County of Zarkal.
A) Deliver letter to Count Zarkal.
B) Find out what's happening in Zarkal to drive up the level of banditry, refugees and talk of a rebellion.
County of Zarkal
Count Clane Zarkal runs the place with an Iron fist.
He is self important and has a sense of entitlement.
He spends money with abandon.
between Zarkal and Kason, the Fortress Hills - unincorporated land. Rough, hilly, broken, stony.
Several strands and lines of hills in the area. some people used to live in the area and hunt small furry critters. The rock is good for building, and easy to get, lying in loose jumbles.
Trees were cultivated in some places there - there is an agreement between Zarkal and Kason governing the harvest of trees.
There has been more Banditry and theft in the area.
Roads between the two
4 roads between Zarkal and Kason.
East/West road - runs through a narrow pass in the hills
South road (As such) follows Zarkal Creek, which feeds into the River. It's rough and hard to pass. Used by wannabe smugglers. Both sets of guards know it.
Game trail - runs through the north side, a path a single person wide. Used by smugglers, rangers and scouts from both sides.
Hidden Road - like the North path, but camoflagued -
Zarkal's main access to the Gala River is by the Wolan River with comes from Lake Giat. The Wolan River is narrow in placed and has to be dredged allow small river barges to go up and down.
Clane keeps the river traffic tightly in hand. Nothing moves unless he gets his cut.
Encounters in the Fortress Hills
A) Smugglers - several bands. 2d3 individuals. The forces of both sides patrol pretty aggressively. These people move contraband drugs, stolen goods and perhaps items of forbidden magic. Smugglers know that to move any real sizable loads takes misdirection, cleverness and a good system along the main transit routes.
Drugs? - Opium is seen. It's considered a controlled substance. It's good for killing pain and allowing treatment of injury. But the recreational use is considered criminal. This doesn't stop addict who like to "hit the gong.".
B) Bandits - 8 bands. 2d6 people each. these people are ratty and sad specimens, but they are deseperate and violent. And no one cares if a smuggler gets it in the neck.
C) Rebels 1 band - The Leveling Hand. 9 people when encountered. Communists, they want to destroy the class system. They are committed and violent. there are Leveling Hand sympathizers all over Zarkal. There are a few in Kason, but they are more ideological dissidents.
D) Clane Zarkal's "Project" - 18 troopers at any time plus the "Chain Gang" supposedly criminal laborers, digging out some sort of Mine.
Places in Zarkal
- West-ville. the gateway to Kason. a Hard-scrabble little town. Mainly supports a Zarkal army detachment, which makes sure everyone has paid their taxes. Not a fun Place.
Encounters in West-Ville:
A Squad of Zarkal soldiers on Patrol. Not inspection ready. Hardly more than Bandits themselves.
The Western Gate - a Tavern. The Booze is over priced swill. The food is sad. The crowd is surly. The Waitresses are as tough as shoe leather. Elias has been here before. He can only sing for tips if he agrees to stay for the whole shift, and the bouncer will back it up.
Anju has minor, if good reputation here. Elias will try to play on it. This will draw soldiers who view approval of Anju and Kason as a threat of rebellion.
Elliot, Steve and Drew - "Money changers" with access to "Local Labor" - they will work HARD not to let Elias out of town until he pays off the 30 GP in notes they have with his signature on them.
If Killing Anju's party and holding Anju himself hostage is the most direct way to get paid, they're good with that.
County Seat of Zarkal, a sizable town.
Somewhat Oppressed. Zarkal troops are numerous. They're in better shape than the ones seen in West-Ville or in the Fortress Hills.
This town is strongly evidences the class system. Zarkal's family and his favorite merchants are well off. Their wealth and purchases drive the economy of the place.
Burghers and their children dress in fine clothes and have a clean life.
no one crosses Zarkal, or they wind up floating in the lake.
Poverty in Giat Port is a serious business. It's a dirty grind. But growing, gathering and processing enough food to keep the place fed provides the scraps and dribs to keep the poor together, barely.
Encounters in Giat Port:
Where's the good game? - The Morning Star, an upscale club. They Know Elias. First question is "Let me see the color of your money." If he shows any, the bouncers will take all of it. Getting a "Gig" at the Morning Star is the only way a cute lower class Girl in Zarkal is going to get ahead. Kelli still wants to believe that Elias is going to take her away. Gale and Tora have picked up the clue. The rest of the working girls are not happy with Elias and won't give him the time of day.
"Good Games" are in the back of the club. Burhgers, officers and officials gamble. Elias won't be let in unless he has cash. Anju will be let in.
Don't go there - people convicted of crimes are in work gangs, working the warf, loading barges, sorting trash and doing other heavy labor. the crimes range from murder to vagrancy. No one knows when they're going to be released. No one has, yet. The work gangs are guarded by sadistic brutes who don't car what you have to say. Upscale people are afraid that they'll be strangled by vengful poor.
Bad Neighborhood - A slum. working people slave all day and crash there for a few hours before doing it again. People keep to themselves. Sedition will get you put on a chain gang, too.
- 1d6 angry teens consider mugging the PCs