A desert of stone pillars, black boulders, gravel and rocks. Beast-men and savage tribes rule the land, and the lack of water and food makes travel dangerous and hard.
Rugged terrain: Travel speed is two hexagons per day.
Barren: Each attempt at foraging takes a full day.
Chance encounters: 2d6
2 A gale, screaming like a thousand madmen, torments this land of crooked basalt boulders. A keen ear can pick up the howling of 13 jackal-headed men prowling the land, nigh inseparable from the wind.
Jackal men (13): pwr 2 (+Might), save 7, end. 10. Wearing threadbare clothes and wielding toothed obsidian blades (dmg 1d8; bleeding +2; wt 4).
3 Near the yawning mouth of a narrow cave, a young woman is bound to a boulder as a sacrifice to a hideous god. With every loud noise, there is a one-in-six chance that the many-limbed demon will crawl forth from its nest.
Many-limbed demon: pwr 4/2/2 (+Vigor –Lore), save 10, end 60. Fights with triple attacks: claws, feelers, stinger (dmg 2d6).
Vana, the bound woman: pwr 2 (+Vigor –Craft), end 14. Unarmed or making use of whatever she can find (dmg 1d6; no crit).
4 A small village ruled by Nagar the Bent; its inhabitants sick with a fatal disease seeping up from the ground. To alleviate their suffering, the people buys slaves from the jackal people (4) to sacrifice them to their malicious god (3). If given the chance, the villagers will ambush the PCs to sacrifice them as well. Each day the PCs spend here, they must check Vigor. On a miss, they suffer one point of damage that cannot be healed as long as they remain in the Rocky Desert.
Nagar the Bent: pwr 3, save 9 (+Lore –Guile), end 14. Copper harness (armor 1). Jawbone axe (dmg 1d8).
Villagers (25): pwr 2 save 6 (+ Craft –Lore), end 6. Stolen weapons (dmg 1d6).
5 A band of 21 amorite slavers, herding a group of slaves towards Mari. If asked, they inform the adventurers that Vana have been sold to the inhabitants of 4.
Amorite slavers (21): pwr 3, save 8, end 14. Moving with great grace (def 3) and fighting with cruel blades of black stone (dmg 1d8; wt. 4) or hurling thin harpoons (dmg 1d6; piercing +2; thrown; pinning: on a critical hit the harpoon sticks. The target suffers a negative reroll on all movement actions. In addition, the caster can forfeit her turn to instead let the target choose: suffer 1d6 damage or be reeled in. Brittle: breaks on a 1-in-6).
6 The hollow, semi-petrified carcass of an enormous lizard-like creature. Two bandits, Ben-Mennaka and Mena, have set up a camp in its mouth. There is a 2-in-six chance that they are home, sleeping, cooking food or tending their equipment, otherwise they are nearby.
Buried in the sand is a hoard of 232 shekels in silver.
Ben-Mennaka: pwr 4, save 13 (+Guile – Lore), end 20. Wearing an armor of lizard’s scales (armor 7; 10% retrievable after defeat) and equipped with a narrow shield (def 2) and a meteorite khopesh (1d8; iron: may roll an additional damage die, but weapon breaks on 1; wt 2).
Mena: pwr 4, save 15 (+Craft – Guile) end 20. Wearing thick leather armor (armor 2) and fighting with a bronze cudgel (1d8; bashing 1d12; wt 4).
7 Ruined citadel remains. When the sun hangs low, the degenerate citizens of a nearby settlement come here – led by Chugal the Deviser. The people toil with mad and clumsy sorrow, trying to restore the building to its original grandeur despite lacking the knowledge and motoric skills needed to do so. They are very fond of bright colors and fineries.
If aided, they will cry affectionate tears, but if anything is stolen from the citadel they will enter a murderous rage.
Citizens (15): pwr 1, save 4, end 12. Stone tools (dmg 1d6; no crit)
Chugal the Deviser: pwr 2, save 4, end 30. Tall spear (dmg 1d8)
8 A small settlement of mud-brick huts, near a bountiful orchard. A group of children are playing by a pomegranate tree, throwing rocks at the ripe fruits to make them fall. The village elder, Bar Handa, offers a golden bracelet (armor 4; durable: on a missed armor roll, armor rating is halved instead of breaking. Only when armor drops below 1 does it break; worth 700 s) for the return of her son Doud, who was kidnapped by desert nomads and brought to their city of tents (See Karkal 14 – p. 67 in the rules booklet).
9 A caravan under the supervision of Rabik Sima, carrying palm-wine from Mari to the merchant Zusul-Sabar in Sippar. Unknown to the caravaneers, the wine has been poisoned by agents of Yor Khalbim in an attempt to assassinate the merchant. Mark the date of their arrival in your calendar.
10 Among boulders of dark-veined granite, a tall statue of a portly woman glances north. The noble appearance and the scale of the statue tells of royal lineage. Her arms are held so that her wrists meet, with her palms facing the sky. Among the boulders, a pack of wild dogs is nesting.
Wild dogs (20): pwr 1, save 4 (Vigor 3) end 7. Teeth (dmg 1d6; special: disease). Bearer of disease: each time a character suffers damage from a wild dog, there is a one-in-20 chance that the canine’s unclean bite also transfers disease. Afflicted characters will catch a high fever and begin salivating constantly. Their maximum endurance is lowered by one per day until dead or properly treated. A successful Might save halves the pace. Pack tactics: all dogs will initially attack the same target, and only break off when attacked by someone else.
11 Two naked men, impaled on sharpened sticks but still alive, are drawing the attention of four long lizards who impatiently await their demise. A band of fourteen humans, led by their warrior queen Zuraza, are cheering the lizards from a nearby boulder.
Tribesmen (14): pwr 2, save 5 (+Might) end 16. Fighting with stone clubs (dmg 1d6; bashing 1d6; wt 2).
Zuraza: pwr 4, save 9, end 30. Wielding a heavy bronze axe (1d12; expert fighter: roll twice and choose highest; 2-handed; wt 5).
Lizards (4): pwr 2, save 5 (immune to sorcerous effects) end 20. Metallic scales (defense 5). Bite (dmg 1d10).
12 A howling demon, rushing across the desert with the speed of the wind. It will follow the adventurers like a constant wail of woe and a small tornado of ill luck: blowing sand into their eyes and their food, alerting others of their presence and extinguishing flames. On stormy days, there’s a one in six chance that the demon leaves the adventurers for good and a two in six chance that it grows in power.
This is the second wilderness zone published online; the Tall Grass Steppe can be found following this link.