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Savage Tide on Mystara Part VIII: "Serpents of Scuttlecove"

by Christopher Richard Davies

Of course, the biggest modification required to translate this adventure to Mystara is placing the titular wretched hive of scum and villainy somewhere on the map. For our purposes, the best location is probably on the little explored island of Lesser Ne'er-Do-Well, and the revised history that follows assumes that this is the location. (It also assumes that the campaign is being set in AC 1019 or 1020; those setting it earlier will have to modify much that follows.)

[Other good locations for Scuttlecove include an island off the coast of Jaibul -- another location known for piracy and evil magic -- or Minaea. Alternatively, you could put it in the anarchic countryside of Surshield.]

In AY 2002, as the young Pharaoh Ramenhotep XXIV took the throne of Thothia, ending the long domination of the cult of Arachne Prime on his people, a number of other cults -- tolerated by the mystic followers of the Spider's Web, mostly because they were too small and weak to be a threat -- realised that the kingdom was about to become unsafe for them as well. Two of these cults were small circle of "ur-priests" known as the Holy Triad and the cannibalistic monks called the Order of Dire Hunger, allies both by necessity and inclination. They fled Thothia at the same time, eventually coming to the Alatian island of Ne'er-Do-Well.

After performing certain services -- don't ask -- for King Koryn the Harpist, the Holy Triad received permission to make a home for themselves on the lightly populated island of Lesser Ne'er-Do-Well. The Big Dipper may have assumed that the Holy Triad would simply focus on their own, esoteric pursuits and pose no real problems for him. He was unpleasantly surprised when the community that grew up around their palace became a serious rival to his own Crossroads, a place where people could indulge in pursuits that made the "normal" depravity of Ne'er-Do-Well seem tame. Koryn has long sought to bring Scuttlecove back under his control, but has to tread lightly to avoid arousing its populace -- many of whom possess dangerous powers -- against him.

Around AC 1012, the Holy Triad withdrew to their mansion, no longer interacting with the public except through their agents, the monks of Dire Hunger. A year later, the brothel called Porphyry House opened its doors. Within only a few months, it underwent a change of ownership, as the "black nymph" named Tyralandi allied with a group of adventurers to defeat the cult of Demogorgon that operated behind Porphyry House's doors. (She then turned on and betrayed the adventurers, and they all died screaming. Who says there's no such thing as a happy ending?)

A year later, the monks of Dire Hunger discovered (and inadvertently revealed to the rest of Scuttlecove's factions) that the Holy Triad had vanished without a trace. There was no "tremendous storm that left hundreds dead"; they had simply disappeared without explanation. Since then, the city has been in a state of civil war. Koryn the Harpist has been subtly aiding the faction called the Protectorate, because they seem like the least dangerous of the various groups, but he must be sparing in his aid, since the factions would unite against an outside influence like him, and Koryn is not at all sure that he'd be able to survive such a conflict. (And much like a certain distant, deceased cousin of his, he's No-Man's-Fool.)

Tyralandi is a servant of the Entropic Immortal Masauwu. (This fits her focus on Charisma.) The only other change to the description of Scuttlecove and the adventure is that the House of the Black Rider is dedicated to Demogorgon in his aspect as the patron of diseases. This particular cult of Demogorgon is actually not allied with the Crimson Fleet and the Seventh Coil, which has kept it relatively small and powerless.