"Come now my child, if we were planning to harm you, do you think we'd be lurking here beside the path in the very darkest part of the forest..." - Kenneth Patchen, "Even So."

THIS IS A BLOG ABOUT STORIES AND STORYTELLING; some are true, some are false, and some are a matter of perspective. Herein the brave traveller shall find dark musings on horror, explorations of the occult, and wild flights of fantasy.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

NUMENERA: JIHAD (An Introduction)

Numenera: Jihad is a campaign set against the backdrop of the Amber Pope's call to war against the Gaians.  It follows the adventures of a group of Ninth Worlders at a time when politically and culturally the Steadfast is going through upheavals around them.  The campaign is constructed to follow the players' lead; in other words, though the Crusades are building up around them, the characters are not necessarily forced to get involved.  They are free to join the Holy War or to ignore it, to side with the Order of Truth or against it.  All choices have consequences.

And if you have no bloody idea what Numenera is, look here first.

For months leading up to the first game session, I have been dropping hints on my Facebook page.  Most of them concern the key players in the coming struggles; the pseudo-religious Order of Truth, the animistic Gaians, the shadowy Convergence, and the Angulan Knights.  Some of those teasers follow here;


I added one thing to the Order...a quasi "god."  In my conception, when Calaval entered the Amber Monolith it brought him to "the Throne," a citadel in the heart of the Sun.  There a disembodied intelligence, "the Eidolon," revealed itself to him.  It taught Calaval the language known as Truth, and claimed to have been a servant of the Men Who Went Before, the human masters of a previous world who were godlike masters of time and space, matter and energy, life and death.  The Eidolon further claimed to have raised the current, Ninth World humanity "from the drit," from genetic traces the First Men left behind.  It intends to help humanity reclaim its birthright, and sent Calaval back as the first Amber Pope to teach Truth and the core message, "Nothing Cannot Be Understood."

Go ahead, click to enlarge


In the lands of Lostrei, beyond the Cloudcrystal Skyfields north of the Steadfast, people follow a radically different faith.  They believe the Earth is alive and aware, they believe the inhabitants of the previous worlds all ascended into a state of "pure spirit" and merged with the Earth and Nature.  The Amber Pope and the Order of Truth have tried, unsuccessfully, to convert them.  Now they have declared a Jihad.  The question is, "why?"  Are the Gaians a genuine threat, as the Order claims, or is this merely a bid for power over the Nine Rival Kingdoms of the Steadfast?


Depending on your philosophical outlook, they might be the Bad Guys or the ultimate Pragmatists, but the Convergence is a shadow fraternity of Nanos and sorcerers that shares the Order of Truth's vision of human ascension...but for themselves alone, not everyone else.  A secret society, they study the numenera and comb the ruins for the secrets of lost worlds, and are deeply suspicious of the Eidolon and the message it is selling.  


A warrior order of the Steadfast, they have taken the Order of Truth's teachings one step further.  The Men Who Went Before were like gods...not the abhumans, the mutants, or the Visitants.  Among the first to answer the call to Holy War, the power of the Angulans will wax strong as the Jihad progresses, and their quest to purge all genetic impurity from the world to prepare it for the Ascension of Man will reach frightening proportions.

In the next post, I will be putting up notes on the first scenario, a brief summary of play, and some other goodies.  Stay tuned.


  1. So you turned the Angulan Knights into Space Marines? Interesting.

    1. I think of them more as Templars, a holy order associated with the Church, but apart with it. They actually shaped up to be badass enemies as the campaign progressed.