Young Kingdoms Adventures is a supplement filled with story ideas specifically intended for Elric! or Stormbringer Fifth Edition. A listing of all of these background pages can be found at the Young Kingdoms Adventures Main Page.
This set of adventures is set in the Young Kingdom's northern continent. Chaosium's Atlas of the Young Kingdoms, Volume 1: The Northern Continent provides a wide variety of information on the lands of the Northern Continent, including: Vilmir; Ilmiora; the Weeping Waste; Nadsokor; Org and the Forest of Troos; the Sighing Desert; and Tanelorn. The Young Kingdoms Adventures articles on this area include a general article on Ilmiora as well as more information on the city-state of Bakshaan there and an article on the duchy of Rignariom in Vilmir.
The NPCs, Locations and Items in this article are intended to be set in the city-state of Bakshaan, in the country of Ilmiora (see Atlas pg. 41-43). With some level of work, they could be moved to other locations within the Young Kingdoms.
Bakshaan is a rich mercatile city-state located in the South of Ilmiora, near the Forest of Troos. It is a center of commerce and trade for the region, and also the site of the yearly Bakshaan Fair. Unknown to most, Bakshaan also is home to the Mereghn, a secretive order of assassins. See Atlas pg. 41-43 for more complete notes on Bakshaan, and Atlas pg. 55-60 for notes on Ilmioran society in general.
NPCs of Note
This section includes notes on a few minor NPCs located within Bakshaan who can help provide interesting adventure hooks. Also take note of the following NPCs detailed in 'Atlas': Deinstaff (pg. 60), Senator Farrat (pg. 61), Lady Vanozza Farrat (pg. 61), Kelos the Merchant (pg. 62), Nikorn of Ilmar (pg. 62-63), Pilarmo of Bakshaan (pg. 63) and Tormiel of Bakshaan (pg. 65).
When Nepovilo first came to Bakshaan, it was to sell his magical talents in the great markets. Because of the Ilmioran tolerance for magic, Nepovilo was able to do so with only minor trouble, and his business became mildly prosperous.
Unfortunately, some ten years ago, Nepovilo made an unwise choice, accepting a rare herb from Troos in payment for his services. The herb was alledged to increase the magical powers of he who consumed it. In actuality, it did, but not in the way that Nepovilo expected.
Now, Nepovilo is constantly possessed by the magical spells that he knows. They fill his entire essence, and although they do not submerge his personality, they do influence it heavily. Whenever Nepovilo is encountered, roll on the following table to determine what spell is influencing him. Nepovilo will be under the influence of that spell for the next 0-2 days, which has the following effects: he is constantly treated as if the spell were cast upon him (if appropriate); his personality traits are modified as is noted; and whenever he casts the spell for the normal cost, it doubles in strength.
Random Spell Possession Table 1. Babble [Half of what Nepovilo says is nonsense] 2. Breath of Life [Nepovilo is ENERGETIC] 3. Chaos Warp [Nepovilo is ARBITRARY and highly chaotic] 4. Guile of Cran Lire [Nepovilo is DECEITFUL] 5. Heal [Nepovilo is MERCIFUL] 6. Liken Person [Nepovilo acts like those around him.] 7. Make Fast [Nepovilo is LAZY] 8. Make Whole [Nepovilo is utterly sane, and aware of his problem] 9. Obscure [Nepovilo talks in riddles] 10. Wisdom of Slortar [Nepovilo is PROUD]
Nepovilo's changing personality has caused many to label him a madman. This has hurt his business somewhat, but many still come to the sellspell to take advantage of his chaotic talents.
Description: Lean, hunched and balding, Nepovilo is the archetype of an aged man who has dealt too long with Chaos. Still, a strange energy frequently fills him. Many are discomforted by Nepovilo's mismatched green and blue eyes, which frequently fail to focus. Chaos 107, Balance 6, Law 5 STR 8 CON 7 SIZ 10 INT 19 POW 25 DEX 11 APP 6 HP 9 Damage Bonus: none Weapons: Brawl 51%, Damage 1d3 Dagger 49%, Damage 1d4+2 Armor: None Runes: Rune of Benign Purity* (2) [TBG pg. 10], Rune of Invisibility* (varies) [TBG pg. 12-13], Rune of Redaction* (1-4) [TBG pg. 13], Runic Cloak of Cran Liret* (4) [TBG pg. 16], Runic Hell's Armor* (4) [TBG. pg 16], Runic Hell's Bulwark* (4) [TBG pg. 16] Spells: Babble! (1) [TBG pg. 31], Breath of Life* (1) [Elric! pg. 77], Chaos Warp! (4) [Elric! pg. 78], Deftness of Cran Liret* (1-4) [TBG pg. 32], Guile of Cran Liret* (1-4) [TBG pg. 34), Heal* (2) [Elric! pg. 79], Liken Person! [TBG pg. 35], Make Fast* (1) [Elric! pg. 80], Make Whole* (3) [Elric! pg. 80], Obscure* (2) [TBG pg. 35-36], Portent* (3) [TBG pg. 36], Quick Healing* (4) [TBG pf. 36], Wisdom of Slortar* (1-3) [Elric! pg. 83] * Nepovilo regularly offers these spells for sale ! Nepovilo occasionally offers these spells for sale Notes: Nepovilo's spells last 25 Combat Rounds, or about 5 minutes, thus the more time important spells must be requested when there is a fairly immediate need. This is less relevent for the permanent spells and runes. Nepovilo typically charges 50 bronze per magic point he expends when casting a spell, although this varies depending on his daily personality. Skills: Bargain 89%, Change Topic Randomly 79%, Conceal Object 44%, Evaluate 66%, Fast Talk 75%, Insight 31%, The Million Spheres 12%, Oratory 73%, Own Language 95%, Scribe 40%
- While sane, Nepovilo organizes an expedition into the nearby Forest of Troos, searching for another herb which may cure his affliction. Even if the party is successful, they may have to deal with a Nepovilo who acts dramatically different when they return.
- The Mereghn, a group of assasins, often gain spell aid from Nepovilo before conducting jobs. However, of late they have become suspicious of his madness, and decided he is a liability. Thus, they are planning to assassinate him. Nepovilo has gained knowledge of this plan, and hires the players to guard him. Overly zealous players may try to seek out the Mereghn on their own.
- Nepovilo's spells begin escaping and possessing others. Nepovilo may hire the adventurers to get them back, Senator Farrat may hire the adventurers to investigate the problem, or the players may find themselves in the middle of a strange magical brawl in the Market.
Once a sailor of the seas of the Young Kingdoms, Guisso settled in Bakshaan after he was introduced to the Temple of the Straasha there by the previous high priest. He quickly became one of Straasha's most devout followers, and when the last priest passed away, he took up his position.
Unfortunately, Guisso is still haunted by his past. His career began as a sailor on a Purple Towns brig. The Captain, Heorsin Harddeal, was a poor merchant and a worse sailor. When he placed his ship in grave danger during a storm, an altercation erupted between Guisso and the Captain. In the rough-and-tumble fight, Guisso managed to gouge out one of Heorsin's eyes before subduing his Captain and taking command of the ship. It was only through Guisso's decisions that the ship survived the storm; if Heorsin had been at the helm, his ship would have joined Pyaray's Chaos Fleet at the bottom of the sea.
After arriving safely upon land, Guisso fled for his life. He continuing doing so for two decades, jumping from one ship to another, until he finally felt safe. It seemed that either Heorsin was dead, or the old wound forgotten. However, since settling in Bakshaan, and taking up the mantle of Priest, Guisso has heard some disturbing inquiries concerning himself.
Description: Though 43, Guisso is still a broad, stout man. His black hair and beard are both spotted with white, but he shows no signs of slowing down. Chaos 27, Balance 33, Law 8 STR 14 CON 16 SIZ 15 INT 7 POW 16 DEX 13 APP 9 HP 16 Damage Bonus: +1d4 Weapons: Brawl 74%, Damage 1d3+db Sea Axe 81%, Damage 2d6+2+db Net 53%, Entangles Armor: Soft Leather 1d6-1 Spells: Bounty of Straasha (4) [Elric! pg. 77], Breath of Life (1) [Elric! pg. 77], Guide Water (4) [TBG pg. 33-34], Heal (2) [Elric! pg. 79], Straasha's Hold (4) [TBG pg. 37], Summon Elemental (1) [Elric! pg. 83], Wings of Lassa (4) [Elric! pg. 83] Skills: Appear Inconspicuous 3%, Climb 73%, Natural World 51%, Navigate 92%, Oratory 43%, Repair/Devise 78%, Sailing 90%, Swim 65%, Young Kingdoms 41%
- A Priest of the Church of Goldar in Bakshaan spots Captain Guisso, and recognises him from a description given by Heorsin, now a fellow priest in the Purple Towns. The players become a pawn in one side of this conflict, as the considerable financial powers of the Church of Goldar are turned towards Guisso's downfall.
- Guisso introduces players to Straasha's Temple (see below).
Places of Note
Atlas already notes several important places within or near Bakshaan, including: Mereghn Headquarters (pg. 53) and Nikorn's Palace (pg. 54). This section details one more, Straasha's Temple.
Numerous churches to the gods of Law dot the city of Bakshaan. However, only a few know that there also exists a Temple to the Elemental God Straasha, deep beneath the streets of Bakshaan. Although the elemental gods are weakly worshipped in much of Ilmiora, only in Galeazzo is there a public church. If Bakshaan's semi-secret church were made public knowledge, it is likely there would be some strife with the temples of law.
Straasha's Temple is reached through a labyrinth of connecting passages and sewers beneath Bakshaan. Unfortunately, these passages are the same ones which ultimately lead to the Mereghn headquarters, and so the occasional worshipper of Straasha disappears beneath the streets.
The actual temple is located in a huge natural cavern, several hundred feet across and thirty feet high. The majority of the cavern is filled by a lake of fresh water. It connects to both the Barlimm and Vador Rivers, and so the water is kept constantly circulating.
Residents of the Temple:
The high priest of Straasha here is Guisso, a 43 year-old ex-Sailor (see above). On any day, he leads 3d6 natives of Bakshaan and 1d6-3 foreigners in worship of Straasha (use assorted stats for the foreigners; most of the natives are Sailors [Elric! pg. 112], Peasants [Elric! pg. 113], or Merchants [Use Decadent Noble Stats, Elric! pg. 112]).
Very notably, the Temple also regularly has 1d6-3 Undines (Elric! pg. 98-99) in attendence. These Undines are very loyal to Guisso, and bring him word on happenings all along the Ilmar, Barlimm, Vador and Miniato Rivers. If Guisso wished to take advantage of this knowledge, he would have considerable clout in Bakshaan politics.
Properties of the Temple:
- Water spells are easier to cast in the Temple. All fixed cost water-related spells cost one less MP, to a minimum of 1. All variable cost water-related spells act at one point higher than the number of magic points expended, to a maximum of 1 higher than the normal limit.
- Drinking water from the lake in the Temple imbues the drinker with Breath of Life [Elric!, pg. 77] for 4d6 minutes. If water is removed from the lake, it will retain these properties for 4d6 minutes.
- Water elementals can be summoned at the Temple even if the caster does not know the water elemental pathway spell (Bounty of Straasha). Each of the water elemental's stats will be at +1 when rolled.
- Fire elements may not be summoned in the Temple.
- A greedy merchant has heard of the magical properties of the water in Straasha's Temple. He wishes the players to gain a sample by whatever means then deem appropriate.
- The Mereghn have grown tired of Straasha worshipers tromping through their tunnels, and hire the players to wipe out the Temple. The ensuing battle will involve melee with Guisso, undines and innocent worshipers. The Mereghn will move in to clean things up when the melee has died down.
- The waters of the Lake have begun to foul due to industries upstream, at Barlimm's dam. Players are hired to destroy Barlimm's dam, and return the river to its natural state. Clever players might gain aid from Raalston, who also has reason to hate the Barlimm dam.
Items of Note
The Pyramid of Law
Located in the very middle of the City Square is a solid pyramid, two meters on a side, composed entirely of an unknown silverish metal. An ornate barricade of wood sets the pyramid off, protecting it from the throngs. Two ceremonial guards stand at the entrance to the pyramid's enclosure, collecting a 10 bronze fee from any who wishes to enter and commune with the pyramid.
Little is understood about the pyramid except for the fact that it seems to be strongly tied to the Patrons of Law. Because of its most prominent property, the fact that those who touch the pyramid seem to be unable speak untruths, the Pyramid has become a focus of interest to the mercantile community. Many deals, oaths and promises are struck while touching the Pyramid, to take advantage of this property.
The Pyramid was first found by the Bakshaans a hundred years ago, when an expedition travelling in the Forest of Troos accidently unearthed it. It was dragged back to Bakshaan, appropriated by the City Council, and placed in the City Square, where it sits to this day.
[Use CITY GUARD stats, Elric! pg. 111, for the two Ceremonial Guards]
Secrets of the Pyramid:
The Pyramid was once truly an item of Law, but shortly after it was flung into the world before the Young Kingdoms, it was found by the Doomed Folk, who experimented upon it. They corrupted the Pyramid. Now, its heart is a foul, fetid mass of darkness. Only the exterior is pure and untouched.
Properties of the Pyramid:
Citizens of Bakshaan are aware of the first property of the Pyramid, though only a few realize that some can lie. The City Council is awware of the third property of the Pyramid.
- Anyone who touches the pyramid can not tell a lie unless their Chaos Affiliation is at least 10 points higher than both their Law and Balance scores.
- Anyone who touches the pyramid gains one Chaos Affiliation point if their Chaos score is lower than their Law score, and they have not already gained a point from the pyramid in the last season (3 months).
- Anyone who meditates upon the pyramid for an entire week will have a vision if they succeed at a POWx5% roll. This vision will be mildly prophetic, and often have revelence to what the meditator concentrated upon. The vision is always surrounded by the trappings of law, but in actuality, due to the corruption of the pyramid, the visions sometimes arise from the planes of chaos, and suggest a future that favors that force (for any vision, roll. There is a 50% chance the vision was related to law, and a 50% chance it was related to chaos).
- The metal of the pyramid is particularly light. Any armor made out of it encumbers at one level lower than normal. Weapons made out of it add +10% to the wielder's skill, due to the ease with which they can be used. Unfortunately, the metal can not be forged by normal means. Fire elementals, specific demon breeds or specific magical spells would be needed to generate flames hot enough. The Council would, of course, not approve of melting the pyramid down.
- The pyamid acts as a beacon, occasionally attracting chaos monsters towards Bakshaan.
- A corrupt merchant who understands the properties of the Pyramid cheats the players after swearing a seemingly true oath upon the Pyramid.
- Cardinal Garrick, in nearby Vilmir, has grown jealous that heathens should control such a powerful artifact of law. He hires the players to steal away the huge pyramid from the city of Bakshaan.
- The corruption within the Pyramid finally bursts out. The pyramid shatters apart, and the darkness within is revealed. Monsters steadily emerge from the darkness. Initially, there is a surge, but afterwards only a few appear every day. After dealing with the Chaos demons, and fighting their way to the Pyramid, the players will have to determine what to do with the lawless gateway.
Creatures of Note
The civilized city of Bakshaan is not the home to any particularly malicious creatures of legend.