Monday, July 27, 2020

Cinderheim and Session Zero

I recently acquired Cinderheim from the Bundle of Holding. I also acquired World vs. Hero because I've always been hesitant to use Word Mill's Mythic. I try it, I feel uncomfortable with the complexity, then I stop. This session, I am devoting entirely to Word Mill : besides possibly using Mythic as a GM emulator, I want to play test The Adventure Crafter for creating adventure seeds and The Location Crafter for scene locations. So this will confine me to 80% Word Mill with a splash of Cinderheim because : 1. I like pulp sword and sorcery and 2. Dark Sun simplifed sounds enticing. And maybe just a tiny bit of OSR D&D because classic D&D is cool. And a small token reference to Marvel Superheroes because that's where I got inspiration from for quantifying the suit abilities.

And can I just add (once again), I hate how Blogger has no idea that there is no line break after some of these colons? I've literally spent an hour editing this to no avail.

Genre : Fantasy
Size : The Seven Kingdoms

A large desert containing seven oases. Each oasis is governed by a warlord who swears fealty
to one of the seven demons. The sun burns at a hundred degrees or more, limned by solar barbs. The desert is harsh and cruel, drawing in explorers from foreign lands, but they never escape. The immigrants that survive maintain that the lands outside of Cinderheim are green and verdant; Cinderheim is the anomaly.

Hero Types
Cleric : Devoted; Elementalist; Seeks Balance
Fighter : Nomadic; Survivalist; Seeks Community
Rogue : Communal; Opportunist; Seeks Expansion
Warlock : Devoted; Individualist; Seeks Understanding

Hero Species
Dwarf : Uncommon; may detect inconsistent construction and traps and has dark vision.
Elf : Rare; may cast spells as a warlock of Kemavanya the Earth Queen and has dark vision.
Halfling : Uncommon; hear better than others and are more accurate with ranged weapons.
Human : Common; are more decisive and have a commanding presence.

Hero Affiliations
Amuneta the Liberator : May hear the voice of Narah within birdsong.
Andastros the Elven Restorationist : May find omens written in blood.
Black Powder Apostles : Unitarian faction that believe they are sacred exorcists.
Grand Magus Toman Dak : May speak with Druuz through nightmares and phantasms.
Hamada the Reaver : May listen to the words of canines.
Lesedi Gheda : May find messages left within tracks from snakes.
Niu Bo Wei, the Prince of Pleasure : May hear the voice of the wind.
Riders of Golgoth : Owe no allegiance to any demon or warlord.
Tenoch the Devourer : May listen to the words spoken by locust wings.
The Architects : Lesser powers allied to wrest control of Cinderheim from the demon lords.
The Maiden’s Templars : Crusaders serving Lady Jaina to atone for previous sins.
The Wheel : Influential, wealthy and cunning, they seek economic power.

Tarn, Human Rogue of The Architects

Tarn’s brown eyes hold a steely gaze; his umber hair cropped short. A lithe body wrapped in
simple, common clothes. Tarn found himself on the streets of Narak, making a living
amongst the stone and brick buildings. He was safe within the walls held by Amuneta the
Liberator with her promise of keeping the wrongfully accused safe. It was that same liberty
that introduced Tarn to The Architects, an organization that wants to depose the current
regime of the seven demon lords.

Suit Abilities
Clubs [2] Knife in the Dark : Remarkable knife fighter
Spades [2] From the Shadows : Excellent thief
Hearts [1] Sixth Sense : Good intuition

Special FX

King of Diamonds Now You Don’t… Fade from view like dissipating ink.

Saturday, July 25, 2020

The End of the Beginning

Reading over posts from the past couple years made me realize how long it's been since I've dusted off Visemar and Laneira. While it's hard to get back into their particular situations after that length of time, I can end that segment of the story then, possibly, continue on.


My eyes open. I test them to be sure by blinking a couple of times. I slowly raise my hand and turn it under my querying gaze. Plate gauntlet the color of ash. The fingers end sharply like talons. My back is supported by something solid. Feels like stone. I turn my head and verify it is a stone altar. I know this place.

I sit up slowly, the plate making hollow sounds as it shifts with my weight on the stone. Beaked visor covering my face; black wings flowing down like a cloak. I don't need to turn around to remember the statue of a giant raven behind me. I'm back in the cemetery within the temple of the Raven Queen. Had I died? I must have. But The Edge of Eternity. Didn't that me-...

"Visemar." The voice is soft but somehow mocking.

"Vincent." The voice changes tone, something more questioning. Perhaps pouting.

"Brencia," I reply with a parched voice. It comes out like gravel, like I haven't had anything to drink in a very long time.

"I was afraid I had broken you. That you had finally given up. Good."

My eyes peer at her through the slit in the visor. Same as always : red hair, green eyes and a body that she designed for herself that she thought seemed more divine. Brencia steps toward the altar, bringing herself within arm's reach. I smile faintly beneath the charred metal of my helm. My hand reaches out, surrounded by a wireframe model of a pistol. Napana grows solid, seeping in from Elsewhere, her muzzle pressed against Brencia's forehead.

She smiles, Napana fading back to blue white lines. "No. No, not today. Today is my day, Vince. I finally have control of the system, and that includes whether or not I permit you to summon your spirit."

[ Thirty Seconds to Mars, The Kill ]

"You're making a mistake," I grumble.

"A mistake?!" her laughter echoes through the temple. "I found the Edge of Eternity, Vince. I recovered it after you threw it away. And you finally need to go," she emphasizes her last point with a kick to my armored chest. Armored or not, that hurt, and I find myself lying on my back on the altar.

Brencia sits on the edge of the altar, looking down at me. Her hand comes up and a blade of starlit darkness seeps in from the surrounding air. I can't help it, and laughter rumbles from within my armor. I look at the Edge of Eternity, really look at it, and the laughter redoubles and grows stronger.

"What's so funny?" Brencia asks, suspicion written across her face.

"Laneira knew your name," the laughter dies, replaced by a seething whisper. "I know your name."

Brencia's suspicion is replaced with a smile, "And your oath to never hurt me..."

"Vince's oath," I say, confidence building.


I take her surprise as an invitation and push the blade away, as I sit up and push Brencia off the altar. "You banished Vince to the Dark a long, long time ago."

"Who?" Brencia whispers, disbelieving.

"I am No'thilu Grey, the Raven, and the Edge of Eternity is my inheritance through the sacrifice of my great grandfather."

My fist clenches, and I feel a reassuring pulse. I pull at the Edge of Eternity. A blade the color of night appears in my gauntleted fist. One side, the night sky above the Ravenwood, no'thilu ka'tikani, my name, my home; the other, the sunlit mirror of the same. As Brencia stood, shocked, the Edge of Eternity pierced her heart. I cradle the head of my great grandmother's sister as she slowly goes to the floor.

"Visemar swore an oath to not harm you; he took my place so I may do what he couldn't. You are nitaaru. Broken. Dead."

As I watch my great-grandaunt slowly die, I feel hollow. Perhaps it was a victory. A win. I did the thing. But as long as the Edge of Eternity exists, they will be reborn. A part of me wants to shatter this cursed thing, to break the cycle and let the dead die. I could live my own life. Another part of me wants to see Visemar, Vincent, return from the Dark. To be free. To thank him for saving me.

Brencia's corpse turns to ash, blown away on ethereal wind. I glance down at the night blade and feel it pulse in response. I have a choice to make, and it could affect generations to come...

[ Minniva, This Is War ]