Family Recipe [adventure]

Discussion on game mastering Earthdawn. May contain spoilers; caution is recommended!
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Slimcreeper
Posts: 581
Joined: Mon Nov 28, 2016 11:44 pm

Family Recipe [adventure]

Post by Slimcreeper » Tue Jan 01, 2019 6:41 pm

Free adventure from Unsanctioned Barsaive Adventures Incorporated! Still pretty rough, intended as an introductory adventure. Less character sheets, because they aren't fun to post. *Edited, but still sans NPCs*

Family Recipe


Introduction

The K’tenshin and the V’strimon are some of the fiercest rivals on the Serpent River. While normally their conflicts are constrained by the niceties of convention, they do sometimes go awry. Recently a K’tenshin raid resulted in more violence than normal, slaying most of the crew of a V’strimon ship. Officially, it was simply a terrible accident, a misunderstanding. The Chief Chef of a V’strimon naill died rather than give away the secrets of the family’s spiced fish. The naill has been losing out on important trade deals without their celebrated signature dish and is desperate to recover it at any cost. In Kratas, the party is recruited to go to the half-drowned village to gather clues. A family member will accompany them. The K’tenshin aren’t quite ready to let it go, though, and a small band of adventurers will make leaving Kratas tricky. The party will travel down the Tylon River and make a short expedition into the jungle. The Servos is not terribly dangerous in this area, but it is dangerous enough. Once surviving (hopefully!) the jungle and searching the village, the party must escort the V’strimon Chief Chef back to Diache.

The Party is Hired

The PCs have been directed to meet in one of the many empty buildings just inside the old walls of fallen Kratas. It’s not unusual for interests in Kratas to occur in these buildings, away from the rumor mongers in the taverns. The PCs taken interest in the job for reasons that suit each best. Are they short of coin? Do they need to get out of Kratas for Reasons? Do they have interests in the Servos Jungle or do they owe a favor to a V’strimon niall? Do some or all of the party know each other? The letter included a 25 silver retainer.

“The hollowed house can be found by starting at the main gate and circling west for 10 blocks. It is adjacent to the wall, and can be picked out by the bright blue tile roof, still mostly intact. It’s stone, three stories, with a turret. We’ll meet in the sitting room off the main entrance. Arrive with your affairs in order and your purses ready to receive coin. We’ll be off on our expedition straight away. Room and board will be taken care of. Be discrete and don’t be followed.”

The PCs can approach however they like. They may certainly scout the building first to be sure there isn’t an ambush. Their employer has taken reasonable precautions, having hired a couple of 3rd Circle Thief Adepts to hide nearby if the party attacks him.

A rival party of adventurers has in fact hired a group of spies to gain information about the employer’s movements. The party must get at least 2 successes vs TN 10 (Awareness step) or the two K’tenshin spies let them know that they are on the way, resulting in an ambush. If the PCs make Awareness tests vs 10 (Stealthy Stride) they may detect the Thieves. The Thieves are not interested in a combat and will attempt to flee. If pinned down they’ll try to drop one and then run.

All of Kratas smells of must and decay, and this abandoned building is no exception. Much of the roof remains, but there are enough gaps that rain and weather has sent most of the second and third floor crashing down onto the first. Most of the interior walls have been demolished, although a couple rooms along the exterior walls (including the sitting room) remain intact. A path has been cleared through the debris from the front door to the sitting room as well as back to a window near the city wall.

A middle-aged T’skrang sits at the appointed meeting spot on a little traveling stool near a packed bag. He is outfitted in comfortable traveling gear that has seen some use. His turquoise scales seem well-tended and he wears a certain amount of tasteful jewelry. He is smoking an ornate pipe. When he sees you enter, he stands hastily. Another, much younger and bulkier stands near him. She is wearing a patterned bolt of cloth wrapped in an ornate, knotted course around her body. She eyes you warily.

A suitable knowledge test (7) will reveal that her outfit is well suited to plains travel. It is intended to disguise her armor and equipment (TN 9) and is a common look among caravan guards.

“Please, were you followed? This is a sensitive matter,” asks the bodyguard.

Niascin wants to hire the party as escorts and investigators to the ancestral home of the Siádrox Niall in the Servos Jungle, a village Named Capicus. Captured in an unsanctioned pirate attack by the K’tenshin, the previous Chief Chef of the Siádrox had committed suicide rather than revealing the secret of the foundation’s spiced fish recipe. While this was an honorable decision, it left the niall without a signature recipe. Because the niall had abandoned their pre-Scourge village under such pressure, Niascin believes there may be clues. In addition to the 100 silver retainer, he is willing to offer each PC an additional 175 silver or a coupon for a +3 Forging Weapon or Forge Armor, redeemable in V’strimon.

If the party agrees, Niascin wishes to depart at once.

Escape from Kratas

The K’tenshin have been keeping tabs on the V’strimon t’skrang and won’t let them leave without challenge. If the party finds a good way to cautiously avoid drawing attention to the meeting, the party will be ambushed as they strike camp one morning outside of the city. If they are careless, the K’tenshin party ambushes them in Kratas with the help of a group of non-adept windling archers. The attackers are X’tition Verio of Niall Veritos K’tenshin, 2nd Circle Nethermancer; Fetius Ganus of Niall Veritos, 2nd Circle Beastmaster; Harriet, Crocodile; and the number of non-Adept fighters needed to make it a fair fight. While the party is still in the city, G’tross Nyto of Niall Siádrox, 2nd Circle Swordmaster will assist.

Ambush in Kratas
Niascin leads you through the shuttered streets of Kratas towards the main gate. Kratas makes you want to skulk, whether you’ve got a reason or no. It is still early afternoon, but the atmosphere of the City of Thieves makes the light thin and the shadows full and encroaching. From a side alley, there is a hiss and zing of little arrows. Each dart is only a foot long, but the razored steel tips mean business.
The PCs can make Perception/Danger Sense (7) to avoid being Surprised (no actions, -3 to defenses.) The windlings (1 per character) are hiding in a stack of barrels in a side alley 20 yards away. They have Partial Cover (+2 Defenses). The alley dead ends just past the barrels. Their goal is to draw the party into the alley. The K’tenshin are concealed behind a half-broken double door, making Stealthy Stride/Dex tests. If undetected, the K’tenshin will benefit from having held their actions. As they attack, X’tition Veri will dramatically demand they turn over Niascin. At which point the windlings will fly up to the roof and watch and laugh.

X’tition has cast a Bone Circle at the mouth of the alley and erased evidence of it (TN 6 to notice). He asks the spirit not to attack until he gives the word.

Bone Spirit Str 2
Attributes: 5 Init: 7 PD: 9 MD: 10 SD: 10
Move: 12 PA: 4 MA: 5
Uncon: NA Death: 30 Wound: 8 KD: 5/10 Rec. Tests: 2
Actions: 1, Unarmed 7 (D: 5)
Powers: Astral Sight, Manifest, Aid Summoner 7 (test vs Summoner’s SD +1 to talent tests per success, str 1 each time used to summoner) Confusion 7 (rng 20 yds. -1 per success to Perception and Willpower, Dur 2 minutes)
If the party doesn’t take the bait, the K’tenshin will not pursue the ambush at this time but will attack outside the city.

Good Morning Ambush

Ask the party what they are doing as they strike camp. Give them a few minutes to describe it and get into it the scene. Call for Awareness tests (7). If they succeed, they hear the Namegivers rustling in the grass, or the quiet of the birds, and realize there is an ambush afoot.
If they don’t succeed, call for Danger Sense. Harriet comes crashing through the middle of camp. X’tition casts Astral Spear with an additional thread for an additional target already woven. Fetius will take potshots with the blowgun at lightly armored targets.

Travel to Diache & Down the Tylon River

Other than the intervention from the K’tenshin crew, this is fairly uneventful. The GM may introduce weather, Scorchers, etc as desired. To the north (left as they travel), the Tylon Mountains rise like broken razors. To the south, the Dinganni Plains stretch out to the horizon. Diache is a small port city a day and a half travel from Kratas. There they can hire onto a V’strimon riverboat without too much difficulty. The captain is Lady Gambiu the Unbearded (long story). Her boat is called G’tomino Vellio Stanza, which translates to “The Better Part of Crazy” and she’ll be ready to leave in two days..
If the party feels that’s too long to wait, they can hire a great canoe. These are typically towed upriver laden with goods, either being pulled by oxen on the side of the river or being towed by a riverboat. They move down river quite quickly, and can navigate some of the little slow-moving rivers that feed the Tylon.

Servos Jungle via Riverboat.

About 1 day’s travel south on the Riverboat, it is time to leave the riverboat. It anchors in an eddy and stays overnight. Niascin procures 8 days of rations for the party. In the morning the party can enter the jungle and follow a small river. After 3 days of hard travel, they should reach an old stone bridge that has partly collapsed into the water. On the other side they can just make out the stone domes of the ancient village.
Navigation (7): If successful, they arrive in 4 days. An extra Success means they do it in 3. Failure adds 1 day, critical failure adds 2 days.
Wilderness Survival (7): each day they camp, they must get one Wilderness Survival Success. If they don’t, they have to set watch order and make Perception/Awareness/Danger Sense tests. Choose one of the events at random. In some events, the Perception, etc test matters, in some it doesn’t.

Event 1
Death Moth (GMG p 274) attacks which ever has the lowest test result while they are on watch, sneaking up and injecting poison. There is one moth for every 4 characters.

Event 2
Harpies (GMG p 296 find the camping adventurers and wake them. They do not attack, only fling insults and feces at the party, refusing to let them rest. The party doesn’t receive their morning recovery tests. The harpies will continue to Taunt and torment the party until the PCs attack or the harpies get bored.

Event 3
Whichever character gets the lowest test result gets into his or her bedroll to find a very startled lizard (GMG p 312)

Event 4
Each PC must make a Toughness test (7) or gets infected with Stenchfoot (GMG p 190)

Servos Jungle via Great Canoe.

Niascin procures 10 days of rations and purchases the canoes outright. Each canoe will hold 4 people plus their gear.

Great Canoe
Speed 3 Maneuverability: 4 Firepower: None
Hull Damage Crew
Armor: 2 Critical: 6 Captain: 0
Ramming: 6 Derelict: 18 Crew Size: 4
Cargo: 5 Destroyed: 27 Crew Skill: 0
Crew Rating: 7
Morale: 24

About 2 day’s travel south on the canoes, it is time to leave Tylon River. The canoe can travel up the tributary quite a ways, making things much easier. After 2 days of hard travel, they should reach an old stone bridge that has partly collapsed into the water. On the other side they can just make out the stone domes of the ancient village.

Read River Knack/Sailing (5): On success, arrives in 2 days. On extra success, arrives in 1. On Rule of One, arrives in 3 days.
Wilderness Survival (7): Each day they camp, they must get one Wilderness Survival Success. If they don’t, they have to set watch order and make Perception/Awareness/Danger Sense tests. Choose one of the events at random. In some events, the Perception, etc test matters, in some it doesn’t.

Event 1
Jub Jub (GMG p 304). Jub Jub will aggressive attack pounce to try to knock a creature in the water, then try to grab and bite. It will not try to get itself killed, it just wants an easy meal.

Event 2
Porcupine Snake (GMG p 336). The party finds the snake resting where they intended to camp. They get too close and it puffs up. If they back off, it won’t pursue.

Event 3
Stuck on a sandbar. Strength (4) test, need 4 successes per canoe. Up to 4 characters can work on one portage test. Each Portage test takes 2 hours. If total portage time takes more than 8 hours, add another day of travel time.

Event 4
Clumsy paddler. Tips over canoe, ruining 10% of remaining food and soaking half the gear.

Explore Capicus Village

The old Theran road clearly ran by this ancient village, but the jungle has claimed nearly all of the old stones. The bridge was a single span of cut stone, with low railings, wide enough for even a large wagon. Now only the upstream railing is intact. The downstream railing is mostly shattered and the road deck is missing the middle third. The roadway itself is barely perceptible in the jungle. Upstream and just east of the bridge lies the remains of the old village. Most of the village seems to have been made of stone, and it seems the t’skrang flooded the entire area. Anything of wood has rotted away long ago. Dozens of grey, moss-covered domes rise from the mist, half-submerged in murky water. The largest is more than 30 yards in diameter and rises 10 yards above the surface of the water, nearly breaking through the canopy of cypresses that grow amongst the ruins. Most of the others are around 10 yards in diameter. About half of them are cracked and broken, exposing their interiors to the weather. None of them have any obvious entrances. Even with the sun at its highest, the light is filtered through mist and leaves. The air is thick with the odor of decaying plant matter, and filled with the sound of creaking amphibians and buzzing insects.

There are several zones in the village. All of the domes have underwater entrances, but several also have subterranean tunnels. Several can be entered through the broken roofs. Many have watchtowers, more or less intact, rising above the tree canopy.

Capicus Dome

The largest dome is big enough to house the entire village for celebrations. It is intact, with a great watchtower. The remains of a wooden airship dock can still be seen. Climbing the dome is TN 6, but failure will not result in damage. Climbing the tower is TN 12, and the tower rises 10 yards above the stone of the tower, for step 15 damage on a failed Climbing test. The underwater entrance requires Kn: Architecture (6) or diving into the water and making Awareness (8) tests (1 hour each).

Foyer
Emerging from the water, the PCs find a drying platform with grooves designed to let the water run back into the lake. There is no light. They also find a blade trap.

Detection: 7 Disarm: 9 Initiative: 17/d12+2d8
Trigger: Pressure Plate (victim chosen at random)
Effect: Rusted Blade slashes up, Step 13 Damage. Blood Poisoning on wound:
Type: Debilitating Step: 7
Onset: 48 hrs Interval: 4/12 hours
Duration: 4 days. Prevents the wound from healing.

Main Chamber
This darkened room benefits from slits that admit small amounts of light and breeze. Low-light vision is sufficient to navigate, but it’s still considered Partial Darkness for Awareness Tests and Full Darkness without Low-light.
At 40 yards in diameter, and rising 20 yards in the center, this is really an immense space. However, it is filled with the collapsed and rotted debris, the remains of swings, ropes, woven partitions, and wood and reed furniture. Everyone who searches makes an Awareness/Perception test.
Awareness (7) find a set of reed pipes, Named The Singing Reeds of Veritos. They are a Threaded Instrument (GMG p 240).
Any character that get all 1s disturbs a nest of venomous Servos Brain Spiders (Use venomous snake GMG p 338). There will be a total of 1 spider per PC, no matter how many nests are disturbed. Each spider is the size and color of a t’skrang’s brain.

Main Tower
The middle tower used to have a functional freight elevator operated by cranks and counterweights, but it is very badly rusted and the timbers that formed the platform are badly dry-rotted. Currently the mechanism is at the top of the tower. Repairing it requires an hour,a Craftsman (12) test, and appropriate tools. There are stone protrusions and rusted metal bars up and down the walls on the inside of the tower, but no stairs. The original inhabitants would swing up and down on ropes and poles. Climbing the inside of the tower is TN (8).

Main Kitchen
In the middle of the main chamber is the kitchen. It has freestanding stone walls and ceiling. The chimney goes up the main tower.
Awareness (7) to find 50 lbs of rusted pre-Scourge cutlery and broken crockery. It is not worth anything. On the wall, however, there is a carved list of all the names of the Chief Chefs from time immemorial until the time the village was abandoned at the start of the Scourge. Niascin will find this if the others don’t. The last Name is Gil’gan Mintor of Niall Siádox Capicus.

Siádox Dome

This dome is broken open, as a large tree has fallen on it. It can be accessed from the Underground Tunnels, underwater entrance (TN 8 to find, 30 minutes each test), or by climbing through the fallen tree into the broken roof. A Giant Weaver Spider (GMG 341) lives in the dome. The fallen tree holds one web trap for every 3 PCs (round up). The spider will Stealthy Stride to get a surprise round and blindside bonus before attacking. If the characters enter through the tunnels or underwater entrance, they don’t have to deal with the web traps.

Once the spider is defeated, they search the dome.

Niascin stands still in the ruined kitchen, seemingly looking past you all. “We need wood for a fire. We need to make sure the chimney’s clear. Let’s get some light in here.” He pulls out his cooking kit and unwraps a sealed paper package. He holds up a gold-colored coin that seems to gather the dim light and reflect it back as a flash. “What we need is a good meal and then I’m going to invite Gil’gan Mintor of Niall Siádox Capico to talk cooking.”
Niascin has been given the outline of a ritual that should call to the previous Chief Chef. He needs the chimney cleared (TN 5) or the upper third destroyed and cleared out of the way (no test, but takes 1 day). He needs dry firewood, which can be cut from the fallen tree..

As Niascin cooks, the fragrance of spiced fish fills the dome, making the ruins seem almost homey. It comes together as a really nice thick stew. Just as you are about to ask if he’s going to be sharing, he drops the coin - orichalcum, you see now - into the pot. Like a sponge, it absorbs all of the stew in a matter of seconds. He stands back, holding his breath.

A ghostly form appears. It looks like an elderly t’skrang dressed in an archaic mode. Parts of its body appear to be fully solid, while other parts seem to fade and vanish randomly. It begins to speak in t’skrang. “Not bad, fingerling. You are apprenticed to the new Chief Chef?”
If the characters have a way to use diplomacy/conversation/etc in t’skrang or with spirit talk, do let them. Otherwise the living Chief Chef and the dead converse for a few minutes.

The chefs look at you pointedly and indicate that you should give them some privacy. Niascin begins scribbling furiously as the spirit recites the recipe. The few overheard words you hear sound like t’skrang, and Niascin is writing in t’skrang, but the words are jumbled and nonsense. The spirit takes up the coin and flickers, then vanishes. Light seems to flood back in to the dome, though you were scarcely aware it had darkened. Niascin looks at you triumphantly. “It’s done! Let’s get out of here!”

Underground Tunnels

The underground tunnels are pitch black. They are 6 feet tall by 6 feet wide of smooth stone. The floor is covered with about 3 inches of water. Trying to find a particular dome requires an appropriate test (6). Otherwise they find a dome at random. The tunnels connect:
- Capicus Dome
- Siádox Dome
- UnNamed Dome in ruins
- UnNamed Dome in fine shape but inconsequential. Awareness (6) to find 3d4 pre-Scourge t’skrang silver coins.
- Dead end.

Flooded Courtyard

The water averages 6 feet in depth. It is murky, but not unwholesome. Cypress trees are clumped in between the domes, their knees jabbing upward from the water like stalagmites. It is easy to navigate with the canoes, as long as the PCs go no more than half speed. Any faster requires Sailing tests. Out of the canoes, moving among the trees and cypress knees to stay out of the water requires a Climbing test (5).

There is 1 Crocodile (GMG p 272) for every 3 adventurers. They are aggressive and will attack, though they don’t work together and will flee if they take a wound. When underwater, they get benefit from Full Darkness (-4) penalties to detect or attack them. Although they can’t see what’s going on above water, they can attack targets in the water without penalty.

Return to Diache

Walking back out of the Servos is much the same as walking in, although the party gets +2 to all Wilderness Survival tests since they have already passed this way.

Canoeing takes only 1 day on a successful Sailing test, and the party gets +2 to Sailing tests. Once at the Serpent, Niascin flags a friendly riverboat. He takes his leave of them in Diache.

“Thank you again, friends. You’ve got a friend in Niall Siádox. Here is your promised payment, and a little something else besides.” He grins and hands you each a package wrapped in oilcloth. “It’s not the secret recipe, but it’s not bad stuff.”

The packages contain spiced smoked fish, probably finer than the PCs have ever purchased. If they open them, every t’skrang within sniffing distance will suddenly become very friendly and interested in striking up a conversation.
Last edited by Slimcreeper on Wed Jan 02, 2019 5:34 am, edited 2 times in total.

Telarus
Posts: 202
Joined: Mon Nov 28, 2016 1:16 am

Re: Family Recipe [adventure]

Post by Telarus » Wed Jan 02, 2019 12:02 am

I loved this adventure synopsis. Could really get a sense of each location.

Slimcreeper
Posts: 581
Joined: Mon Nov 28, 2016 11:44 pm

Re: Family Recipe [adventure]

Post by Slimcreeper » Wed Jan 02, 2019 5:42 am

Thanks! Looking a some of the creatures you find in the Servos, you could alter this to run for a much higher circle group without much trouble.

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