Monday, August 12, 2019

Bloodshed & Conquest "Barbarian Warlords of Greyhawk" Part Nine Commentary - A2: "Secret of the Slavers Stockade" (1981), by Harold Johnson with Tom Moldvay

" A2: Secret of the Slavers Stockade: The heroes  battle against the slavers continues! You and your fellow adventurers have defeated the slavers of Highport, but you have learned of the existence of another slaver stronghold, and you have decided to continue the attack. But beware! Only the most fearless of adventurers could challenge the slavers on their own ground, and live to tell of it!"

If you've been following the recount of events over the weekend. Then you know that the first of the Slave Lord saga modules was done when the PC's sacked the first of the slave lords strong holds. The problem is that  you've also got tons of humanoid raider tribes now dealing violence to the  interior of the heart of the the central Flanaess . A bit of background history on A2: "Secret of the Slavers Stockade".
" A2: "Secret of the Slavers Stockade" (1981), by Harold Johnson with Tom Moldvay, is the second of the "A" Slave Lords adventures. It was published in July 1981." So what's been happening while all of these events are boiling around the PC's and they've taken control of Highport? That's right 'the Slave Lords' have slipped in while the PC's have been embroiled in the inter politics of barbarian tribal events!
This is because the original line up of the Slave Lords is deeply connected with the Scarlet Brotherhood; " The Slave Lords evolved out of a similar organization known as "The Nine," which was founded by Stalman Klim, sometime between 569 and 573 CY. Klim, a human priest of the Earth Dragon from the hidden Pomarj town of Suderham, had left Suderham in 569 CY to explore the Flanaess, where he gathered a number of allies, including drow and members of the Scarlet Brotherhood."

You start looking into the make up of the Slave Lords original make up;"

In 574 CY, Klim and his allies returned to Suderham, where they slew its last king, Roderic and took control of the town. By 576, the organization had become known as the Slave Lords, though its ruling council was still known as the Nine. Known members of the Nine from 576-580 include:
If the PC's have indeed toppled the original T1 Temple of Elemental Evil its the perfect time to use the Adventurer, Conqueror, King Heroic Fantasy Handbook to over run the PC's with scads of orcs & humanoid tribes!

The Hypeborean connection here is the high end of using the the Adventurer, Conqueror, King Heroic Fantasy Handbook  to create a raider & barbarian campaign dealing in the break up of Greyhak from within. Spell jammers & other worldly craft will be taking slaves off world to places like AS&SH's Hyperborea. Slaves are in dire need across many settings & the sacking of cities, towns, & villages leaves prime opportunity for such vile stock.  Those Hypeborean lords & wizards royal left in scattered mountains, isolated wizard towers, & colonies are only too happy to have new slaves. But where does this leave the PC's?! With several  prime opportunities. They have to secure their claim on Highport, take out as many of the humanoid tribes as they can, & cleanse their own lands of the slavers influence. "
"Stockade" theoretically continues to detail the humanoid-infested Pomarj Peninsula in Greyhawk. It does so by revealing a fort in the Drachensgrab Hills, just a few hexes south of Highport. " The PC's are going to deal with the highly organized & very dangerous hobgoblins but have they taken down the rampaging orcs before this?! That fort is their ticket to conquest. 

They've got to secure Highport & then bring the fight to the Slavers from within but even this isn't gonna defeat the slavers right out. Your looking at a very entrenched secret organization within Greyhawk; 
"From 576 to 580 CY, the Slave Lords thrived, raiding for slaves in a number of towns on the Gearnat coast, making slaves one of the Pomarj's most valuable exports. The Slave Lords' operations came to an end in 580, due to the machinations of adventurers hired by a coalition of legal authorities known as the Lords of Gearnat, and the destruction of Suderham by a volcanic eruption.
Other known members of the Slave Lords during this period, who were not members of the Nine, include:
By 591 CY, however, reports had arisen that the Slave Lords had began their depredations once more, finding a new ally in the likes of Turrosh Mak, a powerful despot who had gained control of the Pomarj during the Greyhawk Wars. Their current leadership is unclear, though many suspect a number of the original leaders are still thriving.
The current Slave Lords consist of:

Even if a cell of the Slavers are defeated in  A2: "Secret of the Slavers Stockade" (1981), by Harold Johnson with Tom Moldvay its gonna take months of mop up duty to deal with the forces that the PC's missed because of those pesky humanoids. Tribes of these bastard mercenary forces are gonna be on the PC's backs so the PC's are going to have to space their forces as needed. This takes the PC's into the conqueror level of the Adventurer,Conqueror, King rpg. Add into this that the party has taken down one of the many Slaver satellite  headquarters & the slavers are gonna want the PC's heads not simply on Oerth either but on Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea rpg's Hyperborea as well. They've been running their operations there for centuries after the Green Death. The module 
THE ANTHROPOPHAGI of XAMBAALA by Corey R. Walden  gives some insight into the slaving operations on Hyperborea. It looks very similar to the operations that we've seen in A2: "Secret of the Slavers Stockade" (1981), by Harold Johnson with Tom Moldvay. Could this have been a slavers operation gone wrong? Very possibly. Hyperborea offers the slavers a prime setting to exploit, vast populations to exploit & a decedent royal culture ripe for corruption.

There's also a prime opportunity for PC's to take over yet another town on their quest for empire. These various games settings offer that in spades as well shall see in the next installment. 

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