Saturday Seed ~ 147 (Desolation)

This week’s seed is for Desolation by Greymalkin Design Studio.  The depth and breadth of possibility in running campaigns for this game always impresses me each time I leaf through it. All the inspirational sparks are there, without the massive overhead of lore to swallow and disseminate. That the game can still evoke a very specific feel and tone, is a tribute to its creators.

My Saturday Seeds also reappear on Ancient Scroll on random Saturdays~

The seed

The seed involves a showdown between two desperate forces, into which the characters stumble with needs of their own.

Planting the seed

The seed can be planted into the wanderings of any sort of group. It does rely on a certain amount of privation, however, so location and the number of days of travel without good forage or water are important. Tired, thirsty, and hungry, the characters stumble into a post-apocalyptic turf war which could be their death to interfere with, or avoid.

The Details

As the characters trudge across an arid plain which perhaps was not there in the days before the Night of Fire, or was less inhospitable, they eventually note the signs of trails cut in the dust and the smudge of smoke and human activity on the heat-shimmered horizon.

Should they approach this center of activity, perhaps in hope of gaining the right to share the water that any community must have to survive, they will soon see signs of violence on the sand and rock, and makeshift defenses drawn up around the community. Sentries lie in wait at various intervals and may represent an early encounter for the characters to avoid, be surprised by, or choose to engage.

Observation, or interaction with the sentries will reveal the all-too-common tale of a single resource large enough to be shared being fought over for sole ownership between two militarized groups. The two piles of bodies being burned outside of the encampment tell the tale of a brutal rush of men being faced-down and butchered by the archers visible guarding the hide walls of the community. In the center of the camp, a brick walled well can be clearly seen. The inhabitants are attempting to build a screening wall, and lay the foundations of a tower around the wall, but progress appears to be slow. The demands of defense, hunting and foraging, and so on, make construction efforts drag on.

The group seeking to gain access to the well, or conquer the community in position around it, seem to be hardened nomads, lacking ranged weapons, but with packs of war dogs, seemingly unbroken, as a part of their force. They seem willing to dash themselves against the defenses until something gives.

There are signs that they have scouts about, but extremely skillful ones.

What is going on

Both communities are in truth warring over the well. The camped group appear to be victims just trying to protect their source of water, but in truth have been proactively trying to drive the nomads from the area. The nomads, tough and reverting back to a very warlike culture of strength and fearlessness, are not willing to back down nor do they want the ruins of the world to have walls erected upon it. The follies of the past must be discarded and permanent structures in a world like this are folly indeed.

The nomads will continue to attack with varying strategies, day and night, to drive the community into the wastes. In the interim, they have runners seeking other warbands. It is their hope to band these groups together into a single moment of unity to wipe this encampment and all others from the wastelands once and for all.



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