Wednesday, 13 January 2016

[Story - Campaign] Hekatte, Trapped Goddess

If you're a player, and don't want spoilers, don't read this. If you're a random internet stranger.. enjoy.

The Revenge of the Spider Queen

There was once a goddess of Magic, Witchcraft, Necromancy, but also of Doors, Crossroads or Entranceways. As gods have a tendancy to do, they create interesting plots in the lives of mortals, to be entertained.
The Spider Queen, was not a mortal to play with, so when she discovered that her entire legacy was based on a lie.. she was more than livid.
See Spiders do not have queens, some enterprising young goddess decided that she would find a female spider, crown it in her name, and rise it in fame and status so all spiders would know of her as queen, and, like a well known story, a small child would point out that spiders do not have queens, and all would be embarrassed. Yet the gentry, now in the knowledge that they were the joke of small gods, decided to get revenge.

A special set of spiders, one that lay their eggs in the skulls of victims in regions of high necromancy, were pursuaded to worship Hekatte, Goddess of necromancy and witchcraft, to allow them to use the fallen mans skull as a shell to grow their bodies in. The skull would become the abdomen of the spider, the spider would gain magic, and the goddess would be worshipped by all.

All skull spiders.

Later, the Queen of spiders came to these worshipers and persuaded them to worship their goddess in a way that would subtly change the way the goddess viewed the world.

Not just skulls, but all once living things were to be considered hosts for the skull spider worshippers.

The goddess, thinking this was a curious request, acquiesced.

Then they requested, all things living could become all things dead to become worshippers. The goddess was amused, and being goddess of necromancy, she gave in to this request too.

The Spider priests become more powerful. So they beckoned of the god of blood. May we drink of the blood of the once living hosts of our corpse houses, to worship you. He acquiesced.

They Worshiped the god and goddess, by taking a slain man, drank of his blood for the blood god, and claimed the body as their home for the goddess of necromancy.

Then they crawled deep into crypts, and claimed of the crypts their skulls and bodies, and absorbed the necromancy for their goddess. They beckoned of the goddess, please may we claim these long forgotten skulls.. and she said yes.

Soon, Many crypts in the land were filled with the Skull Spiders and their Blood Drinker ways. They would sneak up into the streets, drink of the blood of victims fresh, and return to their crypts and wait.. all the while absorbing the necromancy that permeates all graves and the dead.

All the while, fallen queen of the spiders, petitioned the gods, please may she be once again considered a queen of all spiders.. they laughed.. but dear, there is no queen of spiders, spiders are solitary, they eat one another they recognise no queen.

Please she beckoned them, what must I do to be spider queen once more?

They told her.. like they told many mortals who asked of them a boon. You must perform a task no mortal can perform, you must gain a boon from three gods, you must get a god to treat you as a friend, you must get a god to look upon you with awe and you must get a god to return you from death.

So she returned to her followers and they took the largest skull and fashioned her home for her body within it.

First She tricked Selene, goddess of the moon, into thinking that her now skull home, from the back,  was the moon, Then she tricked Artemis to think of her furry hide as that of one of her favourite hunting gods. And lastly, she was killed, but rose from the dead into undeath with her followers magic, forcing Persephone's hand.

She returned to the gods to claim she had done as asked.. but Hecate stood her ground and claimed that the spider had not made three gods happy, but only one, herself, as Hecate is three gods, Selene, Artemis and Persephone in one.

The Spider was furious, she retreated from the gods as they laughed her off the pinacle of the world.

She returned to her people, explained how she'd been tricked, and they fumed. But The followers of Hecate knew that they were now in power.

First they etched all names in all temples to be Hekatte. Next they Named the spider queen Hekatte, and all statues were remodeled in her image. Then they raided all temples of all human and humanoid priests of hecate and slew them, and set up camp in their now fresh corpses. Within 6 days, there was no record of Hecate, only hekatte.

Hecate, at first felt only pangs of loss, and as this was a regular occurance between temples and wars, it was neither here nor there.. next as the human priests fell, she began to lose power, and grasping at what power remained, she sought out the cause of this, but it was not one place, it was everywhere.. she was unable to pinpoint the pain. Now almost powerless, she took on her three seperate forms and sought out the sites of her former temples.. but with such a quick take over, her memories of her former glory faded and she was trapped.

Now, with all this rush of worship and power, the spider queen rose up as a goddess, but before stepping into the chamber of gods to present herself, the followers of Hekatte, spread out their necromantic magics and rose up all dead, all bodies, all skeletons all zombies and started to spill the blood of the living.. in the name of the blood god.

The Blood god, now engorged on the power, greedily invited Hekatte into the chamber of gods, as they in turn began to gasp at the loss of their followers. Death had come to the world, and the only gods capable of stopping had no reason to do so. The god of death welcomed his new followers, the god of the underworld his new souls, the goddess of destruction, the fall of empires and the goddess of necromancy, magic and witchcraft took her now rightful place as most powerful god. But being a new and childish god, she did not stop to play the games of gods, no she, like any spider with a fly in their net, drank the lifeblood of all the fallen gods.

With little to no gods to help them, the mortals fell to the chaos and destruction. Heroes were without their god given powers, mages without their magic, only the followers of darkness seemed to keep their abilities.

It only took three months to eradicate 90% of life from the planet, another three for the next 9%..but it was too late, the spider queen began to feel the power fading, and thought that this was normal. She had done what she set out to do.. but she then discovered the backdoor.

Gods had found a way to leave this world, she hadn't gotten them all.. Revenge was snatched away from her.

She contacted her council of Skull Spiders, the greatest undead necromancers of the land, and they began to use the last of their dying powers to forge the Keys of Doors, 5 skull spiders that could be sent through a portal, to the worlds these gods had escaped to. If Three of the skull spiders could get close enough to each other, they could open a portal to this dying world and the spider queen could cross over and bring her army of undeath with her.

This has happened several times, catching some of the gods, but not all, and killing off the world, leaving a desolate place where only the gods of blood, death and destruction behind.   

The Crypts of the Necrolords.

When the Spider Skulls come to your world, they 'copy' 5 crypts of well known local evil anti-heroes. They plant themselves in these crypts as 'necromantic tokens' or 'prizes'. Giving off great purple necromantic flows of magic into the air around them, unless they are mostly coated in silver or kept in a silver box.  Between each Crypt, a line of magic flows, At the crossroads of the magic lines of these crypts, they create a rocky like fort, which contains a false lich. Each lich has not only their normal powers, but also summons up a greater elemental to protect them.

The Skulls are indestructable, and if struck, cause Undead Ogres or Trolls to be summoned from afar, clambering to claim the skulls and take them to the nexus of the 5 crypts.

If any Skull is taken from the initial crypt it will begin to open tears in reality, allowing the heroes to accidentally visit small pockets of the fallen world, often nothing but blood filled rivers and lakes, no living plant life, occasional remnants of settlements from the world, and some cannabalistic last living beings, as only these lives exist, nothing else to eat, and no plague or pestilence as the gods are gone.. meat never goes off.

If Two skulls get close together (the players have raided two crypts and brought out two together) Much larger creature manage to pull themselves from the destroyed world into this world, Randomly encountered creatures but more powerful and undead appear sometimes weekly sometimes daily.

If Three Skulls get too close, they will most certainly summon the larger more deadly undead, seeking out the skulls energy.

If three or more of the five skulls are brought to the nexus of the 5 crypts, and their eyes pointed into the same location, it tears a rift to the spider queens lair.. she awaits this, and her army of death pours into this world from this and hundreds of other locations across the world. This is the end.

But, if the three skulls are pointed outwards, the rift appears around the skulls, teleporting the heroes into the realm of death at the foot of the tower of the spider queen.

Besides the Elementals of Blood, an Army of Skull spiders and the council of spider necromancers, The Skull queen is a goddess, she is far too powerful for any group of heroes to defeat.. unless the heroes ask her for a boon.

She will be in so much shock, she will retreat, then return to ask for a crown. Once crowned by these heroes, she will be content and all will stop.

If the heroes don;t think of this, they have only one choice, to slay everyone who knows of the Spider Queen Goddess. They must defeat the entire council, and return to the blood worlds, seek out all living beings (d100) and slay them.. all the while, being chased by skull spiders, and having nothing locally to eat. Luckily with so little life on the planet, any simple scry will point out the location of each individual. The previous world has fallen since and nothing survives.