[Archive] Explorer - Camp Luuk

Threads regarding the game, but not specific rules queries or resources.

[Archive] Explorer - Camp Luuk

Postby Boneguard » Wed Sep 03, 2014 11:42 pm

348 White wrote:following is a slightly fuller version of the one that got printed
Camp Luuk
Metier: Brutal Colonial Diamond Mines
Inland from the coastal strip of New Raphelia is the mining town of Camp Luuk, a magnet to those who seek to make themselves rich, be it through their own graft as a prospector or else by using the labour and toils of less fortunate’s.
The settlement is a sprawled collection of timbered buildings with a few stone ‘trade halls’ for the wealthier mine owners or their agents. Some block houses guard the nucleus of the town, but miners’ shacks and shanties stretch out from either side of them for several miles. Uru slaves, prisoners from Graudelven and the Sunward Isles, skilled miners and other free folk from both Raphelia and other lands all infest the mountain sides like a swarm of termites within a day’s trek or more of the town. Their number is swollen further by ‘Pledge men’, paroled prisoners from other colonies who can earn money for themselves but who have their movements recorded and restricted. In and around the taverns, drunks are sprawled; tragically, all too often those who have earned some wealth squander it for the fleeting relief of rumfusti and the dubious charms of the pox ridden whores of ‘The Lady Luuk’, the largest drinking establishment in the town.
Working in the mines is gruelling, though it is far worse for prisoners and slave workers who are badly fed and clothed and constantly at the mercy of poorly disciplined guards who vent their boredom and frustration against their charges in acts of sadism. Privileges of food and rest, and even the reduction of their sentences, are awarded to slave labourers who find diamonds; though such discoveries can often lead to covetous attacks from other prisoners. Dreadful punishments are inflicted on guards and miners who are detected trying to smuggle gem stones from out of Company mines. The Uru slaves prove good workers as they are inured to hardship and usually develop a strange fatalism to their lot. High mortality rates and chronic addiction to alcohol amongst their Raphelian guards has prompted some merchants to actually start using Uru mercenaries.
Abandoned diggings eventually fill with stagnant rain water, human waste and the occasional body of a murder victim or a dead slave whom none can be bothered to bury or feed to one of the guardsmens’ praxis. These foul pools become pestilent breeding cauldrons for a variety of insects which infest the colony with disease.
The town is mainly under the control of the Otavo Grenni, albeit masked by the flimsiest of front men from a Raphelian trade cartel. Pioneers arrive to find that licenses and goods sold through the cartel’s stores are set at exorbitant rates, often the only way to survive is to gain credit with the cartel by undertaking periods of labour in Company mines. Yet it is always hard to keep down as quarrelsome a people as the Raphelians. Independent Bajo adventurers often provide the leadership for groups of townsmen and miners who stand up for their rights against the cartel. Frequent brawls occur in the taverns and gangs of ‘freesteaders’ sometimes met out rough and ready justice in the anonymity of the night.
Adventures in Camp Luuk: Care must be taken on journeys to or from the township and Newdorf, dangerous escapees and brigands prowl the areas outside the township and it is not unknown for cartel agents to arrange ambushes on rivals, wealthy travellers or lucky miners who refuse to sell their strikes at the rates fixed in the mining town.
Once they are in the town competent parties might find themselves approached with offers of employment as guards, anyone who is a competent at dowsing might be able to command a high wage. Other, less overt, employment might involve anything from helping to administer vigilante justice, stealing from an office strong box or caravan, to the flooding out or collapsing of a competitor’s mine.
The interior of the arid land is home to many dangers besides the climate, terrain, fauna and flora, whilst tantalisingly, grog fuelled, rumours assert that fabulous mines and lost cities lie beyond the mountains, seemingly shunned by the hostile bands of Uru which range throughout the region. The authorities of Camp Luuk post bounties on the heads of runaways and troublesome outlaws and, when labour is sparse, some mine owners actually hire callous and desperate sell-swords to undertake slave taking raids against the tribes of the interior.
Recently an independent mine run by Ansoldo, a Raphelian merchant, has attracted considerable curiosity. All goods purchased by the mine are readily bought with coin, though, as yet, no one knows if it has struck a vein of jewels, despite a phenomenal amount of spoilage which is moved out of the mine and dumped in pits and ponds each night. The large work force comprises of imported slaves who are kept within their own compound. Intriguingly a robed and coweled individual is sometimes sighted with Ansoldo at the mine. The clerks and guards from the mine prove tight lipped and never travel into the town alone, though tavern rumour has it that a force of workers, never seen by the guards, work ceaselessly day and night in certain tunnels. To date, inquisitive members of Ansoldo’s staff and snooping cartel hirelings have all mysteriously vanished.

Inspiration:
Luke's kingdom (TV series)
Arthur Conan Doyle short story
Pulp fantasy such as RE Howard
Historic boom towns of the 19th C in North America, S Africa and Australia.


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