Average Rating 3 ratings Your sleek cloudskate skims across the Skysea. It is midnight. All day long, the glass sea soaked up the scorching desert sunlight. Now, that heat lifts your ship a few inches off the glass and fills its sails.
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In it, our heroes need to find the tomb of the legendary wizard Martek in order to finally defeat the evil efreeti that has been ravaging the land. The keys for the tomb are in their possession already — the three Star Gems, so all they need to do is get there. Between them and the tomb is the Skysea — a place where the sand has fused into glass, so the sky is reflected in the ground.
To travel on it as it becomes devastatingly hot during the day , the group need to acquire a cloudskate or skyship, which skates on a thin blade over the glass.
Hickman shifts gears when the group enter the first portion of the tomb, and we get the first major interaction of the adventure: the degenerate descendants of treasure seekers trapped in a magical garden. Fights against single NPCs are typically boring. And there are significant problems with fighting high-level magic-users, as Trifakas is a 12th level magic-user! Or Trifakas. Once within the tomb proper, the group still need to go on a treasure hunt for three crystal minarets.
Unfortunately, the Black Abyss, where space, time and magic begin to breakdown in fascinating ways, has no actual threat to it save random encounters and the potential NPCs, and the Crypt of Al-Alisk, despite once again being an interesting place at its core, lacks challenge — really, it comes down to working out a single teleport trap to complete.
That is the bulk of the adventure. The final section — the Citadel of Martek — involves the group finally bringing Martek back to life, him rewarding them, and finally an epilogue that closes the adventure and series in suitable style. This is a great shame, as the first two parts of the Desert of Desolation are superlative.
Production-wise, the maps are very good and most of the uncredited artwork is also fine — the weakest part is the cover by Holloway. As with the other adventures in the series, it has two nested covers which have most of the maps printed on them. One final gift I give to you. Those people that cast you into this desert land will no longer remember you. You are once again free to travel the face of this world as you want.
All to whom you tell this tale will believe it to be but a fable. Only you shall know the truth of what you have seen. There are yet other prophesies to be fulfilled! Farewell, my friends!
Review of I5: Lost Tomb of Martek
It is midnight. All day long the glass sea soaked up the scorching desert sunlight. Now, that heat lifts your ship a few inches off the glass and fills its sails. The only sound you hear is the soft swish of the diamond-edged rudder as it cuts a path across the Skysea. One thousand years ago, the wizard Martek knew that you Your sleek cloudskate skims across the Skysea. One thousand years ago, the wizard Martek knew that you would come to find his sphere of power. Now, one of his glowing Star Gems shows you the way.
Lost Tomb of Martek
Pharaoh is an Egyptian-styled adventure that includes a pyramid map and a trap-filled maze. The sheikh believes her to be held by his enemies somewhere in the oasis. They must use the Star Gems to revive the dead wizard. When they have done so, he lets them choose from a variety of magical treasure, and leaves to defeat the Efreet. Soon after, while living in Provo, Utah, they wrote the adventures Pharaoh and Ravenloft. They were driven into bankruptcy, and Tracy Hickman decided to sell their modules to TSR , "literally so that I could buy shoes for my children". So, we made the move from Utah to Wisconsin.