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I am preparing to DM the Princes of the Apocalypse published adventure. In the map of the Dessarin Valley region, Wyvern Tor is marked as a site.

However, I skimmed over the whole tome but I couldn't find any reference to Wyvern Tor. The party might pass Wyvern Tor before reaching Red Larch, so I would like to know what Wyvern Tor has to offer.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Given your question about "what Wyvern Tor has to offer" – is your main question about what is in Wyvern Tor in general, or specifically about whether there are any events in the adventure relating to Wyvern Tor? \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    Oct 19, 2022 at 16:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ I have run the Lost Mines of Phandelver in which a minor encounter takes place at Wyvern Tor so I know the location. The question is about its function in Princes of the Apocalypse. \$\endgroup\$
    – Giorin
    Oct 19, 2022 at 16:38

3 Answers 3

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To let you know it is there.

It is easy enough to check using ctrl+f on D&D Beyond that Wyvern Tor is mentioned exactly zero times in the text of the adventure. The marking on Map 2.2 of the valley is the only mention of it in the entire adventure. It stands to reason that it is marked on the map because it is a notable feature of the region, and maps are for marking notable features.

It is also worth observing that Lost Mine of Phandelver contains the only text references to Wyvern Tor in the whole D&D 5e corpus. It is notably absent from the Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide, where one might expect to find mention of notable terrain features like this one.

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    \$\begingroup\$ It may also be worth noting that Mike Schley did the maps for both PotA and LMoP (among other maps of Sword Coast locations). It may have been a matter of him trying to maintain consistency between the two maps, or just reusing that location for whatever other reason. (Of course, only Mike Schley himself would know the specific reason... I suppose someone could ask him.) \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    Oct 19, 2022 at 18:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ This would not explain why Wyvern Tor is marked with an X and the Lair of the banshee Agatha (also a LMoP site visible on the PotA map) is not. I guess it is just an editorial slip. \$\endgroup\$
    – Giorin
    Oct 19, 2022 at 20:48
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    \$\begingroup\$ Wyvern Tor is a physical landscape feature. It's been there for millennia & will probably continue to be. Lair of <insert monster> is far less permanent. They probably moved in less than a decade ago, and probably got killed by the first (or second) band of adventurers that wandered past. And if you don't know it's there, you won't notice it. \$\endgroup\$
    – Adeptus
    Oct 20, 2022 at 4:30
  • \$\begingroup\$ Also, per the Forgotten Realms wiki page on Wyvern Tor: "Wyvern Tor was a crag in the hills northeast of the Sword Mountains, and was easily seen by any on the Triboar Trail near the vicinity of Conyberry." It's a landmark visible from the surrounding area, so characters in the area would see it even if they don't actually go there. \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    Oct 20, 2022 at 7:20
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It likely is the lair of something

As described in the original Lost Mine of Phandelver (emphases mine):

This crag is a prominent landmark in the rugged hills northeast of the Sword Mountains, and is easily visible from twenty miles away. People traveling along the Triboar Trail in the vicinity of Conyberry catch glimpses of Wyvern Tor to the south as they go. The tor was formerly the home of a large and dangerous nest of wyverns, but a band of bold adventurers dealt with the monsters years ago. Though the wyverns never returned, other creatures lair here from time to time. Wyvern Tor’s current squatters include...

a band of orcs and their ogre ally.

While Wyvern Tor may not have the same inhabitants in Princes of the Apocalypse as it does in Lost Mine, it is likely that there is something there. Intelligent raiders have a good view of the Triboar Trail from the Tor and can assault caravans or pick off stragglers, while their own camp is concealed and their comings and goings are obscured since the cave entrance is in the bottom of a ravine. Flying predators that hunt by sight will be able to see the land for miles around from a perch atop the Tor. The cave is at least large enough for:

seven orcs and an ogre

Because it is such a natural location for the lair of something, DM's running PoA are likely to stock it with monsters appropriate for their campaign, simply as good world-building.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Icewind Dale? Do you mean "Princes of the Apocalype"? (Btw, for reasons unclear to me, the inhabtants in the new, expaned Obelisk version of Phandelver are changed somewhat.) Agree fully that this likely would have been a lair of some monsters or brigands/humanoids \$\endgroup\$ Oct 14, 2023 at 19:11
  • \$\begingroup\$ @NobodytheHobgoblin Yes, PoA - thanks and will edit. \$\endgroup\$
    – Kirt
    Oct 14, 2023 at 19:21
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It was intended to mark a site the adventurers might visit

The map indicates that X marks a "Site", and the adventure states on page 31 under the heading Valley Sites:

The Dessarin Valley has been a well-used highway into the heart of the Sword Coast North for an age upon an age, and it has seen the ravages of many orc hordes, the rise and fall of a dwarven kingdom, frequent bands of brigands, and much more. Adventurers exploring the Sumber Hills and vicinity might visit many sites of interest as they trek across the valley.

This then is followed by various sites and cities that can be visited. However, nearly all of the sites marked with X are described in more detail in the adventure in case the characters want to explore them.

The exceptions are the "Wyvern Tor" and the "Fire Raiders" sites: both do not have an explicit entry or description. I think this shows this must be an editorial oversight or mismatch between the map and the adventure text, as "Fire Raiders" certainly is not an enduring landmark that one would want to visit. These "X"es represent sites that were at some point planned to be encounter/exploration areas for the adventure, but some of them were not included in the final text.1


1 There are mentions of fire raiders on the random encounter tables but without a fixed location, and there is a "Rescue your People" adventure hook where raiders from the fire cult have abducted people, but those are in the Temple of Eternal Flame, not in the open plains near Kryptgarden Forest, so they are not that Site.

P.S. If you compare the maps of the Dessarin Valley with the one in Lost Mine of Phandelver or Dragon of Icespire Peak, those show Icespire Peak, about 5 miles east of Conyberry. This would still be on the Dessarin Valley map, and much more of a landmark than Wyvern Tor, so it should warrant an X if an X was to highlight landmarks, but it is not included.

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