Emerald Enclave Portals
By Jeff Quick
Tethyr is entering a new period of prosperity under the united rule of
Queen-Monarch Zaranda Star Rhindaun and King Haedrak III. After decades
of civil war, a single civilization is emerging, growing, and driving
monsters out of the land.
logging and mineral resource exploitation are not cause for the Emerald
Enclave's involvement. Rather, the exact definition of "monster"
is of concern. Fey creatures, gnolls, giant spiders, wyverns, dragons,
and even (accidentally) elf inhabitants of the Wealdath have been targeted
by lone hunters and angry mobs intent on "clearing the forest of
all evil doers and ne'er-do-wells."
hardly considers "evil" punishable by death. Gnolls perhaps
do not make the best neighbors, but they generally show more respect for
nature than humans. The druids don't defend their behavior, and they certainly
won't protect any gnoll causing trouble outside the wood. But they do
not allow the villagers on the forest's outskirts to hunt them.
giant spiders, wyverns, and fey are woodland creatures, not be dispatched
simply because they are dangerous or inconvenient. And though dragons
can take care of themselves, self-appointed dragon slayers tend to harm
the forest more than help it. The druids direct them do their slaying
north in the mountains of Amn where blue and white dragons can be killed
with less damage to the local flora.
this stance makes the Enclave unpopular. Yet, their druid cell staunchly
remains, visible and active, protecting the interests of nature. To offset
familiarity and retaliation by local "civilized" inhabitants,
four druids of the Wealdath cell rotate out every new moon.
they use is formed by the arcing of two oak tree branches near a stationary
elf village deep within the forest. Dryads who have seen enough action
in their time to gain druid and ranger levels protect these trees. The
dryads agreed to let their trees be used as part of a portal and
understand the potential danger. They also understand that having the
friendship and protection of the Emerald Enclave outweighs any danger
that association could cause. The dryads themselves have the ability to
open the portal from the Wealdath side, while the portal
is continually open from the Ilghon side.
to the rotation cycle is Meller Handspan (NG halfling Drd11), a halfling
druid with a green thumb and a silver tongue. Meller is a better diplomat
than many court professionals, with a background in Waterdeep which suits
him for the job of civil liaison. The halfling smoothes over potentially
messy situations between those who live in the forest and those who live
off the forest.
an excellent speaker and an amiable person, Meller's secret weapon is
nothing more complicated than a civilized residence -- i.e., he lives
in town. As a visible, friendly figure, he provides a face for the Enclave
that the stereotypically remote, stoic druids lack. He drinks at the inn
every evening and explains in simple, down-to-earth terms why the Enclave
druids do what they do. Meller also makes himself useful, healing the
sick and helping people with their animals at no charge. He moves every
few weeks to spread the word or quell little problems before they become
big ones. He also meets with local mayors and lords to negotiate responsible
logging and discuss current events.
response is mixed. Some people appreciate that for once in their lives
someone explains the reasons behind mysterious movements of great powers.
Others are belligerent despite Meller's best attempts, while still others
are inconsolably grieved when a loved one walked too close to a forest
danger. Still, the higher Enclave circles think Meller is useful enough
that he remains assigned to the area indefinitely.
to Incorporate the Wealdath Portal Into Your Campaign
- Before the PCs
enter the Wealdath on some other mission, Meller approaches them for
a chat. He offers them magic or some bit of information that they want
to know in exchange for a promise not to kill indigent wildlife on their
mission -- especially the monstrous wildlife.
- When a farmer's
son dies at the hands of a gnoll, Meller stands alone trying to talk
down an angry mob. They might just take it out on the halfling if the
party doesn't intervene.
- One of the dryads
whose tree forms the portal to Ilghon has become ill. Meller is the
highest-level druid in the area, but in order to reach the tree in time,
he'll have to go through some dangerous territory that he would normally
go around. He could use some assistance from any nearby adventurers.
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