Friends and fans of Grim Hollow, and honored newcomers to the worlds of Ghostfire Gaming, the time has come to begin a brand-new adventure! I’d like to officially introduce, the first ever full-length Grim Hollow adventure: Citadel of the Unseen Sun. The Fables series is going to tell all sorts of fantasy stories, in genres ranging from dark fantasy to pirates to superheroes to spies to stone age survival—all in the familiar 5th Edition system. We’re here to build on top of it, take it apart, and have fun with it in ways you’ve never seen before.
We’ve received a lot of questions about the still-mysterious Fables project on the Ghostfire Gaming Discord server. To celebrate the release of our first-ever episode of our first-ever Fable, let’s give you a sample of what you can expect.
I love Grim Hollow, and I know you all do too. It’s why we decided to set this first Fable somewhere familiar: the gothically decadent and grimly destitute Ostoyan Empire.
This first Fable, titled Citadel of the Unseen Sun, is an episodic story where each episode brings the characters one step closer to uncovering the secrets of the Darkfall—a magical cataclysm which cast the lands of Soma into unending darkness and permitted vampires to claim eternal dominion over Ostoya.
Its first episode starts at 1st level, with the characters beginning as dime-a-dozen adventurers tumbling into a situation far beyond their ken. By the end of this Fable’s sixth and final episode, the characters will have risen to 13th level, and bandied words and blades with an undead villain who claws at the power of the dead goddess Aurelia.
It’s also possible the party will have given into their vices and fallen into this lich’s service. Or perhaps they will succumb to cowardice and flee the lands of Ostoya at their first opportunity. One way or another, your version of the world of Etharis is going to change. The question is: will it change for the better, or for the worse? And if it does change for the better, what will your heroes have to sacrifice in order to make it so?
Some folks have asked about the level range of this Fable, and of future Fables, and I’m happy to say that there’s a lot of room for flexibility in the Fables format. Each fable is going to be six episodes, each episode will come out once per month, and we’ll do our best to optimize each episode to take about four good-sized game sessions to complete. But that’s where the hard-and-fast rules end. Fables will be hopping genres, hopping worlds, changing its level range, and more in order to suit the story each Fable tells. We’re all very interested in telling stories that can only be told at high levels, or a story that sits well in a very tight range of levels.
How The Subscription Works
Fables members will digitally receive a new episode of the current Fable at the start of each month, beginning with our first episode which released on January 1st, 2022! This episode contains the adventure booklet, digital tokens and digital maps for that episode.
Fables is a lot cheaper if you’re a subscription member, but you can still get it at a later date if you don’t want to commit; the exact date is yet to be confirmed. Current Fables subscribers will get a discount on all past episodes, so you don’t miss out on episodes that you joined late for.
Now, the question of physical copies is an interesting one! I have a lot to say on the topic, but it’s a bit under baked right now and all I can say is that we have no current plans to create physical releases. Give it a little more time in the oven, and I’ll have lots to tell you about the future of Fables, and how physical books and accessories may fit into it. Long story short, this is something we want to do, but we want to take the time to do it right. No half-baked products for you, only the real artisanal, patisserie stuff. Okay, I’ve been watching too much Great British Bake-Off and this metaphor is getting away from me. Moving on!
Some folks have asked about getting a sneak peek into the future to see what our next Fable is. That makes sense; if you’re subscribed, you’ll want to know what to look forward to. We’ll do a big announcement a few months before the next Fable begins to show you what’s up next! Our powerhouse Fables team is already hard at work on the next Fable, a completely different story with a setting I’m dying to tell you all about—but which needs to remain under wraps for now.
A Glimpse Inside the Citadel of the Unseen Sun
Okay, I can’t help myself. We have a whole hype campaign lined up for Citadel of the Unseen Sun but I need to share a little more about each of the episodes. Well—the first five of them. Episode Six: Master of the Unseen Sun, the grand finale, is a thrilling enough conclusion to this story that I need to keep close to my chest.
This next bit will contain broad spoilers for this adventure, so I recommended Game Masters only tune in from here on out.
Episode 1: Death is Not the End
If you’ve been following Fables closely, then you’ve already seen the first chapter of this episode as a sneak preview for early birds. And you might have read it already, if you’re an early subscriber!
If not, this episode starts the party right at the mouth of a dark and dusty dungeon—the perfect place for 1st-level Grim Hollow characters to start their adventure. Things quickly take a turn for the darkly fantastical, however.
The magic of an ancient lich hurls the characters into a sprawling realm of muck and bones deep below the surface of Etharis, turning this adventure from classic dungeon delving into a survival horror experience.
Episode 2: Dreams of a World Beyond
The first three episodes of this Fable see the characters exploring through the fabled City Below. This ruined and ancient civilization once venerated the magical might of the sun and used its power to give themselves mastery of life and death.
This adventure’s villain is heir to such power and has used it to create a realm where spirits of the dead linger in eternal tranquility. That is until this villain claims their souls for his own.
Here in this town of dreams, the characters lose their bodies and become spirits. They must find a way to reclaim their bodies before they can once more journey toward the surface—a process that sees them enter the dreams of several spirits from across Etharis.
Episode 3: A Masque of Life
A river of souls passes through the ruins of the City Below. This corner of the necropolis has been taken apart and rebuilt by undead that have managed to fish up souls from the Deep Rivers and turn them into masks called bautas. These bautas give the mindless undead a semblance of life, which they have used to create a city called The Locks where the festivities never stop, and the dead are always dancing.
To reach the surface and breathe fresh air again, the characters must navigate not only the Deep Rivers, but also the machinations of The Locks’ four ruling Doges in a deadly game of political cat-and-mouse.
Episode 4: Land of Despair
This episode marks the beginning of the second half of the Fable, and things start to change.
The escape from the Necropolis is over, and the characters are out in the stark wilds of Soma. This is the sort of place where a dark fantasy adventure would usually start, with little folkloric monsters causing havoc in all sorts of muddy, grubby townships across a grim land.
Not this time; your characters don’t have much of a heroic reputation here on the surface. But they’ve got lots of power, thanks to their adventures in the Necropolis. What are they going to do with this power on the surface world?
Episode 5: City of Decadence
Finally, the characters have arrived at the eeriest city upon the face of Etharis: Nov Ostoya, City of Gargoyles.
Ruled by vampires who bleed their subjects dry for sport and sustenance, this authoritarian city isn’t a place that most adventurers would want to go, even the heroic kind. Unfortunately for the characters, they need information found within this city, and they’ll need to work together with the gangs of Nov Ostoya to infiltrate the blood-drenched heights of the city and find their fiendish informant.
Of course, if your players have other plans, this episode also serves as a mini-gazetteer of Nov Ostoya, giving you tools to create your own adventures in the City of Gargoyles—in addition to the information on the city found in Grim Hollow: The Campaign Guide.
Episode 6: Master of the Unseen Sun
The contents of this climactic episode are still a mystery to all but a select few at Ghostfire Gaming…be prepared for out-of-this-world action, created by the Dungeon Dudes, authors of Dungeons of Drakkenheim!
Fables is out in the Wild!
Fables members just received the first episode of Fables: Citadel of the Unseen Sun! It’s really happening! So, what are you waiting for? Adventure awaits.