By Robert Wiese
Isle of Prespur Portal
of Prespur, located in the Sea of Fallen Stars, is not often visited.
It has only one possible harbor, and no real cover. It was originally
the private estate of a mage of great power named Prespur, and on it he
built a castle. Prespur, a Netheril mage, studied and researched magic
there in seclusion. It was his retreat when magic went afoul in Netheril,
and his place of safety when Netheril fell. With his death, the island
remained uninhabited for many years.
pirates landed on the island and investigated the castle, still in good
repair despite the passage of time. They looted the valuables and started
cutting the forest to make ships for their fleet. Then, for reasons undisclosed,
they fled the island and spread tales of demons and ghosts. Adventurers
who visited the islands through the centuries never found these demons
or ghosts, but never stayed either. Pirates stopped there if necessary,
but tended to avoid the place. The old castle started to fall into disrepair,
and it was soon swallowed by the forest. The castle remains to this day,
but it has suffered over the centuries. Moaning winds and leaky walls
attest to the ravages of time.
years ago, an unseelie
to the island and began to destroy the natural life there. The forest
died, and the island became like a desert. The castle once again could
be seen from the waters, and the sight of it attracted explorers. These
explorers unearthed the cellars of the ruins, previously undiscovered,
and found the laboratories there. They also found Prespurs portal.
The unseelie nymph kept out of sight and observed the explorers, stealing
life from them if they stayed too long.
of the portal brought sages and wizards to the island to investigate,
and eventually something killed the unseelie nymph or she abandoned the
island; no one is sure which. In truth, she has not left, but she has
found an underground lair in a cave on the far side of the island that
she has hidden from view. She slowly saps the life of the investigators
is a two-way, continuous portal that emerges on the island nation
of Tharsult in the Shining Sea. It requires a key to reach Tharsult; those
entering without the key are transported instead to the wastes of Icewind
Dale (a one-way trip, as there is no return portal). The key for
Tharsult is the word "travel" spoken in the ancient Netherese
language. A simple doorframe on one of the basement walls frames the portal.
The door set in the frame opens to reveal only wall behind; it is a false
door. However, with the door open one can step into the portal.
Tharsult side, the portal is located near the sea, and it was once
surrounded by a natural rock lip that formed part of a small ridge over
the beach. Time and accident of nature have worn away the rock lip, and
one can find the portal site now only by use of magic. Thus, it
has not been found in all the centuries. The people of Tharsult live mostly
in the port city of Urbeth, but they farm and hunt across most of their
island home. The inhabitants discovered the portal site when mages
began appearing in the same place on the beach about 10 miles south of
Urbeth. The portal has not changed their lives much at all, as
it goes to a basement of a castle on a nearly abandoned island.
in the portal on the Isle of Prespur is currently limited to a
few wizards who would like to control a fast way to the Shining Sea. After
all, more trade travels on the Shining Sea than most other seas of Faerûn,
and Tharsult is a large trading center. The chance for wealth is great,
and the wizards investigating the portal have kept quiet about
what they know.
to Incorporate the Isle of Prespur Portal Into Your Campaign
- The characters
are shipwrecked on the Isle of Prespur, and explore the castle. They
find the signs of recent and continuing exploration, but no one is about
at the time. Eventually, they find a well-concealed secret compartment
that contains a journal written by Prespur, and a strange twin gem (two
gems fused). The journal explains that the gem has been created with
powers to defeat a monstrous menace found through the portal,
which it also describes briefly. If the characters can decipher it they
can activate the portal and go through to Tharsult (or Icewind
Dale if they make a mistake). Once there, they find that the monstrous
menace is long gone but can be tracked through historical documents
to the region of Tashalar. What the menace is, and what the twin gem
does, is left for you to decide.
- A wizard hires
the characters to raid the Isle of Prespur and recover a valuable magic
item stolen by a rival who is trying to make a home on the island. The
rival would protest the charge, if asked, but did in fact engineer the
theft (or merely purchased the stolen item from the thieves with no
questions asked). The characters become trapped by the rivals
power and creatures, and may have to use the portal to escape.
Even inhospitable Icewind Dale is better than certain death.
- The unseelie nymph,
forgotten by now, extends her influence more strongly across the island.
The few trees that have been planted since she was "routed"
begin to die, and a druid trying to restore the natural life of the
island suspects that the nymph is not gone after all. He or she calls
on the adventurers to help root out the fey creature once and for all.
When the druid is captured or killed by the nymph, the task falls to
the characters alone.
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