Monday, December 5, 2011

Alien Dimension

The players in my 4e campaign are exploring an alien dimension, in hopes of righting a wrong that is more or less attributable to them and which is in all likelihood completely un-rightable.

I sketched pictures and took brief notes on four alien ecosystems the party was likely to cross through while looking for Tshuin the tree jumper.  Tshuin, his brother Yerush and a young warrior named Anank had first encountered the party while tracking a large hord of alien locust-scorpions being driven by Minotaur vampires under the sway of Manu Jibleetu (the lich technomancer).  Yerush and Anank currently lie unconscious, kept magically subdued in the hold of the hovercraft back in 4e dimension while the party tries to track down Tshuin to explain that they had not listened to him when Tshuin had told them to just kill the pair.

You see, my players are having a moral dilemma.  Tilia and Beautiful Bob pretty much are the reason that the cross-dimensional instabilities have ceased and the borderlands between the jungle and the alien dimension no longer exist.  Tshuin, Yerush and Anank were on the 4e side when the dimensions separated, and their village and families were on the alien side.

The party has also learned that the villagers are at least as much alien as they are "normal", with a secondary insubstantial nervous system (ghost nervous system) attached to two very real mycelial tissue masses in the lungs and lower digestive system.

One of the effects of this ghost nervous system is that all the villagers are bound together with a telepathic link; when the dimensions parted, this link was severed for Yerush and Anank.  Tshuin still felt something... somewhere... but the others would not listen to him.  "Our families are dead!  Our children are dead!  The elders are dead!  The mother plant will go unpropagated and the pitcher-flowers will be undrunk!  Let us do the ritual of the black mask and welcome those who have wronged us to the same fate!"

Tshuin watched as his older brother and the arrogant warrior Anank anointed themselves and drank the sacred drink.  He watched as they burned their own blood and smeared the ashes into the raw flesh revealed after they flayed their own faces.  Tshuin said the ritual words that are said to free the soul, and watched as the eyes of the two glazed over... and became black... and the black spread across the face, a featureless black mask with two slits for eyes.

Tshuin hailed the party from a treetop as the hovercraft flew over the jungle.  He told them that his brother and Anank were coming to kill them.  The ritual of the black mask had revealed Beautiful Bob and Tilia as the reason the family had been lost.  Tshuin asked the party to kill the pair, because their souls had already been lost.  There is no reasoning with them, he said.  They are already gone.

But did the party listen?
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