Wednesday 4 February 2015

The start of an adventure.

An introduction to a module I am writing set primarily in the City:

Annabella Girando is the matriarch of a nouveau riche family already on the downslide. Annabella
though, is determined to reclaim her Grandmother’s fortune but this time by playing politics, she thinks she can reverse her families fortune in a matter of years, not a lifetime like her grandmother.

Lucia Giorando, Anabella’s grandmother was one of the first denizens of the city to venture out in the swamps and communicate with the usually hostile Kobold tribes. Lucia befriended one tribe in particular, the Wretherong. Over a few short years Licia came to dominate the tribe and goad them into conquest. Three smaller tribes fell to the Wretherong and Licia Giorando developed a reputation for ruthlessness both in the field of battle but also in the marketplace. With the Wretherong territory expanded and, thanks again to Lucia, willing to trade, Lucia began to build a trade empire. With unique at the time access to the eels, fish and woven goods of the swamps Lucia Giorando and the Wretherong gained an early lead on this market. The lead allowed Lucia to build a substantial fortune before the gradual civilising of the kobolds encouraged trade and increased competition.

Annabella as Lucia’s granddaughter, should have been born into one of the richest families in the city. Instead, thanks to her mother and father, she grew up in a dying empire. One by one, the business ventures and investments failed under mismanagement and in response to competition. Annabella grew up in a house with fifty servants, dwindling to just three before she was of age. Unlike her parents though, Annabella is not complacent and resigned to receding into insignificance. She has a plan, but needs some mercenary types to do the dirty work.

The Guild of Merchants and Traders is a byzantine organization with a huge amount of power. Its
membership contains some of the wealthiest and most powerful individuals in the city. Beneath the masters of the guild is a large bureaucracy dealing with everything from the taxation of trade goods to the administration of contracts between producers and merchants.

It is in the last responsibility that Annabella sees an opportunity. Each month, contracts are drawn up to standardise agreements between producers and the merchants of the city. If Annabella can manipulate these contracts she can channel business to her family concerns.

So, there’s the background. How Annabella Giorando will implement these plans will surely involve the PCs sooner or later. Will they be hooked by the prospect of hunting exotic creatures for a menagerie, or by blackmailing influence wielders in the guild. Will the PCs work for the promise of future gold? Will they turn on her and if so, how far can she drag them into her dark schemes before they do?

I hope to answer these questions soon.

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