Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Bubastis & Environs

Bubastis and the Great Delta, not-to-scale local region thematic map
  • map in the style of Dungeon of Signs, not to scale. Bubastis is that settlement on the left side, north of the necropolis at the edge of the Delta (swamp). In the far distance is the Argossi city of Kyros, and to the south, the Oasis of Birds. To the east (southeast) lies the rest of Khem. 
  • city of cats, city of canals, second biggest in Khem
  • prominent features: lighthouse, temple precinct of Bastet, temple precinct of Khnum-Ptah, temple-precinct of Thoth, tower of the astrologers (some priest of Ra), bazaar of the paper-makers, great abattoir
  • factions: Merchants Guild, Paper-makers Guild, priests of Bastet (Animist Sorcerer-Priest), priests of Thoth (led by Numenist Sorcerer-Priest), priest of Ptah (Elementalist Sorcerer Priest), Royal garrison (Commander Aseb, barbarian bodyguards), beggars (thieves) guild
  • nominally under Pharaohs control, but merchants really control
  • sits on edge of the Delta, near best channel; trade with desert nomads from Oasis of Birds, northern kingdoms for slaves, timber and iron, trades gold, spices, grain, etc.; lizardmen to the east, serpent-men to far east 
  • random inns like world of lost; inns levels like lost too: 5 sp, will get robbed, common room, filthy; 10 sp comes with food, safe, boring; 50 sp raucous, has tumors and and carousing 
  • common rumors in Bubastis
    1. Cult of the All Devouring Serpent has attracted potentates within the city. Some say that serpent-men dwell within the city.
    2. The royal Commander suspects some ofthe merchants guild of disloyalty. Evidence may be rewarded with royal commission. 
    3. Strange sighting and rumors of the risen dead in the Old Necropolis. It is rumored the Temple of Ra-Atum and Ptah may offer rewards to discover the happenings. Unfortunately, the old necropolis is in a sunken valley and afflicted with vapors and mists.
    4. Serpentmen were said to dwell in the ruins on the other side of the delta, some would pay dearly for artifacts of their strange primeval sorcery.
  • Cult of Bastet (like any cult, ritual cleansing and sacrifice of vermin, donation 500 sp or background as acolyte with debt to temple); bans 1 never harm cats or allow harm in presence, 2 prideful- witnesses to any humiliation earn your vengeance, 3 must play with victims who are captured rather than killing them outright; gifts - appealing aspect: as charm person, can teach Totem spell as cat/mouse to sorcerers, cat eyes: see in shadows (none-pitch black), cats tongue (lick to remove disease), grace (reroll failed save or damage related to falling or acrobatics).

Temple Precinct of Bastet at edge of city
DM note: I'd like to beef this up into a true Middenheim- or Vornheim-style city resource, main NPCs with secrets and rivalries, plot/job generator, random encounters in Bubastis. As it is, this is enough for me to run the city (probably add some names from my go-to random generator.

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