Episode 13: The Mid Reach of the Serpent River
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Another fun episode of Live From Barsaive! I think the Serpent River is one of the coolest settings in Earthdawn, and I like the fact that you’re taking the time to cover as much of it as you are.
Thanks for the shout out about The Imagineering Pyramid in this episode. I’m looking forward to meeting you both and chatting about Earthdawn, Disney, and Imagineering.
Regarding the meeting between Shivalahala Syrtis and King Varulus, I always figured he stormed out because she saw a vision of what was coming in Prelude to War, including his death! Of course, that involves a little retroactive continuity on my part. The Serpent River book was written a LONG time before we plotted out Prelude to War, but it was pretty clear that he learned about something unpleasant… it was our job as developers to figure out what it was. :-).
I had an “alternate timeline” going for a little while where that meeting was about getting the secrets of the True Fire Engines to use against the Therans, as the dwarf cult of Upandil grew jealous of the t’skrang monopoly and pressured Varulus to demand it as part of the alliance.
That’s a cool idea. I love how the Throal book goes into a lot of detail about the political realities and compromises that Varulus had to make. It would be fun to see that play out in a concrete way by having his agenda modified by outside forces.
We’re looking forward to talking with you also. I’ll send you a message about rescheduling. Maybe we can get something together in the next couple of weeks.
I think we will probably do a similar level of detail on future settings. At first, I was concerned about going into too much detail and inadvertently discouraging people from buying the books. I have since talked with Josh Harrison a few times, and he says that he and FASA are fine with this approach.
I also assumed that the conflict with Varulus was probably due to him getting some bad news about his future. That seemed likely, especially since that section of the book talks about the Shivalahala making other predictions about death and destruction. It is nice though that it’s open-ended enough to use it for whatever you want.
Unfortunately, we haven’t been able to play Earthdawn much in the last couple of months. We are about one or two sessions away from the players having an opportunity to meet the Shivalahala. I haven’t completely decided what to do with her, but I have some ideas. It should be a lot fun.