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Nouvelle-Renardie and the Bayou - a possible scenarioby Bruce Heard
One of our regular readers on the AOL/Mystara folder (MF1234@AOL.com) had suggested the idea of creating a colony inspired from his native Louisiana, to be added to the Savage Coast setting, in particular to the region called The Bayou. After beating around the bushes for a while, here's a suggestion that I posted. Your comments are welcome! :)
About Nouvelle-Renardie and the Bayou -- here's a possible scenario for the years to come.
A schism has developed, opposing many lupins on religious issues (to honour Saimpt Renard & co as their legitimate immortals, or Pflarr exclusively from all the others). Most lupins had chosen to keep their opinions to themselves and go on with their normal lives. Others however, showed an adamant will to impose their beliefs over all the others, threatening the King's authority and the long-established lupin immortal philosophies.
As a result, during the night of the Saimpt-Malinois, the King ordered the doors of the notorious Pflarr militants' homes within the city of Louvines to be marked. Later during the night, these people were dragged out and corralled to Le Pont du Roy (the King's Bridge) at the river. Tempers flared and the Pflarr supporters quickly ran the risk of being dumped into the river (bound, of course) to drown. But the King intervened. He could not bear the thought to killing all these people, still his subjects as wrong as they may be. Instead, they were imprisoned until a solution could be found.
At great cost to the kingdom, a settlement was built on the fringes of The Bayou. Texeiran ships were hired to link Nouvelle-Renardie to Dunwick, from which the Pariahs of Pflarr, as they became known, would be marked with a seal of infamy (a fleur de lyse burned on the inside of their forearms, and their tails bobbed), and shipped to the far colony. Needless to say the conditions of the journey and life in early years of the colony were just appalling.
Over the years of this sinister process, many Texeirans actually settled in Nouvelle-Renardie as well. Torreón mercenaries and their families were maintained there to defend the fortified town, because of the Gurrash population of The Bayou, and guard the Pariahs. Neighbours of Renardy regarded this policy against the Pariahs as totally repulsive and certainly made their opinion clear to King Louis and the Free City of Dunwick which had succumbed to basic greed in this whole affair.
Finally, when King Louis became certain that the small colony could survive on its own, he made a proclamation, known as the Edict of Louvines where it was signed, giving Nouvelle-Renardie its independence. The Pariahs of Pflarr where still not welcome in Renardie, but no longer forcibly shipped to Nouvelle-Renardie. At this point, many of them had already willingly resettled to The Bayou and no longer presented a threat to the King's Law.
Some of you might wonder why I had King Louis decide to go through the trouble of ferrying all these Pariahs through Dunwick to be exiled. After all Dunwick is a foreign city. There is a sea port within Renardy, Mons-en-Plécy (in the County of Marmandy), from where exiles could be deported. But several reasons got in the way.
1. First off, the port in Mons-en-Plécy is not as deep as the one in Dunwick, making it harder for large Texeiran vessels to receive their infamous passengers.
2. Mons-en-Plécy is at the far western end of Renardy. This means the Pariahs would have to be marched all the way there, probably turning into Death March for many weaker Pariahs (the old, the sick, and so forth). This is something goblins would do, not lupins. King Louis would have chosen the path likely to cause the least hardship and casualties.
3. Parading all these unfortunate Pariahs from Louvines would also stir feelings of compassion from common folk living in the towns and near the road leading to Mons-en-Plécy -- whether followers of Pflarr or not. This would certainly create additional problems and resentment throughout the Renardois population.
4. Mons-en-Plécy being the farthest town from the capital city and the King's Law (and a sea port at that), may likely host a concentration of Pariahs. If things went really bad there, a Pariah on the run could easily cross the border into Bellayne (who sympathises with the cause of the Pariahs, of course), or leave on the next available ship. Naturally, parading mobs of Pariahs in chains through the streets of Mons-en-Plécy would unavoidably beg for riots if not outright civil war. And what better place to start an insurrection than this distant provincial town?
So based upon the above, it would make sense for King Louis to load up the condemned Pariahs in well-guarded river boats (like during the night for example), and quietly ship them down to Dunwick. Meanwhile, the leaders of Dunwick would have discovered their little problem with the snappers down below. Naturally, King Louis would immediately offer military assistance and money to help with the crusade against the evil and deadly creatures of the deep. In exchange for this, the Free City of Dunwick would officially close its eyes upon the sinister business of shipping out this foreign rabble of condemned criminals.
Finally, there is a cynical reason on my part for choosing the Dunwick road instead of Mons-en-Plécy. PCs are much more likely to be running campaigns from Dunwick. The deportation of Pariahs through Dunwick would both add to the local scenery and provide obvious adventure hooks. I would also link events in both Renardy and Dunwick.
You might also argue that the whole idea of deportation is evil. It is and it isn't. King Louis's role as a ruler of Renardy is to support established clergy and their patron Immortals. From his point of view, he must support Saimpt Renard and fight off Pflarr's aggressive heresy. King Louis is stuck between a rock and hard place. He has no choice but to evacuate the source of problem and avoid a possible civil war. The deportation may be cruel and harsh, but unfortunately unavoidable.
One more thing: I did not set a precise calendar for this, as it is a purely optional timeline of events. Whether you run it or not in your campaign would not create much differences either way. besides, this set of events can be sparked anytime it strikes your fancy. So...
What think you, kind posters??? :)
Of course, from the point of view of the Pariahs of Pflarr, Dunwick and Renardy would embody the forces of darkness and receive the Pariahs' long-lasting hatred. The Renardois would be known as the misguided victims of a felon monarch and his armoured minions, and King Louis as the eternal renegade to the rightful Immortal of all lupins. The Dunwickers would be referred as the greedy and blind gentiles. The Texeirans would be instantly dubbed the soulless slavers of the seas.
Meanwhile the Torreón mercenaries hired to defend the citadel would at first be known as the guardian spawn of darkness, but that part should be quickly forgotten amongst the Pariahs after the Torreón guard heroically defend Nouvelle-Renardie against several savage assaults from the Gurrash. By the time of New-Renardy's independence, the Torreóners who ended up settling there permanently with their families would probably remain a well integrated segment of the population.
Nouvelle-Renardie would have to be located near one of the edges of The Bayou, probably the northern end. It can't sit too close to the centre of The Bayou because of the Gurrash. It shouldn't be too close of the edge of the Bayou either since this was meant to be a prison. Escaping the colony through The Bayou would be darn-near impossible with all the Gurrash lurking nearby.
The original Pariah settlement would be fortified, and a solid citadel built to defend the port. Its role is both to protect the port from the outside (from pirates in particular), but also from possible revolts from the captive Pariahs seeking to capture supply ships and escape. During some of the worst Gurrash attacks, the Pariahs had to be allowed within the citadel and those able to fight pressed into service to defend the walls. The Pariahs never took the opportunity to take over the citadel in this events, however, so great was their fear of the voracious Gurrash (their women and children were kept in the dungeons anyway, basically as hostages). The Torreóners then become both jailers and protectors of the Pariahs. In the later years, this all becomes part of the local folklore.
In the early years, the Pariahs of Nouvelle-Renardie would live a precarious life of extreme poverty under an oppressive colonial rulership. Their opium would be their undying faith in Pflarr. Toward the independence, the settlement not only should expand, but also become more thriving and attract outside business and wealth. Here begins the parallels with RW-New Orleans. Throw in all that you like -- strange new music, good food, business upriver with Hupkur trappers, theatres, casinos, carnivals, wealth, corruption
, etc. The Renardois Governor leaves at last and the people are now free. They finally and forever shed the hated Pariah name and proclaim themselves the New-Lupians.
Yet, the Gurrash still lurks outside the walls... :)
The part about Dunwick and their snappers refers to earlier posts.