The Smugglers of Enping – a solo Scarlet Heroes urban adventure

Enping

This is an urban adventure played using the solo gaming guidelines of the Scarlet Heroes role playing game from Sine Nomine Publishing.

In the previous adventure The City of Glass my player character, a second level fighter named Du Renshu, arrived in the village of Enping. The tavernkeeper Hilt al-Kalbi told him that Enping had been founded by escaped slaves from Tien Lung, and that the villagers distrusted outsiders.

Renshu has the following traits:

  • Forest Hermit: 2
  • Strong Constitution: 2
  • Once was a Peasant Rebel: 2

In the City of Glass Renshu obtained a hoard of 60 gold pieces, half of which were ancient coins and enchanted so as to make their possessor exhausted: Renshu has a -1 penalty to all checks and a -2 penalty to hit rolls while he still possesses the enchanted coins. After each check or combat, Renshu can make a Wisdom check of 14 to realise that the coins should be discarded.

The adventure will take place at the following locations within the village:

  1. Cemetery
  2. Headman’s house
  3. Herbalist’s house
  4. Shrine of Kega
  5. Tavern
  6. Village square
  7. Villager’s house
  8. Villager’s house
  9. Villager’s house
  10. Villager’s house

I will roll a d10 or just pick a Location that is appropriate.

Enping

The next morning Renshu wakes late and pays 10 copper pieces for breakfast, and five silver pieces for stabling for his horse and a room for the day. He leaves the tavern to take a stroll in the village square.

Money: 66 gp, 11 sp and 15 cp

The village seems peaceful enough as he passes women pounding rice in pots outside their houses.

Threat: 2

Renshu: 0 Victory points

Opponents: 0 Victory points

Enping: 0 Heat

Plot: an Antagonist seeks the assassination of a Target

Renshu is passing a house when he sees a man beckoning him inside. He goes inside the house and meets the villager, a man of mixed Imperial and Eshkanti descent named Fang Zayd, and his wife who is named Yun.

Zayd tells him to leave the village as soon as he can as he is in great danger. There is a smuggling ring active in the village who sell weapons to the Bone Spear orc Shou of the region. Not long ago he saw a wagon leave the village one evening, driven by two men with their faces covered. Curious, he followed the wagon which took the track south into the swamp. He thought that the wagon was going to The Silver Scabbard inn but it stopped in the swamp and one of the men blew on a horn. Zayd hid in the undergrowth and saw Bone Spear orcs approach the wagon. The orcs were handed spears and axes from the back of the wagon. In return they handed the men small items that looked like gourds before the wagon returned to the village. Zayd believes that the orcs have used the metal weapons that they have obtained from the smugglers to sack the village of Shanwei on the coast. If the Bone Spear become strong enough with their new weapons they may even mount a full-scale conquest of Haicheng.

Zayd told another villager named Ao Shen about what he had seen. He suggested that he and Shen inform the commanding officer at the fort of Xibao. But he believes that Shen betrayed him to the smugglers; last night he was attacked in his house by an unknown smuggler whose face was covered. The man tried to kill him with a short sword but Zayd wounded him with his spear and he fled. This morning he overheard smugglers outside his house talking about getting rid of the stranger staying at the tavern if he stays for too long in the village.

Renshu says that he will not leave but will stay in the village and help Zayd. He asks for directions to Ao Shen’s house.

Investigation scene: Ao Shen’s house

Hunt up an Actor whom you have reason to suspect can give you a Clue.

He goes to Ao Shen’s house where he finds Shen eating with his family. He tries not to threaten the man too much but tells him what happened to Zayd and advises him to be cooperative.

The difficulty of the check to persuade Shen to talk is 10. Renshu fails the check.

Wisdom check to discard coins: failed

Shen tells him that he won’t talk, and that he is a respected member of the village so if Renshu uses violence against him then he will have the whole village to deal with.

Renshu: 0 Victory points

Opponents: 1 Victory point

Enping: 1 Heat

Renshu leaves Shen’s house and returns to the tavern.

Investigation scene: village square

Stake out a Location. Whether or not you win the check, your opponent gains a Victory point due to delay.

At the tavern he buys a cheap meal for 10 copper pieces.

Money: 66 gp, 11 sp and 5 cp

After eating he goes to sit on a bench outside the tavern and spends the rest of the day staking out the village square.

It is the wet season. What’s the weather like? A concealing downpour. This means that there is a -1 penalty to the check of 10 to notice anything suspicious.

It starts to rain heavily but Renshu doesn’t leave the bench which is sheltered under the eaves of the tavern.

Renshu fails the check.

Wisdom check to discard coins: failed

He doesn’t notice anything suspicious.

Renshu: 0 Victory points

Opponents: 3 Victory points

Enping: 1 Heat

When night falls he goes back inside the tavern and pays one silver piece for a cheap meal.

Money: 66 gp, 10 sp and 5 cp

Conflict scene: tavern

Discredit or frame an Actor ally of the foe.

The next morning he pays one silver piece for breakfast and five silver pieces for stabling for his horse and a room for the day.

Money: 66 gp, 5 sp and 5 cp

An important-looking man enters the tavern. He is better dressed than most of the villagers Renshu has seen so far, wearing a fine blue tunic and trousers. He sits down at a table with some other men. Renshu quietly asks Hilt al-Kalbi who he is and Hilt replies that he is the village headman Diao Mitsuru.

Renshu listens to the conversation Mitsuru is having with the other men. They are discussing the smuggling operation and make little attempt to keep their information secret, although Renshu does not learn anything about the attack on Zayd.

Mitsuru and the other men stop talking. A sergeant and some soldiers from the fort of Xibao enter the tavern and Renshu sees an opportunity to discredit Mitsuru. He walks over to the table where the headman is sitting and tells him that Fang Zayd knows about the smuggling of weapons to the Shou, and that an attempt was made on his life in order to silence him.

Renshu fails the check.

Wisdom check to discard coins: failed

Mitsuru laughs and tells the officer from Xibao that Renshu is a vagabond talking nonsense. Renshu leaves the tavern.

Renshu: 0 Victory points

Opponents: 4 Victory points

Enping: 2 Heat

Investigation scene: headman’s house

Infiltrate a Location where the activities relate to a Clue. On a check failure, face a Fight.

Renshu goes to the headman’s house, the largest house in the village. Looking around him, he sees that no-one is around in the village; most of the villagers are out in the rice paddies. He tries to sneak into the house.

Renshu fails the check.

Wisdom check to discard coins: failed

Four guards wielding knives and clubs advance down the entry hall to attack. Just as the men are closing in he sees Diao Mitsuru enter a room at the end of the hall and lock the door behind him. Renshu draws his sword.

The guards have Rabble statistics.

Renshu kills all of the guards and tends his wound.

Hit points: 14

Wisdom check to discard coins: failed

Renshu: 0 Victory points

Opponents: 5 Victory points

Enping: 4 Heat

Conflict scene: tavern

Intimidate or put social pressure on an associate of the foe.

Returning to the tavern, Renshu pays one silver piece for a cheap meal.

Money: 66 gp, 4 sp and 5 cp

He sees one of the smugglers who was talking to Diao Mitsuru drinking alone at a table. He is a Kueh man named Yoshi. Renshu walks over to his table and, resting his hand on his sword hilt, tells him to lay off Fang Zayd.

Renshu fails the check.

Wisdom check to discard coins: failed

Renshu: 0 Victory points

Opponents: 6 Victory points

Enping: 4 Heat

Yoshi laughs and tells Renshu that he doesn’t scare him. He saunters out of the tavern and Renshu follows him at a distance.

Investigation scene: cemetery

Tail an Actor who might have a Clue. On a check failure, face a Fight.

Peering from behind a house he sees Yoshi walk through the village cemetery. On the other side of the cemetery Yoshi disappears into a bamboo grove. Renshu follows him carefully.

Renshu fails the check.

Wisdom check to discard coins: failed

Entering the grove he is confronted by five men wearing leather armour and equipped with shields and spears – evidently smugglers of high rank. Yoshi is nowhere to be seen and probably disappeared into a nearby house. Renshu draws his sword.

The smugglers have Soldier statistics.

Renshu kills all of the smugglers without sustaining a wound. He finds nothing on their corpses.

Renshu: 0 Victory points

Opponents: 7 Victory points

Enping: 6 Heat

Renshu succeeds on the Wisdom check to discard the enchanted coins.

It occurs to Renshu that his tiredness of recent days only took hold after he had taken the ancient coins from the City of Glass. He realises that they must have had an enchantment put on them to exhaust their possessor. Returning to his room at the tavern, he separates the ancient coins from the ordinary koku gold pieces. He takes the ancient coins out into the jungle near Enping and buries them, marking the spot with a pile of stones in case he finds some use for the coins. It is now getting dark so he returns to the tavern and pays one silver piece for a cheap meal before going to bed.

Money: 36 gp, 3 sp and 5 cp

Conflict scene: Heng’s house

Fight through an ambush arranged by the foe at a Location. Face a Fight instead of a Check.

The next morning he pays six silver pieces for breakfast, stabling for his horse and a room for the day.

Money: 35 gp, 7 sp and 5 cp

In the tavern he is approached by a villager named Heng, who whispers that he is a friend of Fang Zayd who is working to bring down the smuggling ring. He says that Zayd and some other villagers are waiting for Renshu in his house, and will help him.

Renshu follows Heng to his house. Once he is inside he finds himself surrounded by five smugglers armed with spears. He draws his sword.

The smugglers have Soldier statistics.

Renshu kills four of the smugglers and one flees. He tends his wounds. He finds nothing on the corpses.

Hit points: 9

Renshu: 1 Victory point

Opponents: 6 Victory points

Enping: 8 Heat

Has Heng fled the house? No.

He finds Heng hiding with his family in another room of the house.

Is Heng a smuggler? No, but… there is a twist to the relationship between the people in the situation. Oracular adjective: hidden connection. Heng’s wife is secretly involved in the smuggling ring. She wields a knife coated with Shou poison.

Heng begs for mercy, saying that he like many of the other villagers has been threatened into cooperating with the smugglers. He appears to be about to tell Renshu something important when his wife produces a dagger and stabs him with it. The poison on the blade kills Heng quickly and he dies with foam dribbling out of his mouth.

Heng’s wife then strikes at Renshu with the dagger.

The dagger is no longer poisoned. Heng’s wife has Vermin statistics.

Renshu kills Heng’s wife and leaves the house. He goes to Fang Zayd’s house and finds that Zayd is out. He tells Yun what happened and she goes to Heng’s house to fetch his children, whom she hides in her house.

Investigation scene: herbalist’s house

Ambush a dangerous Actor who holds a Clue. Face a Fight instead of a check.

Renshu returns to the tavern and pays for a cheap meal.

Money: 35 gp, 6 sp and 5 cp

Having been badly wounded in the fight in Heng’s house he asks Hilt if there is a healer in the village. Hilt gives him directions to the house of the village herbalist, an Eshkanti woman named Durra al-Karmani.

He arrives at Durra’s house which has a small herb garden growing outside. He hears sounds of a struggle coming from inside. Entering the house he sees that one of the smugglers has hold of Durra and is tearing at her clothes. He draws his sword.

The smuggler has Brute statistics.

Renshu kills the man and Durra thanks him. Searching his corpse he finds a letter from Diao Mitsuru addressed to an arms merchant in Haicheng named Peng, which is probably an alias. The letter informs Peng that Wang Yuan will arrive within a week with 300 gold pieces. Peng is to provide him with 20 spears.

Durra says that she knows nothing about the smuggling ring, but the man that Renshu just killed is not Wang Yuan. She will show Renshu where he lives but first he should return to the tavern and rest. She will arrive later to heal him.

Renshu: 2 Victory points and a Clue

Opponents: 6 Victory points

Enping: 9 Heat

A roll of 1 on a 1d10 means that the opponents gain a Victory point.

Opponents: 7 Victory points

Resting at the tavern

He spends the rest of the day and all of the next day recuperating in his room at the tavern. He pays Durra two gold pieces for treatment. He pays Hilt another gold piece for meals, his room and stabling for his horse.

Money: 32 gp, 7 sp and 5 cp

Hit points: 14

The opponents gain a Victory point because Renshu is Resting in place of a scene.

Renshu: 2 Victory points and a Clue

Opponents: 8 Victory points

Enping: 9 Heat

Action scene: Wang Yuan’s house

Despoil or ruin a sanctum or safehouse belonging to the foe. Roll a die; on an odd result, face a Fight as well as the check.

On the morning after his day of recuperation he pays Hilt six silver pieces for breakfast, stabling for his horse and a room for the day.

Money: 32 gp, 1 sp and 5 cp

Durra takes him to Wang Yuan’s house which is secluded in the bamboo grove in the cemetery, with no other houses nearby. Like most of the houses in Enping the walls are made of woven grass mats tied to wooden pillars. Durra returns home and Renshu cautiously makes his way around the house, which is silent. The door is locked but Renshu uses his dagger to make a hole in the rear wall and gets inside.

Renshu succeeds on the check.

He discovers a slight rise in the dirt floor. Digging with his sword he uncovers a chest which contains the 300 gold pieces with which Wang Yuan was going to pay Peng for the spears. The chest also contains a gourd stoppered with resin, and painted with the symbol of a solid black circle with a horizontal black line through the centre. He remembers that Zayd told him that the Bone Spear Shou gave the smugglers gourds in exchange for weapons.

The gourd contains Shou poison in potion form.

He hears the door open and turns around to see Wang Yuan enter the house accompanied by five smugglers wielding spears. Wang Yuan wears a hauberk of scale armour and when he draws his sword Renshu sees that the blade is stained with poison.

Wang Yuan has Brutes statistics and the other smugglers have Thug statistics.

Renshu kills Yuan and four of the smugglers without sustaining a wound from Yuan’s poisoned blade. The other smuggler flees. He tends the wound he received from one of the smugglers.

Hit points: 14

Searching the corpses he finds one gold piece on Yuan, and a total of 15 silver pieces and 50 copper pieces on the other smugglers. He stows these coins and the gold pieces from the chest in his backpack along with the Shou gourd and returns to the tavern.

Money: 333 gp, 16 sp and 55 cp

Renshu: 4 Victory points

Opponents: 8 Victory points

Enping: 11 Heat

A roll of 3 on a 1d10 means that the opponents gain a Victory point.

Opponents: 9 Victory points

Conflict scene: shrine of Kega

Support an Actor who’s working against the for their own reasons. Roll a die; on an odd result, face a Fight instead of a check.

At the tavern he hides his hoard of coins under the bed in his room. He coats his sword with poison from the Shou gourd and pays for a cheap meal.

Money: 333 gp, 16 sp and 45 cp

Opposite the tavern on the other side of the village square is the shrine to Kega, the Green Goddess who is worshiped by farmers. Leaving the tavern Renshu sees Zayd leave his house and enter the shrine, and he follows him in case there are any smugglers nearby.

Inside the shrine Zayd is at the altar lighting a stick of incense before a small wooden statue of Kega painted green. He greets Renshu and they discuss the events of the past few days. Zayd says that no more attempts have been made on his life since Renshu became the centre of attention for the smuggling ring.

The priestess of the shrine, a young Imperial woman, interrupts their conversation to tell Renshu that he is not welcome in the village. Enping was founded by slaves who escaped from the Tien Lung daifu Cui Xue; they fought off an attack by his soldiers once before, but Renshu has killed so many of the smugglers that the village will be destroyed and the inhabitants enslaved should Cui Xue ever return. She knows who made the attempt on Zayd’s life but she has her own reason to take action against this man and will deal with him herself.

Zayd tries to reason with the priestess, whose name is Meng Ting, but she will not listen to him. Renshu tries to persuade Ting to ally with him.

Renshu fails the check.

Ting coldly tells him to leave and he returns to the tavern.

Renshu: 4 Victory points

Opponents: 10 Victory points

Enping: 11 Heat

The opponents win and Zayd is assassinated. Renshu has scored -6, a Complete Loss. The smuggling ring recovers and continues to sell weapons to the Bone Spear orcs.

As the Heat of Enping is now greater than 10, Renshu must leave the village.

Shortly afterwards he learns from Hilt that Zayd was assassinated in the street by an unknown smuggler. He goes to Zayd’s house where he gives Yun all of his silver and copper coins. He then leaves Enping and takes the track leading south from the village to The Silver Scabbard inn.

Money: 333 gp

Renshu receives one experience point for his adventure.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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