Desert of Desolation is a compilation adventure module published by TSR in 1987 for the Dungeons & Dragons fantasy roleplaying game. It combines the three previously published individual modules Pharaoh, Oasis of the White Palm, and Lost Tomb of Martek, which were produced for use with the 1st edition Advanced Dungeons & Dragons rules.

Each module is an Egyptian-styled adventure. The individual modules were well received by critics at the time of their release, and the compilation has garnered accolades in the 2000s.

History[edit | edit source]

Pharaoh was created by Tracy and Laura Hickman soon after they were wed in 1977, and published by TSR in 1982. Oasis of the White Palm was a collaboration between Tracy Hickman and Philip Meyers, while Tracy Hickman wrote Lost Tomb of Martek; both were printed in 1983. It was the first TSR product to have the "Forgotten Realms" imprint.

Contents[edit | edit source]

  • Foreword
  • Chapter 1: Background And Storyline
  • Chapter 2: Judging Notes For The Referee
  • Chapter 3: Setting Up The Campaign
  • Chapter 4: Bralizzar, Gateway to Raurin
  • Chapter 5: Across Northknife Pass
  • Chapter 6: Desert of Desolation
  • Chapter 7: Sunken City Of Pazar
  • Chapter 8: Tomb Of Amun-Re
  • Chapter 9: Oasis Of The White Palm
  • Chapter 10: Temple Of Set
  • Chapter 11: Crypt Of Badr Al-Mosak
  • Chapter 12: Lost City of Phoenix
  • Chapter 13: Skysea/The Curse City Of Stone
  • Chapter 14: Lost Tomb Of Martek

Plot summary[edit | edit source]

Pharaoh[edit | edit source]

Pharaoh is an Egyptian-styled adventure that includes a pyramid map and a trap-filled maze. Cover art was provided by Jim Holloway.[1] In Pharaoh, the player characters are driven into the desert for a crime they did not commit. The characters journey to the sunken city of Pazar, and from there they travel to the haunted tomb of an ancient pharaoh. While in the desert, the characters encounter the spirit of Amun-Re, the last pharaoh of Bakar, cursed to wander the desert until his tomb is robbed. Amun-Re begs the PCs to remove his Staff of Ruling and the Star Gem from his tomb to break his curse. The tomb was built to be thief-proof, and has so far lived up to its reputation. While in Amun-Re's pyramid, the characters can use an item called the Dome of Flight to control or reverse gravity; carelessness can cause them to fall upwards, and the palm trees in this room bear exploding fruit. The module contains wilderness maps, and includes a number of smaller adventures which complement the main one.

Oasis of the White Palm[edit | edit source]

In Oasis of the White Palm, the characters arrive at the Oasis of the White Palm, which is on the brink of turmoil. Shadalah, who is to be the bride of the shiek's eldest son, has been kidnapped. The shiek believes her to be held by his enemies somewhere in the oasis. The player characters must solve a mystery before they can progress further. Once the characters make the contacts they need at the oasis, they continue to the Temple of Set and the Crypt of Badr al-Mosak, and the adventure concludes in the City of Phoenix; there, the PCs must obtain the three Star Gems (the one from Amun-Re's tomb in the previous adventure, and two more introduced here) and free the djinni if they plan to move on to the next module.[2] The Oasis of the White Palm module contains wilderness maps, and includes a number of smaller adventures which complement the main one.

Lost Tomb of Martek[edit | edit source]

The goal of the player characters is the tomb of the millennium-dead wizard Martek. The tomb lies in the vast Desert of Desolation, and the majority of the adventure takes place within Martek's tomb.[3] The adventure is organized into seven parts, taking the party from the desert through a number of planes on their way to the Citadel of Martek. 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.[3]

Index[edit | edit source]

Characters[edit | edit source]

Aman Al-RaqibAmun-ReAshuk MasaniAthis Al-DinCookieFuigarmHogan UnderwoodKhalithariusMuthi PashtralSithal Al-HusnTasha LalTekuna ChandTrifakasZomaraZorath Blackblade
Referenced only
Badr Al-MosakElminster AumarTakosh-Re

Creatures[edit | edit source]

aerial servantandrosphinxant (fire ant)aspbeetlebeholderbugbearcamelcentipedechabang manclay golemcobracockatricedoppelgangerdrowdustdiggerdwarfghastghostghoulgiant fire beetlegiant mountain goatgiant poisonous snakegiant ratgiant scorpiongiant spidergnomegoblingoatgophergorgongrizzly beargroaning spirithalflinghill gianthorsehuge spiderhyenajackallarge spiderlurker aboveminotaurmountain lionmummynecrophidiusneo-otyughotyughpackratpegasuspurple wormrocrust monstersandmanshadowshadow demonskeletonsmoke mephitsnake (cobra) • spectresphinxtarantulathunderherderticktortoisetrappertroglodytetrollumber hulkwar dogwightwraithwolfworgxornyetizombie
Referenced only
cattledjinngoatgulllionmoth

Locations[edit | edit source]

Bodies of Water
Me'at HalwaRiver Athis
Buildings
Crypts & Tombs
Crypt of Badr Al-Mosak
Taverns & Inns
Happy Hogan's Desert IglooHouse of MirthInn of the Golden PalmThe Swayback Camel
Temples
Temple of EilishTemple of Prometheus
Deserts
Plains of Purple DustRaurin
Mountains
Dustwall Mountains
Nations
Bakar
Roads
Sandvoyagers Track
Settlements
BralizzarMedinat MuskawoonPazar
Valleys
Athis valleyGiant Step CleftNorthknife Pass
Referenced only
Alamber SeaGheldanethGoldenflowGolden WaterInner SeaJhandylMulhorandPandemoniumPhannaskulPhelzolPhoenixSeldazzarSemkhrunSempharTerbakarThommarUttermost EastUnthalassUntherUstannZindalankh

Magic[edit | edit source]

Armor & Clothing
cloak of protectionharness of Sekerhelm of alignment changering of contrarinessring of protection
Books
book of infinite spellsLibram of Gainful ConjurationLibram of Ineffable DamnationTome of Clear ThoughtTome of TimeTome of Understanding
Items
crystal balldecanter of endless waterincense of meditationincense of obsessionliahonaphylactery of monstrous attentionscarab of protectionskull of Garathstaff of curing
Potions
oil of slipperinessperiapt of foul rottingpotion of gaseous formpotion of invisibilitypotion of invulnerabilitypotion of undead control
Spells
comprehend languagesfireballflyglyph of warding

Organizations[edit | edit source]

AirlancersPazar dynastySandvoyagers Guild

Religions[edit | edit source]

AnuBaldurDunatisHorusIsisNornsOsirisPrometheusRaSetTycheUntamo
Referenced only
ApolloFriggHeimdalLokiOdinSekerZeus

Miscellaneous[edit | edit source]

Clothing
baldricbanded mailchainmailleather armorrobeturban
Ethnicities
DurpariRaurindi
Fields of Study
Astrology
Food & Drinks
dateflourwine
Gemstones
black sapphire
Items
blanketbookbraziercleavercompass rosehammerkettleoil lampsaddlescrolltenttorchvial
Books
201, A Sea OdysseyA Thousand Nights and a NightBetter Caves and Dungeons CookbookFarewell to Limbs, A Pictoral Vorpal GlossaryGone with the Air ElementalHumantales for Young FairiesMoby DragonOrc Stew and Its Uses in LubricationParadise DisplacedSnow Dwarf and the Seven WightsTome of Amun-ReTome of Martek
Materials & Substances
bronzecementcoalcopperglassteelgoldgraniteleadlimestonemarbleobsidiansilversteel
Plants
grasslily
Weapons
battleaxedaggerdartlancescimitarspear
Referenced only
applemangoorangepear

Appendix[edit | edit source]

Credits[edit | edit source]

  • Original Module Design: Tracy Hickman, Laura Hickman, Philip Meyers
  • Additonal Design: Peter Rice, William John Wheeler
  • Editing: William John Wheeler, Curtis Smith, Edward Sollers, Marlene Weigel
  • Cover: Keith Parkinson
  • Cartography: Dennis Kauth, Ron Kauth, Dave LaForce, Steve Sullivan, Stephanie Tabat
  • Typography: Betty Elmore

External links[edit | edit source]

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the following links do not necessarily represent the views of the editors of this wiki, nor does any lore presented necessarily adhere to established canon.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Tracy and Laura Hickman. Pharaoh (TSR, 1982), ISBN 0-888038-007-1
  2. Meyers, Philip and Tracy Hickman. Oasis of the White Palm (TSR, 1983)
  3. 3.0 3.1 Hickman, Tracy Raye. Lost Tomb of Martek (TSR, 1983)
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