We join our band of intrepid adventurers for the very first time in the Year of the Titan, Month of the Shark, Day of the Hare.
They are banded together solely through the common thread as tenets of the Swinging Lantern, a down on it’s luck Bordello just off Nun Street, where the Madam rents unused rooms to the desperate, penniless, and wanderers of the realm.
Expected to be “out of way” during operating hours, the four occupy a dingy booth in the Salted Mutton, a tavern which inexplicably only serves seafood. After discussing several opportunities for gainful (if not ethical or legal) employ, another patron of the tavern offers some short term employment, with minimal risk, and fair pay for the weekend.
He goes on to explain that he’s Porbell, a pawnshop owner who lives over his shop, just a block and a half from this establishment. He’s made a special deal for some new merchandise, and needs to meet the buyer about a days ride up river to make the exchange. If the heroes will watch his shop for the weekend, he’ll pay them 50 Gold Rilks, plus a 50% commission on all sales made.
With some hemming and hawing, the adventurers accept, and Porbell hands over a small sack with mixed coinage, and a small ring with two brass keys. Relieved, he thanks the party, and tells them he’d hope they’d open shop by 9 the next morning.
Giving him a few minutes to get farther away, the party them heads directly the Pawn Shop, interested in the state of their new venture, and perhaps interested in what they might find within.
The building itself is wooden, with large post beams, and a heavy ironwood banded door at the front, with no keyhole. Circling, the party finds a smaller alley door, which the first key opens. The small space there leads to the stairs up, and a doorway leads to a small, unremarkable kitchen.
The kitchen opens into a small storage room, with some poor quality shelving, mostly empty. A dented, and pitted bastard sword leans against one shelf, and a quantity of low quality frayed rope lies on another. The door from here opens into the shop proper, which is disappointingly sparse.
A few paper cone hats, an off balance scale, and other cheap trinkets sit on the few shelves not completely empty. A large counter near the rear of the store was clearly made to store more valuable objects. The second brass key opened these cabinets, revealing that they were completely empty.
Confused and irritated, the party quickly searched the upstairs to find it also quite barren, with dust marks where furniture had been, as well as a very small lumpy bed, and curtains missing from the windows.
Back downstairs, a small closet under the stairs revealed a mop, and an obviously discolored set of floor boards. Prying the panel up, the party is faced with a locked safe. Neither key they have opens the lock. Colin sets upon the lock with a set of picks, while the others retreat to give him space.
With a loud crack, and the smell of burning flesh, Colin flies back from the lock, unconscious.
Quickly revived by Gary, and frazzled but determined, Colin confirmed the trap has been full discharged, and returns to the lock tumbler. This time he’s able to open the door, which shows a solid stone cavity, completely empty.
With the investigation complete, Greg decides to try and dig up some dirt. Across the street lies another shop, with apartment above. The occupant, a lazy knife sharpener named Sal shares some details of his neighbor over a dagger sharpening exchange, punctuated with constant spitting.
It turns out that Porbell’s quite heavily in debt, and hasn’t had good traffic in the shop for months. Sal’s amazed that he’d be willing to pay anybody to help with the shop, especially to pay them for the service. He mentions that the largest debt is owned to the Red Scarves, a street gang that “owns” this region of the city, including providing security for the bordello the party lives in.
With that in mind, and the evening hours slipping away, the party heads back to the Swinging Lantern, and approaches Corbin, the large bald Red Scarf that seems to be “in charge” there. After a quick explanation of the situation as the party sees it, Corbin thanks them for the info, and says he’ll pass it “up the chain”, and let them know what’s up in the morning.
<to be continued>
|Jan – Wolf
Feb – Horse
Mar – Hedgehog
Apr – Crocodile
May – Deer
Jun – Serpent
Jul – Lion
Aug – Shark
Sep – Weasel
Oct – Owl
Nov – Goat
Dec – Boar
In addition to the standard gods mentioned in the Legends and Lore, we’ve created some additional deities for the campaign listed below:
Ursus is a rural human god, followed by the tribes and communities that surround the great forest, especially to it’s North. In their Mythology, the end times will begin when Ursus rises up, and swallows Nehwon’s moon. His priests favor dagger like claws strapped to their hands, and often wear hide or leather armors. His colors are pelt brown, and forest green.
Ursus has less power in the city, and farther from natural bear habitats. He’s also weaker during Hibernation cycles (Nov-March, or Goat-Hedgehog in Nehwon months). He’s active (Hyperphagia stage) May-Sep (Deer-Weasel), and consumes food at a great rate.
In Game effects for Priests
To reflect this, his priests gain 1 additional spell slot at their highest accessible level from Deer-Weasel, and also consume food at 1.5 times the normal rate. They gain a +1 bonus/level (max +4) to any endurance tests. In the hibernation months (Goat-Hedgehog), the priests lose 1 spell slot of their highest level (to a min of 1), and eat food at .5 times normal, and are generally quite lethargic, and inactive (-1/level to endurance tests). The two transition months the priests act as normal.
Shenene is the Nehwon Goddess of Pottery and Prostitutes. As a goddess overseeing a major occupation within the city of sevenscore thousand smokes, she is quite powerful, if not acknowledged as openly. Her colors are rich velvety red, and silk white. Her priestesses and priests favor daggers, knives, clubs, and crossbows.
Her priests are often madams, or retired prostitutes, and help maintain the “oldest profession” as a disease free, healthy environment.
In Game effects for Priests
Silf is a god dedicated to thieves and slayers. His patrons pray for intervention and protection in their contracts, and speak to his Priests at meetings of their order or brotherhood, instead of at a traditional service or temple.
In Game effects for Priests
Priests of Silf are almost always dual or multi-classed as thieves or fighters, and members of the relevant guild, where they draw their power. They can take any weapon and wear armor as per their other class with no restrictions from Silf. As long as they are paid, spells cast on behalf of other Guild members gain +1 to effect, or saving throw tests for every 3 levels of priest.
Zagyg is a god of many realms, not just Nehwon, and celebrates randomness. His colors are blue and silver, and he continually searches for odd bits of arcane knowledge and occult lore, and his followers do the same. He frequently changes his habits, believing that predictability is the bane of creativity and wit. He’s quite commonly actively involved in the activities of the world, and takes physical presence more often that other lesser gods. His priests are fairly limited however, as his influence is slight.
In Game effects for Priests
For every 3 full levels of Priesthood, priests can either cast a random effect from the Wand of Wonder, or Identify (without a required material component) once per day. All levels of Priests can Read Magic at 10% chance per level. Zagyg also enjoys changing the requested output / target / duration of a prayer, where it amuses him.
- Northerners – from the cold wastes, a barbarian region. +1S,-1W. Arctic Survival Proficiency. Ice Mage, Fighter, Barbarian, Druid, Ranger, Cleric, Bard classes.
- City Folk – Whether Lankmahran, Kvarch Naran, or from any of the other great or small cities, these humans are wise to the everyday world of Nehwon. -1Co,+1W. May choose 1 prof: Urban Survival, Appraisal, Brewing, Carpentry, Cobbling, Pottery, Stomemasonry, Weaving. Black Wizard, Illusionist, Urban Mage, Wild Mage, Fighter, Thief, Cleric, Paladin, Bard classes.
- Rural Folk – the rest of humanity, that creates the agriculture and commerce for the big cities. +1W,-1Ch. May choose 1 prof: Rural Survival, Agriculture, Animal Handling, Direction Sense, Weather Sense. Fighter, Ranger, Druid, Thief, Bard, White Wizard, Wild Mage classes.
- Players can also be half elves, following the elf stats above, but with limited save resistance as per normal.
- Gnomes are a slave race to the Dwarves, and do most of the administrative and craft work in the city, and the surrounding lands. +1W, -1Co. Reading/Writing Prof. Black Wizard, Earth Mage, Urban Mage, Illusionist, Cleric, Thief classes.
Halflings are Sea Mingols (or just Mingols, as per above). Short, dark skinned, often shoe less, expert navigators and traders. +1D,-1S. Seamanship Proficiency. Water Mage, Air Mage, Fighter, Cleric, Thief.
This series of articles are for a new Advanced Dungeons and Dragons 2e game that I’m running, based on but heavily modified from Fritz Leiber’s world of Nehwon from the Lankhmar series of books.
I’ve added demihumans to the world, as residents of the various cities and tribes. They’re still all intermingled, but are also treated differently socially, much as the Mingols, Ghouls, and Kleshites were already in the world.
I’ll be adding world, class, race, and other information in coming articles, so if this interests you, please check back!
Continued from Here.
Adam’s Druid decides that the never rotting flesh in the next room, plus the zombies that won’t rot are unnatural, and decides to summon insects to try and return natural order. The women panic, and take some reassurance to get settled down again.
The next idea involves taking the women to the “warm healing room” (#11), to see if it will regenerate their missing limbs, which the party assume were the hands that attacked them in the wand room (#6). The women are very unwilling, and require great amounts of persuasion (from Adam and Sebastian) to enter the room. Rightfully so, for as they enter, they are only able bask for a moment before incinerating to ash.
Confused, horrified, and disturbed, Adam and Sebastian exit the room, and inform the remainder of the party that the women are gone.
Bothered, but determined to push on, the party heads down to #7, where a clockwork trap (timer in chest, reset button on head) built into a suit of armour scares everybody for a while, before they let it count down, and the door to #8 opens. The next room is full of piles of rusting metal, and a treasure chest that instantly bounds away from the party.
Leading a merry chase, dodging sharp rusty shards, eventually the party catches the chest, using Colin in bat form to harass from above.
Upon opening, large chunks of metal fly from the chest, bonding instantly to Al’s Armour, adding 100 pounds to it’s weight. They appear to be impossible to remove. Al sheds the armour, as he’s too encumbered to move.
The party debates for some time, trying to determine if there is a way to remove the grimore from the the giant cat without being attacked by it AND the 100 other cats in the room (#2). Adam’s Druid is withdrawn, and sits petting cats while the party finished investigating the last 2 rooms, and deliberates.
Colin comes up with a plan, and stages himself on the library balcony (#1), facing the library. The others stand out side the doors to #3 and #7, out of “blast arc”. Colin then sounds the Horn of Blasting, which instantly throws the majority of the cats in the room against the far wall, dissipates the unseen servants, but fails to ruffle the fur of the large cat, much less displace it from it’s post. Pulped cats (probably about 70 of them) are plastered into the north wall.
The party reenter the room from the various doorways, amazed at the damage. Adam, horrified at the loss of life (after his recent unintentional maiden murder), flees back to the healing room (#11), too mortified to continue.
The rest of the party attack the lone Giant cat, attempting to destroy it, and free the book. It’s fast, but the party manage to slay it. It instantly rises again, however, slightly larger than before, and moving a little bit faster.
The party fights on, separating the cat from the book for a little while, but it aggressively attacks anybody holding, or nearest to the book. As it’s slain a second, and then third time, it grows even larger and faster.
Greg falls back to the healing room, heavily wounded, and heals up as much as he can before he can return to the party. The cat is slain another 2 times, now moving at amazing speeds, and the party is now quite concerned. It’s now far too fast to outrun, so the party can’t even escape the encounter.
Stepping in too close, Chet the summoned warrior goes down in a massive flurry of claws. He bleeds out as the party is too occupied to aid him. The party manages a sixth kill, and then Colin joins Chet, dead instead of just unconscious. Al & Sebastian fight on, both heavily wounded, until Greg returns, racing in to help.
Finally, with even Greg heavily wounded again, the cat is slain, and stays down. Adam’s druid turns to ash in the healing room, more than doubling his maximum hit points.
The grimore turns out to be a spellbook, with some fairly nice wizard spells for the party. The damage however, was very severe. Greg, Al, and Sebastian drag the 2 corpses to the healing room, but as they feared, it will not restore life to the dead.
In an act of desperation, Greg slips the brass gauntlet from Colin’s dead hand, picks up the white orb, and touches it to Colin. It resurrects Colin to everybody’s surprise. Amazed, Greg restores Chet, and Adam’s deceased Elven fighter he’s been carrying for weeks in the bag of holding.
Restored, the party is ready to continue their adventures…