If you’re a regular visitor, then you know that my favorite setting is Eberron. If you are not, well, you know it now. Its Campaign Setting sourcebook mentions some movies to inspire your own stories (such as The Maltese Falcon, The Mummy, Pirates of the Caribbean) and as many plot themes to create a campaign. Sometimes when you play Dungeons & Dragons you feel like you’re in your very own movie. When DMing for any of my campaigns in Eberron, I do feel like the director of one. The first element I always establish it just as pitching a concept for a movie. From the many different campaign styles we can run in Eberron, I want one that feels different from other D&D settings and at the same time, feels very D&D in general, so I picked all of the Eberron plot themes listed in the campaign setting: Exploration, mystery, intrigue, scavenger hunt and an evil mastermind. So I’m about to daydream and let my imagination soar wild as I picture the perfect Eberron movie for me. Join me!
We start our movie with a short flashback scene. The year: 978YK, during the last years of the War. A ship is wrecked in the coastline while some titles show “North edge of Questor”. There is a couple, almost dying, barely reaching the beach with a baby. Pirates pillage the ship as the couple dies. The baby cries loudly as a someone approches him and picks him up.
The year is now the 998YK. The War has ended, and we can see the now grown-up man in a dungeon, the titles read now “Illmarrow Castle”. He is by-passing several traps until he reaches a shrine with all kinds of undead motifs. He picks up a bright gem and gets out swiftly, glad he was able to find it quickly and he didn’t have to get too inside of that creepy castle. He’s about to get away with it, but he’s being waited outside by undead forces to recover the gem. A small fight starts, which our hero avoids with some tumbling more than direct punching. He manages to reach the beach and gets to his ship to sail away. The undead don’t pursue, as the necromancer controlling them gets orders himself by someone else behind him. “Yes, my queen” he says, “I’ll recover your Emerald.”
A few days later, we see a gnome artificer and his warforged companion as the titles read “Regalport”. They’re trying to sell some trinkets while they learn about this rumored fabulous gem from Illmarrow Castle and the bounty offered for whoever can get it back with the living scoundrel who took it. When our hero shows up trying to get rid of the gem in exchange of some cash, a fight ensues and a paladin tries to stop it unsuccesfully, only worsening things as authorities stop them for the use of magic and violence.
All the characters are taken to a prison in an island (titles read “Dreadhold”). The paladin is apparently very well known around, as he is the responsible for most inmates being hereafter commiting different crimes. A big and strong barbarian there swears he’ll kill the paladin before the end of the night, but is convinced otherwise by the silver-tongue abilities of our first hero. The paladin is thankful, until she hears the details of where the gem comes from. Deducing that the gem is a lich’s phylactery and that they are all in danger, she decides to trick them into thiking she can get the gem sold to the Argentum, a group of protectors of the Faith she profeses because of its historical value. Agreeing with her, the rest of the adventurers start to plan how to get out of the prison before they are found there defenseless. The artificer remembers some details about this mythical prison and its deadly “if you can make it alive you are free” dungeons beneath its cells. Luckily for them, our master lock-picker is able to get them through as they all work together across the traps.
After escaping the prison, the teams heads to the theocratic nation home of the Silver Flame (titles read “Thronehold”). The wise clerics of the Argentum there don’t welcome our paladin nicely as we learn she was expelled from the Order. Anyway, they agree to take a look at this gem, and their fear is quickly noticed by all: it is not a lich’s phylactery, but it is tainted and as such, it needs to be properly destroyed. They strictly forbid them to leave the gem there, as it can be tracked without much difficulty and they won’t have an army of undead there. They haven’t even finished when screams in the outside draw their attention. “Go, now!” they say, before start defending their town from an undead horde and a familiar face: the necromancer is leading the invasion. The barbarian rushes into action too, as the artificer and the warforged try to get him back, the paladin convinces our hero that they need to destroy the gem: anyone buying it from them will be in danger. As they sepak, the necromancer makes it in and demands to know where the gem is. He doesn’t hesitate into casting a powerfull spell that brings them in extreme pain. As they scream, we learn the gem is inside their warforged companion. The necromancer takes them prisoners in order to exchange them later for the gem. A battle in the Silver Flame homeland is a lost cause. When learning their new friends’ fate, the artificer and the barbarian argue about if it’s worthy to try and help them. It’s the warforged who makes them realize is the right thing to do. How to help them, though, as a powerful necromancer has kidnapped them and take them to an unknown location? They first met in Regalport, so it’s the right place to find some clues, it seems. But it’s also the place the necromancer was waiting for them: the city has been blasted with arcane power, and before they can properly react, their warforged friend is taken away by an undead monster under the control of the necromancer. He can’t affect the warforged with his pain powers to give up the gem it seems, so he utterly destroys him, leaving the rest of team in shock. As he picks up the gem and leaves, the little gnome artificer cries over his friend’s pieces.
Back in Illmarrow Castle, the necromancer puts back the gem into the shrine it was taken from, only to take it away right after and place it on top of his staff. He speaks back to the same voice he offered to get it back for. “I’ll just make sure I destroy everyone who knows where it is, my Queen”. “If you don’t give it back in ten days, I’ll haunt you and your legacy for eternity… I can do that”, she warns.
Our heroes are ready to end this. The artificer has gather together the warforged pieces, hoping he’ll be able to repair him. Necromancer shows up in the middle of the night, terrorizing commoners all around the town. A whole open battle starts, but our heroes are easily vanquished; except it’s not them: The artificer is commanding them remotely from a ship on its way to Illmarrow Castle. They start destroying the shrine, deducing it’s the real phylactery. The necromancer can feel its destruction, and his illusory garment fades: he shows his real putrid appearance as he casts a spell to reach the castle instantaneously. The big fight of the movie starts as undead are storming the castle and our heroes are trying to get out, attempting to reach the staff. Being a movie, it will be hard, but they will succeed only working as a team and pushing their skills to the maximum as if there would be no tomorrow: the paladin will turn and destroy the undead, allowing the barbarian to rage and sunder the lich’s arm and our favorite trapfinder will manage to separate the gem from the staff as the artificer uses his ultimate skill trick embedding the gem into the chest piece of his warforged friend again, in a way it can’t be removed without destroying it.
In the aftermath, our team is sailing around the principalities, recognizing each other as members of a team. In the post-credits scene, we can see them as they reach the mystical lands of Xen’drik, where the artificer hopes he’ll learn how to rebuild his friend. The gem glows mysteriously with a greenish purple glow.
And the Oscar goes to…
Yes, you read it correctly. My Eberron movie is a remake of Guardians of the Galaxy, haha. I love that movie. And since every movie has a dream cast, I picked mine, at least in part. No, I actually haven’t. I just want Chris Pratt to play a role in it. In it and in the sequel, of course. Oh… the sequel… it should have some flashback scenes to his younger years, and he could be played by BJ Gruber.
Who do you think should play the roles of the adventuring party? Hit the comments below!