The translation of SAKE is taking considerably more time than I initially thought, as I constantly find myself engaged in other things. It turns out that translation isn’t the most exciting activity for me. Nevertheless, I’m trying to push through it and am connecting the translation process with brainstorming NPCs and adventure ideas to make it more interesting for myself. You might have noticed that translated magic schools have been published along with some monsters, illustrations and/or NPCs.
In addition to the rulebook, I also plan to simultaneously release two smaller adventures to provide players with immediate opportunities to apply the rules and to showcase how SAKE is intended to be used. Both adventures take place in Irongate, which I’ve been developing as part of the #dungeon23│#city23 project.
The first of these adventures is an already partially published Dungeon Crawl in Crime Districts, and I’ve made significant additions to it, though not enough to publish the final version yet.
The second adventure is “The Divine Hunt,” which is almost ready. NPC statblocks and some potential maps are still missing, but you can read the full adventure without those.
The Divine Hunt
If the PCs agree to Naxia’s proposal to introduce them to the chief of the Calco tribe regarding a potential job opportunity, then Naxia leads them the next morning (on January 2nd, 1512) to Chief Xoxo’s Calco compound in the heart of the Calco district.
To solve this adventure, the PCs have one Domain Turn from the beginning of the game lasting for three months. If the PCs do not solve the adventure within this time, the issue will resolve on its own:
- The Rapatzan tribe will starve to death, and the surrounding tribes will divide up their district.
- The Calco tribe will uncover the Tipivana tribe’s crimes against the Seamother’s Daughters. Using their wealth to recruit mercenaries and allies, they will invade the Tipivana tribe’s district and destroy the tribe.
While Eros’s plan remains unfinished, this outcome is undesirable as it leads to the destruction of two city tribes. By this time Eros controls 80 Daughters of Seamother and can use them to catch more.
Turtletown district and Calco tribe
Turtletown accommodates 1/8 of the city’s population (approximately 12,500 people), partitioned into thirteen separate tribes. These thirteen tribes also embody the city’s middle class. Their income source, the sea, bestows upon them a consistent prosperity that remains unaffected by shifting political climate or problems on trade routes. The 13 fishing tribes of Turtletown bear the responsibility of feeding half of the city’s 100 000 inhabitants, while the remaining sustenance of the city is provided by the inland villages and the food merchants of the Asteanic Republic of Five Houses.
The fishing tribes of Turtletown require a significant amount of space to accommodate their fishing canoes and catamarans. When comparing the area in proportion to the population, it is evident that it offers the highest amount of space per person in Irongate. The district has canals running alongside the streets. Turtletown’s architecture predominantly consists of single or two-story buildings, each encompassing expansive inner courtyards or gardens intended for tasks like ship repairs and fish drying.
The tribes of Turtletown were obligated to render taxes to the Itza king in the form of pearls and coral – both plentiful in the waters of the Wes-Kali archipelago. In times past, when monarchs held greater authority, the handling of pearls and coral was exclusive to the king and his loyal aides. These treasures were employed by kings to procure iron, tin, and other foreign goods from Asteanic merchants. Utilizing pearls as payment to Asteanic merchants resulted in capital punishment for ordinary citizens. Presently, the reigning Rustking struggles to enforce this restriction, yet this does not suggest that engaging in pearl trade is advisable. The Rustking’s principal bodyguard, Nene, and her Iron Hornets remain steadfast in their loyalty to the king, promptly punishing any instances of pearl trading that come to their attention.
In Turtletown, all the tribes operate under the leadership of priest chiefs and elders due to the strict regulation of their fishing waters by the local sea deity – the Seamother, along with her daughters. Seamother’s Daughters command colossal sea turtles and schools of fish. Tribes aiming to catch fish or other marine creatures from the West-Kali archipelago must engage in negotiations with these otherworldlings. Much like their mother, the Seamother’s Daughters exhibit a strong sense of ownership and territoriality. They are even inclined to seek retribution if their possessions are taken without prior consultation. This concept of “property” encompasses all aquatic life within their domain. While an individual fisherman might not provoke a Seamother’s Daughter, larger fishing vessels often do. Consequently, the tribes of Turtletown have honed their skills in communicating and negotiating with these entities within their fishing grounds.
To ensure their fishing rights, the chiefs of the tribes have established priestly pacts with the Seamother. They have also cultivated relationships with the respective local Daughter for rights in specific locations.
The Seamother’s Daughters are vain entities, captivated by gold and the most exquisite gemstone anklets and hip ornaments – the only accessories their anatomies can accommodate. To appease these Daughters, fishing tribes present these adornments at least once a month, thereby gaining permission to fish within the region. Thankfully, Kaliland’s subterranean depths are rich in diverse gemstones, often finding their way onto the legs and hips of the Seamother’s Daughters. This dynamic inherently imposes constraints on the local fishing tribes. Only large and prosperous tribes can afford the monthly adornment of one or even multiple Seamother’s Daughters with the world’s most precious stones.
The Calco tribe in Turtletown stands out as one of the wealthiest among the thirteen, attributed to their fishing grounds that encompass coral reefs, from which they extract precious coral and pearls. Moreover, their maritime domain encompasses the Seamother Undercroft, serving as a portal to the sea deity’s otherworldly realm – the Seamother’s Deep. This revered location attracts pilgrims and priests from across the archipelago who seek to establish pacts with the Seamother. Leveraging this, the Calco tribe offers tourism packages for the Seamother Undercroft and provides accommodations for pilgrims at their district’s “Stranded Turtle” mezcalhouse, thus creating a lucrative additional source of income.
The tribe consists of 120 families (totalling 1200 individuals) and possesses 10 sizable catamarans. In times of war, the tribe can muster a company of fisher-warriors.
Meeting with Xoxo Calco and the Calco Tribe’s Issue
Xoxo Calco is the priest-chief of the Calco tribe – a wealthy and powerful man in Irongate. He resides in his compound with his wife, children, and numerous other relatives. Xoxo is approximately fifty years old. He receives the PCs and Naxia in a spacious inner courtyard where he and his family have their morning meal. Initially, Naxia keeps the PCs out of earshot and privately explains to Xoxo and his family who the PCs are, as well as suggesting that, in her view, the PCs should investigate the tribe’s problem before resorting to war and violence. Xoxo appears thoughtful and nods.
When Xoxo meets the PCs, he doesn’t believe they can actually help him. However, he sees no harm in letting them try. If they manage to solve the problem, he would reward them generously.
Xoxo explains that the Calco tribe is facing issues with two neighbouring tribes: the Rapatzan tribe and the Tipivana tribe. These tribes are preventing Calco’s catamarans from leaving their district to go out to sea for fishing. (You can see on the city map that all the canals from the Calco district leading to the sea pass through the territories of these two tribes.) Xoxo reveals that the problem has persisted for almost a month, and negotiations with the Tipivana tribe have been consistently blocked – they even refuse to speak with him. Tipivana warriors now threaten Xoxo’s people if they even approach their district. In the long run, this problem threatens significant economic damage to the Calco tribe and further destabilizes Irongate’s already fragile food security, of which partly relies on imports from the Asteanic Republic of Five Houses. Xoxo says that if this continues, he’ll have to attack the Tipivana tribe with his warriors to achieve an agreement through combat.
In general, he only talks about the Tipivana tribe – if the PCs don’t specifically notice this, they can roll a Social Skills check with a DL of 5 to realize that he almost never mentions the Rapatzan tribe. If the PCs don’t ask about the Rapatzan tribe separately, Xoxo essentially forgets to mention them because he has completely written them off in his mind. If the PCs inquire, Xoxo explains that the leaders of that tribe lost their minds several months ago, and a large part of the tribe has scattered. Those who remained barricaded themselves in their district and now attack anyone who tries to pass through their territory using bows, javelins, arquebuses, and even small cannons. Xoxo doesn’t say this aloud, but he doesn’t dare to attack them because they are well fortified and their madness seems more dangerous than a fight with sane warriors.
Xoxo’s quest for the PCs has two parts, and the reward for solving it is also two-fold:
- Xoxo simply wants information about what’s happening – why the Tipivana tribe is blocking his catamarans, what motivates them, and whether and how this problem can be resolved.
- Solve the problem – find a way for the Calco tribe’s catamarans to safely access the sea again.
Xoxo offers rewards for both tasks:
- For information, he offers 2 kg of precious coral and two pearls per PC.
- For solving the problem, he adds a substantial treasure (100 kg of precious coral and 30 pearls per PC) and his tribe’s everlasting friendship and support in anything the PCs plan to do in the city. This means that the PCs can now call for help from the Calco tribe, and they will send one warrior NPC per PC to aid them.
What actually happened?
The leader of the Zipopan Open Seas Peace Force mercenaries is Zenižlav, who has maintained a close and favourable relationship with his former employer, the pirate ban Bogodan. In essence, Zenižlav acts as an agent for ban Bogodan’s pirates in the city.
Around six months ago, Zenižlav approached the leaders of the Rapatzan tribe with an intriguing offer – to meet ban Bogodan, who promised to elevate their relatively impoverished tribe to newfound prosperity. Zenižlav, however, didn’t provide specific details; in fact, his knowledge was (and is) limited. He only informed the Rapatzan tribe leaders that ban Bogodan had seized control of the Ixitza Naval Fortress, a former naval base of the Itza Empire situated in the northern region of the West-Kali archipelago. Ban Bogodan expressed a desire to meet the tribal leaders there, and the Rapatzan tribe leaders accepted the proposition.
Chief Rapa Rapatzan and the other tribal leaders embarked on their fishing catamarans towards the Ixitza Naval Fortress. However, upon reaching their destination, they found themselves face to face not with ban Bogodan, but with his right-hand man – Eros Pasarotti, an Asteanic priest. Little did anyone know, Eros Pasarotti is, in reality, a symbiote of the primordial Xiavili, granting him extraordinary psychic prowess. Currently, Eros also wields psychic dominion over ban Bogodan and, consequently, exercises command over the entire Roadic mercenary fleet.
Eros’s objective in Book I is to induce a famine in Irongate by attaining magical dominion over the Seamother’s Daughters in the West-Kali archipelago. If this scheme prevails, fishing in the archipelago will become extremely challenging by the start of Book II. Moreover, maritime travel without Eros’s awareness and approval will be restricted.
Eros employed potent Psychic spells to manipulate the leaders of the Rapatzan tribe, using techniques such as programming, erasing memories, and creating new ones. This manipulation resulted in a transformation of the tribe’s fishermen into hunters, tasked with seeking otherworldly beings. These manipulated hunters scoured the seas in search of the Seamother’s daughters – entities that held dominion over the region’s fishing resources. Eros’s goal was to capture these creatures and transport them to the Ixitza Naval Fortress, where he established control over them. Within the archipelago’s fishing community, the Daughters of Seamother were profoundly revered. They are powerful and vengeful offspring of a sea goddess, and causing them harm was thought to trigger dire consequences. The Seamother cult was deeply embedded in the fishermen’s upbringing. To manipulate them against their nature, Eros erased significant portions of their memories and replaced them with new ones. Unfortunately, tampering with memories of this magnitude often leads to unforeseen consequences. As a result, Rapatzan tribal leaders and fishermen forgot basic fishing skills, and some even lost essential abilities. Eros, a symbiote of the primordial Xiavili, possessed extraordinary psychic abilities that surpassed human magic. However, even he encountered difficulties – with each mission, the tribe’s leaders, warriors, and fishermen became increasingly clumsy, paranoid, and posed a danger to themselves and Eros. Eros feared that the entire plot would be exposed. A few months ago, he decided to end his involvement with the Rapatzan tribe by wiping his programs from their minds and sending them back to their district. Regrettably, this erasure also wiped away their last shreds of sanity.
After returning to their tribe, the tribal warriors’ Intellect attribute has dropped to -7 (they are barely able to speak). Their memories are now a jumble of fragmented and unclear remnants, and they are plagued by intense fear and paranoia about their surroundings. Struggling to make sense of their limited knowledge and the remnants of implanted memories and programming fragments, they attempt to construct a coherent worldview. Unfortunately, their efforts lead them to concoct an entirely fantastical doomsday theory: they believe the world is on the brink of ending, although the details remain uncertain. They firmly hold that their survival hinges on unity, perceiving themselves as the sole escapees of this impending catastrophe. They perceive all other city tribes as adversaries intertwined with the apocalypse, leading them to feel the need to defend themselves whenever others approach. Their determination extends to safeguarding those tribe members who lack understanding, even resorting to force if necessary.
The result is that the warriors of the Rapatzan tribe have barricaded themselves within their tribal district. Rational tribe members have either fled long ago or are held hostage by the warriors. Anyone who approaches the tribal district is targeted by the Rapatzan warriors with javelins, arrows, and even small cannons. As they remain confined within their district and haven’t ventured out to attack others, no action has been taken to address the situation. It’s only a matter of time before they succumb to starvation in their current state.
Theoretically, the Rapatzan tribe could be rescued, but the task is formidable. The tribe’s territory is under the control of 120 deranged fisher-warriors, while about 400 women, children, and elderly individuals are being held hostage; an equal number of tribe members have managed to escape. To aid the deranged warriors, a powerful psychic or a skilled priest could be of assistance. The psychic would need to roll a Psychic skill check with a DL of 30, while a potent priest could perform the Ritual: Blessing with a roll of DL 40 to remove the curse. This action would restore the tribe members’ Intellect attributes. Afterward, engaging in conversation would be possible, but dismantling their intricate conspiracy theory would require persuasion, involving three rolls with a DL of 20.
If two months after the start of the game no intervention occurs, hunger eventually takes over, and by mid-March 1512, the entire tribe and their captives have succumbed to starvation. With that, the canals for Calco tribe’s ships are free.
Eros had to reconsider his plan – capturing Seamother’s daughters from the open ocean was time-consuming and perilous. Additionally, the constant mental manipulation posed the risk of driving the next group of hunters also insane. However, he required the Turtletown hunters – only they maintained favourable relations with Seamother’s daughters in the region, enabling them to approach and successfully capture them. Ban Bogodan’s pirates would have been incapable of such a feat.
The solution emerged in the form of Seamother’s Undercroft, an underwater sanctuary within the Calco tribe’s fishing grounds. This is where Seamother herself resides and gives birth to her daughters, who then emerge into the human world and disperse across the seas. If Eros positioned his hunters there in ambush, they could quickly amass a sufficient number of Seamother’s daughters, potentially within a few months, enabling him to gain control over the seas of the West-Kali archipelago through them.
Several months ago, as a result, the aforementioned leader of the Roadic mercenaries, Zenižlav, appeared before Xoxo Calco. He offered substantial profit in exchange for Xoxo’s willingness to meet with ban Bogodan. However, Xoxo Calco declined, and no matter how Zenižlav attempted to persuade him, his efforts were fruitless. Given the Calco tribe’s wealth and Xoxo’s own suspicions about dealings with the roguish roadic mercenary, who worked for Zipopan, an enemy of the Itza Empire, the offer seemed unreasonable.
Xoxo don’t mention this episode to the PCs because he doesn’t perceive any connection between it and the subsequent issues. Furthermore, to him, the appearance of various wanderers at a wealthy chief’s doorstep seeking something isn’t anything out of the ordinary.
Eros had to turn to the next tribe: the Tipivana tribe. Chief Torsoc and the other elders of the Tipivana tribe accepted the offer and sailed to the Ixitza Naval Fortress, where Eros Pasarotti awaited them and began manipulating their minds – erasing and rewriting. However, since the Seamother’s Undercroft was situated in the fishing grounds of the Calco tribe, which the Tipivana fishermen had no reason to visit, Eros had to devise a scheme for the tribal leaders to push aside the Calco tribe – a task not too complicated for Eros, especially now that the Rapatzan warriors prevented anyone from using their canals, enabling the Tipivana tribe to cut off the Calco tribe’s maritime access completely.
Eros Pasarotti’s package of memories for the leaders and warrior-fishermen of the Tipivana tribe (these are not mere tales or falsehoods; tribe members remember and believe these things as truth, as if they’ve witnessed and experienced them):
- The leaders and fishermen of the Calco tribe have renounced the allegiance to Seamother and are now under the influence of the alleged protective deity of the city, Yaxchila, who actually desires the city’s downfall. Members of the Tipivana tribe have witnessed secret rituals conducted by the Calco tribe in honor of Yaxchila – some of these rituals even involve human sacrifices.
- The Calco tribe’s fishermen have been given some kind of poisonous pearls by Yaxchila, which they have fed to the Seamother’s Daughters. These toxic pearls make the Seamother’s Daughters hostile toward the fishermen – this could ultimately lead the city into famine.
- If the Calco fishermen are allowed to go out to sea, they will continue to feed pearls to the Seamother’s Daughters, worsening the city’s situation even further – therefore, they must be prevented from accessing the sea. Seeking help from others is futile since no one will believe it anyway.
- The Rapatzan tribe also uncovered the Calco tribe’s plan and openly opposed them – they were driven mad by Yaxchila’s magic. It’s better to save the city quietly and not risk malevolent enchantments. If the Calco people are kept away, they won’t be able to use their dark sorcery.
When all the aforementioned information has been relayed by the warriors to the rest of the tribe members, who might find it hard to believe but still don’t openly question the tribal leaders and warrior-fishermen, the following is kept strictly secret from the Tipivana tribe’s own members by their fishermen:
- The Seamother’s Daughters must be rescued. To achieve this, the poisoned daughters must be captured and taken to Sitka Island, to the presence of the powerful sea priest Suru, who will remove the pearls and release the healed daughters back into the sea.
Sitka Island is an uninhabited island – Eros erases the memories related to himself and the pirate base from the fishermen’s minds but includes a program that compels them to approach him once they capture a Seamother’s Daughter.
- The healed daughters are always grateful and bestow rich gifts upon the Tipivana fishermen who helped them (the tribe has indeed gained significant wealth – Eros sees no issue in giving them money, and in addition, he provides them with some of the valuable jewelry taken from the abducted Seamother’s Daughters – he and his controlled daughters have no need for them).
How the capture of Seamother’s Daughters exactly works:
- In turns, all 10 Tipivana tribe catamaran teams engage in capturing Seamother’s Daughters alongside their regular fishing.
- The team set to capture a Daughter brings along jewels to entice her and one of their six Seamother priests (whose spells from Seamother no longer work – something no one can explain well, but Eros constantly removes such questions from their memories), who will use prayers to lure the Daughter out. It works because the priests lie in their prayers.
- Using the jewels, the Daughter is enticed to the catamaran, where she is snatched aboard and restrained.
- As the hunters sail towards Sitka Island, a program triggers in the priest’s mind that commands the ship to sail to Ixitza Naval Fortress instead, under the pretext that the fictional water priest Suru is currently located there.
- At Ixitza Naval Fortress, under Eros’s guidance, roadic pirates take over the Seamother’s Daughter, and Eros makes further adjustments in the minds of the fisherman-soldiers and the priest. He rewards them with 500 gold pieces’ worth of gold, silver, and jewels from the loot, and sends them out to sea on one of his ships, where he erases their last memories related to the naval base.
- Upon returning home, the catamaran team remembers meeting priest Suru on Sitka Island, who supposedly performed a ritual to free the Seamother’s Daughter from a curse, and in gratitude, the Daughter rewarded them with a generous amount of gold and silver for their help.
Although Eros has treated the minds of the Tipivana tribe’s fisher-warriors more cautiously than those of the Rapatzani, they still suffer from memory losses. Like the Rapatzani tribe, they cannot see the actual problem and only fear Calco’s sorcery behind their issues.
The PCs will likely begin solving the problem by searching for information. When they approach the territory of the Tipivana tribe, just as Xoxo and Naxia suspected, they are allowed onto the tribe’s streets without issues. However, if they reveal that they are working for the Calco tribe, they are strongly asked to leave, and refusing may lead to an armed conflict.
The GM can divide the members of the Tipivana tribe into two groups: those influenced by Eros and the rest. Nearly all of the tribe’s fisher-warriors, who go out to sea every day, are influenced by Eros. They don’t want to discuss conflicts with the Calco tribe much, but with a bit of persuasion (DL 10 – “You wouldn’t believe it anyway” and DL 15 – “Revealing the story might bring Calco’s curse upon me”), they are willing to share that the Calco tribe has renounced Seamother, desecrates her sanctuary, and harms her daughters. However, they don’t want to elaborate.
The rest of the tribe members, who haven’t been directly influenced by Eros and have only heard stories about the Calco tribe from their seafaring fisher-warriors, might be more willing to talk privately (to ensure a private conversation, persuasion DL 10 – “I probably shouldn’t!?” and DL 15 – “The fisherman-soldiers are acting strangely, I’m a bit afraid of them”). If persuasion succeeds, then they discuss the poisonous pearls, the Yaxchila cult of the Calco tribe, that Yaxchila is against the city, how the Rapatzani tribe went mad, etc. Additionally, they might discuss the memory problems of their fisher-warriors and how all previously mentioned stories originate from them. The other tribe members haven’t witnessed any Calco human sacrifices or Rapatzani’s public confrontation with Calco themselves.
Social skills check DL 15 reveals that the tribe members feel great fear and embarrassment about something, and if persuaded to open up further (DL 15 – “Embarrassing and frightening story” and DL 25 – “Fear of divine punishment”), they will reveal that the Seamother priests and priestesses of their tribe have seemingly lost their spells given by Seamother – at least, they no longer use them, and their blessings don’t work. However, the priests themselves insist that everything is still fine.
If persuasion fails, there’s a 50% chance the person will go to the tribe’s warriors and inform them about the PCs, who now take interest in them. Depending on how the conversation goes between the PCs and the warriors, the PCs might be expelled from the district, or they will be watched more closely. Another unsuccessful persuasion attempt might lead to their final expulsion from the district.
The PCs can also attempt to meet with chief Torsoc of the tribe, which is possible without persuasion only if the PCs have already proven themselves in the city (e.g., dispersing the Iron Runners gang). Unproven PCs need to handle the guards at Torsoc’s residence skilfully (DL 15 – “I don’t know you, and I shouldn’t let you in,” DL 20 – “Letting random people in might cause me trouble,” DL 25 – “If you do anything bad afterward, I can be severely punished”). Torsoc himself isn’t interested in meeting the PCs unless they can convince him through his house guard with an interesting piece of information.
If the PCs choose to spy on or track the tribe, they can remain hidden as long as they haven’t drawn any negative attention from the tribe previously. Refer to the surveillance results below in the Hints section.
The PCs could also opt to capture a fisher-warrior or priest for interrogation. Through persuasion and threats, they may learn that the tribe captures Seamother’s Daughters and brings them to priest Suru on Sitka Island to break the curse of the poisonous pearls.
Approaching the Rapatzani tribe’s district results in a poorly articulated recommendation not to come closer, and if the PCs still approach, the armed Rapatzani warriors behind barricades will open fire with all the weapons they have. Typically, there are 5-8 (1d4+4) warriors guarding a street barricade.
The PCs might also mistakenly believe that talking to Zenižlav could benefit them. However, Zenižlav has merely been a messenger throughout the scheme. Even if he wanted to open up to the PCs (which he doesn’t), he knows little beyond sending representatives from the tribes to negotiate with ban Bogodan due to some offer the latter has made. Zenižlav can only be persuaded if the PCs somehow capture him and use threats, although he initially attempts to lie to them. Zenižlav’s Social Skills are +8. He only leaves his fortress accompanied by 8 well-armed guards. Use the stats of Bogodan’s warriors for both Zenižlav and his roadic mercenaries.
The PCs might eventually become intrigued by another of Zenižlav’s activities. Every few weeks, he visits the soulsmith Zolina Shadowbender, who resides in the Iron District. He acquires 5 pairs of Soulshackles +2 from her and then dispatches them to Ixitza Naval Fortress using a small sailboat. He is uncertain about why ban Bogodan assigned him this task, and he is unaware of the true purpose of the Soulshackles. The PCs could observe Zenižlav’s actions if they trail him or later take control of the Iron District.
Eros needs the Soulshackles to gain control over the Daughters of Seamother.
Trailing Zenižlav leads PCs to the Crime Districts and starts the Crime Districts Dungeon Crawl.
If the PCs decide to search for hints elsewhere in the city, you can allow them to make skill checks in turns to find Hints (similar to Secrets in Dungeon Crawls). Each successful check can provide some kind of clue, and finding a hint takes half a day.
Skills that the PCs can use for finding hints:
History and Linguistics
Geography and Navigation
Law and Society
Mathematics and Economy
Metaphysics and Otherworld
Fishing Grounds and Seamother’s Undercroft
History and Linguistics, Geography and Navigation, or Theology DL 5
If for some reason the players decide not to examine the area’s map, provide it to them and draw their attention to where the tribe’s fisher-warriors fish and the location of the local sea god’s sacred place.
Ixitza Naval Fortress (Former Itzan naval base)
History and Linguistics or Geography and Navigation DL 5
If players have questions about Ixitza while looking at the map or seeking other clues, it is an open secret that the former naval base has been seized by ban Bogodan, the leader of the Roadic mercenary fleet that fought under the Zipopani flag in the Great Itza-Zipopan War. It’s also not a secret that ban Bogodan engages in piracy, disturbing Irongate locals relatively little. The reason is quite simple – ban Bogodan targets only Asteanic merchant ships and generally leaves those coming to Kaliland alone. Some of ban Bogodan’s mercenaries now reside in Irongate and directly serve Zipopani rulers in an occupying military force with the resounding name of the “Zipopan Open Seas Peace Force” located at the city’s harbor.
Wealthy Fisher-Warriors of the Tipivana Tribe
Social skills or Law and Society DL 10
Rumours circulate that the Tipivana tribe’s fisher-warriors have become wealthier lately, purchasing lavish items from the city, improving their attire, etc. This could be attributed to the capture of Calco tribe’s fishing territories.
Refugees from the Rapatzan Tribe
Social skills or Law and Society DL 10, and without needing a check if the PCs actively search for refugee families.
Families that have fled from the Rapatzan tribe are in dire straits, residing in makeshift shelters or abandoned buildings in the Crime Districts. Refugees recount how the Rapatzan tribe’s fisher-warriors gradually lost their sanity until they went completely mad and took the rest of the tribe hostage. They share tales of the impending apocalypse and memory loss. When asked about the origin and cause of these changes, they believe that things started to shift after the Roadic mercenary Zenižlav promised the tribe some sort of great fortune. The fisher-warriors suddenly started bringing back gold coins and other riches from their fishing expeditions. However, they concealed their newfound wealth and the refugees received no share.
Rapatzan Tribe’s Fisher-Warrior Rox
Social skills or Law and Society DL 20
Rox is one of the Rapatzan tribe’s escapees – the lone one-handed fisher-warrior. He suffers from memory issues, and conflicting memories have driven the middle-aged man to alcoholism. He spends his days begging for coin or a sip of mezcal in front of various mezcalhouses.
For a drink or some (drink) money, he’s willing to share an intriguing story:
During one of Rapatzan fishing trips, Rox lost his hand – but it wasn’t actually a fishing trip. They captured a Seamother’s Daughter (during the struggle, he lost his hand to the sharks controlled by her) and took her to Ixitza Naval Fortress. Rox doesn’t remember exactly what happened there, as he suffered from blood loss on the catamaran while the others went ashore. Nothing like this had happened before, and when he later talked about his memory at home, all his crewmates said it didn’t happen and claimed they were just catching fish – no one could explain how Rox lost his hand. Rox never got back out to sea, and as the confusion among the other fisher-warriors deepened, he had to flee from the tribe. Rox doesn’t know if his memory is true or if he’s imagining it, but a shark did bite his hand off after all.
Metaphysics and Otherworld or Theology DL 15, Social skills DL 25
Word on the street is that the Tipivana tribe’s priestess of Seamother, Torta, has lost her powers. Investigating this rumour leads to a ceramist who shares that they sought Torta’s blessing for an important commission – they paid her, but the blessing didn’t work.
Mathematics and Economy or Theology DL 10, or Social Skills or Law and Society DL 20
Rumours circulate about a goldsmith specializing in crafting jewellery for Seamother’s Daughters who has grown considerably richer in recent weeks. He proudly boasts about his wealth while sipping mezcal in mezcalhouses. Theology DL 5 reveals information about the traditions surrounding the West-Kali seas and the ruling Seamother’s Daughters: they govern the fishing grounds, and fishermen who want to catch fish in their controlled waters without punishment must gift valuable gemstone jewellery to the Daughters. Usually, the tribe donates one piece of jewellery each month. Meeting the goldsmith, he reveals that the Tipivana tribe has commissioned him to create 100 pieces of jewellery for Seamother’s Daughters. The quantity is so large that he’s subcontracted nearly half of the city’s goldsmiths and anticipates significant profits from the trade. He has already delivered 20 pieces.
Poor Fishing Haul
Mathematics and Economy DL 10 or Perception DL 15
While observing the Tipivana tribe or exploring their district, the PCs notice a large catamaran returning from a fishing expedition. The fisher-warriors on board look content, as if they’ve had a great catch – yet there’s no sign of fish. Well, not enough to warrant celebration. A careful observation (Perception DL 20) reveals among the goods unloaded from the catamaran a heavy chest emitting a metallic clink as it’s carried. This chest contains 20 kg of Asteaani silver coins, totalling 7500 SD.
Metaphysics and Otherworld or Theology 15 or Perception 20
While observing the Tipivana tribe or wandering around their district, the PCs notice a rather peculiar fishing gear – harpoons with silver tips. Silver weapons are used exclusively for combat against otherworldly beings or ghosts.
Reward for Information
Xoxo Calco is satisfied with any coherent theory to reward the PCs for the information. This theory can be either the truth about what’s actually happening if the PCs figure it out, or some misunderstood theory. If the PCs decide to deceive Xoxo and he ends up believing them (Xoxo’s Social skills are +8), he will reward them as well. After all, Xoxo himself doesn’t know the truth either.
Solving the Problem
Fully resolving or completely understanding the problem might be beyond the capabilities of starting PCs, in which case it’s a good idea to guide them towards dealing with other adventures for a while. They can return stronger, wiser, and with more allies. However, players can always surprise with an unexpected solution.
Nevertheless, the PCs should be reminded that they don’t have unlimited time – Xoxo Calco might take matters into his own hands at some point and employ warriors to solve the issue.
There isn’t a single correct solution to the problem; PCs can find various unexpected ways to address it. Here are a few ways that could partially solve the problem:
- If all 6 priests of the Tipivana tribe are eliminated (including chief Torsoc), the hunters would take the Seamother’s Daughters, if they manage to catch any without a priest, to the uninhabited Sitka Island. Eventually, they would be forced to release the daughters, as no divine healer would come to their aid. The tribe would eventually give up the hunt for the daughters and be willing to negotiate with the Calco tribe.
- Eliminating either tribe physically.
- Rescuing the Rapatzan tribe from their folly would bring them to the negotiation table with the Calco tribe. If the Calco tribe gains access to the sea, the Tipivana tribe wouldn’t be able to go on their hunts anymore.
- If Zenižlav doesn’t pass the Soulshackles to Eros, Eros won’t be able to take the captured Seamother’s Daughters under his control.
The best solution for the city and the PCs would be to eliminate the Tipivana priests and save the Rapatzani tribe – this would have the most positive impact on the events of Book II.
Eros starts the game controlling 20 Daughters of Seamother, and every in-game week that the PCs haven’t stopped the Tipivana hunters, Eros gains 5 more Daughters of Seamother, reaching a maximum of 80 by the end of the Domain Turn when the adventure resolves itself.