Thursday, December 28, 2017

Bloody Wheels Within Wheels "Barbarian Warlords of Greyhawk" Part Eight Commentary - A1 Slave Pits of the Undercity By David 'Zeb' Cook

"The heroes have entered the dungeons & ruins of The  Temple of Elemental Evil. Great deeds of valor & heroism were accomplished, & riches were taken from the belly of the beast. The greatest evil that Greyhawk has known has been vanquished back to the darkness of the Underworld & Abyss! "

"The horror & depravity has ended. Now the PC's can retire to a life of barbarian pleasure & decadence. Actually not quite!? "
First of all you've got one of the main city states now a time haunted ruin!
The city-state of Verbobonc  is going to take years to tame. You've also got tons of humanoid raider tribes now dealing violence to the  interior of the heart of the the central Flanaess .

So given the tribes & options of The Heroic Fantasy Handbook play test document . What other possible deviltry could happen to Greyhawk? T1 Temple of Elemental Evil is going to take the PC's up the level ladder from one to nine.  Now given the amount of grief left behind from the fall out from the humanoid raiders, more dungeon clean out, the marauding tribes, monsters, battles, & inter tribal warfare. Its conservatively going to take between five to ten years campaign time to mop up all of the blow back from the awakening of the Temple of Elemental Evil. This power vacuum is going to be filled by all kinds of inner tribal turmoil as well. 
Local events are going to keep the players too busy to notice the raids by
slavers on the coastal population along the Sea of Gearnat from Onnwal to the Wild Coast. Well that is until the local lords come to the PC's for help!
That's right 'the Slave Lords' have slipped in while the PC's have been embroiled in the inter politics of barbarian tribal events!

"It is time to put a stop to the marauders! For years the coastal towns have been burned and looted by the forces of evil. You and your fellow adventurers have been recruited to root out and destroy the source of these raids—as hundreds of good men and women have been taken by the slavers and have never been seen or heard from again!"

The Slave Lords and their operations in the central and southwestern Flanaess are a perfect fit to bridge the gap into a coastal barbarian & raiders campaign. They'd take full advantage of the chaos of the fall of one of the major city states!
"Slave Pits of the Undercity was published by TSR in 1980 as a twenty four page booklet, and was written by David Cook.[3] The cover artwork by Jeff Dee features an illustration of two aspis fighting a party of adventurers (including a bearded female dwarf).[4] The interior art was done by Dee, David S. LaForce, Jim Roslof, and Bill Willingham"

Orc by Tim Truman  from D&D module X5: Temple of Death, TSR, 1983

The orc tribes from the Temple of Elemental Evil are going to be seeking employment & who better to go with then the next power block on Greyhawk. The fact is that in a 'Sword & Sorcery Greyhawk ' slavers are going to be a major power block raiding, taking slaves, causing organized violence.
Just the sort of thing that Adventurer, Conqueror, King's system excels at! If the PC's have gotten too powerful or to high of a level then its time to introduce the PC's children or legacy characters to take over in the family's tradition. Could the slavers have been funding the various dark magick cults, black wizard cabals, etc. behind the resurrection of the Temple of Elemental Evil this whole time? Why?! A simple power grab sets up & destabilizes the entire empire of Greyhawk from within.

So what does this have to do with Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea second edition ? There's always a connection according to some of my critics?! Well, that's a fair assessment but this time the connection isn't as obvious as it first appears.

The ant-like aspis of my version of Greyhawk have their own pulpy origins on Hyperborea & the Slavelords have been importing them onto Greyhawk across the Boreas winds disrupting their natural migration patterns.

So why use  A1 Slave Pits of the Undercity By David 'Zeb' Cook as campaign adventure bridge gap? Well because its the perfect module to use for what happened to many of the humanoid tribes after the fall of the Temple of Elemental Evil. This was a tip that I picked up reading over the commentary in the description of the module on Drivethrurpg yesterday;
"The Slave Lords are raiding along the Wild Coast and into nearby lands. The actual adventure is set in Highport, a city south of the Wild Coast, in the Pomarj — a peninsula overrun by humanoids. With that said, there's almost no detail on the adventure's locale, probably due to the its origins as a tournament. Instead, the details all focus on the two delves: a ruined temple and the city's sewers."

Tomorrow we'll be getting into more of the Hyperborean connection, alternative setting details on the movements of the Slavelords operations, & the focus of the Sword & Sorcery elements for dealing with this campaign. So staytuned!

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