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PCs traveling within the Mharoti Empire may discover all manner of rumors. Are they true or false? Decide for yourself as you plan adventures for your players!
A vast realm stretching from the newly conquered province of Rumela in the west to the Lumera Forest on the border with Parthia in the east, the Mharoti Empire is home to more people than all the Northlands combined. In this Empire, rumors can be more dangerous than swords or spells. A single falsehood can bring down even the mightiest of dragons.
A magical bazaar operates somewhere in the Dragon Empire where the rich and powerful can buy anything that their hearts desire. Entrances to this bazaar are located throughout the Empire, from Harkesh to Sarkland.
True? The Masked Dragon Bazaar is an extra-dimensional location with several access points throughout the Dragon Empire, not just a single opening. The market’s overseer is a dragon of indeterminate species who wears an enchanted veil to conceal its identity. It is remarkably polite and reserved unless the market’s stalls are threatened. The bazaar sells rare and wondrous items, from ancient relics to the essence of slain genies. A rich client wants to hire the PCs for protection as they explore its many wares.
False? While miraculous and magical bazaars are found throughout Midgard (such as the Red Door Market in Bemmea), this rumored bazaar does not exist. Of course, this hasn’t stopped several unscrupulous individuals from trying to con money out of ignorant shoppers or lead victims into traps. One such individual is Tulkanir al-Varashir, a female dragonborn bard (see Deep Magic 2) who leads a band of human and gnoll thieves. Tulkanir has been ambushing wealthy clients seeking entry into the bazaar, and one of her (surviving) victims calls on the PCs to stop her.
Sultan Ozmir’s harem includes an exotic assortment of beauties from across Midgard. Perhaps his most prized concubine is an angel captured during the Empire’s many battles with Ishadia.
True? The Sultan’s agents captured Adeline, a female kinnara angel (see Creature Codex), and now have her chained up in his harem. Adeline has refused to give in to the Sultan’s demands and lives in constant misery and fear. Adeline’s partner is Jareheel, a male kinnara angel, and he is desperate to free her from her imprisonment. Jareheel approaches the PCs for their help in infiltrating the Sultan’s harem to free his partner, a dangerous mission for even an experienced party of adventurers.
False? Vorel, a female adult silver dragon and Mistress of the Royal Harem, is also the Sultan’s spymaster. She recently recruited Xeynami, an owl harpy (see Tome of Beasts 1), to spy on threats to the Sultan. Xeynami’s current mission is to destroy an illegal drug ring operating in the city. She’s using this rumor to her advantage to trick a group of PCs into helping her.
A legend among the kobaldi says that one of them will rise to dominate the Mharoti Empire. Most dragonkin scoff at the tale, but the kobaldi of far Hariz claim this figure has appeared and is rallying kobolds to his cause.
True? Chemgrix Hornsplitter is a kobold chieftain (see Tome of Beasts 1) with big dreams. Chemgrix received a vision from Khespotan telling him to unite the kobaldi of Hariz under a new banner and has gathered a sizeable number of kobolds to his cause. Many in Hariz are concerned about the direction this new movement is heading and want Chemgrix silenced, while others want to help the kobold achieve his goals.
False? Marabhama is a powerful rakshasa and an old enemy of Lashmaraq, the ruler of Hariz. The rakshasa wants to incite a rebellion among Lashmaraq’s kobaldi servants by masquerading as a kobold emissary of the god Khespotan. To do so, Marabhama has cemented his position as the most powerful kobold in Tabur through a combination of magical coercion and persuasion, and those who try to silence him have all been killed or discredited. PCs drawn into the conflict soon realize that neither side can be trusted, highlighting the evil nature of much of the Empire.
The wild drakes of the Mezar province are being slaughtered by . . . something. Many believe that a band of dragon-slaying Khandirians have infiltrated the region, as no one from the Empire would dare lay their hands on a dragon.
True? The drakes were killed by a band of Khandirian veterans and mages using spells such as scale rot (see Deep Magic 1) to weaken their defenses. The warband is one of many secretly operating in the region. Local governors may ask the PCs to track down the band to eradicate them.
False? While dragon slaying is punishable by execution in the Dragon Empire, things get stickier when dragons do the slaying. In this case, there was a disagreement over hunting rights between a group of skull drakes (see Creature Codex) and rust drakes (see Tome of Beasts 1). PCs who can speak Draconic are asked to find a peaceful resolution that doesn’t result in their own deaths. This task involves careful diplomacy and a possible show of force (such as killing a roc that took over the skull drakes’ regular hunting grounds).
Travelers witnessed a dragon slaughter an entire platoon of dragonborn soldiers stationed in the Pencoro Mountains before flying off across the peaks. It seems that not all dragons in Zaldiri are allied with the Mharoti Empire.
True? Bezrynazin is an adult bronze dragon with a grudge against the Dragon Empire for killing his humanoid friends and allies when the Empire conquered the region. Bezrynazin has unleashed multiple attacks on Mharoti forces and seeks the help of those willing to join his cause. PCs may either help Bezrynazin with his mission or try to stop his rampage.
False? The deaths were caused by Zaldirian rebels mounted on griffons using illusions to fool people into thinking that a dragon was responsible for the deaths. Mharoti officials may hire the PCs to track down the Zaldirian rebels to put an end to the rumor . . . a job made more difficult by the fact that the Zaldirian rebels are both well equipped and utterly merciless.
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