, as well as a stab wound on his side. Dale will most likely die unless two people give him healing potions, but players can question him to see who attacked, what they were wearing and potentially where they went. Players must ask quickly before Dale succumbs to his wounds. Dale is wearing normal leather armour but has a cross-shaped holy symbol around his neck, from the (religion test) Defenders of Stendarr, a group sworn to protect from unholy monsters of the night. Dale will point towards Dimhole Crypt, but will warn players of the place’s dangers.
If you roll a D100 and get 25 or less, the players may stumble across some wolves, but something is off about them.
If players want to wander around the village, they may be delayed. As they go to take the southern path, a guard will say that the road is closed and the players can ask why. The guards will explain what happens above. One guard, Whitty, will ask about a family member who works there and will offer a reward for going to the place and returning a trinket that belonged to his brother Dale.
Upon reaching Fort Sunguard, you may see a young farmer wearing very old, rather loose leather armour and carrying a couple of daggers. He seems scared but determined but is suddenly hesitant to go the last 200 or so meters. The farmer is a Halfling called Agmar, with messy brown hair and eyes and a tattered look to all their clothes. Agmar will ask if he can accompany the group up to Fort Sunguard.
As you reach Fort Sunguard, you see two people fighting a pair of Blood Hounds (reskinned, undead wolves as basic enemies). You can try to help if you are fast enough.
Combat can be initiated. For 3 players, 5 wolves are attacking, two of which are distracted by the two people already in combat.
The two people will turn to greet you once combat is over.
The first person is a grumpy, gruff human in split armour, carrying a very heavy warhammer that’s nearly twice his size. Isar has been fighting the undead since he was a child and is very good at it. He is a barbarian but knows a handful of fire-based cantrips.
The second person is very clearly some sort of rogue or ranger, with a wooden bow in his hands at all times, a quiver filled with arrows and leather pants and a light leather sleeveless jacket, with a red tunic underneath. Mundy wears a wide-brimmed hat and speaks in an Australian-yet-British accent. Mundy is friendly but will curse a lot.
Isar explains the situation, that there has been a massive rise in blood hound attacks because they believe there is a vampire that has located somewhere near the Raft. The vavmpire’s name or clan or anything is unknown, but Isar believes he has a vague location based on the epicenter of all the blood hound attacks. Mundy is just pleased that Durak has finally fucking managed to recruit someone.
Mundy will also say that they haven’t had many new members and offers to give you some basic gear – a blue sash with the Sunguard emblem on it, a couple of daggers and bows and arrows to anyone who wants them. If you say you don’t want to join and are just in it for the money, both of them will frown and Isar will offer 200 gold and Mundy will offer some old trinkets (roll on the d100 trinket table for each player), split between the party, if you can help them.
Players can mention Dale and Dimhole crypt to the two members of Fort Sunguard. Isar will sour at the name and say that is where his old friend Tolan died, fighting a vampire and his thralls alone. Isar will believe what you say and suggests that you go there immediately, handing you an amulet with what looks like a circle with two squares around it, interlocked in a star-like shape (an amulet of Arkay). Mundy will offer to come with you, to watch your back.
Agmar, if you didn’t let him follow you up, will appear. Isar will take him inside to train him up.
You can head to Dimhole Crypt straight away. The path takes you out north, past the Raft and up a windy path to the top of a cold, windy hill.
If you roll a D100 and get 25 or less, the players may stumble across some more blood hounds or a couple of enthralled bandits or a couple of skeletons.
The only noticeable entrance to Dimhole Crypt is a slippery slope that has been eroded over time by the winter rain. Water has gathered at the bottom and, because it’s cold, patches of ice have formed. The slope drops down into a very small cave, that then expands into a cave with two levels. On the lower level, there are some ruins surrounding a door that is being blocked off by two rather pale and ashen humanoids. On closer inspection, one is a half-orc and the other is an elf, but neither of them seem to be moving much. Around them are a couple of sleeping blood hounds, having been sated by a fresh kill, what looks like the remains of an elk or something with antlers.
Combat here consists of killing the blood hounds and the two beings, which a high knowledge check will reveal are vampire thralls. The half-orc is carrying an axe and the elf is using a sword and may or may not use cold spells (depending on the party and difficulty).
Killing the elf or persuading him to leave and drop all his stuff will net you a key and allow you to proceed into the next room.
The door opens up to a large burial chamber, with sockets in the walls and carvings above each one. The room is mostly square but has a couple of little side passages, where more dead are buried. This area has one enemy in it, a sleeping blood hound, who will wake up if anyone tries to pass it to open a chest. There is an iron grate door on the other side of the room, as well as a few old coins and bones scattered around.
Past the door is a strangely straight corridor with little alcoves to one side. On the walls opposite the alcoves are very dark, black, ashy marks, which look like the place has been set on fire repeatedly. In the alcoves are small, glistening gems, held up by carved wooden poles with runes on them. One of the poles and a gem can be seen lying on the floor, having been knocked down and there being a lack of black ash on the walls. Going past these gems will cause them to shoot a blast of fire at the first person who crosses them. Players can proceed by ducking underneath the flames or using a ranged item or spell to knock the gems from the wooden poles. The gems will burn the hand and turn to dust when picked up.
The corridor suddenly turns to a hard right, and, once past the fires, a shadow can be seen. This is another thrall, a half-elf with blond hair and a dead look in their eyes, who has its back turned to you. You can try and wake the high-elf from their enthrallment by trying to guess their name or simply knock them out and proceed.
The next room is somewhat narrow and empty. You appear in the center of the room. There is rubble blocking off a path to the right so you have to go left, which leads to another corridor that immediately zips back to the right. Where the rubble is, a campfire has been made, with dead rats being cooked on it. There are also a couple of bed rolls that look unused. On one of the bed rolls is a journal in badly written handwriting, noting how a group of bandits wanted to stash loot here but couldn’t work out how to get past all the rubble, and that the other path had a bunch of glowing rocks they couldn’t work out how to get past.
Heading down the left corridor, it zigzags back and forth a few times before turning into a hall room with an elevated area. The hall room looks like an abandoned drinking hall, but there has quite clearly been some slaughter around here. A pile of skulls sits at the head of a long table and several bowls can be seen, all of them stained brown. Ahead of the table is a burnt out fire pit that is still smoldering, but behind the table is a heavy metal cage with bars far enough apart to stick an arm through. There is no obvious way to open the cage. At the bottom of the cage is a dried up corpse that looks like all the fluid has been sucked out of it.
Behind the horrible hall is a set of stairs that leads up to the elevated area. There are 3 large rocks with runes carved on them and going near them causes the rocks to glow, but they stop glowing as soon as you move away. A horrible grating sound can be heard each time you approach the rocks.
The rocks respond to a set of four heavy iron grates that are blocking progress further. To pass, players must stand by the rocks so all the grates open, while a fourth player must rush through and move levers to block the grates from falling down, or, with a high perception roll, find a lever, which will lock the grates in place.
This now unlocked corridor leads to a balcony which overlooks a very large, flooded room with several small pathways to a round, central circle, surrounded by pillars and glowing somewhat ominously. Down below are two levels, one with thralls who are on guard, the other with two bickering vampires, standing over the corpse of someone freshly killed.
It is possible to sneak down and get a round of surprise on the thralls as the vampires argue between themselves. When two of the thralls are killed, the vampires will consider the party a threat and attack. Occasionally, someone will find an arrow sticking out of them.
When everyone is dead or defeated, the party can make their way to the round platform. The floor is covered in strange patterns, with lines sprawling out from the center and a circle of small brazier columns, surrounding a central pillar, each with a small cup on top, with charcoal inside. The columns can be pushed around with some effort up and down the sprawling lines. The pillar at the center of the circle has a spike on top.
Drawing blood on the spike will cause a magical wall of (harmless) fire to appear. The fire will go up one of the sprawling lines and stop at the nearest small column, before shooting out to the left, stopping at the next sprawling line. The braziers must be pushed to meet where the magical wall stops, until you complete the full circle. Putting on the amulet given to the team by Isar will heal them from the wound.
On completion, everything will click and groan and the ground will sink down into a staircase, revealing that there was a round, stone coffin underneath the central pillar. A door slides open and a vampire weakly wakes up.
The vampire is a red-eyed, busy human with long black hair and a silky black and red dress, with a shirt made of crimson scales over the top of it. Strapped to her back is what is obviously some sort of very, very powerful relic, something you have only heard of in legends. A city-destroyer in the wrong hands.
The vampire smiles at the players, introduces herself as Siri and attempts to charm them with her good looks. The vampire will not attack unless you attack her first, but is weary of you. Nonetheless, she will ask whether her father sent the party to free her, what year it is (no one knows) and will request that you take her back to her father, who is also a vampire. Siri will be really insistent and try to offer you rewards and all sorts.
If Siri is provoked, she will attack you immediately until you kill her.
If Siri convinces you to go with her, she will attempt to leave, but will suddenly fly backwards, an arrow sticking out of her head. From the upper area, Mundy can be seen, showing obscenities at you.
“SHE’S A VAMPIRE, WANKAS!”
Mundy will then lead you out of the crypt and offer you your rewards, as well as some bits and pieces he scavenged from the crypt himself. He will then ask why the hell you were considering listening to a vampire who was carrying a city-destroying artifact.
“Well, at least you ain’t like those idiots from the Dawnguard…”