Córdoba and the residents of Salvagetown

Córdoba ©️Effekt/Tom Tyler-Jones

In episode eight of Song to the Siren, our Coriolis actual play, Yaphet and Salah confronted Córdoba, the “cannibal king” of Salvagetown. To be honest, I don’t think we heard enough about him in the AP, so as I am writing the adventure in full for the forthcoming Free League Workshop, I thought I might share some of that write-up, here, so that anyone who is interested can see what how I had intended him to be played, even if my players “turned left” (with an excellent shiv in the eye way back in episode one).

Córdoba

  • Strength 5
  • Agility 4
  • Wits 4
  • Empathy 2

Skills: Melee combat 4; Survival 2; Medicurgy 1; Culture 1

Reputation (as the “cannibal king” of this prison colony) 6

Talents: Hardened Epidermis; Executioner; The Judges Talent.

Equipment:

Cleaver (Bonus +1, Init 0; Damage 2, Crit 2; Range Close; Light; Tech P.)

Wheeled motorbike (Bonus +1, HP 6, MR 15, Armor 0; Passengers 1, Fuel Hydrogen; Tech P.)

The head man of the Salvagetown “community” is Córdoba. He is big. Indeed, he is the “biggest guy in the yard,” who some players may choose to fight in the hope of asserting their violent credentials among the other prisoners.

Córdoba is not just big, he is in shape, and his skin has the reddish tone of a humanite with the Hardened Epidermis Talent. His physical abilities give him a confidence which can seen in the slow, casual way in which he approaches everyone he talks to or prepares to fight. He prefers to fight unarmed, but does carry a meat clever which, if he is pressed he in not adverse to using it in combat.

His preferred use of the cleaver is what gives him his fearsome reputation. He eats people. He is an adherent of some remnant of the Nazareem’s Sacrifice, the long outlawed, and mostly eradicated worshipers of the Beast. In his warped morality, he sees nothing wrong in this harsh environment, in feeding not just himself, but his community too, on the flesh of the weak.

Salvagetown is situated on the edge of the desert dropzone known as Harvest for a reason. Córdoba and followers are always first to arrive when a new consignment of prisoners makes planetfall. The new arrivals are usually battered and dazed by their decent, and easy prey for the harvesters and their dury-rigged Stunsticks. Swiftly incapacitated and bound they are taken back to Salvagetown as chattels . Their ration bars and water are of course all confiscated, of course, to be added the the communal stock. Some arrivals see what’s happing and run away. Neither Córdoba, nor his Harvesters will chase them far. Some will die in the desert, others will come crawling back, and the few that make it to Club Topeka are of no concern. Indeed their they might make the produce that Córdoba occasionally trades for.

Those that put up a fight just might avoid the cleaver. Córdoba is impressed by strength. He will allow any arrival who fights one of the Harvesters to try and challenge himself too. And even if defeated, anyone who puts up a spirited fight is inducted as a Harvester.

Those who don’t make the grade, the chattels, are not slaughtered, but rather eaten piecemeal. Kept tied, Córdoba will remove an arm or leg first, cauterising the wounds against infection. If they seem submissive, they may be allowed some freedom, to move about Salvagetown, and through work, earn the right to eat. Córdoba is no fool though, and will chop more limbs off troublemakers, and finally cook their offal too. Eat the whole beast is his motto.

The motto applies in a way to everything that lands on Harvest. Once the prisoners themselves are rounded up, the Harvesters return to collect the landing pods themselves. Back in Salvagetown they, and some paraplegic chattels set to break them up for raw materials, trading parts, and making these equipment they need to sustain their way of life.

Córdoba’s motivations are simple: the survival of his community, and the display of strength. Submit to him and you will be looked after, either as a harvester or as a chattel/slave.

Typical Harvester

  • Strength 3
  • Agility 4
  • Wits 3
  • Empathy 3

Skills: Melee combat 3; Dexterity 2; Survival 1

Equipment:

Improvised Stunstick (Bonus +1, Init 0; Damage 1, Crit: Stun; Range Close; stun , cel powered ; Tech 0.)

Harvesters are driven by loyalty to Córdoba and the desire not to be eaten

Harvester Combi

The Harvesters drive solar powered scratch built vehicles to go about their gruesome task in the scrubby desert of Harvest. Consisting of a small cab at the front and a platform at the back, partly shaded by the photoelectric panel that powers the motor. They have a battery of sorts but quickly run out of power after sundown, only viable modes of transport in daylight.

Bonus 0, HP 4, MR 11, Armor 0; Passengers 3 (plus whatever you can fit on the platform – maybe six hogtied prisoners?) Fuel solar; Tech P.

Typical Chattel

  • Strength 2
  • Agility 1
  • Wits 4
  • Empathy 2

Skills: Survival 3; Technology 2; Manipulation 1

Chattels have little drive, a lot of apathy and are motivated by fear.