Hello friends and fans! We are about to drop the PDF for the latest sourcebook, Iopos: Lair of Deceit. We’re thrilled to get this book out into the wild. Kickstarter backers will get a code to redeem the book from our web shop, everybody else will be able to buy it. (It will be exclusive to our web shop for at least a couple weeks, and then be available at DriveThru.)
As we were finalizing layout, we were running out of room, so decided to cut one of the adventure hooks that was part of the original draft and backer preview. We don’t want it lost to the ether, though. So we’re including it here for your edification and potential enjoyment.
ADVENTURE HOOK: Rats on a Sinking Ship
The Eye of Throal cannot be everywhere at once, especially beyond the kingdom’s borders. Still, they listen and follow up on the most credible reports. There are reported sightings of a House Ishkarat ship in the farthest navigable reaches of the Coil River, a cause for concern. The player characters are hired to scout the area to try and discover what the Denairastas’s t’skrang allies are up to so close to Throal in the territorial waters of House V’strimon, Throal’s traditional ally. It takes time, but eventually they discover the Slavarral, an Ishkaratan riverboat beached on a rocky shore, its crew slaughtered.
The scene is confusing. The cargo appears mostly intact, though a number of large cargo crates were pulverized. The dead are mostly t’skrang, though a few dwarfs and humans–presumably passengers judging by their garb–lie among them. The humans, dwarfs, and some t’skrang died of wounds suggestive of a melee onboard. However, a few other t’skrang are torn apart by teeth and claw, in a separate, later engagement.
The ship’s manifest indicates a number of stops to pick up cargo bound for Throal, including an unusually high number of passengers. The manifest lists the dwarfs and the t’skrang crew, but there’s no record of the humans. In addition, Arot, the ship’s captain, doesn’t appear among the dead.
What happened is the result of Denairastas plotting running afoul of coincidence and opportunity for the exiled Throalic House Erud. The Denairastas, along with their conniving t’skrang allies, were attempting to smuggle a special cargo into Throal by taking advantage of a trade agreement with Throalic House Ueraven. The cargo included a number of vicious abominations from the Thricewoven Flesh Forges. Once inside Throal, the intention was the abominations would come out of their stasis and wreak havoc. Eventually they would be traced back to House Ueraven (an innocent party) who would unfairly face recriminations. The Denairastas are working to sow further discord between House Ueraven and the other noble houses with the intention of pushing House Ueraven further into the Denairastas’s sphere of influence.
Unfortunately for the Denairastas, when the Slavarral stopped to pick up passengers, they were dwarfs from the Banned House Erud, and lots of them. With the fall of Vivane and their abandonment by Thera, House Erud decided to forge its own path and find somewhere they can call their own.
After their expeditionary party boarded the Slavarral, their leader inadvertently discovered a torga of Holders of Trust onboard. With cargo bound for Throal, the dwarfs realized they stepped into the middle of an Iopan conspiracy. The group’s leader realized if they could hand a member of the Denairastas Clan to the Eye of Throal and foil another Iopan plot, they might persuade King Kovar to pardon House Erud’s part in the Death Rebellion and offer them a fresh start.
Initially all goes to plan and the dwarfs take control of the ship and imprison the Denairastas and most of the crew. Not wanting to directly contact Throal themselves, the dwarfs force the crew to sail into House V’strimon waters, hoping the Shivalahala would act as an intermediary. When a heavy fog sets in, the t’skrang crew take advantage, sailing the ship past Lake Ban and far up the Coil River. Only when the fog lifts do the dwarfs know they were duped.
Running their ship aground as a diversion, the t’skrang free the Iopans. The battle does not go in the t’skrangs’ favor, however, and the dwarfs take Captain Arot and Iopans hostage, marching them into the jungle. After a few days, with no one to maintain their stasis, the abominations hidden in the crates burst free, killing the remaining t’skrang desperately trying to refloat their ship. It’s a short time later the player characters discover the Slavarral.
Following the survivors’ tracks, the player characters discover a much reduced dwarf expeditionary party holding human and t’skrang prisoners. Both the dwarfs and the Iopans see the player characters as potential allies. The player characters must sift the truth from the lies, for neither group is completely truthful in their version of events. The dwarfs need help to escort their prisoners to the Shivalahala V’strimon and the Iopans claim to be wrongfully detained and want to be set free.
What the player characters don’t know yet is the dwarfs are being picked off one-by-one– one of the Denairastas prisoners has complete control of the abominations that hunt them. Without the player character’s help, the dwarfs are unlikely to make it to their destination. Who the player characters side with is up to them, but everyone knows the Denairastas’s greatest measure of success is when no one ever knows they were there.
That’s all for this week! Find more information about the Denairastas and their home city in Iopos: Lair of Deceit. Available in PDF now at the FASA Games web shop!
Next week… well. You’ll just have to come back and check. All I will say for now is we will be pulling back the curtain on our long-rumored Super Secret Project!