Here is my first installment of my DnD encounters series. I wish I would have started this at the beginning of the campaign so that I could write down the whole history / story of the world and the characters as they evolve. Maybe I will one day look through Jamison’s extensive notes and use them to write it up. But for now, here we go:
At the end of the last session, the group (who of course refer to themselves as “Manscapers Inc.”) was faced with a decision of helping their new allied race, the Minotaurs, or using the teleportation device the newly met Shardmind presented them with. The Minotaur chief asked them for immediate help in the north but didn’t explain why. It would be a 4 days journey via horses, which their bar owner friend Sammuel would loan. The Shardmind explained his dilemma. Their race was created by the energies of nature surrounding the explosion site of the Tulani Pool from the war eight centuries ago. All this time, they have been trying to rebuild the nature that was destroyed there, as well as keep the loose arcane magic from escaping and wrecking more of the world. Recently, the Shardminds were on their way to meet with a group of the races affiliated with nature (Elves, Eladrin, Goliaths, and Shifters). These races were trying to help understand the dilemma of the land and wanted to help. However, before they could meet the representatives of these other races, the Shardmind’s party was abducted by the Eternal Army to be used in their cruel rituals. The Shardmind asked the PCs to go back with him, meet up with the races together, and try to help quell the arcane forces flowing from the Tulani Pool.
After a short debate, the PCs decided to head north to the Minotaur encampment. Their rationale was that not only could the Minotaur’s situation be potentially more dire, but also they could teleport to the Shardminds at any point, so once they have completed the mission the Minotaur Chief has, they can instantly teleport away to help the Shardminds.
After a four-day journey turned into a five-day dilemma (failed nature checks, hehe), the group finally met with the Chief, a towering Minotaur who stood over ten feet tall. The Chief, named Takhar, informed the group a bit of the mysterious Minotaur history.
“At the beginning of our history, we were a bestial race. We had no sense of civilization; no clans; no real language or care for others. We were only interested in our most bare, basic needs, such as food or sex. We battled constantly with others in our race, and it is very fortunate that we were isolated on this small island, otherwise we would have probably been slaughtered by the other races.
Then, one fateful day nearly a century ago, my ancestors came upon a cave that glowed with an eerie blue light. Curious if this would provide him warmth from the cold Winter’s heart, he entered the cave. What he found was indeed warmth, but not the kind he sought.
He came across vast blue crystals. And when he entered their presence, he instantly felt his mind grow, expand, and gain conscience. He was able to control the beast within. And with his newfound intelligence, he was able to draw others of our kind into the cave to share this blessing. Some, however, resisted. A war took place between those who followed my ancestors and those who didn’t. We prevailed due to our intelligence and guile.”
Takhar then goes on to let the PCs know that over the course of the next century, no minotaur who has entered the cave has ever reverted back to the beast. However, 3 months ago one minotaur suddenly couldn’t control his rage anymore. As the weeks went on, more and more of their clan were starting to revert to the bestial reasonings of their past. Fearing the crystals are tainted, Takhar sent some of his strongest warriors to the cave to investigate. However, once they entered the cave, they instantly could no longer stop their instincts from controlling their actions.
Tahkar reasoned that since the players in the group are of races that have no such bestial instinct in their past, they can enter these caves and find the cause. The PCs accept, believing it will lead to future discovery of both the newly found Shardmind race, the power of these crystals, and why the Eternal Army is after the Minotaurs for their awesome will in controlling a powerful beast within.