This book combines sourcebook information about the planet Kormoran, the fourth planet of 82 Eridani, and an adventure set thereon... so you can use it in different ways. Perhaps the party has a reason to visit Kormoran, so you have data about it, then you might choose to run the adventure, or you may bring them there - or even start a campaign there - purely to use the adventure, then you have additional information about the place should they decide to remain there afterwards. One of the interesting things about Kormoran is that it is the homeworld of a sentient species called the Ebers. It also is home to Arab and Texan colonies who don't exactly get along. Interesting indeed... and in 'interesting' adventure is often to be found. Indeed, this tension is the core of the adventure itself, which sees the party embroiled in a three-way struggle between Arabs, Texans and Ebers. Can they bring peace?
We begin, however, with sourcebook material, beginning with chapters covering the 82 Eridani system, the Ebers, Kormoran's geography, its flora and fauna and more. One interesting point about the Ebers is that some are 'civilised' (or at least live in permament settlements) whilst others are nomadic. The two groups have completely different technologies and indeed approach to life. The Ebers' rise to sentience is also covered, which makes for a fascinating read as well as touching on the way in which they behave in present times. It should be noted that this is 'referee only' information, as their behaviour is pivotal to the adventure and finding out why they act as they do - or at least gaining some understanding of what they mean by some of the really strange things they say - is pivotal to bringing it to a satisfactory conclusion. Their language - very tonal, they pretty much sing pure notes to communicate meaning - is also discussed at length.
Whilst the extensive Eber material is fascinating and germane, presenting as it does yet another beautifully-developed alien lifeform, it must be remembered that others live there now as well. As mentioned, the main groups are Arabs and Texans, and each group is discussed in detail. The Arabs possibly understand the Ebers better, but cling to their knowledge jealously. The Texans, on the other hand, have the Rangers... who are the linear descendants of the original Earth Texas Rangers. There's a chapter devoted to them, as the assumption is that the party will likely form an alliance with them, work for them or even join up in the course of the adventure (or before, especially if you are starting your campaign with this adventure).
The rest of the book consists of the adventure proper, and it's a cracking ride of a frontier adventure with plenty to do: interaction, investigation and some good brawls. Care is taken to get the characters embedded into the community before the real action starts. This works well both in making the place seem more 'real' and in giving them some investment in looking after it once things begin to go downhill. The Ebers are on the warpath, and nature is fairly unfriendly too. But the evidence as to what is really going on is out there...
With yet another excellent and truly alien sentient race to encounter, a developing conflict to understand and two different human factions working at cross-purposes, this is a very good addition to the 2300 AD line, with an adventure I'm itching to run!
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Reviewed: 24 November 2015