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Ernest Lewicki
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Wczoraj był dzień pracy, nie?
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Interesująca perspektywa
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Thanks for help in finding a hotel room in Odessa on such a short notice! 
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Hi guys, I want to share an adventure I recently played with my group:

ASTRADURALEX
This is a Fading Suns stand-alone adventure. It can be adapted to any setting with a feudal society.

Somewhere in the Known Worlds a solitary space station, called Astraduralex, orbits a lifeless but resource-rich globe. The souvereign of this domain has only one child, a daughter. Whoever marries her stands to increase his position in the world. Summons were sent for the suitors and the first group of them has arrived. They will be subjected to a series of tests determining their
worthiness.

PLAYERS

Any number of players from 3 up. The PCs must be nobles and are generated using the method given below. If you have a single female player, she takes the role of the maiden to be married. If you have more of them, the count can have two daughters, or perhaps one female character arrives on Astraduralex because of reasons other than courtship.

PLAYER CHARACTER GENERATION

The (male) players will be generally competitors with one another in this story. The fun factor of the scenario is increased by the randomness of the character generation.

For every character (including the soon-to-be-bride) perform the steps 1-3. Perform the steps 4-5 only for the suitors.

1. Roll a d6 to determine what noble house he/she belongs to (1-Hawkwood, 2-al Malik, 3-Li Halan, 4-Hazat, 5-Decados, 6-one of the minor houses).

3. Roll a d6 to determine their motivation for courting the count's daughter (1-2 Love, 3-4 Political ambition, 5-6 Vengeance). For the count's daughter this determines her character - is she romatic and naive or perhaps a scheming shrew?

2. Come up with a name and a deeper explanation for the motivation.

4. Assign skill levels (low, medium, high) to three characteristics:
- fighting
- position (Titles and wealth. So a high would be a duke, a low a knight)
- special secret advantage.

5. Determine what the PC's special secret advantage is. You will find examples below.

The above were the only dice rolls of the adventure. You will have to resolve all conflicts yourself by comparing the skill levels and declarations of intent from players. Of course a player character wins against any NPC, but not necessarily against two or three at the same time.

It is assumed every suitor has a small and generally unarmed entourage. It is also assumed that they have normal "noble" skills, know how to behave, etc. Money is not an issue in this adventure. The female PC has, of course, the whole station at her disposal (at the discretion of her father).

SAMPLE CHARACTERS

These are characters generated by my players using the method above. Do not use this characters for your adventure - half the fun is in the random setup! Remember also that motivations can have different interpretations: there is nothing wrong with a player declaring that his or her 'love' is for the Allmighty, i.e.

A. Fatima al-Malik was a beautiful and naive daughter of Astraduralex's sovereign, count Souleiman al-Malik. Dreaming about somebody to sweep her off her feet, she eagerly awaited the arrival of her first suitors.

B. Anton Ivanovich was a knight of the house Decados whose true motivation would be a bitter dissapointment to Fatima. He had come to exact vengeance on her father, Suoleiman, for killing his older brother in a battle during past war. For that purpose he hid his true identity - which was greatly facilitated by his exhaustive espionage training.
Fighting: Medium, Position: Low, Special secret advantage: High

C. Sir Rodrigo Rodriguez Hazat came to Astraduralex led by passion incited in him by viewing a holophotograph depicting Fatima's exceptional beauty. A fiery character, he hid a ship full of friends and camerades by a nearby moon ready in case he had to take his bride by force. (That was his special skill).
Fighting: Medium, Position: Low, Special secret advantage: High

D. Knight Akira Li Halan-Takeda was a character even more shadowy than Anton, whom he intended to make his prey. Driven by hatred against house Decados, he did not hesitate to use his psychic powers to achive his goals.
Fighting: Medium, Position: Low, Special secret advantage: High

As you see all the suitors took the same approach and decided to rely the most on their special skills. It worked "well" as you will see below, but could have had a very different result had Fatima a different motivation. Remember, the adventure doesn't have to end in a bethrothal. The suitors can be sent home with nothing - there are many others coming after them. A politically motivated female player should not choose a simple knight.

You can also see how different the "special secret advantages" can be.


THE STORY

The whole adventure should be driven by the motivations and interactions of the player characters. Below are some scripted events that are supposed to happen during the session, but treat them as rough guidelines only.

Rememeber also that the scenes below are not continuus - there is some time between them. The breaks are perfect opportunities to make declarations about and resolve the PC's more clandestine activities.

Feel free to add extra events. Additional meals are the easiest to perform. House specific events are a good idea: a Li-Halan count could have an event to test the faith of the suitors, a Hazat one military simulation, etc.


1. Presentation

The PCs begin already on the station, shuttled there somehow. They enter, one-by-one (in order of their 'position' skill) the throne room, where the widowed count and his daughter await - let her describe herself (or if no female player, describe her yourself). The suitors also need to describe their looks and formally declare that they want to pursue her hand. Do they bring any gifts?

The count is courteus, and after everybody is present he will invite everybody for a walk.

2. Walk

The walk takes place in the stations gardens, pride of the count. They are full of greenery and flowers, set under magnificent artificial sun. There are brooks here, there are ponds. A few gazibos dot the terrain.
Make sure that the players are aware of the guards that shadow the party from a distance.

The count talks with the suitors and so should his daughter. You can split the party, just like a group of people walking will normally split. The count, talking first with the richest suitor, is inquisitive about his motivation (no need for the player to spill the truth), his background (did the PC fight in past wars, who are his parents exactly etc.) and his future plans. The players should get the impression that the 'position' trait is the most important to the count himself.

The count's daughter wants to get to know the suitors as well. If she is not a PC best make her motivation Love.

The walk is interrupted by the maiordomo arriving and informing the count that dinner will be served soon.

3. Dinner

After some time give for changing the clothes everybody convenes at the dining hall.

The suitors are seated together, quite afar from the hosts. The musical band and dancers present mean that addressing them would be impolite. Encourage the (male) players to talk among themselves. Unknowingly to them, the acoustics of the room are so arranged that the count and his daughter hear their every word. Ask the players how much their characters drink and how they behave.

If you wish, describe the exotic dishes being served, the music played etc. Remember to make them fitting to the Noble House the hosts represent.

At the end of the dinner the count reminds his daughter to give her suitors a task to complete overnight. It would delight her very much if they could each create a poem for her. (That should be very pleasant for the female player to announce).

The poems will be read during lunch tomorrow. But before that, in the early morning, there will be a...

4. Hunt

The same gardens were the party walked yesterday are prepared for a hunt. There are stands for the hosts to watch from as the suitors compete in killing an exotic and dangerours predator that will be set loose on this station level. Each male PC is given a spear and enters the garden.

Depending on the special secret abilities of the players this can go many different ways. One thing to remember is that a character with a low 'fighting' trait cannot possibly win with the beast and will be slain if others don't intervene.

The person who delivered the killing blow to the animal is given a beautiful ribbon by the count's daughter.

After the hunt, everybody who is not seriously hurt attends the lunch (a much more informal affair then the dinner before).

5. Lunch.

This is a very short event: Have the players read the poems they composed. I hope you will be positively suprised with what your players come up with (I was).

6. Stargazing
The constellations visible from Astraduralex are amazing. This is a repeat of the walk, essentialy, meaning the suitors have a final chance to impress either the count or his daughter.


7. Final Dinner
The young lady and her father should have reached a decision by now. The unsuccesful suitors are given black soup as an unspoken sing they should leave, the succesful one is given golden soup.

HOW IT PLAYED OUT FOR MY GROUP

The suitors, of course, did not like each other. The psychic Li Halan used his abilities to determine the motivations of others early on. (I did not allow him to influence the emotions and thoughts of the PCs).
Decados, bidding his time, gave the count a weak poison, leaving him bed ridden for a day. That alerted the station security, which at the orders of Fatima searched the rooms of all suitors. Although they found the poison in Li Halan's room (planted there by the Decodos ninja-servant), she did not believe in his guilt.
Hilarity ensued when Decados guessed Li Halan's special ability. He spent a whole meal intensely thinking about his opponents wine being poisoned. Li Halan was humiliated when it turned out to be harmless.
He wanted a duel in revenge and he got it - thanks to his psychic powers he was ready when the Decados threw acidic spices in his face. This allowed him to draw blod.
During the hunt, Li Halan steered the powerful megalynx straight at the Decados, wanting him finished, but with Hazat's valiant help the beast was subdued.
Both Hazat and Decados had come up with great poems, but Fatima favoured Hazat, since his sincere passion made a great impression on her during earlier conversations.
The count, having recovered presided over the stargazing. The Decados didn't show up - he was dead by the hand of his own servant, driven into frenzy by Li Halan's psionic whispers. The stargazing took place on a platform whose superglass ceiling was easily accesible for space. Hazat, impatient to get his love and fearing how his opponents ruthlessnes could doom him, decided to act. He ordered his friends to board the base, meanwhile holding those around him at a point of the gun. Unknowingly he was already doomed.
The late Decados had spiced his wine, making it's effect stronger. The Li Halan also leaned in, attempting to confuse him. When Hazat's friendwere cutting a breech from their ship, the count made a move towards his daughter. What was supposed to be sir Rodrigo's warning shot killed old Souleiman. A quick Li-Halan katana cut to the arm that fired it let Fatima escape. Together with Li Halan they ran to a safe room. Rodrigo was behind them, imploring the countess to still consider him. Although his friends insisted to leave the hopeless situation, he refused.
Two grenades launched by station security finished him off. The psychic was triumphant.

If you have any questions, just ask.
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Of all humans, male and female, European women have the whitest skin and the most diverse range of hair and eye colors. Are European physical characteristics really female characteristics? (source) People of European or...
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Ernest Lewicki

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Wczoraj wypróbowałem przepis z książki 'The Palm Oil Miracle'. Oprócz oleju palmowego użyłem też smalcu. Wziąłem też więcej wołowiny, niż w przepisie. Wyszło świetne!

FEIJOADA (Gulasz z czarną fasolą)
Feijoada to jedno z najbardziej popularnych dań w Brazylii. Jest jedzone w prawie każdym domu przez cały rok. Robi się je z czarnej fasoli i dużej ilości mięsa. Można użyć prawie każdego rodzaju mięsa, ale na ogół to danie zawiera kiełbasę, wieprzowinę i wołowinę i na ogół jest podawane z ryżem. Oto jego uproszczona wersja.

3 łyżki stołowe czerwonego oleju palmowego
1 średniej wielkości cebula, posiekana 
6 ząbków czosnku, posiekanych
20 dk kiełbasy w pętach, pokrojonej na plasterki 
20 dk wieprzowiny, pokrojonej na kawałki wielkości jednego kęsa 
20 dk wołowiny, pokrojonej na kawałki wielkości jednego kęsa
2 puszki (450 ml każda) czarnej fasoli 
1 liść laurowy
Sól i pieprz do smaku
 
Podgrzej olej na patelni i podsmażaj cebulę, czosnek, i mięsa, aż warzywa staną się miękkie. Zmieszaj z pozostałymi składnikami w dużym garnku, dolej tyle wody, aby zakryć, doprowadź do wrzenia, zmniejsz ogień i duś przez godzinę.
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I love stoner rock, Samsara Blues Experiment in particular. This is the best movie ever.

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Paweł Lewicki
Bardzo dobre burgery, szczególnie cenię sobie to, że można je zamawiać bez bułki. Polecam.
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