Beggars Can’t Be Choosers
An adventure ‘snippet’ for Maelstrom RPG.
Synopsis: Beggars find something of value, but need to get back to civilisation to make anything from it.
Adventure Outline: The characters go scavenging in the fields around the city, wandering the paths and lanes in search of anything valuable. In tough times, you have to be prepared to do what you can to make a few pennies. They have a small scuffle with a couple of ruffians in the morning, out to cause trouble; but by lunchtime nothing of value has come to light.
Following a short rest, they decide to head back to see what scraps they might pick up around the markets, and stumble across a corpse in a ditch at the side of the road. As luck would have it, this scene – though gruesome – is not a murdered soul, but the carcass of a dead pig.
On closer inspection, it looks like it may have died from a hunt related injury, a slow bleed. The carcass may have been there for a day or three, but the flies swarming around aren’t too bad. Back in the city, you could get a shilling or more for meat like this from a pie-maker.
Trouble with stuff like this, the authorities don’t approve of people bringing uncontrolled foodstuffs into the city. Disease runs rampant, so controls offer some measure of protection. They wouldn’t know a nice bit of seasoned meat if you slapped them around the head with it.
Complications: Guards on the city gates will not allow anyone to openly walk through with a carcass. Secondary gates or waterways may provide an alternative, but they provide their own hazards. Beggars tend to gravitate towards suspicious activities, so the characters may face nosey competition trying to claim the carcass for their own.
Adventure Preparation: The adventure provides a little entertainment for a band of beggars, so you may want to run as a one off – or perhaps engineer a situation where non-beggars fall on really hard times and need the money badly enough to consider smuggling condemned meat!