"Deep in the Thoolian marshes something ancient & valuable stirs! Can a group of rag tag outlaw adventurers from across the solar system and beyond survive the machination of an evil that may not only consume their world but their very souls?!" But first they've got to make it out of the city alive!
So for the last couple of months I've been really quiet about my Warriors of the Red Planet & Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea for a Mars Campaign Setting. I used
a post Colonial Mars of Burroughs, the Northwest Smith stories (1933–1936) by C. L. Moore & the Mars stories published between 1940 and 1964 by Leigh Brackett. And using this in conjunction with Clark Ashton Smith's Lovecraftian Mars along with a healthy dose of Edgar Rice Burroughs just to stir the pot further. The real backbone of last night's game was developed back Feb around the second which you can read here.
The influences for this one including some of the political & religious elements can be found in this blog entry.
So the 'Har's ha'(roughly translated this is the laughter a green man makes after a kill) or the English version of the name is The Hard Timers. They are a gang of Stellar Legion Hyperborean, Venusian, Martian outlaws, adventurers, & veterans who have been looking for the at big score on Mars. They robbed a couple of banks, scoured some of the ancient cities, & generally have gotten themselves into deep debt. A few things about the 'Har's ha' is that they use traditional Hyperborean & Martian weaponry ie laser cross bows, void swords and the like. They been hiding out in one of the polar cities until some of the heat blows over. So last night they hear about a lone survivor whose come out of the Thoolian swamps mumbling something about a lost city & an ancient treasure. So they decide to head to the hospital in Ignarh the capital of C.A. S. Smith's Mars to speak with the poor soul. Ignarh the capital of C.A.S. Smith's Mars is a decadent den of ancient inequity & Martian sleazy.
They meet with captain Jerry Soulth an atomic rocket jockey straight out of C.L. Moore's North West Smith stories or should I say what's left of him. He's not quite all there anymore. The lights to his soul have gone out. He speaks to them in a matter of fact monotone way telling them of the ruined city in the swamp and of the great treasure but then he fades away into babbling insanity. The Martian empaths & mentalists shoo the party of adventurers away as they try to restore Jerry again.
C.L Moore's Works Can Be Downloaded Here
The party's Black Gate warlock goes off into the local dens of inequity to do some checking where the rest of the party can't go. The player was surprised when he was met with stony faces and blank stares. He's got contacts among the local party of terrorists but they won't talk with him about it at all.
He reported back to the party about his findings and this spooks them right out of their skin. When the local political rabble rousers don't want to talk about the mysterious city in the swamp that isn't supposed to be there then you've got trouble. That meant they had to go to Bradbury. The party doesn't like Bradbury because he's an insane Red Martian scribe that they've used from time to time. So down into the disgusting streets of the city they go almost getting robbed by the local thieves/assassins guild for not paying the 'toll' they find Bradbury with a group of other Red Martian scholars in some dive called the Jeddak's Pleasure. This is not a good sign. The party wants to pay Bradbury for information on the Thoolian swamp city. He offers to give them the information on the recently risen city in the swamp for free. Also not a good sign at all.
He tells them of the forefathers who came to Mars to begin life in the solar system and they were like unto the gods.But they were arrogant & made war with several of the others who were already here. The gods grew angry when they attempted to make life here. They placed them asleep and smote their city deep into the bowels of Mars. That was eons ago but now it seems they have risen from the depths but what of the treasure?! Oh they were rich beyond compare to be sure but beware their wrath. Outside they run into a group of Green Martian warriors who have a blood depth against the Old Timers and it becomes a running battle out of the city. The city guards became aware of murder & mayhem!
Will they make it out alive? Will they find the mysterious city in the Thoolian Swamps? What secrets does it hold? Tune in Next Week!
1d20 Random Encounters In Ignarh
The Capital of C.A.S. Smith's Mars
- 1d6 Rocket jockeys on leave looking for a good time and willing to fight anyone they run across hopped up on powdered 'Martian Rocket Fuel'. They have 1d100 gold on them and heat guns
- 1d4 2nd level Martian thieves with short swords looking for trouble and easy pickings
- A pair of Hyperborean scholars looking for adventurers to help them with a dig out in the red sands
- A pair of Green 2nd level warriors on a blood feud quest
- A lone Red Martian black gate sorcerer looking to start a riot among the human colonists
- A minor Martian princess/ thief on a mission to gather the brains of two humans for her black wizard master.
- A drunk mentalist performing tricks for the locals whose actually a Stellar Legion agent on an assignment
- A thief on a mission to steal the plans for a new rocket car from the humans
- Human 3rd level black wizard looking for relic technology weapons and supplies but quick with his ray pistol.
- 1d10 Red Martian prostitutes on their rounds (see appropriate table for harlots and trollops). They will sell information for 4 gold pieces.
- Lone human scientist on his way to an important meeting with a piece of relic technology that could make him millions there are assassins after him.
- A pair of city guards that are actually Black Martian pirates in disguise.
- A wizard selling Martian swamp joy juice for 5 gold pieces a bottle. He's actually looking for sacrifices for his latest project.
- Alien traders working for the MiGo looking for certain pieces of their lost technology here.
- Scores of Martian pilgrims foreshadowing the return of the 'Old Gods' and the end of the human colonists
- Pair of wicked Hyperborean fops/swordsmen looking for duels to test their mettle against Martian metal. So far no one is taking them seriously.
- A pair of Deep One space pirates in bubble helmets looking for 4 Atlantian colonists missing in the city. They are dangerous rogues and sorcerers thousands of years old.
- 1d8 drunk Martian party goers out on patrol. But these are actually part of the thieves guild looking for likely targets.
- Red Martian minor noble on a quest for his princess that is hot headed and honor bound to find her. He's more then willing to get into a sword fight or two.
- A black gate wizard looking to slay a few humans to prove a political point