Serpent's Skull in Eberron
Uncovering the City’s History
Although deciphering the history of Saventh-Yhi isn’t required, it can be a rewarding pursuit for PCs who have a particular interest in learning more about the fascinating ruins. There are multiple ways for the PCs to learn about the city’s history, but unfortunately none of these methods provide a reliable and easy to follow presentation. Still, the act of piecing together the city’s history not only helps the PCs to become experts on this obscure era of pre-Earthfall civilization, but it can bring rewards as well.
Methods for Discovery
There are essentially three methods accepted by authorities by which the explorers can document discoveries about Saventh-Yhi’s history.
Carvings, Murals, and Statues:
This is the most reliable method of making discoveries. There are countless wall carvings, statues, murals, and other decorations on the walls of the buildings in Saventh-Yhi that depict various elements of the city’s history. In some cases, interpreting these murals and writings is a simple matter, but in others, one needs to look beyond the obvious and read between the lines, or interpret complex metaphors. Before work to decipher these carvings can begin, the a person must have relative safety and peace. In order to successfully decipher clues and information from these areas, at least one person (likely accompanied by members of the expedition) needs to spend a day in the district researching the situation, at the end of which she may learn something new about the city. Each day of research within a district decreases the chance for making a discovery, as the likelihood of learning new information from that district decreases as the amount of information already discovered increases. It’s probable that one will need to explore several districts as their expedition effectively “mines out” the clues for each one.
Dreams, Haunts, and Visions:
One may also learn about Saventh-Yhi’s history through more mystical means. Many great discoveries have been made by paying attention to portents and spirits. One should remain open to other worldly influences in one’s quest for knowledge.
Interrogations and Interviews:
One can question others who may have already researched the subject, or who may have been witness to events and cultures being researched. There aren’t likely to be many people who fit this category in a site as ancient as Saventh-Yhi, but strange things have been found in the Mwangi Expanse and much survives that would be unexpected.
Rewards for Discoveries
Every time the PCs uncover a new historical discovery (regardless of the method used to discover it), award the party 400 XP (this both encourages the players to seek out more discoveries, and helps to model their characters’ growing awareness of their environs). If the PCs wish to record their discoveries in writing or art, they can do so by attempting a DC 20 Craft (drawing, painting, or writing) check, Profession (scribe) check, or any similar check at your discretion to correctly and efficiently record the information. With a successful check, that recorded information is worth 500 gp to the PCs’ faction—this information can only be sold once.
The PCs can ask their camp’s researchers to try to discover one of the many mysteries about Saventh-Yhi’s past by specifically focusing their study on one section of the ruin’s numerous carvings. Each time a new mystery is discovered (whether via a camp’s exploration or a PC’s own discovery during the course of the adventure), the camp gains 1 Discovery point. Camp discoveries do NOT give the PCs an XP reward.
The race to be the faction with the right to claim discovery of Saventh-Yhi is one of this adventure’s many goals. In order to claim this right, a faction must accumulate [redacted] Discovery points. The GM can alter this total as you wish to adjust the expected time it will take for a faction to “win” if he wishes (you can assume every 30 points roughly equates to about a month of game time, on average). Being the first to reach [redacted] points means that history will record that faction as the true “discoverer” of Saventh-Yhi. Once a winner claims this final glory, the PCs will be awarded experience points based on what rank their faction places in the race.
Glorious XP Awards
Rank – XP Award
1st – 9,600
2nd – 4,800
3rd – 2,400
4th – 1,200
5th – 600