Portals of the Triad
By John Terra
When the Triad made plans for the portals, Ilmater chose the one closest to Glister, a northern town known for its tolerance of evil. That and the proximity to the Moonsea made it an ideal location for followers of Ilmater.
The portal is located along the trail that goes from Glister to Melvaunt. It resembles nothing more than a 7 foot high, 12 foot diameter heap of rocks and dirt -- possibly something made by wind and erosion. Many such formations are around, so this particular mound doesn't stand out. The area is wind-swept and desolate -- an utterly cheerless place of grayish soil, a few scrub trees, and minimal wildlife. It's a bleak countryside.
The two-way portal leads to similar portals on the Cormyr frontier, the edge of Cormanthor Woods, and along the banks of the River Chionthar. The portal operates at only three specific times per day: sunrise, highsun, and sunset. The Cormyr portal is keyed to Tyr, the Cormanthor portal to Torm, and the Chionthar portal to Helm. To activate the Glister portal, the traveler must first dig out the mound to reveal the archway. Then he must pass through at one of the three proper times while grasping a holy symbol of Ilmater in his right hand and the correct holy symbol of the god who is keyed to the chosen portal destination in his left hand. The portal never malfunctions unless a follower of Bane, Cyric, Loviatar, or Talona attempts to use it. In this case, a column of holy fire descends and strikes the interloper for 10d10 points of damage, with no saving throw. This fire comes crashing down each time an attempt is made by such a being.
The portal no longer has its original guardian. The portal's latent energy has attracted someone, however: an eccentric sorcerer-hermit who has taken it upon himself to watch over the mound of earth, though he has little idea as to why he should.
Sir Twitchy: Male human Sorcerer 15; CR 15; Medium-size humanoid; HD 15d4+30; hp 67; Init +4; Spd 30 ft.; AC 22, touch 19, flat-footed 18; Atk +7/+2 melee (1d6, club); AL CN; SV Fort +7, Ref +9, Will +9; Str 10, Dex 18, Con 14, Int 10, Wis 11, Cha 16. Height 5 ft. 7 in.
Skills and Feats: Craft (alchemy) +4, Concentration +15, Heal +5, Hide +5, Knowledge (arcana) +5, Listen +2, Spellcraft +10, Spot +2, Survival +5; Alertness, Brew Potion, Combat Casting, Dodge, Maximize Spell, Still Spell, Track.
Sorcerer Spells Known (6/7/7/7/6/6/6; save DC 13 + spell level): 0 -- daze, detect magic, flare, ghost sound, light, mending, prestidigitation, ray of frost, resistance; 1st -- alarm, charm person, mage armor, magic missile, shield; 2nd -- glitterdust, invisibility, mirror image, pyrotechnics, Tasha's hideous laughter; 3rd -- displacement, fireball, fly, stinking cloud; 4th -- ice storm, polymorph other, stoneskin, summon monster IV; 5th -- cloudkill, dominate person, hold monster, wall of force; 6th -- chain lightning, flesh to stone, mass suggestion; 7th -- prismatic spray, spell turning.
Possessions: Torn, tattered, vermin-infested robes, ring of protection +5, bracers of armor +3, rock, club.
Sir Twitchy (not his real name) is a bit unhinged. He lives in a nearby hovel with a grapefruit-sized rock that he calls his familiar. Twitchy has long forgotten his real name. He has a thin build, and long, scraggly white hair and beard. If threatened, he warns, "I'll sic my rock on you." Some PCs may think he means "roc." Twitchy attempts to lob his rock at the loudest PC, but since it's so large, he can't quite get it over his head. He then follows up this attempt with a barrage of spells. Sir Twitchy can be reasoned with; it just takes a lot of time and patience. He's not evil, just utterly insane. He named himself Twitchy due to his tendency to develop nervous twitches for no apparent reason.
If the party can somehow parlay with Sir Twitchy, he points out the "magic heap of dirt" that he protects so eagerly. Alternatively, if the party kills him and searches his hut, they find a scrap of leather with characters written in charcoal that gives an approximate idea where the mound lies.
How to Incorporate the Glister Portal Into Your Champaign
- Rumors swirling around Melvaunt speak of a madman wandering the trail between the city and Glister. Witnesses claim that the man is a powerful spellcaster.
- Clerics of Ilmater, quietly trying to do the work of their god in the notorious Moonsea region, request that a group of adventurers search the Melvaunt-Glister trail for an odd magical phenomenon: a portal that is supposed to be of holy origin.
- A noble family of Melvaunt wishes to find an adventuring party that can act discreetly. A mentally disturbed uncle ran off into the wilds of Thar a decade ago after experimenting with arcane sorcery, and he hasn't been seen since. The family promises a reward and implies that things in the Moonsea can be made easier for the party that accomplishes this task.