By Robert Wiese
Farsea Marsh Portal
western part of Cormyr sits the Farsea Marsh and its sister, the Marsh
of Tun. Each holds the ruins of a civilization that predates the elven
kingdoms of the Realms. What happened to these two civilizations, or the
one common civilization, no one knows. However, the ruins in the Farsea
Marsh were later put to use by someone -- perhaps a wizard from Netheril.
No one knows for sure, but someone placed a portal deep within
the ruined structures.
is filled with pestilence and plague -- a remnant of whatever that lost
civilization wrought. The sickness keeps adventurers out of the ruins,
so nobody discovered the portal until very recently. Once someone
learned the destination, the discovery generated a lot of excitement in
Cormyr and among various other interests nearer by.
is a two-way continuously active gate that leads to a ruined town on the
eastern side of the Dragonsword Mountains in Mulhorand. The ruins are
at the foothills on the northeastern side of the range, within a day or
twos journey to the Road to the Dawn. The portal is set inside
a doorway of average size and meshes with the architecture of the ruin
so as to look like a doorway into a room within the structure. The portal
in Mulhorand possesses an arch 10 feet high and 8 feet wide, standing
amid partially standing buildings and scattered stone. No one remembers
the name of the town in which this portal is located, and as of
yet no one in Mulhorand knows that it has been discovered. If the people
knew, they would probably be worried about conquest forays from Cormyr.
claims control of the portal in the Farsea Marsh in the name of
Azoun V, the infant king, but maintaining control of a site west of the
Stormhorns is difficult given the current state of the nation. The best
that Regent Alusair can do is maintain a presence, and this she has done
in the person of Jingarnd Jolles, a Purple Dragon Knight of unimpeachable
devotion to the crown. He commands a small force based outside the marsh,
as close to the ruins as possible. Scouting patrols ride the marsh, but
they watch for any sign of sickness carefully. No one has forgotten that
men die just from riding through this swamp. To fully utilize the portal,
some permanent solution to the marsh plague must be found.
interests also vie for control of the portal, including Zhentarim
based in Darkhold, orcs and other warlike humanoids from the Stormhorns,
a mutant race of lizardfolk living in the marsh that is somehow resistant
to the pestilence, and disloyal or self-serving nobles within Cormyr.
All of these threats keep Jolles and his knights busy.
Jolles: Male human Rog2/Ftr4/Prp4; CR 10; Medium-size humanoid;
HD 2d6+2 plus 4d10+4 plus 4d10+4; hp 69; Init -1; Spd 20 ft.; AC
17 (touch 9, flat-footed 17); Atk +13/+8 melee (2d6+6/19-20, greatsword);
or +8/+3 ranged (1d8/x3, composite longbow); SA Fear, sneak attack
+1d6; SQ Heroic shield, inspire courage (2/day), oath of wrath,
rallying cry; AL LN; SV Fort +9, Ref +4, Will +2; Str 17, Dex 9,
Con 12, Int 13, Wis 10, Cha 12. 5 feet 10 inches; 221 lbs.
and Feats: Appraise +6, Climb +6, Decipher Script +6, Diplomacy
+5, Handle Animal +5, Hide -2, Intimidate +6, Jump +1, Listen +4,
Move Silently -2, Open Lock +4, Pick Pocket -2, Ride (horse) +10,
Search +3, Spot +4, Swim +11; Cleave, Foe Hunter (goblinoids), Leadership,
Mounted Combat, Power Attack, Saddleback , Weapon Focus (greatsword),
Weapon Specialization (greatsword).
(Su): Jingarnd can evoke a fear effect (Will save DC 14) once
per day. His allies are immune to the effect.
Shield: When using the aid another action, Jingarnd can give
an ally a +4 circumstance bonus to AC instead of +2.
Courage (Su): This ability has the same effect as the bardic
music ability of the same name. Each ally who can hear Jingarnd
receives a +2 morale bonus on saves against charm and fear effects
and a +1 morale bonus on attack and weapon damage rolls. The effect
lasts for 5 rounds after the ally can no longer hear Jingarnd. While
speaking, Jingarnd can fight but cannot activate magic items by
spell completion or magic word.
Cry (Su): Jingarnd can utter a powerful shout that gives each
ally a +1 morale bonus to his or her next attack and +5 ft. speed
until Jingarnd's next turn. This mind-affecting ability is usable
three times per day.
of Wrath (Su): Once per day, Jingarnd can swear an oath to defeat
a single opponent within 60 ft. For the duration of the encounter,
Jingarnd receives a +2 morale bonus on melee attack rolls, weapon
damage rolls, saves, and skill checks used against this challenged
foe. He must continue to attack challenged foe (attacks of opportunity
against others do not count) or the effect is broken.
is one of those people who is very energetic in support of causes he believes
in, but he is also careless. Thus, bad things happen to him because he
does not plan ahead well. Usually these are not serious, or at least not
critical, but they do make him look less competent than he wants to appear
and cause his troops to chuckle from time to time.
was born and raised in Cormyr, and he fought alongside Azoun IV in the
recent goblinoid wars. That is why Princess Alusair knows and trusts him
with this duty. The difference is that he was not in command on the battlefield,
and now he is, and command does not suit him as well as she thought it
would. His family has lived in Cormyr practically since the founding of
the nation, and they have always supported the monarchy. He followed the
obvious course for a young man who did not wish to adventure but who sought
excitement, and though he has seen his share of battle and more, he has
not led a life that one would talk much about.
to Incorporate the Farsea Marsh Portal Into Your Campaign
- The player characters
are hired to escort a small shipment through the portal and to
Mulhorand. The shipment is very troublesome, however, and causes them
to get attacked frequently by people or creatures that want it. In Mulhorand,
they find out just how dangerous their cargo is when a dragon lands
and demands it of them. Who ends up with the package could affect whether
the characters ever leave Mulhorand alive.
- Jolles needs additional
help protecting the portal from orc bands while replacement knights
come from Suzail. The PCs are in the area, and they help him defeat
some orcs at the start of the adventure, so he enlists them for the
time being. The characters discover the lizardfolk in the marsh and
have to defend themselves. Then agents of the Zhentarim approach them
and ask them to betray Jolles by helping them finish his troop off.
Where will their loyalties lie?
- A priest of Ilmater
is going to the Farsea Marsh to try to discover a cure for the pestilence,
and she asks the characters to accompany her. She calls it a holy quest
and tells them that their suffering on this quest will profit everyone.
The group comes into contact with the lizardfolk and finds that they
know how to suppress the plague and how to spread it. The lizardfolk
have spread it to keep people out of the marsh, and thus they come into
conflict with the characters mission. However, they are not the
evil that they appear, and they have some deeper reason for keeping
people away from the portal.
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