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Nochet Boldhome: Tour operator


French Desperate WindChild

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Hy guys I have a big (for me, ridiculous for other, of course) project I will share with you when I will be enough ready (impostor syndrome effect + bad english effect, I will never be ready)

And I need you to prepare some stuff.

 

So I have to define an itinerary between Nochet and Boldhome.

My customers are 3 scholars from the Lhankor Mhy temple. Well... one of them is happy to use his sword (90%), one wishes to try his conglafragration spell (30%) and the last one is just a ... weight

They are accompanied by an orlanthi bodyguard  (85% + 5% when buffed) and maybe maybe (they may join the "company" during the travel or in Sartar, I don't know yet ) two defformed masked people (enlo, no real skills except tracking, they try to escape their owners. The lhankorings know "what" they are)

 

I would like to know what could be the best itineraries these people could imagine to choose.

They are lhankoring, they are supported by their temple, so they have all the information reasonably available.

Their priority is to go to Boldhome, not to look for adventure / fight / etc (of course there will be something, but not because they want to)

We are in 1611 (but if you think there is anyinteresing event for adventure in early 1612 it is possible but I want them to be in Sartar before the starbrow rebellion)

My idea is to use a boat until Karse, then follow the road  : Smithstone -> Whitewall -> Wilmskirk -> Boldhome

But I m not sure it is the usual route.

 

Then if you have any data, I would be very happy to integrate them :

 - time between stations,

- toll they have to pay  (they have nothing to sell)

- some encounters

 

Thanks a lot !

 

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The easier routes involve water travel.

Either they can board a river boat (or a series of river boats) to bring them up the Lyksos, New and Creek-Stream rivers to Duck Point, and the royal highway from there, or they can take a ship to Karse, and possibly a river barge up the Marzeel halfway to Smithstone, and then use Tarkalor's road and the royal highway to Boldhome.

For the riverine route, up to New Crystal City, the boaters could be human, but (IMG at least) from New Crystal upriver the boaters need to be Durulz or possibly Newtlings, or take on some beast-man pilot (in all likelihood a duck), as the inhabitants of Beast Valley don't react that friendly to humans traveling through Beast Valley unaccompanied.

The travelers could use roads into the Esrolian March and the Grazelands, avoiding most of Beast Valley, or avoid it completely through Exile territory and the dragonewt wilds, coming in from Runegate or Dangerford.

Any combination of road travel and river travel is possible on the western route.

The eastern route doesn't have to go to Karse, Jansholm is another possible point of debarkation, as is any other port east/south of Karse.

A ship from Nochet could bypass Karse and sail a bit up the Marzeel. There are quite likely smugglers who use such a route. Depending on the size of that vessel, Vingaford might be a possible destination.

The best route would be past the Derensev library in Volsaxiland (possibly a desired stop-over for the three bookworms in the party) and Whitewall towards Wilmskirk, and then through the Sambari pass on the royal highway.

A somewhat crazy, yet still possible route would be to Corflu, up the Zola Fel to Pavis, and then using the Pavis Road for a northerly entry into Sartar, or any other chaparral crossing east of the Storm Mountains. You would have the need to hide from pursuers or an intermediate goal to take such a detour, though.

 

If you send your party up the western route, they might be caught in the troubles of the local Lhankor Mhy temple in New Crystal City that offers a tie-in to some notable characters in Balazar. (Massive spoilers in white type follow: The sage Bluebird gets wrongly accused of having stolen documents from the local temple. Valka Runewolf is his missing companion. The culprits are Halcyon var Enkorth and Mrusa the Shrew can be found in Elkois.)

Another waypoint that might be of interest to your sages would be Arkat's Last Fort, especially if one of them has a contact to the House of Black Arkat. You might offer that as a possible source for learning some less usual sorcery.

 

If your game is set prior to 1616, you could use the Fish Road from Nochet to the City of Wonders, and onward to Backford. I am not sure what the status of the fish roads is after the disappearance of the City of Wonders in 1624. It might be possible that the junction to the Wonder Transfer was a branch of that system rather than its nexus, or possibly a truncated Wonder Transfer still exists after 1624.

The isolation of the City of Wonders after 1616 may not have affected fish road traffic between the three branches going out from beneath the City of Wonders. But then, the rainbow bridges aren't really usable any more after 1616, either, except by the magical rulers of the sixths, and the Guide still presents them with its 1621 timestamp.

 

Fun places to have "interesting" stuff happen on the way are many. Karse is a bustling port city, much like Nochet, with as many opportunities to get dragged into sinister things. Possibly even a shanghaiing onto a southbound ship (but then, so do Nochet and the City of Wonders).

No idea how prominent Broyan would be in Whitewall prior to 1613. In 1613, he appears to be already in position to offer the exiles from Larnste's Table a position in his entourage. Depending on your plans with that party, you could arrange for an audience. And possibly receive a mission on the way, like e.g. a small detour to the Sun Dome Temple on his behalf.

Derensev is one of the Great Libraries of Lhankor Mhy. For scholars from Nochet probably less interesting as a repository of documents and more as a pilgrimage site, or possibly a source of special magics.

 

The eastern route has a couple of promising ruins along its path, too. The City of Lylket was home to an important Lhankor Mhy temple in the Second Age, specializing on troll lore (but overlooking that it was built above troll tunnels, which led to its conquest from the Shadow Plateau in 907, and its subsequent abandonment). The cyclopean walls of Old Karse sit below the cliffs of the Shadow Plateau, and are a pilgrimage site for the boaters of Karse. A mostly abandoned city n ruins always harbors some small dungeoneering opportunities.

 

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Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

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Travel times: I would use the movement rates given in the Dragon Pass boardgame (or repeated in Martin Helsdon's Armies and Enemies of Dragon Pass) for overland travel. If they join a caravan or mule train, 3 hexes a day plus road bonus (double distance for a primary road, half again for a secondary road) sounds about right.

Unaccompanied, they might travel up to twice as fast (heroic movement in the boardgame is six hexes, ignoring adversarial terrain effects but benefitting from roads).

 

Sea travel can be a lot faster, if you want to offer that. Unless the winds are quite adversarial, the sailing trip from Nochet to Karse should take no more than two days. At least IMG the newtlings of Frog Island offer food and small trade items to ships at anchor or on the beach at or near Frog Island.

Upriver travel in a barge or river boat might be about as fast as a caravan on a secondary road. It could be slower. River travel allows the transport of quite bulky luggage. There are portages - especially on the Runnel River stretch, IIRC - which might make changing boats faster than going through all that effort.

 

For encounters, a troll merchant with is insect train is a possibility on either route. 

Piracy or highway robbery is a possibility. It may be as little as an unauthorized toll collection, or as bad as an ambush planning to take all possessions and the ransom (or selling the captives as slaves). Or, depending on the attackers, to eat them.

Prior to 1613, the ducks are upstanding citizens of the conquered lands of Sartar, and can move about without having to fear for their beaks. This may allow you to present them in a slightly different light.

 

Joining a caravan or travel group allows you to confront your player with travel companions who may be in trouble, or cause trouble to your travelers. Same thing for boarding a ship or boat not in their exclusive service (and even then, the crew may be either, too).

Getting into the traveling group offers some roleplaying opportunities, too.

Traveling on your own makes you a lot more vulnerable to ambushes etc.

 

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Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

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