3
\$\begingroup\$

Background Information

A few friends of mine and myself recently got together and played 2 adventures of The Dark Eye (TDE). As a GM, I made the mistake of not clarifying that heroes are good by definition in this adventure.

My heroes decided that stopping a certain ceremony that would significantly strengthen the Nameless One would be a pain and too dangerous and therefore just continued by (in fact accidentally helping with the ceremony).

We talked about this afterwards and everyone soon realised where the problem had been and the players decided they wanted to continue this campaign, although the official one was over, and resolve the mess they caused. Basically, they want to take on the Nameless One.

Question

I have created a campaign in which they will stop the rise of the Nameless One, with all actions that will needed to be taken care of in mind. This will be quite challenging in itself (i.e. getting elves to work together with dwarves).

However, I still want the Nameless One to interfere with their actions. I figured that it is unusual for a god to interact directly with the world.

How does the Nameless One typically interact with "Earthly Affairs" and would confront my heroes indirectly?

\$\endgroup\$
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks! @Oblivious Sage: I deleted the dark-eye tag, as this should be system-unspecific. \$\endgroup\$ – Narusan Mar 1 '17 at 14:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ Perhaps I've misunderstood the question, but if the Nameless One is from the lore of The Dark Eye then the question is very much system specific. \$\endgroup\$ – Oblivious Sage Mar 1 '17 at 15:05
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ I'd better say it's setting-specific (which is different from system-specific but still justifies the tag) \$\endgroup\$ – Anne Aunyme Mar 1 '17 at 15:29
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Whait, they do not take place in Aventuria and the nameless one exists? Are you sure that it is the SAME Nameless One? \$\endgroup\$ – Patta Mar 1 '17 at 20:09
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ That's curious. Looking around a bit, it seems the names are all which some gods from Askir have in common with those from TDE. This becomes blatantly obvious in the case of Boron who in TDE is not the god of justice, fire and war at all. Do not use them as a source of information or even treat them as canon. They are not the same entities. Apparently Schwartz has a background as a long-time TDE GM which inspired him to choose those names or maybe Askir developed from a homebrew campaign or something. \$\endgroup\$ – TheNickOfTime Mar 1 '17 at 21:57
8
\$\begingroup\$

The following is likely to contain spoilers for non-GM TDE players:

The Nameless One's breaking out of his heavenly prison and subsequent rise are likely THE major theme of The Dark Eye 5E's meta-plot / "Living Story" ("Lebendige Geschichte" in German, don't know if that's the proper term in English).

This will be clearer once the "Aventuria Almanac" is released in English, which contains a lot more background information about different aspects of the game world - e.g. the pantheon of gods. Adventures with a high "Living Story" score* so far have been related to this, as was the first short story collection published. Currently, the "Starfall" ("Sternenfall") is happening - literally stars falling, star constellations moving and changing - which is interpreted to be a sign of the Nameless One tearing on his chains.

Therefore, if you have any intention of following the official content: just sit tight and you'll probably get all the Nameless One action you wish for. Since your heroes failed to stop that one particular ritual, it might even add a feeling of responsibility for what's happening. Be aware that if you homebrew a campaign revolving around this theme, you'll likely be incompatible with the official meta-plot.

With that out of the way, the most likely approach is to have disciples of the Nameless One - who obviously see these signs too! - become more active and work towards his return, just like in the adventure you already played. This could involve:

  • Rituals to supposedly strengthen his might
  • Undermining the authority of the Twelve Gods
  • Intrigues to secure positions of power to deliver him a realm once he returns
  • Subvert the order of society given by Praios (by inciting revolts or turning authorities against one another,...)
  • There also is a tome devoted to the Nameless One, the "13 Encomia(?) of the Nameless One" which will drive readers to worshipping him.
  • You can have stories of people trying to satisfy their greed, or who are shunned by society, who turn to the Nameless One to further their cause.
  • Mad "scientists" who try to break His chains by physical or arcane means.
  • ...

Basically, the whole array of "Evil Deity is gathering Its strength and Its followers cannot openly show, quite yet" clichés.

Quoting from the Aventuria Almanac (translation is my own):

The aspects associated with the Nameless One are Power and Domination, but also Egoism, Vengefulness, Temptation, Lies, Deceit, Treachery, Hatred and Destruction and even Self-Mutilation.

[...]

His followers and disciples like to hide behind a mask of righteousness, but secretly praise the downfall of the established order and hope for an important role in his new world order.

[...]

The prophecy of unlimited power and a thirteenth age under his rule seduces many to his dark doctrine, among them decadent nobles, unscrupulous patricians, hate-filled mercenaries or oppressed serfs, who are certain to deserve better.

The priests of the Nameless One are known for their persuasiveness and manipulation skills. Many of them are excellent deceivers, and help the cult with undermining or even toppling communities of faith, temples, rulers or even entire realms through intrigue, murder and dark miracles.

*In the German edition, adventures have a score between 1 and 4 assigned to them, depending on how much they influence the "Living Story". Apparently there is no such score in the English edition.

\$\endgroup\$
  • \$\begingroup\$ I'm German in fact and am using the German edition of adventures. We actually played "Offenbarung des Himmels" where my heroes failed. I don't want to introduce the Lebendige Geschichte to them yet, that's why I decided to homebrew this campaign. Afterwards, I will definitely consider it. \$\endgroup\$ – Narusan Mar 1 '17 at 17:25
  • \$\begingroup\$ I have one more question regarding your answer. It might be due to my poor understanding, but I got to know the Nameless One as quite openly evil. Also, (most) followers (unless in a very high position) like burglars and assassins worship Him openly. Would it therefore be more "in character" if they also act openly? This would contradict the cliché you proposed in your answer... \$\endgroup\$ – Narusan Mar 1 '17 at 17:34
  • \$\begingroup\$ Do you have one of the TDE 4.1 (or 4) books on gods? Those contain more information one the cult of the nameless one. I would have to reread them to give you more information, though. \$\endgroup\$ – Patta Mar 1 '17 at 17:47
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ @Narusan Yes, the Nameless One is evil, at least by most people's standards. Burglars are typically more inclined to worship Phex. Assassins are a rarity in Aventuria and might follow Boron or maybe have no specific affiliations with a deity at all. The order of the 'good' deities (Twelvegods, Rastullah, Swafnir...) dominates most parts of Aventuria (for now). Therefore those openly worshipping the Nameless One will most likely be persecuted. In Twelvegodly lands e.g. by the 'Bannstrahl' (the Inquisition of the Church of Praios). \$\endgroup\$ – TheNickOfTime Mar 1 '17 at 18:44
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ After re-reading it just now, I think that the one page on the Nameless One in the Aventuria Almanac does paint quite a vivid picture which fits well with what I described. Also, the GM-only section in the back of the book gives you a bit more information and hints on His and His followers' dark doings and intrigues. \$\endgroup\$ – TheNickOfTime Mar 1 '17 at 18:55

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.