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[Godbound] A Vissian Pantheon

Kath

The Furthest Away
RPGnet Member
Validated User
Player Characters:
Aman Soro, Godbound of Artifice, Night and Sorcery, and originally from Ancalia.
Gianfranco Gattuso, Godbound of Earth, Endurance and Might, a native the city of Galluzo in Vissio
Tireless Scrivener, Godbound of Endurance, Knowledge and Time, who fled the Atheocracy many years ago.
Vincenzo Contarini, Godbound of Deception, Journeying and Sword, another native of Galluzo.
 

Kath

The Furthest Away
RPGnet Member
Validated User
Session 1: A Mysterious Island

The Dawntreader, a medium-sized Vissian trading vessel departs Galluzo, bound for the Bright Republic. On board are Vincenzo Contarini, Aman Soro, Tireless Scrivener and Gianfranco Gattuso. Vincenzo is the eldest son of the head of House Contarini and has been sent on this mission by his desperate father (House Contarini has fallen upon very hard times due to a run of bad luck). Aman is a hired magician, employed for his knowledge of the subtle arts of mind-reading, while Tireless serves as scribe and accountant. Gianfranco is the helmsman, second-in-command to Captain Leonardo.

A day or so out from Galluzo, the look-out spots a Patrian galley appearing over the horizon. There is just enough time to see that it is a trading galley rather than a war vessel before a massive storm erupts out of nowhere. Even those who aren't experience sailors can tell that this is a deeply unnatural storm, as it builds with sudden violence.

Minutes later, there is a terrible grinding noise as the ship runs aground - but Gianfranco knows that there are no rocks anywhere near their location, no matter how fast the storm has blown them! Before he has time to do anything else, there's a flash of light from the heavens and shining glyphs descend through the air. Three of them strike each of our heroes, and they each experience a sudden epiphany. Vincenzo finds himself with an instinctive awareness of his precise location, while Aman finds he can see perfectly clearly in the dark cabin. Tireless is struck dumb as every fragment of knowledge he's ever read aligns itself perfectly in his mind, and Gianfranco finds that he can move the ship's wheel with ease and no longer needs to draw breath.

The air around the ship clears, and the pantheon and crew find themselves looking at a lush green island. The island is encircled by the storm, but mostly unaffected itself as though the term 'eye of the storm' has been interpreted on a vast and literal scale. The ship has been driven onto a outcropping of rocks that lie alongside a beach of perfect white sand.

The captain has been struck on the head by a falling piece of wood, and command falls temporarily to Vincenzo. He orders the evacuation of the ship. Gianfranco helps to rescue a sailor stuck under a massive piece of wood, lifting it with ease. He then calls upon the rocks to create a smooth path to the beach for the crew. Meanwhile Aman has headed to the pitch-black hold and reviews the terrible damage done the ship. Despite the lack of materials, he knows he can fix this.

Gianfranco, Aman and Tireless work to construct a drydock and start repairs (Gianfranco shapes the rock under Tireless's directions, while Aman uses seaweed and splinters to repair the ship). Before their task is finished, a group of warriors appear on the beach and order the crew to surrender as they are now slaves of Tenuk. A brief conflict ensues, which ends with the warriors routed and their leader defeated. Gianfranco called upon the shaking of the earth to drive back the rank and file, while Vincenzo charged up a palm tree to follow the leader, who appeared to have command of some aerial magics (the Strife of the Falling Sky). Tireless recognised the warriors as inhabitants of the Thousand Gods, a place almost the other side of Arcem!

The pantheon return to the labours, but are again interrupted a short while later (Tireless can tell its been precisely 20 minutes and 15 seconds). Another native of the island appears, but the young woman is peaceful and asks them (in Trade Cant) to meet with one of their elders, who wants to ally with them. The pantheon follow, though Aman uses his mastery of low magic to ensure that the most senior sailor can contact him if needed.

The elder is named Caro and explains to them the history of the island of Sikari. The people of this island used to worship a (made?) god called the Twin Faced Deity. When they were slain, their theotechnicians began to create a new god to protect them from their enemies. They found a celestial engine on the island, and use the shards within to empower a new deity. Something went wrong, and power traveled into Caro's nephew, a young man named Tenuk. He's now a parasite god, and as his power grows, the laws of reality over the island grow weaker. His power is associated with the Sky and this presumably explains the terrible storm and the movement of the island. He's now seeking to increase the area he can manifest in, so that can despoil the corpse of the Twin Faced Deity and add their power to his own. (The Twin Faced Deity's corpse was returned to the island after their death by their lover; the tomb is made of fire and warded by fear).

The pantheon agree to help bring Tenuk to bear, mostly because it's the only way they can leave the island. The islanders agree to hide their crew, and Gianfranco buries the cargo. They set off for the Tomb of the Twin-Faced Deity, and soon arrive. The tomb is located in the caldera of an active volanco, and is constructed of living fire itself. Gianfranco and Tireless toss a coin to see who will call upon the power of the Endurance word to shield the pantheon. Warded by Tireless's magic, the pantheon head within the tomb. The tomb consists of one large central chamber, with the 4 metre high corpse of the Twin-Faced Deity resting upon a central bier. Reluctantly, Vincenzo cuts the heart from the god's body, as they know this contains sufficient celestial shards to fix the broken engine. Once repaired, Tenuk's power will be taken from him and the storm should dissipate.

They return to the other end of the island, but their attempts at stealth are foiled. Three warriors descend from the sky, jumping down from the flying temple the soars in the sky. They are rapidly overcome, but then Tenuk himself joins the fray. He summons fog to shroud the area, and hurls lighting bolts at the pantheon. They ignore the god, and charge headlong for the small building which houses the celestial engine. Vincenzo uses his mastery of Journey to distract the guards and to unlock the door, allowing them easy access. While Aman heads forward to conduct repairs, Gianfranco builds a wall of stone to seal the entrance. Tenuk attempts to cast it down with the rain and the wind, but is ultimately unsuccessful. Aman completes his repairs, and there is a moment's pause. The pantheon wait for a few quiet moments before cautiously lowering part of Gianfranco's wall. Outside they can only see a young man, curled up on the floor and crying piteously.
 

Kath

The Furthest Away
RPGnet Member
Validated User
Session 2: Establishing a base

The session begins with the pantheon tying up various loose ends on the island. They spend dominion to hide the island from outsiders, to allow the tropical fruit trees to grow in the harsher Vissian climate, to create a zone of truth in the temple, and to create a shipyard and guild of shipwrights.

While talking to the islanders, they find out that about 20% of the islanders are afflicted by a curse, and are effectively slaves. These 'cursed ones' are descendants of a small group who rebelled against the Twin Faced Deity and led to the death of the Deity's daughter. As punishment, the Deity cursed them and their descendants to know the same pain and suffering that their daughter had before her death. Looking back into time, Tireless saw that the Twin-Faced Deity had placed the curse so that it would be lifted when the rest of the islanders forgave them - but this fact has been forgotten in the intervening century and a half.

Aman uses theurgy to see if there are any Night Roads nearby, and finds that there is one in the mountainous part of the island. The pantheon head there, and find it buried deep within a cave, protected by walls of fire and other defenses apparently raised by the Twin-Faced Deity. They traverse all the way to the sealed Night Road itself, and destroy a few Uncreated lurking there. They decide to leave the Night Road for now, and depart, reinforcing the wards and traps as they go.
The pantheon then set sail to the Bright Republic, to conclude Vincenzo's trade deal. To protect their secret, the pantheon temporarily remove all memory of the island from their sailors (the sailors agree to this, as the alternative would be no shore leave). They completely remove the memories of the Patrian slaver Lucius, and feign rescuing him from the sea. Lucius is deeply grateful, and promises to repay them should they ever visit him in Patria.

While in the Bright Republic, they see evidence of other Godbound - the local news programmes feature stories of a Republican Godbound, a young woman who can fly and loose arrows from a terrifying range.

Vincenzo concludes his business deal, but Aman's mind-reading reveals that the deal is a cover-up for the real job - to smuggle an advanced piece of magitech from the Bright Republic! This is highly illegal, and also somewhat out of character for Vincenzo's father, who was always been a lawful merchant. The pantheon decide to play dumb, and accept the 'personal gift' for Vincenzo's father.

Once at sea, they investigate and find out that it is a strange machine with wires and needles. When attached to a person, it will generate a random change in them, which will be inheritable. The person's lifespan is reduced by use of the device, and there is no guarantee of a positive outcome. The device is intended for onward transit to the Oasis States, presumably for use in their eugenics programmes.
 

Kath

The Furthest Away
RPGnet Member
Validated User
Session 3: Family and politics in Galluzo

The pantheon return to the city, and Vincenzo and Aman head to the Contarini compound, while Gianfranco and Tireless head to the Gattuso family house.

Vincenzo reports to his father about the mission, and reveals what has happened to both him and Aman. His father reveals that his arranged for Vincenzo to be married to the daughter of a rich merchant family (who happen to have brought up most of Contarini's debt), but Vincenzo tells his father an alternative arrangement will have to be made.

Aman offers to repay Contarini for their years of employment by making works of sculpture for the house, and the family's blacksmith is summarily pushed out of his forge to make way.

Gianfranco is initially forbidden entrance to the family house, as he is no longer on speaking terms with his father or (most of) his family. He is easily able to force his way in, and his father eventually realises that a reconciliation is a good idea. Gianfranco unsubtly informs his father that the family's criminal path will cease and that he will ensure they turn over a new leaf.

As the news spreads over the city, the pantheon receive a series of invitations. The most significant are from: Paolo Donato (the doge's son), Valeria (the doge's treasurer, lover and one of her most trusted advisers), and Matriarch Lucrezia (head of the Church of the One in Galluzo).

That night, Tireless heads to the cathedral and nails a proclamation to the door which states: "​The One is gone;He does not care for you. New gods have come; Worship them and be blessed"

They decide to attend on Paolo first, figuring that the others will be less offended if they are left until later. Paolo is a charming young man, and uses the audience to try and work out the pantheon's intentions for the city - and for Paolo's plans to inherit after his mother's death. Tireless divines that the doge is far sicker than is publicly known, and that Paolo fears for her life. Secure that the pantheon pose no threat to him, Paolo agrees to find some land for Aman so that he can establish a guild of theotechnicians.

Next up, the pantheon visit Valeria. Her main concern is that Aman could use his crafting abilities to destroy the city's economy, and she is reassured when he makes it clear that he intend to work within the existing guild structure and will not be handing out riches to everyone in Galluzo.

Finally, the pantheon call upon the Matriarch. Lucrezia is a young zealot, and is deeply disappointed when the pantheon make it clear that they want to be worshiped as gods. She warns them that they are putting the souls of their followers at risk, and that they should not give into hubris, and should instead use their powers to serve the One, and by the devotion encourage his return to the Empty Throne.

Next up, Tireless pays a medical call on the Doge, arranged via her son. Olympia is dismissive of his advice, saying that it is 'only a cough', but Tireless is fairly sure the Doge is afflicted with cancer. He warns Paolo of the severity of her condition.

A few days later, Paolo invites the pantheon to a grand ball held in the ducal palace. It is a magnificent affair, and the pantheon are beset by people keen to talk to them.

Tireless is approached by a young cleric who asks him if the pantheon plan to strike against the Atheocracy of Lom. The cleric is a member of a group within the Church of the One who work to oppose the Atheocracy, and the young cleric is keen to sound out Tireless. He's not quite up to directly challenging his superior's within the Church but does let Tireless know that not everyone takes Lucrezia's hard line. He also gets a chance to speak to a scholar, who reveals in passing that a powerful artifact is rumoured to lie within the Refuge of Ilorin, a sealed underground city from the time of the Shattering.

Aman spends his time working to establish his new guild, offering many places to his fellow Ancalians. He also arranges a charity gala in aid of the refugees in the city, playing on his newfound celebrity status to help his countrymen.
 

Kath

The Furthest Away
RPGnet Member
Validated User
Session 4: The Refuge of Ilorin

The pantheon head inland, bound for the Refuge of Ilorin, one of the most famous pre-Shattering ruins in Vissio. The Refuge is said to be a magnificent underground city created to protect the innocent from the terrible wars of that time. It has been immortalised in the opera “Jacapo & Graziella”, which tells the story of two lovers who were separated for eternity when the entrance to the Refuge was sealed by a massive rockfall. Scholars who point out that the names Jacapo and Graziella are modern Vissian names and that the whole plot is anarchronstic are considered party poopers.

En route, the pantheon stop in TOWN, which is abuzz with news of a recent Raktine raid on the next town upriver. Tireless gains insight into the local politics, which is split between those wanting to help the neighbours and those wanting to take advantage of their misfortune. They also hire a guide in TOWN to lead them to the Refuge (the surviving statues are somewhat of a tourist attraction).

The entrance to the Refuge is marked by two gigantic statues of animal-headed humans, one with a wolf’s head, and one with a bull’s head. The entrance itself is covered by a massive slope of scree and loose rocks. Gianfranco calls upon the power of the Earth word to lead the pantheon within the rocks, and they soon find themselves in a large, finely-carved corridor. The place is dark and dank, and a large chamber looms ahead. The chamber is the main entrance to the underground complex, and is guarded by a group of automata who pose little challenge to the pantheon.

Before heading on, Tireless calls upon his newly-bound Sun Word to see within the underground complex. He sees a ruined temple ahead of them, which is inhabited by a massive misbegotten beast and its spawn. The rest of the complex is home to a group of humans wearing archaic clothing, and another group dressed in more modern Raktine clothing. Worried that the natives will be xenophobic (a well-grounded fear), Gianfranco leads the pantheon through the earth towards the Raktines.

Though rather surprised to see other outsiders within the Refuge, the Rakteins introduce themselves as Jolano and Tamas Vargo, here in search of an artefact. They agree a deal with the pantheon – they will the Godbound two celestial shards if the Godbound retrieve the artefact from the natives. The artefact is a mask that gives the wearer control of beasts, and the two theurgists have come here as their town is being threatened by a powerful sorcerer of the Black Academy and his army of animals. Further deals are arranged with Aman to swap knowledge of incantations of the Gate.

There is a sealed chamber which the Raktines have not been able to enter, but Vincenzo easily opens the door. Within is a great store room, which the Raktines have inadvertently cut the natives off from. Also within the chamber are two celestial shards.

The pantheon head towards the natives of the Refuge, and Vincenzo scouts ahead, calling upon the Deception word to blind all eyes to his passage. While he scouts, Tireless and Aman realise that there is a massive ruined archive here too... Vincenzo finds the artefact, and verifies the information provided by Jolana and Tamas. The pantheon attempt to negotiate with the natives, who are initially very hostile (mostly due to the Raktines having already claimed some of their complex and having threatened to steal their holy relic). Gianfranco claims to be the inheritor of the power of Ilorin (the made god who created this place), and demonstrates his mastery of Earth. Aman reads the mind of the High Priest who is negotiating with them, and passes the knowledge of the sacred rites to Gianfranco to further the pretence. The natives say that they will consider his claim valid if he can drive the Raktines out and tame the terrible beast that was once Ilorin’s familiar (Ilorin was a Made God of the Earth and Beasts Words).

The Raktines agree to the bargain, and the pantheon hand them the celestial shards as a form of escrow while Gianfranco leads them outside. The pantheon then rest before heading to the temple to confront the great beast. The misbegotten moves with terrible swiftness and comes close to destroying the pantheon before they can even react – Tireless calls upon the word of the Sun to drive the beast back for a moment. The pantheon are eventually victorious, though Gianfranco is felled during the fight (the Divine Fire of the Godbound cannot be so easily quenched, thankfully).

The natives are overwhelmed when the pantheon return, with Gianfranco dragging the house-sized corpse of the misbegotten behind him, while one of its spawn barks at his heels (thanks to Aman’s Regnal Seal of Dominion). The natives reluctantly agree to lend their holy artefact to the inheritor of Ilorin, and the pantheon make preparations to head to Raktia with the sorcerers.

Before leaving, their repair the great temple to Ilorin, and also the archive which contains a wealth of knowledge about the taming and creation of magical beasts. The Raktines reveal that they travelled here via a rare spell; a powerful theurgic incantation can be used to permanently link two locations, and a lesser incantation allows travel between them if the name of the other end of the link is known. They found a small temple to Ilorin in the Arras Mountains which one end of such an arcane link, and reasoned that it must lead it. Traversing it brought them into the archive of the Refuge. The pantheon also found one end of a second link in the chambers of Ilorin and his greatest chosen.
 

Kath

The Furthest Away
RPGnet Member
Validated User
Session 5: Berzova and the Chosen One

The pantheon arrive at Berzova rapidly, and Vincenzo departs to conduct a secret mission back in Galluzo.

Berzova is a walled city on the banks of a river, and is encircled by a camp of refugees. The twins (Tamas and Jolana) don't know where these refugees are from. Tireless works out that they are fleeing the destruction of Chelmac, a nearby city. Chelmac had sent word to Berzova when the Chosen One (a powerful theurge with an army of beasts) attacked them, and Berzova's boyar sent the twins on their mission to recover the Crown of Beasts to enhance Berzova's defenses. The Raktine Confederacy is a nation in name only, and Berzova is unable and unwilling to provide shelter to the peasantry of their neighbour. Once within Berzova, the city is packed with the local peasants and their flocks.

The pantheon are introduced to Boyar Andras, the ruler of Berzova. They soon prove their worth to him - Aman works with his master of arms to craft fine arms and armour for every warrior in the city (almost every Raktian adult is trained to fight), while Gianfranco enhances and strengthens the city's walls, particularly about the harbour. Tireless scouts out the army of beasts (who are still near Chelmac) and delves into the magical arts possessed by the Chosen One.

After helping Berzova, the pantheon decide to help the refugees. The boyar refuses to allow them into his city - he has neither the food or the space to house them, and simply wishes them gone from his lands. They decide to construct river boats and trade goods to give to the refugees, giving them the means to leave the area and to buy food further downriver.

While Gianfranco and Aman work to construct the ships, Tireless wanders amoung the people, helping to reunite families. As he does this, he meets the Prophet - a woman telling everyone about the Lady of the Forest, and a place of safety and sanctuary in the nearby forest. She is supernaturally persuasive, and most of the refugees follow her rather than embarking on the boats. Aman reads her mind and sees the Lady of the Forest, who is probably another Godbound. The pantheon decide to let the refugees leave, and talk to the Lady later on, once the Chosen One is defeated.

While waiting for army to arrive, Tireless keeps an eye on refugees periodically. They enter the forest with the Prophet, and then disappear. In their place is a new army of beasts, and a small warded area like that seen with the main army. Tireless blasts away the ward for a round, and sees the Chosen One and his summoned servitors. Tireless divines that the Chosen One can be destroyed if a specific tree is destroyed, and guesses that this tree is in a large warded area deeper within the forest.

The new army attacks Berzova, and the Chosen One takes to the field. A tough fight ensues, but the Pantheon are able to kill him (albeit temporarily, they suspect). The beasts are revealed to be transformed humans, who spread their curse onto anyone they bite. While their part of the wall held strong, reports reach them that a small group of beasts have scaled the wall further around the city...
 

Kath

The Furthest Away
RPGnet Member
Validated User
The Rest of the Campaign

Finishing up in Berzova
The pantheon succeeded in defeating the Chosen One and his infrastructure, and worked to enhance Berzova and the other cities destroyed previously.

Through the Nightroad!
The pantheon next ventured through a nightroad to a dead realm named Chelmac. It was ruled by undead, who protected the remaining living. The group spoke with the undead, and agreed to re-house everyone from Chelmac in the 'real world. Firstly, they ventured through another nightroad from Chelmac which led into a heaven, where they recovered a paradise seed after aiding a loyalist angel. Chelmac was destroyed, but all who lived (and unlived!) there were saved.

Paradise
The paradise seed was hidden at the heart of the Mandala, the great ruined machine underneath the Howler lands. The pantheon ventured in, and got past both the inhabitants and an attacking Atheocracy army to secure the paradise seed.

They created their personal realm, and it was a vast paradise, where no-one could oppress another, everyone was driven to create wonderful things, and death was under an individual's control.

Finale
Two other Vissian cities led an attack on their home city, but they easily defeated them. They also stopped an incoming Patrian invasion before it even started, by destroying the fleet in harbour.

The game ended with the status quo more or less restored to Vissio, but for how long?

Best Gift Use Prize
Awarded to Tireless, for using the Time gift to reset the last 15 minutes of time. The pantheon had followed the Grand Matriarch of Vissio to her inner sanctum (via a sorcerous gate) and slew her in battle. Tireless then used his Gift to erase the last 15 minutes of time, so no evidence remaining. The gift's powers could not restore anyone to life, and so the Grand Matriarch remained dead, even though no-one attacked her.
 
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