journeys through the radiant citadel

D&D ‘Journeys Through The Radiant Citadel’: A Peek Into Surena Marie’s ‘Salted Legacy’ Adventure

Journeys through the Radiant Citadel is Dungeons & Dragons‘ latest 5E anthology of 13 stand-alone adventures for character levels 1 to 14, tied together by links to the magical floating city of Radiant Citadel located on the Ethereal Plane.

Each adventure has its own set of maps and can be run by itself or as part of another campaign. The hardcover anthology introduces 11 new D&D monsters and is currently out in North America, and will launch soon in Europe (9 August) and Southeast Asia (23 September).

Journeys through the Radiant Citadel is unique because it is the first book written entirely by black and brown authors, bringing their own distinct cultures and upbringing to the adventures.

The beginner adventure, Salted Legacy by Surena Marie, is a level 1 and 2 adventure where players try to stop a feud between two merchant families. In an unusual twist, the task can be achieved by earning renown through completing tasks such as a spicy pepper-eating contest and completing a cooking challenge. The adventure is set in the Dyn Singh Night Market in the Siabsungkoh region, which pulls from Surena Marie’s cultural heritage of being a first-generation American with a Thai background.

surena marie, author of salted legacy, 1 of 13 adventures in journeys through the radiant citadel
Photo shared by Surena Marie herself.

Surena Marie shares with Geek Culture about what else we can expect in Salted Legacy, what she sees herself playing as, and where she hopes to see D&D go from here.

Q: You’ve mentioned before that parts of your adventure are inspired by Thailand, such as the Dyn Singh Night Market setting and one of the new creatures (Wynling). What else in the adventure is largely informed by your upbringing and culture?

A: My mother grew up in Bangkok, Thailand and immigrated to the United States before I was born. She is one of the most important people in my life and her love of cooking is a huge part of why my adventure is centred around food. She taught me the power shared meals have in bringing people together which is one of the themes I brought to Salted Legacy. The NPC Madam Kulp who runs one of the market games was inspired and designed after her.

Q: Why Salted Legacy? Is there a significance to the name?

A: It’s a cheeky name that would encompass a family feud between two rival food vendor families.

Q: What do you hope players will take away from their adventures in Salted Legacy?

A: It’s my hope that new players finish my adventure with a good sense of collaborative and creative storytelling. The challenges are written to be difficult if players try to face them alone but as a team, players can accomplish anything!

For more seasoned players, I hope my adventure leaves them with a sense of play. We don’t have to take ourselves seriously 100% of the time. Sometimes it’s perfectly acceptable to participate in a spicy pepper contest and see what happens.

Q: How does your adventure link to the Radiant Citadel? What major role does it play in the Radiant Citadel?

A: My setting Siabsungkoh is one of the 15 founding locations of the Radiant Citadel. The Radiant Citadel is governed by a council known as the Speakers for the Ancestors which are descendants of these founding locations. The speaker that represents Siabsungkoh was chosen by the community and ultimately affirmed by the Dawn Incarnate of the land, which is a glittering ruby pangolin.

Q: You’ve played as a ranger and a small bird on public actual play programmes. If you were to start as a player in Salted Legacy, what character do you see yourself playing as?

A: This is such a fun question! I think if I was starting as a player, I would join the game as a Dragonborn Bard who specializes in street performance.

Q: D&D is seeing a revival in recent years. At a personal level, what do you hope to see the community grow into in the next few years?

A: It’s been so wonderful to witness! I’m seeing a new, incredible generation of players picking up the game for the first time through social media and I hope that we all continue to welcome new players to the table. It doesn’t matter if you’ve played for 20 years or just started yesterday, there’s a game for everyone. I feel that platforms like Twitter, TikTok, and Discord have been instrumental in connecting people from across the world.

journeys through the radiant citadel

Start exploring the rich and varied collection of adventures in Journeys through the Radiant Citadel if you are in North America. D&D players elsewhere will be able to get their copies soon, with Europe, the Middle East and Africa getting their copies on 9 August, and Southeast Asia on 23 September.