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Replacing Dei-Phage with the Radiant King?


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#1 Spacebatsy

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Posted 27 March 2014 - 05:07 AM

Spoiler alert! I will be discussing the Apostasy Gambit campaign in general and the Black Sepulcher in particular. I may also address elements of The Red Wake and, to some limit, the Haarlock legacy.

You have been warned.

 

 

That out of the way, I need your input on this:

I’m running a campaign that reached ascension not too long ago. I’m taking a break to try and piece all the loose threads together, and actually trying to reach a conclusion to the campaign as a whole. The Seven Devils of Dread Calyx (page 92 in The Radicals Handbook) will play a major part in this and I’ve either already presented most of them or have a good idea of how to do that. The odd one out is however the “Threader in the Dust” The Radiant King, or The King in Rags and Tatters by other names.

 

Now, we will soon be going through the Black Sepulcher and, even though I think we will have a lot of fun with it, a part of me resents the idea of bringing in a completely new plot and adding even more villains. However, the thought struck me today that maybe this adventure could be used to introduce the Radiant King instead. Since we will be running the Red Wake before, that gives an excellent opportunity to introduce the Menagerie. The Dei-Phage is a greater daemon affiliated with Tzeentch, and as far as I understand it, so is the Radiant King. Would it be possible to pull the old switcheroo?

 

Immediate problems:

There is not much information on the Radiant King, just a bit of reference in the Disciples of the Dark Gods (Page 154).

I’ve read the “The King in Rags and Tatters and the Threnos Zone”-thread and it’s hard to grasp how powerful the radiant King could actually be, is he actually on a whole other level then Dei-Phage?.

 

To me much of what’s awesome with this character comes from lack of comprehension and knowledge. Would putting him eye to eye with the acolytes ruin the magic?

 

How would it have been trapped inside the titan? (Heck, I’m not sure how the Dei-Phage got trapped in it to begin with)

 

The adventure is heavily influenced with the symbolic of feathers and wings. I love that, but part of why I’m reluctant to the Dei-Phage is that birds in general are associated with the Crowfather to my players. What sort of symbolism would be used with the Radiant King?

 

How would the menagerie be affected by having lost track of its central deity for many years?

 

Is the idea stupid altogether?

 

Love to hear your input

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#2 Tenebrae

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Posted 27 March 2014 - 05:31 AM

Given how much (or rather how little) we know about the Radient King, I don't see a problem.

Infact, if you're already using the 7 Devils, that's a much cooler idea than just using the apostasy gambit right out of the box.

 

If you're worried about powerlevel, then perhaps only a fragment of His Radiance is trapped in the titan.

A small bit significant fragment... I refer you to a story about another Evil who'd lost a fragment of His power, and would cover the lands of Middle Earth in Darkness, if only he could find His damn Ring.



#3 ThenDoctor

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Posted 27 March 2014 - 08:06 AM

Well the Radiant King is pretty heavily based on the King in Yellow from Cthulhu Mythos. I'd suggest reading The King in Yellow by Robert W Chambers if you have time to flesh out your ideas more.

However the simplest I can see it being done is by seeing ragged shreds of yellow cloth in places. Seeing the Yellow Sign. You don't need the creature itself trapped, like Tenebrae suggested a small fragment is powerful enought to suffice.

 

The book itself describes the King as wearing ragged yellow tatters and what appears to be a white pallid mask. However the mask is actually his face. You could have a mask in his visage be the item that was there like the Dei-Phage's hand. I haven't read the Apostacy Gambit as a whole yet so I can't help much more than that.


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#4 Spacebatsy

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Posted 28 March 2014 - 03:50 AM

 

If you're worried about powerlevel, then perhaps only a fragment of His Radiance is trapped in the titan.

A small bit significant fragment... I refer you to a story about another Evil who'd lost a fragment of His power, and would cover the lands of Middle Earth in Darkness, if only he could find His damn Ring.

 

Excellent, I will most definitely go for that  :D 

 

Well the Radiant King is pretty heavily based on the King in Yellow from Cthulhu Mythos. I'd suggest reading The King in Yellow by Robert W Chambers if you have time to flesh out your ideas more.
 

 

I was googling a lot yesterday trying to find out which of the stories that most specifically gives an impression of the Yellow King, since I have to prioritize my reading nowadays, but I got the impression that in most cases it was more a brief mentioning here and there. Any personal favorites?

 

 

 

The book itself describes the King as wearing ragged yellow tatters and what appears to be a white pallid mask. However the mask is actually his face. You could have a mask in his visage be the item that was there like the Dei-Phage's hand. 

 

Really piqued my imagination, excellent idea :) 

 

Furthermore I’ve been hoping for a long time for the chance to reenact Roger Cormans: The Masque of the Red Death with Vincent Price, and suddenly I got the perfect setup. This will be happening.

 

Biggest problem now is getting a greater demon native to Malfi to get interested in a conflict on backwater-Baraspine. And losing...

But then again, Tzeentch. He never admits to losing does he? (Must be a blast at the Chaos Gods weekly poker game) So why should his servants? Probably part of the plan all along.


Edited by Spacebatsy, 28 March 2014 - 07:08 AM.


#5 ThenDoctor

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Posted 28 March 2014 - 06:22 AM

The issue with the book is that it's how characters interact with the play in question. It makes people go mad when they read it. There are only bits and pieces of it and I can't even remember if the King himself shows up.

 

You don't even have to replace the Arch Cardinal idea at the end if you want to have him been seduced by the mask and become an avatar of the King.

 

Also for the future it's losing. Loosing makes a sound like loose, as in not tight.



#6 Cail

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Posted 28 March 2014 - 11:05 PM


 

Also for the future it's losing. Loosing makes a sound like loose, as in not tight.

 

Loosing would actually mean 'to free' as in "loosing the hounds".


On topic I think this idea is really cool. In running the Apostacy Gambit at the moment and have a few changes in mind myself (though mostly in the second book). Go with the radiant King. You'll need to adjust the house specific psy phenomina a bit to keep it in theme, and you'll need to change the inciting events relating to all the feather symbolism, but other than that its easy.

I don't think there is any need to explain how the King got to Baraspine/Barsapine (the books are inconsistent with the planets names). Its not particularly clear on how the Dei-Phage got there anyway.


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#7 Spacebatsy

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Posted 29 March 2014 - 05:54 AM

 


 

Also for the future it's losing. Loosing makes a sound like loose, as in not tight.

 

Loosing would actually mean 'to free' as in "loosing the hounds".

 

Darn, and I was so close to a perfect spelling too… Oh well…

 

 

 

You don't even have to replace the Arch Cardinal idea at the end if you want to have him been seduced by the mask and become an avatar of the King.

 

Yes, I have issues with the dataslate-plot altogether, but I though I'll bring that up in a general Black Sepulcher thread

 

On topic I think this idea is really cool. In running the Apostacy Gambit at the moment and have a few changes in mind myself (though mostly in the second book). Go with the radiant King. 

 

Great!

I’ll be striving for a horror/paranoia/am-I-crazy-or-is-everyone-else? feel for this adventure and, you know, not wasting a perfectly good ghost by having him engage in a fist-fight.

 

However, one of the weak spots in this adventure to me is when Dei-Phage actually shows up. My major problems where:

 

Dei-Phage had been this great ominous figure throughout the adventure and then this bird-monster flies up to the window, and all suspension is lost…

Part of me read that section as: “A wild Dei-Phage has appeared”

 

The battle in the burning library seems strange to me as well. As I understand it this is an obstacle created by the Dei-Phage where a manifested library (this would actually be really, really cool to use, if not as a weapon) set ablaze with warp fire hurls fire bolts and clues at the acolytes. Why? Why not encase the room completely in fire when the acolytes enter? Is the books on fire? If so, how are the acolytes supposed to find the right one and read it? Why does the Dei-Phage/library let them?

How have you run this encounter? Did your players come to the conclusion that the True Name could be written in this burning, conjured library, and did they believe that the books would be organized? I don’t think I would have.

 

How does a character, no matter level of Forbidden lore Daemonology, realize from glancing out the window that the Greater Daemon is not only performing a spell, but that it’s a spell to possess the titan? I figure Daemon spell casting acts a bit different from human spell casting.

 

Finally, a greater Daemon does not have the foresight to be somewhere else when a huge barrel is pointing at it? And the Titan can run everything else except that? If so, why doesn’t it use the plasma cannon? It should probably have a better chance of hitting then the acolytes who have never fired a titan in their life.  

 

 

I may have misinterpret any or all of these parts, or maybe I’m not looking at them correctly, but in my conclusion Dei-Phage gets degraded from Ominous Catastrophe to Psychic Beast. I don’t want that with the Radiant King.

 

My thoughts are:

Not actually showing the RK but somehow make it clear that he has broken loose ( ;)) in another way. Maybe an overwhelming presence, RK intercepting the Titans communications (once they have been realized), and/or showing him in glimpses of in the corner of their eyes, much more so than in the cathedral, making them feel like he’s closing in.  

 

Play up the part of a Greater Daemon trying to possess a titan. I think this should be more emphasized, and instead of recognizing a certain spell they start to see effects of possession on the titan.  Parts of the titan starting to turn against them, maybe even a full-scale possession if the acolytes are not quick enough. I would love to have a chaos titan rampaging on a planet.

 

I might include the library, but not as an encounter, but as the sudden presence of books, papers and writing. Would be a great way to plot-drop information that they could not otherwise get to. Like clues to Haarlock and/or the Tyrant star, the enslavement of daemons, the seven devils, etc. Mixed up with random ramblings, seemingly holy texts, bad poetry, unexpected personal information and so on. All coming with a heavy price for the reader.  

 

The major problem is actually stopping the RK. Since I’m not really sure what needs to be done to possess a titan, I’m not sure how to stop it either. I don’t really care for fiats like the one with the true name written in one of the books, or the cannon hitting automatically. I rather have my players come up with their own plan. Although then I need to know a bit of what needs to work, so the players can find out about it and putting a stop to it.

 

Finally, the climactic battle. I hate them. Especially when trying to run a horror theme. But the again can I really deny my players the chance of fighting a Greater Daemon (Although wounded) face to face?

If I can, is there another way for them to defeat the RK? Short of blowing up the titan? (Hey, that could actually work too, but I rather they had a few more options).

If I can’t, then how can I run this battle so they don’t feel like they’re just fighting a really powerful psyker but actually a semi-god?

 

Wow, this became a LOT longer than I had intended. My apologies.

If you made it this far, and haven’t tired yet, what are your thought on these ideas?



#8 ThenDoctor

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Posted 29 March 2014 - 06:42 AM

Cail I wasn't meaning to define the word simply to simulate the sound it makes through text, but you are correct in definition.

 

As for you Space.

 

Why do the acolytes even have to fight him? Like stated he's a greater daemon, even weakened in my opinion they shouldn't have a chance at beating him unless they have a Deatwatch team in their pockets. I emailed FFG asking what Rank they should be and it was stated rank 4-6. In my opinion there's simply no chance against one of the seven devils. That's what makes running survival horror work, if they actually realize what they're up against than they'd know they're dead unless they find a way to run or get his attention on something else.

 

Titan possessing? I got nothing, like I said I haven't read the adventure in full. I thought the dei-phage just booked it after it was released to move elsewhere like most other daemons, but the acolytes wouldn't have the first clue as to using the titan let alone purging it of daemonic influence.

 

Most of the Gambit would require some heavy rewriting by me to be salvagable.



#9 Cail

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Posted 30 March 2014 - 03:42 AM

The battle in the burning library seems strange to me as well. As I understand it this is an obstacle created by the Dei-Phage where a manifested library (this would actually be really, really cool to use, if not as a weapon) set ablaze with warp fire hurls fire bolts and clues at the acolytes. Why? Why not encase the room completely in fire when the acolytes enter? Is the books on fire? If so, how are the acolytes supposed to find the right one and read it? Why does the Dei-Phage/library let them?

 

How have you run this encounter? Did your players come to the conclusion that the True Name could be written in this burning, conjured library, and did they believe that the books would be organized? I don’t think I would have.

 

How does a character, no matter level of Forbidden lore Daemonology, realize from glancing out the window that the Greater Daemon is not only performing a spell, but that it’s a spell to possess the titan? I figure Daemon spell casting acts a bit different from human spell casting.

 

Finally, a greater Daemon does not have the foresight to be somewhere else when a huge barrel is pointing at it? And the Titan can run everything else except that? If so, why doesn’t it use the plasma cannon? It should probably have a better chance of hitting then the acolytes who have never fired a titan in their life.  

 

 

I may have misinterpret any or all of these parts, or maybe I’m not looking at them correctly, but in my conclusion Dei-Phage gets degraded from Ominous Catastrophe to Psychic Beast. I don’t want that with the Radiant King.


 

Ok, in order.

The Battle for the burning Library was a highlight for me mainly because it requried the players to think. I interpreted it as they had entered part of the Deamon's mind. One of my players had been searching for information on the deamon and a way to banish it basically since they came across the maladictors hand in the opening adventure. There is no burning library, its simply the way the acolytes perceive the deamonic assault on their minds in order to try and retain their sanity. The book is likewise not real, they are essentially psychicly linking to the manifesting deamon before it is at full strength. The player who read the book gained instant corruption and insanity and he gained access to some of the deamons memories, including a fragment of its true name and allowing the other characters to escape from the psychic assualt.

This also let me drop further clues to this character through corrupted dreams ala 'Call of Cthulu' throughout the campaign (although I should mention that I modified the sanitorium mutants to be  villagers that had also been suffering similar dreams from the Deamon and had come to the Heamatite cathedral because they were drawn to it, and volunteered to be experimented on my Koronath as he promised to help cure them, which was a ruse) I also molded the Razored wing into a cult that had formed from people in the town due to similar dreams.

I had the Razored wing attack the Heamatite cathedral in force just after the final peice of the cog key was found, which drove the players into the belly of the titan against waves of attackers, locking the door behind them. When they turn on the power in the genatorium and free the deamon, the Razored wing were possessed by the furies/horror that escape, fusing with each other into possessed giuant spawn like creature and in some cases to the heamatite cathedral itself (think Deadspace/Genocyber/Flying Dutchman crew member). This let me swap the Deamons out for an army of now possessed cultists with the Cathedral itself now seeming to attack them as some kind of blasphemy.

I removed the part of the Deamon trying to possess the titan. The Deamon was instead trying to open a warp gate to allow other deamons to be aid it. Firing the cannon merely interupts this ritual (in answer to the question of the plasma cannon, the Plasma cannon has a minimum range, and I assumed the Deamon was too close to be effectively targetted). Instead I have an on going plot where one of the characters is linked to the plot by his family (this can also tie in with house of dust and ash where one of the players is linked to Haarlock's family in your campaign).

Basically one of the players relatives made a deamonic pact for immesurable power. Tzeentch plays a long game though, and this current PC is the designated vessel of the deamon. The deamon is not interested in controlling the titan, it is specifically trying to inhabit its destined host, which is one of the player characters. The PC was very reluctant in this, so I used a mutation from WHFRPs tome of corruption (caused by one of the Tzeentch spells in Tome of Fate) than caused to the player to literally split into two identical copies of himself (hideous scene where all he could do was writhe on the ground for 5 turns while his body literally tore itself in twain, insanity in spades for the player). The Deamon then possessed one of these (story hook: no one knows if he is the original or not, not even the player... ) and escaped.

Then I changed the titans modus operandi as well. It is merely operating on auto pilot from when it was brought to the planet before. It arrives at the Gilded Cathedral and begins to lay waste to the town. The final scene of the adventure is then not how to the (now injured) acolytes stop the Deamon, but how to they stop the Titan from levelling Kapiston Alpha.

Hope you like some of these ideas and I would be thrilled if any of them get used. Please feel free to ask any further questions, including the changes I made to the second book. I actually remade the Deamon myself using the rules in Deamon Hunter and Tome of Fate.


Edited by Cail, 30 March 2014 - 03:53 AM.

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#10 Cail

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Posted 30 March 2014 - 03:55 AM

Cail I wasn't meaning to define the word simply to simulate the sound it makes through text, but you are correct in definition.

Apologies, I misread your original comment as "makes it sound like" not "makes a sound like".


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#11 Spacebatsy

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Posted 30 March 2014 - 06:01 AM

 

 

Why do the acolytes even have to fight him? Like stated he's a greater daemon, even weakened in my opinion they shouldn't have a chance at beating him unless they have a Deatwatch team in their pockets. I emailed FFG asking what Rank they should be and it was stated rank 4-6. In my opinion there's simply no chance against one of the seven devils. That's what makes running survival horror work, if they actually realize what they're up against than they'd know they're dead unless they find a way to run or get his attention on something else.

 

 

Well, this I have to address to my love/hate relationship to written adventures. I love them because they give me a lot of material and inspiration and I hate them because I always feel compelled to include everything that is written.

The group is now in Ascension and quite a bit over the recommended level, making me have to adjust the threat-level accordingly. Even so, I agree that I find it unrealistic to expect a single inquisitor and his retinue to take down a (wounded) Greater Daemon. However, I keep hearing: “We could have been given the chance to take down a Greater Daemon, and you didn’t let us?!”

 

Wouldn’t you have been disappointed?

 

 

 

The Battle for the burning Library was a highlight for me mainly because it requried the players to think. I interpreted it as they had entered part of the Deamon's mind. One of my players had been searching for information on the deamon and a way to banish it basically since they came across the maladictors hand in the opening adventure. There is no burning library, its simply the way the acolytes perceive the deamonic assault on their minds in order to try and retain their sanity. The book is likewise not real, they are essentially psychicly linking to the manifesting deamon before it is at full strength. The player who read the book gained instant corruption and insanity and he gained access to some of the deamons memories, including a fragment of its true name and allowing the other characters to escape from the psychic assualt.
 

 

When you put it like that it sounds a lot better. Although I still find it difficult to accept that the daemon is actually telling them how to defeat him. Why would it do that? I mean, sure it’s stated to be subconscious effect, but would it have risen to a greater daemon if it wasn’t aware of that, and took steps accordingly to not create a situation like that?

(I ask a lot of whys, but that’s because my players will as well. I may not tell them, but I want that to be because they must find out themselves, and not because I simply don’t know)

 

I could come up with the explanation that (as Tenebrae suggested) since it’s an incomplete part of the Daemon, trying to put itself back together it’s not in complete control. The part that I have real issues with is the burning figures giving actual instructions. Personally I think it breaks immersion, because it seems like an obvious GM clue and I would reel against it. Did you use that Cail? How did the players react to it?

 

 

 The player who read the book gained instant corruption and insanity and he gained access to some of the deamons memories, including a fragment of its true name and allowing the other characters to escape from the psychic assualt.

This also let me drop further clues to this character through corrupted dreams ala 'Call of Cthulu' throughout the campaign 
 

 

This is a cool part, I like it. Sort of already done something similar with one of the other devils, but I don’t think they will pay much attention to the resemblances. 

 

 

(although I should mention that I modified the sanitorium mutants to be  villagers that had also been suffering similar dreams from the Deamon and had come to the Heamatite cathedral because they were drawn to it, and volunteered to be experimented on my Koronath as he promised to help cure them, which was a ruse) 

 

 

A nice flavor to Koronath there 

 

 

 I also molded the Razored wing into a cult that had formed from people in the town due to similar dreams.

I had the Razored wing attack the Heamatite cathedral in force just after the final peice of the cog key was found, which drove the players into the belly of the titan against waves of attackers, locking the door behind them. When they turn on the power in the genatorium and free the deamon, the Razored wing were possessed by the furies/horror that escape, fusing with each other into possessed giuant spawn like creature and in some cases to the heamatite cathedral itself (think Deadspace/Genocyber/Flying Dutchman crew member). This let me swap the Deamons out for an army of now possessed cultists with the Cathedral itself now seeming to attack them as some kind of blasphemy.
 

 

I liked the idea of the razorwings in this adventure. I thought it great having one fraction of a greater cult misunderstanding and actually working against another part. I found the idea of fanatic NOT wanting to release their deity (because then what would they worship?) very intriguing. I couldn’t wait to see what further effects their involvement would have. And the nothing. Disappointment.

 

I like that you keep them involved in the game, and the possession/fusing? Absolutely brilliant. Could that be connected to Gustavus and his experiments, where he was fusing body parts of human and beasts together in his lab? I’m a fan of circular plot structure. 

 

 

I removed the part of the Deamon trying to possess the titan. The Deamon was instead trying to open a warp gate to allow other deamons to be aid it. Firing the cannon merely interupts this ritual

 

 

Firing it at what?

Seems like that’s the thing daemons do, however it’s usually to bring some bigger daemon into the fray. Well, he’s already here. Sure, more daemons can’t hurt but what are they going to do here? This is a backwater planet…  

With that in mind I fell less and less happy with the goal of possessing the titan. I most certainly will infest it, which may have the same effect. But I think I need to come up with what this daemon actually wants. What does a Greater Daemon do on one of those rare occasions when they manifest in the material world?

 

DAMNED CITIES SPOILER

The daemon in the mirror was happy enough just to return to the warp, although he was too terrified of Haarlock to take any big chances.

END OF DAMNED CITIES SPOILER

 

Probably going with Tenebraes suggestion of the RK having ha a part of itself or something of great value to it locked in the titan. Then maybe it has no other desires but to return to the warp when it has been freed (obviously I’m not going to settle for just this).

However, I understand that destroying a Daemon will return it to the warp, and staying long enough in the material plane will eventually result in the daemon returning to the warp whether it wants to or not. With that in mind it might as well raise hell as long as it’s manifested. Although I’d attribute that to a Khorne daemon to take the chance to cause as much havoc as possible. I get the feeling Tzeentch would not waste a good opportunity like this on mere carnage. 

 

 

 

Instead I have an on going plot where one of the characters is linked to the plot by his family (this can also tie in with house of dust and ash where one of the players is linked to Haarlock's family in your campaign).

Basically one of the players relatives made a deamonic pact for immesurable power. Tzeentch plays a long game though, and this current PC is the designated vessel of the deamon. The deamon is not interested in controlling the titan, it is specifically trying to inhabit its destined host, which is one of the player characters. The PC was very reluctant in this, so I used a mutation from WHFRPs tome of corruption (caused by one of the Tzeentch spells in Tome of Fate) than caused to the player to literally split into two identical copies of himself (hideous scene where all he could do was writhe on the ground for 5 turns while his body literally tore itself in twain, insanity in spades for the player). The Deamon then possessed one of these (story hook: no one knows if he is the original or not, not even the player... ) and escaped.
 

 

This is awesome! It’s an excellent scene and one of the best plot seeds I’ve heard. I will most definite steal that at some point, but probably not to this specific setting. We have a Haarlock descendant already in the party and he can’t be connected to everything. 

 

 

 

Then I changed the titans modus operandi as well. It is merely operating on auto pilot from when it was brought to the planet before. It arrives at the Gilded Cathedral and begins to lay waste to the town. The final scene of the adventure is then not how to the (now injured) acolytes stop the Deamon, but how to they stop the Titan from levelling Kapiston Alpha.
 

 

Great conclusion to the adventure. In this way one does not have to think why the titan thinks it’s okay to trample a city to death and then blowing the cathedral up, killing hundreds of righteous servants instead of simply settle with telling the acolytes where the information was.

Question: why did the autopilot make it attack the city? Did the orders state that there still was a xenos threat to be dealt with? And out of curiosity: how did they stop a titan?

 

Great input altogether, thanks 



#12 Cail

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Posted 30 March 2014 - 08:15 AM

I completely omitted the characters that told the players to speaks its name. As you said its far too much of an obvious GM clue and breaks immersion. I let them spot the names of certain tomes when they started making awareness tests which let them start trying to look. Tbh most players should realise that the 'this library wasnt here before' and that should tip them off something is up. Just like Tenebraes suggestion, I rationalised it that the deamon was not in complete control as this is only a fraction of, so the players are using the two way link against its will.

The Cannon was firing at the Deamon to interrupt the ritual. The additional deamons are to create panic and chaos while it gets away with what it actually wants, hopefully causing enough damage to give it a good few months head start.

If you don't want to use the Haarlock descendant you can choose another party member if you want to give someone else a chance to be the focal point, however I used a lot of foreshadowing for this in earlier games, so it might seem out of the blue. Having said that tracing the family line can be part of the plot after the fact. Always time for another story :)

The titan was brought to the planet for a previous war. Its using battle maps that are centuries out of date. Kephiston Alta (whatever) is built on a site that was previously a designated target of high importance. Without the guidance of the princeps all it knows is that it is now under attack, has suffered massive damage (during this campaign and from water corrosion etc) so its 'machine spirit' sends it to complete what it knows was its objective to continue to serve the Emperor. Its IFF transponders are not working correctly, and the city does not have the correct equipment to contact it.

My players tried to interface with it (didnt work, but you might let them). Eventually they tried to shut down the reactor (which was now leaking radiation all over the genatorium) and ended up having to destroy the genatorium. Leaving the titan useless. Ultimately this can finish a number of ways and I encourage you and your players to be creative.

 


Edited by Cail, 30 March 2014 - 08:19 AM.

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#13 Spacebatsy

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Posted 19 May 2014 - 05:40 AM

Update!

 

Nothing kick-starts the inspiration for planning adventures like studying for exams. This means I’ve been putting some effort into the outlines of “The Black Sepulcher - Extreme Makeover”, and I thought I hear your opinions.

 

First of: I’m removing this adventure from the trilogy. That’s right! The thing that has been bothering me from the start is that this is an epic adventure with titans disguised as churches, sever hauntings and a prison-breaking greater deamon, and all of it serves to locate an insanely overprotected dataslate. I then toyed with the idea of removing the dataslate-plot from the adventure and this great sense of relief washed over me. So, yeah, the Black Sepulcher will not star a black sepulcher.

 

Besides this other parts I’ve been working on with the adventure features:

  • The Imprisonment of the Radiant King and the purpose of the Hekate family
  • The Maledictus Hand and the Razored Wings as an important part of the plot
  • Timeline
  • The ghosts in general
  • Gustavus and Hadria
  • Koronath and his connection to Haarlock and the tyrant star
  • Nikae and new encounter-scene
  • Changing the encounters on the titan.
  • Ambience and symbolism more appropriate to the Radiant King
  • Re-writing some of the handouts and texts, especially Barabus message.
  • Threat level adjustments
  • Bits and pieces

 

Do tell me if you want me to post more of the progress

For starters:

 

The imprisonment of the Radiant King and the purpose of the Hekate family

The Tyrant Star is known to cause uproar and madness, and who is known to be an avatar of madness if not the Threader in the Dust?  I’ve imagine the Devils all being drawn to the Tyrant star, but responding differently to this. I’m having the RK actively pursuing places where the TS will soon appear or recently visited (and thus becoming known as the Threader in the Dust) and having a bit more insight in the nature of it then the rest.

 

This is what happened on Baraspine 723.M40 (yes, I picked that year without any solid information) during one of the great wars against the greenskins. The incident was quite mild, as far as TS is concerned, and almost lost in the planetary mayhem that was already in progress.

However this is where Inquisitor DeVayne of Ordo Maellus arrived to the scene in the company of Rogue Trader Zanatov. Having studied and tracking the RK for years he finally saw the chance of subduing, at least temporary, this enemy to humanity while its attention was divided. DeVayne convinced the Princeps of Pax Macharian of the gravity of this threat and had her remove the titan from the warfront, cutting of all communications, and was eventually able to imprison the RK. The ritual killed the Inquisitor, the Princeps, and the major part of the titan-crew, the rest of them driven insane. Captain Zanatov, tasked with trusting no-one approaching the titan and its dangerous cargo, was left to guard the Pax Marcharian against xeno and man alike until DeVaynes interrogator, or anyone wearing the inquisitorial rosette, returned.

 

No-one ever came. Captain Zanatov, still devoted to his mission, built the Haematite Cathedral to further suppress the evil leaking out from the titan. Eventually he had to come to terms with the possibility that something had gone wrong and that it might take years until an inquisitorial party arrived, if at all during his lifetime. He then spent his vast wealth and influence creating the false noble house of Hekate in order to cover up his presence and activities around the “cathedral”. The coming generations knew less and less of the cathedral and the family’s purpose, but all of them was taught that the family’s power and reign would only last as long as the Haematite Cathedral and its secrets. 

 

In terms of play: the Titan has been shut down to prevent the RK from manipulating the machine spirit and anyone interacting with it, which is exactly what will happen when the titan is re-activated, something that can only be done by someone carrying an inquisitorial rosette (My players have reached ascension and have an inquisitor amongst them).

 

The keyhole(s) are not hidden behind a clock but rather behind the Hekate motto in carved letters (have not made one up yet, something along the lines of “The rock that never withers”, any ideas are welcome) where the “i” is stylized like the inquisitorial I.

 

 

The Maledictus Hand and the Razored Wings

First things first, they both need new names, at least the Razored Wings, suggestions?

Secondly. The MH does not, at this point, feature in the rest of the campaighn, I’ll try to put them into use somehow, just have not come up with anything yet.

In this adventure they are still the ones pulling the strings to free the daemon. They know as much as that bringing the inquisition to the Haematite Cathedral will aid the RK in freeing him and they have several times tried to have the inquisition investigate strange phenomena around the Haematite Cathedral. They are walking a fine line trying to catch the inquisitions interest, but not too much of it.

 

The motive of the Razored Wings is still the same. They’ve gotten similar information as the MH but they do not want the inquisition (or anyone else for that matter) coming in and stealing away their source of power and devotion. They will try and stop the players by any means necessary and will put up a fierce protection around the cathedral (which will undoubtedly lead the players to believe that entering and unlocking the secrets of the cathedral is the right thing to do).

The grounds around the cathedral have been their place of worship for years, but actual entry has been scarce. Mostly because it’s as dangerous to them as to anyone else entering. This means there will be some traces of their presence within the cathedral for the players to find, but not in abundance. The cathedral will actually lock itself to the RW if/when the players take refugee inside, but some may be let in if the agents need a little push in the right direction. However, once the players have reached the titan they will be invited en masse to fuel the demonic incursion soon to follow (shamelessly stolen from Cail’s campaign).

 

 

Timeline

Because, the Black Sepulchre doesn’t have one… I can’t for the life of me find out when anything happened in relation to anything else. I get the impression that Barabus, Gustavus, Koronath and Nikea all lived at roughly the same time. Whether or not that is true, I’m not using it.

What makes Gustavus, Koronath and Nikea stand out from their relatives is that they all fell victims to the RKs influence in different way and that all of them died with one of the keys. A rouge time-line:

 

- 723.M40 RK is imprisoned in the titan

- 820.M40 Barabus leaves his last message and ends his life

- 130.M41 That the Hekate’s ever been anything else than of noble birth completely forgotten by its members

- 436.M41 Gustavus declared dead, his body never found.

- 655.M41 The last time anything was heard from Koronath Hekate by the outside world

- 749.M41 The last time anything was heard from Nikea by the outside world

- (I’m guessing) 830.M41 Enters the players

 

This means their bodies cannot have been found or the keys would have been removed, but more on that later. It does raise a few question of human decomposition, I though I’ll address them later on, but if anyone have a good source for time rate and effects of the decomposition of bodies in different climates, do post  :P

 

 

This is all I’ll have time for now (and it might be good to dismember this behemoth of text) I’d really appreciate to hear your opinions so far and some brutal suggestions if you have them  ;)

 

I have not posted on this forum for long and I’m not quite sure of the traditions. How does people feel about long posts? Are links to documents more appreciated? Should I move this to a new/different thread altogether?

As always I apologize for any and all spelling and grammar mistakes, English is not my first language  :)

 

I’m thankful for any input. Cheers!


Edited by Spacebatsy, 19 May 2014 - 06:33 AM.


#14 darkforce

darkforce

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Posted 19 May 2014 - 06:33 AM

Well, I think you should collect them in some sort of overview-document... would likely make thinks also more easy for you, not loosing track of stuff. 

Sorry for not being able to contribute more right now, kinda brain-dead right now and I've got my hands full with my own stuff... 

 

I do like your idea of separating the Black Sepulchre from the Apostasy-Gambit... gives you a lot more options to build up the menagerie as an evil supervillain of maximum madness and destruction.






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