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June 2, 2007, 12:32 am

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The Grand Derby


An oval a full mile and a quarter in circumfrence, infield thick with dark grass, surrounded by white fences and stands enough to seat two thousand spectators. The smell of hay, horse sweat, and excitement is strong in the air…

The Grand Derby, the first leg of the Triperfecta race, is located in the heart of Old Keeneland. The land is low rolling hills with a thick carpet of sweet grass and hay. Farms border with horse stables, and the finest horses in all of the realm are stabled here. Some stables make their fortunes supplying the military with fine warhorses, other breed the strong boned draft horses to pull carts, and other heavy loads. The most prestigious breed the long legged, and proud race horses.

Among the stables, and muck, there are young nobles, and men of wealth and power, dabbling in horse trade, wagering on the lesser races, and waiting for the big stakes, and the once a year running of the Grand Derby. Among the stands, the commoners jostle for room, and agood view of the track. Some hold long shot betting tickets, hoping their few pieces of gold will become the boost that turns them from poor tenant farmers, and laborers into members of the well to do burgoise class of merchants and traders.

Thieves sneak in and out of the crowds, looking for their marks while avoiding the constant attention of the thief-takers. Bards are always looking for an epic race to recount in some court, or foreign market, their own betting tickets tucked into their hats. Even mages are not above the excitement, sometimes vying with the noble ladies of the land for the most extravagant dress, hat, or pet. It ranges from the absolutely splendid to the absurb.

Outside of the track, vendors hawk wares of food and drink, race guides printed by primitive gnomish block presses. Others pander souveniers, and scarves in the colors of the racing stables. Deals are made both large and small during this spectacle.

During rare aerial races, massive 100 foot tall poles are raised from the track for the winged racers to circle, flags marking off limits of altitude. These air races bring out everyone as they are rare as there are seldom enough hippogriffs, or pegasi to field a race.

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Comments ( 6 )
Commenters gain extra XP from Author votes.

Voted Zylithan
November 10, 2005, 14:18
I like the idea and it's a good setting. Jousts and fairs are commonly used in rpg's, but I've never been to an rpg horse race, which makes this seem neat to me. I've never been to a real horse race either, but this doesn't sound to me like it has much that is original. I take aaway a concept I like "let's put an adventure in a horse race setting" and it adds an element of reality to the world (townspeople arent always selling swords to passers-by and farming) but I don't get much more than if the whole post had been "horse race setting."
January 29, 2006, 14:33
Updated: Added Freetext
Voted Murometz
March 21, 2006, 21:57
A day at the races...great idea! So many possible plot hooks!
May 19, 2006, 0:00
BUMP...in honor of the Preakness
Voted Cheka Man
October 27, 2006, 11:29
Only voted
Voted valadaar
October 27, 2006, 12:14
I think this is an excellent starting location for a campaign. You're PCs could all be involved in some aspect of the facilty during their early career.

Would like to see some plot ideas here though. Perhaps open up the sub as a scroll or codex to add to it :)


Random Idea Seed View All Idea Seeds

       By: Almar

While setting up camp for the night, the PC's are aproached by another group of adventurers who seem nice enough. The road is somewhat dangerous and the other group suggests camping together. The two bands split watches, one adventurer from each group watching at once. The night goes by without incident, the next day the PC's travel with the other group as they are going the same way.

The group consists of Hordel the ranger, who is skilled with the bow. Hordel is a quiet man who speaks little but appears quite skilled. Dremar is a barbarian who is a little excentric, he seems to be an excasive drinker and thiunk that battle is the solution to everything. He appears to be a stout and powerful fighter with his greataxe. Ferrin is the leader of the group, a rouge by trade. He is daft and witty, speaking with the PCs often and asking many questions. He fights with finesse with his rapier. Preminitat as a cleric but he will not say which god he worships. He uses his spells to empower and heal his party and fights with a club. He sticks close to Ferrin. Ferrin is a great talker and tells much of himself and his party, but asks even more about the history and capabilities of the PCs. He tells of some adventures his party has had, and they seem like an interesting group of mercenaries. Hordel is quite and has little interest in speaking with the PCs, he ignores most questions. He spends a lot of time with Dremar and sometimes Ferrin. Dremar seems to not care about any questions ansked to him, nor does he seem to know the answers. He seems battle hardened and is a simple man. Preminitat rarely starts conversations but will speak with the PCs. However, some of his accounts of the party's history seem to condradict those of Ferrin.

The Party spends another night and day with Ferrin's group. One of four things can happen on the third night.
1: While eating dinner around the fire, Ferrin gets into an argument with one of the PCs when he/she mentions the discepincies between Ferrin's stories and Preminitat's.
2: Hordel gets mad after repeated questioning about his life from the PCs.
3. Preminitat gets mad after repeated questioning from the PCs about what god he worships.
4: One of the PCs rejects the offer of a drink from Dremar and he takes it as an insult.
All of these scenarios result in a battle between the parties. If Ferrin's party is defeated and still lives he swears vengance. His party may then cross paths with the adventurers again.

Encounter  ( Locations ) | November 15, 2003 | View | UpVote 0xp

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