The City of Jalizar, the Rotten Flower of the Northern Empire, has fallen under the rule of Par the Horrific, a red hand and savage barbarian. Despite the iron handed rule of the bloody tyrant, Jalizar is still a city of opportunity where a fortune can be made (and lost) if you are bold enough. However, beware the dangers. If the city guard were not dangerous enough, the city is infested with thieves, demon worshipers, cutthroats, mercenaries and evil sorcerers. The Gods worshiped in the city, if they exist at all, can't be counted on. They only thing that you can trust is the steel in your hands and your own skills.
If you have followed this blog, then you know that I love Beasts and Barbarians and I love Crypts and Things so I decided that I would run Crypts and Things in the world of Beasts and Barbarians. Specifically this new campaign will take place in my own version of Jalizar, the City of Thieves. I have three players. Kevin will be playing the part of Chantel, a barbarian woman of the north. Brandon will be playing Khale Roley III, a magician that primarily, at least so far, has stayed away from black magic. Matt will be playing Raelic, a thief and capable warrior who has been marked by darkness.
I started this campaign the same way that I started the last Crypts and Things campaign: I have the players play characters that were doomed from the very beginning to introduce them to Crypts and Things system and the narrative of the campaign. The introduction also introduced the players to forces of evil and darkness that are simmering just under the streets of the city…..
Kevin, Matt and Brandon played three mercenaries hired by the merchant Yagha to guard him while he made a delivery in one of the more unsavory parts of the city. Like so many D&D games (well, technically this is C&T but I call all tabletop fantasy RGPs that use a 20 sided diced and have saving throws and armor class “D&D”), this one starts out in a tavern. The mercenaries are checking their weapons and adjusting their armor while a bard sings a song lamenting the fall and the betrayal of good King Euedun at the hands of his blood thirsty General, Par the Horrific. The song cursed Par for betraying the city’s rightful ruler and forcing King Euedun’s daughter Ninga into marriage in a vain attempt at legitimizing his unlawful rule. Finally Yagha arrives and the mercenaries can earn their coin and be done with this strange business.
Yagha leads the mercenaries into a part of the city aptly named The Rat’s Nest near the part of Jalizar that collapsed into the ocean after an earth quake. Also with him are cloaked servants carrying the trade goods. Really little better than slaves but Par the Horrific had banded slavery from the city upon seizing power. The mercenaries reason that the goods must be illegal items otherwise Yagha would not need their swords. Nor would the business need be conducted at night. One of the servants opens a grate and now the party descends into the catacombs. One of the mercenaries realizes that the cloaked servants do not seem to require torch light….
The mercenaries, the merchant and the servants walk in the catacombs until they reach a stone door with strange markings and symbols. The markings on the door seem to move and slither if you stare at them for a moment or two. The door opens into a room with a robed figure which greats the group.
The robed figure offers Yagha boxes full of gold items, items that take the shape of unearthly and twisted things. The mercenaries find them hard to look upon. Yagha has his servants offer the robed figure a long, flat box. With their business concluded, Yagha gestures towards the mercenaries. “As per our agreement, here are the three offerings that you were promised as well.” The robed figure removes his hood, revealing a creature out of a nightmare. The horrid creature has slimy green/grey skin, claws and dead fish eyes. Although the mercenaries are terrified (at least one of them failed their sanity roll) they draw their weapons and attack. Yagha’ features shift into a serpent like creature. One of the mercenaries is bitten and falls to the ground. The fish man makes a gesture and one of the mercenaries is turned to stone. The final mercenary is beaten into submission.
|A Serpent Man and a Deep One priest!|
The mercenaries awake to find themselves strapped to a slimy stone alter. Green flames burst around them, revealing the massive stone idol to a twisted, tentacled and inhuman god. One of the mercenaries succumbs to madness and becomes a giggling wretch. The second one is barely lucid. Only one of them is still sane enough to realize his fate as the robed fish man raises his sacrificial blade and declares that Jalizar will fall….
This is the end part on of the first session of my new Crypts and Things campaign.
You can pickup Jalizar City of Thieves here: http://www.rpgnow.com/product/109576/Jalizar-City-of-Thieves
It is a great product and I highly recommend it.