Touring the Radiant Citadel: San Citlán

Mario Ortegón

Mario Ortegón

With the release of Journeys through the Radiant Citadel on July 19 so close at hand, I’m excited and proud to write this article about the adventure anthology and my contribution to it: “The Fiend of Hollow Mine.”

A Journey for Everyone

Journeys through the Radiant Citadel introduces thirteen different adventures and the awe-inspiring location that joins them all together—the Radiant Citadel. Each adventure was written by a different author who was inspired by a real-world culture to which they have connections to, and is tied to a unique location that is completely new and has never been seen before in the worlds of D&D.

If you’ve never played D&D, there’s really no better place to start. The book takes characters from level 1 through 14, and there’s an adventure for almost every playstyle. If you want whimsical romps through dazzling markets, Surena Marie’s “Salted Legacy” has you covered. If you feel like delving deep into ruins and uncovering ancient secrets, you’ll definitely enjoy Felice Kuan’s “Buried Dynasty.” And if ghost stories and political intrigue are your thing, you simply must play D. Fox Harrell’s “The Nigthsea’s Succor.”

What is “The Fiend of Hollow Mine?”

In my adventure, “The Fiend of Hollow Mine,” players investigate the origin and potential cure for a supernatural ailment that causes deadly cold in its victims. The trail leads characters from an abandoned mine to the industrial city of San Citlán during the region’s most important festival, the Night of the Remembered. Inspired by the real-world’s Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead), this celebration involves the people of San Citlán tapping into the immanent magic of the city to commune with their deceased ancestors and loved ones by honoring them.

The adventure introduces a new monster—the titular “fiend”—called a tlacatecolo. It is an owllike demon that sows plague and sickness in mortals, and the mystery revolves around what (or who) brought it to the region and for what purpose.

What I’m most excited about is for players to discover San Citlán and to make it their own. There hasn’t been a location in D&D before that is representative of contemporary Mexican culture, and to be able to create the first one was both an exciting opportunity and a big undertaking. While San Citlán has elements from iconic cities, events, and places from Mexico’s history, it ultimately draws from my own upbringing and harkens to places that I’ve called home my whole life.

If players walk away with one thing from playing my adventure, I hope it’s a greater appreciation of Mexican culture, and how vibrant and diverse it can be. There are so many stories to be told, and I feel very grateful that “The Fiend of Hollow Mine” can be a part of sharing them with the world.

Start your own Journeys Through the Radiant Citadel on Roll20!

Mario Ortegón

Mario Ortegón (he/him) is a former UX Design Lead who transitioned to working full-time as a freelancer in the games industry. He has worked on multiple products for Wizards of the Coast, Critical Role, Paradox Interactive, MCDM Productions, Beadle & Grimm's, and more. Though he hails from the Mexico-US border, he currently resides in the mountainous city of Monterrey, Nuevo León.