This week’s teaser for Travar: The Merchant City looks outside the city’s borders. The Badlands are one of the most dangerous places in Barsaive. Before the Scourge it was one of the more fertile regions in the province, but it suffered terribly at the hands of the Horrors. Few creatures live in this blasted, barren wasteland, and those that do are frequently corrupted and vicious.
The book explores a little bit of the area’s history, discusses Travar’s relationship to it, and how Travar might be considered partially responsible for the extensive death and destruction its residents suffered. It also provides a few sites of interest, along with some ideas for adventures and campaigns focusing on the Badlands.
Here are some of the things you’ll find.
The Cleansing Pools
Trosk stands on the banks of the Serpent, not too far from where the river vanishes into the Mist Swamps. Built on the ruins of a pre-Scourge port town, it is populated mostly by devotees of Jaspree. The questors and their followers seek a way to cleanse the Badlands of its corruption, and use Trosk as a staging ground.
One of the town’s most notable features is a series of seven pools known as the Cleansing Pools. Trosk’s Questors believe the pools bestows Jaspree’s blessing, and bathe in them before venturing into the Badlands. Only the faithful are allowed to participate in this ritual.
The Narid River flowed from the Dragon Mountains, joining the Iontos river before eventually reaching the Serpent. Before the Scourge it was populated by numerous t’skrang river villages, and helped make the region fertile farmland.
The Narid’s course changed during the Scourge, and the riverbed is littered with the remains of the t’skrang villages. The cracked towers resemble giant teardrops, which give the area its name. Explorers might find forgotten lore and treasure, but must deal with the haunted ruins and whatever minions the Horrors left behind.
The withered are emaciated Namegivers whose tragedy underscores the nature of the Badlands, the result of a magical ritual gone awry. Due to last minute refugees and poor preparation, the citadel of Gavorton found it could not sustain its population. Food ran out and famine threatened their survival.
The citadel’s magicians devised a ritual that altered the subject’s physiology, so they could subsist on less food and resist hunger. Unfortunately, the ritual had unforeseen side effects. While a single meal could sustain them for days, once hunger set in the subject would go mad and do everything they could to find food and sate their desire. Already weakened, the citadel’s society collapsed, and the withered spend decades feasting on the remains of what were once their family and friends.
The withered now roam the Badlands in packs of up to 20. They are not territorial, and if not hungry do not cause problems for explorers. But if looking for a meal, these feral pack hunters will attack anything that might satiate the group.
More can be found in Travar: The Merchant City, available in PDF this June, with print to follow.