The Wazirs of Umberto

Everyone knows the magi council can’t give sage advice, because they are power-hungry, incestuous and cunning.
So when the young caliph needs an honest answer, he asks a wazir.

When the caliph asked “why do the tarpits of Rhamdesh still bubble, even after so long in the summer sun?” seventeen wazirs went to find the answer. Only one returned, but was rewarded with all the riches of his fellows.

Another time, the caliph asked “why does my foolish cousin control the courts of Zarrakech?” Two days later, the cousin was found dead, an unfinished meal of saffron rice, raisins and nuts in front of him. It is known a wazir was honoured soon after, but their name has been forgotten.

Once, when the caliph was bored and in his cups, he asked “why am I not entertained?” The revels were long and arduous, and no wazirs survived.

A wazir is expected to travel far and wide, as his Caliph commands. In all places, they must present themselves as an upstanding citizen of Umberto. They must be equal parts diplomat, entertainer, rogue and assassin, and sometimes all at once. Many are not natives of the desert, but all are expected to honour Umberto’s gods and customs, like praying to the Fortunate city every day. There is no formal method of becoming a wazir, save pleasing the caliph in some fashion.

Wazirs of the past

Kaysi Ai was a time-spanned soul, a golem of rock and purest marble. The cataclysm of the Green Scar cast her mortal form adrift in time and space, putting her several hundred years in the future amongst the soft sands of Umberto. When brought before the caliph as a curiosity, she broke the nose of the head of the city guard and called the magi an incestous cur. For the first, she was tortured for seven days; for the second, she was made a wazir. She was last seen in Chalcedon, attempting to answer the caliph’s question: “what relationship do your kind have with the quartz elementals of the west?”

Solitary, Large, Intelligent, 16 hp 1 armour, 1d10+4 damage reach; Moves: headbutt them, reveal a truth from ancient history, shrug off mundane weaponry

Wallace Beasley was a Chalcedoni noble, who delighted the caliph in his youth with the steam-powered toys and tricks of his people. When he fell out of favour in his homeland, he fled to Umberto and offered his services to the caliph instead. He is an engineer of some repute and his work into the technical applications of Umbertoan magic has already answered many questions of the royal court. He died of a heart attack in his laboratory, attempting to create an Umbertoan answer to the Chalcedoni ether-golems. His prototype was mothballed, though some say his ghost haunts its bronze gears and pulleys.

Solitary, intelligent, organised, 12 hp 1 armour, b[1d8] damage close; Moves: reveal a clever gadget, build something from magic and mundane parts

Katib Dahrir was a powerful wizard raised in the souks of Umberto city. Her rough manners put her at odds the court, but earned the caliph’s trust. When a jealous rival managed to strip her of her magic powers, the caliph took pity and offered a place among the wazir instead. Over several diplomatic missions, she visited Mirkasa, Chalcedon and even distant Xi, where she eventually met her end. Even in death she did her duty, returning to the caliph in dreams to inform him of Xi’s duplicity.

Solitary, intelligent, organised, 12 hp 0 armour, 2d6 damage close; Moves: prove immune to any magic, reveal knowledge of political affairs overseas, come to a diplomatic solution

Child & Eagle

Named for a pub in Oxford where Tolkien and a few friends used to meet for a book club – I’ve re-purposed it as a meeting place and ‘secret’ award for some of Chalcedon’s more eccentric inventors!

Here’s the last PDF for May 2015: The Child & Eagle.

The Child and Eagle

(These ideas were originally meant to fit in Vectis 1769, but I ran out of space & time last month. I’m glad I had the chance to come back to them.) Enjoy!

The Forest of Dust

So! The Forest of Dust. A dusty ruin in the heart of the desert. Ghosts and bandits abound. In the centre, a man of fire cries out for release. Will you free Fire-Lies-Contained? Will you return to civilisation burdened with the riches of a lost civilisation? Or will your bones be eroded to powder, like the long-dead ghosts of the Forest of Dust?

Play to find out!

The Forest of Dust

 

Vectis 1769

This venerable island-city has been plunged into economic depression, following the assassination of it’s most prominent guildmaster. More than 1000 craftsmen have lost their jobs. Many of them roam the streets, living in shacks cobbled together from junk. The guildmaster’s grandaughter was last seen living in a hovel in Lavender Park.

With so many clever but desperate folk on the streets, crime is at an all-time high. For the right sort of individual, that means opportunities…

Vectis 1769

Sanderson Distillery

When the distillery was sold, it’s factories were mothballed. Dozens of workers lost their jobs. The new owners partially converted the building; the new cafe and museum is generally agreed to overpriced and underwhelming. 

But there are opportunities here too. The old owners have questions, and need someone smart to find their answers. While desperate fools scrounge through piles of rubbish, the savvy plan to infiltrate the old complex to find better treasures inside. And you’ve heard the new owner is looking for able-bodied men and women, though details are mysteriously absent….

In a first for these adventures, I’ve included optional monster rules for Into the Odd. I’ve been having a lot of fun with this system – it’s even faster than Dungeon World and character creation is lightning quick – perfect for rapid playtesting!

Download Sanderson Distillery

Stormania, the Eclipsed Isle

150 leagues north of Mirkasa (near the mythical lands of Jakabol) lies Stormania, one of the world’s northernmost islands. Through some quirk of magic and geography, the island is prone to frequent and extended eclipses. During the long, dark months, all manner of monsters freely roam the land; the locals have learned to keep their doors bolted and pray for a fast sunrise.  

Though dangerous, many adventurers have travelled here hoping to uncover the island’s secrets. It’s said the island’s former lord, a giant-sorceror cursed by his own people, discovered the key to eternal life here.  

Perhaps your party will be the first to delve into these catacombs of antiquity and return victorious. But you’d best be sure you’ve got plenty of torches first… 

20150403-stormania-map

Stormania – download the PDF

Stormania was inspired by the recent eclipse we saw in the UK. Well, I say saw – it was too rainy where I live to see much of anything! But I read that some of the best shots were taken in a place called Svalbard, off the coast of Norway… which got me thinking about a new adventure, returning to the setting of Jakabol. The result is a stand-alone adventure, which I hope will be useful for all you GMs!

I’ll be honest, guys – March was quite a tricky one for me. You might have read I intended to update the Green Scar this month – I’ve gotten as far as adding some new maps and revising the text, but my day job has gotten a bit bonkers and I’ve not had time to get it all edited and laid out. Other than the Patreon adventures, this is top priority for April though – I don’t want the hard work so far to go to waste!

 

Obri’Usta

If you’re an avid Patreon follower like me, you may have seen Dyson Logos recently hit the $300 mark on his Patreon. That’s great news for two reasons – his work is great, and every map released at that level is available under a CC-BY license.

So to commemorate this, this month’s first adventure is based around Dyson’s recent map, the Titans’ Teeth. I’ve added some of my own spin on it (as well as an enemy that might be familiar if you’ve given I’m on a Boat a go..!)

Hope you enjoy.

Obriusta