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Scarred Lands: Fire in Rahoch Campaign Recap

Posted on November 18, 2019 by Flames

A Land Where Legends Walk

    Drawing enthusiastically on Greek mythology, the revised and re-imagined Scarred Lands nonetheless retains its place as a modern fantasy RPG setting. This is a world shaped by gods and monsters, and only the greatest of heroes can expect to be counted among them. The most populous continent of Scarn, Ghelspad, plays host to vast unexplored regions, hides unsolved riddles from ancient cultures, and taunts adventures with the promise of undiscovered riches hidden among the ruins of older civilizations.

    Yet the myths of the Scarred Lands are relatively recent events. The effects of the Titanswar still ripple through the world, and the heroines and villains of many of these stories are part of living memory, if not still living.

    The following is a recap of the Scarred Lands campaign, Fire in Rahoch. It follows the adventures of Stromm, Manuc, Rostum, and Lliese as they navigate the politics of Calastia while at the same time trying to appease the secret societies that they are each a part of.

    Session 1: Fire on the Docks

      The City State of Rahoch on the southern coast of Calastia bustles with activity both night and day. The rat-like Slitherin board ships as they look for work among less civilized ports, while the snake-like Asaatthi hawk rare spices and sharp knives that they brought from their clans back home. The less civilized Manticora can be seen roaming in rare groups, intent on offering furs to trade for weapons while Orc adventurers purchase needed supplies to continue their journey to unknown lands. The screeching of gulls sounds above the bustle while groaning ships are loaded with cargo.

      Above the port tower the impressive cliffs of Rahoch, lined with lifts and platforms to carry passengers up and down the steep expanse to the rest of the city above. Nimble Halflings and Slitherin work these lifts, asking for a copper apiece for a ride. Others decide to chance their luck to walk up the steep cliffs, often slicked with sea spray from below.

      Journey upward, and you can see the impressive and elaborate cliffside city, teeming with buildings. Human nobles and their Halfling servants wander the expansive streets, taking in the sea breezes as the ghostly Hollow Legionnaires patrol the area. Wander up one of the expansive boulevards and you’ll find marble steps that lead upward to a truly impressive building—one that is obviously used for governance of the city. With thick columns and wide windows, it seems to keep several watchful eyes over the rest of the city.

      Look closer and you’ll see a Slitherin, puffing up the steps. Saltwater has caused his fur to clump, creating an unkempt appearance. He looks a bit like a sailor with his trousers, boots, and vest—though if you look closely, you may see a talisman with a trident etched into it around his neck and that he has a prayer book in one hand.

      He grimaces as he continues up the steps, the exercise burning his calves as he finally gets to the top and opens the ornate doors. He walks into a marble hall, lined with more columns and with paintings of important dignitaries lining the sides. In the center, there’s a statue of good King Virduk, depicted with a kindly face and a book. Virduk sharing his wisdom to help the governance of Rahoch. The Slitherin can’t help but frown, but quickly replaces it with a neutral expression as a young woman approaches.

      “You’re here with the others, yes? To investigate the fire?”

      The Slitherin nods and is quickly ushered into a comfortable room. A rug covers the stone floor, and a sideboard is laid with food and drinks. There are several lavish chairs available for sitting. Overall, it looks like a cozy location, if you don’t count the two Hollow Legionnaires and the Manticora that are staring at him as he enters.

      ~

      The Hollow Legionnaire, named Stromm, stared at the Slitherin in front of him. The creature looked like he hadn’t had a bath in at least a month and while he had holy symbols of Manawe stitched and sewed into his clothing, the cloth itself looked water-stained and unkempt. He kept his lip from curling as the introductions continued around him. The Manticora introduced herself as Lliese, working for the merchant house of Salir. Her golden fur was well-kept, though she seemed to have various pouches, bottles, and coiled rope at her belt, hinting at time spent in the wilds. The other Legionnaire introduced himself as Rostum, working for the noble House of Etharen. His armor was clearly etched with holy symbols, indicating that he was a follower of Corean and possibly one of his knights. It was clear that the Slitherin, named Manuc, was working for the religious group within the city, and Stromm himself had been ordered by his commanding officer, Rizzen, to look into the fire that had killed six soldiers and one priest.

      The ornate door to the room opened, and a man dressed far too nicely to be anything but noble walked in. He had the sort of face that seemed to indicate that he knew that you knew that he had been privileged all of his life—and you should act accordingly. He dressed in trousers and tunic embroidered with gold. His long, dark hair was carefully brushed and was held back by a gold pin. He smiled graciously at the group, “Good morning. Mayor Sorda Vren sends her apologies that she could not meet you in person, but as you can imagine she’s very busy. I’m Artor Calaren, and I’ll be explaining things to you today.”

      The room remained silent other than Lliese, who purred out a platitude before the man continued, “You’re gathered here because each of the people you work for have a stake in the ship that burned at the docks the other evening. Seven lives were lost—six soldiers and one priest. The ship was owned by the House of Etharen, but the cargo belonged to the House of Salir…it’s fallen upon all of you to investigate this issue and find the culprit at large.”

      The other Legionnaire, Rostum, spoke, his voice strangely soft, “Is there anyone who would be likely to want revenge on the House of Etharen or Salir?”

      Artor raised one eyebrow, “You tell me. You work for the House of Etharen, no? I also don’t want to influence your investigations one way or the other. I do have my suspicions…but….” He shrugged with a lazy smile, “I can’t tell you what they are at the moment.”

      The Legionnaire nodded and fell silent. The cat-like Manticora spoke up then, her slit eyes darting over the room before glancing back to Artor, “Are there any buildings nearby that may have had a view of the docks?”

      Artor nodded, “Yes, there are. The Red Velvet and the Black Dog…both dabbling in vices for the entertainment of others in their own ways.” He paused for a moment, waiting for more questions. When they didn’t come, he nodded to them, “I trust you know the way out. I expect you to check in when I summon you for progress on this case.”
      With that, he strode from the room, closing the door behind him.

      ~

      In the City of Rahoch, there are two ways to get down to the docks from the high cliffs. The first way is taking one of the lifts, run by a variety of enterprising individuals. The second way is to chance the climb yourself—a climb that is often riddled with crumbling rock, slicked with salt spray, and is sometimes made even worse by those that run the lifts. Only a daring or desperate individual would make the climb.

      Stromm was that desperate—desperate to get away from Manuc’s chatter and stench. He walked down the cliffside, carefully stepping on the sea-slicked rocks. The others, however, negotiated a price with Kateel, a Slitherin who worked one of the rickety lifts down the cliff face.

      Lliese questioned Kateel, asking her if she had heard about anything odd on the docks. Kateel at first was hesitant, but with a small bribe opened up. She mentioned a group by the name of the New Rising made up of commoners that had been active in the area and who wanted to go against the good King Virduk—but didn’t know much more than that.

      The group reunited at the docks themselves, which were bustling in the morning light. Seagulls screeched to one another while sailors unloaded and loaded cargo onto ships. Most of the docks were full—except for one. It stood out, lonely amongst the bustle. Scorch marks could still be seen among the wooden, salt-stained planks.

      The group walked onto the docks, looking around for any signs of disturbance. The two Legionnaires entered the water, walking below the surface to investigate the sunken, burned ship. They walked through a burned portion of the hull below decks, only to find that the door belowdecks had been locked fast. They found the waterlogged, burned bodies of seven individuals. Each had claw marks and bite marks upon their bodies, most of them clustered near the locked door. It was clear that they had been trapped belowdecks—or had locked themselves belowdecks when the fire took place.

      The two Legionnaires each took hold of the bodies and laid them out on the dock above. While they did so, Lliese glanced around, looking for any sign that the perpetrator may have left. She found a piece of tan cloth with a triangle etched in black in its center with a large “X” marked through it. Manuc glanced over as she held it up and nodded, “The triangle may be a reference to the Ancients—a secret group that supposedly controls everything, but you didn’t hear that from me.”

      Looking around at the dead bodies, the symbol, and the watching eyes at the docks, Manuc twitched his nose, “I have a place where we can talk—safely—just follow me.”

      The others looked at him dubiously at first, but still followed. He led them to a sewer grate, entering the tunnels below before eventually leading them to a small chamber, lined with cushions of chairs, where they could talk in secret.

      ~

      Check in next week for Session 2!

      The Scarred Lands Player’s Guide, The Wise & The Wicked, and Scarred Lands d6 Dice are available at Studio 2, Indie Press Revolution and your local game store.

      Interested in creating and publishing your own Scarred Lands adventures? Check out the Slarecian Vault Community Content program at DriveThruRPG!

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