18 March 2012

You Meet at an Inn - Vancian Style

This Wednesday I'm playing a test play of a home-brewed RPG inspired heavily by Avalon Hill's board game, Magic Realm. The set up for the adventure is the classic: "you all meet at a tavern". The world, however, is Vance's beloved Dying Earth. Here's the write up sent to the players:

Fiarazio's Walled Garden

The husky red sun loomed over a world grown old. Mankind had lived since long before the gentle hills of Agravaine were jagged peaks newly sprung from the ground. So many eons passed that man forgot his birth and conquering of the globe. Civilizations were swallowed by the slow grind of Earth's rocky core. Great empires perished and new ones born afresh in countless repetition. Over millennia the weft of mankind warped - his mind burnt with knowledge and his soul steeped in quavering ether - 'til now, when humanity is a half-dozen different beings of various shape and perspective.

Beings of a darker sort inhabited Agravaine's wastes. In the hills stretched between the decaying city of Majaethit and Kirmo's Sparkling Eminence came presences from otherwhere, who trapped the unwary and carved their bones into twirling fetishes. Along the route to Majaethit were caravansarai, strongholds built to protect sojourners. Blessed by the Priests of Radiant Devolution, wells of the caravansarai caused an odious aroma about persons who drank from them. These noxious vapors repelled the presences, who claimed it spoiled their bone fetishes.

And so it was you found yourselves at the caravansarai of Jaredd, along the headwaters of River Somn. Here people sowed the ground with a dark purple rye. Its curiously strong drink, Hassad, proved fortifying. Over time a brisk Hassad trade developed among the merchants along the Majaethit road and Jeredd became a trading post in its own right. It is here, at Amereth's tavern, that a Prudhite in red turban and gold filigree asked you to join him for a frothy mug, for he wishes to ask a boon of you.

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