View Full Version : et nigrum schola (The Black School) (campaign players stay out please)

January 10th, 2019, 10:00
Tonight, I started up the Horror/Modern Fantasy campaign. The time is 1920, and the story starts with two individuals from the United States meeting with what appears to be a Scotsman searching for the Gold Mines of King Soloman, an Italian who seems to be there as a rival to a Spanish noblewoman named Eva (who may be a Hapsburg), an Asian foreigner that doesn't seem to speak any of the European Languages (Speaks Portuguese though in addition to Japanese), along with one more person slated to show up. Total party at the black school is to be 7.

So, they have a dinner party of sorts in the wee hours late at night, well past midnight by the time they retire. Slurs are handed back and forth between Eva and the Italian, a knife is throw by the Italian against Gabriel (Player character) and poor Arthur - who doesn't believe in the supernatural, is finding things happening that do not meet his standards of normal.

First, it was a heavy bound book that he later found out was the last surviving copy of the Book of Enoch. In it, it details how the split between GOD and 200 angels came to be, and what would be the fates involved. It also describes the watchers - those who were angels, but not with the Fallen 200.

So, after the dinner party, with people getting acqainted, with secrets being spilled here or there, and the Scotsman being more than happy to enjoy fine wine and decent food, enjoying the table conversation easily enough. It was even entertaining when - through the course of the dinner, Eva manages to discover that Gabriel's Uncle is also capable of casting magic. By now, only too aware that if his secrets reach the light of day (ie are exposed) his life and that of his Uncle's would be sorely threatened.

See, in this game world? There exists an organization dedicated to hunting down those who openly practice magic. Some call them the hunters, some call them the Combine - but none who meet them live to survive the tale if they stand up and fight...

In any event, eager to try and understand why he could see writing on the wall every time he touched the Book of Enoch earlier when he first entered the place - he decided to open the book when Brother Victor was not present to spy on him. Gabriel joined him to investigate in case anything should go wrong where he was needed. Sure enough. Opening the book unleashed a purplish explosion of color, and 200 times, lights pulsed into the body of Arthur. 200 names were indelibly printed into his mind in a manner he'd not be able to forget. With each searing blast into his mind, Arthur's psyche began to shatter. Before the last of the 200 names were writ in his mind, never again would Arthur be able to look at an old book without the fear that it might be alive somehow and do to him what the Book of Enoch did...

In the end, they had a chance to speak with Brother Victor, and discovered the vast history that they were largely ignorant of. How the Watchers lay with human women and sired "Giants". As always, legends blow up larger than life, but the first of the Children of the Watchers - the Nephilim, became Giants in all but stature. First of the Humans to be able to cast spells, first of the humans to be smarter than the rest of human kind, and resistant to disease, resistant to aging if not downright immortal - these children of the Watchers would gain a new name that would pass through time...

The Atlanteans.

Fast forward in time - the Atlanteans began to merge magic and science together to create things that were undreamed of before, and since the fall of Atlantis. As for the fall of Atlantis - these were the people that were to be wiped out, and the Great flood was sent to cleanse the earth of these hybrids. TO this day, those who have even a trace of Atlantean blood within them, can still touch the engines of creation and work magic. But - they, the children and heirs to Atlantis, have enemies. Those enemies will stop at nothing to wipe them out until mankind can never again practice magic.

Armed now, with the knowledge that magic is real, and that through his veins run the blood of Atlantis - Arthur must now choose. Will he enter the Black School, gamble that he's not the last to leave and thus forfeit his soul to the Devil - or will he stay clear of the Black School, and try to gather his life together in an age where the Prohibition is just starting, his life still smarting from his divorce, and a new found potential ally who happens to know some minor magic.

Gabriel on the other hand - originally wanted to show up at the Black school so that he might further his education in magic. Little do they all know, that the school master of the Black School is none other than the Lightbringer himself. Lucifer.

Some who attend the Black school only want to know where things are hidden, or learn how to gain power. The last student at the Black School wanted to destroy the Archduke of Ferdinand - aware that with the death, untold thousands and even millions would be affected by the action of but a single moment. At the Black School, what your heart desires awaits you. Are you willing to pay the ultimate price if you are the last to exit?

As if there weren't enough problems - what happens when they discover that Cthulhu is active and slowly building up a base of worshipers. Maybe Michael Moor**** didn't get it entirely right, but he certainly didn't get it entirely wrong either!

January 24th, 2019, 08:46
Without going into too much detail about the conversations engaged upon by the various actors involved in the Black School, our players discovered that their every wish and needs are being carried out by their servants. Little do they realize at first, that over time, their servants are becoming identical in looks to them, and that their servants are starting to act like them. Eventually, one did notice, but over a span of three years, that transformation will be startling and perhaps troubling. What is the owner of the Black School planning on doing with doppelgangers?

In the mean time, having spent three years in the confines of the school or on a deserted island in daylight - the students find that they do not want to give up those four months in sunlight. For 8 months per year, they study in total darkness save for any incidental light in their eating areas, or any manufactured light in the form of candles in their private rooms when not studying.

Their teacher? They never get to see his face, but merely that his eyes are almost human, black if you will, but with silver flecks inside of the black. Quite the temper the Teacher has - when one of the students was spending time studying alchemy, they repeatedly got their answers wrong to questions posed, and the Master transported the student directly to a lab saying "This is what happens if you do what you say you should do". Then the Master let an alchemical explosion take place that nearly crippled his student's hands.

Our students have also discovered that the one class never resolved its bargain with the Master. The contract for learning at the black school mandates that the last person to leave the school owes his soul as payment for the education of the rest. There is nothing to keep the students from murdering each other while at the School. In the end, the bargain is always specific - the LAST person to leave owes. Kill all of the other students, aside from the sin of murder, the lone survivor is still the last to leave.

So what was the mystery? Eva's father never returned from the Black School. Her arch nemesis Lucious - his father also had gone to the Black school, and had returned. But that particular session was still unpaid for. Lucious' father had cast a Soul Stone on himself, to hide his soul in a new object. Reasoning that his soul would be safe in the school, he also figured that when his physical body left, he'd meet the requirement of not being the last person out. He also cast Flesh to Stone on his one rival, reasoning thus: Last person out owes - and even if he got turned back to flesh, he'd still be the last out. Ever the cautious one, he placed his soul gem onto his erstwhile enemy in the form of a gemstone on a ring. He reasoned that if the man walked out from the school face forward, his ring would be outside the school domain, while the rest of the man's body would still be in the school. Even if the man walked out backwards, the flesh at the tips of the finger would still be in the school when the ring was entirely out. ONLY if the ring were left at the school itself, would the last SOUL finally be the last present of his class...

AND That, is the bulk of THAT mystery. All the players need to do is solve that one, and not be the last out from THIS class.

Only question is? If they deliberately hamper anyone else from getting out, are they guilty of what amounts to human sacrifice? If they discover that one of their friends is greedy for gold, and they make the illusion of a gold bar for him to stop, examine, and pick up - are they guilty of sacrificing a soul, or are they guilty of giving him a choice - get out or get greedy?

Only time will tell what happens. The year will be 1923 by the time they leave the school, ready to take on the world in all its glory. That, and their doppelgangers.