Welcome to Westcrown! Remember to Behave. You're Being Watched.
For eight centuries, Westcrown was a bastion of civilization and a symbol of national strength in Chelish eyes. As the city served as the center of Aroden’s faith, all Cheliax deemed the City of Nine Stars to be Aroden’s next home in the mortal world. Westcrown rivaled Absalom as a destination of pilgrimages during the Age of Enthronement. Yet, with Aroden’s unexpected death, the once shining City of Nine Stars became the City of Twilight as Chelish citizens lost hope. Decades of bloody strife followed, and the only direction out of the chaos seemed to be the orderly tenets of diabolism. A city that once symbolized a people’s power now projects a people’s disappointment and despair. Hope has dimmed in the city, and shadow beasts walk the streets instead of Aroden’s clergy. Westcrown remains influential in its mercantile and military might, but also humbled by its lost faith and tarnished reputation. One of the most varied and sophisticated cities of the Inner Sea, Westcrown is an enigma. By day, this city reminds many of any city or country they know, either because of the varied architecture or because people from all across Avistan and Garund now call Westcrown home. The many religious sites, whether active or debased, continue to draw the pious, the curious, and the devious. Even the ruins of the northern city draw interest among those looking for less-than-legal materials or rare treasures amid the dangerous rubble. But once the sun sets, only the foolish walk out of doors in Westcrown, for the shadow beasts prowl every darkened lane and waterway.
Bumping in the Night
Westcrown's Age of Woe began in Rova of 4676 ar. What started as stories of strange creatures slinking through the shadows became a citywide panic as Wiscrani began disappearing off the darkened streets. Rumors spread quickly of a return of the White Plague or a resurrection of the infamous Council of Thieves, but these tales were soon replaced by reports of a shadowy calamity at Delvehaven, the local Pathfinder lodge, and sightings of dark and insubstantial beings hunting the streets. After months of ignoring or dismissing the problem, the government eventually launched a campaign to seek out and put an end to what they downplayed as an infestation of giant rats, goblins, and goblin dogs. Yet the dottari proved ill equipped for these midnight hunts, and the office of the mayor offered only empty promises. Growing fear and anger led to scapegoating and suspicions of insurrectionists from Nidal, which culminated in a mob’s daylight burning of twin Nidalese coasters. Finally, for the populace’s protection, a curfew was enacted throughout the city while a small army of dottari and experienced mercenaries were commissioned to deal with the shadowy curse that had afflicted the Wiscrani night. Numerous raids and hunts were conducted in the Dospera and ancient city sewers, only to result in the loss of many hunters with little apparent gain. Thus, the nightly curfew remained in effect for more than 30 years, with the unwary risking their very lives.
Today, with the dying of every day’s light, businesses hurriedly close and respectable homes light lanterns outside their doors. Members of the dotarri light pyrahjes, man-sized torches, throughout the Parego Regicona and in the major plazas of the Parego Spera, patrolling between such islands of light in groups of seven. Taverns, festhalls, and similar establishments maintain sleeping rolls for those who stay after dark, collecting a customary 2 silver fee for boarders soon after twilight. Those forced onto the street after dark typically carry halorans, 7-foot-tall hooked staves hung with bright lanterns, made publicly available along the city’s most traveled avenues. Despite the city’s adaptation to the nightly scourge, specifics of what the creatures are, where they came from, and their intentions remain the stuff of rumors, with every Wiscrani having his own wildly varying theory. Most residents have accepted and adapted to the deadly curfew, which is frequently broken in the Spera and even more often on Westcrown Island, where few attacks take place. Dottari who catch residents out after curfew can enforce up to a 5 gold fine, but more commonly hurry such scofflaws along their way. Weekly, though, new tales arise of deadly attacks on curfew breakers, assuring that the nightly ban is widely maintained. Several times a year the lord mayor makes a show of decrying the plague of mysterious hunters stalking the city’s streets, promising renewed efforts to put an end to the menace, but little has changed in the three decades since the creatures’ mysterious appearance.
A Secret Meeting in an Abandoned Building
Vizio's Tavern. It's easy enough to find, standing sadly on a corner of the eastern Rego Scripa. The tavern is commonplace in this part of Westcrown, the kind of place where merchant guards go to relax, gripe about their employers, and look for more work. Or at least, it was until several months ago, when the Vizio patriarch passed away, and the surviving family moved out of Westcrown to go live with kin in distant Corentyn. Today, Vizio's stands apparently empty, its windows grimy, its overhead sign in need of a fresh paint job. A wooden placard stands in one splintered window frame, the words 'Reopening Soon' scrawled upon it in dark paint. The afternoon sun in the sky above marks the time as nearly 4:00. The hour of the Westcrown Adventurer's Guild meeting is at hand.
I like Elite+6 for stats. Everyone starts with 15, 14, 13, 12, 10, 8, arranged to taste, plus 6 points for customization.
8 to 13 costs 1 point
14 to 15 cost 2 points
16 to 17 costs 3 points
So, raising an 8 to a 10 would cost 2 points. Raising a 13 to a 15 would cost 3 points (1 to get to 14 plus 2 to get to 15).
Maximum hit points. Average starting gold. Pick two traits. Everyone starts with 300 XP.
The PCs share a concern about the situation in Westcrown. The isn't unusual. Surely everyone is concerned. The PCs, however, are willing to do something about it. At the secret meeting in an abandoned building, they meet to discuss a plan of action.
Last edited by Mark Chance; Saturday, 23rd January, 2010 at 01:23 PM.