- Performed during Sacred Time or High Holy Day +6
- Being at a shrine +3
- Being at a temple +6
- Donation or Sacrifice offered equal to a Moderate Wealth Contest +3 ( see p. 234)
- Donation or Sacrifice offered equal to a High Wealth Contest +6
- No Donation or Sacrifice offered -3
"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, December 17, 2019
Thursday, December 12, 2019
Saturday, December 7, 2019
A guide the party trusts leads them into a trap. The guide is not a villain, but forced into this action by some hold the true enemy has over him.
- Runes: Fire/Sky, Life, Truth
- Keywords: Dara Happan, Scribe, Ex-Slave
- Motivation: To rescue his younger brother, Ythvan
- Runes: Air, Motion (personality traits only; unawakened)
- Keywords: Heortling, Haraborn Clan, Farmer
- Motivation: To keep his band of escaped slaves together, to maintain leadership of them, to punish the world for what it has done to them
- Runes: Air, Motion, Beast
- Keywords: Heortling, Haraborn Clan, Hunter
- Motivation: To restrain Harrock’s worst impulses, to go home
- Runes: Moon, Illusion, Chaos
- Keywords: Lunar, Spy Master, Black Fang
- Motivation: To capture “Starbrow’s Children,” to deal with these escaped slaves
- If they are wading through the water, they reach a massive pile-up of debris that will have to be climbed over.
- If they are along the cliff tops, the cliffs start to break up into a series of chasms that have to be jumped over or otherwise crossed.
- The player characters might be suspicious of the river men, and through magic or some other Ability discover they are Lunar agents. This might lead to a fight and Orin’s confession.
- If any of the player characters were injured by the Cliff Toads, and this has slowed the party down enough that he thinks he will miss the rendezvous, Orin’s agitation builds until finally he snaps in a fit of anxiety and despair. He will confess the entire thing, and weep that he has failed his brother whom now the Lunars will surely kill.
- Or…Orin might simply confess, torn by duty to his family and love for his new friends. He might break down and explain that he cannot go through with it and beg them to help him.
- Finally, Orin might keep to the plan, and continue leading them downriver…until the party encounters the escaped slaves first. This will force Orin to break down and reveal what he was really doing.
Saturday, November 2, 2019
- Runes: Darkness, Undeath
- Ancient Horror, Nameless Evil
- Goals: Feed. Kill. Endure unending. Relocate to better feeding grounds.
- Notes: The Vampire should be a formidable foe. Even if you are using the Pass/Fail Cycle, a direct confrontation with him should never be less than Very High (Base + Mastery). He can enthrall people by making eye contact with them, paralyzing them. His strength is like that of ten men. No mind control spells affect him. He can assume the form of a owl, a serpent, a rat, or a thick mist. He can endure tremendous physical punishment and no unenchanted blade can pierce him. But like the Vampire at the end of Dracula he *can* be killed. Striking a blow through his heart or taking off his head will work (with an enchanted weapon). Remember also the curses leveled against Vivamort; sunlight weakens him (lower the Difficulty to High or even Moderate if fighting in daylight), he cannot cross running water, and the Death Rune presented to him by a Death cult initiate will make him cringe in terror and retreat. Finding him in his grave while he sleeps (at least six hours each day, usually noon to sunset) he is defenseless.
- Roleplay Notes: Apex predator. Anything that talks and stands on two legs is prey. When you look into the past there is only endless nights, killing, and blood. You have no memory of the sunlight, of love, of family, or kin. You cannot remember the name or the face of your maker. But you know there is no Underworld for you. No god is waiting. Your soul is bound to your flesh, everlasting. Survival is your primary concern. But you also must feed, and you know that will become difficult soon. So you are taking this risk, luring strangers in in greater numbers. You would prefer to feed on solo victims, but this is a gambit you must take despite the risk.
- Runes: Light, Truth
- Militia Captain, Deluded Fool, Vampire’s slave
- Goals: Serve his master. The part of him that is sane and whole hopes he can survive this long enough for the Vampire to move on.
- Notes: Vaaron no longer has the powers Yelmalio bestowed on him. The Son of the Sun withdrew them. He tells nothing of this but only the Vampire’s power shields him from spirits of reprisal.
- Roleplay Notes: You have never been fortunate. You have never gotten what you deserved. After your father died in service to the Sun Dome your mother assured you that you were meant for greatness…but greatness never came. As a man you became increasingly frustrated and bitter with your lot; this posting, commanding farm boys at some gods forsaken pile of rubble! When the dreams started coming, and the voice starting whispering into your mind, you knew if was Yelmalio calling you to your destiny. Again, fortune laughed at you. Now that foul thing presses its cold lips against your throat, now it periodically opens the vein in its wrist and forces you to defile yourself. You have lost your free will, your god…but you will get it all back.
- Runes: Fire/Sky, Life, Truth
- Former Slave, Liberated Young Man Seeking his Path
- Goals: Now a liberated slave and initiated into manhood, he is thinking about his life and right now wants Kalliva in it.
- Notes: No more than seventeen, his pale skin tanned by the sun of Prax, his hair pale blonde and eyes sky blue…is from the Lunar Heartlands. He is originally from a well-placed Dara Happan family that fell afoul of a Dart Competition. The adults in his family were sentenced to death, the children to slavery. Orin was sold to a wealthy Lunar magistrate soon after assigned to Pavis, and lost by his master in a dicing match. That is where Teolrian bought him. The boy is useful because he is fluent in Trade, New Peolrian, and now Praxian, knows arithmetic, and can read well. While obviously a Lunar, he is by no means a Lunar. He recognizes the Red Goddess and the Emperor as the supreme powers in the world, but culturally he is Dara Happan. He sees the Red Goddess as something that happened to his people, not something they have become. His father taught him that one day the Sun would vanquish the Moon…which is in part the kind of heresy that destroyed his family.
- Roleplay Notes: You have not had family in five years. These Heortlings with their strange ways and barbaric beliefs are not family…but they are close. You are moved by the struggle they fight, by their devotion to kin. You want to help. You are both intimidated by Kalliva and desperate to make her see you as something more than just a traveling companion.
- Runes: Light, Truth, Stability
- Embittered Old Soldier, Half-Mad Hermit
- To stop the thing in the Old Sun Dome before it destroys all he loves.
- Notes: Old Venables was the second-in-command of the Xth Yelmic militia file…until the Vampire started to take over. Consulting ancient records, he figured out what was happening, and what the creature was that had seduced his younger superior and was now enslaving the men. After Vaaron tried to have him killed the wily old fox escaped into the desert, and has been living there for several seasons, brooding over what to do. Entering senility even before all this began, he is now pushed by obsession into borderline madness.
- Roleplaying Notes: You always knew there was evil in the Old Sun Dome, but Vaaron never listened. No, he saw it as a pile of rocks, but you knew. Now the evil has ensnared the younger man, and threatens all the County. You will put it right. Somehow. And all the people dragged down into the tunnels beneath the Dome…you will free them too. The Light commands it. The Light must triumph over the dark.
- Runes: Air, Motion, Earth
- Vingan warrior, Culbrea Clanswoman
- Goals: At the moment to escape the dungeon and find her lover, Janga
- Notes: Jora left Sartar behind her with Janga after killing Janga’s abusive husband…a member of her own clan. It’s complicated; she and Janga were lovers but the latter decided to marry because her father needed the dowry. Her drunken lout of a husband abused her. Jora had enough. Since then they have been wandering between Pavis County and the Grantlands, Jora providing services as a mercenary. Both were taken by the Vampire’s people near Helmford.
- Roleplaying Notes: You are insanely protective of Janga. If anything happens to her, it will be your fault, as you convinced her to follow you to the desert.
- Have one of the characters discover their slave collar is actually loose. It was not fastened properly, or is perhaps defective. This character will be able to remove the defective collar, but cannot remove the others in the dark. They need light for this and should try to get through the door and escape.
- If the group had any NPC Retainers or Followers or Companions, hours after the Vampire retreats from his repast and the sun is in the sky, have that NPC show up at the door. He or she witnessed their kidnapping and tracked them across the desert to here. The character is injured (if it is a Companion it now has 2 hits rather than 3). The NPC will help them escape and knows the way back out.