There is no escape — we pay for the violence of our ancestors.Paul Muad’Dib
The Sleeper Has Awakened: Session 1 – Prologue
Advice to the reader
In order to interpret the structure of my gaming session posts effectively, it is strongly suggested that you peruse A Readers Guide to Play Sessions on The Old Bard, if you haven’t already.
To better grasp what I mean when I bring up Fate questions, you might find it useful to keep the Mythic Fate Chart accessible, potentially in a new window or tab in your browser.
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The dominant house on Aurelia, a pillar of ancient lineage and esteemed standing in the Imperium, is House Solari. Ruled by the illustrious and influential Arch Duke Lucius Solari, this distinguished family has long held sway over the planet and its affairs, commanding respect and admiration from both allies and rivals alike.
Arch Duke Lucius Solari stands as a paragon of aristocracy, his presence commanding awe and reverence. Known for his refined manners, astute political acumen, and unwavering adherence to tradition, he has upheld House Solari’s legacy with an iron grip. Under his rule, Aurelia has flourished, fostering prosperity and stability that extends beyond its borders.
Baron Vespertine, once rumored to be a distant cousin of Arch Duke Solari, has emerged as a shadowy figure and an agent of disruption in the power dynamics of Aurelia. The whispers surrounding his relation to the ruling family add a chilling undertone to the unfolding events. Some even suggest a long-held grudge or hidden rivalry between House Vespertine and House Solari, fueling the tension between the two factions.
House Solari, by contrast, is steeped in grandeur and tradition. Adorned with opulent estates and elegant architecture, their strongholds reflect the centuries of prosperity and influence they have enjoyed. Known for their deep reverence for the past, House Solari meticulously preserves their ancestral records, genealogies, and the rich tapestry of their heritage.
The Arch Duke, a staunch traditionalist, values the stability and preservation of Aurelia’s culture and customs above all else. He has fostered a society that reveres tradition, loyalty, and honor, and his subjects hold him in high regard as a paragon of noble virtues. The Solari family’s influence extends far beyond their homeworld, with their extensive networks and alliances reaching into the highest echelons of the Imperium.
The rise of this long-forgotten branch of the Dukes family has sent shockwaves throughout the Imperium. Akin to a shadow cast upon the land, House Vespertine seemingly materialized out of thin air, catching both Houses Maestoso and Obsidian off guard. The details of their reappearance remain elusive, veiled in speculation and rumor. Whispers suggest that ancient tomes and hidden archives allude to a dark pact forged by the Dukes family, granting them access to forbidden knowledge and advanced technologies that surpass the comprehension of their rivals.
House Vespertine’s leaders, steeped in secrecy and cloaked in malevolence, have managed to keep their true identities hidden. Known only by their ominous monikers, they are whispered about in hushed tones. Some refer to them as the “Umbral Council,” an assembly of shadowy figures whose motives remain shrouded in darkness. Whispers of ancient rituals and forbidden practices surround their existence, hinting at a nefarious power they wield.
The sudden resurgence of House Vespertine has cast a long shadow over the minor houses’ once thriving spy operations. The veil of uncertainty and the unexplained disappearance of key operatives have dealt a severe blow to their influence and efficacy. As the light of their networks fades, a sense of foreboding permeates the corridors of power, for it is apparent that House Vespertine possesses a knowledge and a grand design that eludes comprehension.
Yet, amidst the fragmented whispers and fragmented knowledge, one thing is certain: the emergence of House Vespertine is but a piece in a larger, more intricate puzzle. A shadowy web of hidden machinations and clandestine forces at work lurks in the background, pulling the strings that orchestrate this enigmatic plot. The true scope and purpose of House Vespertine’s reappearance are yet to be fully understood, but its ominous presence hints at a darkness that threatens to engulf all who dare stand against it.
Recognizing the pressing danger posed by House Vespertine, the spymasters of both House Maestoso, Lady Ariadne Shadowdancer, and House Obsidian, Lady Morana Nightshade, convene a discreet and confidential meeting to strategize effective countermeasures against this emergent threat.
Within a dimly illuminated chamber located in the heart of Arrakeen on Arrakis, the stage is set for a clandestine rendezvous between Lady Ariadne Shadowdancer, the discerning spymaster of House Maestoso, and Lady Morana Nightshade, her equally enigmatic counterpart from House Obsidian. A palpable undercurrent of caution fills the air as the two women cautiously regard each other. Despite the longstanding animosity that has marked the relationship between their respective houses, the gravity of the situation necessitates a begrudging collaboration.
Lady Ariadne, her eyes betraying a mix of weariness and determination, began by revealing a closely guarded secret. A captured Vespertine operative had been apprehended and thoroughly interrogated, leading to the discovery of a communication device concealed on their person. Although the message itself remained inaccessible, they had determined a portion of its meaning which revealed a chilling plot. Tracing its origin to Arrakis lead to the agreed upon meeting in Arrakeen.
With a reluctant acquiescence to the necessity of cooperation, Lady Ariadne and Lady Morana grasped the reality that their continued existence hinged upon this fragile alliance. Their common adversaries had, if only temporarily, bound them together. Amid this tenuous truce, the contours of a strategy began to emerge as they sifted through their potential courses of action.
Recognizing the gaps in their current understanding, the spymasters determined to assemble a team of adept agents from each house, ensuring a harmonious blend of strengths and skills. This trio of capable operatives, operating under their true identities, would undertake an undercover mission to Arrakis. Their paramount objective: to uncover the full scope of the message’s implications and meticulously untangle the intricate plot that bound House Vespertine with its enigmatic allies.
As the decision to embark on this perilous endeavor loomed, it wasn’t devoid of reservations. Both Lady Ariadne and Lady Morana, though begrudgingly, recognized the imperative to momentarily set aside their differences. The fate of House Maestoso and House Obsidian hung precariously in the balance, making the success of this mission a pivotal determinant of their respective futures.
In the hushed enclave of the meeting room, an unspoken accord transpired between them. In a world where trust was a scarce currency, their mutual burden forged an uneasy alliance. Together, the group of adept agents from House Maestoso and House Obsidian would plunge into the heart of the unknown, their every move cast in the shadow of uncertainty and the looming specter of House Vespertine. This was a calculated gamble, a dance of spies and secrets, where loyalty proved to be a delicate filament. And yet, for the preservation of their houses and the very essence of the Imperium, they understood that the trajectory of fate demanded unity and shared purpose.
Scene 1 – Preparation
We hope the evocative prologue has captured your interest and set the stage for our unfolding odyssey. Allow me a moment to explain our approach for this initial post. While there won’t be active gameplay just yet, we’re immersing ourselves in the intricate prologue that introduces the multifaceted world of politics, intrigue, and power dynamics that await our characters.
The richly layered prologue serves as the cornerstone upon which our stories will be built. We’re immersing ourselves in a tale that spans dimensions of complexity, presenting us with relationships to unravel, motives to uncover, and looming threats to reckon with. While the characters we’re about to embody are on the brink of traversing a universe of secrets and challenges, this initial post isn’t about gameplay; it’s about setting the scene for the immersive experiences to come.
In the upcoming sessions, the narrative will flourish through a dynamic blend of role-playing, strategic choices, and compelling interactions. As I lay the groundwork for our inaugural gameplay experience, I’ll be meticulously crafting scenarios, encounters, and choices that will put our characters’ wit and resolve to the test. Together, we will shape the unfolding narrative, unearth hidden truths, and confront the enigmatic forces that have catalyzed this epic tale.
Our initial step involves crafting the foundation for our opening scene, defining its traits and establishing its location. This scene will serve as our gateway into the unfolding narrative, providing us with the backdrop against which our characters will begin their journey. And speaking of characters, let’s introduce our main player characters: Alessandra Maestoso, Sorin Obsidian, and Alessandra Maestoso. With their unique backgrounds and motivations, they are poised to dive headfirst into the intrigue that awaits.
As we set these characters in motion, the stage is being artfully prepared for their mission – a mission that will lead them through a labyrinth of secrets waiting to be unearthed. The impending twists and revelations are poised to draw us all deeper into the enigmatic world we’re shaping together. Keep your curiosity piqued as we delve into the shadows and discover the truths that lie beneath the surface. Stay tuned for the unfolding epic that awaits us.
The Space Cowboy and I have been dedicatedly working on sculpting the overarching story arc, meticulously refining its essence. The prologue itself brims with intricate layers, making it substantial content to absorb. Presenting the initial session with an emphasis on the prologue’s depth seemed fitting. At present, I am meticulously revisiting the core rulebook to ensure comprehensive readiness for the commencement of our story. This initial post, however, aims to convey the essence of our game concept. Our next step involves meticulously constructing the inaugural scene, with the first gameplay post set to arrive shortly.
Till next time!