Act II: The Emerald Basin
A fresh environment:
The second season of the Ranyth campaign will take the group to a new area – the Emerald Basin. With an encapsulating mountain range and savage wildlife, few venture into the sultry depths of this lush jungle. The trees are up to 200m tall, with broad green leaves, that from above, form a seemingly impenetrable canopy; such a screen plunges the ground into a state of twilight. Thick vines scale the immense trunks, and exotic plants soak up the little light that reaches the ground.
Steaming volcanic vents, ancient rope bridges, and the ruins of forgotten civilisations – traps and treasures await the footsteps of the foolish (giant insects also, obviously).
Picking up the pieces:
While Black Mesa was attacked at the end of the last session, its current state will be completely down to how events unfolded. Perhaps the group saw the writing on the wall, and fled the town with their tail between their legs. Maybe most of the citizens lie dead beneath a pile rubble. However it ended, there’s every chance that the Butte of Consult is still standing – leaving the council alive and well.
Following the calamity at Black Mesa, the Council of the Seven will ask the party for assistance – to seek aid from their friends in the north. Nobody knows who launched the attack, or why, but Lord Vedrun is worried that the construct’s creator is still at large. The Dwarves of Goram’s Depths are long-standing allies of Black Mesa, and their home lies nestled amongst the peaks of Dagnor’s Teeth. As subterranean experts, they may well know who is responsible, or be able to suggest methods of repelling another assault.
Captain Lance, or another familiar member of the council will present a map with instructions on the route to take. The road is long, and the weather in the mountains is at best inclement.
I would have had the council send the group directly to the Emerald Basin if they’d already discovered the dwarven hold.
Three roads, one destination:
There are three obvious routes into the Emerald Basin; across the snowy peaks, a tunnel through the range, or Tonk and his dirigible. All avenues have the scope for combat, or a skill challenge, but you could just role-play the transition.
Up and over:
Tonk’s Landing is a towering platform in the middle of nowhere; this gnome alchemist is renowned for his explosive creations. Elaborate pipework emerges proudly from a fumarole, keeping his moored airship afloat and read for action. Genial as one would expect an eccentric gnome to be, he is first and foremost a business man – the group will need to pay handsomely to charter his craft.
As the craft begins its descent into the basin, have some treetop pygmy tribesman welcome it with spears and arrows!
It’s rumoured there’s a network of caverns south of the basin, which can be navigated to the other side. The players will emerge through a narrow opening covered with vines. Cave Scorpions can be a real problem, but at least they’d be out of the rain, and it’s free – right?
Brave the weather:
Although mapped, the mountain paths are cold and desolate. Yetis are territorial fellows at the best of times, so travellers will need to be on their toes. The path slopes down and ends at the north of the basin.