The Slums of Haicheng

Haicheng region new PNG image

I’ve created another Scarlet Heroes character for an urban adventure.

Gong Trond

The half Imperial and half Skandr thief Gong Trond has returned to Haicheng after exploring the ruins of the upper Lanbaoshi valley and the Altgrimmr Mountains. He has the following traits:

  1. Ruin Explorer: 3
  2. Great Stealth: 2
  3. Friend to the Black Sapphire Tong: 1

Haicheng is a large port on the southern coast of the Mandarinate of Xian, famous for the sapphires which are obtained from alluvial deposits in the Lanbaoshi River. Trond enters the city with 80 gold pieces. He goes to The White Dragon, an inn with a wingless white dragon painted above the door. He pays the innkeeper Kiang Tancred one gold piece for a fine room for one day and two silver pieces for a fine meal. From the weaponsmith Meng Yuan he buys a short sword and a dagger. At the workshop of the leatherworker Li Shen he buys a new suit of leather armour. He has new clothes made by the tailor Eydis Veitberg. Finally he goes to the workshop of the goldsmith Zhang Bai, where he pays a 10% deposit fee for storage of 45 gold pieces in the vault.

Money: 5 gp and 8 sp

Threat: 1

Trond: 0 Victory points

Opponents: 0 Victory points

Haicheng: 0 Heat

Plot: An Antagonist schemes to harm a rival Target, such as by theft, blackmail, or framing

Returning to The White Dragon Trond meets an old acquaintance, the elderly dwarf Arkadi Hewnspire. Arkadi left the dwarven city of Altgrimmr after his clan rejected him for taking up the traditionally female (for dwarves) work of blacksmithing. He is never far from his smithy and has a reputation as a miser, although he says that like all dwarves he must amass enough gold for his tomb. Trond once conspired with him to steal gold from a corrupt priest of the Nine Immortals, an Eshkanti man named Saad al-Tabari who was later exposed as a murderer and a Tide cultist and executed by order of the current magistrate of Haicheng, Hao Ying.

Arkadi is distressed; last night he caught someone trying to break into his smithy. The would-be burglar was masked and fled quickly so that even Arkadi, with his dwarven ability to see in the dark, was not able to identify anything particular about the figure. No doubt someone is trying to steal his well-known hoard of gold which is buried beneath the smithy. Arkadi implores Trond to help him and Trond agrees to stake out the smithy in the hope of learning something more about the matter.

Investigation scene: Arkadi’s smithy

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

Trond eats at The White Dragon and leaves the inn as night is falling to stake out Arkadi’s smithy. He spends hours prowling the dark streets around the building, hoping to catch a glimpse of the burglar.

Money: 5 gp, 5 sp and 5 cp

Trond fails the check.

He doesn’t notice anyone or anything suspicious.

Trond: 0 Victory points

Opponents: 1 Victory point

Haicheng: 0 Heat

A roll of 4 on a 1d10 means that the opponents do not gain an additional Victory point.

In the morning he returns to the inn where he pays for his room and for breakfast, and then goes to his room to sleep.

Money: 4 gp and 5 sp

Later he goes back to the smithy and finds that Arkadi did not see or hear anything suspicious during the night. He returns to The White Dragon for a cheap meal.

Money: 4 gp, 4 sp and 5 cp

Investigation scene: the tong hall of the Black Sapphire Tong

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

Trond has done work for the Black Sapphire Tong, whose members are known to be involved in theft and other criminal activities. He goes to the dingy hall of the tong to meet with Bai Aiguo, one of the Elder Brothers whom he knows quite well. Cautiously he talks to Aiguo about Arkadi’s problem.

Trond fails the check.

Aiguo tells him that the Black Sapphire Tong would not be involved in stealing from an honest inhabitant of the city such as Arkadi Hewnspire. Nor does he know of anyone who might be responsible for planning such a burglary. He coldly asks Trond to leave.

Trond: 0 Victory points

Opponents: 2 Victory points

Haicheng: 0 Heat

A roll of 10 on a 1d10 means that the opponents do not gain an additional Victory point.

Trond returns to The White Dragon for a meal and then goes to bed.

Money: 4 gp, 2 sp and 5 cp

The next morning he pays for his room and for breakfast and then leaves The White Dragon.

Money: 3 gp and 2 sp

Investigation scene: fence’s shop

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

A fence’s shop seems like a good place to look for a thief. He goes to the shop of Kueh fence Noya Shuji and spends the day in the vicinity of the building.

Trond succeeds on the check.

Leaning against the wall outside the doorway of the shop he overhears someone talking to Shuji about “the dwarf’s hoard of gold.” He carefully observes this person when they leave the shop.

Trond’s suspicions were raised when he heard the customer in the shop speaking to Shuji in a stutter, and they are confirmed when he catches a glimpse of him as he leaves the shop and disappears into the crowd in the street. He is Yamamoto Teruaki, a Kueh footpad that he grew up with in the slums of Haicheng. He is Shou-blooded and grew up with little prospects in society, but Trond has little sympathy for him if he is willing to steal from Arkadi.

Trond: 1 Victory point and a Clue

Opponents: 3 Victory points

Haicheng: 0 Heat

A roll of 6 on a 1d10 means that the opponents do not gain an additional Victory point.

Trond returns to The White Dragon for a meal.

Money: 3 gp, 1 sp and 5 cp

Action scene: decrepit shrine

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.

Trond knows that Teruaki makes offerings in a shrine in the slums, a shrine dedicated to Tendai the Black God of distortions and corruptions. He goes to the shrine, buying a stick of incense on the way.

Money: 3 gp and 1 sp

Inside the gloomy shrine a wooden statue of Tendai painted black stands behind an altar. He lights his stick of incense and places it on the altar while cautiously observing the small number worshippers in the shrine. He soon sees Teruaki among them but the footpad does not see him. Teruaki talks with an Imperial priest who is the custodian of the shrine, and the two of them disappear into a back room. They emerge a while later and Trond sees the priest lock the door to the room. The two men then go out into the street. Trond waits until they have disappeared up the street, and then waits a little while longer until the shrine is empty of worshippers. He goes to the door to the back room and tries to pick the lock.

Trond succeeds on the check.

He succeeds in picking the lock. The small room beyond is dark with no windows. He can just make out the shape of a large wooden chest beneath a table.

Is the chest locked? Yes.

The chest is locked. He does not succeed in picking the lock.

He quickly looks around the room. On a shelf he finds four pieces of cheap jewellery: a pewter toe ring, a copper nose ring, a pewter brooch inlaid with clear quartz, and a bronze bangle. He also finds a bulbous, thumb-sized vial of white jade inscribed with High Imperial characters.

The toe ring is worth 30 gp.

The nose ring is worth 60 gp.

The brooch is worth 80 gp.

The bangle is worth 100 gp.

After pocketing these items he leaves the shrine and heads back to The White Dragon, where he pays for meal and then goes to bed.

Money: 2 gp and 9 sp

Trond: 3 Victory points

Opponents: 3 Victory points

Haicheng: 0 Heat

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

Opponents: 4 Victory points

The next morning he pays for his room and for breakfast and then leaves The White Dragon.

Money: 1 gp, 8 sp and 5 cp

He goes to Zhang Bai’s workshop where he withdraws 40 gold pieces.

Money: 41 gp, 8 sp and 5 cp

Money in the vault: 5 gp

He goes to the shop of the fence Bakir al-Halabi, who pays him a total of 30 gold pieces for the cheap jewellery that he found in the shrine of Tendai.

Money: 71 gp, 8 sp and 5 cp

He pays the sage Han Daichi 50 gold pieces to identify the potion that he took from the shrine of Tendai. Daichi tells him that the vial contains an Airy Body potion and explains how it works. Trond thinks that Teruaki was no doubt planning to use the potion to gain entry to Arkadi’s smithy.

Money: 21 gp, 8 sp and 5 cp

Finally he goes to Hilt Osterhagen’s chandlery where he buys a backpack, a crowbar and a healer’s bag.

Money: 4 gp, 8 sp and 5 cp

Conflict scene: fetid waterway

Do a friendly Actor a favour that will advance them into a position to help you. Face a Fight as the foe tries to stop you.

Trond is walking along a fetid canal that runs through the slums towards the Lanbaoshi River. Ahead he can see a familiar figure coming towards him, an Eirengarder street thug named Wigo Adler who works as cheap legbreaker for anyone who can pay him. He is a known enemy of Teruaki.

The foes are harlots with Soldier statistics.

Three harlots emerge from a nearby brothel named The House of Wondrous Pleasures and confront Wigo with daggers drawn.

Are the harlots allies of Teruaki? Yes.

The harlots tell Wigo that he will no longer threaten Teruaki, and then they attack. Trond goes to Wigo’s defence.

Trond kills one harlot, and kills the other two with his Fray die.

Does anyone from the brothel join in the combat? Yes.

Three men emerge from The House of Wondrous Pleasures. One wields a sword and the other two are armed with short swords.

The man with the sword has Brute statistics and the two men with short swords have Thug statistics. Wigo also has Thug statistics.

Wigo draws his short sword and joins in the combat. Trond kills all of the men and tends the wound that he received from the man with the sword.

Hit points: 5

Trond and Wigo drag the corpses into a nearby alleyway. They search the corpses but find nothing on them except for a total of eight copper pieces and six silver pieces, which they divide between them.

Money: 4 gp, 11 sp and 9 cp

Wigo thanks Trond and says that he can now rely on him as extra sword. He tells Wigo about the attempted burglary of Arkadi’s smithy. Wigo says that the burglar that escaped from Arkadi was no doubt just a henchman sent by Teruaki to scope out the building. Teruaki is a patient and careful thief with many allies in the slums, and they must be careful now as he will no doubt be soon informed of the deaths of the harlots and the men from The House of Wondrous Pleasures.

Trond: 4 Victory points

Opponents: 3 Victory points

Haicheng: 0 Heat

Trond returns to The White Dragon where he buys a meal.

Money: 4 gp, 11 sp and 4 cp

Investigation scene: sewer passage

Search a Location related to past events where a Clue can be found. Roll a die; on an odd result, you face a Fight whether or not you succeed on the check.

Trond remembers that Teruaki had a secret hideout in the alcove of a sewer passage beneath the slums. He goes there and takes Wigo with him in case the alcove is currently occupied.

Trond and Wigo enter the sewer and make their way slowly through the reeking darkness towards the alcove, being careful not to lose their footing while stepping over the slime and rats.

Reaching the alcove, which is only about 10 feet square, Trond searches the place.

Trond fails to find anything of interest.

He finds nothing more than a couple of empty rice wine bottles.

Trond: 4 Victory points

Opponents: 4 Victory points

Haicheng: 0 Heat

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

Opponents: 5 Victory points

Investigation scene: The Dwarf and Goblin tavern

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

Wigo says that Teruaki and his associates are often seen in a tavern named The Dwarf and Goblin. It is late in the afternoon when Trond and Wigo reach the dilapidated tavern which is at the end of an alleyway in the slums. The tavern is an Imperial building but the sign that hangs by the door is painted in the Eirengarder style; it shows a dwarf armed with a sword confronting a Shou spearman, a blue-skinned goblin of the type found in the Altgrimmr Mountains. Inside the tavern the dim light of the alleyway filters through paper windows. The tavernkeeper is a huge Eirengarder with a bald head and a bushy moustache. Wigo has identified him as Eckhard Knecht, a henchman of Teruaki. Trond makes his way through the crowd of ruffians towards the back room.

Trond succeeds on the check.

None of Teruaki’s henchmen see Trond as he keeps to the shadows and follows a drunken man into the back room. Knecht is occupied with his customers. Once inside the room the drunkard slumps down on a chair to take a nap, evidently waiting for a meeting with Teruaki. On a nearby table Trond can see a sheet of paper which appears to be the plan of a building. Trond takes this and leaves the room by tearing open a paper window and climbing out. He meets up with Wigo in the alleyway and quickly makes his way back to The White Dragon. In his room he studies the plan which he recognises as a plan of the tong hall of the Black Sapphire Tong. The vault of the tong hall is marked. This room contains the jade ritual vessels and other treasures of the tong, including the famous Black Sapphire which is said to be worth 20,000 gold pieces. Perhaps Teruaki intends to steal the tong’s treasure so that the tong will lose prestige in the slums. Perhaps he intends to found a criminal tong himself. In any case, tomorrow Trond will take this evidence to one of the Elder Brothers of the Black Sapphire Tong, a tong sorcerer named Liang Yong. He pays for a meal and goes to bed.

Money: 4 gp, 9 sp and 4 cp

Trond: 5 Victory points and a Clue

Opponents: 5 Victory points

Haicheng: 0 Heat

A roll of 9 on a 1d10 means that the opponents do not gain a Victory point.

The next morning he pays for a cheap room at The White Dragon, and for breakfast.

Money: 4 gp, 6 sp and 5 cp

Action scene: tenement

Bring in an outside authority or useful Actor to oppose the foe.

He goes the three-storey tenement building where the tong sorcerer Liang Yong lives. Yong occupies a large and opulent apartment on the ground floor. Trond gives him the map of the tong hall that he found in The Dwarf and Goblin, and informs him of Teruaki’s plan to steal Arkadi’s gold. He asks if Yong will use his magic to aid him against Teruaki.

Trond succeeds on the check.

Yong thanks Trond for providing him with the map. They drink rice wine and Yong says that he will use his magic to help Trond.

Trond: 7 Victory points

Opponents: 5 Victory points

Haicheng: 0 Heat

A roll of 2 on a 1d10 means that the opponents gain a Victory point.

Opponents: 6 Victory points

Investigation scene: tattered market

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

Trond, Yong and Wigo are making their way through a tattered market in the slums, searching for Teruaki or one of his henchmen. Yong points out an Eirengarder cleric, a woman named Thora Unger who is a priestess of Kusha, the Red Goddess of war. She wears a hauberk of scale armour and carries a short sword.

Is Thora an ally of Teruaki? No.

Yong says that Thora is not an ally of Teruaki. However, she is an enemy of the Black Sapphire Tong whom she regards as the oppressors of the slum dwellers. She has gathered a small group of followers for the purpose of fighting the tong. Trond sees that Thora is accompanied by four men and two women who are armed with clubs or knives. One of the women wears a blue robe sewn with magical sigils and appears to be a sorceress.

Thora has Veteran statistics and can cast the Fist of Burning Rebuke. The sorceress has Sorcerer statistics and can cast Seven Small Thunders. The other followers of Thora have Vermin statistics.

Yong tells Trond to demonstrate his friendship for the tong by attacking Thora and her followers. He will aid him in the fight with his own magic. Trond ambushes Thora and her followers from behind a market stall.

Yong has Sorcerer statistics.

Yong and Wigo join the ensuing combat and Yong casts Seven Small Thunders, wounding Thora. Trond kills Thora and all of her followers, but not before Yong has been killed. Trond tends his wounds.

Hit points: 4

Searching the bodies Trond and Wigo find a total of seven copper pieces and two silver pieces, which they divide between them. On Thora’s corpse Trond also finds a list of enemies that she was planning to take action against.

Money: 4 gp, 7 sp and 9 cp

Trond: 8 Victory points and a Clue

Opponents: 6 Victory points

Haicheng: 1 Heat

A roll of 7 on a 1d10 means that the opponents gain a Victory point.

Opponents: 7 Victory points

Did the traders in the market generally sympathise with Thora and her followers? Yes.

The market is now in uproar as a result of the combat. A trader calls out for the city watch and Trond sees a sergeant of the city watch accompanied by four other guards armed with ji polearms enter the market. Trond and Wigo split up and Trond makes his way quickly and stealthily out the market, trying to avoid the watch patrol.

Trond succeeds in evading the patrol.

Resting at The White Dragon

Trond returns to The White Dragon and spends the remainder of the day resting to cure his wounds.

Money: 4 gp and 5 sp

Hit points: 5

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

Trond: 8 Victory points and a Clue

Opponents: 8 Victory points

Haicheng: 1 Heat

He reads the list of enemies that Thora was carrying. It refers to an illegal market that is hidden halfway down an alleyway just north of the brothel, The House of Wondrous Pleasures. The market is run by the thief Yamamoto Teruaki, whom Thora was planning to eliminate.

On the morning after his recuperation he pays for his room and for breakfast and then leaves The White Dragon.

Money: 4 gp, 2 sp and 5 cp

Action scene: forbidden market

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.

He goes to the canal and finds the alleyway north of The House of Wondrous Pleasures. The alleyway twists and turns and the canal and the street beside it are lost from sight. He comes to a heavy curtain which has been hung across the alleyway. Lifting the curtain he enters the market, where there are several stalls set up in the dark niches of the alleyway. The small number of traders are selling poisonous substances, rare drugs from the Magocracy of Tien Lung, magical potions, and similar rare or prohibited wares. Ahead the alleyway comes to a dead end.

The foes are footpads with Soldier statistics.

Trond carefully searches the market, trying to avoid the three thugs who are patrolling the place for Teruaki.

Trond succeeds on the check.

At the end of the alleyway he finds the secret entrance to a storeroom, hidden behind a wooden board. He is about to enter the storeroom when he hears a shout behind him. The three thugs are advancing to attack him with short swords. He kills all three without sustaining a wound. Searching the bodies he finds five silver pieces and five copper pieces.

Money: 4 gp, 7 sp and 10 cp

Trond: 10 Victory points

Opponents: 8 Victory points

Haicheng: 1 Heat

A roll of 2 on a 1d10 means that the opponents gain a Victory point.

Opponents: 9 Victory points

The traders in the market have fled. He enters Teruaki’s storeroom. Amidst empty barrels and crates there are chests and sacks filled with rare drugs and stolen items. He leaves the storeroom by the only other door.

Final Action scene: Teruaki’s lair

He enters a room which is far more opulent than a typical home in the slums. It is richly furnished with hardwood chairs and a table and illuminated with bronze lamps. Teruaki gets up from one of the chairs and draws his short sword, and three other men armed with knives enter from another room.

Teruaki has Veteran statistics and the others have Rabble statistics.

Trond kills Teruaki and his thugs. He tends his wounds.

Hit points: 5

Trond has scored 1, a Partial Victory. Although Teruaki is dead his thieving ring survives and may cause trouble for Trond in the future.

Trond receives one experience point for his adventure.

A roll of 1 on a 1d10 (equal to the Heat of Haicheng) means that Trond must either leave the city soon or do something to reduce the Heat.

Returning to the storeroom he searches it for Teruaki’s treasure. He finds 200 gold pieces, hundreds more silver coins, and thousands of copper coins. There are also pieces of jewellery, gemstones,  items of clothing, and a square, thumb-sized vial of green jade inscribed with High Imperial characters.

Treasure:

  1. 200 gp
  2. 800 sp
  3. 2,000 cp
  4. A bronze bracelet inlaid with red coral worth 200 gp
  5. A silver bangle jewelled with bloodstones worth 500 gp
  6. A silver necklace jewelled with green spinels worth 200 gp
  7. A reddish-brown carnelian gemstone worth 40 gp
  8. A dark green malachite gemstone worth 20 gp
  9. A lapis lazuli gemstone worth 20 gp
  10. A yellow jasper gemstone worth 10 gp
  11. A red jasper gemstone worth 60 gp
  12. An obsidian gemstone worth 20 gp
  13. A black onyx gemstone worth 100 gp
  14. A bloodstone gemstone worth 200 gp
  15. A rabbit fur robe worth 20 gp
  16. A pair of finely-printed cotton trousers in shades of blue worth 60 gp
  17. A pair of rabbit fur boots worth 60 gp
  18. A robe of finely-printed cotton in shades of green worth 70 gp
  19. A pair of beaver fur boots worth 60 g
  20. A potion of Furious Might.

He loads treasure into his backpack until it is full and then finds two good sacks and fills them with the remaining coins and items of clothing. Most of the copper coins he leaves in the storeroom.

Money: 204 gp, 807 sp and 610 cp

At the shop of the moneychanger Kinjo Hiroya he has most of his silver and copper pieces changed to gold. He goes to Zhang Bai’s workshop, where he pays a deposit fee of 27 gold pieces for storage of 239 gold pieces in the vault.

Money in the vault: 244 gp

Money: 24 gp, 7 sp and 10 cp

He tells Arkadi that Teruaki has been killed and that his gold is now secure. Then he returns to The White Dragon where he pays for a fine room and then celebrates with fine food, a bottle of good rice wine, five mugs of rice beer, and a harlot named Suzume.

Money: 13 gp and 1 sp

The next morning he pays for his room and for breakfast and then leaves The White Dragon.

Money: 12 gp and 5 cp

He goes to the shop of the fence Bakir al-Halabi, who pays him a total of 200 gold pieces for the jewellery, gemstones and items of clothing that he found in Teruaki’s storeroom.

Money: 212 gp and 5 cp

He pays the sage Han Daichi 50 gold pieces for identification of the potion that he found in Teruaki’s storeroom. Daichi tells him that the vial contains a potion of Furious Might and explains how it works.

Money: 162 gp and 5 cp

He pays Zhang Bai a deposit fee of 15 gold pieces for storage of 135 gold pieces.

Money in the vault: 379 gp

Money: 12 gp and 5 cp

 

 

 

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