Storm King’s Thunder PDF
Wizards RPG Team
YOU ARE ABOUT TO EMBARK ON A GREAT adventure that pits heroes against giants bent on reshaping the world. Storm King’s Thunder PDF is a DUNGEONS & DRAGONS adventure for four to six player characters. You can start the adventure with 1st-level characters or 5th-level characters. Either way, the characters should reach at least 11th level by the adventure’s
conclusion. Because giants figure prominently in the story, at least one character should be able to speak and understand the Giant language.
The adventure takes place in the Forgotten Realms, specifically in a region known as the Savage Frontier, in the northwest corner of the continent of Faerfin. None- theless, you can easily adapt the adventure to your home campaign by changing the names of various locations and factions. We recommend that you read the entire adventure before attempting to run it. This introduction begins with an “Adventure Background” section that summarizes the events that set the adventure in motion.
The “Running the Adventure” section tells you everything you need to know to run the adventure smoothly. That section also presents guidelines for character level advancement, outlines the flow of the adventure, and describes its major challenges. Once you’ve reviewed this material and are ready to run the adventure, proceed with chapter 1, “A Great Upheaval,” if the characters are starting at 1st level, or chapter 2, “Rumblings,” if they are starting at 5th level.
The Savage Frontier (also known as the North) is a cold,rugged, sparsely populated land of snow-capped mountains, rocky hills, sprawling forests, and foggy vales.
Isolated strongholds, ancient burial mounds, and the ruins of many forgotten empires dot this vast landscape. Bounded by the Sea of Swords to the west and the desert of Anauroch to the east, the Savage Frontier extends as far north as Icewind Dale and as far south as the
town of Daggerford. Old roads stretch across this great expanse, linking the dwarven strongholds and mines in the mountains to the coastal settlements, frontier towns, and fortified outposts of humans and other folk.
These roads are long, lonely, or poorly defended, making them dangerous to traverse. In fertile valleys, towns and cities have sprung up, separated by dozens if not hundreds of miles of untamed wilderness haunted by bandits, barbarians, and monsters. Evil dragons stirred into action by their dark queen, Tiamat, threatened the settlements of the Savage Frontier for a time. Ultimately, they were defeated and forced to withdraw to their lairs, while Tiamat was banished to the Nine Hells.
Fear of the dragons’ wrath has faded quickly with the coming of a new threat: giants. The peoples of the North are no strangers to giant incursions.
Frost giants have long claimed the Spine of the World as their demesne, and hill giants are known to scrounge for food in the untamed hills. But now, in the past couple of months, giants of every kind have emerged from their strongholds in force to threaten civilization as never before-and not just frost giants and hill giants, but also stone giants, fire giants, and cloud giants.
All of the giants are in an uproar. Reports of giant attacks throughout the North have reached the coastal cities of Luskan, Neverwinter, and Waterdeep, stoking fears that the giants are waging war against humans, dwarves, elves, and other small folk.
Giant society (such as it is) is defined in large part by the ordning, a caste system imposed upon the giants by their gods, chief among them Annam the All-Father. The ordning determines where a giant stands among his or her ilk. Traditionally, storm giants have stood at the top of the ordning. Tall and powerful, they struggle to keep the weaker races of giants from despoiling the realms of small folk and sparking conflict.
The greatest storm giants are powerful seers, skilled at identifying and interpreting cosmic signs and divine omens. The aloof and aristocratic cloud giants, one step below the storm giants, rarely condescend to deal with lesser giants or small folk. Extravagance defines their culture and their place in the ordning. Below them are the tyrannical, warmongering fire giants and the merciless, predatory frost giants. Fire giants rank themselves by their forging skill, whereas frost giants rank themselves by their martial prowess.
Near the bottom of the ordning are the xenophobic stone giants, who mostly live underground and regard the surface world as a realm of dreams. How well they sculpt stone determines their
place among their peers. The lowest and smallest of the true giants are the hill giants, as gluttonous as they are loathsome. Hill giants are dullards who live in fear of their more powerful giant cousins. In hill giant society, the biggest rule.
Dragons are the ancient enemies of giants. Thousands of years ago, the last great empire of giants-Ostoria- fell after a long and brutal conflict with dragons. Little of Ostoria remains in what is now called the Savage Frontier. The civilizations of small folk have taken over the land once ruled by giants.
Although evil giants make occasional forays into territory settled by small folk, their ambitions have long been curtailed by their lack of cohesion and the imposition of good-aligned storm giants and cloud giants whose memories of ancient, glorious Ostoria have faded over time.
The recent efforts by dragons to bring Tiamat into the world (as told in the adventures Hoard of the Dragon Queen and The Rise of Tiamat) and the attempts by small folk to thwart them so upset the giant gods that Annam the All-Father shattered the ordning between the giants to break his “children” out of their complacency, pitting the six giant types against one another while keeping some semblance of order within each type.
In doing so, Annam has spurred clouds, fire, frost, stone, and hill giants to challenge the established hierarchy and reforge their destiny. All the giants sensed the upheaval instantly, and now the giant types fiercely compete against one another, striving to create a new ordning through their deeds and accomplishments.
These giants’ calamitous endeavors have not only put the settlements of humans and other small folk in jeopardy but also attracted the attention of the giants’ ancient enemies-the dragons-who will not abide the rise of another giant empire. Small folk can only speculate as to the cause of the giants’ unrest. It remains to be seen whether the old ordning between the giant types will be restored, or whether a new hierarchy will replace the old one, knocking the storm giants from their lofty perch.
KING HEKATON AND His DAUGHTERS
Prior to the shattering of the ordning, King Hekaton was arguably the most powerful of all storm giants. From Maelstrom, his citadel deep within the Trackless Sea, he presided over a court that included representatives of every race of giant, from mighty storm giants to lowly hill giants. He used the power of the Wyrmskull Throne-a gift given to him by his wife-to keep the more unruly
giants in line. For as long as Hekaton had reigned, fear of the king’s wrath and respect for the ordning was enough to keep lesser giants from rising up against him. But in recent years, King Hekaton had become convinced that the age of the giants was past, as evidenced by the growing distance between the giants and their gods. Annam the All-Father didn’t answer prayers, and his divine offspring-the lesser giant gods-were out of touch, constantly waging war against one another on the Outer Planes. Hekaton came to believe that the giants were no
longer the rightful masters of the world.
MIRRAN AND NYM
King Hekaton’s eldest daughter, Mirran, is a spoiled brat with the forcefulness and unpredictability of a typhoon. She covets the power of the Wyrmskull Throne and believes it rightfully belongs to her. She is angry with her parents for placing Serissa next in the line of
succession, and she has made her feelings plain. Mirran believes she is destined to rule and has seen signs that reinforce her belief. Once she claims the throne, Mirran expects all other giants to kneel before her. She plans to use her newfound power to resurrect the ancient empire
of Ostoria, sweeping away the cities and kingdoms of the small folk.
When King Hekaton disappears, Princess Serissa finds herself thrust into power. Unable to find her father and fearing that he might be dead, Serissa can imagine her political influence evaporating quickly. Several giant lords previously under her father’s thumb have abandoned her court and set out to impress the gods in ways that could all but destroy the civilizations of the small folk. Serissa fears warfare among the six giant races as they strive to outdo one another, perhaps in the process reigniting the ancient conflict between giants and drag-
ons. The princess-regent knows that her older sisters envy and despise her, but it has never occurred to her that they were involved in their mother’s death or their father’s kidnapping. Other than Iymrith and her Uncle Uthor, there are few giants Serissa feels she can trust.
Iymrith is an ancient blue dragon who can assume the form of a storm giant. In this guise, she has infiltrated Hekaton’s court. While concealing her true nature and agenda from the giants, Iymrith offers counsel to Princess Serissa and at the same time secretly feeds the anger and jealousy of Serissa’s older siblings, with the ultimate goal of thrusting the giants into war with the small folk. The dragon also wants to wrest the Wyrmskull Throne from the storm giants and add it to her trove.
THE GIANT LORDS
Convinced that King Hekaton is dead or otherwise out of the picture, five giant lords have struck out into the world to reshape the ordning through their deeds, each hoping to be elevated by the gods to the pinnacle of giant kind.
Guh, a gluttonous hill giant chief, has raised an enormous timber steading in the hills northeast of Golden fields, in the central Dessarin Valley. Comfortably housed within her lair, Guh has instructed her husbands to bring her all the food they can carry. Her plan is to consume all that is brought before her and grow to immense size. When she becomes the largest giant in the
world, Guh believes the gods will reward her and elevate hill giants to the top of the ordning. Guh has spent the past four months gorging herself, while nearby ranches, farmsteads, and orchards have been pillaged. Not content with the amount of food hoarded thus far, Guh’s mates move to attack nearby settlements and plunder their fields and storehouses.
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