Steal This Hook!11/21/2005

Plane-Shaking Events

The drama-dial gets turned up to eleven in today's edition of Steal This Hook! Eberron lays the foundation for a host of sinister plots, epic adventures, and a rollicking session of D&D. But it's just the start. You, with your vast DM powers, have the opportunity to twist Eberron's history as you see fit, introducing new villains, upsetting the course of the Khorvaire political landscape, and even contradicting any detail of the setting you feel is ripe for change. Today we provide some inspiration for these shocking departures with some truly momentous happenings; today's theme is plane-shaking events.

The Flame Flickers

The holy Keeper of the Flame, young Jaela Daran (Eberron Campaign Setting, page 206), has proclaimed that the pillar of metallic fire known as the Silver Flame must move from its historic location in Thrane. The PCs travel to Thrane for the momentous construction of the airship Flamehost, the vessel that will carry the Flame to its new home in Xen'drik (or an exotic locale of your choosing). The heroes may be there to help safeguard the airship's construction or to oversee the religious ramifications of the move, but they find themselves in the middle of a murder mystery.

Twohen Jamhus, head magewright of the Flamehost project, is found dead at his drafting table. Jaela herself summons the heroes to help solve the mystery. Is a rival archbishop of the Silver Flame so opposed to the move of the sacred Flame that he'll stoop to murder? Has a rogue political element in Thrane decided to stop the shift in power that the move would represent? Has one of Jamhus's peers resorted to dire methods to gain the spotlight in the construction project? The PCs trace clues to an ancient, hidden catacomb under Flamekeep where dust, cobwebs, and slumbering evil guard a key to the mystery...

The Bane from Khyber

A gray-bearded druid named Berannidamus summons the heroes to show them a new threat in the Demon Wastes. He gathers them around a stone cauldron bubbling with a blackened stew of berries, bones and blood, and chants into the choking smoke. In the fumes, the heroes see the shapes of unholy creatures in intricate formation, marching to an uncertain destination. They see two grim faces -- one a dark-striped rakshasa with ice-cold eyes, the other a distinguished human surprisingly similar in features to King Kaius III of Karrnath. They see trees falling, homes crumbling under an arsonists' blaze, and the bones of innocents filling the continent of Khorvaire.

What evil has risen from the dark folds of the earth? Have the Lords of Dust made a pact with a willing mortal to enable the release of one Khyber-trapped rajah? What does this new enemy represent to the nearby nation of Eldeen, or indeed to all of Khorvaire? What are the first steps to this villain's destructive plan, and what forces can the PCs marshal to help stop it? What hindrances will the PCs face, and what sacrifices will they have to suffer to overcome them?

Quake in the City of Towers

Sharn is shaken by earthquake. The streets erupt with jagged cracks. Towers and bridges buckle and break, raining rubble dozens of stories down onto the cobblestones below. Levees perish, sending floodwaters in from the Hilt to wash over low-lying districts. Lightning rails are thrown from their conductor stones. Craggy chasms swallow bustling marketplaces.

Within hours, industry halts. Sharn leaders attempt desperate speeches while the City Watch deputizes any and all brave adventurers they can find to help coordinate rescue efforts. Many volunteers are swept into improvised meeting halls to hear relief plans and receive emergency healing and care equipment. The PCs, though, are contacted by a special representative of the Breland crown. They are tasked with exploring the Sharn sewers, where it is believed the epicenter, and the answers of the quake's origin, may lie. Is it possible the quake could be of unnatural origin? What enormous forces would it take to cause such destruction under the City of Towers? What sociopolitical ripples could result from this level of dysfunction in Khorvaire's largest metro center? What aftershocks of political upheaval, crime, and magic will follow this titanic quake?

Tools of the Daelkyr

Two young dragons of the Chamber, Shalash and Ofarrn, have watched mortal events since the early days of Galifar, but they can stand to merely watch no longer. Events have conspired to bring three seemingly unrelated artifacts -- a Riedran tome of summoning rituals, an ancient orcish wand that hums with abjuration magic, and a timeless orb from Xen'drik in the Age of Giants -- together in Khorvaire. Shalash and Ofarrn know from their research that these three artifacts share a common ancestry: a taint of evil linked to the plane of Xoriat, home of the unspeakable daelkyr.

Shalash believes it's time to interfere overtly with the mortals: She wants to sweep in, steal the artifacts, and destroy them before some agent learns ways to use them to unearth a daelkyr general. But Ofarrn convinces her that the better course of action is to hire mortals to locate and procure them subtly, so that Khorvaire does not become panicked by the draconic intrusion. What organizations or individuals currently hold the artifacts? What steps will the dragons take to make sure the artifacts are located quickly, yet kept safely separate? What forces might have spies already aware of the potential that these three artifacts possess?


  • A graceful, silver-haired woman who speaks Common with Draconic inflections approaches the PCs, looking for help in locating a particular deposit of Eberron dragonshards.

  • Druids at a timeworn, stone observatory in the Eldeen Reaches find evidence that an upcoming meteor shower may rain fire down on populated areas of eastern Khorvaire.

  • A body-warping disease apparently communicable only to persons with dragonmarks spreads through Khorvaire's metropolitan centers.

  • Cultists of the Blood of Vol discover the four families whose progeny, they believe, will result in the reincarnation of Vol, two generations from now -- and the family of one of the PCs is one of them.

  • Bloodscale lizardfolk shamans activate ley lines connecting six overgrown jungle temples, which form the head, body, and limbs of a titanic golem.

  • The Lord of Blades announces the completion of the capital city of his nation of warforged, and he promises to reveal his role in the destruction of Cyre in the upcoming celebratory proceedings.

  • Researchers in Aundair require documents believed to be stored in the lost tomb of a pre-Galifar wizard in order to operate a time-traveling eldritch device.

  • Jhazaal Dhakaan summons goblinoids from hundreds of miles in every direction into a massive army loyal to her talented voice.

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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