Sidetrek: Mountain Locusts
rating: 0+x

By HoratioAtTheBridge

Mountain Locusts

This adventure begins as the Circle hears rumors of strange activity in the mountains near Gem. This activity consists of strangely armored people operating a mine near the town of Lagoman. This adventure brings the Circle into contact with Autochthonian forces from Yugash as well as the officials enforcing Rankar VII's monopoly of the gem trade. This adventure can be used to populate a rumor table in Gem, as an introduction to the Locust Crusade, as a red herring in some other adventure, or as an introductory scenario to learn about the system. None of the combat challenges in the scenario are more difficult than a group of heroic mortals can handle, and the main interest of the scenario is how the players resolve the conflicts presented in their investigations.

Intended for: Any Group

Pregenerated Circle: The Bride, The Boxer, The Astrologer, The Minstrel, The Desert Noble

Duration: 1 session of 4 hours

NPCs

Ustat Neda - Use the Snakefolk Merchant QC for this character, but remove the Bite attack and reduce Soak by 4.

Neda is the chief of Lagoman. Her grandson, Khalil, spotted the strangers when tending sheep up in the mountains. This strange activity has been the talk of the town, and Neda has had to forbid several of the more adventuresome youths from venturing up into the mountains to get a closer look. She has a live and let live attitude toward "the prospectors," as she calls them, and has been content to leave them alone as long as they leave the village alone. However, now that some of those youths have ignored her warnings and gone missing, she's in a position where she has to do something about the problem. She's afraid of what might happen if the village tries to attack the prospectors and they turn out to be powerful. The PCs are a convenient solution to her problem, as she can use them to find out more about these prospectors with minimal risk to her people. She's very proud of the prosperity she's achieved in the town and will happily talk at length about the cotton fields that she had planted and the long term wealth that the crop will bring her people. Her intimacies follow:

Defining Principles: I Am a Shrewd and Wise Leader
Defining Ties:
Major Principles: Live and Let Live
Major Ties: Lagoman & Family (Protective Pride)
Minor Principles: I Have One Word For You, Just One Word, Are You Ready? Cotton. Think About It.
Minor Ties:

Khalil bin Neda - Use the Brigand QC for this character

Khalil is the teenaged grandson of Neda and works as a shepherd in the mountains around Lagoman. He's an active, curious boy, and would be happy to lead the party to where he spotted the strange folk in the mountain. He describes them as being kind of bug-like, and guesses that they might be Realm troops if asked. If shown a picture of Realm troops (requiring a Wits + Craft roll with 1 success) he can say that these people don't look like the picture. He is in love with a girl named Aatifa, but his best friend Hafiz is also in love with her. The two of them and Aatifa's sister Mona are the children who disappeared. He's very concerned for his friends, but is also mad at Hafiz for sneaking of with Aatifa without him. His Intimacies follow:

Defining Principles: Someday I Will Be Chief.
Defining Ties: Aatifa (First Love)
Major Principles:
Major Ties: Grandma Neda (Love and Respect), Hafiz (Friend and Rival)
Minor Principles: Adventure!
Minor Ties: My Goats (Sober Responsibility), Mona (Responsibility Towards)

Hafiz Lagomani - Use the Brigand QC for this character

Hafiz is another one of the villagers in Lagoman. Khalil is his best friend, but he's always been jealous of his friend's position as the grandson of the village chief and the assumption that Khalil will follow his grandmother in leadership. When Khalil became the center of attention after spotting the strange miners, especially Aatifa's attention, Hafiz's jealousy overtook him. He convinced Aatifa to sneak away and go see the intruders, hoping to demonstrate his bravery. Unfortunately Mona came too. His Intimacies follow:

Defining Principles:
Defining Ties: Khalil (Jealousy and Love)
Major Principles: I Will Prove My Manhood
Major Ties:
Minor Principles:
Minor Ties: Aatifa (Love?), Mona (Annoyance)

Aatifa Lagomani - Use the Brigand QC for this character, but increase Appearance to 3.

Aatifa is a teenager living in Lagoman. She is the most beautiful girl in Lagoman, at least according to Khalil. She finds the attention of the boys in her village pleasant but dislikes how it makes them behave. In a way it would be simpler if she was back to the days that they all just played together in the fields. She has a deep connection to her sister, and their family has become one of the richest in the village thanks to the new cotton crop. She is a very intelligent and curious girl, so could not turn down an opportunity to see the miners when Hafiz suggested it. Her Intimacies follow:

Defining Principles:
Defining Ties: Mona (Beloved Sister)
Major Principles: Curiosity
Major Ties:
Minor Principles: Hafiz (Love), Khalil (Love)
Minor Ties: Grandma Neda (Grateful for Family's Opportunity)

Mona Lagomani - Use the Brigand QC for this character. Add a Read Intentions pool of 6 dice.

Mona is a child living in Lagoman. She has a deep and abiding bond with her sister Aatifa and follows her everywhere. She has a good sense of character and is quick to kindness. Her Intimacies follow:

Defining Principles:
Defining Ties: Aatifa (Beloved Big Sister)
Major Principles: Kindness
Major Ties:
Minor Principles: Don't Leave Me Behind!
Minor Ties: Komandant Daria (She's nice)

Jagran Gul - Use the Grizzled Mercenary QC for this character, but drop Sailing and the Hideous tag on Appearance. Add a Command pool of 6 dice.

Gul is an officer in Rankar VII's military. He's also heard rumours of the illegal mine in the mountains near Lagoman (perhaps even from the PCs if they brought it to the attention of Rankar's officials). He's rounded up a squad of a dozen off-duty troops and bounty hunters to secure the bounty from shutting down the mine. These constitute a Size 2, Drill 0, Might 0 battle group based on the Medium Infantry QC. His intimacies follow:

Defining Principles: Amass Wealth
Defining Ties:
Major Principles:
Major Ties: Fellow Soldiers (Band of Brothers), Interlopers (Disgust)
Minor Principles:
Minor Ties: Bounty Hunters (Disposable Minions)

Komandant Daria - Use the Champion QC for this character. Add a Command pool of 7 dice and increase her accuracy pools by 2 dice as they benefit from high quality Autochthonian weaponry.

Daria is the head of this small group of miners from Yugash. A survey of the area identified deposits of Kunzite, which is used in Yugash to make lightweight metal alloys, as well as signs of moonsilver. She leads a group of 10 Yugash soldiers which form a Size 2, Drill 2, Might 1 battlegroup based on the Medium Infantry QC. They watch over a group of 30 worker drones who are typically non-combatants. They can join a fight if hard pressed, however, changing Daria's battlegroup to Size 3, Drill 1, and Might 0. This base is somewhat isolated from Yugash's main area of operations and the break in the Seal of Eight Divinities, so cannot expect reinforcements quickly. Ardent Venture, a Moonsilver Alchemical with Protocols of Flight, helped to set this base up and checks in once a week to pick up what they've produced. Daria is a great-granddaughter of one of Ardent Venture's component souls, so they have a familial relationship. Daria's intimacies follow:

Defining Principles: Duty
Defining Ties:
Major Principles:
Major Ties: People Under My Command (Protective), Creation (Unexpected Beauty)
Minor Principles:
Minor Ties: Ardent Venture (Honored Ancestor)

Investigation

Ustat Neda will welcome the strangers to her village when they approach. She serves them tea and milk with scrupulous hospitality before inquiring as to their business. Neda is able to tell the party about the miners, who were spotted by her grandson Khalil, and can give updated information. Since the rumors reached Gem, a group of children from Lagoman disappeared in the hills near the prospectors. She will bring up these children on her own if the party does not ask about them, and offer the party a base in the village to investigate the prospectors and find the children. She does not know for sure that the children went to the mine, but it makes the most sense. She can offer a cache of coins sufficient to make a Resources 2 purchase, or bales of cotton worth resources 3 if the party really press the issue.

Once the party has accepted or rejected the mission, she will summon her grandson to tell more about the interlopers. Khalil can describe the strangely dressed troops as well as show the party where they are located. He can tell them more about his friends, though he does not offer an explanation for why they would go to look at the miners unless pressed. He then talks at length about the complicated relationships between himself, Hafiz, and Aatifa as if they were matters of life and death…which, at this point, they have become!

Locating the Mine

Khalil can tell the players where he spotted the illegal miners. From there, it is an Extended Perception + Survival Roll with Difficulty 1, Threshold 5, and interval of 30 minutes to track the miners to their mine. If Khalil accompanies the players, his knowledge of the area grants them one automatic success on each interval.

If the party is traveling stealthily, have them roll once and save that result for future efforts. Each party member gains +1 success from the broken terrain. If Khalil is accompanying the party, they gain an additional +1 success on the Stealth roll. Do not reroll unless they leave the area or some equivalent event changes the circumstances. The Threshold of the Perception + Survival roll to locate the camp increases to 10 if the party is being stealthy, however, because they are dividing their attentions between avoiding notice and looking for tracks.

Infiltrating the Mine

Once the players have located the Yugashian camp, infiltrating it is based on a push your luck mechanic. Have the players roll Dexterity + Stealth and save their results (if they already rolled Stealth while they were looking for tracks, keep that result). Grant each player one automatic success for the broken terrain. If Khalil is present, grant an additional automatic success to each character because of his knowledge of the area. Khalil himself will roll 2 successes, for a total of 4 with the broken terrain and his own knowledge. As the players push deeper into the mine, compare the result of their roll with the roll of the people in the zone where they've entered.

Surveying the Mine - Sentries roll 4 dice

If the players stay near the edge of the mine they may observe the goings on with relatively low risk of being spotted in return. While Daria's men are disciplined and alert, many days of minimal activity have dulled their edge. From this distance, the players may attempt a Perception + Awareness roll to learn about the mine.

Basic Success (1+) - The player character may see the odd insectile helmets and recognize that these are not Realm troops. They see that this is indeed a mine, with a large stack of crates both filled and empty. There's a division between soldiers guarding the place and workers mining it. Oddly, there's no sign of a camp where the soldiers and miners would sleep. Aatifa and Hafiz can be seen with the miners, performing jobs like carrying equipment around and sorting rocks into containers.

Great Success (3+) - The player character is able to count the soldiers and workers. There are 11 soldiers, one of whom is clearly in command. There are 30 workers. They are mining some sort of greenish and yellowish crystal, though there is one crate with a quicksilver white mineral. The player character is also able to see insignia on the soldiers and workers. Anyone who speaks Old Realm, High Realm, or Low Realm or has at least one dot of Linguistics is able to recognize these insignia as Old Realm glyphs. At this level of success, the players can see that Aatifa and Hafiz have not been hurt.

Exceptional Success (5+) - The player character is able to see just enough into the mine to note that there are personal quarters dug into the mountain. The soldiers and workers apparently sleep underground. Furthermore, the player character is able to hear snatches of conversation from the workers. They are speaking some foreign language. Anyone who speaks Old Realm, High Realm, or Low Realm or has at least one dot of Linguistics is able to recognize this as a variant of Old Realm.

Approaching the Mine - Miners and Sentries roll 6 dice

It is much easier to gather information if the player characters enter the working area around the mine, but they're more likely to be caught. However, there's enough cover available to make an approach possible. Once near the mine, they may roll Perception + Awareness as above:

Basic Success (1+) - The player character gains all information about the uniforms, glyph, and language described above. They are also able to count the number of soldiers and workers as well as get a look at the produce of the mine.

Great Success (3+) - The player character is able to spot the barracks inside the mine. Mona is inside the mine, speaking with a miner who is has her helmet tucked under her arm.

The player characters may attempt to steal a uniform by rolling Dexterity + Larceny. The difficulty is equal to the number of uniforms that the group attempts to steal. Once stolen, the player characters may attempt a Manipulation + Larceny roll to investigate the mine in place of the Dexterity + Stealth roll. The full-body obscuring nature of the uniforms and the natural acceptance of the Autochthonians for anything familiar grants the player characters 2 automatic successes on this roll. If the player character speaks Old Realm, grant an additional +1 automatic success.

Entering the Mine - Kommandant Daria rolls 8 dice and gets 1 automatic success from the close quarters

The cramped and crowded interior of the mine is difficult to infiltrate, but there's just enough bustle and activity to enable the effort. From here it can be seen that the main shaft leads down into the mountain and splits off into 3 galleries. The first gallery leads to a chamber that's been widened to serve as a barracks. The barracks contains cots and footlockers, with one chair and table at the far end. There's a pile of boxes by the table. There are papers spread out over the table and neatly filed in the boxes. Another pile of boxes near the entrance contains mining equipment. The other two galleries are working areas where there is active mining.

Stealing the papers is a Dexterity + Larceny roll with a Difficulty of 1 to grab a handful of papers or a Difficulty of 5 of extract an entire box. Each additional box increases the Difficulty by 1. There are a total of three boxes. Player characters may attempt an Intelligence + Bureaucracy or Investigation check at Difficulty 3 to identify the most important documents, but the papers are in Old Realm. If they do not speak Old, High, or Low Realm they take a -5 die penalty on this roll. If they speak Low Realm but not the others, the penalty is reduced to -4. If they speak High Realm but not Old Realm, the penalty is -2. If they speak Old Realm then there is no penalty.

The players may attempt to sneak up and listen to Mona and the miner speak. Mona seems to be trying to teach the miner Firetongue.

Getting Caught

If the characters are spotted, Komandant Daria has her troops move to surround the player characters and level crossbows at them. She calls out one of the few phrases she knows in Firetongue - "Give up." Daria and her troops hope to capture the player characters without a fight, but will fight with resolve if the player characters respond with lethal force. Mona will shriek in terror at this outbreak of violence, but doesn't have time to interfere if the player characters launch the attack. She will be shocked after the attack, and a Read Intentions action can determine that she is angry at the party for killing the miners.

Follow-Up Questions

If the players ask about the odd uniforms, glyphs, or language, or otherwise attempt to identify the soldiers, they may attempt an Intelligence + Lore roll.

Basic Success (1+) - These soldiers are not from any local tribe or kingdom, nor are they from the Realm, Lookshy, or any other known major power.

Great Success (3+) - There have been reports of so called "Locust Men" raiding areas in the South, taking food, water, people, metals, and magical materials. They seem to have little interest in lumber, oddly enough. These people are also Locust Men, but are far away from the locations where they've been reported before. Lower the difficulty of this information by 1 if the players successfully make out the Old Realm Glyphs, and by another 1 if they hear and recognize the language of the miners.

Exceptional Success (8+) - Legends speak of an ancient entity called Autochthon who assisted in the overthrow of the Primordials but was forced to leave Creation in the era of the Solar Deliberative. It's said that he took many mortals with him to attend to his needs Elsewhere. These people's equipment resembles artifacts of the Great Maker, and their speech and writing certainly indicate a connection to the First Age. Lower the difficulty of this information by 1 if the players successfully make out the Old Realm glyphs, and by another 1 if they hear and recognize the language of the miners.

If the players ask about what the glyphs say, have them roll Intelligence + Linguistics. If they do not speak Old, High, or Low Realm they take a -5 die penalty on this roll. If they speak Low Realm but not the others, the penalty is reduced to -4. If they speak High Realm but not Old Realm, the penalty is -2. If they speak Old Realm then there is no penalty.

Basic Success (1+) - The soldiers bear rank insignia indicating that they are the equivalent of line infantry in the Realm. The leader seems to be the equivalent of a wing lord, which is an unusually high rank for only 10 soldiers. The workers, oddly enough, also bear rank insignia. Most of them are simply "workers," but two of them have insignia identifying them as shift foremen. There's one glyph that seems pretty common, but it's a proper noun and can't be translated.

Great Success (3+) - The proper noun glyph would seem to indicate a country or region of origin for these miners.

If the players ask about the missing camp, have them roll Intelligence + Investigation.

Basic Success (1+) - They see the workers bringing personal items, tools, and food into and out of the caves. From this the player character is able to deduce that the miners all live in the cave. This is unusual as it would have taken a lot of effort to dig out proper barracks underground.

Great Success (3+) - Given that the location is remote, there are no major predators, and the chances of discovery are slim, it seems likely that the miners bivouac underground simply because they find that sufficiently more comfortable to justify the effort.

If the players ask about the crystals and ore produced by the mine, have them roll Intelligence + Craft, Lore, or Bureaucracy.

Basic Success (1+) - The white ore is moonsilver! The crystal is some sort of odd gemstone that's local to the region.

Great Success (3+) - The crystal is Kunzite. Lower the difficulty of this by 2 if the player character is familiar with the Gem region.

Exceptional Success (5+) - In addition to being used for jewelry, Kunzite can also be refined and used in certain alloys to make strong but lightweight metals. The techniques for doing this have been lost since the First Age, however, though perhaps a few members of the Realm might know of them.

If the players wish to examine the papers, they may roll Perception + Bureaucracy or Investigation. The papers are in Old Realm, so if they do not speak Old, High, or Low Realm they take a -5 die penalty on this roll. If they speak Low Realm but not the others, the penalty is reduced to -4. If they speak High Realm but not Old Realm, the penalty is -2. If they speak Old Realm then there is no penalty.

Basic Success (1+) - The papers are maps of the surrounding areas, lists of supplies coming in, lists of ore and crystals going out, watch lists, duty rosters, and other such bureaucratic information essential to running the mine.

Great Success (3+) - The player character finds that supplies are delivered and the ore/crystals are picked up by a being called an "Alchemical" by the name of Ardent Venture, who visits once a week. The player character is able to deduce that this outpost is quite far from the center of the Autochthonian's operations. Unfortunately there's not enough information to determine where this center is located as there's no information on Ardent Venture's speed and it's not clear that he spends the entire time between visits traveling.

Rescue

The most straightforward way to rescue the children is to attack the mine. If so, Daria and her troops respond with the same force that the player characters use. Again, she'll try to get the player characters to surrender. The player characters may notice during the fight with a Read Intentions Action, difficulty 2, that the troops defend the teenagers from this outside threat just as much as they defend the rest of the workers. In fact, they're even more zealous to defend the children because they are children.

Alternatively, the player characters may infiltrate the mine and sneak the children out. This requires that the characters successfully Enter the Mine at the difficulties given above, but the difficulties increase by 3 on the way out as they try to get the kids out. Mona is actually kind of reluctant to leave, but Aatifa tells her to be quiet and come along. Doesn't she want to go home to mommy and daddy?

If caught, again, Daria tries to get the PCs to surrender. This time Mona will interfere in any fighting, saying "No, they aren't hurting anybody!" if the player characters ready weapons.

If the player characters ask about what happened to the children, they talk over each other. Hafiz says that they were just looking when this big Locust Man jumped out of the rocks behind them. He tried to fight so the women could run away, but two others came up and grabbed him! Aatifa rolls her eyes, and Mona says "No you didn't, you ran away too and got grabbed by the nice Commandment lady!" Hafiz sputters and says that they were forced to work the mines, and Mona says that they were just helping and that Hafiz doesn't like to work anyway (Khalil will nod in agreement at that). Mona says that it's like the village; everyone helps everyone else out. If asked about what she was doing with the miner, Mona will confirm that she was teaching "Commandment Daria" to speak Firetongue. The Commandment is from very far away, and came here to get things that her people need. The Commandment is very curious about the village.

Negotiating

The player characters may attempt to talk to the miners to secure the children's release or may be convinced by Mona's reaction that it's worth going to talk to the interlopers. There is some initial tension as soldiers rush forward to confront anyone who approaches the mine, but Kommandant Daria will approach and ask "What want?" in barely intelligible Firetongue. The Yugashians speak in a corrupted form of Old Realm, so the player characters must speak some form of Realm to communicate with them at all. Have the player roll Wits + Linguistics. The Difficulty is 1 if they speak Old Realm, 3 if they speak High Realm, and 5 if they speak Low Realm. If the player fails the roll they can still speak in two word sentences made up of single syllable words using some mix of Realm and Daria's Firetongue. This roll may be repeated with each day of exposure to the Yugashians as the player characters learn more of their language. Mona can help, giving +2 dice to the roll based on her several days talking to the people in the mine.

If the players can establish communication with Komandant Daria, she is eager to discuss the situation. She is quick to reassure the player characters that she had no intention to harm the teenagers from Lagoman, but once they were caught poking around they had to be captured to protect the mine. The player characters are also to be held unless they've established themselves as some sort of envoy in which case Daria will honor diplomatic protocol. Daria will answer questions based on the Intimacy used to convince her to talk. These Intimacies can also be instilled by the player, or discovered through Read Intentions actions.

Free information: The miners are from a nation called Yugash, which is one of several in the body of the Great Maker. She will tell the names of the other nations if asked. The miners are proud workers representing Yugash, working for the nation to bring back much needed supplies. Daria is under orders to protect the mine from the locals, and has captured scouts and spies under the assumption that they might bring soldiers to the camp. They will be interrogated by a superior of hers named Ardent Venture, who is known as an Alchemical. Authocthon is not from Creation. How did we get here? Classified.

Minor Intimacy: Ardent Venture will arrive in a few days. This is a forward operating base, operating independently from the main effort. The main effort is much larger. Where is it? Classified. There are many other satellite operations to gather resources like food, magical materials, ores, gems etc. Now that the mine has been discovered, Ardent Venture will make the decision about what to do. He might reinforce security or evacuate everyone here. The last two statements aren't the full story, which may be discovered by exceeding Daria's Guile with a Read Intentions action.

Major Intimacy: This operation is important because they've discovered moonsilver. It cannot easily be abandoned. Daria is reluctant to mention this as it might make the player characters hostile, but Yugash is also capturing people to help repopulate their city. One of Ardent Venture's options is to conquer Lagoman and press its citizens into service to Yugash.

Defining Intimacy: The Yugashian center of operations is in a cavern about two hundred miles to the south-east. They arrived by breaching the Seal of Eight Divinities.

The players may have a few proposals for Daria. They require Intimacies to justify the proposal. Proposals may be attempted at the following Intimacy levels:

Free: Instill an intimacy in Daria that the children are not a threat. Instill an intimacy that Rankar VII has a prior claim on this area and his authority should be respected by officially requesting permission to work the mine/trade for goods.

Minor: Release the children back to their village. Instill an intimacy at Major level that the mine cannot be defended. Strengthen the intimacy that Rankar VII's authority should be respected.

Major: Initiate trade with the village "under the table." Sell moonsilver or Autochthonian equipment to the player characters. Evacuate the mine. Strengthen the intimacy that Rankar VII's authority should be respected.

Defining: Submit to Rankar VII's authority and get either permission to mine or trade for what they need. Daria will ask the player characters to act as an intermediary.

Back in Lagoman

Jagran Gul has arrived in Lagoman while the player characters are investigating the Autochthonians. He has whipped up some of the townsfolk to go and attack the mine, swelling his forces to Size 3. Some are convinced to do this to help their children, others are lured by the possibility of treasure or to punish the violation of Rankar VII's monopoly on the gem trade. He will approach the players when they return and ask them to help with the attack, offering them a share in the loot from the mine.

The player characters may wish to convince Jagran Gul and the townsfolk not to attack the Autochthonians. If so, they may make requests or build intimacies as follows:

Free: Instill an intimacy that the Autochthonians are harmless. The Resolve of the townfolk is reduced by 2 if their children are returned unharmed, as their Major Intimacy of Love can be used to support this intimacy. Jagran Gul and his men's resolve are increased by 2 against this effort as they are more concerned with the trespass on the gem trade and the money they'll make from shutting down this illegal mine. Instill an intimacy that the Autocthonians are too powerful to mess with.

Minor: Ask the townsfolk who are concerned with their children not to attack the mine. Strengthen the intimacy that the Autocthonians are harmless or too powerful to attack.

Major: Ask the townsfolk who are concerned with profit or protecting the gem trade to not attack the mine. Strengthen the intimacy that the Autocthonians are harmless or too powerful to attack. Convince Jagran Gul that the Autochthonians are too powerful to attack, causing him to withdraw temporarily until he can get reinforcements.

Defining: Convince Jagran Gul not to attack the mine at all.

Resolution

If the player characters refuse to help, Jagran Gul will take the townsfolk to attack the mine. If the player characters convince the townsfolk not to attack, Jagran Gul returns to Gem to get reinforcements saying "I'll be back." The player characters must now decide whether or not to warn Kommandant Daria about the coming attack. She will wish to capture Jagran Gul and his men, or even kill them if necessary to protect the mine. She will ask the player characters to help stop him. If captured, Jagran Gul and his men will be held until Ardent Venture arrives and then likely taken back to the main center of operations to work to benefit Yugash (i.e., they will be enslaved). She will insist on this even if Jagran Gul has been convinced to leave peacefully as she doesn't trust him, and will go herself with her men to capture him if needed. It requires a Major Intimacy to convince her not to do so. Jagran Gul is not traveling very quickly, so either group can catch him before he gets back to Gem.

Aftermath

If the players did nothing, eventually Ardent Venture arrives and uses magic to talk to the children. Having satisfied himself that they pose no threat, they are released. However, he has the town watched. After a month or two he realizes that the town is not often visited and is rather poorly defended. He brings a larger force in and captures the town to help repopulate Yugash. Eventually a rumor circulates back to Gem that Lagoman is deserted, which may prompt the players to investigate. The mine is much better defended now, their worker population swelled by Lagomani youths, and Ardent Venture runs the effort personally. Daria is somewhat troubled by this, but it's for the good of her nation so she goes along with it. The players may destroy the mine and free the prisoners there, but must track down the center of Yugashian activity to find the rest of the villagers.

If the players wiped the mine out, they have earned a powerful enemy. Kommandant Daria was one of Ardent Venture's ties to Clarity and he reacts poorly to her death. He does not go AWOL to fight them, but he will start having them watched and will look for a way to get revenge. This can set up a big fight with an Alchemical and his retinue. He will quickly determine how powerful the party is and will bring forces to make it a difficult fight for them.

If the players captured Jagran Gul and convinced the town to hide the mine, the town and mine enter into either a quiet detente or a profitable trading relationship, whatever the player characters negotiated. Ardent Venture will not disturb this peace because he knows an outside force (the player characters) care about the town and would notice if they were attacked. However, Gul's military superiors in Gem will notice his disappearance and send a patrol to follow up. If the player characters didn't leave some plan to deal with this, Daria has this group captured too. This provokes a response in force from Gem that will wipe out the mine. If the town was trading with the mine, they are also fined and several of their youth are sold into slavery as punishment for violating Rankar VII's monopoly on the gem trade. All of this occurs a few months after the players leave.

The situation can be left in a lasting peace if the player characters found a way to convince Jagran Gul to be quiet about things, perhaps by including him in the trade situation. At this point Jagran Gul uses his position to actively thwart investigation into the mine. Alternatively, the players may find a way to cover up Jagran Gul's disappearance, or take responsibility on themselves to lead later investigations astray. Finally, the player characters might negotiate a peaceful trade between Gem and the mine as long as they don't reveal that the mine is part of a larger military incursion. If Rankar VII discovers a large invading force on his doorstep he'll start mobilizing for war. The leaders are Yugash are similarly bellicose, with a sizable faction thinking that it would be easier to just conquer Gem and take its riches. This can be used as a launching point for a longer chronicle about the Locust Crusade.

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