It’s been a while since The Sirens have put immortality elixirs at the forefront of their agenda. In the past, they broke a machine that milled magical creatures to make the elixirs—foiling the Emerald Cabal’s plans to make the longevity of an Elf available to all. In episode 9, the noble agenda of the Zhentarim and the Emerald Cabal are laid bare. The Sirens, of course (believing that magical beasts shouldn’t be ground to dust for profit), begin their plans to foil them.
Get caught up below and check out a guide on magical components!
The Out-Of-Game recap:
Spell-casters in any RPG have a history of requiring odd components in exchange for breaking the rules. Diamonds allow for a tad bit of meta-gaming with magical item identification and with a whopping 10 GP of lead ink you can edit documents like you had Photoshop (for 10 days). Players and storytellers can elaborate on material components by making strange and unusual requests like the tears of an orphan, or mushrooms from a lich’s grave. Both of these examples could very well lead to a quest of their own (or really make everyone hate the wizard who uses orphan tears for all their spells).
So what about immortality?
The Emerald Cabal have been using Pegasus, Unicorns, and other magical creatures that bring joy, along with monsters into their elixirs. A 9th level ritual for sure, but they’ve managed to create a magical item that helps speed up the brewing process. The phylactery of lich milled into a fine paste, mixed with the scales of an elder dragon for resilience, and the fresh heart of the beloved of whomever is imbibing the potion adds some spice to this concoction.
The fabled Potion of Longevity is a very rare item that reduces your age by 1d6+6 years to a minimum of 13 years. Each time you drink a Potion of Longevity after, there is a 10 percent chance that you age instead. Suspended in the amber liquid is a scorpion’s tail, an adder’s fang, a dead spider, and a tiny heart that, against all reason, is still beating…
Sometimes storytellers add too many material components that just create unnecessary hurdles to the actual game play. Material components are meant to be fun, and add flavor to the chronicle while helping the story. A hodgepodge of magical beasts in a meat grinder for the Emerald Cabal is perfect, because that says all that needs to be said about it. We don’t need a specific creatures toenail, or the milk from a Unicorn under the a full moon, because those aren’t elements the players are ever going to encounter. Their mission is to stop the Emerald Cabal from making everyone in the world immortal (this assumes of course, that the potions actually work).
Just remember that your material components, verbal, or somatic components can add intense flavor to your character and bring to life your spells. Magic missiles can take on many different forms even if the dice mechanic behind them never changes.
The Story Thus Far:
With everyone back from the nightmare realm, everyone tries settling back into life. Which involves Ghost pushing over stacks of books… She must really hate literature. One thing leads to another, and the group finds themselves back in the Yawning Portal that they are rebuilding, with Brig on stage singing. Once again—the time for Fey Lore to practice flirting continues! This time with Ghost as her mentor, which largely involves deep stares and growls.
Shenanigans aside, things quickly become tense as the group finds themselves escaping to a private balcony with Swift and Fey for some much needed privacy. Both of them are in the Zhentarim, and people have finally begun to notice. Swift reveals that he, and Fey are spies trying to uncover a network of secret fight clubs that the Emerald Cabal and Zhentarim are co-organizing within the confines of Lord Amgrath’s Estates. This allows them to traffic both humans, and monsters alike for gladiator like matches (and grind up their remains for magical potions later). Fey takes this time to reveal that Elodie is also part of the Zhentarim, just to add a few extra daggers in the back. Ripping out a map from Vlahnya’s room, Fey Lore truly reveals that she was sent to watch and trail the group this entire time, because of the monster grinding machine they blew up some time ago. Meanwhile, Girasol still has an elixir she’s been holding onto that was made from that machine, and Ghost has been holding onto the recipe of creatures that have been, and are still being fed into those machines.
This revelation arises as the party investigates the blueprints for a larger, and more deadly machine with bigger pipes and grinders for increased capacity. Clearly, there is a market demand for the Emerald Cabal’s product, and the Sirens need to stay out of the way of that free market. Immortality should be available for all, not just the naturally long lived!
Deciding to take action, the group hatches a plan to infiltrate the fight club and enter the Lord’s estate with a hooded, and restrained Girasol disguised as a Drow. However, when they make it to the fighting arena—both Brig and Swift forget that Girasol has shape-changed into a Drow, and mistakenly refer to her as a Fire Genasi. “Arcadia, Queen of the Fire Genasi! Fire of the maimed flesh…” Swift proudly proclaims before lifting the bag from her head to reveal… a white haired Drow.
Needless to say, the quartermaster wasn’t impressed, and… this is how Orisha ends up as the fighter for the group in the upcoming arena battle.
Have the Sirens been betrayed? Will the Emerald Cabal finally get the upper hand they deserve?
The entire Sirens Playlist: Youtube
Featured Images: Level Up Dice!
Image Credit: Wizards of the Coast
Rick Heinz is the author of The Seventh Age novel series, Dread Adventures, and a storyteller with a focus on D&D for Kids, Geek & Sundry’s GM Tips, Eclipse Phase and an overdose of LARPs. You can follow the game or urban fantasy related thingies on Twitter or reach out for writing at RickHeinzWrites@gmail.com