The Brewing Storm

April 5, 2019

Fantasy, Artifacts, Community
A legacy comes with the gift of magic and art. Children often inherit the curse of their parents, and the fetters of the past serve to remind descendants of what pains their parents endured. Powerful loss often attracts outsiders looking to take advantage of an opening, and the cycle of pain continues when an entire community supports the method that the curse was caused from.
The Village of Clouds
Holswyrth has never known a dry day in ten years. The rains vary from light and cheerful to heavy and wrought with wind and thunder. For this, while a drought is never a problem, the village has taken a hardship with growing their own crops. They have become known instead for being the water bearer town, and wagon after wagon leave their lakes to seek profit from nearby lands. While the surrounding villages suffer with droughts, Holswyrth is able to sate their thirst for the exchange of food and goods.
The past ten years have changed the village significantly. Once known for their jewel craft and blacksmithing, the village has focused instead on producing goods to protect against the rains or to provide a means of transporting water. Regardless of the time period Holswyrth is found, they have invented umbrellas, advanced cisterns with pumps for moving water, and tanks for transporting water. Oh, and most importantly, lighting rods to protect their homes.
They have begun to keep logs about the different types of rains that strike their town although they have failed to solve the meteorology to determine what type of rain it should be. For this, they are at lost. The rains vary so dramatically they assume the worst on each day and dress appropriately. While they enjoy the light sprinkle days, it is the storms they fear and prepare for.
Fitting The Village of Clouds In
The village of Holswyth is an odd place with its permanent storms. Players should hear rumors long before they reach the town, and the landscapes and villages in Holswyth’s region should be barren and dry as all moisture is drawn to the village at the heart of the storm. Merchants from Holswyth should be seen bringing large tanks of water and hauling back food to the village of clouds. These merchants should be concerned about any outsider asking questions, and will actively avoid adventurers if possible. The residents don’t know what causes the storm, but they fear someone delving into their community and breaking the wheels that have cursed them with the rains. They’re too invested now to choose another path.
Tabitha of the Ring
An orphaned child raised by her uncle, Tabitha is nine-years-old. It’s said that her birth was greeted by a wall of fog, as the storm mourned her mother’s passing. Tabitha is a sweet young girl with the curiosity of one who consumed every piece of knowledge she’s exposed to. She’s read every book in her uncle’s manor she can find. She’s twice borrowed every book the town’s record keeper will lend her. Her ideas have given inspiration to the jewelers who keep her uncle wealthy, and her talents have garnered the interest of the town’s other smiths and crafters. As a thank you, those who have used her ideas often carve the symbol that has become synonymous with the youth; the token she wears on her necklace, a simple gold ring with small silver leaves that once belonged to her mother.
To be truthful, the entire town did mourn her mother’s passing as she was one of the most skilled jewelers the community had known. They had been pleased with her mother’s art and the wealth and prestige it had brought them. Her legend had travelled far, and with the tales of the master jeweler came merchants, nobles, and others seeking to bid for her work. It had been one of these men that had courted the jeweler, a travelling merchant whose wagon had smelled of strange potions and housed unusual artifacts. His mystique had lured the crafter, and they had wed after his third visit. She travelled with him for some time but always returned to the town Tabitha would know as home. When Tabitha’s mother became with child, the merchant traveled on, promising to return before the birth. A promise that had not been fulfilled.
And so, for the months prior to Tabitha’s birth a set of weeping clouds swept forth. The rains started slowly but became more and more intense until the night of the child’s birth when the fogs beset the town for a year and a day. Her uncle took in his sister’s newborn and gave the child a necklace of the wedding band his sister forged.
Fitting Tabitha of the Ring In
Tabitha has her mother’s skill of the forge and patience of working with the delicate. But she also her father’s burning desire to know more and more and more. These arts are slowly combining, and with it comes a curiosity to study new and odd things. When the PC’s enter the town Tabitha lives in, she will immediately take notice of them. She’ll try to stay out of sight unless the PC’s deal with her uncle and he forces her to reveal herself. This includes following them into any nearby dungeon, crypt, or locked manor. She’s especially curious of any character that seems to exhibit magic or technological wonders. She’s a foil as she’ll often steal away with an artifact before the players notice her or it, or she’ll snag books or other loot from them as long as she thinks they’re distracted enough. She can be an ally as she knows every single detail about the town she lives in, and every secret everyone has. Earning her trust takes time, but an exchange of knowledge is always welcome.
A Ring of Storms
Its an art piece, to be sure. A golden ring interlaced with sapphire flecks and leaves of silver. It is large enough for an average ring finger, but fits comfortably on a larger pinky or smaller thumb. But wearing it as a ring doesn’t matter as it is functional no matter the distance from its owner. Once bound it cannot be unbound until death.
The ring is a focus, a fetter for a bound entity of lightning and rain. The storm spirit will manifest itself only when the wearer experiences intense emotions. Fear will bring mountains of dark clouds and heavy rain. Anger will bring thunder, fury, and cutting winds. Loss and pain will bring cold shadowy downpours that never seem to end. Love will bring a soft and warm summer rain with rainbows swept through the mist. The spirit feels all that the its master feels. It lives only as the master lives.
Ownership of the ring is a life long affair. An unbound ring will not obey until it feels the touch of intense emotions, and once bound the ring will not transfer to another until its master has passed beyond. If the ring is taken violently then hurricane forces gales will sweep the land and send the ring travelling. If the ring is taken by accidental demise, the spirit will weep the master’s last pains. And should the ring’s master come to a quiet death in their slumber, the spirit will bring fogs to the land for a year and a day until it has finished mourning.
Fitting a Ring of Storms In
Give the ring to someone who doesn’t know its purpose. Let it be someone who will stand in opposition to the party but not necessarily violent opposition (as the adrenaline from fighting will bring up quite the storm). And then when the party least expects it, let that NPC die in a way the party can get their hands on the ring. At this point, let the players wonder how they have ended up becoming a deity that brings the rain and why the clouds seems to love their presence.
Remember that the ring itself is not magical. It is just the fetter that links the spirit to the player’s world. As such normal effects that detect magic won’t work on the ring but attempts to identify what it is should work.
Using the Brewing Storm
The Whole Block
The Brewing Storm represents an interesting challenge to the party. The key to the scenario is making Holswyth a pivotal point for the campaign. Maybe the players want to solve the curse or are attempting to apprehend a fugitive. Maybe they’ve been sent here from royal decree to collect taxes or arrest Tabitha’s uncle on charges of treason. Whatever is run, get Tabitha to notice them and get her either intensely curious in them or angry at them. Highlighting the storms and rains throughout the game is important to set the mood here. Solving the mystery of why Tabitha’s mother’s ring is possessed by a storm spirit is an open invitation for adventure, especially if it leads the players to attempt to hunt down Tabitha’s father and the strange dangers surrounding him. Remember, Tabitha is also a seeker of knowledge, and anything the party discusses she will attempt to learn and master. If it means finding her true parentage, the party will not be able to shake her as she tags along and brings the rain with her.

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