The Nikovarian Letter

In game 25 of our Age of Heroes Campaign, the players found themselves in a bad situation. Wanting to raise a force to reclaim the city stolen for the nobleman they decided to support, they realized that they only had about 200 drachma between them (worth about 40gp, though a drachma has about the same buying power as a piece of gold in the Age of Heroes Campaign Setting). Certainly not enough money to fund an army, or even upgrade their equipment. And so with few other prospects they decided to deliver a mysterious letter from a Nikovarian Butcher in Delphi, to another Nikovarian Butcher in the coastal city of Askidos.

The price they were offered to deliver the letter was exorbitant and would more than double their total funds, but with the common knowledge that "all Nikovarians are spies", their suspicion around the letter was quite intense. Knowing this before the game I decided -as the DM- that I was going to set up something interesting for them. So, I got in touch with Elijah, who's character John Applewood was the first Nikovarian character introduced into the Arachnophobia world. Thus, he was well aware of their reputation, culture, military practices,etc. It only seemed right, that he be the one to pen the Nikovarian Letter.

To further the scheme, I had Elijah write the letter, email it to my dad, who then folded it and placed it in a sealed envelope. So I as the DM have no idea what it said. None of my encounters could have any bias around the contents of the letter, and since it was written in a different language (Nikovarian, not their native Greek tongue) the players would have to decipher the letter some how, assuming they wanted to know what it said.

To give the guys an actual game prop, I asked Elijah for the word count of his letter, and the recreated that using "Lorem Ipsum" text and changed the writing into a non-English readable font and sealed it in an envelope with sealing wax and capital "N" seal. If they wanted to read the letter on their own, they would have to break the seal. If they managed to translate the letter then they would get to open the sealed English copy to reveal the letter's true contents.

During Game 25 of Age of Heroes the debates raged from as soon as they picked up the letter to moments before they smuggled it past the Askidosian guards and into the city, as to whether or not they should open it and see what it said. In the end it was decided that whether it was a friendly letter to his cousin as the butcher claimed, or treasonous secrets being passed on to a foreign government, they needed the money more than they needed to know what the letter referenced.

As it stands now, the letter has been delivered and next game they return to the Butcher in Delphi to get paid. As a group we have no idea what the letter says and currently both the English copy and the game prop have been filed away in their unopened states. Maybe one day next year I will open it, and see what it says. If I do, I will be sure to let everyone know!

Written by: Andrew Gregory

The Nikovarian Letter The Nikovarian Letter Reviewed by JADE Gaming on 11/13/2019 01:05:00 pm Rating: 5

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