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Author Topic: [Conspiracy of Shadows] Liars, Swords & Money: Part One  (Read 3163 times)
Keith Senkowski

Posts: 725

On A Downward Spiral...

« on: August 23, 2004, 01:39:41 PM »


Before GenCon we played part one of this three Episode story.  You can read about the Episodes that came before it here.  This one layed the groundwork for the next two Episodes and had some interesting role-playing as well as set up several future conflicts.  

The way I ran this Episode was with a checklist of beats I wanted to hit and a checklist of information I wanted to convey to them.  They are not ordered and often some get dropped and new ones added depending on the actions of the protagonists.  I tend to run games by reacting to my players wants and desires rather than make them react to mine.  It makes for some interesting games.

Here is a summary broken down by day.

Day One
    [*]Protagonists (Ruud, Shovan, Elek & Humberto) arrive with their caravan of dependents and allies after several weeks and a stop over at Ruud's home in the capitol city of Nanovich.  [*]Andre (thug from Exposing the Shadows Episode 2) disappears as they travel through the Warrens.  
    [*]Geraldo (merchant contact now staunch ally) takes the carts to brother's household and gets a job as his new accountant.  The last accountant now swims with the fishes cause he skimmed.  Merchant houses in Nanovich are great walled estates with warehouses and storefronts.
    [*]Hvinn (pronounced Quinn as seen in the pronunciation guide of Conspiracy of Shadows), their smuggler contact now ally also leaves to try and establish a new business in the city.
    [*]They get a room at the Scholar's Quill in the Old City (home to nobles, posh businesses, the church, and the king's castle) since it is close to the library.  Father Danya is strangely quiet and locks himself in his room with their tomes of the occult and forbidden.  In case you didn't read the previous episodes, the Librarian (Lucian) is an old friend of Father Danya and might know about the weird infection they got from the demon Shurgath.
    [*]They bed down for the night, but Humberto, Ruud and Shovan get attacked by assassins (2) trying to blow them up with an incendiary device (which are a new problem coming from the nation in the south called Halinga).  They are from Lord Rannovich, the bad guy from the pilot.  The guards shrug it off as a issue between noble houses (Ruud's father was the King's Huntsman and a minor noble).
    Day Two
      [*]They head to the Library in the morning and encounter Father Kell (Lucian's friend who is also a priest of the Amdati Church) and Milos (Lucian's absent minded assistant).  Kell tells them his buddy has disappeared and askes if they can track him down.  Danya dismisses Kell as the ass kisser he was when Danya was stationed in Nanovich and Kell was a student.
      [*]They hit Lucian's place and find his diary (filled with talk of bad dreams that have many similarities to their own problems), the diary of the previous King's Hand (right hand man of the king), a family tree, and a to-do list naming a Captain Jurgvan.  However, they note no signs of a kidnapping or weird sewage (see Episodes 001-002).
      [*]Elek and Kjustav (pronounced Gustav as seen in the pronunciation guide of Conspiracy of Shadows) meet up with Hvinn and learn a few things (recent shake up in underworld, King's guard cut down because of trouble in the northeast, never heard of Lucian).  Says he will keep his ear to the ground about Lucian and anything else.  Kjustav decides to stay on with Hvinn to help him try to take advantage of the recent shake-up.  
      [*]At the same time Ruud, Humberto and Shovan are met by the King's Hand at the Inn.  He talks about his and the king's saddness about the death of Ruuds father, the trouble with Slavick (See Episode 003) and his current troubles.  He thinks House Talvan (cousin of the king) is seeking to smuggle in weapons and men to overthrow the king.  Asks Ruud to keep an eye out for this kind of activity and gives them a writ for supplies at the castle's armoury.
      [*]They meet up with Elek, get some gear and then head over to the watch's headquarters to ask for a Captain Jurgvan (not a guard captain) so they head out to see Hvinn to see if he heard of Jurgvan and get attacked by street toughs.  However the street toughs are wearing chain mail and carry battle swords under their clothes.  Also they are clean shaven and have clean boots.
      [*]Hvinn tells them where to find Jurgvan (who is also it seems a smuggler).  He also gives them the 411 (put in 11 days ago, stays largely on the ship and seems edgy, has 10 mother-killers as a part of his crew, killed men for stealing from the crew's food store before).  He also warns them about dealing with the Merchant Houses and how they are upset with the king too.
      [*]Jurgvan meets them after a very funny, but subtle bribe by Ruud to a crew member guarding the gang-way to the ship.  They learn that Lucian traveled with the Captain 3 years ago (when he disappeared the first time).  He then was dropped off at one of the decadent cities of the Lost South.  He had also come to see him two days before and was asking about their travels as if he did not remember them.
      [*]Seeing it as a dead end they then went to question Milos.  Got no information, came to the conclusion that Milos is a moron and too stupid to do anything and went home (Scholar's Quill.  Humberto then walked into Father Danya's room when he heard a strange noise to find him being tied up by three goons.  And fade to black...

      I think I enjoyed this one more than my players, but I think once all the other pieces fall into place they will like it more.  It is hard to run a set-up episode, but I intersperced it with combat and a few red herrings to maintain the pacing at, well an exciting pace.

      Some of you may have noticed I co-opted parts of "A Death in Freeport."  However, those elements are, though important to the main plot (getting rid of Shurgath's infection and finding a way to fight him) they are tangents to the main story going on in Nanovich (the conflict between the Merchant's Council, House Talvan and the King's Hand).  I've set up some interesting conflicts (by accident of course) because all the protagonists are sympathetic towards Slavick (Episode 003) and not the king with the exception of Ruud who is a king's man thru and thru.  Next week Part Two will play out and the real fun will begin...


      Conspiracy of Shadows: Revised Edition
      Everything about the game, from the mechanics, to the artwork, to the layout just screams creepy, creepy, creepy at me. I love it.
      ~ Paul Tevis, Have Games, Will Travel
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