cave of wonders dungeons and dragons illustration
(click to see more details)

I’m a Dungeon Master for a Dungeons & Dragons campaign played once weekly at the local comic shop. My players found a cave, The Cave of Wonders, which is illustrated above.

Inside the cave is a room full of gold, a room full of gems, a haunted ballroom, and a minotaur skeleton protecting the Golden Hand, an artifact that grants one wish every one hundred years.

The other secret about the cave, however, is that it is a bridge between two worlds – the Material Plane, and the Astral Plane. Over 1000 years ago, the Golden Hand was created by Queen Julianne as a tool to bring prosperity to her queendom. However, the Hand was intercepted by a black-hearted sorcerer who used it to summon Kurshek the Beholder, a being of darkness and destruction.

Kurshek wreaked havoc across the queendom until Queen Julianne, Gwenowyn the Gold Dragon, and twenty of their finest warriors, wizards, and clerics sealed Kurshek back to the void he came from. However, to ensure the Beholder never escaped again, they created the Cave of Wonders and placed the Golden Hand inside to act as a key – as long as the Golden Hand stays inside the cave, the Beholder is sealed. If the Golden Hand is removed from the Cave, or someone wishes so, the Beholder will be let loose once more.

The cave itself is haunted – within the cave walls is a banquet hall occupied by the skeletons of Queen Julianne and her twenty best soldiers, along with the souls of those who died at the hands of the Beholder. If you stand still long enough, you can hear the voices of the dead.

Right now, my players have found the Golden Hand and they know the history of the cave, as revealed to them by historical tapestries in the cave itself, the voices of the ghosts, and various artifacts left behind. The real question is what they will do with this information – will they take the hand and run? Will they leave the hand? Or will they wish for the ghosts within to finally rest?

I have never been a Dungeon Master before: this is my first campaign as a DM. And so far, it’s amazing and it’s a lot of fun! It’s great to make up stories and worlds for my players to explore and learn the secrets of. If they leave the cave, regardless of the outcome, there’s lots more I have in mind for them to discover!

(Also, in case you play D&D and you’re curious: I’m making this campaign from scratch. I know there are books and campaign sets pre-made already, but I’m not doing that with this campaign. The IDEA for the Cave of Wonders came from an adventure outlined in the Dungeons & Dragons Starter set, but I used that as more of a trampoline to jump from than a base to build something.)

D&D has very quickly become my new hobby – it’s making me create new ideas for stories, and it’s also helping me learn to be flexible with my stories when my players do something completely off the wall. I’ll talk more about that in an upcoming video blog.

That’s all for now. Thank you for reading!

You. Are. Awesome.

P.S. There’s a new piece available for sale on Storenvy – the first sketch from the Superhero Ladies Sketchbook! Yes, I’m selling the original sketches from this book. I have a ton of them but they’re taking up space. I want to give these things new homes to make room for more work.

P.P.S. I’ll be finding new homes for original Charlie & Clow art soon, too.