A Journey Through the Forge of Fury: Dungeon Master’s Prep Guide – Part 2 

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A captivating artwork from the iconic Forge of Fury adventure, setting the stage for an epic D&D quest.
Embark on a thrilling D&D quest from Blasingdell to Khundrukar, nestled within the Stone Tooth Mountain of the Yawning Portal's Forge of Fury. This guide unveils essential adventure prep, skill challenges, and weather dynamics, ensuring an immersive journey. Dive into the heart of the Trackless Wild and forge unforgettable memories in this epic Yawning Portal adventure.

In this segment, we’ll delve into the second phase of the Forge of Fury adventure. The players, now prepared and equipped, set forth into the enigmatic wilderness known as the Trackless Wild. This untamed expanse leads them towards the mighty Stone Tooth Mountain, home to the ancient Dwarven stronghold, Khundrukar.

The wild expanse leading to Khundrukar.
The wild expanse leading to Khundrukar.

I. Setting the Scene: from Blasingdell to Khundrukar


Once the players are ready it is time to set forth into the wilderness. In our playthrough, we called this the Trackless Wild and made it an old forgotten wilderness leading up to the Stone Tooth mountain where Khundrukar lies. We named the mountain range around the area the Saw Ridge Mountains for their jagged peaks and rough terrain. As the players set forth you could read the first two paragraphs on page 34 of The Yawning Portals’ Forge of Fury as a way to set the tone for the adventure. It’s a good time to point out that weather is a great atmospheric encounter so remember to incorporate weather into your travels. Have the players make a roll on a simple table you design and give bad weather results  +1 to the Navigation Skill Challenge DC(Difficulty Class). Remember to keep a note of any navigation bonuses the players picked up while in Blasingdell.


Determine how many days of travel it should take your players to reach Khundrukar. It’s okay to be vague and evocative with the travel time. We find overland travel to be more fun when it is not a simulation of real life.


  • The Trackless Wild and the Saw Ridge Mountains
    • As the players leave Blasingdell, they enter what we’ve dubbed the Trackless Wild, an ancient and forgotten wilderness stretching toward the imposing Stone Tooth Mountain. The surrounding peaks, known as the Saw Ridge Mountains, boast jagged summits that puncture the sky. This rugged terrain sets the stage for the next leg of their journey.  The book that I reference the most for wilderness encounter ideas is a little beauty called: Landscapes for Writers and Game Masters. 


  • Setting the Tone
    • For a vivid start, consider reading the opening paragraphs on page 34 of Forge of Fury. Additionally, use weather to enhance the atmosphere. Design a simple roll table for weather conditions, boosting Navigation Skill Challenge DC on bad weather days. Remember to factor in any navigation bonuses acquired in Blasingdell.
The Trackless Wild, an overgrown expanse leading to Khundrukar, showcases nature's untamed beauty, challenging every step of the journey.
The Trackless Wild, an overgrown expanse leading to Khundrukar, showcases nature's untamed beauty, challenging every step of the journey.

II. Skill Challenges for Overland Travel 


For Overland Travel we like to use a set of skill challenges to represent each day of travel. The set is broken down into 3 Challenge Phases that do not have to be all used. These are the Navigation Phase, Encounter Avoidance Phase, and Resting Phase. 


Kids love skill challenges for reasons like they can all contribute, it’s fast, and it’s suspenseful. Remember in skill challenges to announce the skill challenge and its conditions. The conditions are usually a group of Successes / Failures and can be hard 6/3, medium 4/3, or easy 3/3. Players can only use a selected skill once per challenge phase and need to select a different skill if their turn comes back around. The skills they choose from need to be skills they are proficient with or the Difficulty Class (DC) is +2 for that challenge. Have the players give a brief explanation as to how that selected skill will work in the challenge it’s used for. In our playthrough, the kids sometimes helped each other out with roleplaying how the skill was useful and they were incredibly creative. You should write up a short list of what successes and failures might result in for your particular challenge. Remember to roleplay the balance between successes and failures.


  • Getting to Khundrukar
    • We recommend employing skill challenges for each day of travel. This includes Navigation, Encounter Avoidance, and Resting Phases. Refer to our Part 0 article for house rules and homebrew ideas, especially beneficial when playing with younger adventurers. Skill challenges empower everyone to contribute and add an element of suspense to the journey.
The Trackless Wild, an overgrown expanse leading to Khundrukar, showcases nature's untamed beauty, challenging every step of the journey.
Overland travel to the mines of Khundrukar!

III. Navigation Phase Skill Challenge: Through the Wilderness


In our playthrough, we called the thick forest between Blasingdell and Khundrukar the Trackless Wild. It was wrought with rough terrain, and flora overgrowth making it difficult to find a way or recover your path. During the skill challenges, successes kept them on track in the correct direction with no encounters whilst failures resulted in increasingly difficult encounters and possibly being lost.


Foreshadowing Notes: For encounters remember to foreshadow upcoming events with Orc tracks, Foul water (The Acid Dragon), Dwarven ghosts, and Orc foraging party encounters. Remember the travel time is split into 2 days or more so you can have more of the foreshadowing on the second day if that seems more appropriate. In our playthrough, I wanted to save the Dragon reveal for the actual dungeon but did lightly foreshadow dwarven spirits and Orc foraging parties.



Orcs of Khundrukar2d Orcs for Forge of Fury



Looking for some Epic Minis? Try these, they’re perfect for The Forge of Fury!




If the players completely fail their challenge it can result in them being lost. Have one of the players make a Wisdom Saving throw and if that fails they are lost. You can set a maximum number of days they can continue to be lost and count it with a d6. Have all the players make a Wisdom save throw each day. This will drain their rations and possibly cause an encounter to occur during the encounter avoidance skill challenge. 



  • On the Way to Khundrukar: An Overgrown Enigma
    • Here, the dense forest between Blasingdell and Khundrukar poses a formidable challenge. Rough terrain and overgrown flora obscure the way, making it a daunting task to find a clear path. Successful navigation keeps them on course, while failures lead to increasingly difficult encounters and the risk of becoming lost.


Overland Travel Encounters Through The Wilderness
Avoiding encounters in the wilderness may prove difficult!

IV. Encounter Avoidance Phase Skill Challenge: Through the Wilderness


Make your encounters vague and evocative! Foreshadow upcoming events with encounters but you want to keep your players uncertain while at the same time creating strong mood and images. To do so it’s not always conducive to a good D&D session to have only combat encounters. You can use encounters through the trackless wild to hint at Orcs by describing sounds through the night or Orc foraging parties having an encounter with a wild animal. Will the players go investigate, possibly endangering themselves? Do the players hear Orc trible drums the closer they get to Khundrukar alluding to the war tribe currently inhabiting Khundrukar? Let the players slowly realize that they may be in for more than they bargained for. Perhaps as the players draw closer to the Stone Tooth of Khundrukar they begin to see large bonfires in the mountains and hear distant shouting of what may be an Orcish language. If you’re planning to fill the deeper parts of Khundrukar with Dwarven Spirits you could have one appear in the Trackless Wild at night screaming the word NightScale! And scare your players by shouting it really loud at the table! Nightscale unbeknownst to your players is the Black Acid Dragon in the lower depths of Khundrukar. There’s lots of opportunity to pepper the narrative in little ways that help establish mood.


The Forge of Fury Encounters along they way


Do not forget environmental encounters as another alternative to combat encounters. Environmental encounters can be a creative way to add skill challenges for the players. There are many opportunities for this along the way to Khundrukar through the Trackless Wilds. Perhaps the players have come up to a raging river as dusk sets in and they must find a way across or attempt to ford the river. However, they may opt to camp and wait but unknowingly the sound of the river masks an approaching ancient creature. 


  • Creating Atmosphere Through Encounters
    • Encounters serve as powerful tools for foreshadowing events and building mood. While combat encounters have their place, consider using encounters to hint at Orc’s presence or mysterious happenings. Environmental encounters, like navigating a raging river or facing an ancient creature, can introduce skill challenges and modify DCs.


A great reference full of stats for Orc hordes! 


Keep track of your player’s stats easily!

As the day comes to an end the players must eventually rest.

V. Resting Phase Skill Challenge: Wilderness Survival


This EXAMPLE shows how you can utilize the Resting Phase and assumes you acquired many failures in the Encounter Avoidance Phase or completely failed it.


As night falls on the outskirts of Khundrukar, your players find themselves in need of rest. Little do they know, a foraging orc party is returning, and the success of their camping skill challenge will determine whether they go unnoticed or become the subject of unwanted attention.


Setting the Scene

The players must establish a campsite in a concealed location, utilizing their skills and teamwork to ensure they remain undetected by the returning orc party. The success of this skill challenge hinges on several key factors, including their proficiency in Survival, Stealth, Perception, Nature, and Intelligence (for tactical planning).


Discriptions of Usable Skills 

  1. Campsite Selection (Survival and Perception)

    • Survival Check: Determine how well the players select a hidden campsite. Success ensures they are well-sheltered from view.
    • Perception Check: Players scan the area for signs of orc patrols. Success grants them awareness of possible dangers.
  2. Camp Maneuver (Stealth and Intelligence)

    • Stealth Check: The players must perform tasks quietly and efficiently. Success ensures minimal noise that might attract attention.
    • Intelligence Check: A tactical assessment of their surroundings and potential escape routes in case of an orc encounter.
  3. Guard Rotation (Teamwork) 

    • The players must work together to establish a rotation for keeping watch throughout the night. A well-organized system ensures all angles are covered. This person should have the highest Passive Perception or Stealth.



  • Success: The players have expertly established their camp, evading the foraging orcs entirely. They rest peacefully and wake up ready to face the challenges of Khundrukar.

  • Partial Success: The camp is reasonably hidden, but there’s a chance the orcs may pass by. This provides a chance for a stealthy encounter or escape.

  • Failure: The campsite is poorly chosen or insufficiently concealed. The orcs spot them, leading to a potentially dangerous encounter.


Tips for the Dungeon Master

  • Encourage creative use of spells and abilities that enhance stealth and perception.
  • Consider offering advantages or disadvantages based on players’ decisions and how well they role-play their camping preparations.
  • Keep the tension high by describing distant sounds and shadows, heightening the suspense.


Remember, the success of this skill challenge not only determines the outcome of the night but also sets the tone for the approaching adventures within Khundrukar. Happy adventuring!

The Formidable Mountain Door of Khundukar!

VI. Arrival at Khundrukar


Emerging from the dense shroud of the Trackless Wild, the players find themselves standing at the forest’s edge, greeted by a breathtaking sight. Before them rises the mighty Stone Tooth Mountain, its sheer granite cliffs towering high into the sky, seemingly brushing against the clouds. The mountain’s formidable presence exudes an aura of ancient power and enigmatic secrets. A thin spire of smoke rises from some unseen point high on the slopes.


The air is crisp, carrying with it a subtle chill that hints at the mountain’s enduring, stoic nature. The ground beneath their feet is solid and rocky, a stark contrast to the soft earth of the forest. The scent of pine mingles with a subtle mineral tang, signifying the transition from woodland to mountainous terrain.


The players can feel a sense of anticipation and trepidation, for they stand on the threshold of an adventure that promises challenges and discoveries beyond imagination. The Stone Tooth Mountain looms like a sentinel, guarding the mysteries of Khundrukar within its rugged embrace.


As their gaze traces the mountain’s surface, their eyes are drawn to a winding, ancient road that zigzags up the steep face, disappearing into the folds of stone. The road, weathered and partially reclaimed by nature, bears the weight of forgotten journeys and untold stories. Its twists and turns evoke a sense of mystery.


Looking up towards Khundrukar


The players may find themselves pondering the significance of this road, questioning what relics of history and what hidden wonders it might lead them to within the heart of Khundrukar. The juxtaposition of the road’s existence against the rugged, wild terrain imparts a sense of purpose and destiny to their quest.


In this moment, the players stand at the crossroads of the natural world and the realm of dwarven craftsmanship, their resolve strengthened by the sight of the Stone Tooth Mountain and the enigmatic road that beckons them upward, or will they explore the surrounding area? The journey through the Trackless Wild has prepared them for the challenges ahead, and they now embark on the next chapter of their epic adventure.


  • The Breathtaking View
    • Emerging from the forest’s edge, the players are met with a spectacular sight—the formidable Stone Tooth Mountain, its granite cliffs soaring high above. A thin plume of smoke rises from an unseen point on the slopes, hinting at life within.
  • The Senses of Arrival
    • The air turns crisp, carrying a subtle chill that hints at the mountain’s ancient resilience. The ground beneath is solid and rocky, a stark contrast to the forest’s soft earth. Scents of pine intermingle with a faint mineral tang, marking the transition from woodland to mountain.
  • The Mysterious Road
    • Eyes are drawn to a winding, ancient road that zigzags up the mountain’s face, vanishing into the stone’s embrace. This weathered path, partially reclaimed by nature, carries the weight of countless journeys and untold stories, evoking a sense of destiny and purpose.



Conclusion: Embarking on the Next Chapter


As the night unfolds and the foraging orcs pass by, your players find themselves on the precipice of a grand adventure. The Stone Tooth Mountain looms, harboring secrets and challenges within Khundrukar’s ancient halls. In the next part, the players will navigate the rugged terrain, explore the surroundings, and ultimately breach the formidable stronghold. The promise of untold treasures and legendary encounters awaits, ensuring that their journey through Khundrukar will be an epic tale for the ages. Stay prepared, for the heart of the mountain beckons.


Did you miss part 1? Take a look back at how Forge of Fury begins! :

A Journey Through the Forge of Fury: Dungeon Master’s Prep Guide – Part 1

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