WARNING: This game is not... age appropriate. It includes instances of manipulation, rape, devils, contracts gone wrong, murder, child abuse, and all sorts of unpleasant things. The world is a dark place But it also includes people who want to go above all that. There are heroes. Please keep that in mind as you read through.Otherwise you might get depressed and/or offended. For those of you who want the list of characters before-hand, click here.
When I first started this game, it did not start as a 4th edition game, but as a playtest for the Journey System, a game system that Carpe and I were working on at the time. I pitched this game as story-intensive dark fantasy at the RRPG club, where about 30 gamers had gathered. Given that I was completely new at Benedictine I mostly got blank looks, and most people avoided the game in favor of DMs they knew. But four brave souls signed up after some prodding from Kurlacker, who had played with me before and gave me some high compliments. One of them couldn't play for a few weeks, and one dropped out almost immediately due to illness. So that left two people. I had them draw up characters, Vladmir and Char.
The two of them woke up in a dungeon, without any knowledge of how they got there. Vladmir couldn't remember anything at all, whereas Char remembered exactly who he was: a prophet of the god Bane, who would conquer the world. While Vladmir had some intuitive idea that this wasn't someone who he didn't spend his time around, the two agreed to a truce until they could figure out what was going on. They traveled the dungeon, fighting goblins they encountered. The place was dank and overgrown with vines. They found some vines thickly growing out of an alcove and, climbing up Zelda-fashion, they entered the tunnel. That's when the vines moved, and they realized the vines were actually hair for a monster! They set fire to the vines, and ran like hell. The place shook, and the vines attacked them. They didn't stop for anything, especially not the puny little goblins who were trying to get out as well. They found a spiral staircase and ran up it, exiting out of an old and run down castle.
They didn't look back.
After a few weeks we had another session, but we switched over to 4th edition at this point, because Andy and I didn't have the time to devote to a Monster Manual, which was sorta necessary for me to run the game. I hadn't thought about just winging it, but oh well.
As Vladmir and Char traveled the lands, they encountered a group of goblins. After a stiff fight (as I attempted to teach them 4th edition), they killed the vast majority of the goblins.
Aaaaand.... right about here my player base sorta exploded. Not only did the player who couldn't play immediately show up, but so did three more people! The group jumped from two to six overnight.
Vladmir and Char traveled to the nearest city, the goblin town of Billi. On the way there, they found a bunch of elves attacking goblin women and children. Even though Char didn't particularly care, he wished to have the option to exploit the women and children and later, so he joined in with Vladmir to fight the elves. A group of 4 adventurers who were also traveling to Billi stopped and helped. They were Gant, Talnor, Poultrin, and another character I just cannot remember the name of right now. She dropped out within a few sessions. Anyway, the fight was really on. Gant only joined in because it was quite obvious the elves were in the wrong, and he didn't want to be pinned as an elven supremacist.
Anyway, after a fight on the bridge the elves were killed. The goblin women and children thanked their saviors, commenting that they were waiting for their husbands, who had left the day before in the same general direction that Vladmir and Char had come from! With horror, Vladmir realized he had slaughtered the husbands and fathers of this group!
At this point, it was made pretty clear in out of game talk that Gant was a sick character. The player joked about how Gant heard dark voices in his head. All of a sudden I got a text from Gant's player:
"What do the voices say?"
I paused a moment. I thought through the full ramifications, and figured that if I was gonna go dark, I was gonna go dark. My text read as such:
"Impregnate an elvish woman."
He laughed. I realized I had someone who may have some issues. Oh well, it would make for an interesting game, if nothing else! (For the record, the guy who plays Gant is a really nice guy who sometimes has a sick sense of humor. I don't have an actual sociopath in my game, so don't worry...)
The party had left one elf alive, whom they "convinced" to give up the location of their hideout: an abandoned keep to the south (NOT in the direction of the falling apart castle) Gant, being the only one with stealth, snuck in before all them and lit up their kerosene barrels and, with a little bit of improvisation, killed everyone in the tower.
Except for one particularly beautiful elf, whom he teleported into the flames to save her. He covered her mouth, and told her that he was a servant of the Raven Queen, and that she had a destiny bound to his. She was to serve him for the rest of her days. The elf nodded, eyes wide with panic. Gant took out his knife and carved the letter "A" into her shoulder. She didn't whimper. He covered up the mark with her shirt, and told her to tell no one of it.
The rest of the party came running in just a minute later, having heard the explosion. They asked who the girl was, and Gant replied he had saved her from being despoiled by the bastards, hence the explosion. They asked the girl, who could only reply "A". Poultrin fell head-over-heels in love with the girl from the moment he saw her, and (since he had the Heal skill), attempted to check for injuries.
Yeah, he rolled a nat 1.
Instead of fixing her up, Poultrin unwittingly deeply scratched the "A" in the elf's arm. She screamed, and ran away. The party followed, and found the A marked into her arm. They tried to apply some herbs so it wouldn't scar, but the elf refused, and even rubbed dirt into the wound, pointing at herself and saying "A" the entire time. Vladmir looked suspiciously at Gant, but kept his mouth shut for the moment.
Until the next day, when they woke up and found Gant and A missing.