The Crisis in Kratas

Discussion on game mastering Earthdawn. May contain spoilers; caution is recommended!
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Slimcreeper
Posts: 641
Joined: Mon Nov 28, 2016 11:44 pm

The Crisis in Kratas

Post by Slimcreeper » Sun Dec 30, 2018 7:07 pm

I just realized I have a sprawling Kratas Campaign adventure written from before the Kratas book came out! It's a lot, I don't know if I'll get around to redoing it for 4th or not.

Here's a bit of it:

A Common Side Effect of Investigating Assassins

Weeble sends Beeble, one of his many sons, to track down the characters and let them know that Weeble has more information. He invites them to meet him back at Pointy Metal Bits, his shop. The son will happily show them the way. When they arrive, Weeble calls out to Beeble to bring them back to the shop garden.

Weeble calls out of the shop, “Hey Beeble, bring them on out back! We’re having crumpets!” Beeble’s face lights up. “Oh, dad made crumpets! He must like you guys!” He leads you out into a beautiful trellised garden. There is a little grassy clearing with a windling-sized picnic table. Many of the plants are miniature varieties, to make them easier for the windlings to harvest. At least half of them hang in pots from poles, to maximize space and take advantage of the gardener’s ability to fly. You hear the subtle click of a mechanism behind you. A sudden motion to your left draws your attention. A windling in a black cloak zips towards you, brandishing a two-handed polearm. Beeble cries out, “Father, what are you doing!”

Each character may make a Danger Sense against Weeble’s Initiative to avoid being surprised. Characters that get at least 2 successes will also realize that the door has been rigged to slam shut behind them. Weeble will use swooping attacks against the characters. The door has 15 armor and 25 hit points and cannot be unlocked from this side by any means. Stone walls surround the garden, and the top is covered with a sturdy net to keep out birds. It has no armor and 15 hit points.

After his first pass, Weeble says. “This is what I’ve been trying to explain, son. The only way to defeat Death is to free Him. The ghouls that killed my father and your mother are allowed to exist because Death is imprisoned in Death’s Sea. If we shed enough blood we can free Him, and all undeath will end. Help me kill these meddlers! Join with me and become one of the Keys of Death!”

Beeble hesitates, loyalty to his father battling with his essential good nature. You can see the conflict playing out across his face.
If the party ignores this family drama, Weeble will convince his son to join him and attack the party. Beeble is Friendly to the party. Convincing him to fly away from the walled garden is a Small Favor. Convincing him to join the fight against his father is a Large Favor. If he turns on his father, Weeble will strive to kill him first. Because Weeble is a Key of Death, anyone he kills takes an additional step 7 damage per round after being killed as his or her blood is sucked into the ground. This can make it very difficult to use Last Chance Salves and the like to restore the character to life.

Slimcreeper
Posts: 641
Joined: Mon Nov 28, 2016 11:44 pm

Re: The Crisis in Kratas

Post by Slimcreeper » Sun Dec 30, 2018 7:14 pm

Here's another bit:

The street here is wide enough for two of you to walk abreast. The dim light brightens ahead, and you hear a rustling, scraping sound. Ahead there the street becomes a weirdly crooked bridge over some sort of canal. You can see another bridge running parallel to this one about 10 yards to the left. A splintery timber has fallen across them, forming a precarious bridge between the two stone bridges. As you step out onto your bridge, you look down and see a river of half-naked figures. They look up and though seem to flinch away from even the half-light, they reach for you hungrily, worm-like tongues caressing razor-sharp teeth. Their fingers end in long claws and their skin is stretched so tight that it is torn in places.

“Why, hello there!” You look up, startled, to see a group of three Name-givers standing on the other bridge. There is a handsome human waving a sword cheerily at you. He seems to be the one who called out. There is a chainmail-clad troll woman shifting her grip on a great, two-handed axe. Peeking out from behind the two of them is a small olive-skinned human. She seems to be covered in white circular designs, either tattoos or body paint, and wears hide armor made from some jungle animal. She looks at you curiously.

Ruthger makes an astonished noise. “Those are the ones! Those are the ones who snatched me!” He readies whatever ranged weapon he has.

“I’m glad to see that you are well!” shouts the human. “You must know there were no hard feelings! I’m not actually a huge fan of slavery or the Therans myself. They are just such convenient tools that it is hard not to use them from time to time. What in the world are you fine folks doing out here? It’s not at all safe! Those things, for example.” He gestures to the creatures below you. “Ghouls! Extremely poisonous.”

The creatures below are indeed ghouls. They can be deadly, and the swarm below is simply not survivable. The other Name-givers are of course the Digging Talons, and Hunter genuinely wants to find out what is going on. He didn’t expect to find anyone else here. Gertru will knock the timber down on their side the instant anyone tries to cross the gap and the Digging Talons will bid the PCs adieu. This will create a ramp for the ghouls to climb up to the PCs’ bridge. Each ghoul must make a climbing test DN (6) to make it. 5 ghouls may attempt to climb per round. On a roll of 1, the ghoul knocks over the timber, preventing any others from trying to climb up. It requires a strength test DN (5) to push the timber down from the bridge.

Slimcreeper
Posts: 641
Joined: Mon Nov 28, 2016 11:44 pm

Re: The Crisis in Kratas

Post by Slimcreeper » Sun Dec 30, 2018 7:56 pm

And another bit:

The troll hired the assassin at the request of the Digging Talons. Armed with this knowledge, the party returns to Kratas to confront their rivals. They find their path blocked by an small army marching past the city. They are an Iopan force, a mix of humans, Firescale trolls, and Ishkarat t’skrang. When they finally arrive in Kratas, the city is in turmoil. Garlthik himself has been assassinated! There is a burst of looting that is brutally crushed by the Iopans, who quickly impose a curfew and martial law. Kratas is suddenly much less fun.

While they are able to get into the city, escaping proves to be somewhat trickier. They must avoid Iopan patrols, for one thing, and they find that the Digging Talons are suddenly in tight with the ruling faction of Kratas. The party flees Kratas with the Digging Talons hot on their heels.

The Iopans seem to be in a pretty strong position at first. The Force of the Eye dissolves without Garlthik at its head, and Broocher’s Brood collapses in on itself as Vistrosh disappears. The Talons are pretty immediately promoted to the most important political force and Hogaar Millitigat becomes the defacto ruler of Kratas. However, their plan did not figure on Terricia. Shortly after Hogaar consolidates power, she begins having notes delivered to various figures in his administration. The notes simply have a place or time on them, such as “At breakfast,” “Just as you are falling asleep,” “In the arms of the woman you love”, or “In the middle of the street.” The meaning of these notes become clear as Terricia begins assassinating the recipients at the time or place described in the notes, one every couple of weeks. Hogaar’ reads ‘In the privy.’

Tattered Rags
Posts: 316
Joined: Mon Nov 28, 2016 12:04 am

Re: The Crisis in Kratas

Post by Tattered Rags » Mon Jan 14, 2019 5:50 pm

Slimcreeper wrote:
Sun Dec 30, 2018 7:14 pm
This will create a ramp for the ghouls to climb up to the PCs’ bridge. Each ghoul must make a climbing test DN (6) to make it. 5 ghouls may attempt to climb per round. On a roll of 1, the ghoul knocks over the timber, preventing any others from trying to climb up. It requires a strength test DN (5) to push the timber down from the bridge.
Clever makeshift trap. I like it.
Adventure I'm running:
Under the Stars

Adventure GM post-mortem:
Under the Stars Postmortem

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