Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay: The Peril of Lustria
When the adventurer Pirazzo returned from Lustria he and his men told a tale that has had the regrettable consequence of convincing many that a journey to the mysterious continent is likely to involve cooperation with the Lizardmen who make their homes there, payment in a fortune of gold, and easy living in a tropical paradise.
For other visitors this idyllic conception is about as far from the truth as one could imagine.
Rite to Sotek – art by Andreas von Cotta-Schønberg
Before a visitor so much as sets foot on Lustria soil they are beset by maladies and madness. A great warding spell lies over the continent, designed to send explorers awry should they seek to find Lustria. Whilst this great work of ritual magic has weakened over the millennia since it was first worked, it still disorients those new to the land. It is the first of many distempers that can afflict a warm-blooded visitor to Lustria. Those who fail to keep their boots clean may find their feet eaten away by caustic loam, and the horrors that await those who become prey to parasites such as Blindwyrm Fits, Brainfluke infestation, or Fungal Takeover are too grotesque to contemplate.
Lustria is also home to a bewildering array of poisonous, venomous, carnivorous, and gigantic species, from the humble patch of Impaling Spikethorn, to the noxious Blot Toad, the voracious Borer Snake, and the insatiable Dread Saurian, those brave souls who have sought to measure and describe the species of Lustria for the benefit of scholars of bestiara have paid a high price in lives for such researches.
The Lizardmen are no less dangerous, for whilst they may be reasoned with in given circumstances, they abide by the Great Plan according to the meditations of their Slann masters, and as such they only seek to aid or comfort the warm-blooded races when such goodwill suits their own enigmatic agendas.
T’latl the Enigma – Coatl Patron or Nemesis – art by Sam Manley
With all the might and magic available to the Lizardmen and their allied species, there is little safety to be found in their territories. Yet the colonies of Humans and Elves on the coasts of Lustria amount to a few scattered and rare settlements — with problems of their own.
Skeggi, a view from the sea – art by JG O’Donoghue
The few small human settlements that exist on the shores of the Isthmus to the north of the continent are continually beset by extreme weather, dangerous animals and plants, and the hostility of the nearby temple-city of Hexoatl. Swamp Town and Port Reaver are young Old Worlder towns, almost certain to meet the same doom as Dalmark Town, Bregonne, or El Cadavo, whose ruins stand on the same stretch of coast.
Only Skeggi, established by the famed Bjornling explorer Losteriksson in 888 IC, can claim to be a permanent Human habitation, with a proven history of surviving the worst that Lustria can throw at it. Yet it is a dreadful place in its own right, lawless, anarchic, and ruled by several rival Norse factions whose devotion to Chaos is as open as it in the frozen lands of Norsca. Yet so valuable is the trade that can be done in this forsaken place that the lords and captains of the Old World, who would defy Chaos to their last breath in their own countries, are willing to overlook the madness and mutation of Skeggi whilst they load and offload their cargos.
Skrolk the Unclean – art by Sam Manley
And Skeggi is not the only profane site in the mysterious continent. Lustria saw the birth of one of the most ruinous and pestilential threats the Old World has ever seen, for long ago a force of Skaven, far afield from their nascent Under-Empire, suffered greatly in the plague-ridden jungles and swamps of the Lustrian interior.
To survive, the lords of the forlorn Skaven expedition beseeched a terrible deity for new reserves of resilience, giving rise to the mephitic might and mouldering majesty of Clan Pestilens. Many times the Lizardmen have endured horror and hardship to free Lustria from the influence of this menace, but the ratmen keep on creeping back…