Salt and Sand - The Docks of Chiarascuro
rating: 0+x

By HoratioAtTheBridge

The Docks of Chiarascuro

The Circle has limped into port and sent a messenger to their contact in Chiarascuro, Yusuf bin Fouad. bin Fouad has worked with them before as a fence and supplier, and may even be related to one of the PCs. He is a natural person for them to contact to help with ship repairs and to hide them from the Realm.

The adventure truly begins with this scene. The Realm has cast a wide net to catch the Circle and have spies in all of the major ports on the Inner Sea. They've also bribed and threatened local leaders, including the Tri Kahn, to ensure that the Circle is quickly found. Once found, a message is sent to Peleps Deled and Mnemon Cayla, who lead a Wyld Hunt staffed by Mnemon and Sessus soldiers to eradicate the Anathema. Yusuf is among the local leaders who were threatened into helping, and as soon as he received the message that the Circle's chip had been spotted in the port, he sent a messenger to Mnemon Cayla to say that they were coming. He then gathered his servants and went to greet them…perhaps even before they have an opportunity to ask for his help.

Describe the busy port to the players, with porters offloading cargo, merchants buying and selling goods, street vendors and inn keepers vying for the coin of recently arrived sailors, and guides trying to get the attention of newly arrived foreigners who need help finding their way around town. Out of this chaos, their old friend and/or uncle Yusuf emerges. He greets the party warmly and immediately directs his assemblage of servants to gather the party's gear. They will, of course, stay with him for the duration of their stay in Chiarascuro.

NPCs

Yusuf bin-Fouad
Abd al-Malik
Linna Iselsi
Various porters and servants

Yusuf greets the Circle warmly, lavishing them with praise and gifts. This is an attempt to instill in them a positive intimacy towards himself. His Persuasion skill suffers a -3 penalty from working a crowd, but gains a +2 bonus from the use of gifts. Compare the results of his roll to each Circle member's Resolve and add a Minor intimacy of (Is a Good Host) to each PC who's resolve is equal to or less than the number of successes on Yusuf's roll. He then sends his servants forward to carry the party's things and invites them back to his manor in the city to rest while their ship is being prepared. This will take about a week.

Add the following Intimacies to Yusuf's character sheet for this adventure:

Defining Ties: Peleps Deled (Abject Terror)
Major Ties: The Player Circle (Guilt)

Abd al-Malik is present in the role of Yusuf's bodyguard. He does not speak to the Circle, but does watch them closely.

Add the following Intimacies to al-Malik's character sheet for this adventure:

Major Ties: Mnemon Cayla (Esteem), The Player Circle (Fear and Loathing)
Minor Ties: Peleps Deled (Wary Caution)

Linna has set up a network of spies to monitor the Circle's activities, but wants to take this opportunity to see them for herself. She has used all of her skill as a Dragon-Blooded Exalt to hide her presence from these very dangerous foes, but this does represent a rare moment of vulnerability for her.

Add the following Intimacies to Linna's character sheet for this adventure:

Minor Ties: Peleps Deled (Loathing), Mnemon Cayla (Respect)

Initial Impressions

The adventure truly begins with this scene. The players should finish the scene with an understanding that they are in danger, though the precise nature of that danger might not be known. Several clues are presented which the players may follow up on in following scenes. The players may find the following information:

  • Automatic information
    • Yusuf seems nervous
    • Several members of the crowd seem to be taking a close interest in what's going on
    • The Circle, on the way here, has discussed the possibility that the Realm has agents looking for them.
  • Read Intentions, difficulty = target's Guile, player must ask how target feels about a specific subject
    • Yusuf
      • The Party - He feels guilty about something. The ST should tell the players that this is different than how Yusuf felt about them in the past.
      • The Realm - He is afraid of them, to the level of a Defining Intimacy. The ST should tell the players that this can be achieved with Intimidation actions or that it seems as if Yusuf has been threatened based on the intensity of these feelings. Also the ST should mention that this is different than how Yusuf has talked of the Realm in the past.
      • The Tri-Kahn - He is also feeling guilty about the Tri-Kahn for some reason. Once again, this is different than his past feelings towards the Tri-Kahn.
    • al-Malik
      • The Party - He loathes and fears them
      • The Realm - He seems to have a positive opinion of them, perhaps even viewing them as an ally (al-Malik does take pains to avoid this topic if asked, so increase his Guile by 1 as he attempts to deflect the conversation)
      • The Tri-Kahn - His first loyalty is not to the Tri-Kahn, but to the City-State as a whole
      • Yusuf - He has no particular loyalty to Yusuf, which is odd for a man's bodyguard.
    • The Crowd - Note that a player suffers a -3 penalty for using a social action against a group of people
      • Difficulty 2: For the most part, the crowd is not interested in the Circle except as a curiosity. There's a subset of the crowd that feel more strongly - some express hatred, others nervousness.
      • Difficulty 4, or automatically with some Socialize Charms: There is a subset of people in Yusuf's group who are associated with each other. These also include the people who showed more intense interest in the Circle. It's possible that these are friends or close coworkers, but they keep interacting with each other in whispers and meaningful gestures.
      • Difficulty 6, or automatically with some Socialize Charms: The clique in Yusuf's group includes some people in the crowd itself, who sometimes interact with Yusuf's people in the same whispers and meaningful gestures. That clinches it - these people are spies who are watching the group.
  • Presence - The circle may request information from people in the crowd. Difficulty = target's Resolve, and requires some intimacy to support the action being requested. Threaten or bribery actions may be used to create such an intimacy.
    • Free Information
      • What is the Realm presence in Chiarascuro? - Minimal. The garrison left a few years ago to go back to the Blessed Isle, though a few Dragon-Blooded still do business in the city. The Tri-Kahn does send tribute to the Blessed Isle periodically.
      • Yusuf bin-Fouad - How did you know we were coming? - With a twinkle in his eye, Yusuf says he knows everything that happens in this city.
      • The results of interrogating Yusuf or al-Malik at greater length are described below.
  • Awareness
    • Difficulty 1 - al-Malik is staring at you a bit much.
    • Difficulty 2 - Several members of the crowd are showing a bit more that casual interest in the Circle, stopping to watch what's going on. This also notices the whispering among members of Yusuf's staff, though not the significance of it.
    • Difficulty 12 - Linna is hiding on a rooftop.
  • Lore, requires background in politics, warfare, or spycraft
    • Difficulty 1 - The Realm is sure to have some agents in town and some plan to attack the party.
    • Difficulty 1, if asked & with above backgrounds or background in Chiarascuro - How did Yusuf know we were here? Yusuf has a network of spies and lookouts gathering useful information.
      • Difficulty 3, additional information for above - Yusuf considers our presence useful information, and went out of his way to act on this information. He must be mixed up with the Realm's search somehow.
    • With clues that Yusuf is nervous, Malik supports the Realm, and/or the nervousness and hatred of the crowd
      • Difficulty 3 - These people have likely been suborned by the Realm and are reporting to them.
      • Difficulty 5 - The fact that the Realm is relying on local spies means that they do not have soldiers nearby. A messenger must be sent to the Realm forces and it will take them some time to respond; several days at least, perhaps a week.

Aftermath

The Circle now has some leads to follow. At the very least they've noticed that Yusuf is nervous and that people are watching them, and if they rolled well then they have a few specific faces from the crowd upon whom to focus their efforts. If they investigate Yusuf, go to Salt and Sand: Yusuf bin-Fouad. If they start to investigate the crowd members or al-Malik, go to Salt and Sand: The Spy Ring. If they rolled really well and noticed Linna, go to Salt and Sand: The Spy Master.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License