Erik Schmidt
Erik Schmidt

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Neolibyan leaders weigh risk versus reward in every transaction.

The Scars section of Artifacts (p.24-41) provides tools for building cohesive player character groups. It also describes how player characters of the same Cult can come together as a group. Taking Scars as a start point, this and other Cult Campaign Seeds posts explore ideas for campaigns built around a single Cult.

The aim is to provide gamemasters with ideas that can be expanded, grafted into other campaign seeds, or otherwise altered as needed. With that in mind, here are some ideas for Scrapper groups.

To the Flock

Jalil, old friend!

It’s me, Nezzir. I know it has been some time since we last spoke, and I apologize for not delivering this message in person, but time is short, and I have an opportunity that I know you will find enticing. As you know, I am in Marrakush, where I work for the Magnate Hassan the Bold. I perform many duties for Hassan, most of them boring administrative tasks. But just today he has given me a much more exciting job.

The degenerate Apocalyptics of the Free Heron Flock, who are well known in these parts, have been absorbed into the Black Flock, which now controls most of the Mediterranean. The Black Flock has been increasingly bold in its attacks on shipping, and recently this piracy, specifically from the Free Herons, have cut into Hassan’s profits. He is not content to simply pay for more guards or hope that the Scourgers will find and eliminate the pirates. As he says, “Hope is a fool’s plan.”

Instead he wants to do something bold. And you and Wahim and me and one or two others from the old days (Mari, maybe?) could get in on it. Anyway, the idea is that Hassan puts us on a ship and makes sure the Free Herons know the ship’s time of departure and destination. The crew has been instructed not to fight back if the Free Herons attempt to board, and when they do, we tell them there’s a fat ransom on our heads. They take us back to their hidden port, maybe on Corpse, and send someone out to negotiate with Hassan.

But, and this is the really exciting part, Hassan got his hands on some rare Bygone technology. He stole it from the Chroniclers, this strange European Cult that collects this stuff. Anyway, Hassan has these little squares no bigger than your pinkie. We can hide them in our hair weaves. With technology back in Marrakush, Hassan can track us and know exactly where we are at all times. Once the Free Herons have us at their hidden port, Hassan will send a Scourger team to rescue us and deal the Free Herons a crippling blow!

I have negotiated with Hassan. He will pay us handsomely and consider my tutelage complete. I will be released from service. Just think of it! The coin from Hassan from this endeavor will allow us to finally do what we’ve always talked about. Imagine us all with our own trade concern, never needing to work for anyone else ever again. I wouldn’t trust anyone else on this mission. Just our little group, the same crew that has looked out for each other since we were street rats on the docks years ago.

What do you say, Jalil? If you’re up for this (and I know you are), get yourself to Marrakush by Observance Day.

Looking forward to your arrival, buddy.

Characters with the Concepts of Mentor, Protector, Martyr, and Healer have Affinity with this group, while Aversion greets those with Abomination and Ruler Concepts.

A Failed Mission

Vice-Accountant Dhorut,

This is Mikel, writing to inform you that Bonded Agent Mufala is deceased. While on the trail of our quarry, we were ambushed. While no other members of our team perished, we have sustained injuries and are resting in Lucatore, an Anabaptist stronghold here in Northern Purgare.

Vice-Accountant, it is also my duty to inform you that during the ambush we were unable to take the betrayer alive. It appears he launched his ambush knowing it would lead to his own death. The filthy animal sacrificed himself rather than accept justice.

I understand that our duties in this pursuit were very clear, and that the fugitive was not to be harmed. As the acting team leader, I assume full responsibility for the failure. As soon as we are physically recovered, we shall make our way to Toulon and thence home, where our code compels that I willingly submit to your judgment.

We have been surprisingly well-received here, not by the common folk, but by the local ruler. His name is Altair, and it appears he is highly respected within the Cult of the Anabaptists. He has afforded us lodgings and we have dined with him on several occasions since our arrival two weeks ago. While he gained fame as a warrior in the Adriatic Basin, he has sustained it through his skill at negotiating with the other primitives.

As you directed, we have described ourselves as merchants in search of trade opportunities. Not being of great intellect, none of the locals has the slightest inkling that we came here in pursuit of an operative of The Road. Altair appears to be open to expansion of Lucatore’s trade connections as a bulwark against the designs of Bergamo to the west, and for a European he displays a surprising depth of knowledge about Africa. His brother Ennio is of only average intellect, but he has been involved in our conversations and has also afforded us hospitality.

Elysian oil is produced here in Lucatore, and it is the town’s most valuable export, produced for Cult use. Shipments are sent off monthly for the long journey to Cathedral City, and while Lucatore is by no means opulent, its unsophisticated inhabitants are comfortable. They farm, forest, gather peat, and observe the strange rituals of their Cult. It’s a relatively sleepy town, and not much happens here. I expect we shall depart within the fortnight.

In your service,
Mikel
Son of Musfar

Characters with the Concepts of Protector, Righteous, Traditionalist, and Zealot have Affinity with this group, while Aversion greets those with Heretic and Visionary Concepts.

The Call of the Crow

Dearest Father, I send greetings from Justitian, the sprawling, strange, soot-covered metropolis that the Crows call “the most powerful city in all the world.” I doubt that any among them have seen the dazzling white walls of Tripol, or the lapis and emerald tiles of the Grand Aviary. But firm conviction without evidence is ever their way.

They revel in their squalor and can’t even imagine the warmth of salted ocean breezes, or the subdued majesty of the Bank of Commerce. What public architecture exists here is rectilinear, brutal, devoid of subtlety or grace. Forgive me Father, for you know of all this through firsthand experience, and my wide-eyed recounting likely bores you.

So I shall proceed to the heart of the matter. As you know, Hakkim the Great Hunter chose our little group to scout on his behalf, that we might find for him the best location for hunting Biokinetics. Finally, after months of arduous travel, and some days replenishing supplies here in Justitian, we are set to strike into the heart of the wild territory of Pollen. The Biokinetics make splendid trophies, and when the Great Hunter arrives, we will certainly have found a location that will suit his needs.

Mehdi would make you laugh, Father. He is always fussing with the cumbersome radio strapped to his back, and he worries constantly that it will go out at the least opportune moment. Darush is even more dour than during the passage through Purgare. He mutters from time to time that winter will soon be coming, even though it’s midsummer here! Mykal is his usual jackass self. He whores constantly, and if we do not move out soon, he will find himself on the end of some Apocalyptic’s knife for one reason or another. Chance has thrown us all together, but we have grown close in spite of our differences.

I know this may sound strange, but this filthy, wild land grows on me. It is full of contrasts. Unlike the calm and ordered world of home, the land of the Crow is full of jarring contrasts. I recall you telling me once that the Europeans do not take care of each other. I didn’t really understand at the time what that meant, but now I do.

They are almost feral. They are boisterous, unruly, at times appallingly stupid. Yet their Spitalians have built a stunningly sophisticated operation to fight the Psychonauts, and I can see why Uncle Dupa speaks well of Hellvetic discipline and skill at arms. Had I not witnessed them with my own eyes, I would never understand why a Scourger would say such a thing about any Europeans.

Father, I suspect that when our mission for the Great Hunter is done, we shall continue to explore the lands of the Crow. If we are fortunate, we may find a concession opportunity that others have overlooked. And if not, at least we will fill our ledgers with experiences few back home could match. I trust you will understand Father, when I say I may not be home for some time, it is not due to lack of respect or fealty to you or Mother. Please convey to her my love and prayers.

Your son,
Mahmud

Characters with the Concepts of Adventurer, Traveler, Disciple, and Mediator have Affinity with this group, while Aversion greets those with Hermit and Destroyer Concepts.

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