Rotten Shebizi - A System Agnostic Game Experience Plot in DraKaise Battalion | World Anvil

Rotten Shebizi - A System Agnostic Game Experience

Challenge: Write a one-shot adventure for your world that is ready to run for a Game Master  


Rotten Shebizi is an RP focused game designed to be run in 3-6 hours. This game has light elements of intrigue, investigation and adventure. The adventure focuses on the port city of Aegis which lies on the southern coast of Ithungsida and is an extremely active port.   The city is built on and along a several hundred foot tall cliff with tunnels carved into it. However, the players will have no need to traverse the cliff into the wider city above to enjoy this Game. Instead; this game focuses on the docks, The Longshore Guild that runs it, and a dangerous set of smugglers that the players have been hired to seek out.   This is not recommended for a new DM as it has several branching lines that impact the story arcs. It also does none of the heavy work for descriptions, battles, or almost anything else. This is a plot that describes the potential actions and reactions of the world to players within, anything not described will have to be treated with a healthy dose of improv.
Hello and good tidings Adventurers!   The Aegis Longhouse has need of your assistance. A problematic group of Smugglers named Grundai's Zealots is causing ruckus, but has seemingly paid off the majority of the organizations that should deal with them.   If you are willing to help out a Longhouse in need, then come and speak to Kerif in the docks to find out what you can do to help!
— Help Wanted Posting


Kerif - Female Gnome Master Longshoreman   The Leader of the local Longshore Guild. Is often considered naive but fair in her command of the local Longshoremen. Is currently apprenticing Adurgin to bring him to the point that he can help her lead the Aegis guild.
Adurgin - Male Half-Orc Apprentice Master Longshoreman.   The head apprentice of Kerif, and the only Apprentice Master in the city. Has a direct belief of his capabilities and feels like he is underutilized. Founded the Zealots and has been working to bring the city under his control.

Dafagith Stormguard. - Female Dwarf Lead Longshoreman   Dafagith has worked on the Aegis docks since she left SosIwa, though she won’t say how long ago that was, anybody asked about her knows that she’s been here longer than many have been alive.
Hagret - Female Human Dockhand.   Hagret has only been in the city for a few months. She thinks the Longshore guild is stuck up and makes life harder on everyone. She does think that some of the ‘LongSighs’ are worthwhile and will speak highly of Adurgin.

Reirul - Male Human. Longshoreman.   Reirul is a middle aged man, was born in the city, and has worked as a Longshoreman for several years. He talks about the fact that he only needs to train one more Apprentice before he becomes a Trained Longshoreman.
Eyola Firnwatched - Male Halfling Guard   Eyola lived in Moldatun and worked those docks for years before he moved down out of the cold. He much prefers the warmer climate of Aegis, he loves that he can dip his toes in the water without fear of frostbite.


1. Getting the Job

  The Party has been hired to assist the lead Master Longshoreman of one of the Aegis Longhouses. Astute characters might know that there have been issues with delayed ships, bad product, and low morale on the docks.   Kerif is a gnome with bright yellow hair, green eyes and a stern disposition.   Adurgin is a large well spoken Half-Orc who seems irritated that outsiders have been brought into Guild Affairs. Kerif shrugs it off and mentions that internal efforts haven’t revealed anything, the smugglers have been buying off or silencing anybody that gets close.   Kerif says there is an issue with product being brought in by smugglers that don't respect the efforts the Longshore Guild has made to help evade detection. She Blames a new smuggling group named Grundai's Zealots.   She asks the party to find the leader of the group, because if they can nail the leader and where they operate out of then the smuggling operation will fall apart and have to rebuild.   If asked who they suspect, Kerif can’t name anybody and seems at a loss.   Adurgin says that whoever it is has a lot of money and resources because it seems like city officials have been paid off to ignore them.  

2. Planning their Attack

  The party has a chance to figure out how best to approach this situation. Most will fall into one of two general acts; either the party will quietly look for the zealots, or they will run out and attack everyone trying to figure out who the zealots are. Depending on the actions of the party, the quiet party will generally advance to 2A, while the louder party will advance to 2B.  
It's recommended to encounter at least two of the below NPCs in either version of section 2.
Dafagith Stormguard: Can be found working on the dock, unloading a ship, drinking in the Tavern portion of the LongShore Guild.  
If Asked about Kerif   She’ll say that the Mistress Longshoreman is the kindest soul, but maybe not the most world-weary. Dafagith worries that people try to take advantage of her too much.
If Asked about Adurgin   She’ll grimace and shake her head. The Half-Orc came into the city all ready to be apprenticed. His books checked out and Kerif accepted him. Dafagith clearly doesn’t like him.
If asked about the Zealots   She says that smugglers are a part of life for any dock, but that they are dangerous for breaking long standing rules like transporting Shebizi in closed containers.

Hagret: Can be found shooting the shit with sailors, gambling with dice, drinking on the docks.
If asked about Kerif   She’ll laugh and call her an old “Longsigh” that needs to learn when a gnome isn’t wanted. Better men are ready to take her spot and she’s part of the old way of things.
If asked about Adurgin   She’ll grin and call him the best thing to happen to the city. Clearly he’s doing something right. Refuses to expand on what precisely he’s doing right.
If asked about the Zealots   She thinks that everyone has to make their money. Could the Zealots work with the Guild? Sure, but then there’d be less money to go around.

Reirul: Can be found working on the dock, unloading a ship, drinking in the Tavern portion of the LongShore Guild.
If asked about Kerif   He’ll smile. Kerif was the one who trained him as an apprentice, back before she had hit master. He’s looking forward to training more people so that he can repay her kindness.
If asked about Adurgin   He’ll nod. The boy has some rough patches, but Kerif is working on buffing him out. Give him a few more years of Apprenticeship and he’ll be a great master.
If asked about the Zealots   He is pissed. He hates the group and thinks they are playing with fire. He tells the group about a shipment that came in filled with activated Bulette Powder. The damn thing could have blown up half the dock. He thinks they are a menace.

Eyola Firnwatched: Can be found walking the dock, collecting bribe money from sailors, dangling feet in water.
If asked about Kerif   He’ll shrug. The Master Longshoreman isn’t his affair, doesn’t help him. Though a lot of people aren’t happy about the raised Tariffs due to the Zealots.
If asked about Adurgin   He’ll shrug. The Half-Orc is making waves, either he’ll be a great Master Longshoreman, or he’ll be something else.
If asked about the Zealots   Eyola thinks they are as necessary as winter, if the community has an issue, then they’ll have to come out and fight against the encroaching evil. Only a group that bands together can survive the winter.

2a. Explore Docks

If The Party Decides on having a look out at the docks, then they have the opportunity to talk with dock workers and get the lay of the land. However, this assumes that they don’t make it widely known that they are seeking the Zealots.   If they explore, then they quickly realize that the docks only go back a few hundred feet before they lead into deep tunnels that riddle the cliff face. If they ask anyone about exploring those tunnels, they are warned that it's easy to get lost in those tunnels if they don't know where they are going.  

2b. Seek out Zealots.

If the Party makes a rukkus about questioning people in relation to the Zealots, then they have plenty of opportunity to do so. However, it should be limited to only dock personnel. Most guards and city officials will brush the party off and direct them to speak with Kerif.  

3. Rotten Shebizi

After meeting two of the NPCs and exploring the docks, a yell goes up from nearby sailors. A ship crashes into the docks and the loading door falls open. Gas floods out with walking corpses shambling within.   People start screaming. This should be a difficult combat for the party with multiple Ethereal Beings such as Ghosts, Wraiths or Similar. Zombies and other undead are on theme for such a battle.   The Gas smells like sickly sweet honey, with a dazing component that has a good chance of momentarily incapacitating members of the party.   After the Undead are defeated, the gas dissipates and multiple sailors and Longshoremen thank the party for helping fight off the creatures.  

4. Guards vs Sailors

With the creatures defeated and the shebizi gas dissipated, the city Guard arrives at the docks.   Several large groups of guards begin corralling and arresting recovering sailors and Longshoremen.   They will also attempt to arrest the party unless the party evades them, bribes them or gives them a good reason not to arrest them.   These guards are violent and will actively attack the party and sailors if they resist. (there are a -lot- of guards itching to fight, they won’t kill the party, but will subdue the party if it becomes necessary or the party becomes rude.)
If the party is arrested, then the game will advance to 5a, if the party evade Arrest in some manner then the game will advance to 5b.

5a. Arrested

  The party and the sailors are corralled into a set of pens nearer towards the back of the docks in a number of hollowed out caves.  
Choose two of the below NPCs and they have been arrested as well, innocent or not.
Dafagith Stormguard: got caught up in the arrests even though she got to the docks after the gas had cleared. Is pissed about getting further behind on the work she needs to do.
Hagret: was present at the docks, but didn't participate or help in the fight. Some party members might remember hearing her calling out bets on the progress of the fight.
Reirul: Was on the docks when the shouts went up about the out of control ship. He's the one that called for the guards. The fact that they turned around and arrested him has him pissed to no end.
Eyola Firnwatched: Was one of the guards that arrived on scene to arrest the sailors. Has been assigned to keep an eye on the group of criminals, hasn't been arrested.
At the end of 5a, the game continues to 6a.

5b. Not Arrested

  The party avoids arrest. Whether this was through guile, deceit or other methods doesn't really matter.  
Choose two of the below NPCs; they have escaped arrest as well, innocent or not. The party should encounter them.
Dafagith Stormguard: got aboard one of the ships before the guards noticed her. Is working on figuring out how many people that were working for her got arrested and how many have just skulked off to get out of work for the day.   Following/Accompanying her leads the group to a worksite, a number of sailors gathered around a ship. General complaints abound from Tariff hikes to rough seas, to complaints about the Zealots.
Hagret: paid off the guards with winnings from her bets. Is happy about all the chaos that the day has brought. Is headed off towards a less populated part of the docks if the party notices her.   Following/Accompanying her leads the group to an out of the way bar with a number of sailors hiding out from the law.   Everybody complains about high taxes on alcohol and high fees from the guild. A few Longshoremen point out that Adurgin has promised to work on lowering local Longhouse fees.   Everybody is happy about that.

Reirul: Was on the docks when the shouts went up about the out of control ship. He's the one that called for the guards. He isn’t happy that the guards arrested everyone, but is thankful that they didn’t arrest him or hinder his work.   Reirul is working with his crew, they are unloading a ship, but because the guards have half the docks arrested there's no rush.   The group is chatting about guild fees and higher tariffs in the city, but several think that they are warranted because of the issues with the Zealots.
Eyola Firnwatched: Was one of the guards that arrived on scene to arrest the sailors. Has been assigned to keep an eye on the docks to make sure nothing crazy happens while half the docks are under lock and key.   If the group follows and chats with any of the other NPCs then he'll stop by and harass the groups. He won't leave until he gets money from somebody, if the party won't hand any over, then somebody else will hand over gold.   He insults anybody and everybody for complaining and insinuates that if they want to complain then they should fix the problems themselves.
At the end of 5b, the game advances to 6b.

6a. Jail Fight (Potential Combat)

  After chatting with the NPCs a fight breaks out in the middle of the Jail.   This is a brawl, treat the enemies as low threats, but have a lot of them and make sure it's clear that killing is frowned upon.
Depending on how the party approached finding the Zealots, there will be a different type of fight here.
If They Explored the Docks
Some Longshoremen and Dock Workers fight alongside the Party because they fought the Shebizi Monsters.   The fight is quickly broken up by the guards and not long after the party is released.   The Longshoreman released with the party warn them that somebody high up in the Longhouse is working with the Zealots.   As they exit the jail area, Adurgin approaches the party and warns them that they need to be careful what they get themselves caught up in. The Guild won't be there to bail them out again.
If They Sought Out Zealots
Some Longshoremen start yelling about the Zealots and the future of the city being to fight with them.   These are more dangerous adversaries and will try to kill the party/should be capable of it.   Once the party defeats them, the party is bailed out by Adurgin.   He seems surprised that the party survived the fight with the Zealots, but informs them that Kerif is counting on them tracking down the Zealots soon.   He also offers the party an advance payment and insinuates that it might be dangerous if they stick around.

6b. Find Hideout.

After chatting, the party sees that people are trickling out of the jail. Seems as though a fight broke out between Zealots and Longshoremen. At this point, the party has a good chance to see one or both of the other NPCs that were arrested.  
(Only the NPCs that were arrested should have these dialogue topics.)
  Dafagith Stormguard: got caught up in the arrests even though she got to the docks after the gas had cleared. Is pissed about getting further behind on the work she needs to do.
If They Explored the Docks then Dafagith will complain about the guards forcing everyone to take back tunnels to get out of the holding area. If the party asks about the Back Tunnels, then she’ll fill them in about the fact that there are tons of hollowed out tunnels and caves tucked back into the cliffs.   If the party uses this information to go looking, then they can now track down the Hideout.
If They Sought Out Zealots then Dafagith will tell them she saw a bunch of people headed for the wrong side of the docks. If they want to get more information about the damned blathering zealots, then the party should check out a few of those that are heading that way.   This information leads the party right to the Hideout.

Hagret: was present at the docks, but didn't participate or help in the fight. Some party members might remember hearing her calling out bets on the progress of the fight.
If They Explored the Docks then Hagret will laugh at them and tell them that they are missing out on all the interesting places by staying near the water. All the cool people find their way back into the tunnels and into little bars where names aren’t allowed.   If asked about backtunnels, then she’ll say that there are plenty of secrets hidden back in the tunnels. Lots of money and fun to be had.   The party can keep asking questions and possibly track down the location of the Hideout.
If They Sought Out Zealots then Hagret will offer the party the location of their hideout. She thinks the group is a sinking ship after the Shebizi incident. Too many accidents where people can get hurt like that makes a group hated more than reviled.   If they pay her, then she’ll tell them how to get to the Hideout.

Reirul: Was on the docks when the shouts went up about the out of control ship. He's the one that called for the guards. The fact that they turned around and arrested him has him pissed to no end.
If They Explored the Docks then Reirul will let them know about a nice calm pool that is supposedly sourced Directly from the Shield Spring. It’s just a little ways back under the cliff in the backtunnels. If asked about the tunnels, Reirul will talk about the ways they were used in the Orcish Incursion. Hundreds of soldiers killed thousands by using those tunnels as home.   Plenty of room for people to hide.   The Party can now find the Hideout by searching the tunnels for an extended period of time.
If They Sought Out Zealots then Reirul will tell them about the tunnels. He’ll say they were primarily used for good efforts, good men that fought and died in those tunnels. He thinks it’s sacriligious that the Zealots have taken up homes in the deep.   He tells the party where they can find the Hideout.

Eyola Firnwatched: Was one of the guards that arrived on scene to arrest the sailors. Had been assigned to keep an eye on the group of criminals, wasn't arrested.
If They Explored the Docks then Eyola will warn them to stay out of the darker tunnels to the east of the docks. Supposedly there’s a gas leak coming from that direction. Refuses further questions.   The Party can find the Hideout in that direction.
If They Sought Out Zealots then Eyola will offer to assist them in hunting down the zealots. That is if it can be entirely his idea, plot and plan. If they refuse or act like they’ll reneg on the deal then Eyola will leave them talking about finding others to right the wrongs as a community.

7A. Leader Puzzle

Adurgin then let's the party know that Kerif wants to talk to them. Adurgin lets them know that Kerif expects them to have solved the mystery.   Then he waits around to escort the party back to the Longhouse.   When the party arrives at the Longhouse, Kerif is talking with a number of other Longshoremen and passing a number of books around.   When Kerif notices that the group has returned, she quickly dismisses the others and waves the party into her office. She sits down and looks over the party.   Then she asks them who the leader of the Zealots is.
If they accuse Kerif
Kerif is confused, but Adurgin nods and begins offering proof.   After all, who else had the connections to buy out the city officials, and who else benefited from being able to raise the local tarrifs.   He even makes a note that Kerif often makes trips and is gone for long stretches to 'visit' other groups.   Kerif is just quiet and looks confused/mad.
If they accuse Adurgin(Possible Combat)
Adurgin is pissed. He throws a canister of Shebizi gas and will try to escape by taking Kerif hostage. If the party allows him to make it out of the Longhouse he’ll run for the docks and try to get on a ship.   There’s no good reason he should make it, but the party should have to chase.

7B. Go to Hideout

The Party has found the Hideout! The area is a large warehouse-like operation set in a massive cave. Small buildings and roads are formed from boxes and crates. A few dozen people are visible. Now they have the choice of how to approach it.
If They Sneak into Hideout
It shouldn’t be too difficult to sneak into the fray of the hideout. There’s lots of activity, but security is lax. If they are discovered, then immediately move to the “March/Attack” option.   With their stealth secured, the party finds Adurgin, called Grundai here, commanding a number of Longshoremen that the party might vaguely recognize from having seen around the docks. It’s clear that Adurgin is in charge.
If They March into/attack Hideout
Marching into the Hideout plain and obviously gets the party a meeting with Adurgin and his Longshoremen. Adurgin introduces himself as Grundai and is amused that the party has discovered this and has no plans to let them leave alive.   He and his crew of Longshoremen are a deadly encounter that should be potentially deadly to the party. These men will happily kill/maim/torture the party.   Once they defeat Adurgin and his men, the rest of the Zealots flee and abandon the Hideout.

8A. Resolution

If Kerif is Guilty
Unless the party sees through Adurgin’s plot, Kerif is arrested and taken from the Longhouse.   Adurgin becomes the new head, taking her position. He pays the party double what they were promised and sends them off in high spirits.
If Adurgin is Guilty
If he’s alive, Adurgin is arrested and Kerif thanks the group. She provides the payment and hopes that the Zealots will fade into obscurity now that their leader is gone.

8B. Resolution

If they have Proof about Adurgin
The Party returns to the Longhouse, finds Kerif and accuses Adurgin citing any proof they may have gathered as well as the location of the Hideout.   Kerif accepts the proof and guards arrest Adurgin. She pays for their help and hopes that the Zealots will fade into obscurity now that their leader is gone.  
If they Fight Adurgin
If Adurgin Lives The party defeated the Zealots, but spared their lives. The guards arrive not long after and arrest Adurgin with thanks to the party. Kerif pays for their help and hopes that the Zealots will fade into obscurity now that their leader is behind bars.
If Adurgin is Dead The party defeated the Zealots by cutting off the head of the serpent. The guards arrive and cordon off the area while clean-up crews arrive to remove any dangerous supplies held by the Zealots. They also hold the party while Kerif is fetched to verify their employment.   Kerif arrives with the payment for their help, but is worried. Adurgin has died a Martyr, she hopes that the Zealots aren’t incensed by his death.
This is the end.   This game can end in multiple ways, with multiple possible ramifications for further play if it were to continue into a game beyond the single session.   Adurgin could become a recurring villain that escapes from jail. The party could get sucked into a legal battle. Or the Zealots themselves could become an issue, trying to free or avenge Adurgin in the name of his cause.(which is up to you to define.)   Many thanks for reading and experiencing my world in this way!

Cover image: by HelHeim


Please Login in order to comment!
14 Apr, 2021 16:23

That sidebar really helps make the thing navigatable!

Too low they build who build beneath the stars - Edward Young
14 Apr, 2021 23:37

Very nice oneshot! I like the many possible branches that you created an the thorough explanation for the possibilities. Seem like a pretty cool adventure to play through. It has a nice story and I like how you addes some possible consequences at the end.   That sidebar is a really nice addition as well! ^^ Makes it easy to navigate.   One thing I would remove is 'is built atop a several hundred foot tall cliff.' because you start the next paragraph with the same information. In all very nice read!

Feel free to check out my Orena 'Raitin Bane' page and my new world Terra Occidentalis if you want to see what I am up to!
Powered by World Anvil