Campaign of the Month: September 2016
Age of Serpents
A quaint-looking port town on the west coast of Garund, 90 miles due south of Senghor. It rested on small cove, west of some highlands that eventually turned into the Kaava Lands. With its thatched conical rooftops, stone and bamboo walls and a port surrounded by white, sandy beaches, Suum’tero possessed an entrancing atmosphere. The main attraction was the dock inn, the Naga’s Notch, a multilevel wooden affair on stilts.
Suum’tero had a healthy economy, mainly supported by fishing, trade and entertainment. Nuts, hardwoods, copra, palm oil, exotic meats and skins, and cotton were the chief products. Cotton textiles, dyed with elaborate native patterns, and traditional carvings made in town or looted from the interior were also valuable commodities. A lucrative slave trade, operated by the M’bulazi Bekyar tribe of the inland highlands, was seen as a necessary evil. A few residents conspired to persuade the visiting Castaways to free their town from dependence on the M’bulazi, a quest the heroes were keen to tackle. Suum’tero lacked people skilled in war, and they paid a hefty “protection” tax to both passing pirates and the Senghor navy.
Big Rashoom: A light-skinned, chestnut-haired Bonuwat male, heavyset, multi-talented entertainer for the Naga’s Notch inn. Rashoom was popular for his ribald songs and jokes accompanied by ukulele. He was also the bouncer, but normally preferred to try to calm hostilities with his comic demeanor instead of throwing his weight around. Dornas found Rashoom hungry for new material to sing about, and promised the Bonuwat bard a tale of courage and adventure that would make for an interesting ditty. Rashoom assured that the subjects of such a song would quickly find fame, because mariners far and wide visited the Notch. Along with Samaritha and Red, Rashoom was one of the conspirators who opposed the presence of the M’bulazi.
Massingale: Captain Massingale, a retired Bonuwat mariner and priest of Shimye-Magalla was the town founder and leader of the settlement. He was highly approachable and well-loved in Suum’tero, usually drinking and sermonizing in the dockside inn, Naga’s Notch, every night. It was said that while the Captain didn’t approve of the M’bulazi slavers’ grip on the port’s government and economy, he could not resist the wealth their evil trade added to Suum’tero’s coffers.
M’bulazi: A tribe of Bekyar, worshipers of the demon god Lamashtu, who dwelt a day’s journey in the inland highlands beyond the marshy tangle that surrounded Suum’tero. The slave trading tribe ran a market on the docks of Suum’tero, and had enough economic influence in the port village to put themselves above and beyond local laws. The tribe possessed a sort of compound for religious rites, commerce, and conditioning slaves in the midst of their territory—a Chelish fortress and diamond mine that was abandoned by that nation centuries ago.
“Red” Agata: A Qadiran halfling, ex-slave, sorcerer, and sheriff of Suum’tero. Dusky, blue-eyed, hawk-nosed, and unusually muscular, Red wore a red tagelmust around her head and face, and across her shoulders. Red was normally a gently spoken, keeper of the peace in the port village, but a vehemently outspoken opponent of the M’bulazi’s trade and influence. It was she who first approached the Castaways through Kor’lec with her whispered words of vitriol for the bullying Bekyar tribe and their in-town spiritual representative, Se’enga. Later, Red revealed herself as one of a few conspirators plotting to rid the village of the Bekyar altogether—a position sometimes at odds with the halfling’s deep commitment to law and order.
Se’enga: A 6 1/2 foot tall Bekyar woman with long black braided hair, a neck elongated by copper rings, golden glowing eyes, yellow sharpened teeth and a scar running across her nose. She wore a ceremonial cloak over her nude and heavily-modified body with many totems, amulets, and animal skulls attached to it. She wielded a long gnarled staff and packed a bone handaxe on the sash under her garb. Se’enga was a juju priestess, and while not a member of the M’bulazi tribe, was well-regarded and protected by the slavers as a sister of the greater Bekyar nation. Se’enga sold poisons, charms, and poultices in Suum’tero from her shop, and negotiated with local spirits on behalf of the town.
Sensing the presence of a potential rival spirit-worker in Kor’lec, she confronted him at the Naga’s Notch and offhandedly warned the druid to limit his presence. Offended by the wendifa’s practices, Kor’lec dismissed her without courtesy. The snub was recounted to the M’bulazi in attendance, who then picked a fight with the druid’s teammates. Satisfied that her Bekyar brothers would punish Kor’lec’s slight, Se’enga departed the inn, only to be confronted by Kishtari on the docks. With dozens watching, Kish blocked the oracle’s path with a psionically manifested sonic wall. Se’enga tried a simple enchantment on Kish that fizzled utterly, then rushed the psion with her axe. Kish responded with an electrokinetic blast that hurled Se’enga into the sonic wall, disintegrating her.
See: Samaritha, innkeeper of Naga’s Notch, exotic dancer, and skinwalker cleric of Yig.