Sunday, March 20, 2016

Five Shall Be One: Drawmij's Home

Welcome back Greyhawk fans, today is the sixth installment of my new 5E Hold of Sea Princes reboot of the 2E modules Five Shall Be One and Howl From the North, set in the south seas. What sort of high adventure will the crew of the Envy get into this week? Read on, and beware, this story may contain spoilers!

Dramatis personae:

Cullen (cagey captain, human rogue)
Sabriel Loreweaver (flashy first-mate, human bard)
Tyrrus Bandale (bleeding bosun, human fighter)
Kuma Sand (stoned surgeon, human druid)
Ostyn (damaged deckhand, human fighter)

and Lash Driftwood (quiver-carrying quartermaster, sea elf ranger)

When last we saw the crew they had switched ships in Sasserine, departing the Sea Hag for a smaller, newer vessel called the Envy. The pinnace, Envy would only be crewed by the six principle members of the quest with their passengers, Mallon, Eristen and the lowly ogre deckhand Ogie who is paid regularly in trinket jewelry obtained in town by Kuma. After unloading all essential items and supplies to their new ship, they sailed out across the Jeklea Bay from Sasserine throug hthe heart of Sea Princes waters to stop in the capital of Monmurg. Here, the locals still celebrated their good names for winning the Prince's Regatta and in hope that the new ship might join the Hold's defense against the Aerdy fleets, a sailmaker even outfitted the Envy with better sails and rigging free of charge. Alas they refused all offers to join the fleets citing unfinished business of a personal nature. Sabriel meanwhile commissioned a woodburned sign that aptly read "Beware of Ogre" for their ship.

The Envy only spent a day and a half in port before taking the directions of Mallon to cross the bay a hundred miles to the north where the next afternoon on the coast of neighboring Keoland they came into view of the white cliffs from Sabriel's visions. Eristen, the female sea elf and Mallon the half-elf felt a sudden comfort upon seeing the location. Cullen was dismayed however went it was pointed out there was no where to harbor. Mallon had inadvertently failed to mention they would need to anchor here and go up the cliff-steps to Archmage Drawmij's house above. Sabriel scratched behind Ogie's ear assuredly, and left him behind to guard the boat alone, while the group ascended the carved stairs slowly; waves pounding the cliffs below. Several minutes later, at the last handful of steps, the echoing sounds of deep laughter and crashing wood was heard by all. The house was under attack.

Tyrrus, Cullen and Sabriel rushed up the cliff-stairs first to see a two-story town house being pelted by boulders thrown by a laughing hill giant and two ogres. Eristen arrived after the trio and gasped in horror that her master's home was being demolished. The four rushed in recklessly to concentrate their attacks on the hill giant first. Lash has slipped, while Kuma, Ostyn and Mallon carefully caught up to the scene. The hill giant was taken by surprise, his legs criss-crossed with sword slashes and stabs. He tried to wheel and chuck his rock at Tyrrus but missed. Sabriel mocked the dim-witted creature while Cullen rolled out of range before he could take his club out. That is when Lash arrived on the scene to loose an arrow into the giant, followed by a timely disarming blow from Ostyn. Kuma then coordinated the group effort by casting a spray of poison into it's eyes. The giant howled and his ogre friends converged, hammering clubs into Tyrrus and Ostyn.

A dark figure suddenly was seen peeking out of the smashed opening in the house. The hill giant saw this and angrily turned from the gang of assailants to run at the house, but was hamstringed and pummeled to the ground by Tyrrus and Ostyn. Just as the ogres were ready to smash the pair, a flash of lightning crackled and half-seared through Sabriel and Lash. The source of the attack was a flying wizard in dark robes hanging above the house. Cullen dashed for the breach in the house but lost sight of the figure in the door way. He called out for the person and only ran into an invisible barrier. A voice beyond answered that he was the 'butler'. Outside, Lash rolled to his feet and loosed a quick arrow at the flying mage and penetrated his force shield much to his chagrin. The wizard yelled for the ogres to take the house and get Drawmij and that he'd handle the strangers. 

Encouraging her allies, the bard Sabriel waded into hand-to-hand combat with Dreamsinger, sped up by a hasting spell from Mallon. Ostyn and Tyrrus held the line while Kuma's thorn whip struck the flying mage forcing him to move. Then the worst happened, the dark wizard loosed a second bolt of lightning and the two fighters, Tyrrus and Ostyn fell. Dashing from the house, Cullen furiously stabbed himself on accident but still managed to fell an ogre with his other blade. Lash sent another arrow at the mage and he juked it menacingly. Sabriel and Eristen teamed up and dropped the second ogre, while the druid Kuma used his healer's kit to tend to electrocuted Ostyn  finally managing to get him conscious and sitting up. Poor Tyrrus still bled and smoldered on the grass. Just as Sabriel got her fighter comrade to open his eyes, the mad wizard launched a trio of magic missiles, knocking Sabriel backward and putting the weakened Ostyn down again.

Cullen had enough. He drew the black powder pistol Captain Cragg gave him and fired a booming shot that actually hit, sending the wizard crashing backward into the building and down to the grass with a thud. The ranger Lash then put an arrow in the dazed man to make sure he didn't move again. The battle over, Ostyn was stabilized again, while from the house came the wizard they came to see, Drawmij, the Archmage of the Azure. He was holed up in the building behind walls of force and hadn't expected his servants to come to the rescue. Looking at the body, Mallon identified him as Randrin, a disgruntled former pupil of Drawmij's come back for revenge with giants in tow. Drawmij thanked them for stopping the attack and implored them to come inside for food, drink and rest. Drawmij and his two servants were unseen for several hours while the others relaxed, and at one point Sabriel began to have musical visions in her head sent from Dreamsinger. Upon their return, Drawmij then asked the entire party to join him at his real home. The house was a public facade. In one of the halls was a fish pond surrounded by glyph-etched stones. Activating the teleportation circle, they all jumped into the pool and were whisked through a watery tunnel to his undersea palace a couple miles up the shore.

Drawmij's undersea fortress was a maze of stone and coral of all colors. The rambling halls and turrets of the place had glass-steeled windows looking out to a myriad of sea-life, making Lash quite nostalgic. Farther out in the murky waters Lash and Sabriel also spotted a whale. made of metal! Drawmij ushered them on to a conference chamber and there, he observed and related tales about Dreamsinger, the five Blades of Corusk and their origin from the lost Suel Empire. Furthermore Drawmij announced how with his help the other three swords would be tracked down. Cullen raised a hand and pointed out the subtle cue, "Don't you mean four swords?" Drawmij grinned at the observant rogue and then used his namesake spell to instantly summon a parcel to his hands. Within the garb he revealed a golden scimitar - Greenswathe. The second of the five blades. Drawmij had evidently long kept this sword in trust for the former resident of the palace, the Grand Druid of the Azure Sea, Sverdas Meno. The sword was handed over to the questing group and the difficult decision of who to bear the blade was argued (Sabriel offered to wield both). 

Before their decision could be finalized Drawmij then related some more info that Eristen had also brought to him concerning the blades: "Stalker is in the Blackwell at the Mirodian Deep." This sentence triggered a vision in Sabriel from Dreamsinger

"In a gloomy and oppressive set of caverns and passages you see scaly armored, grim-faced monsters – thousands and thousands of them. They are moving through the darkness and they arrive to the infernal sound of some horn. Their eyes glow with malevolence and hatred."

Lash suddenly grew uneasy knowing that part of the sea, the Mirodian Deep is the deepest trench in the Azure. Drawmij complicated matters by adding that on the edge of the chasm is the capital city of the Sahuagin Empire. The quest for the next blade had gone from perilous to nearly impossible. Fortunately, resourceful Drawmij had a lot more surprises in store to help them on their way.

to be continued...

Campaign notes: SPOILERS. First off, the Mirodian Deep is not canon, but was cleverly created by a super Greyhawk fan, Osmund-Davizid on canonfire.com. And lastly, as promised, more 5E material. I present to you, Greenswathe! (player info only)

GREENSWATHE
Weapon (scimitar), legendary (requires attunement)

Greenswathe is made of uniquely golden adamantine that is marred only by alien glyphs etched into its blade and handle. This scimitar is crowned by a single large emerald set in the pommel.  It is not known who crafted Greenswathe though it was once famously possessed by Perenn, a druidess of the cold north.
   You gain a +3 bonus to attack and damage rolls made with this magic weapon. On a critical, Greenswathe does an extra 10 slashing damage and then cleaves through to another target within 5 feet if the original attack roll would also strike it.
Spells. While the weapon is attuned to a druid or any class that uses Wisdom for spellcasting ability, you can cast one additional spell slot in each level you know. Once you use the sword to cast these spell slots, you can’t regain them again until the next dawn. 

4 comments:

Jason Raabis said...

Bravo! Loving how this is unfolding! Is that art of Greenswathe yours? And is Drawmij's underwater abode your creation?

When I ran this series years ago, I kinda thought Greenswathe didn't rightly fit in with other Fruztii-style weapons, forgetting that these were probably forged back during the days of the Suel empire where "Viking" style wasn't a thing. I lliked Greenswathe besides, and now I like it even more!

Mike Bridges said...

Jason: Greenswathe art mine, yes. The Drawmij pic no, sadly. Didn't have time to go that far.

As for Greenswathe, I agree, the scimitar didn't fit the viking-feel. As to whether they were forged pre or post migration that's entirely debatable. I think if you make them ancient Suel it fits better, yup.

Thanks for the input!

Kerry Harrison said...

Your RSS feed appears to be broken.

Mike Bridges said...

I'm sorry Kerry. Not sure how to fix it?