Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Isle Imperium: Episode 1.01 to 1.03

Surprise! I actually do play in games on a regular basis. It's a homebrew setting using a homebrew system (several, actually) that sometimes goes systemless depending on the "season".

Here's the game summary for Season 1, Episodes 1,2, and 3 of Isle Imperium (actually Season VIII of the entire Isle campaign).

Shardfall (Parts 1, 2, and 3)

In the beginning there was only one great key. But chaos came and the key shattered into three great fragments—one that retained the starfield-like appearance of the original, one distinguished by a gray hue, and one bearing the likeness of obsidian—which separated from each other across the void, creating galaxies, planets, and eventually life in their wake. The three large fragments shattered as well into smaller pieces, one of the larger of which—a portion of the obsidian key—formed and acted as a sort of second sun to the world of the Imperium.

On this world, in the township of Koros, the citizens and some snowbound members of a traveling circus are amazed one day to see the sun blaze to a suddenly unbearable intensity of light (though not heat), to the extent that all eventually lose consciousness. Some time later, ARCTURUS, VARIAN, CATALINA, ALECTO, and MANTIUS awaken separately to find themselves in a devastated landscape, as the town and its environs have apparently been flattened by some sort of tremendous impact.

Coming together as evidently the only human survivors of the catastrophe, they go to what once was the center of town to investigate. There, they find a curious stone which breaks apart under cautious prodding into seven shards. Each taking a shard or two, they quickly discover that the shards miraculously confer certain extraordinary abilities upon their bearers, specific to the particular shard borne.

After scavenging what provisions are to be had among the ruins, the group decides to journey to the nearest town, braving a landscape now made more hazardous than ever by the constant precipitation of harmful acidic ash and wild animals apparently made extraordinary as well by either the ashfall or the shardfall.

They quickly become lost, since the great road system and most landmarks have all but been erased by the heavy blanket of ash covering the ground. Along the way, they encounter normal and infested wolves, malignant trees called warped wood, and suicide ferrets, in the possession of which Catalina spies another stone that likewise shatters into several shards, which the group promptly collects. It is through use of the various shards that they are able to defend themselves and cross the perilous desolation.

They are soon joined by Alecto’s former pet tiger, BAKLAVA, who unfortunately has also been affected by the chaos that has twisted the wildlife and is eventually deemed too dangerous to take along with them. Varian makes friends with an unusual and possibly uninfested ferret, but it is unfortunately devoured by Baklava.
It's hard convincing regular folk
that you mean well when you're
wearing bone armor and weapons.

Finally spotting what looks like a town after traveling some distance, the group heads for it, but first happens upon a graveyard, with a mausoleum apparently guarded by a wight, some bone shades, and skeletons known as black bones. They manage to fight their way free and proceed to the town, where they are attacked and driven off by the inhabitants, who brand Varian and Alecto as undead due to the bizarre accoutrements granted them by their shards.

Retreating to the nearby Finger Cave, a cave opening in finger-like protrusions from a steep mountain face (in which they have found some supplies as well as evidence of several couples trysting or at least meeting in secret at the spot in the past), Varian and Aly decide to remove their shards and approach the town thus unprotected, in hope of purchasing food, weapons, and sundry. So doing, they return to a belligerent welcome, but a welcome nonetheless, from the surly ARIUS and the generous BRIANNA, who appear to be in charge of the town’s defense.

Within, they discover that the tarp-protected town is evidently digging down into the earth, presumably with the intention of relocating to greater safety. They make the acquaintance of the shopkeepers MARTA (who tells them about her missing [?] husband) and BARTOMEO (who has a missing daughter, Rima), and are able to purchase some few items of food, clothing, weaponry, and gear.

Reunited afterwards, the group examines the purchases, among which they find a note from Marta imploring Aly and Varian to help her. Together, they deduce that the townsfolk have perhaps made some sort of bargain with the undead in which they surrender a citizen nightly in exchange for the safety of the greater populace. The group travels to the environs of the town once more, whereupon they find their suspicions dismayingly confirmed, and quickly go into action to rescue Marta from the company of undead into which she has been delivered, which is led by the wight they encountered earlier.

After a pitched battle, they are able to recover the terrified Marta and defeat—though again, not destroy—the wight.

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