The description below gives an abridged version of the modules' introduction:
INTRODUCTIONTernketh Town is an unusual collection of floating platforms, and bridges that drift some two thousand feet above the ground. At the center of these is Ternketh Keep, a place of peace and contemplation where monks and lords would rest, study and converse. The floating town was launched more than a thousand years ago for reasons that aren’t precisely known (it is suggested the DM should create a reason that suits the campaign); since that time it has drifted from land to land, moving in a great circle over the whole world.
The contents of the keep, and its history, should allow for the DM to create a unique purpose for the keep that does not necessarily conform to the one I chose to run for my campaign. In the game that I ran, the keep was deserted, the inhabitants attacked and killed by nearly two hundred harpies. This happened about four years ago. These harpies dwelt in great numbers on Ternketh for a time, until the number of victims dwindled and the harpies left in groups. There remain a dozen of the beasts in Ternketh Keep.
Approaching TernkethIt is presumed that the party has some means of reaching the town. Perhaps they have an airship, perhaps they are able to fly or they are teleported into the adventure by themselves or by someone powerful. If themselves, it is suggested that the number of beasts (or the type of beasts) be greatly altered. I would estimate that the adventure as planned would be sufficient to frighten a group of 5th – 8th level characters, depending on how much healing power they have. The original idea was intended for AD&D . . . so adjustments would have to be made in the number and power of the creatures if the adventure were adapted for later editions. Going forward, the description hereafter will presume the party has arrived in an airship.
Ternketh TownThe main town is made of platforms that surround the keep in a large circle. Each of these platforms, or ‘docks,’ are large enough to serve as a foundation for a dozen residences that are built together as a block, with a narrow street that runs around the outside. This street is perhaps ten to fifteen feet wide and serves only foot traffic.
The docks are built close together, so that one can cross from dock to dock by rope bridges, 10 to 30 feet long. Underneath the docks are posts, as though the docks were built on water – but of course, the docks float.
The party’s airship can be used to look down into the keep (in which case, the Ramparts map should be shown to the party). If the airship is small enough, the party can set down in the yard; alternately, the party may wish to dock the airship to the outer wall and step onto the ramparts. The party may also prefer to dock the ship somewhere by the town and proceed to the keep using the bridge between the keep and the town (see below).
TownspeopleThere yet remain a dozen of the beasts and perhaps a hundred people – these are protected by a venerable wizard, Shan, who is too old to campaign or fight. Shan keeps a part of the town safe by setting out glyphs and wards, the precise location of which he changes. The harpies have been caught by these and now leave the remaining residents of Ternketh alone. The party can meet these residents, and Shan, who can explain what has happened.
Shan will have a limited knowledge of the interior of the keep. He will say that it has two levels below ground, that there is a treasure room and that there are an unknown number of harpies who dwell there, that there are barracks for soldiers and a central tower where the chief lord dwelt. He had only visited the keep many times, but as he did not live there his only experience is with the yard itself (the ‘ground’ of the keep). He has not been even there in ten years, as he was getting quite aged when the harpies attacked.
If the party decides to enter the keep and see about cleaning it out and finding the treasure room, Shan has little he can do to help. He possesses no potions, no magic items, no special gifts to give; he cannot even offer to put a ward on the party to protect them because he needs all he has for the town. He cannot walk along with the party and the other people of the town are too frightened to go anywhere near the keep. The party should not expect help.