The Starlight Relic by Ashley Warren
A month ago I reviewed The Executioner’s Daughter by Ashley Warren and I knew it wouldn’t be long before I’d need to read another of her works. Today I am reviewing her adventure for 7th/8th level characters called The Starlight Relic. Unlike before, this adventure is intended for 3 to 4 players, depending on the party’s level. However, you can adjust the difficulty of this adventure easily enough. Indeed, Ashley even gives advice for that within the adventure. Although, if you need to adjust for a couple of levels or more you’ll need to make changes that are more significant than the provided suggestions.
Starlight Relic wastes no time in setting the tone. There is a legend of a relic that could swing the tide in an ongoing war between angels and demons. Sign me up! A woman in Magra, Vela Kapra, has gained knowledge of the relic’s whereabouts and has summoned the party to meet her. She would like to hire the group to retrieve the artifact. She has offered 1,000 gold pieces and a custom wooden item as a reward.
You Should Own The Starlight Relic
I love a story that alludes to a larger, more consequential struggle. Too often, an otherwise good adventure leaves us wondering “what end does this serve?” Those adventures aren’t bad and even leave room for interpretation by the DM and the PCs. But Starlight Relic gives you insight into that end. It is related to the War of Emberez. While that war is called out, this adventure is a standalone and your party does not have to seek additional information about that war for Starlight Relic to be fulfilling. However, the whole adventure serves as a hook to a larger campaign. A campaign where evil beings may do good and where good people find themselves doing unspeakable things.
But I want to tell you my favorite thing about this adventure: it’s the writing. Ashley has a way of showing what is happening around you that I’ve come to love. “The aroma of warm pastries, cooked meat, and hot wine permeates the atmosphere, mingling with the scent of petrichor,” is a passage that the DM reads to the group as they are entering Magra. As I read it I can feel the damp drizzle of the forest town as much as I can smell the comfort foods. And I anticipate friendly faces and hospitality.
After the group meets with Vela and heads into the forest to seek out a temple I feel the magnificence of phosphorescent twilights and I marvel at the intrigue. I want to explore this forest and uncover its mysteries. When I discover secrets and get surprised by hidden threats I feel the anxiety the characters must also be feeling. I root for them. I applaud their successes. And I mourn their failures.
Thoughts after reading The Starlight Relic by Ashley Warren
My primary thought goes back to the War of Emberez. Will there be peace? Will there first be an epic battle between the angels and the demons? Can I join the cause and fight for one side or the other? Another thought I have is “I never considered a ‘custom wooden item’ as a reward but it certainly works!” Not all treasure needs to be an amulet, ring, or weapon/armor of some sort. It can be a craft item and if it has a story behind its acquisition beyond “I found this on a bugbear I killed” then that’s great.
The Starlight Relic by Ashley Warren on DMs Guild.
Find more of Ashley Warren’s work on DMs Guild.
Her website is https://www.ashleywarrenwrites.com/. She is on Facebook and Instagram @ashleywarrenwrites. You can find her on Pinterest and Twitter as well.