Dungeons & Dragons Forgotten Realms
Perilous Gateways
Portals of the Moonsea
02/26 Mulmaster Portal
02/19 Phlan Portal
02/12 Zhentil Keep Portal
02/05 Northkeep Portal
Recent Gateways
Portals of the Moonstars
Bandit Lord Portals
Portals of the Harvest Gods
Moon Portals
Dwarven Portals
(ARCHIVE)


Perilous Gateways
Portals of the Moonsea
By Skip Williams

The Mulmaster Portal

Like the portal at Zhentil Keep described in the second part of this series, the rulers of Northkeep built this portal long before there was any permanent settlement at the site of the current city of Mulmaster. The portal was built here for many of the same reasons the Zhentil Keep portal was built where it was: the area was a well-used campsite on a major caravan trail that also offered a safe anchorage for ships from Northkeep. The site also gave the Rulers of Northkeep quick access to the eastern end of the Moonsea and a jumping-off place for operations in the Earthspur Mountains, Cormanthor, and the Vast.

The portal and the subterranean vault containing it also were similar to the Zhentil Keep portal. The vault was located near the Moonsea shore, well up the mountain slope that marks the site of the current city. As in Zhentil Keep, the vault had a secret entrance disguised as a huge boulder. Also like the Zhentil Keep portal, the vault had a well, sleeping niches, and storage areas for supplies, and a second secret door hid the portal itself, which was physically identical to the Zhentil Keep portal.

Also like the Zhentil Keep portal, this portal was lost after the fall of Northkeep, only to be rediscovered in later centuries as the people of Mulmaster built their city. Unlike Zhentil Keep and Phlan, Mulmaster has not suffered successive waves of destruction and rebuilding, and the vault containing the portal still lies at its original depth of about 20 feet below the surface. The area where the vault lies now serves as Mulmaster's commercial district, and a multistory building stands at the site. The building's upper floors house a mixture of working folk, scholars, and young professionals and craftworkers who have not yet established themselves in their professions or trades firmly enough to have their own business or homes. Several of the residents are junior Cloaks of Mulmaster (see page 161 in the Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting). The building's ground floor contains several small shops, including a scribe, a lampmaker, a tailor, and a bookbinder.

Below the ground floor is a basement with a separate section for the shops above. Each shop has its own staircase to its basement. The vault with the portal is below the scribe's shop, and the vault's entrance is hidden behind a fairly new secret door. The vault looks very much as it did during the Northkeep years, except that the well has been converted into a staircase that connects to an underground passage that leads to a warehouse down at the harbor.

Like the portal at Zhentil Keep, this portal here is behind a secret door, is keyed, and can be activated only once a day. The key is a knock spell, and the user also much touch the portal with a coin minted in Northkeep and must specify a destination: home (Northkeep), west (Zhentil Keep), or north (Phlan) spoken in Damaran. Failure to use the coin or specify a destination originally sent the user into a holding cell; however, this cell has since collapsed. Today, someone using the portal incorrectly causes the portal to malfunction (see Table 2-2 in the Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting).

The scribe, one Avehola Longfingers, owns the building and also is a Cloak. Avehola has kept the existence of the portal secret, but never used it much until the vampire Podel from Zhentil Keep (see the second part) began experimenting with the portal he controls. Now, Avehola actively imports undead that the lich Akempus makes below Northkeep (see part 1). Thus far, Avehola and her customers are satisfied with their undead servants, but they do not suspect that the creatures might turn on them someday.

Avehola: Female human Cjr 8; CR 8; Medium-size humanoid; HD 8d4+11; hp 41; Init +1; Spd 30 ft.; AC 13, touch 12, flat-footed 12; Atk +4 melee (1d6, quarterstaff), or +7 ranged (1d8/19-20, masterwork light crossbow with masterwork crossbow bolts); AL NE; SV Fort +4, Ref +6, Will +8; Str 10, Dex 13, Con 12, Int 20, Wis 12, Cha 8.

Skills and Feats: Concentration +12, Craft (papermaking) +13, Knowledge (arcana) +13, Knowledge (local) +13, Knowledge (religion) +13, Knowledge (undead) +13, Profession (scribe) +9, Spellcraft +16; Brew Potion, Empower Spell, Lightning Reflexes, Scribe Scroll, Spell Penetration, Toughness.

Wizard Spells Prepared (5/7/5/5/4; save DC 15 + spell level; prohibited schools: Enchantment, Illusion): 0 -- arcane mark, detect magic, open/close, prestidigitation, ray of frost; 1st -- expeditious retreat, mage armor, magic missile (2), negative energy ray1, shield, unseen servant; 2nd -- glitterdust, Melf's acid arrow, see invisibility, summon swarm, web; 3rd -- flame arrow, negative energy burst1, stinking cloud, summon monster III (2); 4th -- empowered Melf's acid arrow, negative energy wave1, stoneskin, summon monster IV.

Spellbook: 0 -- arcane mark, dancing lights, detect magic, detect poison, disrupt undead, flare, light, mage hand, mending, open/close, prestidigitation, ray of frost, read magic, resistance; 1st -- alarm, detect undead, expeditious retreat, grease, identify, mage armor, magic missile, mount, negative energy ray1, obscuring mist, shield, summon monster I, 2nd -- arcane lock, fog cloud, glitterdust, knock, Melf's acid arrow, resist elements, see invisibility, summon monster II, summon swarm, web; 3rd -- clairaudience/clairvoyance, dispel magic, flame arrow, fly, greater magic weapon, negative energy burst1, phantom steed, sepia snake sigil, stinking cloud, summon monster III; 4th -- negative energy wave*, Evard's black tentacles, Leomund's secure shelter, minor creation, solid fog, stoneskin, summon monster IV.

*Spell from Tome and Blood.

Possessions: Quarterstaff, light crossbow, 10 bolts, bracers of armor +1, cloak of resistance +1, ring of protection +1, headband of intellect +2, scroll of dimension door, scroll of ice storm, scroll of wall of ice, wand of Aganazzar's scorcher* (27 charges).

*Spell from the Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting

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Avehola : Female human Cjr 11; CR 11; Medium-size humanoid; HD 11d4+14; hp 0; Init +1; Spd 30 ft.; AC 15, touch 12, flat-footed 14; Atk +5 melee (1d6, quarterstaff), or +8 ranged (1d8/19-20, masterwork light crossbow with masterwork crossbow bolts); AL NE; SV Fort +7, Ref +7, Will +9; Str 10, Dex 13, Con 12, Int 20, Wis 12, Cha 8.

Skills and Feats: Bluff +4, Concentration +15, Craft (bookbinding)+13, Craft (papermaking) +13, Diplomacy +1, Intimidate +1, Knowledge (arcana) +13, Knowledge (local) +13, Knowledge (religion) +13, Knowledge (undead) +13, Profession (scribe) +9, Spellcraft +19; Brew Potion, Empower Spell, Great Fortitude, Lightning Reflexes, Maximize Spell, Scribe Scroll , Spell Penetration, Toughness.

Wizard Spells Prepared (5/7/6/6/5/4/2; save DC 15 + spell level): 0 -- arcane mark, detect magic, open/close, prestidigitation, ray of frost; 1st -- expeditious retreat, mage armor, magic missile (2), negative energy ray*, shield, unseen servant; 2nd -- glitterdust (2), Melf's acid arrow, see invisibility, summon swarm, web; 3rd -- flame arrow (2), fly, negative energy burst* (2), stinking cloud; 4th -- Evard's black tentacles, negative energy wave* (2), stoneskin, summon monster IV; 5th -- cloudkill, empowered flame arrow, maximized Melf's acid arrow, summon monster V; 6th -- greater dispelling, summon monster VI.

Spellbook: 0 -- arcane mark, dancing lights, detect magic, detect poison, disrupt undead, flare, light, mage hand, mending, open/close, prestidigitation, ray of frost, read magic, resistance; 1st -- alarm, detect undead, expeditious retreat, grease, identify, mage armor, magic missile, mount, negative energy ray*, obscuring mist, shield, summon monster I, 2nd -- arcane lock, fog cloud, glitterdust, knock, Melf's acid arrow, resist elements, see invisibility, summon monster II, summon swarm, web; 3rd -- clairaudience/clairvoyance, dispel magic, flame arrow, fly, greater magic weapon, negative energy burst*, phantom steed, sepia snake sigil, stinking cloud, summon monster III; 4th -- Evard's black tentacles, Leomund's secure shelter, minor creation, negative energy wave*, solid fog, stoneskin, summon monster IV; 5th -- cloudkill, Leomund's secret chest, lesser planar binding, major creation, Mordenkainen's faithful hound, summon monster V, wall of iron, wall of stone; 6th -- acid fog, greater dispelling, planar binding, summon monster VI.

*Spell from Tome and Blood.

Possessions: Quarterstaff, light crossbow, 10 bolts, bracers of armor +2, cloak of resistance +1, ring of protection +1, headband of intellect +2, scroll of teleport, scroll of ice storm, scroll of wall of force, wand of Aganazzar's scorcher* (27 charges).

*Spell from the Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting.

Mohrg: hp 91; see Monster Manual.

Vampire: hp 32; see Monster Manual.

Zombie: hp 16, see Monster Manual.

(EL 10) Average party level 10 (four 10th-level characters): Avehola at 8th level, 1 mohrg.

(EL 12) Average party level 12 (four 12th-level characters): Avehola at 8th level, 2 mohrgs and 12 human (Medium-size) zombies.

(EL 14) Average party level 14 (four 14th-level characters): Avehola at 11th level, 3 mohrgs, and 4 vampires (5th-level human fighters).

How to Incorporate the Mulmaster Portal Into Your Campaign:

  • The player characters are hired to help guard a shipment leaving Mulmaster for some locale north of the Moonsea. Unknown to the PCs, the shipment actually contains a gang of undead (mohrgs and zombies). This fact is revealed when a mishap releases the undead.

  • When visiting Mulmaster, the PCs find themselves suddenly confronting a gang of undead. The creatures were put to work at some menial task within the city, but they strayed from their work site.

  • A senior Cloak approaches the PCs while they are visiting Mulmaster and asks for some help with a matter of some delicacy. It seems that the Cloak Avehola Longfingers has gotten herself involved in some sort of smuggling operation. It's nothing truly suspicious or sinister, but it is a matter for concern and one best investigated quietly by outsiders who cannot be accused of having any partisan interests in the matter.

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