Blessings of Night
Adventure excerpt from the gold ENNIE award winning Uncaged Goddesses
City of Flesh
Excerpt from the acclaimed indie game City of Flesh
Love to Ashes
Short story excerpt from Vampire the Masquerade: The Endless Age Anthology
Blessings of Night
Blessings of Night is a D&D adventure from the Uncaged Godesses adventure anthology, the 2022 ENNIE Award winner for Best Adventure (Gold) and Best Cover Art (Silver) with nominations for Best Interior Art and Product of the Year. Blessings of Night was highlighted in the anthology’s promo package.
The characters arrive in the trade town of Setja in Barovia, and find it under attack by night creatures. They trace the attacks back to a lich named Jolan Rashek (she/her, elf lich, chaotic evil) . Jolan was abused by her husband, the wizard Everhart “The Wise” Rashek (he/him, human fiendish wizard, lawful evil), generations ago, and prayed to Mother Night (she/her, goddess, neutral evil), for deliverance. Mother Night turned her into a lich so she could fix her own problems—except Everhart promptly took their daughter Alexa and fled to the Village of Barovia. Alexa returned to Setja later in her life, but Jolan never dared contact her or her descendants. Jolan remained alone and resentful of Everhart. Now, Everhart is back for their great-granddaughter’s funeral, and Jolan is determined to kill him and anyone who stands in her way. The characters must choose sides if they want to save Setja—and possibly confront Mother Night herself.
1—Welcome to Setja
The characters arrive at Setja late at night, to find it under attack by an army of night creatures.
Night has just fallen. The sound of battle breaks the stillness. A town, on the cusp of being a city, rises from the mist. A small army of werewolves, night hags, and vampires is attacking a caravan entering the town. The town’s defenders, led by a tall woman in well-loved armor, come to the caravan’s defense, but this is above their expertise.
Vision. The clouds part and a woman looks down from the sky. She is vast, carrying the stars as ornaments in her hair. She looks at a lich giving commands to the night creatures. Then the clouds close, obscuring both sky and lich.
This scene can be run as a combat encounter, or a series of skill challenges, depending on your group’s preferences. Emphasize the chaos of the attack—the characters are one small pocket amidst the battle. Describe guards escorting citizens down cellar doors to underground shelters.
The characters are singled out by a vampire warrior and a coven of three night hags working together. The vampire harasses the characters physically, while the night hags use their Etherealness to perform hit-and-run attacks. The vampire flees when it is reduced to a quarter of its hit point maximum or less, any surviving night hags follow.
Series of Skill Challenges
Let the characters decide how to solve these problems. Set the difficulty of any skill checks from DC 20 (hard) to DC 25 (very hard), and handle success and failure as makes sense:
An overturned caravan wagon traps a parent and young child under its canvas roof. The night creatures have not seen them yet.
The night army sets fire to a wagon filled with sacks of barley, and the fire quickly jumps to other wagons.
The night army forces a breach in the town wall, spilling forward to set fire to a nearby tavern (whose patrons instantly regret that they stayed to gawk).
Tending the Wounded
The night army finally retreats. The characters’ efforts caught the eye of guard leader Captain Rian Darkor (she/her, dwarven veteran, lawful good) who asks the characters to follow her. She talks to the characters as she surveys the wounded, the damage to the wall, and the state of the caravan. She tells them Setja has been under attack for six nights now. The night army’s forays into the town itself have been limited—either by design or because the town’s defenses are holding. She doesn’t know why they’re attacking. If characters ask Captain Darkor if anything else happened six nights ago, she tells them that Baroness Emilia Rashek died and that her burial is tomorrow night—however, Captain Darkor isn’t sure the events are connected.
Captain Darkor doesn’t know that the night army did make demands—Jolan sent a letter demanding the immediate surrender of Everhart Rashek. Everhart never replied and his descendant mayor Lilian Rashek (she/her, half-elf noble, lawful neutral) buried the letter. Using Lilian’s position, the pair blocked any attempts to negotiate with the army, reasoning that Jolan will relent when Everhart leaves after the funeral.
Captain Darkor asks the characters to aid in Setja’s defense, offering them the town’s animated shield and nine lives stealer longsword as a reward after the night army is defeated. A successful DC 25 Charisma (Intimidation or Persuasion) check convinces her to hand over the items now. She asks them to find the night army camp and discover what they can about its leadership. She grumbles that it’s nice someone is helping—although she won’t elaborate, she asked Everhart for aid and he refused.
City of Flesh
City of Flesh is a critically acclaimed indie game set in Nagara, a city built in the corpse of a slain Titan. Characters are Midwives tasked with birthing Nagara’s future. City of Flesh is written and developed by Steffie de Vaan and Elizabeth Chaipraditkul.
Nagara, the City of Flesh, dominates the Plains of Bone. The world is still young, the Age of Titans draws to a close, but the city is old. Built in the womb of a slain Colossus, Nagara is both rich and powerful—and already past its prime. A doom approaches Nagara, as the world rebirths itself into a new, more rational form in which there’s place for neither Titans, nor cities built atop their rotting remains. To facilitate this transition, the city’s dreams birthed the Midwives—people imbued with some of the city’s primordial energy who must guide it to whatever comes next.
You play one of the Midwives, who are of any gender despite the name. Your task is not to ward off the Doom—its arrival is already written in the stars—but rather to guide Nagara into something that may yet survive the turning of the ages. You craft this tale of destiny together, guided by a deck of tarot cards.
The Dead City
The Colossus is dead by any measure of human life, and yet she isn’t— she still undulates with primordial creation, heaving and oozing to form a protective shell around Nagara. The magic of the city’s Sovereigns keeps her dormant, as does the life-leeching magic of lesser citizens and their efforts to keep flesh at bay with fire and blade. Entire city blocks still live under overhangs of flesh as a result of the Years of Suffering, with citizens carving houses into the red tissue.
The need to drive back the Colossus’ flesh becomes more dire as Nagara expands. Sovereign Nemaida offers rewards to explorers who venture in the necrotic parts of the city to slay monsters and burn away the flesh. The Midwives often find themselves called to the danger the endeavor promises.
The Colossus’ flesh is riddled with parasites. Some are small specimens, even though the size of their hive is prodigious, like the infamous blood locust plague that decimated an entire city block two generations ago. Others are fitting the size of their Titanic host, like the silent stalkers that grow to the size of dogs and venture into darkened streets to snatch citizens when they get hungry. Strange fishfolk live under the red surface of the Blood Sea, singing and dragging fishers to their death.
Adding to the danger for citizens are the effects of the Colossus’ own body. She breathes still, when she remembers to, filling streets and homes with poison mist. Her immune system has a mutagenic effect, creating both the Midwives— a little known secret to Nemaida and her inner council— and more dangerous and deformed monsters. Once a year, in the Season of Blood, the blood sea floods the surrounding region. Worst of all though, are the Titan’s dreams.
The Colossus’ dreams transcend time and space, calling and summoning strange things. One dream opened a rift to a darkened void where a great lidless eye watched Nagara. All who saw the eye committed suicide within a fortnight. Another time, her dreams birthed a strange goat with too many eyes and too many legs, which feasted on the flesh of Nagarans until the Midwives put it down. Just this solar rotation, the Colossus’ dreams of death caused three people to murder their families.
The City of Flesh should not exist. Under the laws of magic, Titans can’t die and people don’t build cities in their rotting womb. Under the laws of science, Titans don’t exist at all. Nagara straddles the divide of two ages, when the time of myth gives way to the time of humans. That divide grows larger every day, and Nagara’s Doom is written in the stars. The entire city can feel the end coming, but only a few actually realize what is upon them. The Midwives see the Doom, and it’s up to them to shape its terrible form.
Love to Ashes
A short story excerpt from The Endless Ages: Vampire The Masquerade Anthology
Storm pelted the window, wind pushing through ventilation slits to dance with threadbare curtains. City lights mingled with the downpour to paint the Parisian sky a pale rainbow. The scene was lovely, romantic even, and perfect for tonight. Sephone felt her heart flutter as she studied the dark woman sitting at the room’s only desk. The mortal tensed, eyes flitting to the corner where Sephone hid, before returning to the iridescent blue beetle in front of her.
She sees you.
The voices spoke to Sephone unbidden, but they never lied. The mortal’s conscious mind was cowed by the cloak of the unseen that draped Sephone’s unmoving form, but the animal part of her brain screamed predator! nonetheless.
Sephone remained, mesmerized by the light and shadow playing on her love’s face. The mortal’s eyes were dark pools that held endless fascination, deep lines etched on the skin around them. Those lines had once been a testament to Nita’s good-humored nature, scrunching up her face whenever she laughed, but they’d long become a concession to the grind of years. The mortal’s cropped curls, too, had turned from black to gray. Sephone’s heart, close to resuming its beat mere moments ago, fell silent. Time was whittling away her love and death waited in the wings—an even greater divide than the one separating them now. Sephone shook at the prospect of losing love and hope to the unrelenting march of time, but quickly buried her anxiety. That loss would never happen. Not after tonight.
“Relishing the view, my pet?” Yanis’ voice drowned Sephone’s senses. Sephone resisted the urge to moan, refusing to give her sire what she wanted. She was determined to keep her attention on her love—this was her big night, after all—even as the blood in her veins ran hot.
“Look at me.” Steel hid in that silken purr, removing all thoughts of disobedience.
Sephone’s eyes turned to her master. Yanis was beautiful and perfect, with luscious auburn curls and sky-blue eyes that made no attempt to hide the cruelty of her heart. The elder absorbed the light of stars and moon, until nothing remained but what little she allowed to escape.
Yanis’ mouth quirked up in response to the adoration that was rightfully hers. “Good girl.” The approval gave Sephone goosebumps. “Now let’s fetch your prize.”
Sephone watched Yanis glide to the mortal’s side. The dark woman’s eyes darted up, looking through the predator as her mind dismissed the phantom. She turned the beetle over in trembling fingers while the hairs in her neck rose on end. Sephone could hear the mortal’s heart race, saw legs coil under the table, as instinct triggered a primordial flight response. It wasn’t until the elder bent down and ever so softly caressed her hair, that the mortal’s mind finally bucked the power. Nita’s eyes turned wide as she witnessed the horror smiling at her, and her legs pushed up and away from the chair—too late now.