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Dungeon Reveal - The Darkness War

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Long ago, the Wabanaki Indians would call the coming of the invaders the Day of Red Rain. They arrived in grim ships, ahead of stormclouds like no Wabanaki had ever seen. Like no Wabanaki would ever see again in their lifetimes. The deeds of the battle would pass into oral history, oral history passed into legend, legend became myth-- the myth of the Darkness War.

Now the storm has returned to Solomon Island, and the dead of the Darkness War churn in the old soil. But for players to truly understand the events of that fateful day, they must bridge the gap of generations. They must relive the turning point of the Darkness War, as it happened.

Players begin their dreamquest in the all-but-abandoned Wabanaki village. Every last member who can still stand has been mobilised to face the merciless invasion. It is a fight for the survival of every living thing on the island. Those who cannot fight, chant, asking forgiveness of the earth for the evils to be wrought upon it.

The enemy is a Mayan warband, drawn here by unknown forces to perform a terrible awakening. Not only outnumbering the defenders man for man, they fight with a possessed, hateful savagery. As players confront the Mayans in battle, they will learn this is a war of rituals. The Mayans care only for bloodletting, and they seek to cut open the island itself.

If that costs them their own lives, so be it. They prove willing sacrifices to the Xibalban Bloodhound, an avatar of nightmare and fang dredged from the underworld, or to their own Dark House Sorcerer, a devourer of souls with none of his own.

Faced with a beach of burning Viking longships, players discover the Mayans are not the only travellers pulled here on cosmic tides. A contingent of Norsemen warriors have been separated from their leader and the front lines by another ‘gift’ of the Mayans. These are the Ak’ab: parasitic predators brought from some jungle hell. Their poison warps the forests, providing sour ground for more Ak’ab to breed.

As the players push along the coastline, the spiritual leaders of the Norsemen and the Mayans already march to a confrontation on the most sacred Wabanaki site. To turn the tide, players must cut off the Mayan reinforcements at their bloodstained beach-head. A vile priest of sickness and hysteria holds court before the stone altars here, and only with his defeat can players move inland.

Beyond Ak’ab-infested woods and the desperate last defenses of the Wabanaki, the Blue Mountain shudders, caught between ancient forces. From above, the Norse commander wields a strange, blazing beacon that drives foes and the fog before him. From below, the Mayans enact their final, fatal ceremony.

It is a calling, a calling to something sleeping here, and it is answered by the Hound of the Nameless Days. Yet this elder horror is only a herald of the power stirring beneath the players. It is only with their focused efforts – and the Norseman’s weapon of light – that the Hound and its master can be forced back across the veil of reality.

The Darkness War will be ended this day, though months of prayer and offerings will pass before Wabanaki dreams are cleared of terrible aspects. Before their dreamcatchers will no longer be stained with a violent, dark residue.

But the defenders of the island have triumphed—until the present day.


Guest Writer