Saturday, June 15, 2024

Sinvel's Peril

"Sinvel's Peril" by Doug Cowie is a 8-page "mini-module" for 4-7 characters of 12-15th level, published in Imagine #19 (October, 1984).

Title page to "Sinvel's Peril" in Imagine #19 (October, 1984).  Illustration by Dave Pearson.

The adventure was published to promote the new Companion Set rules,* and includes a tournament and war machine scenario.

*the D&D Companion Set was highlighted on the issue's cover, and readers were encouraged to "Try out the new Companion Set rules with this high-level scenario".

"Any demi-human characters at maximum level may gain the advantages conferred by having a higher accumulation of experience points." is a reference to attack ranks.

Design Team

"Sinvel's Peril" was written by Doug Cowie,* a regular contributor of news and reviews to Imagine magazine, and a founding member of Grenadier Models UK

*with "Barbarian Hordes and other bits" by Mike Brunton

Illustrations were by Dave Pearson (also mentioned on pg. 50, looking for gamers in the Hinckley area) who subsequently contributed some letters in later issues.

Cartography was by Paul Ruiz (aka Geoff Wingate) who did maps for most of the TSR UK releases (including O2X8, CM6, B10)


The setting for the adventure is the Province of Welsma in Renima, a region of low magic.  "While most people believe that magic exists, few have seen a practical demonstration of it."

The Province of Welsma.  Unhealthy marshlands lie to the east.  The southern boundary is marked by the River Aub'Ron, beyond which are the Beastlands.

Welsma is a human domain.  While dwarves inhabit the surrounding mountains, other demihumans and humanoids are rare, and usually avoid human society.

Sinvel is a farming community on the outskirts of Welsma.  It is ruled by a Council of Elders, the leading figure of which is "the Invoker" (C22), the most powerful cleric in Welsma.

Tressnor is a small village, over 200 miles east of Sinvel.  It is ruled by a Marchioness who holds her lands by a direct grant from Sinvel.

Miltrin is a wealthy city, 80 miles to the southwest of Sinvel.  It is ruled by a Grand Council and a militaristic noble class, adversarial towards both Sinvel and Karthrun.

Karthrun is the largest city in Welsma, and is ruled by a military dictator.  The legions of Karthrun are often busy repelling incursions from the Beastlands.

The Adventure:

Word has reached the Marchioness of Tressnor of a horde of barbarians, massing for an attack upon Sinvel.

Worse, the Invoker has recently been captured while traveling in the Pelwold and is presently being held prisoner in a stronghold near Miltrin.

While the Marchioness gathers her forces to march to the aid of Sinvel, the PCs are to deliver a salutory blow to the bandits of the Pelwold, and rescue the Invoker.

The Bandits of The Great Forest

Within the Pelwold, the PCs must face the leader of the bandits, who has fallen under a sinister influence.

The Dwarves In Their Halls of Stone

Allies of the bandits, a monastic community of dwarves venerates the embalmed body of a disgraced human cleric.

Illustration by Geoff Wingate

The Journey Onwards

Leaving the Pelwold, the PCs proceed towards Miltrin and Lord Atava's Castle.

Lord Atava's Castle

The Invoker is being held in the hunting lodge of Lord Atava, one of the Council members of Miltrin, who invites the PCs to participate in a tournament.

Cartography by Geoff Wingate

Meanwhile, Back At The War

The adventure concludes with a war machine scenario involving the Army of Sinvel, the Barbarian Horde, Lord Atava's Field Army, and a Karthrun Field Force.


"Sinvel's Peril" seems like it would be fun to run.  It shares the same gritty, well-conceived feel of other TSR UK adventures, although staging might be difficult, given the novel setting.*

*the best way to incorporate this adventure in a campaign within a different setting might be to have the PCs magically transported to Tressnor

The Province of Welsma might alternately serve as the basis for a whole campaign, as other adventures could easily be adapted to the setting, culminating in Sinvel's Peril.

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