While this falls outside the normal range of this blog, I think it is important to share these photos. They depict Annamite soldiers fighting for the French in WWI. Annam was one of the three regions of Vietnam, along with Chochinchina and Tonkin. They all were part of French Indochina.
If anyone has been to my studio lately YOU know I don’t actually have any room left to work there 😕 So to make this large drawing on paper I went to the VSCO office in NewYork to use their beautiful wall and created this drawing, which was used as material for the KCA Black Ball 📷: @annamal
Sun on the Deadwight: A high-stakes adventure idea!
A giant. A horde. A really, really big problem.
Is not a nice guy. In fact, he’s a very, very mean guy. And he has very, very mean plans.
Far to the north of wherever your campaign is currently taking place is a frozen wasteland. Decades, even centuries ago, orcs were driven en mass to this land as the other races repelled the last attempt by Grumsh to conquer the area. It was assumed they froze or starve thereafter, or otherwise are no longer a threat. Unfortunately, they’re still very much a threat.
There was a fight for land between the fleeing orcs and the wasteland’s inhabitants, a family of ice giants. The giants fell to the sheer number of orcs except for one who had abandoned Annam and the Ordning and had turned to the powers of the abyss. He was able to cow the orcs, depose of their leader, install himself as chief, and even created a few dozen Tanarukks, demonic orcs sent by Baphomet himself.
If a bitter army of bloodthirsty orcs led by a frost giant, pining for revenge and augmented by demons wasn’t enough, Jagguth Icecracker is also planning to summon the manifestation of cold incarnate, a chaotic evil monster from the quasi plane of Elemental Ice, which will blanket the material plane in eternal winter. Yikes!
Oh, and let’s give Jagguth a white dragon, too. That makes sense.
Alright, but the party is going to stop him, right?
Maybe? I mean, probably in most campaigns. In mine they would probably fail, and then we’d roll up new characters to place Ice Age D&D because that sounds awesome.
In your game, though:
This freezing demon monster needs a name. I can’t think of a good one, so I’m just going to call it Frostbite.
Frostbite the Freezing Demon Monster must enter the Material Plane through a massive portal made of magic ice. If this giant ice portal can be melted or destroyed in time, the summoning can be prevented.
How does the adventure get started?
Well like all good adventures, you should start foreshadowing a few adventures ahead that the world is getting colder. This isn’t as noticeable near your campaign’s equator, but everywhere is an average 5o c colder. (Is that a lot? I’m an American so I don’t really know how Celsius works)
Farming is getting harder, people are getting sick, cold blooded animals are dying, birds are disappearing, and cold-loving animals are migrating south. Everything is in disarray. Druids know some spooky bad shit is going on in nature. Wizards are seeing weird things in their augeries and crystal balls. Everyone has noticed one way or another.
The party could be curious on its own, alerted by a church or wizard, approached by a council of druids, or is otherwise made aware that something in the “Deadwight,” a permafrost-covered frozen wasteland to the north, is the epicenter of the growing freeze spreading over the land. And as adventurers they should go investigate.
It could be even more obvious if the party is close to the Deadwight: The sky is choked by thick, oppressive, stagnant clouds that block all sunlight for a mile around!
They go to investigate.
Alright, then what?
I’m not sure. I have a few ideas. But, basically, for 1 of 3 reasons, there’s a permanent snowstorm covering the Deadwight that keeps it the exact temperature for the ice demon portal to be built. Possible sources:
Icecracker’s pet white dragon maintains the snowstorm
A Storm Giant Quintessent (VoGtM) maintains the storm as a misguided way to contain the orcs, threatening to freeze any that attempt to leave the Deadwight to terrorize the rest of the world
A giant magic machine or circle of cultists magically maintains the snowstorm
The party could (in theory) kill the white dragon, the archpriest, or destroy the machine or the portal itself. All of this would result in having to fight Icecracker, in all likelihood. If you opt to make a storm giant be the source of the storm, the party has to bust out the RP skills.
They have to figure out that the storm is actually a giant
They have to figure out how to talk to the storm (try screaming at a blizzard and see how far it gets you)
Convince the giant that letting out some raiding orcs/tanarukks in the short term is worth letting the portal melt
Deal with the consequences
What level is this?
I guess this adventure premise would be good at pretty much levels 1-20.
For a low-level party, hypothermia, a handful of orcs, and a tanarukk bossfight is a pretty comprehensive experience on the way to blow up the snow machine. Then they can escape just in time from the ice giant on some fudged die rolls.
For a mid-level party, killing a white dragon is pretty cool even when interplanar ice demon invasions aren’t on the line.
For a high-level party, being able to force a storm giant quintessent to do whatever you want is like the whole reason to want to reach high-level.
For a 20th level party at the end of the campaign… fuck it, the party has to fight a giant ice demon from the frozen abyss with an ancient white dragon and a ice giant and an army of orcs. That’s the kind of freeze-frame (if you’ll excuse the pun) that won’t let your party forget reaching deity status.
Keyframes of Tenn flying from tonight’s stream. It’s worth mentioning that her boots are powered by two manacles on her wrist which create a powerful burst of speed when she smacks them together, so that’s what you can see going on here.
one day I will keyframe on model but today is not that day
These three characters are my Hetalia OCs. They are the representation of the three regions of the country of Vietnam (Northern, Central, Southern), but they were formally known during the French colonization as Tonkin (North), Annam (Central), and Cochinchina/Cochinchine (South).
Why region OCs? With my background knowledge, I know depending on the regions, there are some differences in the culture. For example dialect, clothing, the personality of the people, lifestyle, history, and more. In the manga series of Hetalia, there was a section when they show the provinces of China arguing and China having a migraine. From that, I know many of Chinese provinces are different from one another and it made sense for there to a personification for them.
Their biography is still a work in progress. If there are any questions you would like to ask about these three characters, I will be happy to answer.
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