The Sceptre of Seasons

During the age of creation, the seasons were a chaotic event. The primordials ruled the seasons and changed them on their whims. Certain parts of the world might be summer while others would be winter or spring. At any moment, the season could drastically change. The various races on the world struggled to survive and tried to appease the primordials with limited success. They prayed and offered sacrifices to hopefully calm the abrupt changes. Their prayers were answered when the gods declared war on the primordials.

During the Dawn War, Moradin crafted the Sceptre of Seasons as a weapon of control. He wished a magical artifact to wrest control of the seasons from the primordials. Deep in Mount Celestia, he forged the sceptre out of residuum infused iron and added four precious stones for the four seasons. He chose emerald for spring, ruby for summer, sapphire for autumn and diamond for winter. He engraved the symbols of air near the emerald, fiery symbols near the ruby, earthy symbols near the sapphire and watery symbols near the diamond. Those elemental symbols connect to each other and indicated a transition or transformation. The Sceptre of Seasons proved effective to counter the powers of the primordials in charge of the seasons. After defeating the primordials, Moradin returned to his other works of craft. The Sceptre of Seasons was given a place of honour in Moradin’s vaults. There it stayed for centuries and forgotten.

At the end of the dawn war, four deities shared rule of the seasons: Corellon; Pelor; Sehanine; the Raven Queen.They didn’t have full control over the season and merely managed it. They sent several enjoys to Moradin’s court to get the Sceptre of Seasons but he ignored each envoy. His standard response was that he was too busy with his craftwork.

Being an adventurer, Avandra was curious of all forgotten places. As Moradin’s vaults had many forgotten chambers, she loved visiting his realm in Mouth Celestia. She arrived unannounced but Moradin didn’t care as he was too busy working on his other projects. One day, Avandra explored Moradin’s vaults and found the Sceptre of Seasons. She found it a beautiful work of art and loved the magical transitions of the elements. She took it out of the chamber and discussed with Moradin. Moradin remembered his fine workmanship. He felt it did its work and was uninterested in managing the Sceptre of Seasons. He told Avandra she can decide what to do with this powerful artifact. Corellon, Pelor, Sehanine and the Raven Queen learned of her exploit and desired it to increase their control over their season. They approached Avandra with their claim to the Sceptre of Seasons. She negotiated a pact where they would share the sceptre. Each deity would have the artifact for a limited time before handing control to a different deity. Avandra would be responsible for moving the sceptre from one deity to another. The pact was ratified in front of Erathis who put the clause where if the pact is ever broken, she would gain control over the Sceptre of Seasons.

When a season is about to end and another begins soon, Avandra leads a caravan to take Sceptre of Seasons to the next deity. A variety of creatures and adventurers join this important caravan. In the natural world, various towns and cities hold festivals to entice the caravan to pass by. It is viewed as a great blessing to provide shelter for the caravan. Of note, Bahamut sends some dragons, dragonborn and knights to escort the caravan. Bahamut believes in the sanctity of this pact and endorses the caravan.

The journey from realm to realm is a perilous one. It can face many challenges until the Sceptre of Seasons is safely within the confines of a deity’s realm. Kord holds seasonal competitions to select a champion. This champion has the task to challenge the caravan in honourable combat. Whoever wins the combat gains control over the Sceptre of Seasons. Since the creation of the pact, no champion has won. They are getting bolder and closer to achieving that goal.

Asmodeus sends armies of devils to trick or wrest control of the Sceptre of Seasons. Bahamut’s forces usually faces Asmodeus troops. In the past, Bahamut requests help from Moradin and Bane to face Asmodeus’s troops. Moradin sends troops to protect his work of art. Bane sends mercenaries which Bahamut pays at the established rates. Currently, Bahamut sent requests to Bane for his rate and no answer was given. Does Bane have a new master? With recent alliance between Asmodeus, Bane and Tiamat, the caravan might be at risk.

When the caravan briefly travels through the natural world, the fauna and flora ambushes them. Melora believes in the freedom of the Sceptre of Seasons. She sends her natural creatures to take the Sceptre and lose it in the natural lands. Nature itself should control its own seasons. There are rumours that some of Melora’s creatures were experimented on. The church of Vecna sends some of their strange experiments to infiltrate Melora’s servants. They wish to “free” the Sceptre of Seasons and “lose” it too. Honestly, they wish to know where the Sceptre of Seasons will be so they can secretly control the change of seasons for their foul ends.

Although Gruumsh, Orcus and Lolth have their owns reasons to desire the Sceptre of Season, mostly due to jealousy, their cooperation is strange to behold. Gruumsh wishes to wrest control of it from Corellon and then spread untold destruction on the natural world. Orcus wishes to wrest control of it from the Raven Queen. Lolth does not wish her old flames, Corellon and Sehanine, to own such items of power. Each of them have received dreams where they take the Sceptre of Seasons and bring it to a far place. Their pride have refused to admit that Tharizdun might be sending those dreams. Tharizdun believes that destruction of such a powerful artifact might release him from his prison.

As a desirer of all things, Tiamat wishes to add the Sceptre of Seasons to her hoard. With it, her dragons could rule over the various seasons. She has designs to have five seasons based on her five heads. The standard: Spring; Summer; Fall; Winter and the fifth season would be Death. Her draconic servants show up during the caravan trail to seize the Sceptre of Seasons. Since Asmodeus and Tiamat have their alliance, one wonders how will it get strained if they acquire the Sceptre of Seasons which they both desire.

Yeenoghu, the Prince of Ruin, sees the destructive power of the Sceptre as something he can harness. At random times, his gnolls attack the caravan causing lots of damage. He doesn’t care if the Sceptre gets damaged. The Yeenoghu cult have a plan to corrupt the Sceptre through a powerful ritual. This corruption will make the seasons harsher than before.

The archfey Prince of Frost sees the Sceptre of Seasons as his means to transform the world into eternal winter. He is plotting to court the Raven Queen in order she keep hold of the Sceptre of Seasons for longer and hopefully give it to him as a wedding gift. As the winter in the Dreadlands is lasting longer than usual, is it the Prince of Frost’s plan coming to fruition or is it the white dragon, Ice Queen, expanding her sphere of influence?

Where is Avandra and her caravan at this point in time? Is she lost, trapped and distracted with another quest?

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