Wednesday, March 20, 2019

OSR Campaign -X6: "Quagmire!" (1984) By Merle M. Rasmussen & Clark Ashton Smith's Zothique

"Swamp creatures! They surround you now as you move slowly through the gurgling muck. How will you reach Quagmire now? Each day, the hungry sea swallows more of the ancient port city. A fierce fever ravages its people, and now - these foul monsters! Their beady eyes glimmer from deep within the tangled vines.
Are these the creatures that have blockaded the city, turning away the ships that are the city's lifeline? Are these the scum that are starving the people of Quagmire, threatening an entire race with extinction? These creeps? Let's clean this jungle out! "

Merle M. Rasmussen's baby X6 Quagmire gets into the heart & soul of one of longest running Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea campaign runs. This module is an old favorite & gets into one of the areas that I love to deal with namely wilderness exploration & high level exploration at that! X6: "Quagmire!" (1984), by Merle M. Rasmussen, is the sixth adventure in the Expert series for Basic D&D. 

So while X6 is set in the 'Knownlands' the predecessor to Mystara what it actual does is introduces the Serpent Peninsula, Thanegia Island, and their cities of Slagovich, Quagmire, and Thanopolis. The Serpent Peninsula sounds like an incredibly cool place to introduce the Conan style race of serpentmen being the Ancients of this land. In fact there's a X6/I1 Quagmire/Dwellers of the Forbidden City mash-up by Demos Sachlas article over on the Vaults of Pandius. The whole campaign is straight out of Robert Howard's Conan or Clark Ashton Smith's Zothique. Between the headhunters, brain fever, giant leeches, cannibals, and leopards whole thing sounds like its the far future on Hyperborea of AS&SH. Think about it. The rising tidal lands, the ancient cities, & some of the most deadly bits & pieces of nature that D&D adventurers have to  cross. The fact is that Clark Ashton Smith's In the Book of Vergama reminds me of this sort of Sword & Sorcery melding. 

The basic adventure in second edition Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea is "The Black Moss-Hag of Lug". Add in the town of Swamp Gate as the entrance to Quagmire & your good to go! Surely there's no connection to X4: "Master of the Desert Nomads" or X5 "Temple of Death"? Well after the events of Temple of Death the regime of 'the master' has been crushed right?! Well yes that's true but if the master was merely a puppet then things get very interesting. The cities of X4 & X5 are great starting points for AS&SH campaigns set within a mini campaign of all this Sword & Sorcery goodness.

The future world of Hyperborea's coast is going to be dotted with millions of half submerged ruins & dungeons. This is going to make the exploration all kinds of fun & you can bet there's going to more then a few of the spawn of Zargon leading his cults in these various places.

Do the assassinations that were carried by the assassins of Hule line up with another secret society that has been manipulating events from afar?!Specularum from B6: "The Veiled Society" (1984) might be one of the powers behind the 'master' rise to power. A powerful but manipulable force just far enough away to act as a lever for the royals of this powerful city with strong religious abilities & cult aspersions of conquest?

Could the same strong assassins guild be behind the release of Zargon from his prison or some of the horrors of the the Serpent Peninsula  on the world of Hyperborea? The Serpent Peninsula and the Thanegioth Archipelago contain much of the area of interest after all.

Transplant the events of B6 The Veiled Society into the Hyperborean  City-State of Khromarium suddenly lines up with the events of AS&SH's Rats in The Walls. Now all of the events loop around so that the PC's have some very dire reasons to fear those assassins. The real archetects behind the 'master' was a cabal of the Hyperborean royalty. But that leaves what's going on deeper in the swamplands behind the events of  I1 "Dwellers of the Forbidden City".
But we'll have to go deeper into the swamp for that one! 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.