365 Writing · Stories

Nyl The Lost City

As I mentioned in a previous post, I’m currently working a bit on a side project of making a D&D adventure module. I’d like to take a break from the story I’m writing to work on this. For now here’s an excerpt I’ll share:


It was over a year when you first heard it. Rumors of a great city appearing in the Eastern Desert. At first, no one believed it. An empty city filled with riches simply appearing out of nowhere in the middle of the desert? Certainly not even the greatest mages of the Wizard collages beloved it to be possible. But as more and more rumors began to flood in from the East, it slowly raised the curiosity of fortune hunters to see for themselves. Finally, even you were drawn to the East to see for yourself, and there it was. The lost city.

Nyl the lost city is an adventure for three to six 1st-level characters. By the story’s end, they should advance to 8th level or higher.

The story itself takes place is primarily one location. This is the near end of the world at the end of a distant desert. This can be located in any expansive desert setting you have in your campaign as long as it’s sufficiently remote as travel between the city and major civilization takes about a month or more by conventional transport.

Story Overview

The characters are drawn into the story by as adventures, drawn to the tales of riches and mystery of this once lost city.

This city has been explored by adventurers for the past year. In that time a small town known as simply “camp” has sprung up nearby the city in a small sheltered valley. The desert winds can become very intense which makes traveling to here from the rest of civilization dangerous.

Nyl, the city itself, is located in an oddly shaped canyon about an hour’s walk from camp. Much of the treasure has been picked clean by the time the party arrives, however, some odds and ends can still be found in the ruins. Most of the buildings are built into the side of the canyon. However, there are larger parts of the city with freestanding buildings as well. Some of the larger structures though have to this day has gone untouched as no one has found a way to enter.

The leader of the camp, who everyone calls the “governor” maintains a semblance of order and employs a moderate band of adventurers to do targeted expeditions into the ruins. Most recently, one of these expeditions never reported back, and the governor is offering a high reward for info anyone can find.

In reality, this team had used explosives to blast their way into a previously unopened shrine. There they took the eyes from a statue which allowed the city’s original inhabitants to see into the dark dimension which is now tied to the city.

This is because in the past the city was once a vibrant and advanced civilization. They traveled through time and dimensions until one day they opened a new pocket or reality that was outside of anything they had yet to face. This “dark dimension” began to swallow all reality behind it and the only way to stop it was to seal their city inside a pocket dimension. The “hero” who sealed himself and the darkness in place, is trapped inside the great tomb. Why this city has reappeared is due to the seals of the pocket dimension weakening after hundreds of thousands of years. The final seals to the darkness are located around the great tomb.

After the heroes locate one or both of the eyes, they can then see into this dimension and enter key buildings that hold parts of the puzzle of what happened and is holding the seals around the tomb in place. Only once they break all the seals will they find their horrible mistake and be forced to face the darkness. They will be prepared, however, as normally they would not stand a chance, but if one or more is willing to sacrifice his or herself they can use ritual components to once again seal the darkness away for another hundred thousand or so years.