14 August 2014

Earthdawn: Adventure Log 29 - Tomorrow-Morrow Land

This is the twenty-ninth Adventure Log in an ongoing series about Earthdawn. Introduction and Index.

Bartertown is a common feature in many Earthdawn campaigns and this one is no exception. It is not the canon Bartertown by any stretch, with its own map which has only a passing resemblance to the canon map. What is most notable is the strategic location of Bartertown. It is, essentially, an enormous, uncontrolled shanty town at the doorstep of Throal. The dwarfs have pretty much left it be, since taking it under their wing would be a nightmare for a laundry list of reasons. It serves as a valuable gathering point for those who wouldn't normally enter Throal, but where the dwarfs can keep an ear to the ground and subtly exert some influence.

This Bartertown is the target of a Theran campaign set to either gain control of the primary entrance to Throal, or sow chaos to the point where Throal is forced to enforce martial law over the libertarian "paradise". This will inevitably create a strain on resources to maintain a police presence in a city which does not want them and they do not want to be there. Additionally, they would have to work to ensure the rest of the province didn't interpret this as the beginning of greater colonial interests. All of this would ultimately serve to fracture the province a little more.

However, they aren't the only faction which has been at work in the city. Though the Theran Plan B gives a great deal of latitude to be successful. There are some notable personages whom have been working to keep the community together and turn it into a socialist "paradise". In a very ends justify the means way, versus the highly stratified classes favored by the other side.

Adventure Log – 029 Tomorrow-Morrow Land

Written By: Bongani Kreskas

Date: 15 Mawag –  11 Gahmil, 1508 TH
Group Name: Mismatched Steel

Group Members
Bongani the Scout
Coriolis the Swordmaster
Elmod the Nethermancer
Honeysuckle Sunspray the Windmaster
Ting the Swordmaster

It has been some time since my friends and I have met. Our adventures are many and we have much to share: Ting discovered a new family that accepted her avian differences and taught her the secrets of winged combat. Elmod learned elemental magics from the dwarfs of Throal. Never get into dept to a dwarf, my master used to say(1).

Honeysuckle found subtlety in the Thief's art at the feet of the trickster Tarr. Maester Bleys schooled her in the crafting of weapons. Loyalty and community are fine virtues! Omasu was her second trainer, a man of great skill and wisdom.

Honeysuckle is quite popular among the local windlings, but such is the price of having friends willing to cheat on your behalf. I spend my time in Bartertown where I met the love of my life, Harika. She is my great companion(2).

Coriolis takes a job with a woman Named Antien, who I have met before. Bartertown is in danger, perhaps. Coriolis plays a dangerous game of double-dealing, but I am confident that his shadowy second employer will not have him do anything untoward. Still, working for Thera is profitable, for he was able to pay off Elmod's debt!(3)

Bartertown is restless, sleep does not come easy, and suicides occur almost daily. Bleys' patrols attempt to stamp out the drug trade, and conflicts between them and the Consortium has dropped to almost none. Krokodil continues to plague the city, but it is related to the bad dreams and ominous signs.

Coriolis is a fabulous eye in the center of this grim, grey storm. He bought a jacket for 1300 silver pieces! Such a grandiose display, quite the dapper gentleman! Meanwhile, Elmod speaks with his friend Fastoon and has an enlightening conversation about Iopos. Truly Iopos is a great jewel of the Barsavian crown. If only there were a head to put it upon.

I visit Coriolis at his apartment and we drink and discuss his current employment situation. He asks me to be frank, so I tell him the identity of his employer. We part as friends with the agreement to seek out proof of her identity. The testimony of one former slave is not sufficient, I suppose!

Elmod gets to work on the enchanted eye. I am excited to receive it! The experiement is a complete success and I am greatly pleased with the result. Now that I have this sight beyond sight!

Honeysuckle gets to work on the bow Elmod intends to enchant. Everyone is working so hard to equip me!

Honeysuckle, Ting, Elmod, and I go to the slums to investigate the rash of suicides. Many have been children, killing first their families then themselves. A "white shadow" appears to them at night and drives them to kill. It has been going on for a while. We must find this creature. "Chunny" has seen it, but he is missing. The flophouse is in a deserted area of the city and inside is (Ed Note: there is quite a bit of gibberish and a picture of a face on a mountain?)

This is a fie we cannot oppose with our mortal strength. We need wisdom, so we send Elmod to research the... creature.

Antien instructs Coriolis to destroy her rival. We meet to discuss our options. We agree to warn the victim, and I find Honeysuckle to acquire an audience.

I am visited by Hithorn, a windling of some knowledge and influence. He instructs me to remove Ms. Antien. I agree, reluctantly. Now we must form a plan to destroy her. Coriolis gets close to Antien.

Elmod receives a visit from Mistriel. They hash our their differences over drinks while Ting and I listen in. Mistriel possesses a Horror Mark, and was apparently used by the White Hand to hunt Horrors(4). She seems love struck, but I am not convinced.

Honeysuckle and I sneak into Antien's room and cut her throat. But the death does not take. We must attempt a new plan. New plan: we fire bomb the house in the middle of the night, then Star Shower and pick off survivors.(5)

*     *     *
(1) Ahahahahahaha!
(2) Reports do not indicate who this is. Though he does seem to have a new dog? 
(3) Everything here would have been significantly more helpful prior to the conclusion when we received these logs. This does give a good retrospective of events and details we do not have any other intelligence regarding.
(4) This information needs to go upstairs.
(5) Received and edited by Ela Pono

The final act of a plot which was started in the second session begins here. This is the culmination of three years of building events. I'm going to be honest right now, all of this work was to provide a foundation for some epic, long-term trolling of the players. I am gratified they did not realize what was happening until it happened. The name of the session is a hint.

Details left out of this adventure log were done deliberately. The most notable was the reveal Hithorn is an agent for the Theran Admiral Lokrun, who has his own designs on Bartertown and the province as a whole. The interaction which took place was important as it marked a new point in character development.

There were a number of events foreshadowing what was to come and building up future plots. Admiral Lokrun is becoming more important, Mistriel hasn't gone away yet, the krokodil drug problem cannot seem to be stamped out, and the deaths plaguing the poorer parts of Bartertown continue unabated.

I always like to keep a lot of irons in the fire. It gives me more options on where to take things based on player actions and I think gives a sense of a larger world beyond just the problem which is the focus of the session. That sense of continuity and consequences is an important theme for this particular game.There are some events from those very first sessions which will still be coming back.

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