Steppelords of Mars, softback supplement for Space: 1889, by John A. Theisen
“Since the arrival of the humans on Mars, the steppes have
been an area of mystery and danger, a place to be crossed by
canal or by sky galleon as quickly as possible. Recently,
however, the steppes and their inhabitants have become
Steppelords of Mars is a sourcebook of the Nepenthes-
Thoth Steppe, a region of vital importance to the continued
survival of the British colony on Mars. It also contains an adventure
set upon the steppes, dealing with a hunting expedition that turns into something more than beating the bush for steppe tigers.
Once the breadbasket of Martian civilization, the canals are silted
up, and the steppes have returned to their former barren state.
Where once they produced food for millions, the steppes are home to a paltry handful of nomadic tribes roaming a sea of parched grass and low scrub.
The region called the Nepenthes-Thoth Steppe is bounded on the west by the Isidis Desert, on the south by the mountains of Shistomik, on the east by the Shastapsh/Alclyon canal, and on the north by the equally hostile steppesof Neith. Possessing over 420,000 square miles of steppe, the region is larger than
the Earth countries of France and Germany combined. There are no mountains to speak of inside the steppes – only a few arid hills break the monotony. The area is one vast rolling plain stretching from horizon to horizon—rather like the North American great plains.
Other princes on the steppe’s edges make no claims of sovereignty beyond a couple of day’s ride from their cities’ walls, but the ruler of Shastapsh claims the steppes as his own. When Shastapsh became part of the British colony, a few hundred square miles of the steppes officially became British territory. But Shastapsh is now in rebellion, and British presence in the steppes is nonexistent. The prince of Shastapsh supports the Oenotrians against the British, but the nomadic tribes have remained largely neutral. Your actions may determine what happens next:
Can the steppe tribes be persuaded to join with the British, or will they become a dagger pointed at the heart of the British colony?”