The Freeport Companion
A Sourcebook for Shadow of the Demon Lord Role Playing Game
Approximately six hundred miles east of the Confederacy of Nine Cities lies a cluster of islands known as the Pirate Isles or, by locals, the Serpent’s Teeth. On the largest island, A’Val, stands Freeport, the City of Adventure. Founded by pirates long ago, the city has evolved beyond its criminal origins and has become a legitimate port city on the edge of the known world. Nevertheless, Freeport has had trouble shedding its reputation as a lawless, riotous place that is home to pirates, scoundrels, mad thinkers, and exiles. To be sure, such people live in the city, but Freeport is home to honest people as well—explorers, farmers, laborers, and others struggling to carve out lives for themselves far from the mainland.
The city of Freeport, created by Chris Pramas and richly detailed in a variety of sourcebooks, notably The Pirate’s Guide to Freeport, has appeared in numerous worlds and been interpreted in a variety of game systems. The city’s lasting appeal comes from its blend of high fantasy, pirates, and cosmic horror, a perfect mix for a variety of games. Now, with the Shadow of the Demon Lord Freeport Companion, you can bring the City of Adventure to Urth and use the city as a setting for new adventures or as a haven for characters who dare to sail beyond the map’s edge.
Although this supplement includes some information about the city, it is meant to be used with The Pirate’s Guide, which you can grab from www.greenronin.com, and any of the other fine sourcebooks that have revealed the city, such as Freeport: The City of Adventure for the Pathfinder roleplaying game. In addition, Green Ronin Publishing offers a variety of adventures and supplements for the setting, such as the Freeport Trilogy and Cults of Freeport.
It’s no accident that the Pirate Isles made an appearance in Shadow of the Demon Lord. Freeport has always had a place in my heart, especially so after I joined the team at Green Ronin Publishing as a developer. Part of my job was to manage the Freeport line, and I had the distinct pleasure of helping to write The Pirate’s Guide. What grabbed me most about Freeport was the inclusion of Robert Chambers’s short story “The Yellow Sign,” a nice alternative to the Lovecraftian mythos that has long dominated the tabletop RPG scene. Add to that pirates, orcs, and weirdness, and Freeport was right up my alley. When it came time to build the world for my game, I had to leave a spot for one of my favorite fantasy cities.
Freeport does have a setting of its own, but it was always intended to be put into any fantasy world you like, whether you’re using a published one or one of your own creation. In this way, Freeport slots right into the setting described in Shadow of the Demon Lord, and much of the lore and setting details can fit in with the conflict and trouble besetting the Empire. Then again, you could leave behind Urth and embrace the full weirdness of Freeport, using the setting as described in The Pirate’s Guide in conjunction with Shadow of the Demon Lord’s rules with no trouble at all.
That said, this supplement aims at bringing Freeport into the world of the Demon Lord, and showing you how to adapt the city to fit into the story of the game. Freeport is home to elves and gnomes, humans and orcs, all living alongside each other in the chaos that passes for day-to-day life in the City of Adventure, and this certainly holds true for the Demon Lord interpretation of the city. You’ll find mad cults, cruel pirates, criminal organizations, a Wizards’ Guild, and more in these pages. All these elements and others work within the framework of Shadow’s setting, and where the two worlds don’t quite mesh, this book offers guidance to help bind them together.
The setting differences between Freeport as presented in the past and the story in Shadow are sometimes considerable, but the settings overlap in plenty of places, too. Freeport stands on the ruins of an ancient civilization sworn to the alien god, Yig, and in those ruins their debased and degenerate descendants still live. Strange cults gather in the shadows of the city, offering deranged prayers to the Unspeakable One, a menacing figure similar to the Demon Lord in many respects, and lose their sanity struggling to puzzle out the power of the Yellow Sign. Freeport under the Shadow of the Demon Lord becomes a place of mystery and horror, a city steeped in the darkness of corruption—and a perfect place in which you can launch a new campaign.