A serpentine Couatl (Monster Manual page 43) named Quetz has been guarding a celestial sword for centuries, calling out for a worthy champion to take the blade into battle for the side of good. Littered around the Couatl’s feet is a small treasure of gems and gold, whilst Quetz itself is coiled around its charge. A nearby Banshee wishes to take the weapon for itself, being able to feel its presence, but cannot attack whilst Quetz still stands guard.
Either a small glade, a cave with lots of natural light streaming in, a squarish temple structure with an open roof, a coastal grotto lined with colorful coral, or anywhere else that is small, easily guarded, and opens to the sky. Wherever your characters are currently you should endeavor to set this encounter in a place that they might naturally come across. Any good aligned characters hear a faint music within 500ft of the site, Paladins of good alignment can hear it from 1 mile away if they use their Divine Sense, and can determine it is of celestial origin. (Read Off: On the wind you hear the chiming of heavenly bells, playing a soothing melody that sets your mind at ease.) Neutral and Evil aligned creatures hear nothing. (Note: If your party has no good aligned characters they might run across an Elf or some other travelers who hear the music and comment on it, possibly pointing the party in the right direction.)
Anywhere within the range of this sound the party comes across a raggedy human man, ancient and limping (or otherwise obviously crippled). He hails the party in a friendly manner and asks them if they have any food to spare, just a few rations to give a poor man respite. If they ask he introduces himself as Quentin and claims to be from a nearby farming village, but due to his infirmity and age he has determined to go out to see some of the grand cities of the Elves before he passes (replace this with whatever cities are appropriate in your setting). If they give him any food or other useful supplies he thanks them heartily and asks if they would break their fast with him. If they accept he tells them this story as recompense for the food:
Legend tells of an ancient weapon, forged by a great Solar of the god [Name a Sun god in your campaign] that lies nearby. It is said that the blade was once used to slay a ghostly army summoned by an evil drow necromancer, and that when it’s wielder passed the sword was taken by an agent of the gods to keep safe until another hero might be worthy to hold such a blade. For centuries the guardian has kept the sword safe from evil beings, patiently awaiting a new hero to again take the fight to the enemies of light.
[DM’s Notes: Feel free to embellish on this story depending on the style of your game, this tale takes nearly 10 minutes in game time, but since your players aren’t likely wanting to sit through ten minutes of some NPC talking we have written out the cliffnotes version of that story]
After his tale Quentin thanks them for their generosity and takes off down the trail again. Once out of sight he shapeshifts back into his true form as a Coatl and speeds back to his perch within his glade. Quetz has set alarm spells, which silently trigger a psychic alert to him, at every possible entrance to his domain, so he knows immediately when the party arrives.
Once they enter the glade the party feels a calming magical energy that leaves them relaxed and carefree. A successful DC 13 Arcana check determines that Enchantment magic is suffusing the air around them. While in the center a seemingly sleeping serpent coils around a sword that is planted hilt up into a stone or tree stump. It’s long, rainbow wings folded to obscure all but the hilt. Quetz will never make the first move, eying the party with interest from beneath the folds of its wings. If the party attacks he will take the weapon and fly away, speeding off to some new hiding spot across the world. If the party talks he lifts his head and replies honestly to any questions they might have. Below are a few conversation options.
“Who/what are you?” My name is Quetz, and I am a servant to the goodly gods and a friend to all who revere them.
“What is that weapon?” This is the sword “Peace.” A weapon crafted to rid the world of darkness.
“Were you the beggar in the road? / Do you know the beggar? Who is the beggar? / Etc.” It was I. I had to test you, to see if you were worthy enough heroes to wield this blade.
“What are you doing here? / Can I have the sword?” I am charged with guarding this sword until such a time as one who is worthy to wield it comes.
“Am I worthy?” (To any who fed him) Yes. I have tested the mettle of your heart, and have found you to be of fine character and generous nature.
(To any who did not feed him) That remains to be seen. You have failed my first test, but that does not mean you may not have the sword.
(To any who were openly hostile towards him) No. If you conduct yourselves in such a manner you are unworthy to wield a blade of this caliber. [He then goes silent, refusing to answer any more questions. If the party attacks, advances on him, or otherwise tries to take the sword he flies away]
“May we have a second test?” Yes, if you can prove your valor by slaying the banshee who has taken up residence nearby I shall grant you the sword. (He then describes the route to the banshee’s hut)
If the party immediately receives the sword he will warn them of the banshee, saying that it is drawn to the power of the sword and will likely hunt them down when it senses the blade on them. He then dissipates, returning to the celestial plane, leaving behind all of the gold and gems in his grove. That night the banshee will attack them at 3am while they rest unless they have already dealt with it, attempting to kill anyone standing guard first.
The Banshee’s Hut:
The spirit has taken up residence in a hunting shack, igloo, abandoned hut, or whatever makes sense to your setting. It should be within an easy day’s travel for your group. Regardless of what you make it, this is a waypoint for travelers of some kind, just some soft bedding for the night and a roof over your head. The banshee stays nearby just to assault unsuspecting travelers, then feast on them. The banshee will often watch travelers warily for any spellcasters capable of wielding divine magic, and attempt to find a way to isolate them from their group and kill them first.
|Peace||A +1 Longsword of Celestial origin. It can glow brightly, shedding the same amount of light as a torch, if the wielder uses a bonus action to speak its name. This light can be extinguished as a bonus action by repeating it. The wielder of this sword feels calm and collected, gaining a +2 on any checks against fear or any other emotion (e.g. if you are being taunted into making rash choices). This ability is lost if the wielder has the Barbarian's Rage feature. The blade is curved along both sides, giving it a broad tip and slender middle, much like a Roman gladius. It is crafted from some unknown metal that gleams like gold and often sends off small perks when struck (these cannot create any kind of fire, ever, please do not let your players convince you otherwise). The hilt is embossed with imagery of a cathedral with soaring arches, and the pommel is an opal with the holy symbol of whatever god in your world created the sword.|