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Caurenze's Crisis

by Giulio Frandi

This is a scenario for low-level immortal PCs.

It is well known that the Principality of Caurenze used to run a huge deficit on his budget while Aalban had a remarkable surplus. Caurenze’s financial basics had been described as unstable for a long time during private dinners occurring among Darokin insiders but, so far, the dominion run by the extravagant Prince di Malapietra had always been able to secure private loans from the wealthiest families of the Republic. It has been speculated that this is possible only because, in the case of a default from Caurenze, the central Glantrian Treasury should feel compelled to kick in and rescue the beleaguered principality increasing taxes over the other more virtuous ones and acting as a last resort lender.

However, during the summer of 1006AC the situation worsen. A huge meteor crashes in the Broken Lands sending ashes in the air for several miles around its landing site and ruining the crops of several of the southern principalities of the magocracy. Meanwhile Darokin financial situation worsen too, due to the effects of a two years war with the Master of Hule. Suddenly the Hallonica family chooses to reallocate its assets and diminish its exposure to the Principalities, all the while investing more into the newfound Kingdom of Karameikos. This spells financial doom for the already strained Caurenze.

The Malapietra family appoint a specialist trained in the Darokin Diplomatic Corp as chamberlain, asking him to sort their finances and, for a while, it seems that his rigorist politics and his untamed credibility can help solve the problems of the land. However when a killer plague coming from Freiburg expands its grip over Glantri, Caurenze finance is not able to offer enough medical support to the poorest subjects of the dominion and they revolt thus increasing devastation, illness and famine.
The only hope for the distinctive culture of the principality comes from Ka the Preserver. It is time to bring everything to the Hollow World. However, even a mighty Hierarch can’t do this all alone. He needs the help of fresh Immortals Initiates like you in order to keep the Caurenzan Dolce Vita alive for the posterity. Will you be able help him save this people?

As you know, during this time period, Hel is very active. She enjoys impersonating false immortals in order to sway mortals toward committing evil acts and stir trouble. One can easily assume that she could play the role of the main antagonist in this scenario.

For instance, in the first part, where everybody still hope to save Caurenze from its financial doom, she could establish a Aalban mortal identity in the persona of an important dignitary of the rich dominion and push hard for a policy refusing to share the debts of the other Glantrian principalities. Let’s call this persona “Merk-Hel” and see where this could lead us.

by John Calvin

So... if we had to split this adventure up into 3 distinct parts, what would those be? I'm envisioning something along these lines:

Part I: Discover the Opposition
The great dinosaur looms over you, his teeth gleaming and eyes burning with furvor, "We must act fast to save Caurenze, but there are other forces at play... forces that would not like us to succeed. We need to know who is opposing us and why. Otherwise our task becomes much harder."

The Immortal PCs (IPCs) must assume mortal identities and investigate the causes of Caurenze's most current problems on the Material Plane. They have 2 routes of investigation. They can either investigate the devastating plague that has broken loose from Freiburg, or plumb the depths of the schemes being hatched from inside Hallonica House that threaten Caurenze's ability to combat it.

Part II: Undermine Hel
Ka the Preserver taps his two claws against the giant size marble table before addressing you again. "We know that Hel is sowing discontent around Caurenze... and I believe that the best way to combat this is to draw her eyes elsewhere. I know of several 'projects' of hers that we can disrupt."

The IPCs are sent out across the Prime Material Plane and to the Outer Planes beyond, in order to disrupt several of Hel's projects and draw her attention away from Caurenze. Can they do this without being discovered... and incurring Hel's wrath? [I'm not sure exactly what such adventures would contain, but this would be a way to let the fledgling immortals stretch their full set of powers (at least on the Outer Planes). Maybe they run into some of Hel's own immortal henchmen?]

Part III: Moving Caurenze
"Our objectives are nearing fruition," rumbles Ka, "but we must still be vigilant. I need you to scout out locations in the Hollow World that would be suitable homes for Caurenze, once it is moved."

It's back to the Material Plane for the IPCs as they must explore the Hollow World in order to find a suitable home for Caurenze. But Hel has not been idle, and even now she has agents in Ka's Preserve ready to disrupt his plans. Not sure what the IPCs would be doing here exactly, but I wanted to give them the ability to place Caurenze in a location of their own choosing. This could have quite an impact on the current HW cultures depending on the location they choose.

by Giulio Frandi

I would keep the three part subdivision suggested by Chimpman and assume that those where the Immortals take a Mortal Form require them to choose Companion Level identities.
The in-game rationale is to let them starting establishing identities with enough power and seniority to be able to shape the events but also more junior than real mortal (or immortal) power mongers who could become suspicious of Master Level Heroes coming out from nowhere (WOTI, page 7 – “Accomplishing Personal Goals”).
The plot rationale is that if you start a campaign in 1000 AC, one can assume that successful PC could be C-Level by 1006 and thus a lot of what we develop here could be re-used for a conventional campaign (or even for one where you mix your conventional C-Level party with one or two Immortal PCs).

The third part of the adventure assumes, as suggested by Chimpman, that the PCs were not able to save Caurenze and that the Immortals chose to place it in the HW. Yesterday evening I took a look to the PWA (which I never really completely read) and saw that Caurenze is not the only principality devastated by the Meteor Strike. I think that we should establish a list of those who will be placed in the HW and chose where they could fit. The adventure could then consist of a “part 3-b” with C-Level scenarios where the PC have to help the transferred population adapting to the HW and negotiate the first relationships with their neighborhoods (WOTI, page 7 – “Weakening Opposed Immortals”).
Part 3-a should consist in deploying immortal magic in order to bring the chosen principalities from KW to the HW. We should evaluate beforehand how many Power Points are needed to do this and set this target too high to be accomplished by novice immortal so that they have to do this through an artifact.

As suggested by Chimpman, Part 2 is the real Immortal-Level adventure. I imagine it as an I-Level Dungeon (Planar) Crawl where the IPCs have to find the artifact Ka devised centuries ago in order to help bringing the KW cultures to the HW. Obviously this is difficult because Hel’s minions stole and defend it (WOTI, page 6 “Acquiring or Destroying Artifacts”+”Learning the secrets of the Multiverse”). Eventually, the IPCs can manifest themselves to the other C-Level PC and ask them to be helped. This could be the start of a long term relationship that could be profitable for both parties (WOTI, page 6 – “Sponsoring New Immortals”).

Part 1 is again a C-Level scenario. I was thinking about something very political. We should list all the Principalities of Glantri and decide what initial stance they could take over the Debt Sharing issue. The PCs should then start a X10-like “grand tour” of the houses hoping to get enough votes in the Glantrian senate to let pass a “Debt Mutualization Bill”. Obviously, Rad / Etienne D’amberville will help them, but Hel / Merk-Hel will oppose them. The PCs will have to accomplish a list of C-Level services (adventures) in order to help the different houses’ leaders and thus get their vote. In the end, they should lose the vote for a whiff.

There could also be a Part 0, consisting in finding Mr. Mountains and Mr. Dragons from the DDC and escort them to Caurenze and Glantri city, where they will take their new job as Seneschal of Caurenzee and Minister of the Glantrian Treasury with Control over the Central Glantrian Bank. The PC should help them pass through the broken lands and save them from potential assassins once they settle down in their new jobs.

Obviously this will all start with convincing the inept Prince di Malapietra leaving his place to a competent Mr.Mountains from the DDC. Let’s say that this will happen after that a bemused Etienne D’amberville starts laughing and joking about him overtly in a public event.