Monday, May 4, 2020

Foul Deals in N1: "Against The Cult of the Reptile God" By Douglas Niles - An Alternative Timeline Adventure Set Up For Using The Siege Engine System

"Terror by night! The village of Orlane is dying. Once a small and thriving community, Orlane has become a maze of locked doors and frightened faces. Strangers are shunned, trade has withered. Rumors flourish, growing wilder with each retelling. Terrified peasants flee their homes, abandoning their farms with no explanation. Others simply disappear. . .

No one seems to know the cause of the decay -- why are there no clues? Who skulks through the twisted shadows of the night? Who or what is behind the doom that has overtaken the village? It will take a brave and skillful band of adventurers to solve the dark riddle of Orlane!"

German agents have been messing around on the coast of Spain in the village of Orlane. Back in '82 the N1: "Against The Cult of the Reptile God" was perfectly suited for mid level adventures but everyone knows this history; 
"N1: "Against The Cult of the Reptile God" (1982), by Douglas Niles, is the first adventure in a novice-level series for AD&D. It was written in February 1982, so it was probably published in the first half of the year." But for my alternative World War one campaign which takes place in a world where the Martian invasion of 1897 marked official end of super human kind among most normal human society.

 N1: "Against The Cult of the Reptile God" the German government has sent agents to Orlane to track down the ruins of a serpent men cult. They got far more then they bargained for with them becoming the brain washed foundation of a part of the reptile cult. I chose Spain for a good reason because of their position of neutrality;

"Spain remained neutral throughout World War I between 28 July 1914 and 11 November 1918, and despite domestic economic difficulties,[1] it was considered "one of the most important neutral countries in Europe by 1915".[2] Spain had enjoyed neutrality during the political difficulties of pre-war Europe, and continued its neutrality after the war until the Spanish Civil War began in 1936.[2] While there was no direct military involvement in the war, German forces were interned in Spanish Guinea in late 1915.
The Spanish prime minister, Eduardo Dato, a Conservative, declared neutrality by Royal Decree on 7 August 1914:[3]
"Existent, sadly, the state of war between AustriaHungary and Serbia [...] the Government of His Majesty believes in the duty to order the strictest neutrality to Spanish subjects."
Dato was applauded for this in the Cortes when they reconvened on 30 October. Opinion among the public was divided. The upper classes (the aristocracy and the rich bourgeoisie), the Catholic Church and the Spanish Army generally favoured the Central Powers, usually identified with Germany. Among political parties, the Germanophile tendency was represented among the reactionary Carlists and the conservative Mauristas, followers of Antonio Maura, who himself favoured closer ties with the Allies because of Spain's 1907 pact with Britain and France, which was designed to head off German colonialism in north Africa. Pro-Allied sentiment, which was generally Francophile, was most common among the middle and professional classes and intellectuals. It was common among Catalan nationalistsRepublicans and Socialists. A few Liberals, including Álvaro de Figueroa, leader of the opposition in the Cortes, were also pro-Allied."

There are other worldly visitors from across  following the trail of some of the artifacts that were smuggled to the hands of German agents. But there are other mechanisms that the Germans are targeting. The Reptile cult has other plans for humanity around them.

There's definitely some real potential to add in a fair bit of Robert E.Howard Conan story 'The God In Bowl' into this version of  the N1: "Against The Cult of the Reptile God". We get a whole low down on the serpent men in their wiki entry;"The seat of the First Empire of the Serpent People, during the Paleozoic era, is Valusia. Valusia is a fictional country in the Kull stories of Robert E. Howard and his stories tell, among other things, of the Serpent Men trying to conquer the world once again, around 20,000 years ago, where Kull from Atlantis reigned over the Valusia Kingdom, located on the west coast of the main continent of Thuria. The ancient Serpent Empire was based on sorcery and alchemy, but collapsed with the rise of the dinosaurs about 225 million years ago during the Triassic era. The Serpent Men originally ruled over humans in Valusia, but were defeated and almost wiped out in humanity's battle for survival against the "elder things", which predated even them. Over time, humans dominated Valusia and the Serpent Men became a legend. The Serpent Men, one of the few surviving "elder things", infiltrated human society and ruled from behind the scenes for a time, but were again discovered, defeated, and cast out in a secret war. However, they later repeated this tactic. Soon, they added the front of a Snake Cult religion, which gained power and influence within Valusia while the Serpent Men used their abilities of disguise to murder or replace each reigning monarch. Their power is eventually broken by King Kull, formerly an Atlantean barbarian who had recently conquered Valusia, and the Pict Brule the Spear-Slayer, whose society was aware of the Serpent Men's infiltration."

Now the question becomes were do I take role of the serpent men in the midst of WWI? There some clear stats for these entities in the  Amazing Adventures Manual of Monsters, but its where do I take  N1: "Against The Cult of the Reptile God" from here?! We'll have to simply wait for my players from here.  Here's where the Castle Keeper's Guide comes in handy for dealing with multiple genres & systems.

I'm not sure yet if I'll be using my own home brew Swords & Sorcery fantasy campaign setting or Greyhawk from here. But the fill in will be interesting. What secrets are the Germans after?! 

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