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

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

 

Umberto: Shahzadi + Map

Umberto: Shahzadi is a two-part adventure made in January 2015, covering events that occured in both 2013’s Shadows of Umberto and 2014’s The Green Scar.

Ten years after the near-destruction of Umberto city, the nation’s young regent Caliph Umba-Ertan al-Ertan has publically announced his intention to marry the Amira El-Rayhim Dra El-Naga – an anthropomorphic shard of a dead god from the jungle once called the Green Scar. But will her procession be destroyed before it arrives in Part 1: The Amira’s Procession, and will the young king’s penchant for knowledge lead to his downfall in part II: The Well of All Souls? 

This PDF contains both of January’s Patreon releases, updated into one new volume. You can also find the high-res map of Umberto and South Mirkasa below!

Umberto Shahzadi

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Brave New World!

 

And here’s the last PDF of 2014 – and a map!

I’ve had this under construction for a while – it’s a ‘culture guide’ designed to add a little flavour to your characters. I’ve also included ideas for a few people and places from each location, to help spark some new adventures when you need it!

(I’ve done some playtesting, but as always feedback is useful and will go into any future re-releases.)

So there you go – a great combination to use with the map last release, and a fun way to end the year. And what a year it’s been! Thank you again for all your support, hope you enjoy, and see you in 2015!

Brave New World

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4 Halloween-themed Adventures

It’s been a bit quiet here at joebanner.co.uk for a few weeks, but I’ve still been hard at work! Here’s four adventures with a distinct Halloween flavour for October (well, 3 for October and one for November… but they’re still pretty good together!)

Download October’s Patreon Adventures for Dungeon World!

Downstream of a Dead Town

The doom of Sherford began with the interest of the dragon Demophon. Although his kin cared little for the knowledge of mortals, Demophon – a mere whelp at eighty years old – had developed a morbid fascination into alchemy. Unfortunately, in spite of his ‘hobby’ the dragon had no more empathy for men, elves, dwarves and the like than the rest of his kin.

The Tomb of the Golden Child

Ten days ago, an infamous Umberto con artist broke into one of Umberto’s oldest pyramids – the necropolis of Nebu Khaba. With the help of a tracker named Buddy, he attempted to steal enchanted burial supplies, but the trip went south and only Mal returned.

When Mal returns to the pyramid with the players, they will all need to unravel the mystery of what happened to Buddy – and what terrible evil his actions may have unleashed!

The Wolf of Otranto

A solitary cry echoes through the trees, followed by a long howl. The pines start shaking violently, though there’s little wind to trouble them. Nearby – but which direction? – a twig snaps. What do you do?

On Crystal Thews

Crystal-kin, you can handle. Vampires, sure why not. But crystalline vampires? That’s a new one. The village elder led you here, to this broken sepulchre; standing guard, a blood-soaked creature of copper, quartz and gravel. Spitted on one of the titan’s crystalline shoulders is the blacksmith’s son. The monster’s spotted you, and he’s pissed.

What do you do?

The Twitching Hive

You’re in a dimly-lit sandstone room, deep within a ziggurat built by giant ants. Your twin elf guides are looking very nervous. One of the four stone slabs around you is piled with ores, another with mouldy plant-life. A fungus the size of a tree has sprouted from it. You spot several twitching shadows shuffling towards you. The ants seem diseased, their faces swollen and discoloured. More of them are swarming from the southern corridor. What do you do?

The Twitching Hive (v1.1)

The Twitching Hive is the first adventure for May (I was hoping it would be the last in April, but it wasn’t to be.) Nonetheless I hope you enjoy!

Update, 23/11/2014 – thanks to Ben George for the errata!

The Walls of N’gogh

This city was once known as N’gogh, home of the dread wizard N’gogh’va. For centuries his ageless corpse lay buried, transfixed by a blade of meteoric iron – the only material that could penetrate his ensorcelled hide. It was by chance a foolish farmer stumbled on the wizard’s tomb and, seeking fortune, removed the blade from N’gogh’va’s corpse.

The Walls of Ngogh

For updates on the latest developments keep in touch through G+ or my Patreon page.

PS: RIP in Peace, Rosi. You shall be missed.