Advanced Search

UK7 Dark Clouds Gather (1e)
Quick Preview
Full‑size Preview

UK7 Dark Clouds Gather (1e)

Watermarked PDF
Storms frequently blow from the Cloudscape Mountains, but never one like this: For weeks it has hung over the peaks, casting its dark shadow across the land. Its huge black clouds billow and writhe in an effort to smother the sun. Once so picturesque and enchanting, the Cloudscape Mountains have taken on a sinister appearance.
Fear now stalks the land. A malignant entity is growing and festering high in the mountain peaks. With dark tendrils, it reaches out towards the lowlands. No one is safe. Caravans are not arriving at the village of Lurneslye. It is only a matter of time before the villagers fall prey to the dark clouds and the evil they conceal.
Powerful adventurers of levels 7 to 9 are urgently sought to banish the darkness. The sun must again shine in a clear blue sky - and soon. Once the dark clouds have fully gathered, who knows what may be unleashed across the land? 
Product History
UK7: "Dark Clouds Gather" (1985), by Jim Bambra and Phil Gallagher, was the seventh and final adventure in the "UK" series. It was published in 1985.
Changing Names & Systems. The Acaeum reports that this adventure's working title working title was "Teki Nura Ria," and that it was originally intended as an Expert D&D adventure. This would have fit with the general trends of TSR UK at the time, as it was otherwise almost entirely focused on Basic D&D from 1984-1986; as is, "Dark Clouds" stands out as an odd exception to their list of publications in the mid-80s.
The UK Feel. Almost all of the TSR UK adventures were plot heavy, and this one is no exception. It opens with extensive backstory describing an ancient war when cloud giants and aarokocra fought against the bestial ba'atun, then moves on to a current plot in which the ancient and evil leader of the ba'atun has been reborn to wreak new havoc on the world. The result is quite Tolkienesque in scope - more so than almost any other adventures at the time, other than perhaps the Dragonlance series (1984-1986).
As with most of the UK series, this one is also far out of the dungeons, with episodic locations scattered across a hex map of the area. Like most of the other UK adventures, this one also makes strong use of Fiend Folio (1981) and Monster Manual 2 (1983) monsters. However, it's most notable for its extensive detailing of the Fiend Folio's aarakocra.
New Monsters: The ba'atun (often called "winged monkeys" by folks who see the cover, and known elsewhere as "snow demons") are generally considered a great new monster. However, they've only gotten attention in fannish publications since their appearance here.
The Final Fate of UK. So why did the UK series end? It certainly wasn't due to sales. Imagine #30 (September 1985), published shortly before the release of "Dark Clouds," claimed that "after the Dragonlance epic, the UK modules are the best-selling series both here and in the USA."
Ultimately, the UK series was probably doomed by TSR's financial problems of the mid-80s and the changing tides at the company - as Gary Gygax left in 1985 and Lorraine Williams took over. There were many changes in the surrounding years, with the upset in the UK offices being just part of that larger turmoil. TSR UK's Imagine magazine died first, after issue #30 (September 1985). Following that, the shutdown of TSR UK's creative division was just a small step.
Before that final hammer fell, TSR UK did publish several additional modules; they just weren't in the UK series. Most of them were Basic D&D adventures, which had never been published under the UK code. However, TSR UK's very last publication, I8: "Ravager of Time" (1986), was an AD&D adventure and thus could easily have been UK8; the fact that it wasn't points toward a probable decision at TSR to use the increasingly popular "novice" (N) and "intermediate" (I) lines, rather than some of the other varied module codes.
A Fun Coda. In some ways, "Dark Clouds Gather" feels like a fun coda for TSR UK's publications. To start with, you have extensive aerial adventuring and combat, a fine contrast to the underwater adventuring of U3: "The Final Enemy" (1983). There is also an assault on a cloud giant castle, which feels like a parallel of the fire giant siege from UK3: "The Gauntlet" (1984). These may be coincidences, but could have a been a reflection of trends and ideas considered at the TSR UK offices.
About the Creators. By this time, Jim Bambra and Phil Gallagher had both been working at TSR UK for some time. Bambra had already written UK6: "All that Glitters" (1984), but this was Gallagher's first writing task. They'd both do a fair amount of additional work for TSR in 1986 before moving on to Games Workshop.
About the Product Historian
The history of this product was researched and written by Shannon Appelcline, the author of Designers & Dragons - a history of the roleplaying industry told one company at a time. Please feel free to mail corrections, comments, and additions to

We (Wizards) recognize that some of the legacy content available on this website does not reflect the values of the Dungeons & Dragons franchise today. Some older content may reflect ethnic, racial, and gender prejudice that were commonplace in American society at that time. These depictions were wrong then and are wrong today. This content is presented as it was originally created, because to do otherwise would be the same as claiming these prejudices never existed. Dungeons & Dragons teaches that diversity is a strength, and we strive to make our D&D products as welcoming and inclusive as possible. This part of our work will never end.

 Customers Who Bought this Title also Purchased
Reviews (1)
Discussions (0)
August 18th, 2004
I bought this after going through it as a player (I'm usually GM, and I like to peek behind the curtain). Honest, it was after playing it! It's a fun adventure, although we found it very tough (but then we were 2-3 levels lower than we [...]
Browse Categories
 Follow Your Favorites!
NotificationsSign in to get custom notifications of new products!
 Recent History

Product Information
Gold seller
Publisher Stock #
TSR 9151
File Size:
18.58 MB
Scanned image
Scanned image
These products were created by scanning an original printed edition. Most older books are in scanned image format because original digital layout files never existed or were no longer available from the publisher.

For PDF download editions, each page has been run through Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software to attempt to decipher the printed text. The result of this OCR process is placed invisibly behind the picture of each scanned page, to allow for text searching. However, any text in a given book set on a graphical background or in handwritten fonts would most likely not be picked up by the OCR software, and is therefore not searchable. Also, a few larger books may be resampled to fit into the system, and may not have this searchable text background.

For printed books, we have performed high-resolution scans of an original hardcopy of the book. We essentially digitally re-master the book. Unfortunately, the resulting quality of these books is not as high. It's the problem of making a copy of a copy. The text is fine for reading, but illustration work starts to run dark, pixellating and/or losing shades of grey. Moiré patterns may develop in photos. We mark clearly which print titles come from scanned image books so that you can make an informed purchase decision about the quality of what you will receive.
Original electronic format
These ebooks were created from the original electronic layout files, and therefore are fully text searchable. Also, their file size tends to be smaller than scanned image books. Most newer books are in the original electronic format. Both download and print editions of such books should be high quality.
File Information
Watermarked PDF
Watermarked PDF

These PDF files are digitally watermarked to signify that you are the owner. A small message is added to the bottom of each page of the PDF containing your name and the order number of your purchase.

Warning: If any files bearing your information are found being distributed illegally, then your account will be suspended and legal action may be taken against you.

Here is a sample of a page from a watermarked title:

File Last Updated:
September 21, 2013
This title was added to our catalog on April 09, 2013.