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The Secret History of Sun County: Plot hooks

How can all this be used in your game? Unless you have a PC psychiatrist, it isn't immediately obvious. Here's a few ideas.

The Tower

There are already several scenarios that involve the party in sneaking around the retirement towers near Goldbreath village. Let the players see someone else sneaking around, too. In fact it's one of Vega's messengers going to her father's tower: harmless, but illegal. The messenger will have litle in the way of comabt skills: at best, they retired from militia duty ten years ago. They do not want to have their activities brought into the open, and may tell all sorts of stories about the injustice of Phaestus' imprisonment to get the party's sympathy.


If the party decide that the hazia trade is something that needs looking into, let them find out about Jovian's involvement. This won't be very hard, as he relies on not being investigated rather than real secrecy or competence. What happens next depends on what they decide to do about it. They might report him to Vega, they might just kill him, they might try blackmail. If they're very clever, they'll try to find out who's behind him.

If they investigate further

If there is any chance of the real dealers being discovered, they will arrange for Jovian to be murdered before he can talk. Preferably framing the party for the murder.

If they kill Jovian, or appear to have done so.

Vega will officially want a fair (by Sun County standards) trial and immediate execution of the murderers. And personally she will want revenge for her brother. If they really did murder Jovian, the real dealers behind him will also want to get rid of a potential nuisance.

If they report Jovian to the authorities.

Depending on who they go to, their reception will probably be hostile. This is legally Vega's problem: the relish with which it is handed over to her will vary from person to person. She will insist on very thorough proof of Jovian's guilt before she will consider taking action against him. If the party appear to be genuinely against the hazia traffic on moral grounds, rather than being after what they can make from events, she may privately ask them to investigate further in the hope of proving Jovian to have been an "innocent" front for the real criminals. See above for what happens next....

Spying for the Lunars

The Lunars would much prefer to have a more pliant Count in Sun County. They may hire suitable agents to discredit Solanthos and his supporters: either by finding out existing scandal, or by framing him. As you can see, there are plenty of existing facts that would do Solanthos no good if discovered. Invictus' involvement with Penta prior to the Great Divorce would perhaps be the easiest to prove. Setting up Solanthos with a small boy in front of witnesses might also be something to try (though this is unlikely to succeed).

Orlanthi spies

The most likely way in which players will become involved in Vega's affairs is through Krogar hiring them for some Chaos-bashing on the Sun County border. Unless they are very patriotic Sartarites, they are unlikely to be taken much further into anyone's confidence. However, they could encounter various situations that would potentially show them some of what is really going on. In particular, they could meet some of the messengers and other agents who travel between Sun County, Pavis, Sartar and Heortland (Knight Fort from 1613-1616, Whitewall until 1621). The first time of meeting, they are unlikely to realise the apparently random encounter is anything more than it seems.

The traders

There are many traders who travel the length and breadth of Dragon Pass in search of a profit. Biturian Varosh could be taken as one example, though he himself is not reliable enough to be used as a messenger. Joh Mith's caravan could be taken as an example of a more sucessful trader. Any trader visiting Sun County has to go the the Sun Dome to trade legally, and will there be interviewed by Vega or one of her subordinates as part of her standard procedure for studying nomad movements. Some of them will also pass on or receive messages - sometimes written but encoded, sometimes to be memorised by the trader.

How do they find out the trader is more than he seems? Perhaps they discover that his route includes Whitewall - quite a strong hint! Perhaps they search his belongings for reasons of their own, and discover an encrypted message. Perhaps they come across the remains of the caravan after a broo attack - the dying trader asks them to deliver the message for him.

The entertainers

Travelling entertainers are not as common as traders, but are welcome almost anywhere. (Their performances are, of course, somewhat censored in Sun County!). From the point of view of this intelligence ring, they serve almost the same purpose as the traders, though have the advantage of being better able to memorise long and even encoded messages. They are however much more flamboyant and are certain to be noticed and recognised wherever they go.

Any of the documented entertainers from Pavis could be used in this category.

The scholars

Wandering Lhankor Mhy scholars are often found in Prax, usually based at the Pavis temple. Their visits to Sun County are normally only to the Library and with Hector's permission, but they do happen. A network of scholars is being used by Minaryth Purple, based in Jonstown, both to gather information for his own studies and as a means of communication for the Resistance. Unfortunately, Minaryth has an extremely low opinion of the intelligence of the Lunars, and as a result some of his encryption methods are somewhat trivial. (At least one vital message was "concealed" by consisting of the underlined words in a much larger document!).

Again, Vega or her agents interview all scholars arriving at the Sun Dome from outside Sun County as a matter of course.

The party may be employed as guards by a scholar: if (s)he is either careless or excessively trusting they may find out more of what their employer is really looking for than was intended.

The mercenaries

The party may fall into this category themselves. These are the exiled or wandering warriors, who do not have any permanent employment and prefer to avoid the Lunars in Pavis or Sartar. They may occasionally be used as messengers or scouts, but are more likely to act as guards for one of the other groups listed, or to be part of Krogar's team assisting in chaos-fighting and defending from nomads.

Some have their own bases in the Wastes: accidentally stumbling across one of these would make for an interesting encounter. The one place they will not normally be found is actually inside Sun County. They cooperate with the militia on the borders, but only enter if trying to avoid Lunars.