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.
The Island of the Purple Towns has been set up as a starting place for Stormbringer adventures beginning with the Elric! edition. It's very centrally located and a bastion of law, yet is big enough to provide some variety. The fourth edition book Sea Kings of the Purple Towns (CH2114) continues to be the best resource for the island; what follows just expands on that.
This article covers the Island generally; information on specific cities appears elsewhere.
The Island of the Purple Towns is the nexus of trade in the Young Kingdoms, both because of its location in the middle of the world and because of its aggressive mercantile empire. The Island is also a place of law dominant, where the slightest mistep can bring arrest or worst.
There have been many published adventures set on the Island of the Purple Towns. Beware, there are probably spoilers below.
Elric! Beginner's Adventures
Elric! provided a number of beginner's scenarios:
The Weight of Doom. Elric! rules pg. 138-142. (Also included in the nearly identical Stormbringer Fifth rules.) A short adventure mainly intended to set up the three forces in the Stormbringer universe. Not very good and not very convincingly set on the Island of the Purple Towns.
The Thought That Counts. Elric! rules pg. 142-147. (Also included in the Stormbringer Fifth rules.) A short adventure that spans from Menii to Kariss and involves the players with two merchants, one of whom deals with demons.
The Curse of Chardros. Elric! Gamemaster Screen. Another beginner's scenario, this one set at Castle Sternbrow, a bit southwest of Menii. The curse of the chaos-lord Chardros haunts a family.
Hoard of Amber. Herald of Doom vol.1 no.1 pg. 6-7. A short scenario centering on a shipment lost from Menii. (Herald of Doom was a quarterly 12-page zine about Elric! It lasted for at least two years.)
Meanwhile the fourth edition of Stormbringer provided much more expansive adventures set in and around the Island of the Purple Towns.
The Strong Arms. SKotPT pg. 65-75. Issues regarding the Strong Arms tavern, really more of a campaign setup than a singular adventure since it covers a year's time.
Sisters of Chaos. SKotPT pg. 76-93. An adventure starting in Menii and centering on a chaos organization there, but it quickly crosses the sea to Vilmir and other countries of the south.
Kariss Burning. SKotPT pg. 116-125. The invasion of Kariss.
The adventure of The Unholy Fortress is also included in Sea Kings of the Purple Towns but not really set on the Island. It sort of acts as part of an overarching campaign including the other three, however.
NPCs of Note
Places of Note
Towns and Villages=
Following are descriptions of a number of smaller towns and villages which don't appear on the main map of the Island of the Purple Towns.
Location: Belrain Country, approximately one day's travel south of the city of Utkel.
History: The then nameless village of Root was founded several hundred years ago, when the Pirate Kings still terrorized the middle seas. Root was founded as a convenient place to stop when travelling between Salkan's Cut in the south and Utkel on the Bay of Menii. The earliest permanent settlers of Root acted as brokers, saving the pirates from the south a day's travel when selling off their black market goods at Utkel. The community slowly became more self-sufficient, with shepherds and farmers joining the village as time went on.
As the Pirate Kings slowly disappeared, and especially after the ritualistic burying of the last pirate ship, Root shrank, but there remained enough people willing to make a living off the harsh lands for the village to survive.
Twenty-five years ago a man named Klaren founded a ramshackle inn here, mainly catering toward nobles and their envoys making occasional forays into Belrain Country to see to their holdings there. Twelve years ago he began brewing one of the best ales in the world, which he called the Dark Root Ale. The renown of this superb drink quickly spread and soon people were journeying to the town, soon called Root as a result, simply to sample his wares.
Over the last twelve years Root has grown, and it is nearly a hamlet now.
Additional Notes: Root is a village of just more than a hundred, most sheep and cattle herders, though some agricultural farmers struggle to scrape a scant living from the land. A few soldiers are barracked in town, the result of the local lord protecting his investment, now that Root has been put on the map by Klaren. Klaren (with his wife Neva and son Frago) offer the only service establishment in the village; it isn't large enough to support more.
The inn itself sits at a crossroads, which didn't exist twenty-five years ago. North the well-defined path leads to Utkel a day out, while south it follows an ancient path from the Pirate Kings' time, eventually to Sartan's Cut, two days south. West and east the path peters out fairly quickly.
The only other location of particular note in Root is the graveyard, located in a particularly rocky ground about a half-mile southwest of the village center. It goes back to pirate times, and some buried there once followed the Pirate Kings.
Adventure: The Adventure of the Restless Dead is set here. You can find it in Tradetalk magazine #2 or the Chaosium Digest V12.4-V12.5. I'll be posting an updated version which better sets the originally generic adventure into the Purple Towns city of Root when I finish running it for my local group.
The Temple of Grome
Located slightly off the main road from Menii to Kariss is an ancient temple to Grome; its origins are not known, but its antiquity would suggest that it was created even before the Melniboneans came to the Island of the Purple Towns. Perhaps it sprung forth from the Earth itself.
The temple itself is located in a hidden vale amidst shallow, rolling hills. The valley can not be seen until one of the nearby hills is crested. Thus, it is hard to find the temple at all without already knowing of its location.
A regular ring of menhirs marks the location of the temple. Thousands of years ago they were perfectly formed and square cut. Today they have been worn down by thousands of years of rain and weathering, and thus every stone is unique.
At the center of the circle is a flat stone, unevenly shaped, that is set deep into the earth, and at the center of that is a recessed diamond inset, which is the keyhole for a certain, perfect amethyst, which will be revealed to a faithful follower of the Balance when Grome is ready for the temple to be opened once more.
Properties of the Temple:
- The stones of the temple are aligned so that on the first day of Summer they show three locations of particular interest to Grome, one located on each of the Northern, Western, and Soutern continents. An Astronomy (or some related roll) is required to locate the three stars which can be followed to the various locations. Each of the stars will unerringly lead to the correct location by following their path from the standing stones during Summer, but following them in any other season is fruitless.
- The health of the Temple is ultimately reflected in the health of the nearby land. If it is well cared for, crop yields will increase. If it is corrupted (say, with human sacrifices, as mentioned in Story Ideas, below) the nearby crops will begin to wither as well.
The Under Temple:
When that perfect amethyst is set into the keyhole stone, it can be turned. When it is a shaft will open up to one side of the standing stones. It leads down approximately 15 meters to a passage, which in turns leads to an Under Temple which lies immediately below the standing stones above.
The walls of the Under Temple have been painted with scenes of Grome. Here he can be seen raising up the islands from the primal water, forming the Ship that Sails Over Sea and Earth, protecting his followers from the harsh winds of Lassa and more.
At the center of the temple is a recessed fire pit which shows that offerings of some sort have been burned here since the earliest times.
Properties of the Under Temple:
- Any follower of the Balance (Balance score 20+ points over any other score) who stays in the Under Temple for more than thirty minutes will be struck with a vision of burning Purple Mahogny (the rare wood that gives the Purple Towns their name, as described in Sea Kings of the Purple Towns, p. 19) in the fire pit in the Under Temple. They will also have the feeling that they must place absolute faith in Grome.
- If Purple Mahogny is burned in the fire pit in the Under Temple, each person remaining in the Under Temple may make a Balance roll, and if they succeed they are granted a personal vision from Grome in 1d10+10 rounds.
- If the Under Temple has been left "open" (e.g., the key has been turned and the shaft is open) then it slowly starts to fill with smoke, with only a small bit escaping through the shaft. Each player in the Under Temple will start suffocating in 4+1d6 rounds (use drowing rules).
- If the Under Temple has been "closed" by someone above turning the key to close the shaft, then the area fills with smoke, but miraculously the air remains clean and breathable.
- A follower of the balance is given a vision of the Temple. He must locate the amethyst key and then find the temple itself in order to do the will of Grome.
- The temple has been found by nearby villagers. They see it as a sign of their rise against the Lassa-worshiping nobles of the islands. Unfortunately one of their leaders, slightly insane and perhaps falling under the influence of a certain necromantic chaos priest, has begun human sacrifices at the temple. The adventurers upon learning of this must convince the villagers to stop the sacrifices, and then must decide what to do with the perpetrater, as turning him over to the Lawful authorities of the Island of the Purple Towns could result in the destruction of this village.
- The three guiding stars could lead to three different adventures, each a holy place of Grome from times past that must now be rediscovered or freed in some manner.