Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Kismet: Tangled Strands - 20 Questions


1. What is the deal with my cleric's religion?
All of Creation is a tapestry woven on Fate's loom encompassing the material and the elemental in the Great Weaving.  Though Fate does not often bend an ear to the pleas of mortals, the Seven Virtuous Ones comprising the spiritual elements do heed mortal request.  The Seven Virtuous (NAME (VIRTUE/DOMAIN)) are: The Courageous (Bravery/War), The Sea Breezes (Honesty/Tempest), The Floods (Fruitfulness/Life), The Venerable (Wisdom/Nature), The Adventurous (Curiosity/Trickery), The Moon (Beauty/Light), and The Learned (Intelligence/Knowledge).
Before the coming of the Prophet these 7 forces were personified by humanity as gods unto themselves, some heresies continue to do so while others worship the Foul Beast Gods in secret.
2. Where can we go to buy standard equipment?
Mahmoud's stall in yonder souk is the place to find reliable steel and trustworthy leather.  However, his prices cannot match the nomad arms dealer, Badiat, though her wares may fail you. 
3. Where can we go to get platemail custom fitted for this monster I just befriended?
Bahija the Smith and her 5 sons craft all the parts commissions for the wizards' clockwork contraptions.  I'm sure they could craft a wearable stew pot for your beastly companion.
4.Who is the mightiest wizard in the land?
Diyab Ibn Akbar is the mightiest wizard, his gizmos and inventions are second to none, though the sorceress Halima is rumored to rival his arcane might, she has a Djinn in her thrall.


5. Who is the greatest warrior in the land?
Huzabba's own Sahib Yezeed is the most boastful  of his skill and wields a beautiful blade. The 5 Fight Houses each have their own champions of varying prestige as well.
6. Who is the richest person in the land?
The richest person is this city is easily Aziz Ibn Bahil, you can hear the coins jingle every time his household door opens. To rob him may be folly, the Night Marketeers claim he commissions Monkey Paws with regularity.
7. Where can we go to get some magical healing?
The Everfruitful Mosque would be more than happy to ease your woe, their calling is to help those in need.
8. Where can we go to get cures for the following conditions: poison, disease, curse, level drain, lycanthropy, polymorph, alignment change, death, undeath?
Any particularly strange afflictions would need the attentions of a scholar, such as clerics of The Venerable or The Learned.  Given time they may formulate a potion or a bug that would aid you in the long term.  Death would require the intervention of a cleric of The Floods to undo, and that is a dicey proposition.  Escaping your just reward after your time was ordained opens a window for Old Chaos to peek through and then who can say what may happen.

9. Is there a magic guild my MU belongs to or that I can join in order to get more spells?
There are several competing fraternities of wizards, each with varying initiations.  I would recommend the Lodge of the Open Book if you're interested in that sort of thing.  Sorcerers on the other hand channel mystic power in an older, ecstatic fashion.  You may find a mentor may be willing to take an apprentice of sorts,  but there are fewer opportunities for that.
10. Where can I find an alchemist, sage or other expert NPC?
 In Huzabba, Jewel of the Caliphate, if you venture over the Bridge of Lilies and enter the Scholar's Quarter you can find those given to a life of study.  The University has moved so the populace there are not all as learned as you may like, but those in academia proper can be insufferable.
11. Where can I hire mercenaries?
For trust worthy sellswords I would recommend visiting one of the 5 Fight Houses, they each have an attendant warrior society.  If money is an issue, your other option is to drop by a nearby precinct house.Though the mamluks will not fight for your coin, most inmates will if you pay their bond.
12. Is there any place on the map where swords are illegal, magic is outlawed or any other notable hassles from Johnny Law?
The Warlanders are invading from the North, and as they claim territory they lay down a myriad of new laws.  The most onerous of which is "No Wizardry. No Sorcery." Their own peculiar shamans and practitioners go about unmolested though.
13. Which way to the nearest tavern?
You will not find the public consumption of alcohol, and thus taverns, widespread as most drink in the comfort of their homes.  However you can find a good coffeehouse just on the corner if you would like a bit of smoke or drink.
14. What monsters are terrorizing the countryside sufficiently that if I kill them I will become famous?
 A large shadow blotted out most of the moon earlier this week.  Astronomers claim its the Black Moon only visible to ghouls and the servants of Old Chaos or the Traitorous Angel.  The nomads claim it's an Ahzi Dahaka, a demon possessed reptile with wings like an eagle and breath of the asp.  A few caravans have gone missing, if such a beast is responsible then its death would surely garner prestige.
15. Are there any wars brewing I could go fight?
 Skirmishes are increasingly common as the Warlanders press closer to the Holy City and their coastal raids grow increasingly bold.  A war host is amassing at Hiyat, the City of Eyes, under a charismatic University teacher. Maybe they will break the siege?
16. How about gladiatorial arenas complete with hard-won glory and fabulous cash prizes?
 Within Huzabba there are 5 Fight Houses, each with their own policies.  One may require you to fight bare fist and naked, while another may give you each a spear but tie you together.  The payout is pretty good but few are desperate enough to pursue them.

17. Are there any secret societies with sinister agendas I could join and/or fight?
 There are many worms tunneling in the flesh of the Golden Caliphate. The Skyward Tower wishes to pierce the Sky's Dome once with an architectural construction, now with flying machines that go higher and higher.  Cults of the Foul Beast Gods have once good folk mewling, begging to suckle at their teats for material wealth and parlor tricks. And that is not even mentioning the Eaters of Knowledge or the Broken Pillar, societies with long histories stretching back to the Black Empire of Khem and Irrem, the City of Pillars respectively.
18. What is there to eat around here?
Here you can find smoked lamb, goat stew, shawarma, tabouleh, and any other delicacies you could desire.
19. Any legendary lost treasures I could be looking for?
The Banner of the Ivory Scimitar was been missing for some time, with it you would be able to seek out the Infernal Machine beneath Casbah Roslof.
20. Where is the nearest dragon or other monster with Type H treasure?
If the nomads are right, then this Ahzi Dahaka surely has amassed some materials goods and loot you could add.
The 20 Questions come from Jeffs Gameblog and can be found here. Much thanks to him for that, they are a great tool for hashing out a setting from the adventurer's perspectives. I want Kismet: Tangled Strands to mix the 1001 Nights' fairy tale vibe and the urban savy found in Lieber and Achmed's writing.  There are a lot of cues in play taken from Kameron Hurley's excellent Beldame Apocrypha and Worldbreaker Saga.