Return of the Annunaki
Corruption -3; Crime -3; Economy -3; Law -2; Lore -2; Society -3
Qualities insular, rumormongering citizens
Danger +0; Disadvantages plagued (jungle river fever)
Government autocracy (mayor)
Population 180 (80 humans, 100 other)
- Lady Meng Sei Daiyem, Mayor (NG female human aristocrat 4/expert 3)
- Lam Da Seng Ud, Healer/Adviser (NG male samsaran oracle 5)
- Najem Ashinat, Woodland Hunter (CN female half-elf ranger 3/rogue 2)
- Prikeelu Himshep, Antiquities Expert (CG male wayang expert 6)
- Shamsai Hamrabei, Trade Master (N female tengu expert 4/warrior 2)
Base Value 400 gp; Purchase Limit 2,500 gp; Spellcasting 3rd
Minor Items 2d4 items; Medium Items 1d4; Major Items —
Hipshen is among the very few communities in Xa Hoi to openly discuss the imperial leadership in a skeptical way within the public forum, and though they never took any action against the national government, the act of questioning its divine leadership was seen as a major slight against the imperial dragon ruler. Within days of the town hall meeting of particular note (now almost ten years ago), the national government declared an immediate tax payment due from all citizens in the town, which would then be followed by no more taxes, ever again taken from the people in this community – but the amount required was more than some could pay. When those in the most desperate state of poverty began to be arrested and jailed, the local church of Abadar collected money from the other concerned citizens to pay to have many of them bailed out and their taxes covered. However, this left most of the citizens with little or nothing left, and as the soldiers, jailed citizens, and aristocrats were quickly found leaving the town, its population dwindled and lost most of its previous productivity and civil enthusiasm. Since then, the imperial government leaves Hipshen alone, not taking any taxes or requirements of any kind, but also not protecting the villagers against pirates, local wildlife, disease outbreaks, or any other emergencies. Similarly, the move to bail out citizens from arrest before the aristocracy and the national soldiers left town put the church of Abadar in serious debt, and without any method of re-establishing themselves, even the church succumbed to the empire’s sanctions for the town’s second-guessing nature. In addition, the village – now severely underpopulated, malnourished, and having difficulty properly storing and distributing enough fresh food for the small population they have remaining – is suffering from the effects of malaria, brought in by the biting jungle insects from the west. And while they do not suffer the same extent of wild attacks from the Valashmai region as other locations, they are occasionally prone to attacks by savage humanoids, animals and beasts, and the occasional pirates – and they have been lucky that a pirate ship or fleet has not already realized their vulnerable state, and stage a raid on the village.
Since this adventure is not intended to go into depth in the culture of Xa Hoi, it is not recommended that the PCs take too much time dealing with the village’s issues with the imperial dragon’s government, but it could be helpful to bring some resources, dignity, and justice back to the community, and perhaps re-build ties with the imperial government. It could be possible to establish ties with like-minded pirate clans to create alternatives to the community’s re-establishment with the empire, or the GM might wish to stage a pirate siege on the village while the PCs are there, as an additional random encounter. By healing the malaria or otherwise helping to prevent its spread and deadliness, the PCs could also possibly remove the plagued disadvantage from the community. Otherwise, this community is merely meant to stand as a waypoint for the PCs on their journey to Nagajor.
Story Award: If the PCs can find a way to remove the plagued condition from the community, and lift the disadvantage from the village, award each PC that took part in the action 150 XP each. This can be accomplished by a combination of preparing an alchemical mixture from a local herb (Knowledge [nature] DC 15; Craft [alchemy] DC 13) to repel the local biting jungle insects, along with mosquito nets, and at least 30 vials of antitoxin given to the locals; alternatively, you could just have the PCs take care of the CR 3 plague witch on the outskirts of town, and let them save some gold pieces.
Jungle River Fever