A Cult of Characters – Malmsturm Part 2

(Translation of this german post.) As you may have noticed, the intervals in between my blog posts average out at roughly an eighth of a year (a mercurian year, that is). I’d love to be more active, but uni, deplorable work ethics and far too many hobbies really don’t make it any easier. What I want to say is: With every day of not continuing my play report, the campaign’s events fade ever more into the waters of forgetfulness, the tides of time, the closet of procrastination. welt5For example, the session I’m about to cover in this post took place … err … fuck it, I don’t know how long that’s been. See? Well, I’ll try my best to fully reconstruct it all, with aspects and game mechanics and everything, but it’ll be a bumpy ride for sure. Also, I hereby want to encourage my players to provide corrections and additions in the comments whenever they feel like it.

Last time I described the party creation and announced player characters, NPCs and the relationship network for this post. The first actual ingame scenes will come tomorrow or something (emphasis on “or something”). (The translator is well aware that “tomorrow” has long since passed …) I just took a photo of the

Relationship Network

as it came about during party creation:DSC04055(Translator’s note: Obviously, this is in german. I mean, I won’t sit down with a pencil and replicate it in english or something … that’d be stupid.) This might look messy, but it’s … like … a creative process and stuff, you know? Ahem. Well, it says for example that Xynthara and Xynderior are fellow scholars who enjoy an occasional intellectual exchang, that Xynderior has a contact named Bretax who trades in rarities and that because of his alchemical rejuvenation Agnleiphi ist dependent on royal alchemist Hekaia, whose winged and somewhat alluring living experiment Aschariel recently escaped into the city and so forth. The point is: every PC (encircled) has a relationship (labeled arrow) to another PC and one to an NPC (not encircled), which are then reflected in aspects on the character sheets. Once again for FATE noobs: Aspects (printed bold in my posts) are statements about people and locations, that can be utilized for bonuses and special effects by spending fate points.

Agnleiphi Tetriadoch

Aspects:

  • Concept: Oldest lanista of the Imperium
  • Motivation: The Emperor’s new sex
  • Relationship to PC: Eternal youth has it’s price (Hekaia)
  • Relationship to NPC: The Grand Pugnators dirty secret
  • Do what thou wilt …: The First Fist

The motivation aspect is a play on the saying “the emperor’s new clothes” (of which I’m unsure how common it is in english) and it’s supposed to mean that Agnleiphi has set his/her eyes on the imperial throne and also believes all respectable imperial citizens should be hermaphrodites. (Translator’s note: It works better in german because our word for “a sex” can also mean “a dynasty”.) The dirty secret of Grand Pugnator Valerion (who also lives in Anosia and is the administrator of the imperial gladiator master league) is his disfigured lover, hidden in the basement of his estate. This aberration  has some odd body parts to many and most certainly doesn’t dwell in Anosia legally. (Translator’s note: I just freely translated the german name “Irrform” as “aberration”. That’s a kind of human mutant, born of all the in- and crossbreeding in the Imperium and probably also of daemonological mishaps … it’s not uncommon, it’s just that ugly people are not allowed in Anosia.) Rules-wise, The First Fist is a connection, a GM-controled NPC (comprising the four gladiators he/she leads as captain) allied to Agnleiphi.

Stunts:

  • Rewarding glory: 1x/session Agnleiphi can choose to obtain a reward (a kind of persistent boost or one-time aspect) from his life as a gladiator, like the gift of a benefactor or the price of a tournament.
  • Popular: Agnleiphi can roll on overcome with charisma instead of contacts in order to establish social networks in a place where he is known.
  • The allure of the unknown: As a comely hermaphrodite Agnleiphi gets +2 on creating an advantage with charisma in order to seduce someone.
  • I’m worth my name in gold: His/her good name gives Agnleiphi +2 on overcome with resources, when bargaining with someone who heard of it.
  • (Dis-)Advantageous armor: 1x/session and for the cost of a fate point Agnleiphi’s particularly revealing and salacious “armor” allows him/her to automatically succeed in defending against a physical attack.

Hekaia

Aspects:

  • Concept: Alchemist of yore, I think …
  • Motivation: Biomorphology is an art unto itself
  • Relationship to PC: I need new material! (Xynthara)
  • Relationship to NPC: My muse is gone! (Aschariel)
  • Do what thou wilt …: The pocket lab of flesh and bone (artifact/mactatum)

The “I think” in his concept goes back to an amnesia Hekaia suffered in consequence of a past experiment. Hekaia is convinced he’s been alive for ages and is a time-honoured master of alchemy. His specialty is biomorphology or fleshshaping: The scientific aswell as artful reinvention of life forms from corpses that Xynthara provides out of the ranks of her sect. His muse Aschariel is a creation of his, as angelic as she is dangerous, and has recently gone AWOL and could be anywhere by now. His pocket laboratory is a leather bag (with a skin of unknown origin) that can be unfolded a seemingly infinite amount of times, ever yielding yet another alchemical device or ingredient. It’s alive though (maybe sentient) and rather unpredictable, especially when Hekaia releases arcane stress unto it, as that is the actual purpose of a mactatum. (Even if – like all alchemists – Hekaia denies it, his craft is of inherently sorcerous nature.)

Stunts:

  • One hand washes the other: Hekaia likes to draw on the wealth of others and can replace resources by contacts if he takes an adequate “debt aspect” (that the GM gets a “free” compel on).
  • Master surgeon: Hekaia gets +2 on creating an advantage via knowledge that deals with the surgical handling of bodies. (Hekaias “surgery” has little to do with healing.)
  • Impervious fog: Hekaia can surround himself with an alchemical fog and thus defend himself against physical attacks via craft.

These are fewer stunts as Agnlephi has, because Hekaia has a greater arcane tradition (alchemist), which costs three stunt slots. 

Xynthara Tetriadoch

Aspects:

  • Concept: Noble high priestess of Dark’halyanâr
  • Motivation: Prince-Queen of Tetriadoch is my birthright
  • Relationship to PC: Agnleiphi helps me keep my body perfect
  • Relationship to NPC: Astiophis’ “weak” daughter with good relations
  • Do what thou wilt …: Incarnation of the dogma of Dsha’hinna (priest/dogmatist)

gesellschafterin-malmsturmXynthara’s rival Astiophis is the secondborn of house Tetriadoch, a sadistic and power-hungry individual that tyrannizes the palace and is rarely seen without his/her lap dog Ignaz Brighteye. Ignaz is a young member of the Technosopher’s Guild, which would explain the eponymous crystal implant in his right eye socket, and has completely submitted to Astiophis in groveling masochism. The last aspect is tied to Xynthara’s greater arcane tradition as a priest or more specifically a dogmatist.

Stunts:

  • Alter Ego: While in the guise of the Lover of the Dsha’hinna, her secret identity as high priestess of her sect, Xynthara can’t be exposed.
  • The allure of the unknown: (see Agnleiphi)
  • Follow me: By creating an advantage via charisma Xynthara can make a nameless NPC become his/her companion for the duration of the scene.

Xynderior

Aspects:

  • Concept: The 7 rites of Tihn-Khéryng (technosopher)
  • Motivation: The artificiosis of the Ambisexual God!
  • Relationship to PC: First Prophet of Dark’halyanâr!
  • Relationship to NPC: Bretax, the man’s got everything!
  • Do what thou wilt …: The Third Eye of Mhyne (artifact)

The concept aspect, besides being a pun that invokes sudden facepalms, refers to the lesser arcane tradition of a technosopher: A member of the Technosopher’s Guild, trained in the operation and theory of the wondrous prehistoric machina from the Imperium’s distant past. Undoubtedly the earthly vessel of a perfect deity can not be made merely out of natural, organic components. Bretax, a dealer in rarities either antique, forbidden or both, does not only supply Xynderior with the obscure ancient scripts of Califrax the 25., that lead him on the way towards the creation of Dark’halyanâr, but also with the countless technosophical artifacts that would otherwise never find their way out of the bureaucracy of the guild into his hallowed workshop. The last aspect stands for such an artifact: A disk of strange glass, that shows Xynderior a bird’s eye view of a place of his choosing, but at an undefined time some thousands of years in the past. Giving it a shake shifts the point in time, but not in a foreseeable manner. (The name: Also a terrible pun kindly transcribed and reinvented for your pleasure by the translator.)

Stunts:

  • Antigravitum of the second order: Xynderior’s levitating sedan, that provides not only mobility and considerable comfort but also substantial storage capacity.
  • Apportunites (two slots): Three little flying disks with sensorica capable of sight and hearing, crystallomatic transmitters for communication and little gripper arms.
  • Cortical crystallomatic transmitter matrix: An implant in Xynderior’s head, that allows communication with and control of his antigravitum aswell as his apportunites up to a certain distance.

In the next post I’ll describe the first two actual play session. They begin with a secret gathering of the PCs and eventually lead to exploding people and an assassination. Until then!

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4 comments

  1. Dear most gnarliest of Gnolls,

    have you ever considered to post your session reports in just one language instead of both? I know, I know… one is always reluctant to give up on one´s native tongue. But let´s face the facts: life is not only unfair, it is SHORT and time is thereby limited. Add all the other wonderful (and not-so-wundervoll but f**king necessary) activities that relentlessly vie for the precious hours one does not spend asleep or in delirium and you see that what you do right now is perhaps admirable, but for sure an obstacle to the progress of your blog.

    Pick a poison, or pick a tongue, but always remember: time is short and there are more German people who understand English than there are non-German people who are able to read our language 😉
    P.S: …and NO, Esperanto is NOT an option

    P.S: …and do not even TRY Klingon. You will the find the vocabulary to be… limiting.
    ear most gnarliest of Gnolls,

    have you ever considered

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear most gregorian of Gregorii,
      I most certainly have considered, as I am a very considerate person and prone to consideration almost as much as I am to redundancy. It is a fact though, that my german posts are the ones with the most views and also that I would want to write up a german documentation of my play sessions anyway, for myself and my players, so in fact no time would be won. So I’ll stick with the redundant two-language format for now, and not only for my redundant nature. Also, I’m sorry I haven’t looked at that PDF you gave me yet. I’m seriously considering getting my gnarly hands on it soon though. Alas, some upcoming exams demand even more urgent consideration.
      Yours truly
      Gnoll

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Dear gnarly Gnoll,

    well, “a man has to do what a man has to do”, I guess. So, best wishes for your ongoing efforts and especially for those that are not re-creative or re-porting but of a more academic nature.

    …and do not worry about that PDF. It is of no importance and for sure of no urgency at all. =)

    Sincerely
    a name with a number

    Liked by 1 person

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