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Old gods of Jakarta (Mummy Actual Play)

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  • Old gods of Jakarta (Mummy Actual Play)

    It's been a while since I tried doing recaps of my game sessions, but I figured that at the very least this would be a good way of keeping track of what's happened in the game so far. We just finished our first session of Mummy: The Curse, and it was an absolute blast. Events didn't exactly pan out as I had anticipated, which serves me right for actually trying to plan the first few sessions instead of attempting my usual sandbox approach.

    The campaign is set in Jakarta in 2012. Of the group, two members (myself and one player) have actually spent some time in South-East Asia, although not a lot in Jakarta specifically so even our knowledge is a bit scarce. The other two have never been there. If anyone reading actually lives in Jakarta... I'll be honest, I'm sure I'm going to portray something woefully wrong at some point. Using a mix of Block by Bloody Block and Damnation City, I've split Jakarta into various zones so I can track moods and cult influence in various areas separately. This is critical to the management of the Cult, because I decided early on that I wouldn't have the players spend experience on something that fluctuates so readily. Instead, they start the game sharing a Reach 1, Grasp 1 Tribal Cult. Anytime their influence in an area grows to the point that they supplant the current group in power I present them with a choice that will get them a point of Reach or Grasp, or possibly allow them to change the nature of the Cult to Enterprise or Conspiracy or to add one of the additional merits.

    I then proceeded to give all the players 35 experience and told them to make more or less whatever characters they wanted, and we ended up with the following:

    Sesu Ra, the Unbending Spine - A Guildmaster of the Tef-Aabhi and a member of the Ka Decree. He is a native of Irem, a big, heavily built man from a lifetime of masonry and heavy lifting, and every bit as strong in will as he is in body. He loathes compromise, getting his title from a combination of his work in building Irem's Pillars and his utter refusal to bend his knee for any but the gods and Shan'iatu. His tomb is enormous, taking up the top five stories of a skyscraper in the inner city (it has both the Famous and Obscure attributes as well). It is built around his relic, a three story tall obelisk that causes those to see him as automatically perceiving him as Status 5 in their own organisation/s so long as he is in the seat of his power, the skyscraper that holds his tomb.
    He remembers struggling in his previous descent, five years earlier, to manipulate and coerce a variety of officials in order to get a project off the ground and build a bypass. He faced perpetual opposition from a criminal motorbike gang, an extremely powerful and ancient ghost at the site of construction, and a lawyer representing unknown corporate interests. He ended his descent having completed the task for which he was summoned, retrieve a recently located relic, but with construction of the bypass having ground to a complete halt.
    He also remembers that he was involved in the construction of the Empire State Building once, and his Sadikh is an Italian American who was born in the 1920s. He can't recall the circumstances of the move to Indonesia, as he takes advantage of his relic to ensure that he is almost as constantly active as he can afford. It's left him with many, many descents between then, leaving the memories quite deeply buried.
    If I remember right, his Affinities are Model Lifeweb, Dominating Might, and Builder's Wisdom. His Utterances are Blessed is the God-King (although he can only use Tier 1 at present) and Chthonic Dominion (Tiers 1 and 2).

    Aquila Ashex, the Sphinx of Rome - A Guildmaster of the Mesen-Nebu and a member of the Ab decree. She is a beautiful woman with long dark hair, olive skin, and green eyes. She usually wears garments provided by the Dust Beneath Feet Utterance. At some point, her own conception of Dedwen became the concept that improving humans on a moral level should have more value than anything else, and she strives to make that dream a reality. She sides with the oppressed, the dispossessed, seeking an end to the era of modern slavery and trying to reform Jakarta's slums. Her position as Guildmaster is somewhat tenuous as a result, as the majority of the Guild doesn't exactly share her point of view. Luckily, Jakarta has a small Arisen population and she has thus far escaped scrutiny. Her tomb lies in one of the city's slums, not far from the resting place of a rival Mesen-Nebu.
    She was last raised in the mid-90s to help the hierophant's wife through childbirth. When both wife and child died, she brought them both back from the dead.
    Her Affinities are Divine Flesh, Miraculous Benefactor, Glorious Mein, Divine Countenance. Her Utterances are Gift of the Golden Ankh (Tiers 1 and 3) and Dust Beneath Feet (only Tier 1 available).

    Sekhet Bastet, or Bast for short, She Who Is Power And Devours - A journeyman (Status 4) of the Su-Menent, and a member of the Sheut decree. She has dark brown skin, her ancestors coming from conquered territories to the south and west of Irem, and her hair has been shaved save for a single strip along the top of her head that falls down to her shoulders in braids. She is a thoroughly brutal Arisen, bears a lack of respect that borders on disgust towards almost all mortals, and believes that her Purpose is above all. She begins the game with the Pale Brood as her relic.
    She was last active in the late 1970s. She was backing Pol Pot's regime in Cambodia at the time, and fled to Indonesia when his grip on power began to fail. She is disgusted at her failure there, especially at the fact that all the forced labour camps at her disposal were unable to uncover a single lost relic for her. She made a pact with Sesu Ra, one that she recalls but that he no longer remembers, and he accepted what was left of her cult into his own.
    Her Affinities are Fated Soul, Fearsome Soul, Grip of Death, and Withering Judgement. Her Utterances are Ancestry of Forgotten Stars and Secrets Ripped From Skies. As the game begins she has access to Tier 1 and 2 for both.

    Each of the players has been asked to write a character journal. Thus far they've each done one describing their previous descents from their perspectives. I'll post them up at some point in the near future, I hope.

    The final "character" at play is the player cult. They call themselves the Families of the West, and are split roughly into three bloodlines. The Lehn family came from Cambodia in the 70s along with Sekhet Bastet. Their younger members are now mostly of mixed Cambodian-Indonesian descent, the eldest still remember what they were ordered to do by Bast under the regime. The Mayehi family take Sesu Ra as their patron, and have largely dominated the cult's leadership for the past few decades. The final family has no family name. They are headed by an ancient matriarch named Phatri, and hold Aquila as their master and deliverer. The cult is based on an islet out in the Thousand Islands, a small village of about two dozen houses. Some among the Cult travel to and live in Jakarta for work and to keep an eye on their masters' tombs. When the game begins, the Cult has been led by the hierophant Richard Mayehi for almost 20 years.

    So that's where we were when the game began.

  • #2
    We began our first game with Aquila rising for her Sothic Turn. She woke on a stone slab underground, and felt immediately that she was not in her tomb. Two other mummified bodies were laid out on slabs on either side of her, and a ladder was in a corner of the room. I kept the descriptions here deliberately basic, following the advice at the back of the book, on account of her being Memory 0 for this first scene.

    The top of the ladder was opened, an alarm went up, and four mortals dropped down to fight her. Aquila sunk beneath the ground and began trying to strike at the humans without exposing herself overly. A terrified mortal hit a dramatic failure, tripped over her arm, and knocked one of the bodies from the table. Sekhet Bastet rose in fury, struck the man down and turned on the others. One mortal fled, somehow leaping from the base of the ladder to the top in a single bound, while the remaining two stood their ground. Aquila swum after the fleeing man, leaving bast to face two men armed with machetes. It hardly proved an obstacle, as she seized one man and mummified him on the spot (Withering Judgement was a pure joy to describe to the other players, who had no idea what kind of things the Su-Menent could do), then knocked the other man unconscious in short order. She then grabbed up the machete and decapitated all three for disturbing her repose.

    Outside, in what turned out to be a farm somewhere in the middle of nowhere, Aquila found her quarry clambering into a jeep. She emerged to stop him but he'd already alerted more men standing outside, and she barely avoided death by Molotov. Whoever they were facing was quite well prepared for fighting Arisen, as it turned out. The jeeps took off, but Aquila grabbed hold of one (Strength 10) and allowed herself to be carried. The vehicles withdrew to a safe distance, save for one which continued to flee the scene.

    Bast climbed the ladder and found two men, one tied to a chair and clearly having been tortured recently, the other suspended from the ceiling by his hands and gagged. She was all set to ignore them until the one on the chair addressed her in the old tongue, and she almost seemed about to help him. That would have been too generous though, so instead she stuck the machete in the floor about a foot from where he was tied and told him that, if he was worthy, he would find his own way out. She then walked outside and a fight between her and two jeeps full of mortals ended quite quickly as she called down meteors to smash the jeeps and burn their occupants to death. Aquila was still holding onto one, and ended up suffering some aggravated damage when the vehicle she was clinging to suddenly became a burning wreck. Meanwhile, the occupants of a couch in the real world are all staring at Sekhet Bastet's player thinking something along the lines of "flipping heck".

    Aquila felt the fog on her mind begin to recede, stirring her conscience, and she risked the flames to drag the driver of the jeep free from the wreckage. Alas, she was too late. He died quickly, and after a moment's dilemma she unleashed the full power of Gift of the Golden Ankh to raise him to life. Our first character hit Sekhem 9. Bast seemed... somewhat annoyed about this. Her memories were coming back as well, and some part of her was telling her that the man's life was hers to take, not for Aquila to give back. An argument promptly started over the subject.

    After a while they felt Sekhem flare. One of the men in the house behind her had won free, grabbed the other, and descended the ladder. It seemed he was Sesu Ra's Sadikh, and he lifted the Black Caul to raise his master with the command "Protect your people".

    Sekhet Bastet used Secrets Ripped From Skies to determine that they were only a few miles from Jakarta. The Sadikh, going by the name Luca Tomasino in this life, explained that he had been ordered to look after Sesu Ra's finances while his master rested. He and his taxi driver (I believe the exact words he used were Iremite for "palanquin bearer", as Sesu Ra is the only one of the Mummies to speak a modern language) were captured and dragged to this location, then tortured. He didn't know much more than that. The Arisen sent him back to gather clothing and equipment for them. Although Sesu Ra and Aquila acknowledged the necessity of covering up until their Sekhem dropped further, Sekhet Bastet refused to debase herself just to provide the mortals with a sense of security. Aquila garbed herself by using Dust Beneath Feet to provide herself with something approximating a burka, and Sesu Ra used a mix of clothing scavenged from the dead and covered his head in the linen bandages he had woken wearing. Bast dropped to Sekhem 9. I decided not to count this scene towards Sesu Ra's descent, he'd only been active a few minutes and hadn't even picked up the dice yet.

    With all forms of transportation wrecked and still burning in the background, the Arisen and their servant continued on foot to the outskirts of Jakarta. Aquila carried the man she'd resurrected, who was yet to regain consciousness. There was a very brief encounter with the driver of a tuk tuk, who fled after Sesu Ra tapped him on the shoulder to get his attention and then removed his face wrappings. The Arisen piled in, although Sekhet Bastet did express her disgust at the ignoble method of transportation.

    They went first to Bast's Tomb. Sesu Ra's is Famous, and Aquila's is both Haunted and Under Surveillance, so it seemed like the best option at the time. There was no sign of the cultist who was meant to be on guard, and the door was open when they arrived. The tomb was built on the edge of an unofficial graveyard in a riverside slum, far underground. When they entered they discovered that the sarcophagus was open, but that the rest of her possessions, including the Pale Brood, were undisturbed and still sealed within their stone chests. Bast and Sesu Ra both meditated, but Aquila's captive regained consciousness at this point and started screaming so Aquila and Luca moved him outside for a... discussion.

    After an hour of futile attempts to win the man's trust, not helped by the fact that Aquila had to use Luca as a translator and Luca might... not really have been the most comforting of translators, the others emerged with a few extra pillar points. Despite the language barrier, Bast broke the man's will in short order. They then found out a few things.

    First, the men that attacked them were called "the Faithful". The man they had captured was just an initiate. It was meant to be their first feast. They didn't know the name of the man who had recruited them. All they really knew was that they had been asked to go to this place in the countryside. They were chosen when this strange man, the leader, approached them and showed them a human skull. He asked them what they felt. They replied "Hungry", and he told them they had been selected to worship the gods and partake in divinity. Finally, they learned their captive's name was Petro.

    Bast promptly went for Kepher, as they were pretty sure they had just heard the description of an Uter relic. She rolled an exceptional success on, I think, six dice. So... they now knew through visions that a houseboat in the bay was where the relic, the leader of these "Faithful", and, presumably, the rest of this cult were all located.

    Aquila demanded they visit the cultists first, as the absence of a guard was worrying her. It was an interesting choice, as it would prompt descent checks for her and Sekhet Bastet. They set off, but Petro made a break for it, Luca chased him, and the Arisen were approached some minutes later by a European man saying his master requested their presence. Bast had sort of neglected to mention that her home was made neighbouring the territory of Mot-Tan of the Rising Teeth, a Maa-Kep who was somewhat infamous for his unfriendly and flat out territorial disposition.

    They followed the European man, who called himself Haig, and found themselves at a large slum dwelling right on the river. Mot-Tan spoke to them from behind a semi-transparent curtain, while his cult stood guard around the group. The players mostly just exchanged pleasantries, and Sesu Ra chose to reveal pretty much everything they knew except the existence of the skull-relic. Mot-Tan dismissed his Cultists, preferring them not to know about the blasphemies being perpetrated by these "Faithful", and drew back the curtain. He turned out to be a masked Arisen at the far lower end of his Descent, the opposite of the three creatures facing him who were still all so powerful they still appeared as desiccated corpses. He wore a ring, a relic, in the place of a wedding ring, and gestured behind him to a young woman or girl of maybe 16 years old, who he introduced as his wife and hierophant. He was quite perturbed by what they described, said they should take their prisoner Petro before the head of the Sesha-Hebsu for judgement, and that the cult of the Mistress of Bones, the Su-Menent Guildmaster, should be informed so that they could wake their mistress to destroy this blasphemy. He then let them go, Petro and Luca in tow, without any further trouble, but warned them all that he would be preparing his cult to defend his territory against a possible attack from the Faithful and that they shouldn't trespass again without seeking his permission.

    The group obtained a new tuk tuk, the old one had disappeared, in the same manner as they had the first. Sesu Ra dropped to Sekhem 9. They then drove to the bay, found a wharf with fishing boats tied up, and scared some fishermen until they had a wooden dinghy which they drove out to the Thousand Islands. There was a brief exchange, with them handing over Petro to the cultists and Sesu Ra attempting to gather warriors for an attack on the Faithful's boat. Rom Mayehi, brother of the hierophant, volunteered his services and supplied Luca with a shotgun. They did learn that Richard Mayehi, the current hierophant, had gone missing three days earlier during his regular trip into Jakarta. No one had heard from him since, but his wife (the one who was resurrected by Aquila in her previous descent) expressed her utmost faith that they would find him safe and sound.

    Aquila and Sekhet Bastet fell to Sekhem 8, their bodies filling themselves in and becoming human in appearance. Sesu Ra was still in the good old undead horror stage.

    So they attacked the houseboat, Bast's Kepher triggering automatically to guide her through the nest of anchored boats to the right one. They sent Rom and Luca aboard using stealth, as none of the Arisen were too good at sneaking, and they took up positions on the overhead hatches. Then the Mummies thundered aboard, Sesu Ra smashed the door down, and Aquila's player realised she was completely out of Pillars just in time for the showdown. That was entertaining.

    Sneak attacks from Rom and Luca almost dropped two of the four men inside the boat. One, the leader, snatched up the skull relic from the table and held it over his head. It let out a painful screaming sound that caused the supernatural creatures, all three Arisen and Luca, to take a point of Aggravated damage each. The Faithful tried to keep the Arisen penned in at the doorway, giving the relic more time to harm them. Sesu Ra ordered Luca to fire on the man with the relic, and Luca rolled an incredible number of successes. Unfortunately, he caught the relic in the blast as well, and rolled really well for damage on that as well. The relic was blasted apart, and two chimeras emerged (seriously, the dice were hot as all heck at this point, for everybody, and I decided to roll to see if Amkhata emerged and landed an exceptional success). They went straight for the nearest source of Sekhem, Sesu Ra, who was grappling with one of the Faithful. A snake-bodied, jackal-headed creature with falcon wings wrapped itself around his left arm and started draining his pillars, while the lion-headed bull just bit him in the leg.

    Unable to get past the door, Sekhet Bastet clambered up on deck, tore open her forehead with a deck hook, and phased through the deck as she unleashed Ancestry of Forgotten Stars to become a scaled, eight-limbed demon-thing with three eyes. A terrified Faithful shot her, but bullets did nothing to her in her semi-incorporeal form. The snake-creature on Sesu Ra's arm drained him dry of pillars, so the lion-headed bull turned and attacked Bast from behind. She struggled with it, as Aquila slipped past the fighters and managed to knock one of the other Faithful out. On the roof Rom was able to pick off and kill two of the Faithful, one after the other, but Luca was picked up and thrown over the side of the boat by a telekinetic ability wielded by the man who had once held the relic. As the lion-headed bull drained the last of Bast's pillars and it and the snake-thing dematerialised, the Faithful leader decided all was lost and detonated a bomb somewhere in bowels of the boat.

    I don't think I'll ever forget the next sequence of events. It went like thus:

    "Everyone, make a Wits + Athletics roll to find and get behind some cover."
    "No."
    "What?"

    Yeah. So, Sesu Ra, the Unbending Spine, considered it beneath him to huddle and hide before a mere explosion. As everyone else aboard threw themselves clear, leapt behind tables or furniture or tried to make it to the cockpit, he just stood and faced down the flame. When the fire and smoke cleared he was still standing there, and he chose not to abandon ship as the boat started sinking. He went down, making sure that there was nothing aboard of any import besides the burnt bodies of the dead Faithful. Eventually he swam back up to the surface, got aboard the player's boat, and the group went ashore.

    We were pretty much out of time at this point, so I had a ghostly messenger inform them that the Mistress of Bones had called all Arisen active in the city to the city's Temple for a meeting, and we ended it there.

    Comment


    • #3
      Something I feel I should mention:

      This story arc was originally meant to last four sessions. Sekhet Bastet's player leaves us in a month's time, so I thought a quick story about hunting tomb raiders would be a good start. The fact that she was awoken by someone damaging her remains was just perfect. However, I... honestly kinda underestimated Kepher, and definitely underestimated my players' ability to roll an exceptional success on six dice (Sekhem 9 minus 6 plus Willpower). That cut things quite, quite short, leading to the death of everyone the meret was hunting at a very early stage. It also means Sekhet Bastet has now completed her purpose, dropping her to Sekhem 7.

      I'm really just amused at how it played out. It almost perfectly fits some of the themes of Mummy. Yeah, they killed everyone they faced because they had terrifically high Sekhem and, well, Bast and Sesu Ra anyway, were loaded to the gills with Pillar-buffed Strength and Stamina and Utterances. But they don't have any real context for what they just did. They don't know who the men they just killed were, who or what the Faithful are as an organisation, how they were stolen from their tombs, or any of the surrounding circumstances. At least one of the players has been pondering whether Aquila's Sothic Turn happening in the time between their bodies being stolen and their bodies being eaten was a coincidence or if something more is going on. I feel it captured the main dilemma of Mummy perfectly. The players have power, but no context. By the time they have their context, they'll no longer have the power to act on it as effectively. Can't wait to see how the game goes from here. The characters are all fantastic and we're all loving how Mummies play as these near-godlike beings at high Sekhem, and Sesu Ra's player is having a quiet freakout over the hybrid abominations he just unleashed on the world given that he has no idea what they are or what they're capable of.

      If people are interested, I'll try to have the players' descriptions of their previous descent up tomorrow.

      Comment


      • #4
        I'm interested!

        Comment


        • #5
          Fantastic. For their last descents, I provided the characters with a list of a few individuals they would likely have met at that time. About half of these were NPCs I planned on having in the game, the rest were ones I made up so that the players could decide their fates.

          The first I have is Sesu Ra's. His character keeps notes in something that is more scrapbook than diary, so he used a lot of little details to convey that (changing fonts, differently coloured paper, that sort of thing). One that gave us all a good chuckle was that he made an effort to make sure that the dates and spellings were in the American style, reflecting where his character had learned English. Without further ado:

          The leather bound book lay open on the desk with numerous scraps of paper added to its already bloated volume. Flicking through the book reveals highlighted or otherwise attention drawing passages. They read as the following
          02/21/2007
          My purpose for this descent (as issued to me by my cult) is to locate and retrieve an important relic that has been known to have entered the city. With little more than a description hopefully this directive will give me ample time to complete some of my projects in the city. My Sadikh has not revealed himself to me yet, perhaps he has adopted a lazy persona this time.
          02/25/2007
          I have sent out feelers to gather information on the standing of the city and it is apparent that Jakata is continuing to grow uncontrollably, despite my efforts thus far. I have organised to meet with Rekhenaten, Master of the Pit to discuss potential solutions. I will have to postpone the trivial search for the relic for the time being while I look to tame Jakata (I will keep this to myself, however).
          03/01/2007
          My Sadikh’s appearance has been fortuitously timed as I feel like I am being forced into being in multiple places at once. I have organised some key locations with Rekhenaten to try and put to flow of heka through this city into some kind of manageable state and have sent my Sadikh (with a considerable budget) to make sure that goes off without a hitch.
          I have started a multitude of small, but important projects all over the city to keep control of the heka on a city wide scale. One of these projects is a major bypass in Patra Kunnigan that will help link the projects I have started with Rekhenaten together. To get such a major piece of infrastructure off the ground I simply bribed a few government officials. In this process I dealt with a man by the name of Ramad who was slower than most to accept the deal, I will keep tabs on him for the time being.
          I have encountered the guildmaster of the Su-Menent, Kotira, Mistress of Bones, for what I am sure is not the first time. With my current situation in mind I have decided to gather her support by helping her obtain an area where her temple can remain undisturbed
          I have also heard of the guildmaster of the Sesha-Hebsu (Yama-Het of the Bloody Pen) having issues with the Premen in West Jakata. This provides a good opportunity to gather her support but I am beginning to be stretched thin as it is, so I will simply observe the situation for now.

          05/08/2007

          My plans are encountering unforseen problems, some are requiring more resources than expected (these greedy politicians will require the cane over the carrot should they push me any further, I am not known as The Unbending Spine for nothing!). Other projects are having their workers attacked by what appears to be a mortal gang called the Pelamat. I can see no logical motive for this behaviour and have therefore concluded that they are merely a pawn being used by a real player. I would investigate , but I am barely holding everything together and cannot spare the resources, hopefully these attacks will cease on their own accord.
          My aiding of the Mistress of Bones has turned a stone on the location of the relic I was risen to find, but this comes as a mixed blessing since completing my task will reduce my time here.

          06/19/2007

          More set backs are being experienced as a lawyer named Syifa has begun to threaten legal action against me for some of my more “illegal” activities. I find the particularly amusing since I believe she is behind bribery to prevent some of my projects from completing.
          A man by the name of Jack Hale has also peaked my interest by importing stange objects including animals, archaeological discoveries and even medical products. Naturally I suspect him to have something to do with relics but I lack the time and conviction to investigate the matter.

          07/13/2007

          I have been personally warned by Andre (a worker of the bypass through Patra kunnigan) of the existence of “supernatural forces” present in the construction site. From what I have heard I assume this to be a simple ghost, hopefully the spirit will prove to be benign since I don’t have the time for any delays if I hope to finish this project before I return to Duat. I believe this to be Andre’s first supernatural experience (besides me of course) and have convinced him to stay quiet.
          I have been unable to delay investigating the lead given to me by the Mistress of Bones and have personally obtained the relic while my Sadikh maintains my projects.

          08/20/2007

          Tragedy has struck, the ghost has killed a dozen workers and Syifa has seized the opportunity to shut down the project (I’m certain that a bribe to Ramad was involved). This mortal lawyer has proved to be too much of a problem and I have hired some local Premen to threaten her to back down.
          The ghost under the bypass appears to be very strong and with my current weakened state, I fear I will not be able to solve the problem this descent, thus putting the project on hold. From the attack I have been able to determine that the ghosts name is apparently “Buk” and has at least two anchors, a skeleton and a small piece of blue pottery that is currently in safe keeping. Andre has been crippled by another Pelamat attack and has begun to blackmail me so he can support his family without a job. I will pay him for now, but only because I lack the time to confront him.

          Comment


          • #6
            And it seems we've temporarily mislaid Aquila's log of the last descent. A bit annoying. If it turns up I'll be sure to post it. In the meantime, here's Sekhet Bastet's:

            I have awoken again.

            The country that I currently reside in is in turmoil. These tiny humans each try and gain another’s trust by offering things they can’t promise and promises they can’t keep. All for pathetic political gain and the ability to order the peasants around like the insects they are.

            I do not like them, but they do have their uses.

            Pama Len, my faithful soldier and mediator to his own kind, has told me I guided the young leader Saloth Sar to power. Now that he holds this land by the throat it is time for me to reap the rewards. My power is much and I am sure that this human will still remember me and the fear I induced last time. This time he will not be so lucky.

            I have come back to search for the relics. I know they are here and my faithful servants, Irem’s faithful servants, tell me we are close to finding them. Tomorrow I will meet with Saloth Sar once again and he will know who gave him his power and ultimately who still controls it. The humans of this country are terrified, the fear of their imminent deaths is intoxicating. There is a war being fought just over the borders and I gather from what I have been told that it will perhaps spread into this seat of power. I must find the relics before this happens. I will not get caught up in the mortal’s petty war. The only thing I am concerned with is Irem’s memory and the relics of power.

            Glory to the Su-Menent.

            Glory to Irem.

            July 1978

            Salroth Sar still remembers me. Or he remembers my Pale Brood. One tiny rattle of the white linen bag and he was ready to kneel to me. And kneel he did. His terror was intoxicating. Funny how these humans fear their deaths. I do not understand it, for death is Glory. And inevitable.

            Though perhaps not for me.

            It is good that he has unknowingly continued the work I started. The people of this land have spent years of forced labour on ‘building projects’, digging for the lost relics that must be here. My followers assure me. I have wondered why they have not found anything in the intervening years since I last Awoke. Salroth Sar assures me that those years were spent planning and changing the people and the land to better suit his own ideals, my own ideals.

            I spoke through Pama Len the entire meeting, for the human peasants are not worthy enough to speak directly to me. I left Pama Len to watch over Salroth Sar and ensure that my work is being carried out.

            I will leave the capitol on the morrow and tour the sights of where the relics could be.

            The air is tense in this place. The people are afraid and this war over the border is coming closer to devouring this country. I must finish my search before then. Salroth Sar must remain in power long enough for me to find what a seek. I will not be caught up in these petty human wars. I serve a greater cause.

            Glory to the Su-Menent.

            Glory to Irem.


            October 1978

            These last few months have tried my patience. I can see the countryside of this spit of land is being worked by thousands, they do not call it slavery of the people. I do not see why not, slavery is a fine institution that has been the foundation of many empires. This ‘forced labour’ leaves a bitter taste in my mouth, however, the people are terrorised and there is much death so I console myself to the reason I am here. Namely serving my Judge Her-Uru.

            The sites upon which these ‘projects’ are carried out are where we expect to find the lost relics. But so far it has been a failure. Nothing has been found and I am beginning to feel an inkling of doubt. I will crush this emotion, I cannot afford to feel doubt. I must serve my Judge. I will find these relics.

            The only time this trip has been of worth was when I visited the mass graves. The burials may not seem proper but these people are of little consequence to me. I did however, make sure the graves were as geometrical as possible. I will let these people serve Irem and the Su Menent even in death.

            I return to the city with Pama Len now. He is certainly a faithful servant and surprisingly useful for a mortal. I will await news in the capitol for any relics.

            Glory to the Su Menent

            Glory to Irem

            November 1978

            The leaders of this country are tense. The war is progressing with the neighbouring land and it does not favour them in the slightest. I gather that there will soon be and invasion and the capitol will fall. I must find the relics before this happens.

            Salroth Sar still says he serves me but I am sceptical. He no longer seems as fearful as he once was. Even as I faintly rattle the Pale Brood he does not seem as shaken as before. Perhaps it is time for a demonstration.

            December 1978

            The fighting has escalated. The country is in chaos and this small nation of people has still not found my relics! I have taken my wrath out on some of their ‘minor’ government members so they will not get any ideas that they can defy me. I will not tolerate failure. Her-Uru will not tolerate failure.

            Pama Len is getting increasingly nervous. His family, my faithful servants, are encouraging me to leave. Cowards. I will not leave until I have my hands on these relics.

            I do not want to think too much on this but I suspect there may be another one of the Arisen encroaching on my territory. Perhaps even influencing Salroth Sar. Well, I will not allow it. I will investigate and any who think it is within their right to cross me will feel the full force of my power.

            Even as it wanes.

            My fury is cold. I will succeed in this task.

            December 1978

            We are leaving.

            It galls me but I have failed. Salroth Sar has failed. This entire venture has failed.

            Now I am fleeing, like a deer before the hunter, I disgust even myself. I was correct in my assumption that perhaps there was another power in play here.

            I saw him. In the capitol, in the very seat of my own power he thought to flaunt his own. Well, I will see how well he fares when I speak the words of power and the heavens shall answer with a flaming meteorite. I did not find his name but this Arisen will pay dearly for the strife he has caused me. And to add salt into the wounds he found some relics. Relics that should be MINE!

            He will suffer for this. Though I fear that I am not strong enough to fight him. My power grows weak and this impending war is something I do not wish to be involved in.

            Perhaps my next awakening will allow me the vengeance I wish for.

            January 1979

            I have arrived in the city of Jakarta. My servants accompanied me through the jungles and over the seas so that I may arrive safely. My rage is still potent from my failure. At least the other Arisen got what was coming to him. Though I ran afterwards, there is always something inherently satisfying about dropping a meteor onto one who has defied me.

            My servants have left me to settle on an island with another Arisen’s family. I met them briefly and they offered me succour from the war. I suppose I should be thankful if I wasn’t so furious.

            No matter though. I will soon end this miserable failure and sleep once again.

            I settled my new tomb in a graveyard, just off the Ciliwung River. It was suitable for a time but in hindsight it should have been somewhere where there wasn’t a Choir of The Drowning Dead. How am I even meant to meditate?

            January 1979

            There are many Arisen in this city. I will have to tread carefully.

            The other cult members are suitable of my needs. Vania in particular seems worthy of my attention and she can also speak ancient Irennian (??). She seems an outcast. Perhaps I will convert her, not befriend her, just accept her into my service. Yes. She could be useful.

            I have met with my fellow Se Menent Yarikh and he seems… unremarkable.

            It seems I came very close to testing the ire of the city’s most territorial Arisen: Mot- Tan. My tomb comes dangerously close to his territory and he almost called me out on it. But the only time I met him I seemed to see scorn and not a little bit of contempt in his eyes. It seems stories of my failure have spread, I would challenge him for his insolence but my power is very scarce.

            I will finish my descent soon…

            I promise the next time I am Awoken I will not fail in my endeavours. I will crush any opposition. I will have my revenge.

            Comment


            • #7
              Ok, so a quick run-down of the second session.

              Kotira, the Mistress of Bones and Guildmaster of the Su-Menent, dispatched messengers to the characters to gather them at the city's Temple. Sesu Ra remembered helping use his political connections during his previous descent to help "seal" the temple and protect it from prying eyes. The protection turned out to be masquerading the Temple, a half-subsided pyramid structure, behind scaffolding and other construction apparatus. The characters gathered there and entered, passing the Temple Guardian. There they encountered all the Arisen currently awake in Jakarta. For ease of reference:

              Yama-Het of the Bloody Pen, Guildmaster of the Sesha-Hebsu. She looks barely older than sixteen or seventeen, and Aquila remembers dealing with her last descent as they allied to break the hold of organised crime over an area in west Jakarta.

              Yarikh, Speaker to the Thrice-Dead, a member of the Su-Menent. A tall, thin, ascetic fellow from Irem's North-Western territories, prefers to keep to himself. Sekhet Bastet was not overly impressed with him.

              Mot-Tan of the Rising Teeth, the only Maa-Kep in the city. The characters met him last session. Not very good at being a Maa-Kep, apparently, as he was pretty belligerent and tried to have his mortal wife enter the Temple with him.

              Finally, Kotira Nahan, the Mistress of Bones, entered the chamber by a secret entrance. It was clear that she had been awoken only hours before, she still sported the withered flesh of a high-Sekhem Mummy.

              They also heard that there were only four other Arisen in the city, still asleep. So we have eight NPC Mummies and three PCs, for a nome of 11.

              The Arisen were gathered to discuss this troubling incident involving mortals attempting to devour Arisen flesh. Sekhet Bastet found a soul-mate in her Guildmaster, Kotira, over their shared distaste for mortals. Although the group felt sure that they had destroyed the Faithful with their attack on the ship, they confessed that they couldn't be sure. The Mistress of Bones declared it the will of the Judges that any Faithful in the city be hunted down and slaughtered immediately. Aquila looked uncomfortable at that, thinking of Petro back on the islands.

              When the meeting ended the meret spent a few moments catching up with Arisen they remembered from their last descent, and then they departed. Sesu Ra retired to his tomb to turn his relic into a Talisman, deciding he had best conserve his Sekhem for now (dropped him to Sekhem 7, but still functionally 8) and storing manifestations of his Blessed is the God King and Chthonic Dominion Utterances. Aquila joined the rest at Sekhem 7.

              Luca was dispatched to try and rustle up some word of Faithful operations, and the group decided to focus on the disappearance of their hierophant, Richard Mayehi. Aquila and Sekhet Bastet combed the docks for clues. At one point they visited a police station to see if they could find out if anything of interest had been reported. Standing in the queue, Aquila had a brief memory of another time and place, of standing in chains in a line of slaves.

              Aquila eventually located a witness in the dock area who, after being persuaded, informed them that she'd seen Richard be taken by a group of men and hauled into a van with a logo on the side. The logo in turn led them to a ransacked grocery store, where they discovered blood, a necklace that Aquila recalled Richard wearing in her last Descent, and finally Richard's ghost. The ghost couldn't believe that it was dead, and spent a while gently traumatising Aquila by begging her to heal him. When they were finally able to get it to talk, Richard said he had been tortured but he couldn't remember what it was that he had told his captors. The group figured that this was likely how the Faithful had learned the location of their tombs.

              Still with no clues as to the identity of the torturers though, the mummies located the owner of the store. After a lot of intimidation he confessed that he'd heard one called "Ditri", and that they'd rolled up to his store on motorbikes and threatened he and his family unless they cleared out and didn't return for the next week. Luca managed to use that and a physical description of the man to tell them that a few drug dealers in the nightclub district bought their product from a man with the same name and description. It being early evening at this point, the Arisen decided it was time to hit the town.

              A series of interrogations ensued as the group worked their way through the criminal network, using Sekhet Bastet's Fearsome Soul Affinity to break people quickly and discover who was next in the chain. Eventually, it was revealed that Ditri belonged to the Pelamat, the motorbike gang that had plagued Sesu Ra in his previous descent. This threw everyone a little, they weren't sure how this connected to the Faithful. Still, the obvious course of action was to kick the door down and interrogate, then execute, Ditri for his crimes against his Cult.

              Sekhet Bastet, her inner eye still exposed from the fight on the dock, unleashed her demonic form as they arrived at the final location. She then phased through the door and found herself facing eight gangsters, while Aquila and Sesu Ra battered the door down. Sybaris from Bast promptly put six of the eight men out of the fight, and the last two went down quickly. Aquila then healed the injuries on Ditri (one of the two fighters) enough for him to be interrogated. Again, Fearsome Soul broke him quickly. He divulged a few interesting pieces of information.

              -The Pelamat had been ordered to kidnap Richard, interrogate him, and sell the information to an unknown third party (the description matched the Faithful leader the players killed last session).
              -He didn't know why they were ordered to interfere with Sesu Ra's plans, the orders came from higher up.
              -He reported to a boss named Rangarni.
              -The Pelamat knew some facts about Arisen. Not their nature, just that there were monsters from foreign lands out there, and that some of them had infiltrated the city.
              -The Pelamat were led by a woman. Ditri was terrified of her, but couldn't say much more than popular rumours of what she did to those who failed her (all grisly).

              Sesu Ra ordered Luca to inform the authorities that there were scoundrels lying incapacitated in this building. Luca made a phone call, and the group was about to leave. Bast, however, wasn't quite finished. She grabbed Ditri's head and spun it around until his neck broke. They all left together, Bast's Memory dropping to 2.

              We ended it there, and everyone fell to Sekhem 6 (functionally still 7 in Sesu Ra's case though). Not quite as exciting a session as the previous one. There were a few fun scenes, like Sesu Ra using Dominating Might and a khopesh to sheer through a door in a single blow to get at a Pelamat drug dealer. And Sekhet Bastet phasing through a door in her demon form and putting six out of the eight gangsters out of commission just from the sight of her was hilarious. And the premise, three Arisen trying to figure out why they killed all those people last time, was great to see in action.
              Last edited by Azahul; 08-09-2014, 04:12 AM.

              Comment


              • #8
                Session 3

                Aquila began the session travelling back to the island to break the news of Richard's death to Ami. She stayed there a while, talking to her cultists and using Gift of the Golden Ankh to heal Phatri and boost her resistance to disease. She spoke to Petro, their captive Faithful initiate, and convinced him to follow her and keep close so that she could protect him from other Arisen in the city.

                After this, she returned to the city and visited her tomb for the first time. It is buried beneath a slum in East Jakarta, and the poverty and illness she witnessed on the way there broke her heart. She descended to her tomb, barely more than a closet built beneath a squatter dwelling, and tried to clear her mind to meditate. She hadn't been at it long, however, when she was attacked. Ami and a young man descended to the tomb and stabbed her as she lay in wait. Broken, bleeding, and nearly dead, Aquila used Dust Beneath Feet to hide underground. When she emerged, the wounds she thought she had been suffering were gone, there was no sign of either of her attackers, and she realised that she was now completely out of Pillars.

                Haunted Tombs can be a pain, basically.

                The rest of the group spent all this just resting and meditating, having agreed to meet at Sesu Ra's tomb the next morning. When they did so they were contacted by a cultist of Kotira's, and asked to come to the Temple. A room had been set up in a neighbouring building with a television to show some captured security footage, retrieved by Kotira's Cultists. Yama-Het was already there, watching it. It showed a hotel restaurant, mostly empty, just before Kotira and a pack of Nenitu burst through the front door and attacked a group of the guests. One, a European man, was killed while the other two fled. Sesu Ra realised that one of those that fled was the badly burned leader of the Faithful they had killed in the first session, a man he had watched burn and then seen lying dead on the bottom of the ocean. Aquila went outside to talk to Yama-Het, trying to find out how the gentrification of Yama-Het's territory was going.

                Sekhet Bastet, however, was distracted by the third man. He was a South-East Asian man wearing a cowboy hat, and the sight of him triggered a flashback. She was in the jungle, decades ago, leading an attack on a ruined temple. American soldiers were fighting with the locals, and the sound of conflict was everywhere. She stumbled upon a scene at the centre of the temple and found three mortals feasting on an Arisen's remains (but she couldn't recall the identity of the Arisen). One of the men teleported away, using an ability remarkably similar to By Steps Unseen. Before he vanished she recognised him as a younger version of the man in the video footage. She fought and killed the other two, and it quickly became apparent that they were each demonstrating different Affinity-like powers.

                Next door, in the Temple, the group met with Kotira. She was speaking with an animate corpse, a man with the skull exposed on the right side of his face, but she stopped as they approached. The corpse of the dead man from the video was laid out on the table. The group tried to find out how she had tracked down the Faithful, and it turned out to be Kotira using Words of Dead Glory. The dead man, Kotira called him "Makhet", had been created to seek out the Faithful. Kotira left one of his Passions up to Fate, which led him (and in turn, her) to the Hotel Shangri-la. They found the Faithful there, and attacked them.

                Yarikh was then called in to make use of Flesh-Culled Secrets so they could interrogate the corpse. The "yes or no" question aspect gave the players fits, but they found out a few things.

                -There are more than 10 Faithful in the city.
                -The Faithful do not know the location of any sleeping Mummies.
                -They do not currently have any Arisen on hand to devour.
                -This dead man was staying at the hotel.
                -He will return to life within the next two days.

                The group split here. Sesu Ra was far more interested in the Pelamat, and Aquila wanted justice for Richard, so they decided to pursue the lead they got last session about a warehouse where Rangarni, a local Pelamat boss, might be hiding. Bast preferred to pursue the Faithful, and went to the hotel Kotira had attacked to search the dead man's room. It was an interesting choice, with the social and investigative characters going off to fight while the combat character tried to perform an investigation.

                So, Kotira and Bast, with the help of Kotira's highly influential cultists, gained access to the hotel. Thanks to the retrieval of the tape, the effects of Sybaris, and a combination of bribes and judicious use of Veil of Forgetting, Kotira had managed to ensure that the hotel was running as per normal. No police, no heightened security, the two Mummies just strode through the front door and got in the lift. They had the dead man's room key, so they went up to room 603 and scoured the place for clues. Despite not being very good at the whole Investigation thing, Bast found the man's suitcase, broke it open, and discovered two important documents (which she couldn't read on account of only speaking the Old Tongue, but Kotira informed her that they were a passport in the name Curt Bolsworth and a book on articles of the faith for the Faithful).

                Meanwhile, Aquila and Sesu Ra were checking out a seemingly abandoned warehouse. Luca was sent around the back to kill anyone who tried to run. Aquila used the few Pillars she had managed to regenerate since the fight in her tomb to give Dust Beneath Feet to herself and Sesu Ra, and they attacked from below. The two men on the ground floor went down quickly (Sesu Ra actually killed one of them with a rather obscene dice roll, but put his faith in his Judge and passed his degeneration roll). More tried to attack, but Aquila activated her Mesen-Nebu affinity to armour herself in gold and Sybaris downed one and added a hefty penalty to the other two's attack rolls. The fourth and final man just folded his arms and watched.

                Aquila dodged past her attackers and rushed up the stairs towards the unaffected man. She found herself meeting a cold, unfeeling stare, and the words, "You don't know what you are getting yourself into. Retreat and learn," seared themselves into her brain. She was compelled to back down the stairs and sink beneath the floor, and the speaker walked past Sesu Ra as he battled the two Pelamat and out the back door. Where he was promptly shot by Luca. Only a single bullet was fired, however, and despite an exceptionally high dice roll the man didn't seemed too badly affected. He walked up and spoke quietly to Luca for a moment, and Luca put his weapon away. The man then clambered onto a motorbike and drove away.

                Sesu Ra finished off the Pelamat and turned on his allies, demanding to know why they let the man (he assumed he'd been the leader called "Rangarni" that they'd heard about) get away. After a bit of discussion they agreed that it seemed remarkably like the Voice of Conscience Affinity, forcing Aquila to act with Prudence. Then Luca added that the man hadn't bled when he was shot. Some kind of undead, they assumed, but they weren't sure what.

                With the discovery that the building held a large number of weapons and a small supply of drugs, Luca was dispatched to gather cultists and secure the area. Aquila and Sesu Ra returned to the temple, met up with Sekhet Bastet, and shared their information. They returned to the warehouse to oversee the cultists and make sure the surviving Pelamat could be interrogated. Luca met them there, a group of cultists in tow, and tried to quietly inform Sesu Ra that there was a leadership dispute unfolding back on the island and his leadership could be used. Bast and Aquila overheard though, and after a short argument the whole lot of them left Luca behind to oversee the cultists securing the warehouse and the Arisen all went back to their cult's home.

                A long argument unfolded on the boat ride home, spoken in the language of Irem so that the cultist driving the boat couldn't understand. As the group saw it, there were three potential leaders. Rom Mayehi, the brother of Richard (the dead former hierophant) and the warrior who had fought so successfully alongside them in the attack on the Faithful's boat in the first session, was the first. Sesu Ra advocated supporting him, and a lot of Tef-Aabhi truisms started to come up. "Forsake no proven tool, rely on no unproven one," he said, saying that the Mayehi's had worked well in leading the Cult so far. "What is worthy lasts, what lasts is worthy," came up when Aquila tried to argue that they should hold off on this for a few days until Richard had been properly mourned. Richard didn't last, he wasn't worthy, why bother any further with him? Bast liked this one. After saying it, Sesu Ra realised he was still carrying the necklace that served as Richard's ghost's anchor, which led to a slightly awkward moment.

                The others, in turn, each backed candidates from their own patron families. Bast supported Pama Lehn, her obedient follower since the days in Cambodia. Aquila put forward Ligo, Phatri's grandson, who had apparently been groomed for leadership since birth. Funnily enough, Rom, Pama, and Ligo were the three I had decided would be the ones arguing over the leadership when they arrived.

                Arriving on the island, the meret found it in chaos. Groups of squabbling cultists were yelling at one another all over the beach. Sure enough, at the centre of it all were Rom, Pama, and Ligo. Aquila silenced them, and told them to wait a few hours while a ceremony was performed mourning Richard's death.

                Bast tracked down Vania, the chronicler of the Families of the West. She was a bit of a social outcast, but had come into the village for the funeral/leadership debate. She laid out a rough overview of what each of the candidates stood for. This is basically the first example of how I'm handling the Cult in this game. In-game actions, rather than experience points, are used to expand and change it. Each of the three leadership candidates stood for a different benefit the Cult would gain:

                -Rom Mayehi led the warriors under his brother, and argued that this should be the focus of the Cult. The Faithful had attacked them, and the Families must respond in kind. Under his leadership, the Cult would get better warriors thanks to the Wrathful perk.
                -Ligo had been raised in the traditions of the Cult. He believed that keeping to the old ways would see them through. He would give the Cult the Ritualistic perk, helping their masters meditate.
                -Pama Lehn, true to form as the servant of Sheut Mummy, believed that there was nothing of worth mortals could accomplish on their own. Fighting and prayer were as nothing next to the power of their masters. The only thing the Families could do would be to subsume themselves before the mastery of the Arisen. He would give the Cult the Obedient perk.

                There were a couple of other potential candidates the players could have spoken to that may have provided different options, but they didn't bother. They retired one of the houses and summoned each potential leader to make a speech in turn. At the end they debated, and eventually settled on Rom Mayehi as the new hierophant. The vote was ultimately unanimous, although Aquila was a bit reluctant and disliked the militant nature it would lend to the Families.

                Finally, the Arisen emerged from seclusion and announced their decision to the Cultists. Rom Mayehi would lead from now on. We closed the session on that pronouncement.

                Comment


                • #9
                  It has been quite a while since I tried doing write-ups of my game sessions, so if people have any comments or criticisms, please do tell me. I'm contemplating starting each write-up with a rundown of all the relevant non-player characters for the coming session at the start of each write-up, as I know it can be a bit hard to keep track when you're not actually playing the game. If you think that would help, just tell me and I'll be sure to do it in future.

                  On another note, to anyone who has read Mortal Remains (thankfully, none of my players have), I'm sure it's quite clear that the Faithful are the Faithful of Shulpae. Since their rules were built on Hunter mechanics rather than for use as antagonists in Mummy, I decided for my game to change them to the following:

                  -All Faithful are Witnesses.
                  -Faithful can gain Affinities by devouring Arisen or Shuankhsen, or the bodies of dead Faithful. Usually only one Affinity per "Feast".
                  -They can have one Affinity per level of Status in the organisation. Their Status is used as if it were the relevant Pillar for that Affinity. For example, Guardian Wrath requires Status 2 (in place of Ka 2), and when defending their Temple or other Faithful the bonus rises from +2 to +Status.
                  -To continue with the example above, any reference to a tomb generally becomes the Faithful Temple that the character belongs to. Generally speaking, any reference to "cultists" becomes "lower Status Faithful".
                  -Beast Soul Fury, and any other Affinity that changes how a Mummy spends Pillars, allows the Faithful to spend Willpower like Pillars in that particular case (so Beast Soul Fury enables a Faithful to buff their Strength and Stamina using Willpower as if they were a Sekhem 10 Mummy using Pillars).
                  -They can't gain Guild Affinities, only Soul and Bane.
                  -Arisen they eat have the same chance of being corrupted, as if they'd been eaten by one of the Shuankhsen.
                  -From Status 3+, Faithful return to life 24 hours after being killed so long as their bodies are largely intact. They return on full health, but it costs them a dot of Stamina each time.
                  -At Status 5, Faithful gain access to other magical powers. These may include Utterances, merits from Second Sight, or really anything else I feel is cool.

                  There are a couple of corner-case Affinities that are strange and just don't apply to the Faithful (Entombed Glory springs to mind), but other than that it seems to work quite smoothly. They are, obviously, designed as antagonists rather than player characters, so I haven't payed too much attention to smoothing over any weird glitches that might occur from this adaptation. They've worked pretty well so far though.

                  Just thought that might interest anyone wondering about the Faithful in this game.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Session four

                    After declaring Rom Mayehi the Cult's new hierophant, the group remained on the island to oversee a celebration both in honour of Rom's new appointment and Richard's funeral. Sekhet Bastet was approached during the celebration by a cultist, who introduced himself as Izman Lehn. He told her about his duties working at a resort on a nearby island, where he was tasked with keeping an eye on a smuggling operation using the resort as cover. This smuggling group had apparently driven the Families away from controlling businesses and illegal activities that they had traditionally run in the region.

                    The group decided that they should secure their own territory before they continued with their hunts for the Faithful and Pelamat. The next day, Izman escorted them all to the resort. As a staff member, he had a pass that allowed them to get in through security without a problem. Once inside Aquila sent Izman to fetch the resort's owner, Sesu Ra mingled with the guests, and Sekhet Bastet snuck away to try and find any evidence of criminal activity. Aquila seduced the resort's owner quite easily, but made a series of social blunders afterwards that meant she didn't uncover much information and ended up being escorted from the premises.

                    Luckily, Sesu Ra had more success. With help from Izman, he discovered that a staff member named Ike was always on the night shift whenever a transfer of goods needed to take place, that there existed a middleman named Gorijo who oversaw the transfer, and that one of the guests had been complaining about members of the staff trying to foist packages on her. A chat with the latter, a young American tourist named Erica, led to him persuading her that he was an investigator. A quick search of her luggage revealed that items, including a handgun, had been secreted away within the lining of her bag.

                    Izman informed the group that he was already friends with Ike, and that he would try to persuade the man to take him along the next time a trade took place. He would contact them when that happened. The group left, Aquila still fuming about how she'd been treated, and they headed back to the mainland.

                    Each player spent the time waiting to look after some personal interests. Sekhet Bastet asked Sesu Ra for permission to use his Tomb to turn the Pale Brood into a Talisman. After a bit of hesitation he agreed, in return for her help in a future endeavour. He spent the next few hours marshalling the resources at his disposal. With the power of his own Relic granting him Status 5 inside his skyscraper, he set certain businesses within to gathering information from locations around the city.

                    Aquila, meanwhile, returned to her tomb and meditated. Nothing suspicious happened, to everyone's surprise. She regained a few Pillars and then left to explore the surrounding slum, trying to find out as much about the situation there as she could. She eventually discovered that a group called the Sons of Gold Dust held sway, mainly by having control of the nearby residential complexes. If you don't cooperate with them, you find yourself living in a squatter's shelter in short order.

                    Aquila resolved to make this gang do work for her, hoping to bring out the good in them and have them achieve good works at the same time. She located and approached one of the group's lieutenants at his home in the largest of the rundown apartment buildings. Unfortunately, when they turned down her offer, her anger got the better of her and she inflicted Sybaris on the group. The lieutenant, a man named Isok, and one of his men were unaffected. The others in the room all suffered variations on the "collapse screaming and begging for mercy" theme.

                    It was at this point that it became apparent that the Sons of Gold Dust were a Mummy's Cult. Thinking themselves under attack, they decided to wake their master. Aquila felt the Sekhem flare, and decided to sit back and see how things developed. A few minutes latter, a Sekhem 10 Mummy strode into the room and absolutely demolished her in a fight. She escaped thanks to Dust Beneath Feet, dropping through the concrete building and hiding far beneath the ground. A bad first impression, for everyone concerned.

                    Aquila fled back to the island. The others joined her there, but she chose not to share what had happened. After two days of waiting, Izman returned to say that he and Ike were rostered on to the night shift and Ike had asked him to help with some "heavy lifting". The meret headed out that evening and prepared their trap.

                    Aquila used Dust Beneath Feet to position herself underneath the ground close to the docks' entrance, which is where the players assumed the smuggler's vessel would come ashore. When Izman and Ike passed her, she planned to pop up and seal any escape by land. The others walked underwater Pirates of the Caribbean style, ready to climb up and onto the boat when it arrived. Unfortunately, they were spotted by someone aboard when the smugglers came in to land.

                    A quick fight ensued. Sesu Ra struck the docks from below, sending Izman and Ike toppling into the water. Sekhet Bastet unleashed her demon form and sprinted across the water's surface and onto the boat. She knocked one man unconscious, turned a second one into a mummified corpse with Withering Judgement, and Sesu Ra seized the third man when he tried to make a swim for it. The group bundled everybody aboard this vessel, although they let Izman return to the resort to maintain his cover, and headed back to their own island.

                    Once home, they interrogated the middleman, Gorijo. Sekhet Bastet used Luca as a translator, and quickly discovered that there were two groups of smugglers using the resort to trade contraband. One, based in the islands alongside their Cult, was led by a man named Reza. They brought items of interest into the area and traded them to the second group, based in Jakarta. This second group was a man named Kudava Jav, and Gorijo seemed quite scared of him.

                    The group decided to take care of the Thousand Islands' operation first. Gorijo gave them the location of Reza's island, and the party headed there immediately. They faced off against Reza, a mountain of a man, and a group of his friends. Luca took advantage of his position as Sesu Ra's Sadikh and unleashed the third tier of Blessed is the God King. The appearance of a bull-headed avatar quickly cowed (I am so, so sorry) the smugglers. Some conversation and a series of solid Intimidation rolls by Aquila persuaded the smugglers to merge with the players' Cult. The Cult gained a point of Grasp, and they secured control over their home territory.

                    Later, Aquila returned to the Temple for some meditation. She was confronted there by Yama-Het, Kotira, and a new Mummy named Sem-Huf. It quickly became apparent that he had been raised to destroy her, and was keeping himself from doing so only due to the sacred ground of the Temple. Despite being a journeyman of the Mesen-Nebu, and thus technically subordinate to Aquila, he clearly felt that his duty to the Judges came first. Swearing to strike her down, he stormed out.

                    Talking to Kotira afterwards, Aquila discovered that Kotira had been filling the newly woken Mummy in on the Faithful situation in the city. Apparently, Curt Bolsworth, the slain Faithful soldier from the hotel, had returned to life earlier that morning. Kotira's cultists had extracted all the important information that they could, including the fact that the two men he'd been meeting with were the highest ranking Faithful in the city. Kotira then had him burned to death.

                    Aquila remained at the Temple after everyone left. She needed to replenish her Pillars again after the attack on the smugglers, and felt that returning to her Tomb was unwise given that it sat next door to Sem-Huf's. When she eventually left the Temple she was met by her cultist Ligo. He informed her, barely fighting back the tears, and they had discovered his uncle impaled on a stake in front of her Tomb. Aquila was certain that Sem-Huf was involved, so she located the other members of her meret and informed them that they had a new enemy waging war against their Cult.

                    And we ended it there. Aquila's impulsiveness drew a fair amount of exasperation from the other players, both in-character and out-of-character. But hey, it was all entirely in keeping with an Ab Mummy's behaviour. We'll see how the face-off with a higher Sekhem Mummy plays out in the next session.

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                    • #11
                      I should mention at this point that we have begun to dip, ever so slightly, into spoilery territory here. If you're a Mummy player and don't want any of the setting's secret stuff revealed, I'd suggest not reading this particular recap.

                      Session 5

                      The issue with Sem-Huf was preying on everyone's minds. Sesu Ra and Sekhet Bastet decided to pay him a visit without Aquila. They made it clear that attacks on their cultists would raise their ire, but that until then it was between Aquila and him. He, in turn, handed down a message. If Aquila surrendered herself to his judgement before midnight, he would destroy her a single time and declare their feud ended. Otherwise, it would spend the rest of his Descent seeking her destruction.

                      Bast and Sesu Ra went from here to continue the hunt for the Faithful. They went back to the hotel where they had last seen members of the group, and after a bit of digging turned up a description and license plate of the vehicle the escaping Faithful had been driving. A few corrupt cops and other such contacts later, and they were able to track the car to a residential home in the north side of the city. Naturally, it turned out to be a trap. The house was set alight, but the Mummies simply leapt from an upper store building. Luca used Blessed Is The God King, and quickly tore his opponent apart. Bast summoned a meteor and downed the other as he ran. They then stopped the man from dying at the last moment, and dragged him back to the island for interrogation.

                      Sekhet Bastet informed Aquila of Sem-Huf's offer. When Aquila made it clear that she had no intention of giving herself up, an argument between the pair unfolded. Finally, Bast pulled out her Pale Brood and whispered Petro's name into it. Shocked and appalled, Aquila ran to find her servant Faithful and found him, apparently unharmed, in his hut. Bast then left to tell Sem-Huf that Aquila had turned down his generous offer, and to reiterate that he should stay away from their joint cultists.

                      Aquila resolved to stick by Petro's side every moment of the day to try and prevent the Pale Brood's curse from coming into effect. In the meantime, she healed the Faithful captive the players had just brought in and persuaded him to implicate Sem-Huf as being involved in supporting the Faithful. Unfortunately, when Bast returned and interrogated him a short time later, her Fearsome Soul Affinity ensured that he broke so thoroughly all thoughts of lying fled his mind. Bast then executed the man, after learning that only the Faithful's Grandmasters were left alive from the Faithful cell they had encountered. The masters were named Xan and Tset Lehn. The latter caused a bit of consternation, and Pama Lehn was summoned to be asked if a member of the Cult may have gone rogue. He claimed not to know the name, and the group focussed on their final lead. A nearby mangrove swamp was home to a secret temple. The masters had fled there.

                      The meret resolved to prepare themselves and then strike at the masters. Aquila went ashore, accompanied by Petro. Sem-Huf, dressed in full Iremite regalia and accompanied by his cultists, confronted them there before they could reach the shore and a solid, earthen ground for Aquila to use as an escape route. Before anyone could speak, he unleashed the third tier of Power of Re. Every mortal around was blinded, Petro (fulfilling the curse of the Pale Brood) was immediately turned into a screaming pillar of salt and ash, and Aquila barely closed her eyes in time. She threw herself at Sem-Huf in her rage, but he was able to do an enormous amount of damage through a ludicrously good attack roll, driving his spear deep into her body. Panicking, Aquila decided to escape. She didn't manage it in time. Sesu Ra unleashed the Power of Re one more time. She saw a bright white light, and then entered a Death Cycle.

                      In the in-between realm that separates Duat and the living world, Aquila's soul found itself lost. In the form of a half-woman, half-lioness, she wandered the twisting paths of Neter-Khertet. A funeral dirge led her to a crossroads, spiralling away in every direction. She was lost, and despite the Rite of Return riveting her to the living world, she had no idea how to make the final leg of the journey.

                      And then a god appeared to her. Anpu, the Jackal-headed Ferryman, judged her with eyes that saw even her immortality as just a short moment in eternity. Without a word he handed her an iron lantern, and the path before her became clear. She continued on, knowing the way now, and Anpu disappeared.

                      To reach the living world, Aquila had to pass through a long-buried memory. In 1940, she and a much-young Phatri were discussing the completion of a stone prison somewhere in the Thousand Islands. After a short while Aquila entered this buried prison (passing through the wall using Dust Beneath Feet). Inside, she found Sesu Ra and another Mummy. Sesu Ra had just arrived in Indonesia, fleeing from the United States. His Pillars were in ruins and his Memory absolutely shattered. As far as Aquila could tell, he had destroyed his own Memory and wanted to lose the last vestiges of it to rid himself of the knowledge of something he had encountered, but refused to speak of. The Unbending Spine had refused to bend, and so he had been broken instead. Aquila had decided to take him in, both out of compassion and because he was liable to commit an act of mass murder to burn away that last bit of Memory if he wasn't confined somewhere.

                      As for the second Mummy, he was already at Memory 0, and had been sealed away until some humanity returned to him (this is going to be our new player, who will be introduced properly next session).

                      Acceding to Sesu Ra's wishes, Aquila and Luca eventually tracked down something from Sesu Ra's mortal life. Something he could destroy, and thus rid himself of the last of his Memories. Luca quietly told Aquila that he had born witness to something that must never be revealed to his master. In fact, his master had compelled him to tell no soul of what had transpired. Aquila resolved that, next descent, she would try and nurse him back to a more stable position. She eventually used some contacts to obtain a stele that seemed to be some work of Sesu Ra's, and delivered it to him to be destroyed. He did so, ridding himself of whatever haunted him and rendering himself a Memory 0 Mummy.

                      Aquila's final memories were of making sure that the information on Sesu Ra's stele were recorded before he destroyed the item. She handed the recording to Phatri for safe keeping, telling her to return the document only when Aquila asked for it.

                      And then Aquila returned to life. She dropped to Sekhem 4 as a result of the Death Cycle. Her body had been destroyed by the Power of Re, so she reformed in her tomb around one of her organs. She stayed there and meditated on what she had learned, restoring a few pillars. There was a lot to think about.

                      Sesu Ra and Sekhet Bastet continued their pursuit of the Faithful. They teamed up with someone called Mr Black, a security contractor hired by an unknown third party (he was a pregenerated character I whipped up in a hurry for our new player to play until we figured out what his Mummy character would be like). Those three, alongside Luca, travelled deep into the mangrove swamp and located the temple. They were attacked there by the two Faithful masters. Bast suffered a lot of Aggravated damage when she was struck with a flaming torch by the man in the cowboy hat, who she now knew was Tset Lehn. Seeing the man face-to-face for the first time triggered a brief flashback, and she realised that decades ago he had been a hierophant of her Cambodian cult. He turned traitor, joined the Faithful, and then attacked her to destroy her tomb and any evidence of the Faithful's existence.

                      The fight ended in short order after that, thanks to some lucky rolls on the players' part. Bast was able to mummify Tset Lehn and then dispatch him. The other master, the burned man from the ship who they only knew as Xan, fought Luca and Mr Black. Two solid pistol rounds to the chest, and a lot of very high dice rolls, put him in the ground. The players built a pyre and stayed to ensure that the corpses were charred properly.

                      They then returned to the Temple, and asked for Kotira. When she arrived they announced the good news. The Faithful cell was destroyed, there were no more left and they wouldn't be coming back. Kotira congratulated them, and enquired as to where Aquila was. The two Arisen realised that they hadn't seen her in a while. Bast announced that it was time for her to withdraw in contemplation. Her mission in the living world was now complete.

                      And with that, the session ended. The opening Faithful arc was tied up nicely, everyone with any serious power destroyed and burned to dust. Our first Death Cycle was immensely interesting, providing insight into a part of the meret's history that no one knew about. Unfortunately, Sekhet Bastet's player leaves us for six months at this point. I'm certainly hoping to still be running this game by the time she gets back, though, so hopefully this isn't the last of her. And at least we got the Faithful out of the way before she left.

                      We have a new player joining us in her place, however. At some point in the next week we'll get around to hashing out his character. New Mummies are always so much fun.

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                      • #12
                        Ok, our newest player has just finished character creation. Won't actually be playing our next game for a few days yet, but the new guy is as follows:

                        Akenakhi, the Fog of Torment - A journeyman of the Su-Menent and a member of the Ren Decree, Akenakhi has long been disillusioned with the Judges. He has pursued heretical knowledge for as long as he can remember, in secret and without the knowledge of his guildmates. Even Sekhiru, his Judge, appears to be unaware of his intent. He appears to be a thin young man from modern day Syria, and is usually a quiet and reserved individual. His main skills lie in research and gathering lost information, but centuries of pursuing forbidden knowledge have given him quite a talent for lying.
                        His last memories involve a Descent in France during the Great War, of his entire Cult being lost in the fighting, and a time spent wandering the Earth in despair. He can't recall how he ended up in Jakarta, but when our next game begins he will be waking for his Sothic Turn inside a stone prison built for him by Aquila some 70 years ago. He has a Haunted Tomb somewhere in the city, built beneath a well-to-do restaurant.
                        His Affinities are Beast Companion, Blessed Panoply, and Fated Soul, and his Utterances are Obedient Clay, Palace Knows Its Pharaoh, and Revelations of Smoke and Flame. He has access to Tier 2 in all of them when the game begins.

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                        • #13
                          Session 6

                          Aquila purchased a dot of Memory at the end of last session, so I ran a brief flashback for her to kick off this session. She remembered being in China around 1900. There was a confrontation between her Cultists and colonial forces. She tried to force the Europeans to back down, but then she heard someone shouting orders at them. A Cultist brought her a weapon, a Roman Gladius that whispered to her as she drew it from its sheath. And then everything ended in blood.

                          In the present, Aquila decided she needed to rally help for her struggle against Sem-Huf. Sesu Ra didn't appear to be all that interested, but she was able to persuade Luca to help her in return for not mentioning whatever it was that had broken Sesu Ra so badly back in the 40s. It was clear that Luca remembered the events perfectly, and he was quite troubled at the threat. Aquila then decided to go and wake Akenakhi and remove him from the prison she remembered building for him. She stole a boat (no sign of any Cultist driving one, their last had just been killed a few hours back by Sem-Huf) and travelled out to the island. There she was attacked there by the lion-headed bull creature they had last seen in the first session. Still healing from her resurrection, Aquila burned through all of her pillars in short order in an effort to get away. She barely made it, and ended up underground without any pillars left at all. She waited there for a little while, letting the lethal wounds heal, and then realised her mistake. Dust Beneath Feet had worn off, she was out of Pillars, and she was buried underground without any way to move.

                          Not too far away, inside his tomb, Akenakhi was woken for his Sothic Turn. He found himself trapped beneath the ground inside a collapsing old tomb. After spending some pillars to destroy chunks of the wall to try and find a way to escape, he ended up being able to smash his way up through the ground (Sekhem 10 Mummies can do that kinda thing) and found himself on a deserted island and no idea how he came to be here. He vaguely remembered coming to Jakarta in his last descent, but that was it. Disorientated and confused, he was attacked by the jackal-headed snake monster and drained of his remaining pillars. The creature then disappeared.

                          And then things got silly. Trapped underground as she was, Aquila needed to meditate to regain at least one Pillar point before she could get back to the surface. Not too much of an issue. She was Memory 4, so it should be easy enough to just wait an hour and then emerge.

                          Five days passed.

                          Sesu Ra spent the time carrying out some investigations and trying to expand the Cult's operations in West Jakarta. At some point he was alerted by the Cult that Aquila had gone missing. Hearing about an incident at the docks, he went to speak to Sem-Huf. The two were puzzled about Aquila's complete disappearance. Sem-Huf confessed readily enough that he had attacked her and destroyed her body, but she should still be out there in some form or another. In the end, they agreed she's probably become scared and run away.

                          During this, Sesu Ra saw a news report of Jakarta's National Monument. Someone had tagged it with an Iremite phrase, "It will end". The sight triggered a flashback of standing alongside another Mummy named Rekhenaten, a fellow Tef-Aabhi. The two Mummies were watching the beginnings of construction at the monument's site. Sesu Ra remembered telling Rekhenaten that this building would be the key.

                          He decided that this warranted waking Rekhenaten. The man's opulent tomb was at the centre of a golf course and country club on the outskirts of the city. Security was heavy, but the staff recognised Sesu Ra and let him enter without any obstacles. A conversation with one of Rekhenaten's priests persuaded him that the other Mummy needed to be woken.

                          The conversation with Rekhenaten didn't yield much. Having just crawled from his tomb, Rekhenaten was effectively Memory 0 and had to make rolls just to remember who Sesu Ra was. The conversation wrapped up quickly with Rekhenaten saying he didn't know who might be behind the graffiti, but that it sounded like the Pelamat might be a likely suspect. He had no idea who they were or what they were up to, however. Sesu Ra was about to leave when Rekhenaten mentioned that he intended to return to henet shortly. Apparently, the other Mummy's Sothic Turn was fast approaching, and he did not wish to be mid-descent when it arrived.

                          Finally, after throwing more than 20 dice at the attempt, Aquila scored a single success on a Meditation roll, activated Dust Beneath Feet, and rose from the ground to find Akenakhi waiting for her up above. Aquila explained that they were in Jakarta, it was the year 2012, and that they were allies. The two went back to the city. Akenakhi found that he had a tomb in the city, but that someone had built a restaurant on top of it.

                          Aquila spent the rest of the session (we wasted quite a lot of time laughing over those meditation attempts) gathering together her allies. She brought Rom and two other Cultists over from the island, recruited Luca and Reza, and then sought out Yama-Het. She was looking for advice on how to tackle Sem-Huf. A Cultist brought Aquila to a community centre where Yama-Het had apparently made her base, and she spoke with the other Guildmaster briefly on the subject. The Sesha-Hebsu Guildmaster suggested they meet the next night, at the centre, to discuss plans.

                          Finally, Sesu Ra contacted Aquila and asked for her help with an important matter. He wanted to see if his old bypass project could be put back on track. They approached the construction site, which looked long-abandoned, at sunset. After exploring the area for a little while, they encountered Buk. The phenomenally powerful ghost hurled them into the fence encircling the site. Sesu Ra tried to gather what it was that Buk wanted, but only got the response that the ground was sacred. Aquila was on the verge of dying, and fled. Sesu Ra, taking a powerful telekinetic attack every turn, stayed long enough to ask a few questions. It seemed like Buk was perfectly willing to talk about itself, so long as whoever it was speaking to was able to withstand its attacks long enough to receive an answer. It wasn't long before Sesu Ra left the area as well, although at a more dignified pace.

                          And that was where we ended it. I think we would have managed to get a lot more done if we hadn't spent so much time laughing at Aquila's player over those dice rolls, but hey, it was funny.

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                          • #14
                            Session 7

                            Aquila's allies gathered at Yama-Het's community centre the next night. She brought Luca, Reza, Rom, Izman, Ligo, Akenakhi, and Yama-Het along in order to hear their thoughts on her plans, and laid out her idea on how to get rid of Sem-Huf. She wanted to carry out a bank robbery, call in a bomb threat, leave evidence that Sem-Huf and his Sons of Gold Dust were behind it, and thus trick the authorities into raiding Sem-Huf's tomb. Ideally, she hoped to see him led away in chains, giving her a chance to raid his tomb and steal his canopic jars and relics. Well...

                            Rom liked it. He suggested mounting an assault on the tomb to clear up any cultists that might not have been caught in the raid. Aquila shot him down, the point of the plan was to try and remove Sem-Huf without further bloodshed.

                            Luca and Reza, the hardened criminals in attendance, weren't too fond of the idea. Involving the authorities just seemed far too likely to backfire. There was always a chance that the authorities could trace things back to the players or their cultists in some way. They preferred trying to work something out with Sem-Huf, some kind of arrangement that could lead to a ceasefire. Ligo supported them on this.

                            Izman was tentatively in favour, but said that they had far too little information on the Sons to be sure that this plan would work. Odds were high, for example, that they knew cops who might leak plans for a raid to the Sons in return for a bribe. He said that they needed to gather more information, and ideally plant a mole inside the group.

                            Yama-Het was really, really uneasy about the whole affair. Two Mummies fighting to the death in the streets is one thing, it doesn't do much more than temporarily inconvenience the loser. Attacking cultists is a pretty nasty escalation, but understandable under the circumstances. But actually entering another's tomb? Taking his canopic jars? That threatened a Mummy's continued existence. That was something only done to the vilest heretics. She urged Aquila to reconsider.

                            Akenakhi revealed that he would quite like to seize control of Sem-Huf's cult. He said he would prefer some kind of arrangement that removed Sem-Huf from the equation, but left the Sons reasonably intact so that he could take control. The fact that he was the only character without a dedicated family appeared to be weighing on him. He also said he had no interest in carrying out a bank robbery.

                            The meeting ended with Aquila declaring that she still believed that this was the right thing to do, and the group went their separate ways. The cultists returned to the island, while Luca, Aquila, and Akenakhi travelled to the Temple. There they found Sesu Ra, and a middle-aged Japanese man wearing a sharp business suit who they did not recognise.

                            While the meeting had been dragging on, Sesu Ra had been meeting with Rekhenaten. The other Tef-Aabhi's Memory had been returning to him since he woke, and was now at a considerably more useful level than the Memory 0 he had been when he first arose. He said that he remembered Sesu Ra asking him to help briefly with a project in the Old Dutch Quarter several descents ago, something connected to the National Monument. Although he had to attend to a few final matters before he returned to henet, Rekhenaten lent his Sadikh, a Japanese man currently going by the name "Tobi", to the cause.

                            The group came together at the temple and agreed to help Sesu Ra discover, well, whatever it was that he'd been up to there. Sesu Ra questioned Luca to see if any of his, ahem, "ancestors" remembered this experiment, but Luca told him that he couldn't remember anything about it. The group hired some taxis and drove over. Almost immediately, Sesu Ra recognised that the area had been deliberately constructed to channel heka between two particular buildings. They were driving to where he predicted the first of these should be when Aquila spotted two men she recognised from their first confrontation with the Pelamat. The group got out of the cars and, thanks to the crowded streets, tailed the pair until they ducked down an alley. It turned out the Pelamat had been stalking someone themselves, and after the group quickly dealt with them (two mortals not really putting up much of a fight against two Sadikh and three Mummies) they met a man named Hendry who recognised Sesu Ra.

                            Hendry exclaimed, to everyone's confusion, that the cabal had continued to serve Sesu Ra's wishes over the decades. The holy texts he had given them continued to guide them, and the ritual was growing close to completion. He offered to take them to the high priest, Banek, and the group eagerly accepted.

                            They were brought to an old, crumbling Dutch townhouse, and Sesu Ra could tell that this was one of the two important points in the region's geometry. Hendry claimed it was the cabal's temple, and the site of the ritual. They met Banek, a man with tattoos that resembled Iremite phrases cutting across his face. He explained that Sesu Ra had gathered them together to serve Manfred Schuss, a man he claimed was Sesu Ra's avatar. At the name, Sesu Ra had a momentary image of a desiccated corpse with a hole bored between its eyes. They were approaching the end of the ritual, but Banek could not properly explain what the ritual actually was. He claimed that its purpose had been kept secret by Sesu Ra when he established the cabal, and that they worked to complete the great working without any true understanding of what they were doing.

                            Another piece of information emerged. Apparently, the Pelamat (Banek didn't know the name, but the group figured out who they were pretty quickly) had begun stalking other members of the cabal over the last week. Hendry was simply the latest in a line of victims found beaten bloody in back alleys.

                            Well. Sesu Ra decided that this was clearly Tef-Aabhi business, and decided to get rid of the rest of the meret. He asked them, ever-so-sweetly, to return to the city centre and watch over the National Monument. After all, he reasoned, if the Pelamat were attacking Tef-Aabhi works in the city, then the linchpin would no doubt be in danger. In the meantime, he would stay and watch over matters here. The others acquiesced, and once they were gone Sesu Ra asked a few more probing questions about the "ritual".

                            To, really, no one's surprise, it turned out to involve human sacrifice. Unworthy men and women were delivered to Manfred, he killed them, and the energy from their deaths flowed through the streets guided by the arcane geometry of the district. A "gateway" stood at the other end, and would be forced open when the ritual reached its conclusion in three nights' time. Only three more sacrifices and the fifty year project would be complete.

                            Banek then ordered Hendry to "resume his post". Hendry, as it turned out, worked as a janitor at a museum of the VOC's occupation of Jakarta. From the conversation, Sesu Ra gathered that some kind of effigy was stored there and used to provide security for the cabal.

                            Sesu Ra, Luca, and Tobi stood guard that night. After a few hours, several blank-faced men and a rotting, zombie-like creature assaulted the building. They were driven back easily enough, the zombie-creature escaping and the others being dispatched without much bother. Sesu Ra earned a Descent Reset for killing one of them, apparently counting as those who commit crimes out of "need or necessity". Banek announced that the sacrifice had been performed in the building's basement while the fighting took place, and secured a few of the still-breathing combatants to be sacrificed over the next two nights.

                            Still trying to work out what the point of all this was, Sesu Ra decided to explore the area. After leaving the building, he was approached by a young boy who claimed his grandfather had told him to tell Sesu Ra that "the experiment had gone awry". An old man named Jonas lived on the opposite side of the street to the temple. He told Sesu Ra that he was the only member of the cabal that still held the faith, that the others had been corrupted by Manfred and the ritual perverted. When Sesu Ra demanded proof, Jonas could only say that when he refused to swear loyalty to Manfred, the cabal cast him out. Sesu Ra did not consider this sufficient evidence and left, but not before telling Luca to remain behind and milk Jonas for all the information he could find.

                            Sesu Ra then travelled to the "gateway", finding his way by the architecture and where his knowledge told him such geometry must lead. He found a row-house, which looked unoccupied from the outside, and entered it. The front door posed little resistance, and he found his way into a cellar where the walls were marked in Iremite scrawl. Down there, he five inverted obelisks, evenly spaced around a central point. Part of him knew that each obelisk represented a pillar of the soul, but he struggled to work out what the arrangement was meant to achieve. When he looked at the set-up under the light of Chthonic Dominion, he saw lines of pale fire running between each of the obelisks to form a pentagram. After a bit of thought, he decided that nothing looked out of place and returned to the cabal's temple.

                            In the basement of the temple, he found a partly buried corpse of a long-dead European man. When he used Chthonic Dominion, the light revealed a distinguished gentleman dressed in a manner reminiscent of the 18th Century, who introduced himself in halting English as Manfred Schuss. Sesu Ra questioned him, trying to work out whether what Jonas had said had any truth to it, and only came to the conclusion that Manfred was eager to finally complete the project he had been working on for decades. He decided to wait there in the basement to watch the next night's ritual, and to keep an eye out for any sign of wrong-doing.

                            Aquila and Akenakhi split up, having spent the night watching the National Monument without incident. Aquila returned to the island to speak to her cultists, and Akenakhi went to his tomb to meditate. Before he did so, he checked in on the restaurant above his tomb. Having picked up Indonesian recently, he could now read the sign, which just said "Dartlan's". He went inside, and was met by a waiter who told him that the place was closed so early in the morning. Akenakhi shrugged, went downstairs, and tried to meditate.

                            About ten minutes later, he heard footsteps on the stairs. The waiter from the restaurant walked in, looked at him, and attacked. The man's skin peeled off, organs unravelled, bones twisted and muscles reshaped themselves to turn the mortal into a gory monster. It threw itself at Akenakhi, who called upon the first tier of Revelations of Smoke and Flame to fight off the beast. It was a frenzied battle, forcing Akenakhi to seal his flesh and burn through most of his pillars to finish it off. When the creature finally collapsed, it reverted back to the unconscious form of the waiter, near to death. Akenakhi was able to keep the man from dying, and then gently removed him from his tomb and placed him in the streets outside his tomb when no one was looking. Thoroughly freaked out, he sealed the entrance to his tomb again and kept watch.

                            Aquila, meanwhile, had returned to the island to find that several cultists hadn't woken up that morning. Phatri was the first, but there was also Pama Lehn's daughter and a few others. They appeared to be in comas, and none of her magical abilities appeared to be enough to wake them. She did find a few dead centipedes around, however. And that was when the jackal-headed winged snake-thing attacked her again.

                            The following fight took a while. Aquila tried to use Soul Infusion to render the creature unconscious, but it didn't appear to care. Following that, she beat it quite severely, and it began to bleed centipedes. Mystery solved, but it phased away into Twilight when Aquila burned out the last of her Pillars.

                            On the mainland, Sesu Ra witnessed the second-to-last element of the ritual. One of the captured men from the previous night was dragged into the basement and executed by Manfred's animated corpse. A surge of energy rippled through the district, but again, from Sesu Ra's limited understanding, the ritual appeared to be going correctly. Manfred returned to his grave, and we wrapped the session up there.

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                            • #15
                              Oh man, Sesu Ra is going to wait until it's way too late isn't he...

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