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5E What's up With Durnan's Coin in Tales from the Yawning Portal?

machineelf

Explorer
I've come to really appreciate Tyler Jacobson's art. He's done many of the covers for the 5th edition books.

On the cover of Tales from the Yawning Portal, Durnan is holding a coin, and it appears to be hot or something, as smoke is drifting up from it. Is this a little tie-in to something in Undermountain? It raised my curiosity.
 

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Prakriti

Hi, I'm a Mindflayer, but don't let that worry you
Good question. The picture at http://dnd.wizards.com/ is actually animated to show the smoke rising from the coin.

Also, Durnan apparently returned to the inn after a mysterious 100-year-absence in Undermountain.

How do we know this is the real Durnan and not some evil imposter? :hmm:
 


Beleriphon

Totally Awesome Pirate Brain
I'm thinking the coin has something to do with Dead in Thay, since its the only one explicitly set FR.
 

Daern

Explorer
Isn't there a coin in Undermountain that burns its way through levels in the dungeon if you pick it up?
 

happyhermit

Adventurer
I mentioned it when they first talked about supposed "easter eggs":hmm: on the cover. Figured there would be an explanation in the book, weird.
 


MNblockhead

A Title Much Cooler Than Anything on the Old Site
Reading more and looking at the picture blown up, could that be a triangle printed on the coin? The Fateful Coin is described as:

Description: The thick silver coin has a red triangle on one side and a red pentagram on the other. Engraved on the coin are letters in an ancient script.

When activated (but only after it's flipped), the coin emanates a silver glow briefly, and scarlet-hued script flickers in and out of existence in the air surrounding the coin as it falls to the ground. It sounds as a normal coin would when it hits a hard surface.
The picture seems to match the description. The "smoke" could be the silver glow? The coin in the picture does seem to have letters in an ancient script around the edge that is glowing reddish, though the pictures doesn't show any script flickering in the air surrounding the coin.

Oops. Reading on, I see: "Finally, the coin does not allow itself to be removed from a temple of Tyche." If that's the case, this isn't the coin.


There is a coin in Ruins of Undermountain that bursts into flames when held enveloping the holder in a 2' pillar of flame and will then burn down through anything for miles. So, that probably isn't the coin he holds.

That's all I can find that seems close to being a fit.
 

MNblockhead

A Title Much Cooler Than Anything on the Old Site
Another candidate: The Coin of Good Luck from Halls of Undermountain (Area 21, Lanceboard Room, page 40).
 

Steven Gilby

First Post
Late reply, but I didn't see any other comments that said what I thought about it.

The coin is probably symbolic of the toll Durnan charges when someone wants to go to Undermountain. 1 gold to lower someone down, and then 1 additional gold collected in a lowered bucket before he lets you come back up.
 

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