Steal This Hook!08/15/2005

Relics of a Bygone Age

No Eberron campaign would be complete without the hunt for history-shaking relics uncovered from dust-choked temples and sinister dungeons. Whether the PCs are on a mission from Morgrave, doing work for the Wayfinders, or questing for the quori, they're sure to love tracking down these relics from a bygone age. Enjoy.

Trouble with Transformations

In a shack in the Shadow Marches lives a mean-spirited kalashtar woman named Jaglwurt (also known as Jaggle-Wart, Jigglyworm, and the Terrible Jugworth, depending on which bard one asks). Jaglwurt was originally a green hag: She was transformed by a deck of transformations (see page 178 in Races of Eberron, or substitute a deck of many things), but she remains evil to the core. After drawing -- but surviving -- two other nonbeneficial cards (DM's choice), she became so enraged that she now lives only to lure others into drawing cards from the deck.

Jaglwurt has many strategies for trapping others into drawing. She may distribute false treasure maps leading to the deck's swampy hiding place, letting their own greed do the rest. She may send distress letters, luring heroes to her shack where she asks them to free her from a spell by drawing from the deck. She may use her attractive kalashtar form to her advantage and enter small towns while posing as a fortune teller with a mundane deck of cards.

Several cards are missing from Jaglwurt's deck of transformations; prepare your deck accordingly. And of course, Jaglwurt becomes extremely angry if a PC receives a beneficial effect from her deck.

The Ancient Sandstone Wurm

A desert-dwelling tribe of Talenta halflings has worshiped a lizardlike living artifact called Usut that has swum the sands of their desert for generations. Hentarr, a slave trader and warmonger of the tribe, pressures the tribe's leader to destroy Usut, to free them from its rule. When Hentarr's daughter Soleema promises Usut the blood of ten of the tribe's children in exchange for power for her father, the tribe's leader calls for the PCs to help stop her. The plot thickens when it turns out that Usut is simply an earth elemental and has been manipulated by the tribe's leaders with a stone of controlling earth elementals to help them maintain tribal power.

The Mystery of Blessedwater Lake

The small town of Blessedwater is up in arms. Their formerly clear and tranquil lake, the source of their economy and cornerstone of their religious ceremonies, now oozes with acidic, rusty slime. Kowol, presiding cleric of the Sovereign Host in Blessedwater, puts the call out for adventurers to investigate. When the heroes answer the call, they find that the source of the water's corruption is a submerged gate through which raw, energetic evil has seeped. The gate leads not to another plane, but to a dungeon infected by an artifact belonging to the Age of Monsters.

The Invisible Skein

Two scouting patrols originating from Fort Light in Thrane are lost, perhaps dead, and the heroes are called in as a rescue party. The patrols' trail goes dead in the thick of the nearby pine forest -- but that's where the heroes notice the crows. Creepy crows roost shoulder-to-shoulder in long lines, forming patterns across multiple trees. From any one angle the crows' patterns are unrecognizable, but from a combination of perspectives, or from one high above the trees, a shape emerges. Are the crows drawn to invisible lines of force generated by a long-lost, subterranean artifact? Do the lines form the shape of a dragonmark or the web of some otherworldly spider-thing? Will the crows point the way to the missing patrols or ensnare the party in the same trap that captured the soldiers -- or both?


Here are some relics from a bygone age mini-hooks to get your DM creativity started.

  • A young shifter mother accompanies the heroes on a quest to purify a weapon that shamed her troubled people.
  • A member of the Cult of the Dragon Below -- posing as an official of House Jorasco -- seeks adventurers to recover a lost dragonmark scepter (see page 173 of Races of Eberron).
  • Daelkyr minions invade a lonely outpost to steal a legendary byeshk dagger capable of doing great harm to their masters.
  • A mad artificer crams an inert Xen'drik artifact full of dragonshards, with disastrous consequences.
  • Two evil medallions influence their dragonmarked wearers, encouraging them to lay waste to their surroundings.
  • A secret force of Cairdal Blades from Aerenal infiltrates a nearby church, looking for clues about a lost suit of armor.
  • A community of Last War veterans seeks adventurers to recover a tattered war banner recently stolen by hobgoblins.
  • A conspiracy involving mind flayers, House Lyrandar, and an elite force of changeling rogues threatens to uncover a plane-altering artifact.

About the Author

Doug Beyer spent a lot of time getting philosophy degrees until he figured out that he should just move to Seattle and become a web developer for Wizards of the Coast. Now he spends his days working on games and his evenings playing them. Doug uses the time normally allotted for sleeping to lurk on the message boards as his alter ego, WotC_Doog.

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