721 Blade of the Stone Giant

The Emberblade is the source and end of all warmth in the world. In its heart of volcanic stone burns a smoldering core of heat that cannot be quenched.

Ode to Fire and Stone

In the elder days, when the world was still in the throes of its primordial shaping, the stone giants, colossal beings carved from the heart of mountains, walked the Material Plane. Among them was Brondrak, a master smith whose skill in shaping stone and metal was unrivaled. In the belly of Mount Ilkanar, Brondrak forged a blade of grand pow­er. The Emberblade was an artifact imbued with the es­sence of the fire, capable of controlling the very seasons.

For ages, the artifact lay dormant, hidden behind the ethereal veil of the Verdant Falls, a majestic waterfall re­vered by the locals for its mystical beauty. In the pres­ent, the world is under the deep embrace of winter, and the small towns and hamlets nearby prepare for the Win­ter Solstice Holiday, a time of reflection and celebration amidst the frost and snow. Little did they know that the slumber of the Emberblade was about to end. On the eve of the Solstice, a great tremor shook the land. The skies darkened as if night had fallen prematurely, and the Ver­dant Falls, which had been frozen in winter’s grasp, thawed with unnatural speed. The blade had awak­ened. The shrine, once veiled in ice and snow, now stood bathed in the warmth of an eternal summer. However, this event was not without consequences. The abrupt clash of summer’s warmth against winter’s chill birthed raging tempests and fierce snowstorms that ravaged the surrounding regions. Villages were buried under ava­lanches, ancient trees snapped like twigs in the howling winds, and the skies wept in unceasing blizzards.

The authorities seek brave mercenaries for this peril­ous, yet vital, task. They must venture into the heart of the unnatural summer and find a way to quell the Em­berblade’s before the entire region is ravaged.

The Sons of Summer

Soon after the first storm hit the locality, refugees from the ravaged hamlets and towns converged at the Verdant Falls. They found a place to survive and the warmth of Summer here. They already work to set up a small ham­let by the river. The traumatic event caused a fervor in them that led a commonfolk farmer to organize the mot­ley crew into a cult-like group to defend the area.

Adventure Hooks

  • End to the Heat. The characters are sent from North­ham, a town recently hit by a deadly winter storm, to the Verdant Falls to find the source of the heat to bring the climate back to normal. They are informed that a group has gathered by the falls. They regard the false summer as a miracle and have vowed to guard it (400 gp, 4 XP).
  • Sons of Summer. The characters are called to the Verdant Falls to help the impromptu cult defend the Ver­dant Falls from mercenaries sent by local authorities. The group’s leader, a farmer named Harold, claims he had a vision of this strange winter heat in a dream. He calls this miracle a prophecy come true. (0 XP).

Level 2 Adventure

  • Danger. Unsafe. Check for a Random Event every 3 crawling rounds and after loud noises (3-in-6 chance).
  • Light. All areas are illuminated by an unnatural, warm luminescence that appears to have no source.
  • Fire Magic. Spellcasters within 200 feet of the Em­berblade cast fire-based spells with advantage.
1 2d4 frostbitten refugees (peasants) from a nearby village, seeking shelter and warmth, arrive at the Verdant Falls. They know nothing about the Sons of the Summer. However, they are desperate enough to join them so they can finally rest and be warm.
2 In the verdant grove, the adventurers stumble upon runes etched by dryads a decade ago. They spell a hymn for fire and warmth.
3 A brown bear, roused from hibernation by the clash of seasons, approaches the area in confusion and hunger; a perilous threat.
4 A band of five thugs, drawn by tales of the shrine’s treasures, engage anyone by the Verdant Falls and attempt to rob them.
5 A frost dragon, attracted by the thermal anomaly, circles the area, curious and playful. Its ominous presence causes tension among the local wildlife and adventurers alike. Fortunately, it refuses to come within 100 feet of the Emberblade.
6 A heat wave emerges from the Emberblade. The wave burns the skin of those nearby (1 fire damage within 100 feet).

1. The Sons of Summer

A ragged group of townsfolk refugees gathers by the river shore. They work tirelessly to build a makeshift community in the strange untimely heat of the falls.

  • Many of those present are non-com­batants or wounded. A group of ten peasants (including Harold), rises to defend the area from attackers.
  • If the characters join the Sons of Summer to defend the area, they are attacked by ten mercenaries (thugs) hired by the nearest city the morning after.

2. Brondrak’s Effigy

Already here before humans settled the region, the gi­ant-made effigy of Brondrak stands as a guardian of the Verdant Falls; a beacon of the Emberblade’s location. The statue is made of volcanic rock and bears the marks of erosion and the passage of time. The Giant runes at its base read: “Here stands great Brondrak, crafter of fire and merchant of might. May your work live forever.

3. Hidden Crossbowmen

Three peasants wielding crossbows rest by the cliff face. They guard the area from approaching parties, letting Harold and the others know when someone comes to the Verdant Falls. If a battle breaks out in the area, the crossbowmen use their weapons to aid Harold and pro­tect the Sons of Summer. Depending on the characters’ disposition upon their arrival, they may be allies or foes.

4. The Verdant Falls

A breathtaking cascade, shrouded in a luminescent mist, emanates an unusual warmth. Behind its water veil, vague glimmers hint at hidden, mystical depths.

The Emberblade’s creator placed an enchantment that kept mortals away from the waterfall; it causes people to turn away from the place and do something else. Alas, with the blade awaken, the enchantment is suppressed. Stepping through the waterfall leads to the Verdant Grove (area 5) and toward Emberblade’s shrine.

5. The Verdant Grove

Behind the waterfall, its sound echoing from the walls is disorienting and deafening. The characters cannot com­municate verbally in this damp cavern chamber.

  • Architecture. What appears to be a natural cavern is a crafted structure that has suffered centuries of wa­ter erosion and seismic movements (DC 15 INT check).

6. Tomb of Dryads

The chamber contains three stone enclosures etched with intricate Sylvan runes. They spell the names of three dryads who studied the shrine over two centuries ago and were interred here after their passing. Their bodily remains have been taken over by aggressive, mindless, and ravenous fungal lifeforms (see below).

  • Irate Fungus. Forcing any enclosure open (DC 16 STR check) causes a mushroomfolk to emerge from each. They fight mercilessly to the death.

7. Shrine of the Emberblade

The fabled Emberblade lies on a stone plinth. An un­natural radiance and heat pours magically from the giant-made blade. The light pulses like a heartbeat.

No mortal can wield this blade. Mortals cannot even lift it from its resting place. All the characters can aspire to do is submerge the Emberblade once more into slumber.

  • The Ritual. A spellcaster that inspects the blade for one crawling round infers that infusing the blade with arcane energy may subjugate it, if done properly; but it incurs a terrible risk. A spellcaster must focus his pow­er on the blade to do this (DC 15 INT check). If success­ful, the blade becomes dormant again and the spellcast­er ages 2d10 years. On a fail, the blade is quelled too but the spellcaster loses 1 CON. Failure by 5 or more causes the spellcaster to spend his life achieving this.


The characters reach the end of this adventure and face the consequences of their valiant deeds.

After the blade is appeased, it lays dormant once more. This effort shall last for a few lifetimes. The Sons of the Summer ruefully disband and return to their homes. The winter season returns to normal fast enough for the Win­ter Solstice Holiday. Most damage to structures shall be fixed when the next spring season arrives.

If the characters side with the Sons of Summer and withstand the first attack, a few days pass before the cli­mate becomes even more dire in the region. It becomes so bad that the organization splits and starts to fight among them as some regret the deaths and destruction in the area. Alas, that is an adventure for another day…

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