This is the second adventure in The Erebus Cross series, but can be played stand-alone or without need for the first one if preferred. Like the first, it takes the party around Théah, this time visiting Eisen and taking a voyage on the high seas as they complete their quest to thwart a villainous plot. The Introduction conveys the overall idea - by the time you have played all three parts of The Erebus Cross the party will have pretty much toured Théah, met some interesting people (including some of the movers and shakers of the world), saved the world from a heap of trouble and got their hands on a valuable artefact. What's not to like?
It goes on to explain the adventure structure, which is a series of events only a few of which are critical to the plot and which offer multiple paths to the desired goal. Careful study is advised, then let the party loose to do what they want and throw appropriate encounters at them as opportunity arises. It's also designed to accommodate varying levels of experience - whilst this is intended for a starting group, more experienced characters can also find enough to prove a challenge.
The adventure starts in Ussura, where the last one left off. Then events move to Eisen and on to Avalon and then to a distant island which sports thick jungles and exotic beasts, used as a hunting ground by Montaigne nobles... who, unbeknownst to them, are under threat by this adventure's villain. If you haven't played The Lady's Favour, the first adventure, not to worry. A different way to get the party involved is provided, and the action starts in Eisen directly. The encounters provided are full of atmospheric descriptions and potentially cinematic excitement. A map of the island is provided, but not one showing where it actually is... so the voyage there and back must be a bit abstract, hopefully the sea monster encounters will keep the players distracted.
The adventure ends with detailed notes on major NPCs and sufficient notes and stat blocks for everyone else that will be encountered. There is also a continuation of the material about the Explorers' Society that began in the back of the first adventure. This introduces some of the Society's major personalities, whom the characters will probably have heard of if not met, and lists their main 'Chapter Houses' which could become useful locations in your further adventures. There is also a section explaining how Society members identify themselves to one another with various code phrases... always scope for misunderstandings here!
7th Sea is a game system designed to let you swash your buckles, and this adventure is a fine example with plenty of opportunities for epic exploits, cinematic chases and more. It's one to have fun with!
Return to The Erebus Cross II: Scoundrel's Folly page.
Reviewed: 22 November 2016