Warstorm takes place across Andal, Leuber, Sibal, and the waters between them. The story of the adventure follows a war of conquest between Andal and Leuber and the outcome depends entirely on the characters’ choices.

Outline

This adventure takes place in a time when Leuber is still populated almost entirely by the race of giants, with only the exception of Firecomb on the southern coast. For thousands of years the giants have held their lands from invasion and repelled all diplomatic advances. However, despite their great strength and long lives, they have shown no interest in leaving Leuber for any reason. They dwell in their ancestral homes and live at peace with each other.

But this peace will soon be disrupted, for explorers based in Firecomb have learned a deeply-kept secret of the giants. Their great statures and long lives are no accident: it all sources from Taor’taemed, a river flowing out of the north side of the Encord Mountains through the steep valleys beyond. The water of this river grants any who drink it long life and great strength. Taor’taemed is also the name of a storm god whom the giants worship, and it is to her that they credit the river’s magical properties.

These explorers, whose names are yet known only to a few, returned to Firecomb and plotted their next move. Seeking riches, they decided to head to Andal, one of the wealhiest countries, to sell their secrets. Now the leadership of Andal is preparing for a full-scale invasion of Leuber to claim this precious resource. They have, in secret, sourced thousands of weapons, purchased dozens of ships, and conscripted an entire army of soldiers and mages. Soon they will be ready to set sail to Leuber, and to war.

Chapter 1 - Call to Action

The adventure begins in Sayrenvar, the capital city of Andal. Sayrenvar is a sprawling coastal city that bulges out from Sayrenvar Inner Harbour into the inland plains. On the northern coast of Andal, Sayrenvar is also just east of the Evening Horizon and so does not experience Eclipses.

Sayrenvar is the center of the universe for all of Andal’s wealthy politicians; the country’s five oligarchs live in the city and rule from it, as do the rulers of many other cities in Andal. If it were more admitting to diplomats, there would also be significant international activity. As it is, most of the traffic through Sayrenvar Inner Harbour is trade from other parts of Andal and only one in ten ships hails from Sibal or Leuber.

Recently, many unmarked ships have left Sayrenvar with unpublicized cargo and have not returned. The ships were unmarked, and those who claim to have known the crews say they went dark a few days before each sailing. Rumors have begun to grow about what the contents of the ships may have been; some say bars of pure gold, others say weapons of war, and some believe Andal’s rulers are fleeing an upcoming disaster. Whatever it is, the ships are being spoken of increasingly often across the city - getting the attention of various organizations.

Lesser politicians, merchants, pirates, and people of all sorts may be interested in the mystery cargo of these ships for their own reasons. Whatever these reasons are, they should eventually reach the ears of the characters. In whatever way seems most fitting, the characters should be ordered (individually or as a group) to join the crew of the Dulcet Swine, a small and fast ship on a mission of intelligence. The primary objective is to discover as much as possible about the mystery ships leaving Sayrenvar Inner Harbour, including their cargo, captains, destinations, and owners.

The Dulcet Swine

The Dulcet Swine is a small ship made for carrying light loads and few passengers, and can be crewed by as few as three crew in addition to its captain. It has spent many years on the water and has brought good profits to its current owners. Most of this profit was gained through standard and legal means, such as buying rare and valuable items from distant lands and importing them to Andal. Some of the profit came instead from special orders carried under the cover of darkness, but the typical passenger wouldn’t know this.

If it is appropriate, any of the characters may be a part of the crew in place of one of the listed NPCs.

Captain Eltora

Captain Eltora is a lively human of 27 years. If she didn’t spend hours each day in the rigging of her ship, there would be no doubt that she has spent more time on a deck than on land. A seafarer since her youth, she learned how to sail on her father’s ship and has earned a mighty reputation aboard her own vessel, the Dulcet Swine. Eltora is known for her quick way of speaking and her snappy decisions - some might even say impulsive. When profit is to be had Eltora is always first on the scene and when danger looms she’s the first to turn tail. She’ll suffer no back talk on her ship nor hesitance to obey her orders.

First Mate Laurie

Laurie, the First Mate of the Dulcet Swine, is a dwarf of exceptional intelligence. His immediate grasp of unfamiliar topics is unrivaled and his memory is faultless. Laurie has known Eltora since her childhood and considers himself largely responsible for her success, which he proudly flaunts at every opportunity. He likes using big words and showing off his understanding of every science under the sun.

Raadi

Raadi is a human sailor from the distant land of Soale. He speaks with a thick accent but otherwise has fully adopted the Andalese way of life. He is quite talkative and very friendly, both trusting and earning trust easily. He loves to play tricks on his friends (which is almost everyone) and tell stories.

Aro

Aro is an elf sailor of mysterious origins. She claims to be from Sibal but never seems to get the details straight - her story changes at every telling. Despite this, she enjoys good company and, while being slower to make friends than Raadi, can still become a kind and loving companion in time.

The Dulcet Swine sails at dawn, so the characters won’t have much time to prepare or to explore Sayrenvar. However, they should have enough time to make any purchases they feel are necessary.

Chapter 2 - Encounter at Sea

Captain Eltora will guide the Dulcet Swine out of Sayrenvar Inner Harbour the morning after another mystery ship leaves. Her plan is to catch up to the ship out of sight of Sayrenvar to avoid any possible suspicion. This will give Captain Eltora and her crew time to get to know the characters and the characters to get to know each other. Eltora will start by asking each of the characters who told them about the Dulcet Swine and what they know about its mission. Once everyone has answered, Eltora will tell them that she works for a merchant’s guild based in Sibal. This guild, called simply the Merchant’s Union, presents itself as an organization supporting international merchants by supplying resources to its members for a monthly fee. However, Eltora will also tell that the Merchant’s Union promotes illegal trading and that Eltora herself is sometimes entrusted with these tasks. The Merchant’s Union offers additional protection for her business and occasionally supplies her with crew, such as the player characters in this case.

I don’t know much about any of you. All I know is that you’ve been selected to join my crew for this mission of intelligence. The Union sometimes makes mistakes, but I’m hoping you won’t let me down.

Captain Eltora will present to the characters her initial plan to learn about the mystery ship. Eltora doesn’t want to risk harm to any of her crew, so she wants to try peaceful negotiations first. She’ll ask the characters to try to get the captain of the mystery ship to let them on board to talk. However, she knows that this is very unlikely to work, so she will also tell the characters to prepare to board the ship and take it by force. Aro has a longbow, but apart from her none of Eltora’s regular crew can fight effectively.

The mystery ship will spot the Dulcet Swine long before she gets within earshot, but they will still allow her to pull up alongside. Then the characters will be able to clearly see that the ship, called the Tidesoul, is crewed primarily by uniformed humans and dwarves. The captain, easily identifiable by his clothing, is accompanied at the railing by three axe-wielding warriors and five crossbowmen. They are all watching the Dulcet Swine and her crew approach.

The captain of the Tidesoul will allow the characters to have the first word when they get within earshot. Roleplay the captain with all the information he would reasonably have: he is under orders from the Andalese government and therefore knows he does not need to heed police; the purpose of his sailing is of utmost secrecy; and his soldiers are strong enough to hold off any small crew of pirates. Of course, the last assumption is false - the characters are likely capable of taking the ship by force. Ultimately, this is probably what they will have to do - but make sure they have ample opportunity to try out any alternatives first. In combat, the three warriors will try to keep the characters off the ship while the crossbowmen fire at them from range. The captain, who is a capable mage, will try to keep out of the fray and will cast an invisibility spell on himself if the fight is going poorly.

The Tidesoul

When the characters finally make their way onto the Tidesoul and any combat has concluded, they may explore the ship. It is roughly 100 feet long and has three levels: a main deck, sleeping quarters, and a hold. The main deck is largely unornamented except for a few benches and coils of rope. Several hatches and a staircase near the back of the ship all lead to the second level below, which contains the crew’s quarters, the captain’s quarters, and a small kitchen. None of the crew have anything that will be of interest to the characters, but the captain does. If the characters manage to gain access to the captain’s quarters (which is normally not allowed) or the hold, they may find objects of interest.

The Captain’s Quarters

The captain’s name is Captain Estavi and he is a dwarf from Ollam, a fishing village near Sayrenvar. He has been captain of the Tidesoul for over 4 years and has earned the respect of his crew due to his skill in wizardly magic. He knows many details about his current mission (see Outline above) but is very reluctant to speak to the characters about it. He will probably have to be threatened or magically persuaded to tell what he knows.

In addition to the information provided in the adventure outline, Estavi knows that his destination is Aranak, a small uninhabited island off the coast. All of the ships involved in Andal’s invasion of Leuber are being consolidated there for final preparations. Estavi doesn’t know how many ships are involved. Other than Captain Estavi, only First Mate Hacan, a kenku from Firecomb, knows where the Tidesoul is headed.

If Captain Estavi is not able to share this information (perhaps because he is unconscious or dead), there are still written journals and letters containing the same details. They can all be found in drawers in Estavi’s cabin. Additionally, a Helm of Free Will can be found in a small locked chest under Estavi’s bed, they key to which is worn on Estavi’s belt. A humanoid that is attuned to and wearing this helm cannot have their thoughts and emotions magically sensed, read or manipulated. Only one creature can be attuned to the helm at a time - if a creature is already attuned to it, no new creatures can attune to it until the attunement ends.

The Hold

The hold of the Tidesoul contains, in addition to standard food and water barrels: crates filled with weapons, alchemical equipment, and magical devices. The weapons include longswords, longbows, greataxes, and grappling hooks. The alchemical equipment includes flasks, measuring devices, glass tubing, and burners. The magical equipment consists of several arcane focuses and a few select divination spell scrolls. In addition to the equipment are a few maps of Leuber - they are copies of maps made by the explorers who discovered Taor’taemed’s properties and show a path to it from Firecomb around Skybreak Peak.

Chapter 3 - Aranak

Chapter 4 - Firecomb

In Firecomb, the kenku wizard Pyrite learns of the adventurers’ quest to cross the Encord Mountains into the heart of Leuber and pressures them into working for him rather than for the Merchant’s Union.

Chapter 5 - Ruemin Cavern

The Ruemins welcome the adventurers and offer them assistance if they promise to fight alongside the armies of Andal, against the giants, to restore the Booksmiths to their ancient glory.

Chapter 6 - Tado

The ruins of Tado are home to none but Ghielm, the Keeper of Tado. The inhabitants of Tado were called away to Carothera, the capital of Leuber, by a vision granted by Taor’taemed foretelling a great disaster.

Chapter 7 - Carothera

Carothera is the capital of Leuber. All of the giants of Leuber have been called to Carothera to prepare for an imminent disaster seen in a vision.