Monday, November 23, 2015

Dark Passage - the Anatomy of a Naval Scenario, Part 2

Háida Pakálan Pirates

Mu'ugalavyáni Raiders

Imperial Sailing Vessels

Princess Ma'ín Krüthái hiTlakotáni and Entourage

L-to-R: sailor, an aridáni hero, another hero, Shén body servant, 
sailor, the Princess, her pet Rényu, a second aridáni hero, sailor, 
a fourth hero and personal sorcerer. 

At "Fall In!", held on the 5-8th Nov, in Lancaster, PA, I had the opportunity to run the Dark Passage scenario. These pictures were taken by some of the participants and have been seen previously on the Tékumel facebook page.

The scenario was that the Princess Ma'ín Krüthái hiTlakotáni and entourage are sailing south down the Gulf of Perudáya in two vessels on a mission to the Southern Isles. The water is a dirty brown because of the immense amount of sediment that the mighty Mssúma river carries far out to sea. This sediment is deposited throughout the Gulf making navigation treacherous at times, especially at low tide when the sand bars are exposed. These can be tens of kilometers long just like those in the Thames estuary on present-day Earth.

The Gulf of Perudáya is top center. The horizontal 
hatching shows shallows and tidal sandbars.

 The scenario takes place somewhere a little north of the label for Lilsú Isle. It is morning and the two Imperial sailing vessels are sailing slowly south with the tide as it goes out, exposing more and more sandbars. It is a misty morning as is typical in the region and visibility is restricted, hence the slow speed. Unbeknown to the Imperial party, they are not the only ones on the water this morning. Also in the area are a large  Mu'ugalavyáni raiding galley and a  Háida Pakálan pirate ship.  Both would be very happy to take the Princess prisoner!

To make things even more interesting I added some of the vicious Hlutrgú to the mix. These are one of the nastier non-human races on Tékumel. The inhabit the enclave marked with the red border on the above map. They are in the habit of from time-to-time "spawning", that is taking to the seas in coracles made from human hides and generally making a nuisance of themselves. Of course, they "never spawn this time of year"... :-)

Lastly, there is a Tsolyáni naval galley rushing south to warn the Princess' escort of the danger from the spawn, which has been conveyed by frightened fishermen.

Here are the Cheat Sheets I used, that is to say, the rules...

There are a couple of additional items to these rules and there are one or two errors on the sheets, but otherwise this is pretty much what we used to play the game. I had chopsticks to measure the shorter distances, per the illustration on the left border of the first sheet. I picked up a package of 5 sets from a Hong Kong seller on ebay. Less than $5 with free shipping! Can't beat that! :-)

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