Publication:The Lost City
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The adventure follows a city buried in the desert, which is torn between warring factions. Much of the adventure takes place within a huge step pyramid. Other areas of the city are merely outlined, with suggestions provided for the DM to provide detail.
At the beginning of the adventure, the characters become lost in a desert sandstorm and stumble upon the entrance to a pyramid. The pyramid and the underground city beneath it are located on the site of the ancient ruined city of Cynidicea and inhabited by the descendants of the city's people. These Cynidiceans, now regressed to a subterranean species, are addicted to narcotics and spend most of their time in drug-induced reveries, wandering around in costumes and masks.
As the adventure progresses, the characters discover that a monster known as Zargon was responsible for the downfall of Cynidicea. The monster still lives, and a cult of evil human priests and various other monsters has grown up around it. Besides the priests of Zargon, there also exist three other factions of relatively normal Cynidiceans. They worship the city's ancient Gods and are dedicated to the overthrow of the priests of Zargon and the restoration of Cynidicea's lost glory, but their diverging faiths have disallowed them from working together against their common enemy.
Although only the upper half of the pyramid is detailed, enough information on the lower half and the underground city is provided for the DM to expand the adventure. After clearing the upper pyramid the players can become involved in the struggle for Cynidicea and, if they grow powerful enough, confront Zargon in his lair and destroy him.
The Lost City was written by Tom Moldvay and illustrated by Jim Holloway. It was published by TSR in 1982 as a 32-page book with an outer folder; the first printing was 3-hole punched.
Dragon magazine revisited the setting with "Mystara: Return to the Lost City" in issue #315.
The module was the inspiration for a 3rd edition D&D adventure, "Masque of Dreams," which was printed in Dungeon #142. The adventure was written by B. Matthew Conklin and illustrated by Michael William Kaluta.
Zargon and the Cynidiceans received a re-interpretation in the 3.5 edition product, Elder Evils, which places the temple in the default, Greyhawk-like setting