Hey guys, I figured I might make a game log for my first ICRPG campaign I’m calling Exiles, both to curate my time and get suggestions for future sessions. i went for an old school vibe mixed with the tone of Dark souls and some existing assets i had (such as the map below in cloth)
The Western Marches are a place of forsaken mysteries. Once ruled by a coven of sorcerer-kings obsessed with immortality, they controlled the known world and were wiped out in a single night by the gods for their crimes. As of now, even their names are forgotten, and hence that is what they have been referred to as since. Their ruins show telltale signs of their obsession with life, as every surface has been carved to resemble placid human faces, so realistic they could be mistaken for living people.
In the centuries since, the Sutherlands have been sending their exiles here to live out their remaining days until their lives are inevitably taken by the harsh wilderness. These exiles formed bands of barbaric cannibals that exist throughout the land. This remained the case until the holy church of Hawethor, storm-god of the law, saw portents that lead to a crusade being waged with the tribes, and established the first foothold of civilization, The Citadel, which was built on the ruins of a long lost city of the Forgotten.
Knowing they could never hold control of a population of exiles already abandoned by society, the church relented and founded the guilds, all of which rule the Citadel as pieces of the whole. Their own Guild of Mysteries looks into the ruins scattered around the wilds of the Western Marches in order to find relics of that civilization of mages and piece together their story.
Our band of adventurers happens to be on one of these expeditions on their first session.
It’s a wonder the ruin had never been found before, having two massive stone heads mark its entrance, but at a second glance, with the mists of the dark forest obscuring vision as much as the massive trees, it was understandable how this building could be missed so far off the beaten path. entering, they find it is an archive, with six massive columns supporting a broken ceiling that lets hazy light wash over the room. a statue of a seated woman with a large open tome dominates the space, and six floors of scrolls flank her. accessible by a staircase that accesses each tier of the room. The scrolls are rotted, and crumble to dust (it’s not like they’d be able to read them, anyway), however on the statue they find a maker’s mark bearing an eight pointed star carved into the open page, and a pendant around the statue’s neck bearing the same.
Upon exploring deeper down, they are captured and knocked out, waking in a hide tent to the acrid smell of burning meat and their commander and gear missing. ever-prepared, their nomad used a hidden blade to free their own bonds and another’s while the scribe dislocated their thumb joint to escape, catching a savage by surprise as he came to butcher another prisoner, ending with his own neck snapped while his corpse was thrown as a (rather effective) weapon against his companions. the ensuing fight on the edge of a chasm, connected by a lonely bridge ravaged the party, but in the end they won, buying enough time to set the camp on fire and burn the bridge behind them as more savages yells echoed through the ruins.
Their chase ended at a set of large stone doors right as the barbarians caught up, finding a deeper level to the archive. one of the savages chased them inside, and was quickly dispatched by its resident in a flash of steel, bisecting him in two bloody halves. A lanky armored figure, with a sword twice the height of a man crouched over the human wreckage, then turned their way.
the armored figure’s sweeps caught the party off guard, though the ranger’s clever use of some salvaged arrows managed to take the beast by force. Darkness coalesced around it and knocked out two party members when it unleashed the blast, a final death knell to the warrior as he collapsed. upon inspection, the person inside was nothing more than an emaciated corpse with its form stretched to this unnatural shape within the armor.
What could have made it, they wonder? Yet mysteries this deadly will wait until the next session.
[small edit, thanks for the great response people!]