30 Minute Challenge – Shepherd of Fire

Hi all and welcome to a 30 Minute Challenge evening. Now it has been quite some time since I have done something like this. In fact I haven’t I don’t believe I have done something like this as tonight I will be using a song from one of my playlist. Just one song on repeat for 30 minutes… So prepare for 30 Minute Challenge – Shepherd of Fire.

So it should be no secret that music helps invoke imagery and can really help provoke encounters, combat or key moments in the adventure. In fact music is a common tool I use for my creative writing or the daily adventures that I create for this blog. So without giving away too much and in the idea of getting through the write-up in some timely manner let’s roll on.

The rules:

  1. 30 minute limit.
  2. The them must be inspirited by the song Shepherd of Fire.
  3. Grammatical and spelling checks are allowed outside of the 30 minutes but the content must be there.
  4. At the end of the challenge the produced adventure should be able to be used for a D&D one shot.
  5. Must have some form of NPC, a creature, and a goal.

I have kept it nice and simple for tonight, no forced weird things or restrictions but if you want to see something like that feel free to suggest it.

30 Minute Challenge – Shepherd of Fire

Time started: 8:53pm

The party are mid-quest to explore a castle on the edge of the lands of a previous benefactor who they owe a debt to. As they approach the castle the area around them distorts as if falling through water and after a few moments of distortion they realise what is happening. A magic portal has appeared around them.

Whirling through space and time they appear in the hall that consists mainly of floating debris and a small landing attached to ascending stairs. At the top of the stairs sits a giant skeleton, It appears to be from a giant of some breed as it sits in a broken thrown in ancient heraldry. The last thing people notices, apart from the 20ft long mace is a three pronged crown that appears to have been crafted from fresh embers.

“Ah, hero. You have come at last it seems” the skeleton booms out from its risen throne. “I have been waiting for some time for the on who bears the ember. The one who will become the Shepherd of Fire.”

A moment of confusion and the party asking the being to who the skeleton is referring too but the questions fall on deaf ears. The massive skeleton shifts a bit, moving a massive two handed mace from one bony hand to the next. “You do not taste like the last to bear the ember but you will be tested like the others. With the rising of the next full moon you will have exactly one lunar cycle until your test ends. In that time you must prove yourself worthy to be the next Shepherd of Fire or you will have your ember snuffed.” the skeleton rumbled.

“It’s been four millennia since I was chosen to be the last. It has been four decades since the last trial of the Ember and that price, that ruler of men and women was found wanting and cast back into the coals.” The skeleton rumbled. Lightning flashed through the sky revealing swirling clouds and chunks of what would have been a grand city floating in the void beyond the dark and gloom of this plane. “I grow tired and the ember has long since consumed my body. It is time that we crown a new shepherd and the power that comes with it.”

With that the skeleton raised his mace high above his head and brought it down to point at the party and in a billow of smoke and soot the were launched backwards through another rip-tide of a portal.

The nausea was unexpected and new as the party stood in front of the castle once again. One by one each of them looked around checking if they each experienced the same thing. Suddenly a searing burning pain appeared on the left wrist of each of the party members. A crown of embers was being branded on their wrist with three points of it extending up the back of their hand. A faint ember like glow appears on each of their hands but its only visible to themselves.


The Shepherd of fire is a multi-dimensional being who was created during a time where the forces of chaos needed governing. During the first war between the layers of hell the Shepherd of Fire was created to stop chaos from destroying itself.

As time went on the title passed from being to being with the predecessor passing judgement of worthiness on the new bearer of the ember. The bearer of the ember was a mortal who holds the potential to carry the title and if they are found to be worthy in a set of trials that are secretly bestowed upon them they are worthy. Worthy of the power and title of the Shepherd of Fire. The last to be found worthy was a fire giant prince of significant power but in the centuries he has been testing people he has been unable to find one to bear the mantle.

This adventure hook works best with multiple one shots generally 7 to 10 levels in for the individual party members. This gives the party a good starting point towards the trials (one shots) but – all of them are branded as the holder of the ember. This means that one, or all of them could become the Shepherd which could create the beginning of a fun campaign around bringing order – well at least reigning in the chaotic nature of the layers of hell.

Time finished: 9:17pm

Don’t forget to come back tomorrow night for the end of week writeup and, as always, don’t forget to roll with advantage,
The Brazen Wolfe