Some really great ideas sound stupid at first. But then, so do some really stupid ones. -Entry the first

I enjoy reading and writing more than just about anything. Neck and neck with that are video games, specifically RPGs. Growing up that felt like it was the only way to get a good story alongside my gaming. That feeling is slowly dissipating with the number of great stories in games that aren’t traditional RPGs. As I grew up I discovered tabletop rpgs and, while I have only ever played in one short-lived campaign, I have never really had a group to call my own. That said, I jump at the chance to play whenever possible (StrategiCon) and to write down my own ideas for stories, plot-lines, and twists whenever the muse strikes me.


Game scene:

An all white room, sparse, little decoration beyond some molding about the ceiling. There are four pedestals towards the center of the room, each about 2-3 feet high, also white. Hovering above each pedestal (Greco-Roman in style) are black orbs, each about 6 inches in diameter and about 1 inch above the surface of their respective pedestal. They are dark but seem to have swirling surfaces like shadows moving over each other. They are quite solid to the touch.

First encounter with the room could be an illusion in a fantasy game or a hologram in a sci-fi game letting the players see a glimpse of the real thing to know that it exists (and hopefully to wonder what it is) without actually doing anything to it. The illusion or hologram disappears when it is discovered that the PCs (player characters) are present; preferably by some sort of scholar researching the mysterious room.

The PCs will preferably encounter their glimpse into the white room while on a mission into a place where they can’t linger to interrogate the scholar beyond 2-3 questions (ie. a 5-10 seconds).

If the PCs later decide that they want to look into the white room further then they can track down the researcher. Assuming that they were not able to get all that the researcher could tell them the first time, s/he could shed some light on the subject with a couple of facts, but mostly speculation and more unanswered questions.

The white room is the resting place of an ancient entity that exists in all realities to some degree: on some planes of existence it is no more than a faded echo and in others it is quite tangible. In order to fully interact with the room, however, the border between realities must be crossed.

Crossing over from the reality that the PCs call home will not lead them directly to the white room, however. They will be taken to the equivalent of the white room’s foyer. Any who enter this room will soon be accosted by the guardian who will materialize there. The guardian is physical in nature, appearing as an avatar of strength (ie. a great warrior, a massive beast, a mythological creature renowned for its strength, etc. Whatever image the PCs’ minds conjure up to make sense of the creature.

Upon defeating the physical guardian, the room, which has no obvious exits on arrival, is weakened and another room can be seen beyond. The PCs can cross into the new room simply by approaching the wall. The next room is a mental challenge and the final room is undetermined. These guardians need to be figured out. No physical combat, though.

After overcoming the challenges in the three rooms the PCs are able to break into the white room. What they do here is based on what the PCs have been led to believe.

(Truth of the Matter: When creation was young two forces opposed each other; neither good nor evil, simply different. For the longest time these opposing forces were equally matched and unable to make headway against the other. Then the one, in order to overcome the other, gave up it’s life-force in sacrifice in order to trap the other.

These two powerful forces are known as fates or gods in less knowledgeable cultures that have encountered their kind. (Think Ori in Stargate SG-1.) The one fate distilled his existence into the four orbs seen in the white room and powered a prison powerful enough to lock away the other.)

In the PCs’ plane of reality there are agents of the trapped fate searching for ways to free it. The PCs may encounter such agents in their search for the white room. If so the agents will definitely try to paint the imprisoned fate as a victim and make the idea of destroying the prison and the gatekeepers seem to be a good thing. This can be accomplished by appealing to their better nature, offering them a reward, or simply lying to them in addition to a number of other methods. There are also agents of the “dead” fate, though they are not quite as numerous as the other group.

Digging deeper into the background of the conflict between the two fates:

These two forces, minor players in a hierarchy that is beyond this adventure, ruled over a particular planet, not necessarily the one that the PCs call home. At first there was harmony but over time their peace began to break down. They differed in what should be done with the people on the planet below.

The one fate, let’s call him Seba, who gave his life to stop the other fate, let’s call that one Agnar, wanted to let the people continue to grow and develop with as little interference as possible. Agnar, the one who came to be imprisoned, argued that the people were corrupt and that the civilization on the planet needed to be erased so that they could start over anew.

In order to keep Agnar from doing what he thought to be exceedingly rash, Seba distilled his physical presence into his very life-essence with the purpose of keeping Agnar from acting. With both fates removed from the picture, the planet was free to flourish for a short while before ultimately destroying itself. Maybe.

Seba, knowing that his prison would not be perfect, aimed to make contingencies in the event that Agnar did escape. He also did not kill himself in the traditional mortal sense of the word. What Seba did was to take his body and change it so that he was no longer himself but an entirely different concept focused on one thing only: stopping Agnar. To that end he focused his self into the four spheres and the the three guardians before the white room. As a final contingency, he also created a backup template of himself so that he could have his energy reform into the fate that he once was should his prison generators be destroyed.

If the PCs decide to destroy the spheres the energy will disappear and a regal looking black man will appear before them, translucent and clad only in a simple blue robe trimmed in gold. The man will then disappear completely and a different image will appear before the heroes (or whatever they are in your campaign): a room strikingly similar in appearance to the white room that the heroes are now in except that it is a pulsating red with only a single pedestal in the middle of the room. Above that single pedestal is an orb approximately 6 ft in diameter, similar in appearance to the orbs that the PCs presumably destroyed. It starts off black but slowly begins to grow brighter and brighter, more and more rapidly, blindingly so. The blinding light comes to fill the entire room. Suddenly the light vanishes and the sphere is gone, leaving only a red, no longer pulsating, room.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Some really great ideas sound stupid at first. But then, so do some really stupid ones. -Entry the second

(First of many excerpts of notebooks full of things that I had written when I was younger. Not edited in the copy process. Though, to be honest, in some areas I very much wish I had. Ah well, I like where I was going with this, at least.)


An apprentice to a powerful seer is stripped of his own power for trying to continue her (his master’s) work after her death. (She died of natural causes.) Despite her ability, no seer may look past their own death, so she was unable to warn her apprentice.

Scene:

“Concentrate. It will become more difficult but you have to keep digging to see for yourself.”

His master walked slowly in circles around him, a fact that would have driven him mad if his eyes were open to see. Instead, his eyes were closed and sweat pooled on his brow as he delved deeper into his own being than ever before. Soon her voice faded to the background and was lost altogether.

He had never used his willpower so thoroughly and was definitely growing exhausted; soon even the warning that she had made him repeat like a mantra a thousand times the week before slipped from his mind. Farther and farther he went, far past any depth that he had known, until he saw it.

A massive orb, black with a faint light coming from behind; it reminded him of an eclipse except for the purple lightning flickering wildly across the surface. As his inner eye took it all in he was suffused with calm and visions came to him with an ease that he had never experienced before.

He conjured up his avatar to give himself the illusion of a physical presence. Avatar manifested, he explored and explored until he realized that he had explored everything except for the most prominent orb in the center of it all and that he had no idea how long he had been there for.

Tentatively he approached the orb, pulsating with the raw power of creation, and reached into it; immediately his avatar was extinguished and he was expelled from his own inner-sanctum with such force that he blacked out, nearly throwing up, after returning his consciousness to his body.

When finally his eyes opened he knew right away that he had been moved to his bed.

“You touched it didn’t you?”

Instantly her words of warning flooded his mind.

“I’m sorry, master. I-”

She stopped his with a smile. “There was nothing I told you that would have truly prepared you for that first time. Even I touched it when I first saw it and my master made me recite that same warning for a month.”

She laid a hand on his forearm and he was surprised at how warm she felt.

“You must have pushed deep into the vision of your death to grow so cold.”

Images rushed through his throbbing mind unbidden until only one was left: the orb.

“The orb sometimes manifests itself but this is the most common appearance known. It is the moment surrounding our own death. None of us can look past it. Though, it is rumored that it was possible in our golden age, so long, long ago.

End scene.


The apprentice is protected so these others act within certain restrictions: wiping his memory, placing him into a mundane life, and suppressing his abilities. He lives the life of a mundane for a few years until he begins to remember. Slowly at first but a little more each time as his bonds begin to break.  Aware of what is going on, those who chained him in the first place become desperate and break the rules of game in which he is a pawn.