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Sinister Sands Campaign

by Håvard

In the distant land of Hule, Lord Hosadus, the Desert Master is planning for war against the entire Known World. His first step is gaining control of Sind, the gateway to the Known World. In the northern part of Sind, Hosadus has three primary agents whose identities will soon be revealed.

In Baratkand, a mamlyket of northern Sind lays a small village called Omarjeet. This peaceful village will soon become the centre of events which could determine the success or failure of the plans of the Desert Master. Regardless of the outcome, the innocent villagers of Omarjeet may very well be destroyed in the process.

Sinister Sands is a collection of adventures set in northern Sind. This campaign is ideally set sometime before the events of X10. Much of the campaign theme revolves around fighting the allies of the Desert Master in the region as he prepares for an invasion of Darokin. The campaign can also be set at a later time, perhaps as the Master prepares to reclaim the lands of Sind after they rebelled against him. If the Master has been destroyed in your campaign or there are other reasons why you should not wish to include him, he can be replaced by another villain. Alternately, the various agents may be working independently, or may serve some of the local rulers such as the Maharajah of Kadesh.

The PCs may be native villagers of Omarjeet, but they may just as likely be visitors from another part of Sind or from any Known World country. In chapter 1 you will find more details on how the PCs may get involved in the adventure.

Note: This is a work in progress thread. Comments and feedback will help make this a better campaign, so please don't be shy

Chapter 1: Arrival at Omarjeet
The adventure begins in the village of Omarjeet. It is a village located in the mamlyket of Baratkand. Baratkand forms Sinds border to the Plain of Fire and much of the mamlyket is made up of inhospitable rocky desert, but Omarjeet is surrounded by somewhat fertile grasslands. To the north looms the hills and mountains of Kadesh. The village itself has a friendly atmosphere. Many travellers stop here on the way from Palkat to Baratpur. Life in Omarjeet has a rhythm of its own. That rhythm is determined by day and night. Women and men rise before dawn, wash, cook, or go to the Ayazi (Ixion) temple to pray. They then leave for their respective work- the men to the fields, the women to gather firewood, fetch water, make cow-dung patties for cooking fuel, and then, in their turn, to the fields. As evening comes, acrid bluish smoke of cow-dung fires rises, the cattle returns to the family compound. People gather for a meal and then talk around the fire. On some occasions there could be a festival celebrating of one of the Immortals the villagers worship. Besides the Temple of Ayazi, the most noticeable building is the general store of Ramesh Rohit. There is no Inn in Omarjeet, but most villagers will offer visitors a place to stay. Ramesh can also rents out a room in his store. Religious characters will also be welcome to spend the night at the temple. Talking to the villagers, the PCs will soon realise that not all is well in the area. The village is currently suffering from a drought which is also coinciding with a series of attacks from the mountains. If asked who is behind all this, some may whisper the worlds “Mist Mage”. Other things they may pick up are “The High Dervish” and “The Dragon Rider”. They will have to investigate further to find out what any of this means.

People of interest:
Ramesh Rohit: A local merchant. He is the best source of information about what is going on in the village and also knows surprisingly much about politics.
Bernard: This peculiar warrior claims to be a dragonslayer. He says he has heard rumours of a dragon in the area and is investigating this. Bernard is from Glantri and speaks with an Averoignian accent.
Baralinos: A Dwarf from the nearby mountains. He may know more about the wilderness north of Omarjeet
Fitzroy: This young Darokinian thief might be curious about a group of newcomers. He is friendly, but he might not let on what he knows before he knows he can trust the party.

How the PCs become involved
If the PCs are local villagers, they may be interested in finding out more about what is causing the drought and the attacks on the village. Otherwise, Ramesh Rohit will be the best way to introduce a party to this setting. Ramesh often travels to make new business contacts and has even made it as far as Darokin. He may have hired the PCs as bodyguards for one of his expeditions and could ask them to help out further once they arrive in his village. Ramesh suspects there is more trouble brewing in Northern Sind than he may let on at first, but if he is convinced that the PCs are competent adventurers, he will try to find ways to make them stick around and get more involved in what is happening in the area. Much of his money is tied up in various projects so if he can appeal to the curiosity of the PCs or make them want to help the villagers rather than simply pay them to perform tasks for him, he will prefer such a solution.

Some of the major NPCs of the Sinister Sands:

Ramesh Rohit - The Sindhi Merchant (Ally)

5th level human magic-user.
Al: N Str 12, Dex 14, Con 13, Int 17, Wis 15, Cha 15

One of the characters strangers to Omarjeet are most likely to run into is Ramesh Rohit. Ramesh is a well spoken and friendly man who makes a living as a merchant. Although reluctant to reveal his skills, Ramesh is actually a competent wizard. He even attended the Great School of magic in Glantri for a while, before returning to his homeland, secretly using magic to aid his trading business. Ramesh dresses in bright red robes and a white turban. He has sometimes used Bernard “le Brute” as a bodyguard, but although the two are friends they argue constantly. Ramesh has take a personal interest in creating stability in the region so that it may increase his trade and make life easier for his neighbours. He works behind the scenes to oppose the influences of the Desert Master in the region. Ramesh runs a general store in Omarjeet. The store serves as a public meeting place in the village as well, and has a Chai stall which is popular among locals and visitors alike. Ramesh also sometimes rents out a room on the second floor of his store for travellers.

Using Ramesh: Ramesh will most likely be the DM’s main tool in the Sinister Sands Campaign. He is a great source of information and he can also put the PCs in contact with other NPCs who will make further adventure hooks. Ramesh is interested in keeping the peace in Omarjeet and will try to make the PCs help the villagers. While he can hire the PCs, he will prefer making the PCs feel so comfortable in the village that they will feel obligated to help the villagers instead. He is looking for heroes with a conscience more than he is mercenaries.

Sinister Sands DM's Map: