JP On Gaming

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The Mark - a NeoExodus campaign epilogue

Late last year, I believe it was in October, I put up a message saying I was looking to start a NeoExodus home game. In no time at all, I had six willing volunteer wanting to play. And since that time, I have been doing nasty things to them. Very nasty things. I will let them spread the word of all of the things they did - both good, bad and "Oops". There were a few changes to the group, such as Stephen joining in session #2, to William and Jacob later.

This was my first home game, real home game, not based on published or "going to be published" material and I really enjoyed it. I was able to use some of my favorite old-style dungeons from the TSR I-Series modules, tweaked to the Pathfinder RPG.

Without telling you everything that happened, here is the final entry in the campaign journal of "The Mark".

Alone in the dark, Athelia pondered the situation. Obroxus had failed and now she was left with almost nothing. She fumed and raged, smashing what was left after these meddlesome adventurers had left. These vandals had stolen everything they could not destroy. And what was left suffered under the blind woman's rage.

"I am so glad I gave that poisoned wine bottle to those adventurers so they would break free from your control..."

From the anger rose a new sense of dedication, a new purpose. As though her mind had been forged in the flames of her anger and sharpened upon the blade of her hatred. Just then, the solution came to her!

Maybe the imbecile had not failed entirely. Her thoughts half-formed, she rose and walked through the vandalized remains of the home she has shared with Obroxus. Snickering at the destroyed portraits, at the stolen furniture, at the traps that would need to be fixed, she made her way through the deserted mansion. It mattered little to Athelia at this time.

Heading to the basement, she pressed her hand upon a slime-covered wall. The yellowish goo swallowed her hand for a moment before parting revealing a massive alchemical laboratory.

Beakers, glass tubes, rainbow-colored powders, neon smoke escaped from uncorked bottles. She looked on in wonder trying to understand the complex experiments still underway. Finding a journal, Athelia sat on nearby chair and flipped through the pages. Obroxus had detailed his experiments on vellum. It would take her years to re-create the Mark. But she had time.

The mark would force the bearer to obey every one of your commands.

"What? The fool marked these adventurers with five others? Kago wanted Gwen gone forever. Baron von Urtenstein wanted his future wife's brother-in-law and all his people killed. The Demon Art who wanted a vessel upon Exodus. And finally Shafell the gevet needed someone to destroy her mother."

She marveled at the lack of ambition these slaves demonstrated. What if instead of applying that type of power to a group of kids, it was applied to the best and most powerful adventurers on Exodus? She squealed with joy, jumping excitedly. The hatred and anger she felt before was gone. Contempt and admiration both raced through her mind.

Her attention was drawn to a single papyrus protruding from the back. Her eyes filled with horror as she read the runes. She read how Obroxus drew power from the slave's own future selves to make them extremely powerful. Sure, it would cut their lifespan by a decade or more, but she couldn't help but marvel at the revelation.

The poison she gave the slaves severed that connection. She was the one who made it all fail! Obroxus might have made an army of servants using their own power! Horrified and disgusted with herself, she put the journal down on the table and walked to the slime wall.

As the wall closed behind Athelia, a dark-skinned hand peered out of the shadows reaching for the single piece of paper. Then the laboratory was still and quiet again.


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