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The Wonders of La Paz - A Mortal Sorcerer Actual Play

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  • Azahul
    started a topic The Wonders of La Paz - A Mortal Sorcerer Actual Play

    The Wonders of La Paz - A Mortal Sorcerer Actual Play

    While I'm currently in the midst of running a Promethean game, it only features one player from my regular gaming group. The others have been haranguing me for something else to play, so I agreed to knock out a fairly small game to tide them over until I could get something going on a more regular basis. The Dark Eras Companion book came out with the rules for Sorcerers in it, and as an eternal lover of all things Mummy-related I decided it would be a good time to run my first ever Mortals game making heavy use of the new Ritual rules.

    I opted not to pay very close attention to the power limitations stipulated in the Dark Eras book, partly because I could balance it out by making stronger rituals harder to perform and partly because the book itself doesn't pay very close attention to the own limitations it laid out. Each of the player characters began the game with the Ritual Sorcerer merit for free, waiving the normal trait limitations that made it impossible to take at character creation (this, for the record, will not be a normal part of the setting, but an exception made in rare cases for those who have had some spectacular exposure to the supernatural). The game will also be making use of the optional rule of allowing the players to sacrifice Integrity for additional Ritual slots, which is my partway justification for giving them Ritual Sorcerer for free in the first place. Each character begins the game with knowledge of a single ritual, unique to them, that the player and I designed together.

    The game takes place in La Paz, Bolivia in 2012. A group of sorcerers have gathered in the city hoping that a new discovery by one of their number may lead them to the secret of immortality. They come from around the world, having only communicated online through the darker corners of the web before this, willing to risk a bit of trust in each other for the potential rewards on offer.

    The sorcerers are:

    Komina - Ko, as she likes to be known, is the youngest sorcerer, and the one who came into her knowledge the most recently. She is an Aymara girl, a local living in one of the slums on the outskirts of La Paz. Her brother supports her financially, working for their uncle's gang, while she is on the verge of escaping the slum through studying pharmaceuticals. She has been distracted from her studies, however, by the discovery of a strange book at the library. It detailed a ritual which could be used to bring something dead back to life. She ended up focussing on this book to the exclusion of all else for several months, sacrificing her studies and her current relationship with the assistant librarian, ultimately stealing the book for herself. Her grandmother, a stall owner at El Mercado de la Bruja, managed to procure for her the ingredients she needed. When the ritual worked, she began to look for others like her online to share her discovery with, in the hopes that she could learn more about this new magic she had entered.
    Ritual: Ko's ritual allows her to raise a small animal as an undead familiar. Its dice pools are largely based on her own Willpower, as she puppets it with her mind more than enabling it to return to life. She can sacrifice this familiar to get the bonus effect from a subsequent ritual as if a Pillar point had been spent, though she must still perform all three Elements. The Elements of her ritual are:
    -She must provide at least 3L in her own blood to the creature.
    -She must mummify and carefully prepare the familiar.
    -The ritual must be performed on sacred ground.
    If a pillar point is spent on the ritual then the familiar does not need to be sacrificed to lend its strength to future rituals, only its presence is required.

    Johannes - Johannes is another Bolivian, but he has spent little time in the country over the last few years. He was born to wealth and spent much of his life simply travelling, living the indulgent lifestyle of a playboy and occasionally taking long sojourns on his yacht. He began to delve into the occult secrets of the world more out of boredom than any other impulse, discovering strange relics and artefacts and spending vast chunks of the family fortune on their procurement. These activities led his family to cut him off and disown him, though they never did manage to reclaim his yacht. One of the artefacts he had bought turned out to be an item of genuine power, however. It was a book, containing both rituals and power of its own. It taught Johannes that dry land was an illusion conjured by desperate human minds, that the world was truly naught but Primordial Ocean, that in time the illusion would fade and the Great Drowning would begin. These terrible secrets frightened Johannes as much as they intrigued him. Aging now, approaching his sixties, he is hoping that Ko's discovery will offer some way to preserve his remaining vitality.
    Ritual: Johannes can peel away the illusion of dry land, driving men mad with their exposure to the cold ocean and never-ending night. It inflicts the Madness Condition and forces an immediate Integrity Check on all humans in the area, after the following Elements are met:
    -The ritual can only be performed at night.
    -Johannes must read from the book (note: The book itself is a low dot relic, allowing Johannes to make a scene night even in the middle of the day).
    -He must pour water on a map of the effected area.
    If a Pillar point is spent the Integrity Check is failed automatically.

    Abrah - The South African Sorcerer is a tall, lanky man, with several scars on his chest and arms a legacy of a time in his life when he thought a barroom brawl was the greatest entertainment to be found. He grew up with his father in a tribal village outside of Johannesburg, before moving to his city with his mother where he studied medicine. He returned home when his father fell ill, dying of a disease Abrah could neither diagnose nor treat. Several nights later he witnessed a nightmare near his father's grave, an impossible creature of coiled plasm and hungry maws. He tried to explain what he had seen to some of the villagers, and they gave him some garbled legends and half-remembered sayings that sent him on an Odyssey of his own, travelling up the east coast of Africa piecing together scraps of local knowledge until he had a ritual that allowed him to enter the shadowy half-world of Neter-Khetet.
    Ritual: Abrah can use his ritual to physically enter Twilight. He must first:
    -Perform the ritual at dawn or dusk. He remains in Twilight until the next dawn or dusk.
    -Drink scorpion venom.
    -Perform a lengthy chant in an unknown language, the syllables and fragments of which he mostly discovered in North Africa.
    If a Pillar point is used he may leave Twilight before the Ritual completes at any time of his own choosing.

    Bride - The enigmatic Russian is belongs to a secret cult, inducted at a young age after spending most of his adolescence living on the streets. His order considers themselves to be knights and scions of a long-lost nation, and they are quietly undergoing a digital revolution. The use of block chain technology and other secrets will allow each member of the cult to vote and participate in the governance of their cult no matter where in the world they live, but getting this technology to each member is proving difficult. Bride has come to La Paz partly to investigate immortality, of great interest to his secret society, but also to meet with his mentor Alejandro and share the new technology with him.
    Ritual: Bride's ritual was taught to him by the cult during a sojourn in India, and allows him to become like one with an object of his choosing. The Elements are:
    -He must make a Meditation roll. He adds his successes to the dice pool of any roll to use the item until his concentration is broken. To see if his concentration is broken he will need to make a roll to maintain concentration at least once a scene, usually when the target of a combat action, in the presence of a loud or sudden noise, witnessing a distressing event, or being in a contested or extended action.
    -Bride's blood must be splashed on the item.
    -Both Bride and the item must sit within a sequence of chalk symbols for the duration of the meditation.
    If a Pillar point is spent then the benefit with that item becomes permanent.

    There may be a fifth player joining us next week. Their character's plane was probably delayed flying into El Alto airport or something.

  • Azahul
    replied
    Originally posted by Vent0 View Post
    Will we being seeing anyone from here again? Sequel, or as cameo NPCs in another game?
    We'll see how Mummy 2nd Edition pans out, I think. I'm not adverse to returning to the quest for immortality.

    Originally posted by Vent0 View Post
    Oh, what was the source of Immortality they never pursued?
    Blood Bathing was the other source I had written up. It's kind of perfect to slot into a Sekhem Sorcerer game, because you can literally work the Blood Bather rules into just another Ritual if you word the Ritual Elements right, while simultaneously following the Blood Bather rules to the later. They just overlap really nicely, it's easy to justify one in the context of the other.

    Leave a comment:


  • MrBreaksIt
    replied
    Azahul's told us we might come back to the Sorcerers in a year or two, after Werewolf is over.

    The immortality we didn't go after was the skeletal man who directed us towards Jehan.

    Leave a comment:


  • Vent0
    replied
    Will we being seeing anyone from here again? Sequel, or as cameo NPCs in another game?

    Oh, what was the source of Immortality they never pursued?

    Leave a comment:


  • Azahul
    replied
    And here we are, the relic behind the disease:

    The Scorpion of Ubar (4 dot Uter)

    Standing on the pedestal is an ossified lump about the size of a clenched fist. It is dry, leathery, with small chitinous limbs emerging from the mass at odd angles. It stirs when exposed to living beings or a source of Sekhem, sending its limbs twitching. A small ovoid mouth, lined with human teeth, appears in the midst of the mass, drops of a clear liquid dripping from its mouth.

    Power: The Scorpion of Ubar was made from the heart of one of Irem’s fiercest enemies. His hate is coaxed forth, even six thousand years later, by the presence of certain Iremite trappings, words, and beings.
    The clear liquid produced by the Scorpion is normally harmless. If it is in someone’s system and they begin to suffer from Unease Sybaris, they must immediately make a check to resist the poison from taking hold. This is a Stamina + Resolve roll with a penalty equal to the number used to calculate the degree of Unease Sybaris. If they fail then they will need to make the check again at dawn every following day they experience Unease Sybaris, with failure inflicting one bashing damage.
    If someone has this poison in their veins and they suffer Terror Sybaris then they immediately suffer the Poisoned Tilt until the Terror Sybaris ends.
    The poison manifests as a form of necrosis, rotting the living tissue of the victim. Damage inflicted by it cannot be healed until the poison’s effects have worn off. The poison takes about a month to pass through a victim’s system.

    Curse: The Scorpion is infused with its own poison. Its bearer takes in the poison through their own skin, and suffers all of its effects. This becomes dramatically worse if it is a Mummy who owns the item. Any afflicted by their Sybaris count as if they had consumed the poison as well.
    The Su-Menent only trigger this disease when they inflict Terror Sybaris on the target.


    And that's a wrap guys
    Last edited by Azahul; 09-12-2017, 01:23 AM.

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  • Azahul
    replied
    Originally posted by Vent0 View Post

    Does killing the sorcerer end Titan's Lament?
    So that question ended up being super important for the final session, and I decided to leave the answer an unknown to basically all of the characters. Doing so gave Ko and Sara some kind of leverage they could use to stay alive.

    That wraps up this little campaign. It actually ran 2-3 sessions longer than I expected, but then I don't normally do short games and I probably wrote a lot more than I needed. There were a few odds and ends that the players never quite to to check out (including at least one source of immortality).

    Some random little details that I didn't include in the write-up:

    -Bride was beginning to uncover some clues as to what was going on with Alejandro before Johannes dragged him off to LDI's offices. Something about a connection to a figure called the Lion of the Andes.
    -Sara is a Witness. Or at least, she didn't appear to suffer Terror Sybaris when confronted by Abrah unleashing Utterances all over the place. Probably why LDI took an interest in her, assuming they knew.
    -Abrah did positively identify the claw marks that had been used to deface the mural in Khem-Ashidar's tomb (the reason it was deemed Ravaged) as belonging to Textent Maasu.
    -Abrah's player played as Khem-Ashidar while he was possessed (or, I guess, they played as Abrah's body no matter who was in control). So the players picked up a few random details about Khem-Ashidar including her full Affinity/Utterance loadout, her Decree (Ka, since it was the only Pillar she had at 5), her Guild (Sesha-Hebsu, since she had the Eyes of Justice Affinity), and a couple of other tidbits without me ever actually showing them the actual character sheet.
    -Laurence burnt a Vestige when he, Sara, and Ko performed the Titan's Lament, to get around the requirement of a human sacrifice. This involved a ritual in its own right, but a pretty quick one.

    I'll get the full stats for the Heart of Ubar, the Uter relic that was the source of the poison, when I next have the chance. They're on another computer.

    Leave a comment:


  • Azahul
    replied
    Session 5 - Immortal Judgement

    Bride could have called Komina to warn her that LDI was behind everything. He could have shared that information with Abrah and Johannes. He didn't do either. Instead, questioning Alejandro, he got the impression that his mentor was keeping something back from him, not telling the whole truth. Feeling somewhat betrayed, he spent the next couple of hours hacking into Alejandro's emails and trawling through any documents he could find to work out what he wasn't being told. He didn't really find out anything. Johannes grew bored and went for a walk pretty early on, and then an hour into his search Bride distantly noticed Abrah sit bolt upright and walk out the door of Jehar's apartment. It wasn't enough to distract him.

    Ko was on her way back to LDI's offices. She was feeling quite shaken. She'd seen Textent Maasu, Laurence's Amkhat, tear through Khem-Ashidar's cultists. Marcelo and Keila had been spared at her request. The beast had even overwhelmed Khem-Ashidar. She'd gone limp in its grasp, and it had carried her into Twilight in its jaws. Laurence said it was going to take her back to LDI's offices, where they could extract her power and use it to cure the disease in the slums. They had performed the Titan's Lament together in her tomb, and Ko could feel the energy buzzing through her body, but it didn't entirely eliminate the sick feeling in her stomach from the deaths she had seen.

    Abrah was absent from his own head. Khem-Ashidar now moved his body like a puppet, orchestrating her own rescue. She had overheard through her own body's ears that the ritual to drain her Sekhem was to take place at noon, so she knew she didn't have time for her surviving cultists to arrive. She did make sure that they knew where to go, however. She used Abrah's money to cross town in a cab, throwing his wallet into the lap of the taxi driver to pay for the trip, and entered the office building without meeting any resistance. She took the fire escape to the roof. Just as she reached the top floor she heard the lift doors open, and Ko, Sara, and Laurence stepped out.

    Laurence drew his gun. Ko was stunned, not sure how Abrah had managed to get here. Sara hid behind them. Khem-Ashidar moved Abrah's body to race up the stairs before Laurence could properly get a bead on him, bursting onto the roof with knife in hand. Laurence ran after, Ko only steps behind. She had her phone in her hand and called Bride. He ignored the phone, but the sound annoyed Johannes enough that he answered instead. Ko frantically yelled her location at them and told them to come before events got out of hand.

    Down at the base of the building, Khem-Ashidar's cultists piled out of their cars and entered the building.

    On the rooftop, Khem-Ashidar's body was held suspended above four golden canopic jars. A handful of ritual attendants carrying gold knives and other tools were startled as Abrah bore down on them. Laurence raced out onto the roof behind Abrah, gun levelled at his back, demanding that he stop. Ko was only moments behind him, her own gun out. They were calling to Abrah in English, based on the fact that he had some grasp of it, but Khem-Ashidar did not.

    Abrah slowed, but not because of the threats. Textent Maasu slowly materialised in front of Khem-Ashidar's body. Abrah raised his knife over his head and howled, and the beast actually appeared cowed by the display. It took a step back, almost butting into the Khem-Ashidar's body. Then Abrah turned to the sorcerers and demanded in fluent Spanish that they hand the body over to him.

    Ko realised that he was possessed. She was trying to think of what to say when Laurence took a step forward, making a motion with his hand at Textent Maasu. The meaning was clear. The Amkhat was being ordered to attack.

    Ko was faster on the draw than anyone else, but she couldn't bring herself to shoot Abrah. She held her gun fixed on him, waiting to see what he would do. As she watched, he leaned his head back and his jaws yawned open. Scarabs poured out in a great swarm, flooding the area. Laurence and his attendants began to scream as the beetles burrowed into their eyes. Ko was overwhelmed by the now-familiar terror of Sybaris and cast herself on the ground, covering her eyes with her hands. She managed to scream at Sara to do the same. Ko could feel a thick layer of scarabs building up on her face, but they had been ordered to attack eyes and only eyes and so long as her hands were in place they didn't bite, just tried to push their way past.

    The access door behind her flew open then. Khem-Ashidar smiled as her cultists burst onto the roof, guns blazing. The LDI attendants fell, Laurence was shot in the back, Sara was seized by one man and used as a human shield. Textent Maasu took a swipe at Abrah but the scarab amulet on his chest flared and the claw was batted away.

    With another unearthly utterance, Khem-Ashidar spoke through Abrah's lips and compelled the fallen attendants to rise and help her. Nenitu joined the fray, clawing and biting at the surviving attendants while Khem-Ashidar sparred with Textent Maasu. The great beast's claws raked across Abrah's chest once, twice, leaving great bloody furrows that he seemed to shrug off entirely. It, in turn, appeared almost entirely unphased by the shotgun blasts and bullets of her cultists. But death came for it in a thousand cuts, bullet and blade slowly carving it apart.

    At last the lion's legs gave way, the malevolence in the snake's eyes went cold, and Textent Maasu collapsed into a writhing pile of decomposing meat and dying centipedes. Abrah walked to Khem-Ashidar's body and freed her from her restraints.

    The scarabs fell from Ko's face, twitching and dying. She looked around. Abrah was standing next to Khem-Ashidar, looking very confused. She embraced him and kissed him on the forehead. The Arisen was looking very much the worse for wear. Her top was torn almost completely apart, exposing massive claw wounds in her flesh. These wounds appeared to be closing in front of Ko's very eyes, however. Ko was about to rise when she felt the barrel of a gun against the back of her neck. She froze, hands in the air. From the corner of her eye she could see Sara in a similar predicament.

    Abrah didn't look at her once. He moved to Laurence's side. The LDI sorcerer was still breathing, and Abrah focussed on keeping him that way. Khem-Ashidar, meanwhile, gathered her Nenitu together and sent them downstairs, to cleanse the LDI offices of anyone still around. Then she advanced on Ko, and demanded to know why the daughter of her high priest and had turned on her.

    The explanation took some time. Komina ran through most of her life story before her phone rang. It was Bride and Johannes. They'd arrived at the office tower, which had looked perfectly normal from the outside, but when they went up to the Last Dynasty International floors they found a small zombie apocalypse. Ko told them to come up to the roof, speaking English, but one of the cultists clearly understood. She suggested that they leave any weapons they had behind.

    Johannes opted to head out onto the rooftop alone, while Bride waited inside with his gun in case things went sour. He had a brief discussion with Khem-Ashidar about her intentions before she cut him off. She needed to search LDI's offices. Bride surrendered his weapon as the cultists came down the stairs, and the whole lot of them descended down to the zombie-ridden offices. Laurence was carried by one of the cultists, the Sara and Ko were held at gunpoint, the remaining sorcerers simply walked in the Arisen's wake.

    There hadn't been many people around, most of the office was cleared for the ritual, but that didn't make the blood and bodies scattered intermittently through the corridors any less shocking. Few of the sorcerers felt they would ever be able to erase the images they saw from their head. The Nenitu paid the passing group no mind at all, and Khem-Ashidar appeared to know exactly where she was going, as if she were guided by some unerring sense. She led to them to a corner of the building where Ko had never been. There, on a pedestal, sat an ossified lump of limps and flesh and sinuous tails, which Abrah identified as a scorpion intertwined with a long-mummified human heart. Beneath it was a vial. As they approached the pedestal the lights went out and they could hear in the sudden dark and silence a drip... drip... drip. When the lights came back on, the vial was full of a clear liquid.

    The source of the poison. Khem-Ashidar lifted the relic from its pedestal. Abrah asked if he could take the poison, to see if he could manufacture an antidote, and Khem-Ashidar agreed. They left the building shortly afterwards. The incident would later be written off as a horrific case where the violent protests outside had overflowed into the office buildings, but the culprits were believed to have turned on one another. Exactly what had happened was never determined.

    The sorcerers, all save Abrah, faced judgement in Khem-Ashidar's tomb. She banished Bride and Johannes from her city, telling them that they would be killed if they ever returned. Ko, Sara, and Laurence were a more thorny problem. Khem-Ashidar had located the source of the poisoners, and hoped her cult wouldn't be troubled further in that regard, but as Abrah had proved unable to find any material difference between the poison liquid secreted by the relic and water there would be no antidote forthcoming. The only solution was to return to her sleep, to lift her Sybaris from the slums until the poison had passed through the bodies of everybody concerned. Abrah was entrusted to keep the relic while she slept. Then she banished everyone from her presence save the three still due to face her judgement.

    Laurence was still unconscious. Ko and Sara argued, quite loudly, each trying to take full responsibility for the others' actions. At last, Khem-Ashidar demanded to know if they knew a way to lift the Titan's Lament. They did not (Laurence hadn't explained the full effects of the ritual to them), so she said that she would spare their lives. Instead they, and Laurence, would be sealed inside the tomb while Khem-Ashidar slept. They would devote their time to lifting the ritual. Food would be brought to them through a hole in the mountainside, their waste would be taken the same way, and when Khem-Ashidar next rose she would determine their final fate.

    Abrah told Bride and Johannes to keep in touch as he went with them to the airport. He had no intention of abandoning his search for immortality just yet, and he hoped to work with them again.

    Bride agreed readily enough, but his thoughts were already turning back to the Knights of Theodossia. There was some kind of corruption within them, he had become convinced. He would root it out, find out what it was that Alejandro was keeping from him.

    Johannes wasn't sure whether to be happy or sad that this trip had cost him his book. It had hurt his power, to be certain, but he found that its terrible contents no longer preyed quite so heavily upon his mind. He felt lighter, freer than he had in years.

    Ko wasn't exactly happy to lose her access to the internet when her phone died. But at least she had Sara back. Just a shame they had to share the same room with Laurence.

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  • Azahul
    replied
    Originally posted by Vent0 View Post

    Does killing the sorcerer end Titan's Lament? How are an Arisen's Pillars tracked when they are in Duat?
    Hahaha, I hadn't actually considered whether killing the sorcerer ends the spell. Presumably.

    Arisen's Pillars are tracked by simply assuming the Arisen has its maximum Pillar points when it enters Duat, and it begins its next Descent with that amount less however many the sorcerer has spent. Once that number would be zero, the sorcerer can't filch any more. I think there's an example ritual in Dark Eras that works on a similar principle from memory, as well as the Dreams of Dead Gods Tier 1 Utterance.

    Leave a comment:


  • Vent0
    replied
    Originally posted by Azahul View Post
    Ok, so we learnt two new rituals this session.

    The ritual Johannes learned from Jehar was:

    Appeasing the Hungry Dead

    Elements
    -Drink a concoction made from coca leaves and at least 3L (lethal damage equivalent) in fresh human blood (the whole thing doesn't need to be consumed, but it does need to be made from that amount).
    -Burn an offering to the Earth. It must be an item (or living thing) of strong emotional resonance, either a ghost’s anchor, a vestige, or an object or person that would be your own ghost’s anchor.
    -Perform at dawn.

    Effect: Undead and ghosts are lulled in your presence. They drop to the last position on initiative (in a chase scene they are never able to seize the Edge), and suffer a -2 penalty to all Wits + Composure rolls. Non-hostile creatures will rise a level on the Impression table. These effects last until the next sunrise.
    A pillar point makes these effects permanent.

    Meanwhile, Laurence taught Ko this ritual:

    The Titan’s Lament

    -Sacrifice a cultist in service to an Arisen (I should note that Laurence assured Ko that they would be able to waive this particular point somehow).
    -Perform the ritual in a Tomb with the Ravaged Drawback.
    -Chant a long (about five minutes), intricate invocation calling upon Ammut.

    Effect: The tomb's Lifeweb becomes a parasitic thing, feeding the sorcerer at the cost of the Arisen. The sorcerer can use the Arisen's Pillars to fuel rituals any time they perform a ritual in the tomb. Each time they do so, the Arisen must make an immediate Descent check (unless the Arisen is already in Duat, though this doesn't necessarily prevent the sorcerer from calling on the Arisen's pillars).
    If a pillar point is spent during the ritual, each time the Arisen attempts to meditate in the tomb to restore their pillars, the sorcerer immediately senses this. If the sorcerer begins a ritual during the hour of meditation, they may spend the first Pillar point the Arisen restores on a ritual no matter where in the world the sorcerer is relative to the Tomb.

    There are several side effects to the Titan's Lament, including but not necessarily limited to:

    Relics in the tomb go to Ammut, not the Arisen's Judge (not that the mortal sorcerers, or even the Arisen themselves, really notice this part).
    The sorcerer can never disturb the tomb for the purposes of causing the Mummy to arise, no matter what they do.
    The Arisen cannot sever their connection to the Tomb's Lifeweb without the sorcerer's consent.
    Does killing the sorcerer end Titan's Lament? How are an Arisen's Pillars tracked when they are in Duat?

    Leave a comment:


  • Azahul
    replied
    Ok, so we learnt two new rituals this session.

    The ritual Johannes learned from Jehar was:

    Appeasing the Hungry Dead

    Elements
    -Drink a concoction made from coca leaves and at least 3L (lethal damage equivalent) in fresh human blood (the whole thing doesn't need to be consumed, but it does need to be made from that amount).
    -Burn an offering to the Earth. It must be an item (or living thing) of strong emotional resonance, either a ghost’s anchor, a vestige, or an object or person that would be your own ghost’s anchor.
    -Perform at dawn.

    Effect: Undead and ghosts are lulled in your presence. They drop to the last position on initiative (in a chase scene they are never able to seize the Edge), and suffer a -2 penalty to all Wits + Composure rolls. Non-hostile creatures will rise a level on the Impression table. These effects last until the next sunrise.
    A pillar point makes these effects permanent.

    Meanwhile, Laurence taught Ko this ritual:

    The Titan’s Lament

    -Sacrifice a cultist in service to an Arisen (I should note that Laurence assured Ko that they would be able to waive this particular point somehow).
    -Perform the ritual in a Tomb with the Ravaged Drawback.
    -Chant a long (about five minutes), intricate invocation calling upon Ammut.

    Effect: The tomb's Lifeweb becomes a parasitic thing, feeding the sorcerer at the cost of the Arisen. The sorcerer can use the Arisen's Pillars to fuel rituals any time they perform a ritual in the tomb. Each time they do so, the Arisen must make an immediate Descent check (unless the Arisen is already in Duat, though this doesn't necessarily prevent the sorcerer from calling on the Arisen's pillars).
    If a pillar point is spent during the ritual, each time the Arisen attempts to meditate in the tomb to restore their pillars, the sorcerer immediately senses this. If the sorcerer begins a ritual during the hour of meditation, they may spend the first Pillar point the Arisen restores on a ritual no matter where in the world the sorcerer is relative to the Tomb.

    There are several side effects to the Titan's Lament, including but not necessarily limited to:

    Relics in the tomb go to Ammut, not the Arisen's Judge (not that the mortal sorcerers, or even the Arisen themselves, really notice this part).
    The sorcerer can never disturb the tomb for the purposes of causing the Mummy to arise, no matter what they do.
    The Arisen cannot sever their connection to the Tomb's Lifeweb without the sorcerer's consent.

    Leave a comment:


  • Azahul
    replied
    Session 4 - Black Magic

    The sorcerers spent their morning exploring Bolivia's Witch Markets, looking for any sign of the sorcerer Abrah had described. Their best source of information game from Ko's Nan, who ran one of the stalls on the market. In between purchasing dead birds (by this point every single member of the group had studied Ko's ritual and intended to make use of it) and an assortment of other odds and ends, they were able to bribe Nan into guiding them to where they could find practitioners of black magic. She didn't know the sorcerer they described by name, but she was able to tell them where to find someone who might. She gave them a slip of folded paper, which she said would get them through the door.

    Sure enough, further down the street, a quiet Aymaran woman took the paper from them and ushered them into the building. An emaciated, skeletal human being sat in the middle of the room. Gender was impossible to determine, the figure was bald and their bare chest was covered in thin tattoos. The figure's pale, veined skin was drawn obscenely tight across their bones, stretching almost to its limit as they turned their large, pallid eyes towards the sorcerers and rasped out a rough approximation of, "What do you want?"

    Johannes told the figure that they were looking for a sorcerer, and gave the description. He said that the group wanted to talk to this man regarding a curse he had placed. This was given some consideration by the thin being. Then, with a chuckle, it gave them a street address and told them that they were looking for a man named Jehan. Abrah and Ko asked if there was anything they could do, medically speaking, to help the figure, but they were waved off dismissively.

    They found the address easily enough, a small apartment block only a short walk from the markets. Ko waited outside watching the fire escape, the others headed inside and knocked on the door. They were greeted by the man Khem-Ashidar had described to Abrah, bald, greying beard, wearing a thick jumper and jeans. They told him they were here to talk about a curse he had laid, and he invited them inside. The characters noticed coca leaves scattered around the kitchen table, and Bride noticed that lengths of surgical tubing were visible having been hastily stuffed into a small bin. Once they were all seated, Jehan readily answered Johannes's questions regarding the spell he had cast. It was a simple ritual meant to bring misfortune down upon an area, Jehan told them. He'd been hired to perform it.

    Abrah was disappointed to hear this. It sounded to him like Jehan was just a cover to the real magic. Johannes and Bride weren't so sure. Johannes was asking Jehan who hired him, when he spotted something from the corner of his eye. He recognised the silhouette and was throwing himself at Jehan before anyone realised what had happened. They landed on the floor together, blood seeping into the front of Johannes's shirt. He'd knocked Jehan mostly out of the path of the bullet, but it had still struck the portly sorcerer in the shoulder.

    Bride raced towards the window, pulling the rifle he'd purchased from the duffel bag he'd been carrying. Abrah took cover. Outside, Ko hadn't noticed anything amiss. There had been no audible gunshot, only a sharp crack as the bullet punched through the window.

    There were no following gunshots. Johannes went to the window and called for Komina, and she started to climb the fire escape. Bride scanned the nearby rooftops and windows, but could see no sign of the shooter. Abrah busied himself keeping pressure on the wound. When Bride announced that the cost was clear, Abrah removed the bullet from Jehan's shoulder.

    After some discussion, Johannes and Bride decided to accompany Jehan to a nearby hotel while Komina and Abrah looked for evidence of the attacker. They were able to work out which rooftop the bullet had come from, and even found a shell casing there that appeared to be from a handgun. It must have been a truly prodigious shot to hit Jehan at that range with such a small weapon. They asked some passersby to see if they could get a description of the shooter but there wasn't a lot to go on.

    Jehan picked a mid-range hotel with an internal courtyard, and chose a room facing into the courtyard rather than the street. He told Johannes that he'd been hired by an American man via video chat, and described a white man of average height, features, and build with a brown moustache. Bride, meanwhile, was doing what he could to research recent arrivals into and out of Bolivia whose identities didn't hold up to rigorous scrutiny, and lucked out. He found clear evidence of an alias, going under the name John Smoke, who had flown into the country on the same flight the sorcerers had taken. He was able to dig up some security footage from the airport and soon had a face to put to the name. It was a man of average height, features, and build with a brown moustache.

    Much of the next twenty-four hours was spent on research, trying to track down this man. He'd paid for his flight in cash, so there was no way to trace him that way. Ko asked her uncle to find out anything, but an international contractor was rather outside the league of a small time gang leader. Bride asked Alejandro, his fellow cultist, to do the same. Apparently, John Smoke was known to the Knights of Theodosia as an enemy, someone who had hunted them in the past. Alejandro said he would do what he could to locate the employer, but warned Bride not to try and take the contractor on alone.

    That morning, Johannes woke before dawn to find that Jehan was already up and moving around the hotel room. He was mixing a concoction of blood and coca leaves, and burning something in a closed saucepan on the stove. He explained to Johannes that he was performing a ritual to keep himself safe from hungry spirits. Unlike the "misfortune" curse Jehan had supposedly placed on the slums, this struck Johannes as a true ritual, and he asked if he could learn it. Jehan was agreeable, but said he would consider his debt to Johannes resolved. They struck that deal, and Johannes learnt how the ritual Appeasing the Hungry Dead, a way to lull and calm undead and ghosts.

    Later that day, the whole group (minus Jehan) took an excursion to a nearby mount to replicate Komina's ritual on the dead birds they had purchased from Ko's Nan. A few hours later and they returned, each now accompanied by an animal familiar. Abrah and Johannes simply had a pair of drab pigeons, but Bride had spent most of his available funds to buy a mummified macaw from Nan. They did notice, as the day wore on, that when they weren't paying attention the four undead birds tended to congregate together and appeared to be communing with one another.

    The next day, Ko needed to leave to attend her first day on her new job at LDI. She didn't tell the others where she was going, just saying that she had a new job and had to work. She had been told to go to an office in downtown La Paz. She had to pick her way through the tent city to reach it, but was able to get there without incident. There she was met by Sara and Laurence. They took her to an impossibly sterile ritual room, smelling faintly of ethanol, and told her that they were going to make their attempt to seize Khem-Ashidar now. Ko felt a strange revulsion tear through her as a great beast manifested in the room with them, an immense lion with the head of a snake. Laurence told her it would provide them with the muscle they needed, but they still had to go in person. He taught her how to perform a ritual in concert with him called the Titan's Lament, which would twist the energies of Khem-Ashidar's tomb against her. Then they set off, heading towards the slum.

    Alejandro contacted Bride across town not long after. He'd been able to track down John Smoke's employer. He was being paid through all sorts of different shell companies, but the resources of the Knights had been able to track him down. He was in the employ of a multinational called Last Dynasty International, a company that Alejandro claimed posed an existential threat to the Knights of Theodosia. If Bride were considering going up against them, Alejandro advised only doing so with the most formidable of allies he could find.

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  • Azahul
    replied
    Originally posted by Dusksage View Post
    Whooh! Finally caught up with another of your recaps! Still an inspiration to all Mummy the Curse STs, and now Sorcerer Chronicles too.

    (Now I just have to catch up on Promethean...)
    Hey buddy! Good to have you along for the ride again I'm glad you're enjoying it.

    And yes, yes you do

    Leave a comment:


  • Dusksage
    replied
    Whooh! Finally caught up with another of your recaps! Still an inspiration to all Mummy the Curse STs, and now Sorcerer Chronicles too.

    (Now I just have to catch up on Promethean...)

    Leave a comment:


  • Malus
    replied
    The plot thickens

    Leave a comment:


  • Azahul
    replied
    Originally posted by Vent0 View Post
    Ah ha! So they did encounter a Mummy, albeit via proxy. The Horse and Rider Utterance from Rio?
    That's the bunny. Hands down my favourite thing from that book.

    Originally posted by Vent0 View Post
    And... it looks like the group is coming into direct conflict quickly.
    Well, it was always pitched as a short campaign, so they'd better get to the infighting fast. We can't have a campaign go by without it

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