Saturday Seed ~ 23 (Desolation)

This week’s Saturday Seed is for Desolation

The seed

This seed combines the thrill of discovery, the strangeness of the After, and an ethical choice. While I envisioned it for a post-apocalyptic setting, and have retooled it here for Desolation, it could be run in a wide variety of genres and time periods.

The group, en route to somewhere else, once night falls, witnesses a glow off the trail. Its source is at a slightly higher elevation and obscured by what seemed to be crystalline dunes before the onset of darkness. Dunes which in the Before would have had no business being there. The glow is steady, and looks to be a soft blue-white color – definitely not firelight.

If the group investigates that night or during the next day, what they discover will be the same. If they do not investigate, you should congratulate yourself on having a group that feels free to exercise their freedom of choice. Forget this scenario and move on to the next thing.

The Details:

Investigating will bring the group through a series of dunes and drifts of crystal pieces that look as though they were worn smooth by wave action of an ocean. The individual pieces have several gradations of hue, but primarily seem to be blues, dark reds and purples, and clear pieces with veins of blue, red, and purple running throughout. Even in daylight the presence of a continuous light source is noticeable. As the characters pass into the region of dunes, it quickly becomes obvious that the area is somewhat circular and the light source lies near the center. The tops of the inside face of each dune and drift reflect and refract the light into a bewildering spray of colors.

The source of light is in the center of a nearly oval expanse of water measuring perhaps 100 meters long, by 60 meters wide. It does not look deep, but appearances cannot be trusted with all the glittering lights and reflections from the interior ring of dunes, and the water itself.

Near the middle of this pool of water glitters…pure light, but strange to say, this is not what is likely to draw the eyes of the group first.

Once reaching the top of the innermost dune, the group will see a camp beside the water, outfitted for the dangerous realities of travel. Scattered throughout the camp are bodies in various positions as if they were hurled to the ground, or beaten into unconsciousness or death. No obvious trauma to their bodies can be seen, such as bruises, cuts, or unnaturally twisted limbs. Despite this lack of obvious injury, they do not look as though they lay down to sleep, and it is easily conceivable that something of ill intent had its way with them. The camp is well stocked, and it looks like they may have been dividing or examining scrounged materials when they were attacked.

The light, should anyone return to examining it, seems to be nothing more than pure light, dancing in place on the gentle ripples of the pool. Without warning, whenever you feel it is appropriate, it will wink out as though it never existed. Until that time it can be seen, and interacted with in much the same way as smoke. It could be bottled and moved, for example.

What’s going on

This is not really an adventure based on solving the riddle of what happened, although it can be if you like. What is being laid before the group is a choice: what will they do with these helpless adventurers?

There is a significant amount of good gear here, and several sacks of what appear to be recently recovered items and bits of food are sitting in different parts of the camp. The unconscious  people cannot be roused by mundane means, and if/when they are roused, prove to all have been blinded by what they may, if asked, reveal to be have been a large flash.

The group had found access to what seems to be an inverted town, flipped upside down and its streets and buildings thrust deep into the earth. They looted the streets and basements they could easily reach and were plotting out there next move when something taken from one of the sacks grew warm and … they remember nothing after the resulting flash.

The characters, in addition to their blindness, seem to exhibit other traits common to head injuries, such as confusion, slurred speech, memory loss, or loss of fine motor control in parts of the body.

What will the group of PCs do?

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  1. […] For those looking for more information about the game, the system, and future plans for either, please do check out the links provided in this review, or check out Mythic Eras, to which I link in my blogroll. If you would like to see an example of a story seed I might use for Desolation, take a look at this: Saturday Seed 23 (Desolation) […]



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