A Conspiracy in Damascus

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Details

Pages: 15

Time: ~4 hrs

Author(s): Jared Smith

Artist(s): Jensine Eckwall

Setting: Dark Ages (8th Century, Umayyad era) Damascus

Appears in: Bayt al Azif, Issue 1


Summary

A band of secret agents must discover what has been smuggled into Damascus.

Links

Spoilers - Keepers Eyes Only

Players should not read any further.

Synopsis

A shady merchant comes to the attention of the Umayyad government when he bribes a guard to smuggle a mysterious large box into Damascus, using thousand-year-old silver coins to pay for it. The box was apparently brought out of the desert by an unknown tribe of Bedouin. A team of government secret agents is assigned to get into the merchant's warehouse to discover what was inside the box, and why it was worth smuggling from so far away.

 Spoiler Section (Highlight to Read)
A group of Cthulhu cultists have enslaved a jinn and smuggled a masqut into the city inside the large box. They plan to work with the masqut to perform a ritual to open a portal to R'lyeh, flooding the city. The Investigators become trapped on their mission when they are confronted by the enslaved jinn, The Demon of the Wastes, who has been commanded to kill anyone who reveals the plans of the cult. The Investigators must thus stop the cult and the masqut on their own, or be killed by the jinn.


References

Player Handouts:

  • Unreconciled and Suspicious Entries in Majd al-Din’s Ledger
  • Property Deed
  • Rental Agreement
  • The Tablet of Enslavement of Evil Beings of Air and Fire

Locations:

Creatures:

Tomes and Artifacts:

  • The Tablet of Enslavement of Evil Beings of Air and Fire

Organizations

  • Cthulhu Cult

Comments

List dedication, trivia, images, anything else of note.

Keeper Comments

Comments to Keepers about this scenario; Possibly how to run it successfully. Keep general DISCUSSION on the talk page.

Setting: Dark Ages (8th Century, Umayyad era) Damascus; Mikey83 notes: "The adventure itself is largely laid out logically and it seems like it could be easily shifted to different time periods, and with a minimum of work even a different city (I could see it working in Gaslight London for instance)."

Special Notes:

  • Note that according to one reviewer (Mikey83), the Pre-Gen characters are well-written and nicely balanced, but the character sheets are 7th Edition CoC (Cthulhu Through The Ages), while for keepers running Cthulhu Dark Ages some conversion might be necessary, especially for skills like 7th Edition's 'Locksmith' or 'Credit Rating' - it's not a difficult fix, but could be annoying to those Keepers specifically running C:DA who do not expect or prepare for it; keepers may wish to convert Pregens, NPCs, and other mechanical elements from 7th Edition to Dark Ages characters as part of the scenario prep.
  • The reviewer also reported finding the pace a bit rushed in places, and might rework the timeline to give the investigators more time to make better use of the seer, and look for clues before cultists begin retreating from the market fire; the cultists put up a strong fight if they retreat together to the final location, and the reviewer might also change that so that some cultists have a chance of getting caught while retreating, and perhaps others might flee elsewhere.
  • The reviewer's party also seems to have run into a potential bottleneck by killing a key NPC at the bazaar who would have provided exposition and help for the party. This doesn't seem to have been a show-stopper, and the party worked things out eventually, but it seems that this could have potentially confused or delayed part of the plot unnecessarily, and might have contributed to the tough ending noted earlier.

Sequel Plot Hooks:  ?