Faces of the Tarnished Souk: Perfect Aneshka, Fate’s Immaculate Blade
Publisher’s blurb: “Villagers have gone missing! A mix of clues, superstitions, and omens point to the brooding citadel of the emerald sorcerer. This silent monolith has sat undisturbed atop a windy ridge for centuries. Legends say that a green-skinned sorcerer dwells there, where he conducts strange experiments and builds enigmatic machinery. His green-skinned constructs patrol the grounds of his citadel, and he is seen only rarely when he ventures out on nefarious errands that end in horrid screams and strange lights coming from his citadel. Now it is time to penetrate his inner sanctum…”
Those wizards! Give them half a chance and they will conduct bizarre experiments without a thought for their neighbours… and this adventure, designed for 8-10 2nd-level characters, is all about stopping one such wizard in his tracks. He lives on a clifftop near a village, and the rascal has even been using some of the locals in his experiments. Maybe some of the locals were friends or relatives of the characters, or maybe these budding heroes have been asked to help out.
As well as giving a bit more background about the Emerald Enchanter and what he’s up to, the introduction points out that whilst there are a good few dangerous opponents to be faced, there are ‘backdoors’ that crafty characters can exploit to their advantage, and that cautious groups who think about what they are doing, and rest and regroup at intervals ought to survive with at least most of their number intact.
The hilltop complex is described in detail, making it easy for the GM to set the scene for the players, and to run the action as they explore. Each monster or other threat has a clear ‘trigger’ upon which it will act as well as notes on how it behaves in combat. And there are some truly novel and ingenious encounters, about which I shall not say more so as not to spoil the surprise. Everything hangs together well, bizarre as it all may seem it all actually ‘works’ within the alternate reality of the game.
Ending with a cinematic and climactic final battle, this adventure provides everything one could ask for. There is a real feeling of having walked into something bizarre and strange yet within the context of fantasy quite credible. Conan the Barbarian would have relished this excellent adventure and I cannot wait to round up some players to run through it!
Author: Joseph Goodman
Publishers’ Reference: GMG5068
Paperback, 16 pages
Date: July 2012
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