Friday, 24 September 2010

Age of Chaos - Session 7

A short but fun session, with a very interesting (and completely unexpected by all concerned) twist at the end.


Aergyl - Aged and ill-fated necromancer and devotee of Mot, god of death
Barur - Noble Dwarven warrior, accompanied by his hirelings Barath and Angur
Darian - Wandering bard

This session left off directly where the last one finished - with Aergyl incarcerated in the village of Keet after being put to the rune trial for dealing with the gods of Chaos, found guilty, and sentenced to death by burning the following day.

After the murder of one of the prison guards by Aergyl during the night, it was decided that he needed to be more securely imprisoned. A group of guards, accompanied by the Seid (the village temple warden), came to Aergyl's cell, bound his hands behind his back, gagged him, put a sack over his head, and blocked up the small window in the door of his cell. Unable to resist, the necromancer languished in the darkness, trying to think of a means of escape or revenge.

At dawn the prison guards gathered, preparing to take Aergyl to meet his fate in the town of Aglong. Barur also awoke at dawn, and, hoping to at least be able to speak with his former companion (the necromancer), he roused Barath, Angur and Darian, with whom he was sharing a room at the inn. The Dwarf's companions were rather disgruntled at being woken up so early, and none of them was keen to interfere further in the course of justice. So Barur went alone to the guard's barracks, where he met the party as they were bringing Aergyl out from his cell. Blenworth, the guard captain, explained to Barur what had happened, how Aergyl had murdered one of the men in the night with dark magic, and how there could be no doubt now that the judgement of the high gods was correct - the wizard should be condemned to death. Barur asked to be able to speak to Aergyl, but Blenworth refused, saying that they didn't want to risk him speaking any more dangerous words of power in the village. Thus Aergyl was dragged down to the road, and began his journey to Aglong.

Barur stayed and spoke with the guards' captain for a time, and reached a reconciliation. The captain said that the adventurers were still welcome in the village, and that their explorations of the wilderness to the south, and killing of Goblins was greatly appreciated. However, he was urged to take more care in choosing his companions in future, especially those who dabble in the arts of wizardry. The Dwarf then returned to the inn to mull over the events of the last day, and to decide his next course of action.

Aergyl, in the meantime, was being dragged along the road to Aglong. Being physically overpowered, and unable to use magic due to his bindings, the certainty of his fate sunk in. His mind reached out in desperation to the dark gods of Chaos. He was wearing a silver necklace in the form of a spider, which he had taken from a spider cultist whom they had encountered and killed in the forest several weeks ago. The necklace was known to have magical powers, and had been used several times to charm and control giant spiders, so Aergyl surmised that it had some connection to the spider god Ligg. Attempting to use the power of the necklace once more, he called out mentally to the spider god, asking to be saved. His plea was heard, and his mind slipped gradually into a vision - where he was standing in a dark subterranean space, surrounded by spiders of all shapes and sizes, crawling everywhere and eventually submerging him in their number. The voice of Ligg emerged out of the noise of thousands of spiders crawling, a sinister whisper answering the necromancer's plea for aid - "And what would you do for me in return?". Aergyl replied that he would serve Ligg in return for his help now. The deity replied simply "Renounce your god". Aergyl detected a malicious humour in this remark, knowing that his god, Mot, the god of death, would very likely not look kindly on one who willingly leaves his service. Nonetheless, he took the risk, and in the presence of the spider god he renounced Mot and swore to serve only Ligg. The god accepted his service.

The spider necklace began to get hot, burning Aergyl's flesh and burrowing into his chest. Through his gag, he screamed out in pain, but his mind was now elsewhere, being fully immersed in the consciousness of the spiders surrounding him. As the necklace bored to the centre of his chest, the wizard's body was transformed into a thousand tiny spiders, which scuttled away from the horrified guards, leaving his robes and bindings to drop to the ground.

And so ended the career of Aergyl as a PC. However, this episode has layed the seed of him potentially returning as an enemy at some point, a deranged devotee of Ligg. It was a really interesting session, and great fun to delve a bit further into the relationship of mortals to the gods. I have very much in mind that I want the gods to have real power in the world, and that characters speaking their names, and invoking their aid have the potential to bring forth that power. I've not come up with any formal rules for this as yet (though I might do), but have just been asking players to make Spirit rolls when they invoke the power of a deity. And Aergyl's player made some very successful Spirit rolls in his dealing with the spider god!

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