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 Advice for my new Campaign "Dumathoin's Star"
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SiliconMagician
Acolyte

USA
2 Posts

Posted - 02 Feb 2019 :  07:34:21  Show Profile Send SiliconMagician a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
I'm writing my first campaign in 20 years for a group reunion campaign coming up in the spring and I was hoping I might be able to open a running thread so that I can ask questions and get sage advice from the great minds that inhabit this forum. I'll try to keep it tl;dr as possible but I will lay out the general lore and plot points and then ask my questions. It is set in the Forgotten Realms and will be 5e compliant.

***

Deep in the Omlarandin Mountains on the border of Tethyr, lies a dwarven temple to Dumathoin. This temple has existed in these mountains for millennia despite everything that has happened on Toril. Through invasions, dragon rages, the Tethyrian civil wars, the Time of Troubles, the Chaos Curse, The Spell Plague and the Sundering this temple's existence was kept safely unknown to the outside world but to those who dwelt there, and the very few personages great enough to warrant being there.

This Temple to Dumathoin is inhabited by the The Stars of Dumathoin. A holy order of 100 life-dedicated dwarves whose sole existence, divinely inspired and ordered by Dumathoin himself. Was to divine the location of and then extract the rarest and most valuable of gemstones in all the Realms. The famed Omlar Gems for which the Omlarandin Mountains take their name. To these monks, the gems are known as "Dumathoin's Stars" or "The Stars of Dumathoin", by which their Order takes their name.

These gems are only found in these mountains and only 1d3 gems are found every century. These gems are extremely powerful and useful in all manner of enchantments as components for the most powerful spells and magic items. These dwarves are the only ones who know the secret to finding these rare gems and they guard it jealously.

The temple is headed by Lord High Abbot Finrod Gemfinder. His sole purpose in life is the finding, storing and disposal through sale to the some of the most powerful personages in the Realms these gems which are then used in manufacturing the most powerful magical items and artifacts.

In the year 1490 DR. A wonderous discovery was made, one that hadn't been seen in over 1000 years. A cache of 3 Omlar Gems was discovered by the Brotherhood of Mining. Usually in any century, a gem would be located one at a time, with maybe 30 or 40 years between a gem being located.

It was almost unheard of, and certainly not within living dwarven memory, for just TWO Omlar Gems to be found at one time, but three??

Not only were there three, they were of spectacular quality and clarity. These 3 gems were artifact level components and would bring the attention and envy of powerful forces indeed.

***

The entire campaign centers around the back and forth theft, recovery and battle over these 3 gems. These gems will trigger a power struggle between Saestra Karanok,the Vampire Queen of Erlkazar who wants to use them in a powerful magic item to lead an attack to conquer Tethyr. A powerful lich who wants to use them to replace 3 of his teeth to bid for Demilichdom and the Harpers, trying to keep the other two from getting the gems and keep the "incompetent" PC's from screwing up and handing the gems to the undead. All will be vying to find the PC's and retrieve the gems. The PC's will have to keep the gems safe while assisting the Lord High Abbot Finrod on various tasks and missions in an attempt to discover and stop the various plots by this triumvirate of antagonists.

So I'm hoping some folks on here maybe have some imaginations and can help me with a few plot hooks and ideas for at least the first few adventures. The chars will be starting at level 3 and will be equipped with the basic, non-magic kit appropriate for their class and will consist of 4 PC's + occasional mid-high level NPC's who the PC's may escort, protect, bodyguard, etc. on various important quests.

Just any ideas, concepts, etc that spring to mind put them out there and I can take whatever and flesh them out into full adventures and as the campaign develops over the next couple months I can come back to the thread for ideas or to ask questions.

TIA

Silicon Magician









Edited by - SiliconMagician on 02 Feb 2019 08:06:44

George Krashos
Master of Realmslore

Australia
5520 Posts

Posted - 03 Feb 2019 :  01:27:19  Show Profile Send George Krashos a Private Message  Reply with Quote
You might find some inspiration in the adventure "Sleep of Ages" by Eric Boyd in Dungeon #69.

-- George Krashos

"Because only we, contrary to the barbarians, never count the enemy in battle." -- Aeschylus
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
32218 Posts

Posted - 03 Feb 2019 :  02:52:52  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I have to wonder... If this temple is so secret, how did these baddies learn of these gems?

There might be a hook right there -- the PCs are quietly approached by a dwarven cleric, who speaks of a wayward friend/brother/colleague and the need to find him. This wayward person, for some reason, sold the knowledge of those gems, and the inhabitants of the temple want him home so they can keep the word from spreading further.

The PCs don't even have to know of the temple -- it's just "find this guy and bring him to me at this spot." And that's where it gets more complicated, because once the PCs find the errant dwarf and get him back to the rendezvous point, their patron is dead or dying from a violent attack caused by one of those bag guys... Or even better, their patron has been replaced by some shapechanger, who tries to redirect the PCs so that the errant dwarf can be delivered to the clutches of someone who can pick his brain free of all info about the temple.

Perhaps a further complication could be that one of the gems was sent out somewhere, intended for a safe location. It was concealed in a chest of other fine gems; what better camouflage for it? But bandits struck the gem's guardians (a deliberately small group, so as to appear as if they had nothing of great value) and made off with the loot -- quickly scattering it across festhalls and gambling dens. Finding it becomes the proverbial needle in a haystack, because any of the bandits could have spent it at any location, and it's likely changed hands since then. With everyone ignorant of its true value, no one who gets it would have a clue that there was any significance to it, and likely didn't regard it as anything other than just another gem.

You could also have one of the villains get one of the gems and use it to some fell purpose, which taints it. The PCs are able to get it back, but cleansing it is going to going to be a major undertaking, and will likely involve some sort of quest to obtain some exotic materials or somesuch.

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Edited by - Wooly Rupert on 03 Feb 2019 02:57:06
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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
8122 Posts

Posted - 04 Feb 2019 :  19:14:41  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by SiliconMagician

The temple is headed by Lord High Abbot Finrod Gemfinder. His sole purpose in life is the finding, storing and disposal through sale to the some of the most powerful personages in the Realms these gems which are then used in manufacturing the most powerful magical items and artifacts.




This is his sole purpose in life? He needs a girlfriend or wife, one who nags him about never telling her about his life. Maybe she even points out how "she passed up Helvig Burnsparrow because she thought Finrod would make something of himself". He needs kids, ones who have been ashamed because the last century nothing's been discovered UNTIL NOW. Also, he needs one of them to have screwed up because he let out of the bag about this wondrous discovery... and they "showed someone else that their dad or husband IS useful... look at what he just discovered". He needs a nosy neighbor who has been taking secret glee in listening through the chimney stacks to Finrod being nagged by his wife and telling other people about it.... and that neighbor is Helvig Burnsparrow. He needs an inept "advertising service" of dwarves who has sent out word of the new discovery "only to the best resources", only to find out they messed up.

Then we get into the temple being robbed. The High Abbot can't figure out how anyone even knew....

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
8122 Posts

Posted - 04 Feb 2019 :  19:16:32  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by SiliconMagician

The temple is headed by Lord High Abbot Finrod Gemfinder. His sole purpose in life is the finding, storing and disposal through sale to the some of the most powerful personages in the Realms these gems which are then used in manufacturing the most powerful magical items and artifacts.




This is his sole purpose in life? He needs a girlfriend or wife, one who nags him about never telling her about his life. Maybe she even points out how "she passed up Helvig Burnsparrow because she thought Finrod would make something of himself". He needs kids, ones who have been ashamed because the last century nothing's been discovered UNTIL NOW. Also, he needs one of them to have screwed up because he let out of the bag about this wondrous discovery... and they "showed someone else that their dad or husband IS useful... look at what he just discovered". He needs a nosy neighbor who has been taking secret glee in listening through the chimney stacks to Finrod being nagged by his wife and telling other people about it.... and that neighbor is Helvig Burnsparrow. He needs an inept "advertising service" of dwarves who has sent out word of the new discovery "only to the best resources", only to find out they messed up.

Then we get into the temple being robbed. The High Abbot can't figure out how anyone even knew....

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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SiliconMagician
Acolyte

USA
2 Posts

Posted - 05 Feb 2019 :  17:22:26  Show Profile Send SiliconMagician a Private Message  Reply with Quote
THANK YOU, Fantastic ideas that I never would have come up with on my own. I especially love the "nagging wife" bit. Her wagging tongue could be the pebble in the pond that sends out ripples across all of Tethyr, which isn't exactly in great political shape.
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roninshadow
Seeker

Australia
15 Posts

Posted - 17 Feb 2019 :  13:31:11  Show Profile Send roninshadow a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Maybe the villains trick the pcs into thinking they are the good guys and the gems were stolen from them by an evil dwarven religious sect.
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