What Do I Know About Reviews, Keys from the Golden Vault, Part Twelve, (D&D 5e)

330596_INTRO—HEIST PLANNING_ Art by Alexandre HonoréThe Feywild is the next stop on our tour of the adventures features in the Keys from the Golden Vault anthology series, Party at Paliset Hall. This time around, the PCs get to steal a potentially very dangerous necklace from a retired elf adventurer during a Winter Solstice event. This adventure is for 10th-level adventurers.

Spoiler Warning

Of the 100% of stuff present in this adventure, I will be touching on >1% of that stuff, which may be 1% more than you want to know if you are playing in this adventure. Consider this notification that your invitation to this review is revoked, for your own enjoyment.

The Hook

The PCs are either asked by the Golden Vault to participate in this mission or they receive a messenger from the husband of the retired adventurer throwing the Winter Solstice gala in the Feywild. There isn’t a whole lot fleshed out for PCs that aren’t connected to the Golden Vault, so DMs may have to build their own connections to the retired adventurers if they want to skip the Golden Vault framing mechanism.

One thing that’s interesting about this opening is that the person sending the messenger is specifically tied to the Golden Vault. Eliphas, the werebear married to Zorhanna and concerned about the effect of the necklace on his wife, is the character that creates the music boxes and keys for the Golden Vault. We also get a little more information on the Golden Vault in this section. In addition to arranging for heists that further the greater good, they also collect and store potentially dangerous magic items, which kind of fits in with the whole “we’re paying you in magic items” motif we’ve seen so far.

The Setting

This adventure takes place in the Feywild, and encompasses the local establishments (inns, businesses) and the location where the gala takes place. Oh, and maybe a pocket dimension influenced by the Far Realm.

Heist Tropes

This one gets twisty! Eliphas wants the PCs to steal a necklace being worn by his wife, because he’s afraid that she’s being influenced by it. But the necklace teleports back to a vault when it is removed. So you already have a built-in “shifting location” for the maguffin.

In addition, the vault itself is hidden in a non-traditional place and depending on who the PCs talk to, they can guess where that vault is.

Beyond the shifting location and finding the vault and opening it, you also have the added complication of the coven of night hags, the previous owners of the necklace, showing up to steal it back.


Not only do we get some information on the local inhabitants of this portion of the Feywild in the form of business owners, we also have a chart that details potential guests to the gala, as well as some personality details of the staff at the estate. Depending on how and when the PCs interact with the staff, their concern and connection to the adventuring couple that owns the estate is going to help reveal what is going on and where to find things.


Beyond the standard humanoids attending the gala, and the construct guarding the vault, you have the fey (which would be shocking in their exclusion for a Feywild-themed adventure), and winter wolf bouncers. Technically you also have an aberration in the form of a Far Realm entity that resides in the necklace, but its stats come up.

After Action

There is a plot point hard-wired into the adventure, where even if the PCs are successful, the necklace cracks open and the Far Realm entity escapes. I’ll touch on this a bit more in the next section.

This is one of the adventures that adds a bit more detail to the Golden Vault’s response. They don’t just want the necklace to be stolen, they also don’t pay up unless Eliphas and Zorhanna both survive, and no innocent lives were lost at the gala. I kind of wish that there were a few more notes like this for the Golden Vault in some of the other adventures.

In addition to the Golden Vault paying out another rare magic item, there is a list of magic items that Eliphas offers the PCs for successfully doing the job, based on some items they have on display from their days as adventurers.


I enjoy how this adventure is kind of a moving target. Zorhanna’s simulacrum (the one wearing the necklace . . . the real one is trapped inside) can appear in a number of places, playing hostess. The PCs can learn a lot if they manage to find Eliphas right off the bat, but he didn’t give them a location to meet up. The staff is worried about Eliphas and Zorhanna’s relationship and depending on how the PCs interact with them, they might drop some clues because they are more likely to want to see them safe and sound than to do their jobs.

The night hags have a spy at the gala, so the PCs may run into them. The night hags themselves can show up and complicate things. Essentially, the adventure gives you a situation, and some tools to track who is where and at what time, but everything else is going to be improvisation based on the actions that the PCs take, in the context of some of the random events going on. This fits the theme of heist adventures very well, but I also think it’s worth mentioning that I don’t think this is going to be an easy adventure for newer DMs to run. While there are some random tables and charts showing locations, I think the adventure could have used a more formalized way of tracking when different events happen, and what that means overall.

That all brings me to the part of this adventure that I wish were a little different. The Golden Vault stores dangerous magic items, but as written, even if the PCs are successful, the necklace’s gem will crack and let the entity out. It’s just a thing that will happen at some point in the adventure.

I understand that this is actually a handy course correction to give the PCs a chance to still pull a win out of the jaws of defeat if the night hags manage to steal the necklace, or if they end up getting trapped inside of it, but I feel like if the PCs succeed in the heist and manage to balance everything to pull it off, they shouldn’t narratively face a story beat that feels like a failure. Yes, they get paid for stealing the necklace and getting it away from Zhorhanna, but even if you get paid, being told a dangerous entity escaped from the thing you stole doesn’t feel like a victory, and there isn’t a way to prevent that development as written.