Adamant Entertainment is pleased to present Sell-Swords of Mars, an adventure for our Savage Worlds setting of swords and science beneath the moons of Mars!
The sun beat down from the pink-tinted sky, and Jarket Jarul plucked off his helmet to wipe the sweat from his brow. Here, on the verge of the canal, the air was marginally cooler, but he could see shimmers of heat rising from the surrounding hills. Another hour’s travel and he would be at the ancient bridges that spanned the Pi-Ramesh Canal. Even now, he could see them ahead, through the heat-haze. The single, threadlike blue-silver span that arched across the canal was a truly ancient bridge, made in the days when the canals were first dug, beautiful, delicate – and impractically narrow for the commercial traffic of the present era. Just beyond it was the heavy slab stonework of a slightly more recent bridge, still centuries old and packed with traffic. A single battered desert-runner jockeyed for position among the beast-drawn farm- carts crossing the canal on their way into Pi-Ramesh.
Suddenly, a piercing sound rent the morning air. Amplified to the point of pain, the note held for a breath, then changed to a falling tone that ended in a near-growl that thrummed deep in Jarket’s chest. His mount reared, terrified, and he struggled to keep hold of its bridle, but his reactions were too slow, and Jarket was dumped into the dusty road as his jalf bolted away. As he rose to one knee, the two-toned cry rang out again. Crouching in the roadway, Jarket looked away from the skittish animal, seeking some view of whatever had startled it.
There, beyond the far bridge, was the source of that terrible sound – a great triple-legged fighting machine! As he watched, paralyzed in awe, another machine came into view, and then another! Grey Men!
Terror gripped Jarket Jarul’s heart, for he had never seen the deadly artifacts of the Grey Men before – but all of Mars knew the tales of the destruction they brought. He scrambled to his feet, ready to flee, even though he knew not where to go.
But then, from each of the tripods came a new sound, a ‘whooshing’ noise unlike any he had ever heard before – and then, before his eyes, the bridges ahead were engulfed in flame! The mighty heat-rays of the Grey Men melted stone and steel alike, sending men, carts, and vehicles plunging into the canal below!
Jarket Jarul gulped breath, and felt the heat sting his lungs. He could see the wave of superheated air blasting toward him from the point of the attack. He drew another gulp of air, and sprinted for the canal! He dove from its metal-clad edge, and plunged into the water below, just as a wave of fire passed over the spot where he had been. His jalf, panicked and fleeing, was instantly incinerated.
Within seconds of the attack’s beginning, it was over. Twisted metal and melted stone dammed the canal, and the blackened bits of men and animals drifted downstream with the now-trickling water.
Beyond the wreckage, the hood of one of the great war machines lifted toward the sky, and the terrible hooting cry of the Grey Men sounded once more over the desolation.
The heroes are mercenaries, seeking work among the lesser independent cities of Mars. When an attack dams up the only canal of the city of Pi-Ramesh, the city's young Queen hires these Sell-Swords of Mars to come to her aid as the city's lifeblood dries up. Can the heroes stop the onslaught of a seemingly unstoppable enemy, and save the weakened city?
This adventure requires both the Savage Worlds rule book and the MARS setting book in order to play. For best results, the Game Master should have access to the Savage Worlds ‘Showdown’ rules (available here as a free download from the Pinnacle website)and the supplement Warriors of Mars, available for sale here. In the event that you do not wish to run the larger battles using the Showdown rules, it is also possible to stage them using the Mass Battle rules contained in the Savage Worlds core rulebook.