Friday, October 5, 2012

She Glides with Ease and Grace

While growing up, Noel was the youngest of three. As a result, she was the baby of the family and was afforded certain freedoms denied to her siblings. Now that she is sixteen Noel is still used to doing things her own way.

     Her village, Shipstern's Bluff, which lays along the coast near Candlekeep, enjoys a beautiful view of the rugged shoreline that is a common feature of the Sword Coast. Near her village is a secluded cove with a sandy beach. Waves roll in from the north in winter and from the south in summer. Noel used to spend much of her time watching the dolphins ride the waves and wondered if it would be possible for her to do so as well.
Noel's Cove

     A few years ago traders to the village shared stories of exotic islanders far to the south. Apparantly, they are able to ride waves while standing on wooden planks that they carve, sand smooth and seal with resin. With the aid of sketches provided by the traders, Noel set about building a wave-riding craft of her own.

     Noel's father, a large, burly man and the village blacksmith, was blessed with three healthy children. Some gossip that it was a mixed blessing, since the children are all girls. Such is the twist of fate that such a masculine individual would sire pretty, delicate females.

     While Noel's father was not overjoyed at the idea of his youngest daughter venturing out into the ocean, he was proud that she his showed an interest in craftsmanship and tool use. He helped Noel perfect a surf-riding-board and even carried it down to the cove for her. It took Noel months to master its use, but now she glides along the waves with grace and ease, much to the fascination of the village's youth. The village elders, of course, frown on such an activity for the usual, close-minded reasons.

The Cottage
     Normally, it would be foolish for a human to venture into the ocean. The predators that lurk along the coast are numerous and people are simply not designed to withstand their teeth and claws. However, Noel possesses innate gifts that afford her some protection.

     For example, the crabmen that live in the cove are intrigued by Noel and her wave riding. Noel demonstrates her respect for the crabmen by bringing a bucket of fish heads with her each time she visits the cove. The crabmen consume the treat voraciously and grant her passage.

     As she glides along the face of a wave, Noel can look down into the water and watch the crabmen as they scurry along the bottom to keep pace with her. Within Noel they sense a spirit that is in tune with the sea, so that also tempers their reaction. Both Noel and the crabmen believe it's only a matter of time before they work out some kind of communication in order to better understand one another.

Noel, Female Human, Druid 1; Armor Class: 8 (Dex bonus), Hit Dice: 1d8, Hit Points: 4, THAC0: 20 (19 when using sling due to Dex), No. of Attacks: 1, Damage:1d4 (sling stone), Alignment: Neutral Good, Move: 12

Spells: 1st: Animal Friendship, Invisibility to Animals

Strength: 9, Dexterity: 16, Constitution: 12, Intelligence: 10, Wisdom: 15, Charisma: 17

Saving Throws: Parlayzation, Poison, Death Magic: 10, Rod, Staff, Wand: 14, Petrification or Polymorph: 13, Breath Weapons: 16, Spell 15

Nonweapon Proficiencies: Carpentry, Fishing, Swimming, Weather Sense,

Equipment: Wave riding board, sling, 5 sling stones

Notes: +1 to magical based saving throws due to Wisdom, +2 to saves versus fire or electrical attacks due to Druid class, +6 reaction bonus due to Charisma

I can't draw.
     Along the shore of the cove is an abandoned cottage. It used to be the home of a fisherman, but the arrival of the crabmen a few years ago forced him to move on. He used to dig for clams, pry abalone off rocks and cast his nets into the water, but the crabmen's presence greatly reduced the fishing opportunities. Noel stores her wave riding board in the cottage and often uses its fireplace to warm herself after a session in the water. In a year or two, when she is an adult, Noel plans to live in the cottage full time.

     Roughly 20 crabmen of various ages live in the cove. When the tide is low they can be seen foraging among the tide pools and shallows for a meal. At this time, the tops of their underwater stone shelters can be seen. When the tide is high, the crabmen are on guard as fierce predators are better able to access the cove. The crabmen are about 5' tall when full grown and weigh nearly 100 pounds. The females are a drab, brownish color while the males are resplendent with bright blue and orange shells.

Crabmen; Armor Class: 4, Hit Dice: 3d8, Hit Points: 13, THAC0: 17,  No. of Attacks: 2, Damage:1d6/1d6 (claws), Alignment: Neutral, Move: 9, Swim 6, Morale: 11, XP Value: 65

Related link: Below is a video showing the kind of wave-riding vehicle that Noel might employ. Its construction is very basic and could be accomplished with tools and material available to those in the Forgotten Realms. While some may feel that mixing surfing with D&D is silly, the ancient Polynesians pioneered the practice with similar materials. 


  1. She's JOV bruddah...Just out da village yeah? Shaka!

    1. I should stat up a crabman companion for her and call him "Turtle."

  2. Cool beans. This is just the sort of thing I missed during my long break. To those people who don't think you should mix surfing and D&D, then they really don't get what gaming is all about.

    1. Good to see you around, Z. I hope you have been well. :)

  3. Yes, I'm back, I'm blogging, and I'm ready to rock and roll dice.

  4. This is cool. As always.

    And your crabman drawing is better than my crabman drawing.

    1. This is kind of a second draft - the first draft was on paper - so for the third and final go around in Loviatar, I'll see if perhaps Jay Penn can draw a crabman that is a bit more respectable. :)