The majority of campaign settings have a linchpin, a creation or occurrence that holds it together.
The story of Stormphax is long, messy, and intertwined, and will take several dozen scrolls to tell. But if by any universal chance we stumble upon it, how can we discern what we see? What if we haven’t read all those scrolls, and learned them like the back of our hands? What if, Gods forbid, they’re not finished?
We need to know the basics.
Is it dangerous? How much is it worth? Where can we find it? Should we touch it?
You’d agree, the last one is the most important at the moment of your crystal’s discovery.
A word from a famous tinkerer
So we asked Galvan Kelmpopper, Obermeister of Brassbolt Makers, to introduce us to this unusual currency.
“Stormphax is a mighty crystal that holds the power of thunder and lightning within. It is born in the most ruthless storms of Fjordruun, in rare circumstances. The pressure needs to be right, air consistency perfect, and the lightning needs to hit valuable ore or mineral-rich soil. This, of course, adds to its value, together with its power-storing capabilities.
Since the settlement, people knew the myths and legends surrounding the crystal. But only in the modern era did we manage to make use of it. In fact, a brave scientist Osorin Wildwind, our ancestor, traversed the frozen Odejord and found the crystal. He spent years perfecting a stabilizing formula that allowed him to examine it, and in the end, harvest the power within. From that point on, up to the present-day almost 5 centuries later, our society became utterly dependent on stormphax.
Arcanists use it to unlock vast arcane possibilities, and royalty injects its liquid form to prolong life. It gave spark to our Automatons, who in return helped us win the war against Giants. We put it in airships and cities to keep them afloat and use it for medical purposes. From heating and powering our machinery, up to the highest orders of the court, stormphax became the heart of our nation.
In fact, I believe there isn’t a function stormphax cannot be utilized for – only ones not yet discovered.
Naturally, the crystal became the center of every major political intrigue. For criminal bosses it became more valuable than coin, earning the name ‘blue gold’. People kill for it, steal and lie, and the black market became blue. This…is a dangerous practice.
Stormphax-infused artifacts pose an enormous threat to our safety and well-being. I must emphasize that if any of our readers come across such an unidentified weapon, they stay clear of it! Believe me, the process of growing a new arm is unbearably painful and reserved only for the ones with a hefty coin bag.
Sadly, as our sovereign Osmo Peppergreen grows older, corruption and carelessness increase. We see relentless huntings of Kyre’Ruas and Harrasaems – sacred beings that are blessed and cursed for having stormphax in their bodies. Faction leaders are being executed and reckless experiments are conducted in pursuit of heights.
Heights, ladies, and gentlemen! As if we haven’t conquered the skies with airships and floating cities.
We are heading to a nation-stopping fall, and there is no one there to catch us. They’re either dead or molded for harvesting stormphax. “
At this point, right in the middle of a heated statement, Mr. Kelmpopper dozed off. We waited for some time and woke him up and he remembered a design that needed fixing. He apologized and started trodding away. As a last effort, we asked Mr. Kelmpopper to show us some practical uses of stormphax or one of his inventions. He refused, stating that he will talk about it in future in-depth articles.
“One must first educate to utilize the power safely”, he said.
Instead, he provided us with general information and a list of unwanted effects. These happen if a crystal is to be tempered without stabilizing runes.
”Do not temper with it!” Mr. Kelmpopper said and shut the door, answering our question from the beginning.
Stormphax general information
Information is related to 1/2 pound of the crystal. As the size grows so do some of the effects, but they cannot be assessed perfectly. Still, this size is the most common throughout the Fjordruun and is thus used as a reference.
Hit Points: 5 (2d4)
Damage threshold: 5
Damage immunities: poison and psychic
Value: 5,000 gp per 1/2 lbs, almost twice as much at the blue market.
Largest known specimen: 431 lbs, powering Mechtorn’s arc engine, capital of Automatons.
If the crystal is hit, but not damaged, or if the attack misses by 5, count as if the crystal is grazed and roll on the Energetic Fluctuation Table.
The same thing happens if it is vigorously shaken or moved around without stabilizing runes. Once rolled from the table, stormphax becomes dormant for 1 minute.
If the crystal is reduced to 0 hp, it releases stored energy, dealing 6d6 force and 6d6 lightning damage in a 20-foot-radius sphere. The crystal destroys itself in the process.
Energetic Fluctuation Table (roll d20):
Count all effects from the crystal as a central point
- All creatures in 10′ radius suffer 3d6 lightning damage.
- All creatures in 30′ radius suffer the effects of Blindness spell for 1 minute.
- Two random creatures in 60′ radius swap positions.
- A random creature in 30′ radius suffers the effects of Slow or Haste spell for 1 minute (50-50 chance).
- A random creature in 30′ radius is polymorphed into a mammoth for 1 hour.
- Gravity reverses in a 20′ square cube for 1 minute.
- All creatures within 30′ gain telepathy with each other for 10 minutes.
- Objects and creatures within 30′ that weigh less than 100lbs are pulled toward the crystal.
- A random creature in 30′ radius becomes crystallized for 1 minute (petrified).
- Fragile objects within 30′ shatter.
- A tiny, angry storm cloud appears above the crystal and guards it for 1 minute. It zaps anyone who reaches for the crystal within 10′ for 2d6 lightning damage (maximum two times per round).
- All creatures in 20′ radius become trapped in a giant ice ball.
- A portal appears and remains open for 1 minute (destination is at DM’s discretion).
- An Unseen Servant appears and will do anything to hinder the crystal’s disturber.
- Up to 8 creatures within 10′ radius teleport to a random location (DM’s discretion). Crystal included.
- All metallic non-magical objects within a 15′ radius transform into gold for 24h, then revert back.
- The closest creature is transported to Astral Plane for 1 minute.
- Lightning strikes from stormphax at a random creature within 60′. In an instant, it dies and then comes back to life as if Reincarnate was cast on it.
- A series of lightning bolts strike all creatures within 20′ twice. The first time they deal 3d6 lightning damage, the second time they heal for 3d6. Roll both times.
- Stormphax self-destructs. Use the 0 hp rule.
That’s it, folks!
Please be careful!
If you do stumble upon some suspicious stormphax-infused weapons please inform local authorities or write us at firstname.lastname@example.org
You can add this item to your DnDBeyond Inventory as well.
See you in the next one.