So, yesterday I gave you the basic concepts to understand for Scion. So today we’re going straight into the plot of the campaign.
If at any point you don’t understand something, refer to yesterday’s primer, in all likelihood I explained everything in detail there. If not, let me know in the comments and I’ll explain again.
Yesterday I mentioned Scion has three levels of play: Hero, Demigod and God, and this campaign had one story arc for each level. Today I’m focusing on the first of the stories, the Hero story. I had intended on making this one post for all three, but in writing I realised this are some really long stories, so better give each of them their own space.
While I had a few players for this game, the core party had the following Scions:
- An adopted son of Athena. This character was an Interpol Inspector.
- A son of Baldr. He was a burgeoning rock star.
- A son of Tezcatlipoca. He was a rich kid with a tragic backstory and was a sycophant to his parent.
- A daughter of Bastet. She was a troublemaker, almost professionally so.
Hero Arc – The List
Two of the four party members, the Inspector and the Rich Kid, awaken to their powers after surviving an assassination attempt, the former by another Scion, one armed with a massive sniper rifle, and the latter by a Fire Giant.
After doing a few odd jobs for his father Baldr, the Rock Star receives a request by none other than Loki, asking him to deliver a package to a Frost Giant. Fearing the consequences of crossing the trickster god, the Rock Star acquiesces and delivers the package without even daring to open it. A few days later, he too survives an assassination attempt, not by the giant but by a troll.
The Troublemaker is well off getting into trouble on her own, without anyone attacking her. But as Fate loves to intervene in the path of Scions, she found herself in the middle of a supernatural-backed bank robbery. This brought her to the Inspector’s attention and not wanting to waste a good asset, particularly one with such obvious fighting skills, he recruited her on the spot.
And so each of the characters begin their pursuit, following clues and trails that lead them all to Milan, where the Inspector recruits them into his taskforce. It helps that the Inspector’s boss is Athena herself, giving his actions legitimacy within Interpol.
By pooling their resources together, the party tracks the Sniper Scion to a small seaside town, and the confrontation leads to a deadly battle in the middle of the high street.
On this killer they find a list with their names and those of dozens of other scions, or at least potential ones. The gods have many children but awaken only a handful yet this list has the dates for the potential awakening of all godlings. It goes beyond a simple prediction and into the realm of alternate paths of history. The list he carries has only a month’s worth of names, but it gives them a starting point.
Combing through the list, they reach out to other scions, other survivors of the attacks and build a network of contacts, slowly gathering more clues on the list, but making no progress with its origin. As their godly parents send them on other tasks, they keep coming into contact with other assassins, such as a German Scion with a black leather jacket and Assassin’s Creed-style hidden blades, or an Italian Scion of Susano-o and master ninja.
This youth is in fact from the seaside town where the group met. His cousins died to the evil Scion’s attacks but he survived, thanks to a mysterious man named Samuel. In fact, both men mention Samuel, with the man in the black jacket speaking about him in a casual way and having public fights with him over the phone. In one occasion, the Rich Kid overhears a conversation and the argument is over Samuel giving the list to monsters and titan-spawn.
Most surprising of all, for them at least, is that the assassins don’t bear them any ill will, and in fact are quite happy to talk to them, as long as it doesn’t involve giving up Samuel. It’s through these conversations and the network they build that they realise the list isn’t something new but had been around for decades, well before the second, World War, with the name Joseph Mengele appearing on the list as a potential Scion of Hephaestus.
Through Max—the man in the black leather jacket—the Inspector makes contact with Samuel, the big baddie intrigued by the scion of Athena and keen to speak to him. During these conversations and while pooling together list-survivor witness accounts they realise a few things. The first is that Samuel is more powerful than all of them combined, well into the Demigod level, and the second is that assassination is not his intent, but awakening.
The purpose of the list is to awaken as many scions as possible, even if their godly parents don’t want them to. Sending the list to monsters is just a means to an end. Titan-spawn are in the hundreds of thousands, meaning that even if they killed some would-be-Scions, statistically speaking there would still be hundreds of new godlings awakened to their heritage.
Samuel’s allies don’t agree with this last bit.
With their Godly parents breathing down their necks about putting a stop to Samuel’s plans, and with the party’s own views on the situation, they decide to put a stop to the man and his list. Because of the growing animosity between Samuel and his allies, the Inspector manages to recruit them into their assault.
The ninja, Nico, says that while he knows Samuel is responsible for his cousins’ death, the fact the mastermind saved his life means he is duty bound to repay the favour. If they should attack Samuel, he will have to protect his life.
After breaking into his home, they open his vault and find dozens of journals, portraits and photos of Samuel’s adventures with Scion groups in the past. As they read the journals, a pattern emerges. Samuel’s adventures always end in disaster, with the Scions he knew jumping into greater dangers, their heads filled with illusions of glory by their parents, until they finally met a gruesome fate.
The party and allies confront Samuel and get him monologue-ing, the worst thing for a villain to do! He explains that he created the list to make sure that Scions awakened fully aware of the dangers of this life, so they understood that no matter what pretty words the Gods use, they are risking their lives in suicidal missions for sometimes uncaring parents.
The Inspector questions this, wondering why he would want to awaken so many Scions, and Samuel says (after my player delivered a kickass speech) that Scions hold infinite potential, yet the Gods only awaken a handful, condemning the others to bland and mundane lives. To him Scions deserve better. They all deserve the chance to make their mark on the world.
He also reveals the origin of the list, his Relic. The Tablet of Destinies, a cuneiform tablet and which, according to Mesopotamian myth gives its wielder control of the universe. It’s a super-Relic, well beyond the limits of normal items, and effectively grants access to all Purviews in the game as well as allowing the user to see all across time and space.
The party questions his right to wield such an item, and putting his money where his mouth is, he asks them, as fellow Scions, to pass judgement on him, to take his actions, his ideals and goals and decide if his way is righteous. They obviously say no, claiming that his way of awakening multiple scions is bound to create more problems than he can even predict, no matter how powerful the tablet is.
Samuel gives a command to the tablet and it vanishes. Right then, Max leaps from the shadows and attempts to assassinate Samuel, only for Nico to stop him. With his debt repaid, the Ninja turns his blade on his former master, joining the party in fighting the Demigod.
The NPCs do their best to fight with Samuel but he easily overpowers them. Thanks to some of their supernatural abilities, the party notice that there are threads of fate going out of Samuel and into the basement. Leaving the rest of the group to keep Samuel distracted they follow the threads to a giant energy sphere below ground where they see multiple copies of Samuel trapped inside. These copies gaze at the party with dead eyes.
With some rather insanely good checks and their knowledge of the supernatural, they realise that these copies are “Legend Points.” Using knowledge from his Relic, Samuel trapped his own Legend, to stop himself from reaching godhood and coming under the Pantheon’s attention. This also unbalanced the laws of fate around him, giving him more powers than he should have. In fact, it gave him every power he could potentially have, as fate goes crazy around him.
The party, being the clever sort of people they are, destroy the sphere and the clones using C4 charges and quickly return upstairs, where Fate catches up with Samuel, strips him of all his extra abilities and gives him his godhood, expelling him from the world and ringing all sorts of divine alarm bells.
In the aftermath, the Gods congratulate the party, shower them with gifts and tell them they’re after Samuel, but he’s not in any of their overworlds, meaning he’s not from any of the known pantheons. But the sudden rise of Atlantis from the ocean floor gives his true origin away very soon.
With their actions, their renown and legend goes through the ceiling, raising them to Demigod status and power level.
This starting story was the weakest of the bunch for me, because it depended too much on the Inspector character. I used his place and character concept to drive the conflict forwards, which I shouldn’t have, as it made the rest of the party sometimes feel like they didn’t matter as much.
It’s something I fixed on the second story, my favourite of all three, and which you’ll read about tomorrow!