today was the first session in a new iteration of my game. my world. the place i call oubliette. i've thrown dnd, & the baby, out with the bathwater, & elected to just run the game on the world of darkness system, with only some modification. it looks like it will work out quite handily. i've jiggered the skills around a bit, & am using humanity as a sort of sanity mechanic. but enough about all that. i've set it a thousand odd years after the last game, to sort of curdle & churn the world up a little. they've started out in malake (pictured above), which is the oldest continually occupied human settlement in the world. a place of canals & loggias, all built on the bones of ancient castles. the tone is renaissance, with a healthy dose of bagdhad & india in the mix.
the players are:
balthazar tin-finger of the ten-eyed devils sept
a bandit, arsonist, & pirate in synod lands, balthazar was caught & put to trial. in lieu of execution, his sentence was commuted to a promotion: he became one of the church of lux invictus's liaisons to the goblins. trust me, it isn't a job you relish. he is a master of the two forms of powder the goblins love: gunpowder & sugar. now balthazar has (somehow, some mysterious how) transmuted is notoriety into fame, becoming a fashion icon amongst the degenerate upper crust.
damocles the maimed of the sun cutting darkness sept
the grim rumors of his coming precede him: damocles comes! he will come to your town & where he finds evil, he will cut it out...be it the beloved daughter of the burgomeister or the prowling wolf. it matters not to him. missing one arm since childhood, damocles never the less throws himself into the path of danger with the fury of a zealot. he is the last resort of the church & the synod, who keeps him on a short leash.
odd, weird, strange. skin the colour of ash, hair golden & grey. he eats the flies & wasps that buzz about his head, & sleeps in crypts. he has no favorite colour, or dish; all that concerns him are the casting of bones & the metamorphosis of death. he has come a great long way on his black-&-white striped horse, all the way up from kult in the south, forsaking his family & monastic order, all to break the riddle of the book.
a slave, escaped & kidnapped by our friends; lorelai is the legal property of noble airavatha of the golden nirvana, sold by her parents in the northern country of englezarke to pay off bad debts. adept in the skills of both the bedroom & the parlor, skillful of craft, & charming to speak with lorelai has found herself thrust forth into a world she is ill prepared for. luckily, she is not as ill-prepared to find help, & has thus far found herself in the welcome clutch of damocles.
so far, their adventure has been thus: they were gathered by her grace wilhemina biscione the incarnadine heirophant, a high placed official in both the government of malake & the church of lux invictus. she sent them swiftly on their way to investigate a series of mysterious cattle mutilations. along the way, they discoved lorelai stowed amongst their luggage! from there, they went to the monastary of the eternal statements of intention. it is a place of great viticulture, but more to the point, a testament to prayer: the hesychasts there have seen to it that all things work to the purpose of prayer: built on a river, the waterwheel that crushes the grapes is a prayer wheel; the vineyards are lined with flapping prayer flags, the very great hall of the monastary a wind tunnel for windmill turned prayer wheels, it is lit only by candles whose heat turns other prayer wheels. the glass bottles of the wine are filled, inside, with prayer runes; the soles of the monk's shoes are lined with prayers. inside the walls, great gears turn with this momentum, too, feeding some giant spring somewhere, tended by some unseen anchorite. the monks there feed them, bless their weapons with painted mantras, their knuckles, cobble prayers into the soles of their shoes.
from there, they head out again, to find the bushmen of huud. only semi-savage, the bushmen herd cattle, but have not domesticated them; they circle their villages in thorns, & also sow those seed, but do not tend crops. they are a curious people! two of them know english, & like a laid back bunch of bushmen who learned english from a surfer, they've got a funny command. it is hard to say 'the last six inches of rectum were removed' i'll tell you what! but brennus took them out to where it happened, after they gave him some coffee, where they had to fight...a mad bull! damocles was gored pretty bad, but they made it through, & found some mysterious tracks. which is where i left it.