This is a setting that parallels 1920's/1930's Americas prohibition and gang uprising.
The Setting: Edit
The metropolis is home to an sentient skeleton, humans, dragonborn, drow, and many other races. All are equal under the law but that does not prevent some groups from trying to gain a better foot hole. Though the skeletons are under the employ of the local liche they are present in every level of city life, from law enforcement to construction. Having a workforce that does not require breaks or sleep makes them indispensable to the workings of the city. The only places that skeletons are not seen are in the shipping ports and portal maintenance.
The ports are kept in tip top shape by a group of druids called the Clip of the Moon Crew. Their power to manipulate the elements makes them efficient at directing, loading, unloading, and keeping track of all trade goods that pass by boat. Like the Clerics, they do not all together trust the skeletons. They can be found whispering among themselves in Druidic. Rumors have it that more than just fish and linens get imported into the city.
The portals are regulated and maintained by The Clerics of the Rising Goddess Faith. Though they still act as church leaders and healers, they also control the largest and safest form of long-distance transportation in the city. Similar to air travel in our world, the Clerics regulate the transport of goods and creatures from far away lands and realms. Security is tightly regulated, but it is not impossible to bribe your way through. The Clerics begrudgingly work along with the skeletons but refuse to have their ranks interfere with the delicate operations of the portal.
The current hot topic in the city is the Potion Prohibition. Both health potions and performance enhancing potions are seen as a plague upon society by the government. Health potions are highly regulated and restricted while potions such as Giant Strength and Mind Reading are outright banned. Raids are sudden and violent. Bootleggers and alchemists work in hidden speakeasies. Due to the outright ban and lack of regulation, the quality of potions is questionable and varies from alchemist to alchemist. The trade is competitive and highly secretive. Surprisingly, the best and safest potions are bought from the gangs themselves. If you want a quality potion, it is best to get it name-branded.
Those who want to stay within the lines of the law have turned to other substances to get their fix. Smoking Herbs, narcotics-laced fizzy pop, and ether parties are some of the only non-taxed alternatives to potions. It may not heal your bones or give you super strength, but it gives the same impression. A substance, similar to Cocaine, is particularly used by those working long shifts or going into a boxing match.
Two opposing gangs are currently at odds with each other, aiming to monopolize on the potion trade.
The Spooky Boys, headed by Bones Malone, uses their wide reaching influence to stay under the radar of the government. He is not above shoveling out a few coins or making threats to get what he wants.
The Fangs of the Crown, commanded by Yarjerit Fiestriste, owns a casino that doubles as their headquarters. While their territory does not reach as far as the Spooky Boys, their power is cemented by their ability as body guards and their higher quality potions.
Bones Malone and the Spooky Boys Edit
A gang of sentient skeletons fighting to take over the city
About the Gang: Edit
Also known as The Wrecking Crew as their union name, the gang is made almost entirely out of skeletons. Their organization reflects the Italian Mafia. Though the liche helps maintain and fix them up as needed, the Undead Union keeps him from having too much power. Each member is skilled in interrogation, manipulation, an fire arms. They commonly wear the stereotypical trench coat and fedora. Because skeletons occupy almost every profession in the city, they help grease the wheels for the Spooky Boys to do their business. Unlike the Fangs of the Crown, the Spooky Boys work from the shadows and are only spoken of in rumor. Their low profile is what keeps them one step of ahead of the government and allows them to keep their union. While the governing heads would love to dissolve The Wrecking Crew, they do not have substantial evidence to prove that the members of the Union are connected to gang activity.
The main headquarters of the Spooky Boys can be found at the cemetery. A particular Kerbed Headstone allows access to a large necropolis below ground. The chambers have been renovated to accommodate for storage and comfort.
The Spooky Boys have many small alchemical laboratories around the city. Their alchemists work in batches which lowers the overall price per bottle. The quality of the potions is satisfactory, but nothing like those made by Alston "The Cloak" Turen, the gnome alchemist of the dragonborn. They would love to get their bony fingers on him if they could. Other than making and selling potions, they also crack down on unaffiliated alchemists, or sellers who try to sell their wears under the spooky boys name.
Recently, they have been tightening up on copy-cat sellers that have sprout up in the city. This is bad for business for two reasons: Firstly, they are not getting any revenue from these sales; And secondly, if the potions are subpar, or even fake, they would give the Spooky Boys a bad rap and encourage buyers to turn to the Fangs of the Crown for their potion needs.
Note to self: expand on the goals of the gang. What is their larger goal? Why do they want to head the illegal potion gig?--Saccillia
Bones Malone Edit
The Leader of the Spooky Boys. Due to the overall appearance of skeletons, he can blend in with any group by just a change of his clothes. (this may be racist??---saccillia). He is known to be conniving, ruthless, and does not take betrayal well. He has worked hard to his fingers into every niche he can to make his business more efficient.
Laurel and Hardy Edit
These bickering skeletons are attached by the spine. They can be found at the gang's headquarters, squabbling over what music to play or where to sit. They wear signature bowler hats, with laurel's being narrower and a flatter brim. When dressed to go out, Laurel typically wears a bow tie while Hardy wears a Necktie. Their slapstick antics are found to be amusing to most and annoying to Bones Malone. When driving, they decide who gets to drive by playing rock-paper-scissors. The looser has to operate the pedals, albeit upside-down under the dash. Their spine twists and takes up another seat next to them (most comfortable) or behind them (when all seats are taken up).
What they lack in public social skills they make up for in combat. They are experts at stalking and snatching enemies that get just a little too far from their group. Preferably, they will climb the walls, slink through the storm drains, or anywhere they can be hidden by darkness. After snatching their foe, they may choose to push them into their ribs and move back to either kidnap or finish them off in a less dangerous location (Churning Ribs action).
•At the bottom of this page is a stat block and link to a conversion of the Serpentir for 5th edition made by Dungeon Dad. Permission for use of the stat block was granted over face book on July 26th 2019.
Mr Howard: Edit
A three headed warcaster skeleton from before the city was even built. Their names are Moe, Larry, and Curley respectively. Despite being old, the heads still tend to bicker to each other. They act as the wise grandfather of the gang, but don't take an active part in its maintenance. Their old war time stories as generals are begrudgingly tolerated. They are starting to show signs of senility and advanced arthritis.
• Stat block uses that of the skull lord, found in the MordenKainen's Tome of Foes Delux, Chapter 6, Page 230.
"Suicidal Bob" (placeholder) Edit
Also called "Sad Bob", a skeleton who just wants to die (and move on to the afterlife) but is unable to. He "drinks to forget", despite not being able to become intoxicated.
"(Sigh) You never leave the mob" --
Fangs of the Crown Edit
A gang of mostly dragonborn who are in opposition to the skeletal gang (Credit to Marcus Worboys).
About the Gang Edit
The dragonborn are immigrants from a displaced city north of the mountains. The older families are distinct in their saturated hues while newer mixed families have a paler, duller coloration due to mixed breeding. They are proud, controlling, and greedy. Family means everything to them. They are sticklers for keeping debts paid, and that includes wrongs done to any of the dragonborn families. Those that pay for their protection are ensured that their businesses and homes are kept under watchful guard. Though also equipped with fire arms, the dragon born are naturally equipped with hidden weapons in the form of teeth, claws, and their elemental breath attack. Their natural strength and hard hide makes them particularly formidable in hand to hand combat. In places where weapons are strictly restricted, a dragonborn has little to fear.
Thanks to their highly esteemed gnome alchemist, Alston "The Cloak" Turen, the dragonborn have cornered the illicit potion business.
What the Fangs of the Crown lack in numbers, they make up for in strength and will. Their headquarters is found in the largest casino in the city, called The Crown Jewel. The casino, and the buildings adjacent, are reinforced and kept under close guard like a fortress. A network of secret tunnels beneath the casino branches out to secret breweries, speakeasies, and safe houses. Should one of their locations be discovered, members can quickly pack up their shop, escape down the tunnel, and hide or collapse the entrance.
The Crown Jewel itself is the most profitable enterprise for the Fangs of the Crown, outside of potion smuggling and the protection racket.
If a dragonborn is slain, their cohorts always try to destroy the body completely to prevent the undead from raising them and learning of their schemes.
Yarjerit Fiestriste Edit
Godfather of the Dragon Born Gang. His trademark white suit contrasts with his obsidian-black scales.
Yarjerit Darnariss Edit
Second in command of the Dragon Born Gang, and sister of the leader. She is more charismatic than her older brother. Like Fiestriste, her scales are black, though more polished. Her feminine frame is overshadowed by her powerful build. She wears sharp, conservatives suits that are made to fit her curves and muscles. She does not take to catcalling or sexist remarks, especially towards her.
Quotes: "I will break you... like sparrow egg between thigh". (Credit to Marcus Worboys).
Thiola Blundyth Edit
A perpetually exasperated Drow Secretary who is not being used to the best of her ability. She has a thick Brooklyn accent. Thiola is one of the few non-dragonborn members of the of the Fangs of the Crown, though she is will not admit her affiliation. Thiola joined the Fangs of the Crown with dreams of one day finding a solution to her light sensitivity. She thought joining the Dragonborn Mafia would help since they had brilliant alchemist, Alston Turen.
Thiola has a bond with Alston from having to overcome their respective issues. Thiola has asked Alston for a potion that would help with her sun light affliction; However, Alston lacks the ingredients. The Fang of the Crown's second in command, Darnariss, knows where to get it but bureaucratic issues keep getting in the way( they can't afford the logistical cots to travel to the Underdark and bribe the clerics to gain access to the gates that will transport them to the fields where the main ingredient grows). So it's just busywork for everyone till this occurs. Of course, Yarjerit Fiestriste, while sympathetic, thinks it's just a waste and constantly tries to convince her it's better to just play who she is and not worry about that type of stuff.(Credit to Stefan Michael Houlder and Marcus Worboys)
The Druids Edit
The Clerics Edit
Other Characters: Edit
Alston "The Cloak" Turen Edit
Gnome alchemist who works exclusively for Yarjerit Fiestriste. The only reason Alston works for the Fangs of the Crown is for the protection and money that they provide. His homeland was constantly raided by tieflings for precious gems before he moved to the city with the dragonborn. It is thanks to Alston's skills and knowledge in alchemy that the Fangs of the Crown have such a strong presence in the potion trade. His potions are of top quality, strong, and with very little side effects.
Alston forged a friendship with Thiola and wants to help her racial weakness to sunlight. However, Alston is not able to acquire the ingredients necessary to forge the potion. Yarjerit Darnariss knows that the ingredients may be found in the underdark; however, Denariss is locked from pursuing the ingredients due to legal and economic hurdles. Yarjerit Fiestriste is unwilling to help, and sees it as a waste of money and time.
--Quest Idea: Find the ingredients for the potion for Thiola. The potion would give any drow (or light-sensitive creature) a +6 on any action that would normally be a disadvantage in sunlight. Quest can be taken along side other quests. Ingredients can be found either by looking in hidden stashes by the Druids, or by going to the underdark via the portal, kept by the clerics.
Braxton the Baked Edit
A Circle of Spores druid that got kicked out of the Clip of the Moon Crew for constantly stealing herbs for his personal use. He lives in the slums as a purveyor of herbs and fungus that are particularly potent. He works with Dumpster Dan in keeping the urchins of the city safe, despite being incomprehensible half the time.
Dumpster Druid Dan Edit
Another druid not affiliated with the Clip of the Moon Crew, Dumpster Dan is the leader of the slums in the City and watches over the Urchins that make it their home. He is a Circle of the Sheppard druid who employs rats as his main friends. Dan often hides away from danger in the form of a rat when cornered. Additionally, he uses the rats to gather intelligence about those in his territory. Thanks to this, he is a great source of information about rumors, creatures in the city, and the architecture of the city itself. His first priority is always to keep the less fortunate safe. He will welcome any unfortunate creature into his pack, so long as they follow the rules and play nice.
The Liche Edit
•Inspired from Vroscaz, a skeletal lich with a pet cat made by Cachet (@piratecashoo on twitter, pirate-cashoo on tumblr, and piratecashoo on instagram)
Inspiration comes from a re-post on "My DND Group" on Facebook, by Garrett Urness. EditThanks to the people who helped make this possible:
•Ideas: Marcus Worboys
•Ideas: Stefan Michael Houlder
•Assembly and Expansion: Saccillia
Serpentir Stat Block Edit
Large undead, Chaotic Evil (may change for the interpretation of the gang)
Armor Class: 15
Hit Points: 49 (9d10+0)
Speed: 50 ft., Climb Speed: 20 ft.
Strength: 14 (+2)
Dexterity: 20 (+5)
Constitution: 10 (+0)
Intelligence: 6 (-2)
Wisdom: 16 (+3)
Charisma: 11 (+0)
Damage Resistance: Cold
Damage Immunities: Poison
Condition Immunities: Exhaustion, Poisoned, Prone, Flanked
Senses: Darkvision 60 ft., Passive Perception: 15
Languages: Understands all languages they spoke in life. *For the use of this character, they can speak*
Challenge Rating: 3 (700 XP).
Dungeon Dad's google doc page for the Serpentir:
For more about the creature's lore, check out Dungeon Dad's Youtube Video on the Serpentir:
Dungeon Dad also has a patreon (https://www.patreon.com/DungeonDad)
And Subreddit (https://www.reddit.com/r/DungeonDad/)
Thanks again to Dungeon Dad for submitting this awesome creature and giving me permission to share its stat block. --Saccillia
Protection Racket: a scheme by a group that provides protection to businesses, families, or homes, that operates outside of the law. Regular payments are required, and often reinforced by the providers.
Prohibition: The legan ban of substances or things, often in reference to the prohibition of alcohol in the US between 1920-1933. (for this scenario, it is the prohibition of potions).