The Elder Scrolls: GURPS - Adventures: Skooma

You can take our lives, but you can never take our Skooma!

This my favourite convention adventure. It was highly experimental; of the six characters, three are non-humanoid, and two of those can't speak. But I've run it three times, and every time has been great.

Please run this adventure, as-is or changed. It's a lot of fun! I only ask that if you enjoy it, email iconsend me an email to let me know how it went.


The Khajiit are heavily influenced by the moons. The phases of the moons at a Khajiit's birth determine their adult form. Those shown in the games are humanoid forms, but only because it would have been unfeasible to program and balance the "more than twenty" forms; this isn't a problem with pen-and-paper GURPS. The characters in this adventure are six Khajiit of different forms. (Actually, the siblings are both Ohmes; they're not twins, so it must be pure coincidence.)

The party have been fighting together for some time, and work together well. Read through the character descriptions to get an idea of their behaviours, abilities and tendencies. You might want to read Mixed Unit Tactics by an Imperial Legion veteran for some ideas of how a group of Khajiit might fight together.

I tend to allow most tactics during the game. The group have worked and fought together for long enough that if it's plausible that they have tried something before, I assume that they have, and can react appropriately to each other.

I've run this adventure twice with six players, and this worked very well. I've also run it once with only three players; I gave each player one humanoid and one other character (Dar'Rakha and Ahdanji, Do'Shavir and Khamuz, Shabhira and Ma'Dato); this also worked very well, even though the three players were all roleplaying virgins.


The adventure takes place in the Khajiit homeland of Elsweyr. Before you start, make sure that the players are all familiar with the nature of Moon Sugar, Skooma, the nature of the moons, and slavery in Tamriel; you might want to give them this one-page summary Adobe PDF icon .

Moon Sugar

Moon Sugar is a magical substance, similar to a drug or spice, which grows in southern Elsweyr. It is ubiquitous in Elsweyr, and important part of the culture and religion, and present in almost all Khajiit cooking. The Khajiit consider it a gift from the gods.


Skooma is a refined liquid form of Moon Sugar. It is highly addictive, with just one dose being enough to induce a lifetime of dependency. Skooma has been banned throughout the Empire, and with it, the import of Moon Sugar. Skooma is rare in Elsweyr, for why would you refine Moon Sugar when it so plentiful? However, in regions other than Elsweyr, Khajiit are often addicted to Skooma, since it's no harder to get, nor is it more illegal, than unrefined Moon Sugar.

Masser and Secunda

The two moons are Masser (the larger) and Secunda (the smaller). Though they appear to be solid spherical objects, they are in fact holes in the universe, through which bleeds magic. One of the effects of this magic is the strong influence on Khajiit; Khajiit are all born the same, but the phases of the two moons at birth determine the physical form they will develop within a few weeks.


Slavery is illegal in the Empire. However, it is rather common, and the Imperial Legion have a history of ignoring it, especially as so many Imperial mining operations rely on slaves. Khajiit are particularly common slaves, and slave traders from the borders of Elsweyr are distressingly common. Khajiit are considered among the "beast races" by the Empire, and their lower social status does not lend itself to sympathy if they manage to escape.


The party have been travelling together for a few months. Do'Shavir was asked by the Mane himself to gather a group of the best warriors and scour the land, rooting out Imperials and defending the Khajiit. In a small village, they hear a cry for help from the town of Va'Khaj (roughly "It is the desert") to the northwest.

The group approach the town; they see dozens of large tents, yet more smaller ones, and many caves in the 100ft tall cliff wall which runs east-west. But there are no bustling streets here; in a town known for its markets and gemsmiths, there is no trade.

As they get closer, they see Khajiit of various types in the streets, sobbing and shaking in the sun. They are clearly suffering Moon-sugar withdrawal.

In the centre of town, as is traditional, is the largest and most colourful tent. T'Sera, clan-mother of Va'Khaj, lives there. The tent is guarded by a few weakened warriors. T'Sera is a very short Suthay, but is old and wise, and stands tall and proud. She shivers occasionally.

The Imperials have been raiding their caravans, with particular interest in those from the south. They seem only interested in the Moon-sugar. To the north and west, no sugar has reached in weeks. T'Sera has a little left, but the party doesn't have enough to supply the town, and most people here have none.

By the time they leave the tent, word has got around. They're mugged by a dozen Suthay and Cathay, but weak as they are, they're no match for the group.

Imperials patrol the area, a few miles out of town. They didn't pick up the party because they didn't come in on the usual trade route, and they didn't leave cart tracks. There are three or four patrols, typically four swordsmen and two archers, and the party will find one easily enough if they go looking for trouble. They head out of a fort which lies about 5 miles to the west of town, on the top of the chasm wall (actually a geological fault line). The nearest way up is 2 miles further west; for the Senche-raht it's a tricky but doable climb.

If they take prisoners, they should be able to find out about the fort. They may also find out the true purpose of the raids. Most of the soldiers believe the standard Imperial line about stopping the spread of Skooma, but the leader of the patrol knows that it's about weakening the Khajiit. They need Moon-sugar to maintain their strength. A generation of non-sugared Khajiit, so the Empire thinks, will be weak in body and spirit, and easy to further subjugate and enslave.

The fort is small but functional, and one side juts out over the cliff; it's a long fall down. The wall is easily climbable, up to the top which sticks out precisely to prevent such a thing. During the day, there will be about 20 fighters drilling in the courtyard and patrolling the area; at night they'll mostly be in the barracks, the only wooden structure, protected by being lower than the fort walls. At any time a few archers should be on the battlements. There are also a few Khajiit prisoners locked up here, ready to be transported north as slaves. This is a preliminary test of the mettle of the Khajiit; if these forces do well, the Empire will commit more, and build more and larger castles, moving south to gradually shrink and annex the Khajiit lands.

Aside from the soldiers, there are two men hand-picked by the Emperor himself to run the operations here. In the day, they'll be outside, drilling their men; at night they'll be inside the central keep, but will join the fight as soon as they hear trouble.


Ahdanji: Pahmar-Raht ("the Tiger")

Character sheet (GCA4)

The Pahmar-Raht, born under a full Masser with a waning Secunda, are large, four-legged and striped; outsiders tend to mistake them for tigers. At home in the jungles of the south or the desert-plains of the north, they tend to hunt solitary.

Like maybe a quarter of Pahmar, Ahdanji can speak, though only gutterally. Those who know her can understand her easily enough. Ahdanji is easily recognized, as her left side has no stripes; she has learned to attack from the left to avoid this being a disadvantage to her camouflage. She spent her early years alone in the jungle. Her first litter has grown up, and now she wants a second.

Some time ago, Do'Shavir chased several humans into her territory. Ahdanji tore their throats out with such vicious efficincy that Do'Shavir invited her to join his cause, wiping out the human menace from Elsweyr. Ahdanji gladly agreed, happy for the opportunity to kill bare-skins. It's a point of pride that no pink creature has yet survived an encounter with her.

Dar'Rakha: Ohmes ("the Thief")

Character sheet (GCA4)

The Ohmes, born under under a new Masser with a full Secunda, are bipedal, with thin fur - when they travel, they are often mistaken for Bosmer, the wood-elves who live to the West.

Rakha is the younger brother of Shabhira. Rakha could never cast magic, and spent his youth in the shadow of his sister. But he learned he liked the shadows, and made up in dextrous skill what he lacked in magickal power. People call him Dar'Rakha (Rakha the Thief) these days, and he is one of the best climbers in his clan.

Dar'Rakha and Shabhira share an empathic link. They have never heard of anybody else with this ability, so they've kept it secret. They always know what the other is feeling, and if they're close enough they can "talk" with their minds. The siblings have often protected their clan, dissuading enemies before they get close enough for a real fight.

Dar'Rakha wears very dark clothes for a Khajiit, with patches of dark orange and grey to blend in with the desert sand and shadows. Tattoos cover almost all of his face; they have no meaning except as the last thing his Imperial victims see.

Do'Shavir: Cathay-Raht ("the Warrior")

Character sheet (GCA4)

The Cathay-Raht, born when both moons are waxing, are tall bipedal Khajiit, with fur spotted like a jaguar. Their size and strength tends to make them excellent warriors.

Shavir was born in the southern jungles, the largest of his litter. The Mane, leader of all the Khajiit, was passing through his village when he was coming of age, and the Warrior Guard spotted his natural talent and recruited him. Now know as Do'Shavir (Shavir the Warrior), he specialised with the spear; he can put his great strength behind it and often kill his enemies in one strike. He gives no quarter, and takes no prisoners.

Do'Shavir has defended the Mane from dozens of attacks since those early days, and would gladly lay down his life for his leader. Now, though, he has been asked by the Mane himself to wander the countryside, and protect Elsweyr from the Empire, a far greater threat than the attacks of rival Khajiit.

For formal occasions, Do'Shavir wears a neat, clean, bright red tunic. In a fight, however, he wears just one set of blood-stained clothes; he makes a point never to wash his foes' blood out of them. His fur is covered with the sharp contrast of orange fur and black spots common of the Cathay.

Khamuz: Senche-Raht ("the Beast")

Character sheet (GCA4)

The Senche-Raht, born under a full Masser with a waxing Secunda, are the largest of the Khajiit. Walking on four legs, they prefer the plains or the edge of the jungles. They can't speak, though they can understand the speech of other Khajiit, and their battle-roar can terrify their enemies.

Khamuz, as she was called by her mother, quickly outgrew her home and left to live among the plains. A kind and helpful Khajiit, she would offer her services to any tribe passing through, for example to carry them on her back, or to clear trees for their settlement.

Lately she has joined up with a new group. One of them, Shabhira, seems to be able to understand her thoughts. Khamuz is also very fond of Ma'Dato, a cat smaller than Khamuz's paw.

The group have been fighting an infestation of furless animals, vicious creatures from a different part of the world. They say that the Khajiit can only be safe when they have killed all of them. Khamuz doesn't understand why, but respects her friends and will do anything to help them and drive away the dangerous animals.

Khamuz is reaching her middle months. She has mottled orange and black fur. She can carry three or four Khajiit on her back with ease, as long as they hold on to her fur.

Ma'Dato: Alfiq ("the House-cat")

Character sheet (GCA4)

The Alfiq, born under a waning Masser and a full Secunda, are small four-legged creatures. Physically, they are similar to the small bestial cats kept in some homes in the Empire to the north. Mentally, they are keen, cunning, and understand the language of other Khajiit, though they can't talk.

Ma'Dato is still young, barely more than a kitten, though he has got into a wide variety of scrapes in his short life. He has a tendency to commit pranks on other Khajiit, such as sneaking into homes and hiding their belongings. He has a number of bruises, and has suffered broken bones (luckily he heals well).

A few weeks ago he snuck into the tent of a passing group of adventurers. A girl by the name of Shabhira caught him stealing food; but before he had the chance to run away, she talked to him, and it was clear that she could hear his thoughts.

The adventurers were looking for a spy to help them. Ma'Dato's mother, whose robes he had torn apart that very morning in a fit of boredom, was happy to see the back of him, and Ma'Dato himself was excited to be able to prank humans instead of Khajiit.

Ma'Dato has dark grey fur, with a few white stripes. There are a couple of deep scratches where the fur won't grow back, but he's much more careful not to be caught these days.

Shabhira: Ohmes ("the Mage")

Character sheet (GCA4)

The Ohmes, born under under a new Masser with a full Secunda, are bipedal, with thin fur - when they travel, they are often mistaken for Bosmer, the wood-elves who live to the West.

Shabhira is the elder sister of Dar'Rakha, and the only one of her clan to have a natural gift with magic. She can cast illusions with ease, and has learned to wield fire - something that can strike terror into the furrier Khajiit.

Shabhira and Dar-Rakha share an empathic link. They have never heard of anybody else with this ability, so they've kept it secret. They always know what the other is feeling, and if they're close enough they can "talk" with their minds. The siblings have often protected their clan, dissuading enemies before they get close enough for a real fight.

Shabhira has also learned to read the minds of others - but only if they are willing, and she has to touch them. She gets on very will with Ma'Dato, who - like all Alfiq - can't speak.

Shabhira usually wears bright yellow shawls, and her facial tattoos are very complex, but she has mastered illusions that let her change her clothes and tattoos. She sometimes amuses her smaller cousins by making her tattoos appear to move and change shape as they watch.