Well, this has been a long haul getting this whole thing up on the site, but today, i've got some criminal organizations of Bakanoria as well as the knowledge associated with the country.
The land of Bakanoria, which would formerly have been considered a great mass of light in the worlds, has now been so cluttered with small dark spots that seeing the light requires at least low-light vision, if not darkvision. Numerous criminal organizations exist and do business regularly with each other. Most criminal organizations do some form of business with the government, work through the underground, and trade out of the harbor in Val’sata or one of the other port cities. A few of these are included below to give an idea for DM’s to produce their own criminal organizations for Bakanoria.
The Heralds of Wealth
Threat Level: Low
Leader: Guild Master Felix
Strength: Heroic Tier
The Heralds of Wealth a group of master thief-bards which perform in the Halls of Crescendia. They are masters of deception and steal from both the people and the government on a regular basis. They operate out of Val’sata and have bases outside the underground. Their main goals are to steal from the people as long as they can. Guild master Felix has good relations with the government and pays them regularly from the “legitimate” business dealings which he has outside of the country.
Encounter with The Heralds of Wealth
Location: The Underground
Terrain: Dark Lit Area with rocky banks on either side of an underground river.
Setup: The Player’s have chased a group of bandits down one of The Singing Wells.
Enemies: A party of level appropriate NPC villains. Encounter Level can vary as needed. Party of Villains includes:
1x Bard – Wizard
2x Bard – Fighter
2x Bard – Rogue
Aftermath: The players are left to explore The Underground and see where it leads or resurface and face the consequence of climbing down the well.
Headquarters: Val’sata and the Underground
Threat Level: Low-Medium
Leader: Mistress Elvira, Song Dragon
Strength: Paragon Tier
The sisterhood is a group of hags that have blended into the population. At night, while everyone is partying, The Sisterhood coax drunken men into following them off. They then poison the men and steal them off to be sold into slavery in other countries. Occasionally they simply kill the men, but they are very careful not to leave any traces of their attacks. The government has close ties with The Sisterhood, as they are an integral part of the outfitting of the missionaries within the country; they run an importing business for the government which brings in weapons and armor for the new missionary recruits in the church. The sisterhood’s ranks are bolstered by Songborn Dracoliches; former song dragons, which have been turned into liches by The Sisterhood, but still retain their ability to speak all languages and change shape. They follow the orders of the sisterhood for some reasons, unknown even to all but the highest members.
Encounter with The Sisterhood
Location: In the streets of Bakanoria
Terrain: Night time, low-light, small compact alley way or cul-de-sac with boxes of wine littering the street.
Setup: The Player’s have caught a Hag of The Sisterhood in the act of murdering one of her prey.
Round 1: 1 Death Hag (Level 18 Soldier, MM 152)
Round 3: 3 Night Hags (Level 14 Lurker, MM 152), 1 Dracolich in Human Form (Level 18 Solo Controller, MM 73).
Round 4: Dracolich assumes its natural dragon form.
Total Encounter Level 19.
Aftermath: The players are surrounded by broken bottles of wine, the faded corpses of four individuals that look to be long dead, and one fresh body.
The Poisoned Land
Threat Level: High
Leader: Zehir, god of Snakes
Strength: Epic Tier
The Poisoned Land could be better described as an army rather than a criminal organization, because their numbers rise into the tens of thousands. They have developed a massive underground that is unknown even to the other criminal elements within the country. Nobody within Bakanoria would benefit by their goals being met. They have soldiers ranging from every manner of Yuan-ti, Naga, and Snaketounge. If they accomplish their plan, the entire nation of Bakanoria will fall. The army is said to be lead by Zehir himself and that he desire to destroy the nation of agricultural success, but this may or may not be true.
Encounter with The Poisoned Land
Location: The now blighted land of Bakanoria.
Terrain: Day or Night, the streets are filled with the running and screaming masses of now sober individuals as they face the threat of total annihilation, they make it difficult to maneuver about the battlefield.
Setup: The Player Characters have been unable to prevent the Yuan-ti from carrying out their final solution. The vineyards have all withered up and died and the hordes of snake people have begun sweeping over the country from The Underground. The players are caught in the middle of the massacre of Bakanoria.
3 Yuan-ti Anathema (Level 21 Elite Skirmishers, MM 272)
1 Death Knight, Snaketongue [use Dragonborn] Paladin of Zehir (Level 24 Elite Soldier, MM 52)
1 Primordial Naga (Level 25 Solo Artillery MM 196)
Total Encounter Level 27.
Aftermath: More bloody battles with the Yuan-ti until the players can find a way to strike at the leader or gain divine aid.
Rumors, Legends and Plots
The following provides history check results for the country of Bakanoria. They are divided up by tier and the DC’s are provided. Note: Some of the DC’s for information are the same, the DC’s are meant to provide some knowledge for adventure hooks. Knowledge checks in one tier should not be provided to heroes in the tier below unless that party is on the brink of reaching playability in the tier above as some of the knowledge provided in upper tiers may lead the players on adventures in which they are not capable of success.
Common Knowledge DC 14
Bakanoria is a land full of bards that relies on wine for trade and sustenance. The country worships the dragon goddess Crescendia who is rumored to lived somewhere in the country.
Expert Knowledge DC 16
The government of Bakanoria has many laws which are strict about bringing goods into the country. They also have tough laws regarding immigration, but the government is lax on crime and criminal organizations move with ease throughout the country. There are rumored to be several large criminal organization located centrally in the capital of Val’sata.
Expert Knowledge DC 18
The group Compos Mentis, while in the public and government view is nothing more than a group of doomsayers and party spoilers, is in fact a group of knight-bards which police the country seeking out the criminal element and attempting to destroy it. They are always in need of new members and would gladly appreciate the help of those looking to join.
Master Knowledge DC 20
Compos Mentis has begun training young people in combat so that they might defend themselves against invasion, but their militia building movement has yet to take root as they are generally looked down on by the public.
Master Knowledge DC 22
It is rumored among the students at the school that Jack was in fact the first basis for the term “Jack of All Trades,” but this is simply speculation and holds no factual support; however Jack’s unnatural age and proficiency in a number of different schools of combat, both arcane, divine, and martial, has given to speculation about his origins.
Common Knowledge DC 22
The goddess Crescendia, is a song dragon that takes the form of a beautiful silver haired woman and walks among the people at night and spends the days sleeping and singing in her den deep in the mountains. From her den, the music of the singing wells is produced. Some of her offspring are said to exist in the country as well.
Expert Knowledge DC 24
The government of Bakanoria is blind to the criminal organizations in Bakanoria. They receive payment from many of the organizations which have licenses to trade on behalf of the state outside the country. They view this money not as bribery, but rather as the money they have earned by putting their trust in the hands of individuals deserving of it; they are not willing to accept that these people are in fact evil unless presented with a great deal of solid proof.
Expert Knowledge DC 26
The criminal groups in Bakanoria use the Singing Wells as a means of smuggling and accessing the underground. The underground passages make a perfect route for traveling throughout the country as they are not accessed by any of the good upstanding citizens for fear of disturbing the songs of the goddess, however this fear is unfounded and no such disturbance occurs. One of these organizations is supposedly kidnapping men from town to town and selling them into slavery in other countries.
Expert Knowledge DC 28
The massive number of new missionaries in the country is actually an elaborate lie fed to the church by The Sisterhood who is in fact kidnapping the men to sell them into slavery.
Master Knowledge DC 30
The Sisterhood is in fact led by one of the daughters of Crescendia who was spurned by her mother. Elvira desires to bring pain to her mother any chance she gets and has drawn a group of hags together in order to better accomplish this.
Common Knowledge DC 30
The leader of the Musical Institute of Liena, Hans Archibald the 3rd, a wiry man of fantastic musical intellect, but quiet in word, is said to know the location of the dragon goddess’s den, but he has never spoken word of this to anyone.
Expert Knowledge DC 32
The Battle Criers have lost much of the potency which they once had and now the countries defenses are not nearly as potent as they once were. This fact is known to some of the criminal factions in the city, but The Battle Criers do not know it themselves.
Expert Knowledge DC 34
The Poisoned Land, a sect of yuanti worshipers to the god Zehir have established a plot to overthrow the entire country of Bakanoria from underneath. They are biding their time and preparing to strike at all locations throughout the country at once, by poisoning the ground itself thereby blighting the grape trade. In the chaos, they will strike and wipe out the entire populace when they are at their weakest.
Master Knowledge DC 36
Jack Stringer, the founder of the stringer school and voice of the people, has been around since the nations founding. He is neither human nor undead, but a construct formed by Crescendia to do her bidding. He is actually a mindless puppet of the goddess.
Godly Knowledge DC 38
The goddess Crescendia does not see her people and followers as particularly important, but rather feels that they are small, insignificant pieces of a giant celestial prank. She has no intention of saving her people should they face ultimate destruction, but rather views this occurrence as the punch line in her masterfully crafted joke. Jack Stringer was once her lover, before the country was founded and it was he who uttered the words that would convince Crescendia to found the nation of Bakanoria. After his death, the goddess was so severely pained by her loss, she forged a magical body from the mold of a warforged and gifted it with human skin; she wrenched the soul of Jack Stringer back from the afterlife and forced it into the mechanical shell. In this form, the bard has lived for centuries alongside his eternal lover and companion. Together they have plotted the joke that is Bakanoria, they have watched its rise, and are waiting with anticipation its eventual fall. They have no intention of helping aid the country if it should fall under threat of destruction. Should someone get in the way of the nation’s downfall, they may take revenge on those individuals for interfering in their prank.
Well, there is one more part left. It is my take on Song Dragons in 4e, combined with the summary of the entry and my thoughts on what i would have liked to do better. Hopefully that will be a wrap on this one.