Sunday, July 14, 2019

"Anarchy in Amhor"


Last night, I ran the John Carter of Mars RPG for six players as part of our monthly Saturday Night Space Opera event; last night's games took place at the Source.  In my Barsoom, Red Revolution has broken out in the far northern city of Amhor. A couple of months ago, a mysterious band of blue clad "mercenaries and pirates" had overthrown the despised and feared Jeddak of Amhor, the cruel Jal Had. Following Jal Had's overthrow, the blue clad warriors had reportedly plunged Amhor into chaos. 

In the faraway Twin Cities of Helium, Princess Dejah Thoris had assembled a band of heroes to put the niece of Jal Had, a young female gladiator named Hadra Ja, on the throne of distant Amhor, winning the city as an ally of Helium. The amply-scarred Hadra Ja had made a name for herself as a capable warrior in the Arena of Lesser Helium. Our heroes agreed to help put her on the throne.

Our heroes soon found that they had their hands full. One character, Joseph Stands Alone, a Pueblo Indian, soon realized that Hadra Ja was almost entirely lacking in political instinct; she was a sword, and saw the sword as the solution to everything. He set out to begin her political education on the long flight to Amhor.

Once the PCs arrived at the city, a brave Okar and Joseph discovered the true nature of the blue clad mercenaries and pirates: they were two platoons of U.S. Army Cavalry! While the PCs didn't figure out all the background events, they soon learned that the 9th Cavalry Regiment, one of the all-African American Buffalo Soldiers regiments, had acted shortly after the overthrow of Jal Had to abolish slavery and execute slaveholders and slave merchants. The all-white 7th Cavalry Regiment's platoon, led by one Lt. Rice, used force of arms to try and stop the 9th. The 7th seized the palace, and allied with Red Martian mercenaries and the upper classes in the city, while the 9th went underground, stole a flying warship, and organized militias among the toiling masses and the former slaves.

The player characters ultimately allied themselves with the Buffalo Soldiers, and struck a deal with both the workers' militias inside the city, and a Green Martian horde that had been expelled from the city, to retake Amhor and put the young Hadra Ja on the throne.

The insurgents were successful. Hadra Ja has been installed as the new Jeddak of Amhor. She is supported by workers' militias, and has welcomed the Green Martian horde back into their Greentown enclave within the city. As for Lt. Rice, his whereabouts is unknown, as is the whereabouts of the warship seized by the 9th Cavalry Regiment. 

Amhor is once again at piece, albeit a fragile one perhaps, and Helium has a new ally in the distant north.

(Oh, and in the real world, the 7th didn't have a Lt. Rice, but it did have a Private named Edgar Rice Burroughs.)