Excerpts 08/02/2006


Dragons of Faerun Excerpt
By Eric L. Boyd and Eytan Bernstein



The Year of the Dragons is upon us, and the Forgotten Realms setting has a few things to show us about those majestic and sometimes terrible creatures. In Dragons of Faerun this book, Dungeon Masters are given information on specific dragons of Faerûn and how they may interact with or fight against the players. Avid readers of our website will note that some of the dragons from the Wyrms of the North series written by Ed Greenwood and updated by Eric L. Boyd and Sean K Reynolds are mentioned or further updated in this book. Dungeon Masters also receive information on organizations that players can belong to or work against, like the evil Cult of the Dragon. Also included is information on how to run a campaign that features the Year of Rogue Dragons, the one time every thousand years the dragons of Faerûn rampage across the continent. The excerpts below include short history of dragonkind in the setting, the dragon Tchazzar, a few lair hazards, and two magic items.

Ghazir the Desert's Edge

Employed in the conquest of the Nelanther and the taming of the Cloud Peaks, Ghazir the Desert's Edge is a legendary weapon of the Shoon Imperium with a cursed reputation.

Lore: Characters can gain the following pieces of information about Ghazir by making Knowledge (arcana) or Knowledge (history) checks.

DC 15:In the Year of the Burnished Blade (276 DR), Qysar Shoon IV of the Shoon Imperium fashioned a uniquely powerful scimitar from the shifting sands of the Calim Desert, drawing on the trove of magical lore seized from the hoard of Rhimnasarl the Shining. Shoon IV was a necromancer, unskilled in swordplay, who crafted the weapon solely to prove it could be done. The blade (named Ghazir, or "war crescent" in Alzhedo) lay unused in the royal vaults for nearly a decade after it was forged.

DC 20: In the Year of Wasted Pride (285 DR), Qysara Shoon V formally bequeathed the scimitar to a senior ralbahr (admiral), Murabir of Memnon Faruk yn Aban el Khafar yi Memnon, as a symbol of office. Faruk had long championed the conquest and colonization of the Nelanther, as the genie-haunted isles west of Zazesspur were known, and the gift was seen as a symbol of the qysara's favor. The ensuing naval campaign was a great success; nearly a score of rogue djinn were slain, and the gale-force winds that had long prevented the safe passage of sailing ships along the Sword Coast abated. Despite the construction of the Sea Towers of Irphong and Nemessor, the subsequent colonization efforts foundered, due to the nobles' distaste for the constant cool winds (which many attributed to the angry spirits of the djinn) and other factors of living close to the stormy Trackless Sea. Faruk was eventually cashiered in the Year of Sundered Sails (302 DR) by the qysara's successor, Shoon VI, and Ghazir was returned to the vaults beneath the Imperial Mount of Shoonach, where it languished for nearly three decades.

DC 30: The winter that stretched from the Year of Roused Giants (330 DR) to the Year of Cold Clashes (331 DR) was one of the coldest on record in the Shoon Imperium. The Calishar Emirates were blanketed in snow, and raiding giants emerged from the mountains to plunder isolated communities. After a large tribe of frost giants began harrying the outlying farms of Athkatla, Qysar Shoon VII dispatched a large company of soldiers to deal with the menace. Ghazir was loaned to the troops' colonel, Balak Muham yn Daud el Talhib, who used Desert's Edge to dispatch dozens of northern behemoths.

Although Muham was hailed as a hero upon his return to Shoonach, Ghazir's reputation was tarnished by the string of harsh winters that followed, coupled with reports that the frost giants' spirits continued to haunt the Cloud Peaks. Rumors suggested that the weapon was in some manner cursed, and that the souls of its victims remained tethered to this world where they continued to harass the living. It was deemed politically expedient by Shoon VII's viziers to return Ghazir to the royal vaults, where it lay untouched until the fall of the Imperium. In the Year of the Corrie Fist (450 DR), Iryklathagra seized Ghazir along with many other treasures as she plundered Shoonach, and Desert's Edge has lain untouched in her hoard ever since.

Description: Ghazir is a great scimitar nearly 5 feet in length from tip to pommel. The glassteel[CoV] blade is fashioned from the crystalline sand left in the wake of Memnon's Crackle, a shifting region of intense heat in the Calim Desert. A curving line of fire endlessly dances within the heart of the blade. The scimitar's smoothly polished basket and hilt are carved from the talon of a long-dead blue wyrm and engraved with magic runes encircling the sigil of Shoon IV.

Effect: Ghazir is a +2 elemental bane flaming scimitar. The weapon also absorbs the first 10 points of fire damage per attack that the wearer would normally take (similar to the resist energy spell). Once per day, the bearer can use air walk.

Finally, one curious power of Ghazir creates lingering phantoms of every creature it fells. Such ghosts are tied only to the general geographic region in which they are slain and are left with only the power to manifest themselves in two different forms (though not both concurrently). The dead victims can manifest as either visual phantoms or as natural or elemental phenomena somehow linked to their mortal lives. Although this power is little understood, it seems to have created djinni ghosts capable of manifesting as winds throughout the Nelanther and frost giant phantoms capable of manifesting as regions of bitter cold and snow in the Cloud Peaks.

Consequences: Ghazir has a fell reputation, even today, although most folk who do not understand Alzhedo think it the name of an efreeti bound into the form of a blade. Merchants regularly curse Desert's Edge when making a treacherous passage through the blizzard-prone Fang Pass or the fierce gales that buffet Asavir's Channel. Should Ghazir resurface in Amn or Tethyr after being removed from Iryklathagra's hoard, tales of vengeful frost giant ghosts and tormented undead genies will once again spread through the Nelanther and along the Sword Coast. Moreover, such rumors might be rooted in fact, for the coast of Amn and northern Tethyr will suffer increasingly fierce gales and harsh winters in the years following Ghazir's reappearance, as each additional phantom created by the blade incites all previous phantoms to employ their remaining magical powers to the greatest effect possible. Moreover, should Desert's Edge be used to slay other beings, tales might spread of their spirits plaguing the region as well.

The leaders of Amn and Tethyr will be forced by public opinion to seek custody of the scimitar, but the white wyrm who lairs atop Mount Speartop (Icehauptannarthanyx) will move quickly to claim Ghazir for his own hoard. He fears that the Cloud Peaks climate will grow noticeably warmer if the frost giant spirits are somehow laid to rest by destroying the scimitar. Having bargained unsuccessfully with Iryklathagra for centuries to acquire Desert's Edge, Icehauptannarthanyx will be quick to take advantage of the opportunity afforded by a band of adventurers who acquire the scimitar.

Overwhelming conjuration; CL 20th.

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