Side trek for Storm King’s Thunder: To Steal a Primordial

At the Dwarven stronghold of Gauntlgrym, a trapped primordial called Maegera the Dawn Titan fires the forges. In Storm King’s Thunder, a party of drow raids the forges to steal the godling. If the player characters happen to visit Gauntlgrym, they gain a chance to foil the theft.

The description of Gauntlgrym in Out of the Abyss reveals the primordial’s tremendous power, but the struggle for the creature lacks gravity. Player characters just happen to stumble across 8 drow in a hallway. A couple of rounds of combat thwarts the caper.

If drow enter a dwarven stronghold and sieze a primordial from the forge, surely they made a better plan than the encounter suggests. Also, foiling the theft of a primordial merits at least a set-piece encounter, if not a full session of adventure.

This side trek expands the raid at Gauntlgrym. I aimed to make the drow more cunning, and the players’ interference more memorable.

For the drow, I plotted their scheme like players would if they had similar resources and powers. Now instead just killing unprepared drow in a hall, players feel like they match wits with a cunning foe. The drow and shadow demons get a chance to use stealth and spellcraft, forcing players to use their wits.

This trek integrates two potential encounters from the wandering monster tables in Gauntlgrym chapter of Out of the Abyss.

The tricky part of reimagining this scenario came as I worked to arrange the pieces so the scenario can play differently depending on the players’ strategy. Still, the events likely lead to a big confontration in the crypts.

In the original encounter, the lack of setup makes the drow seem random. In a dwarven fortress, they seem very random. After the battle, the players learn the plot, but now that it has failed, the details seem less importatant. If you run the original, you should hope that the players give the event little thought, because their success rests on a wildly coincidental meeting.

The new scenario sets up the drow scheme in advance and shows the stakes. The sudden chill in Gauntlgrym lends some weight to the theft.

This scenario should challenge 8th-level characters.

Also, my spell checker wanted to spell doppelgänger with umlauts. I went with it because everything is more metal with umlauts.

Download: To Steal a Primordial

5 thoughts on “Side trek for Storm King’s Thunder: To Steal a Primordial

  1. alphastream

    This is great. I really like what you did with the NPCs in this adventure to bring them to life and encourage PC reactions.

    The idea of drow just slipping in and stealing Maegera really bothers me. It’s the kind of thing that should be so hard and so significant as to be a really major adventure with a lot going on to enable it. Maegera is no simple thing – it’s capture/release has been a big part of novels, of Gauntlgrym being brought back as a Dwarven home, and of the life/death of Bruenor’s companions. There is no reason why it should be easy. I disliked how the adventure made this into a random occurrence.

    But, you have made it far better!

    1. David Hartlage Post author

      Hi Alphastream,
      Thanks for the kind words.

      After reading some history of Gauntlgrym and the primordial, I was stunned that the book made so little of the potential theft.


  2. Thomas Parham

    This looks amazing! What did you use for the map? We’re new to D&D this year. Is it a prefab map of some kind?

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