(Excerpt from a study of the new races of the Tortugan frontier)
When the dust settled from the war on the Orcs and Goblins around the new settlement of Rosaroca, settlement and trade were encouraged. Like all of the frontier Counties of the Kingdom, the Count encouraged settlers, with the backing of the settlement company back in the settled lands.
Settlers came out, in search of land, and found a dry arid land, but perfectly suited to establishing large haciendas for ranching. Sheep and cattle quickly became the cash crops of the region. This was encouraged by free land and generous settlement funds provided by the settlement company. Said company soon becoming rich with the influx of food animals.
Trade routes were also established. North with the Dwarves of Cold Rock Hold in the edge of the Dragonwall. And West with the Elves of the Arena Rosada. The merchants of the county acting as a go between, trading the precious stones of the Elves to the Dwarves in return for finished and unfinished goods.
By the time of the second generation of human and halfling settlers the county looked to be one of the more successful and prosperous frontier communities the Kingdom had. But the spread of the cattle and sheep haciendas westward brought a new danger to the land, the Lagarto.
Little is still known of the Lagarto. What is known is that the first Lagarto encountered were a group of raiders who took off with large numbers of cattle from one of the newer haciendas. Initially it was thought to be the work of Orcs or Goblins. But an Elven trader staying at the hacienda reveled that this was the work of the Lagarto.
The Lagarto never came in large groups, preferring to raid in small groups, often from ambush. And they never made a practice of attacking the settlers or settlements, instead just taking the livestock. A group of soldiers and rangers were assembled to try to track down the lagarto and punish them. Initially they trailed them for days, and then the ambushes came. And after a week of constant fights the Lagarto finally stood for a battle. That was when the settlers first encountered the other 2 species of Lagarto.
The Lagarto that the settlers had know up to that time were small, fast creatures, that favored missile weapons and hit and run tactics. At what came to be known as the Battle of Mesa Gris, the true might of the Lagarto were encountered for the first time. First, fighting in a true battle line were the Cierto Lagarto, larger creatures, some nearly 7 feet tall, armed with stone clubs, but with a fanatical discipline. Second, the Gigante Lagarto, giant creatures using stone axes, with tails as strong as a club. And last, the Lagarto sorcerers, using spells of the elements to summon creatures of fire and earth. The forces of the Count were soundly defeated, and forced to return to settlements.
A group of Rosada Elves came and offered to act as a go between with the Lagarto. Soon an agreement was hammered out. There would be no more large scale battles or invasions of either groups territories. The Lagarto do not trade, so no agreement was made. Instead it was accepted that for those on the western plains some amount of livestock might be stolen from time to time. But until the settlement of the county increased, and the pressures of civilization arrived there was no pressing need to establish a firm barrier.
Instead it fell to the Ranger Guarda to patrol the western frontier lands. Playing an ongoing game of cat and mouse with the small groups of raiders. If a group of Lagarto was found they would often turn back, rather than risk a fight against the deadly Rangers.
As I spoke about yesterday, I had a great idea for the follow up adventure for the boys. But as it developed and fleshed out I began to realize that it was more than I wanted for just their second adventure. Because the experience rewards would likely push them past the third level mark, and more importantly mean that they would be stuck in the area for a time. Which does not fit my narrative at all.
So I began work yesterday on a smaller one shot adventure for them. And in doing so I realized that I wanted to introduce them to the other new race that they will be dealing with. Which meant I needed to create the new race, and a couple of types for them to encounter.
And I wanted to give them the idea behind this whole campaign. That this is the fantasy equivalent of the Wild West. There are people out there living on the edge of ‘civilization’, and dealing with natives that do not understand them or want them there. Which meant giving them a little taste of the desert, and the raiders, and a few other tricks.
I kept it simple. And low in combat, so they will get a challenge, learn a little, and get enough experience that I can then take them through the narrative I have around the leveling up.