J is for Jund

This article is part of a series for both the April 2020 RPG Blog Carnival and the 2020 Blogging A to Z Challenge.

Jund

Jund is a savage land: geologically unstable, biologically vicious, and environmentally deadly. Dominated by reptilian life and teeming with poisonous plants and noxious volcanic fumes, Jund is a place in which dominance is hotly contested, where the stakes of life and death are higher than on he other shards of Alara. It is home to three main humanoid races: humans, viashino and lowly goblins. But is a fourth race of tyrants the one who rules Jund: the dragons.

Dragons, at the top of the food chain in Jund, see themselves as the land’s natural rulers and consider other beingsthat venture there to be their rightful prey. Dragons establish territory by challenging and defeating other dragons, and then eating their dead rivals. No dragon alive today is old enough to have witnessed the fracturing of Alara, but their oral history recalls a violent, chaotic world in which dragons were no more fearsome than ahost of other titanic creatures, and were even hunted by the greatest of them. When Jund was ripped away, dragons became the most powerful beings in the world.

“Lords of Jund rule by edicts of flame on the principles of hunger, heat, and need.”

flameblast_dragon_by_andy23320_d5lfm0b

For your campaign

Sangrite forms as reddish cylindrical spikes in volcanoes or deep caverns. These distinctive formations of crystallized energy are one of the great mysteries of Jund and have attracted many travelers who hope to harness their power.

No one knows how sangrite is created, but some believe that when a creature dies on Jund, its life-force disperses into the air and settles in crystals that already exist in volcanoes and caves. Others point to the thick, concentrations in dragons’ lairs as evidence that sangrite is a crystallized form of dragon’s breath that contains the life-force of its prey.

Dragonshards 03bNew material component: Sangrite

The potential power of sangrite is undisputed. Infused with life essence, crushed sangrite is an incredibly potent form of arcane power. Dragons sometimes consume entire crystals, which grant them intense, but short-lived, strength and power.

In small shards, sangrite can be used as a material component when casting a spell. Doing so consumes the sangrite, but enables the spell to be extremely easy to concentrate upon… but also to disrupt. A spell cast with a piece of sangrite weighting 10 grams per spell level doesn’t require concentration, lasting for its maximum duration. Any attempt at dispelling it not only is automatically successful, but can also be cast with a bonus action instead of a regular one. Some spells may have special features based on their basic effects being empowered by the vital energy held within the sangrite crystal:

  • Buff spells can have one additional target.
  • Creation and summoning spells have their duration doubled.
  • Healing spells reroll any 1 on a d4 or d6, both 1 and 2 on a d8 or d10. You must keep the new roll.

Sangrite is usually not sold: casters wanting to use it pay adventurers to get it for them, and given the high stakes of such endeavor, price can be very high.

 


I remember that Unearthed Arcana for 3rd edition had an expansive list of material components for particular spells that I really loved, I guess this small chunk of sangrite is an homage to that full section. Have you ever introduced special material components for your spells beyond what is listed in the Player’s Handbook? Let us know in the comments below!

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