We’re getting to the end of this Scion week, and I’m honestly surprised I’ve managed to talk so much about this campaign. This was supposed to be a two or three-piece thing, not five as it is right now. But considering a 2000 word article is already a stretch for most people, the full plot-compendium of 8000 words would’ve been too much for anyone.
To recap, on Monday I dropped a Primer with some basic Scion concepts and mechanics to make my retelling make some sense, then on Tuesday I spoke about the Hero story—as in the Hero level of play, not the wonky-quality TV series Heroes or the really strange Jet Li film Hero—and yesterday was all about the Demigod arc.
So of course, today I end this telling of the campaign with the God campaign.
Because of some real-life commitments, the Rich Kid’s player couldn’t be part of the campaign but for the first sessions, making his participation negligible at best.
GOD –Direct Control
Yes, that is almost a blatant rip of a Mass Effect quote, shut up.
The characters ascend to Godhood and as they grow acclimated to their new stations and responsibilities, their overworlds—the different homes of the gods, such as Olympus for the Greeks and Asgard for the Norse—come into attack. More concerning is that all communications between the pantheons stop. And it’s not a gradual thing either, but happens within seconds.
The Greeks, reliant on their psychopomp users to send messages to their forces and Scions, as well as their allies in other Pantheons, find that most of these travelers can’t leave Olympus, and those who manage to escape reappear dead within seconds, their bodies twisted and broken.
Hermes is powerful enough to travel, but even he is struggling.
Desperate to find out if the same thing is happening to the other Pantheons and his comrades, the Inspector commands his followers to travel to Asgard, Iteru—home of the Egyptian gods—and Acopa, the city of the Aztecs, sending them in bulk, hoping that at least one makes it across. To his credit, he makes this a choice, without any intent on forcing them to this task.
In Asgard, a host of Titan Spawn break through the city gates and storm the halls of the Gods, and it takes every Norse god and the Einherjar, the proud warriors who reached Valhalla on death, to bear the attack. But no matter how many they kill, endless numbers keep coming.
The Rock Star fights by his father’s side, but he too wishes to know what’s going on in the other god realms, but lacks the ability to move between worlds as others do.
The home of the Egyptians is vanishing, a bright light slowly covering every inch of this realm and destroying it. The Troublemaker has very little time to think of her friends and just focuses on running for her still fairly mint-condition life.
Things are calm on the Aztec side, despite the tensions between most of the pantheon and their leader, Huitzilopochtli, being at their worst, with some contemplating a coup, or worse still a civil war. But unlike the other godly realms, they don’t seem to be under Titan attack.
The Inspector’s messengers make it through, barely, and deliver their messages to the Rock Star and Troublemaker but die shortly after doing so. When the Norse and Egyptian gods attempt to escape their realm, perhaps reach Olympus to coordinate with the Greek pantheon, they discover they too are stuck behind the same strange barrier.
Without wasting a breath, Odin commands the Rock Star to use Asgard’s back door to Helheim—one he’d already used once before when his pet wolf mated with Garm…long story—and travel from there to Hades to reach Olympus. He manages the feat albeit with difficulty and some grave injuries, but reports the situation to the Greek Pantheon.
Now aware that it’s not an isolated incident and with their own gates now under Titan attack, Hermes and his most powerful followers, children and even some volunteer Psychopomp users, travel the void between realms, braving the barrier that separates them and become a “human” conduit for travel, allowing the party to regroup, reinforcements sent to Asgard and the Egyptian gods to escape their collapsing realm, at the cost of their lives.
Yes, the link connects all other god worlds, but I kept things relevant to their pantheons.
Pooling all their resources, purviews, secret game cheats and RPG manuals together, the Gods find the point of origin for the things happening to their realms. The source lies in Akhenaten, the Greater Titan of Light, but to reach it, a strike team will have to travel through the Titan worlds of Earth and Fire, the ones directly linked to Akhenaten.
The party fights their way through the realm of Earth, avoiding Titan avatars and instead of dealing with some nasty giants and other horrible enemies—fights which took hours and most of our sanity. They dispatch them in really creative ways, as Scions tend to do, and tunnel their way through to the next realm, which they traverse as fast as inhumanly possible, the Pen & Paper equivalent of MMO mob-kiting—basically running like hell with things coming after them.
Finally, they reach Akhenaten, but the realm of light is dim, its angelic hosts nowhere to be seen, save for those dead and desiccated on the ground. They know that this Titan only has one Avatar, the all-powerful Aten, but when they reach his throne, he’s a shell of his former being, looking less like an almighty God and more like a frail old man on the verge of death. His body, sat on the throne, has tubing piercing his flesh in several places that hook him to a machine, one that seems to be using the Titan of Light as a power source.
Next to the machine, bound in spectral chains they find Ixion, the mad Scion scientist their allies killed at the end of the previous storyline. The party needs very little to get him talking, as he’s desperate to die, for real and forever, his spirit tortured and driven beyond the brink of what even the most alien mind would consider madness.
It’s difficult to get something out of him, because his only lucid for short minutes at a time, but they manage to get him talking long enough to figure out the rest by themselves.
In sealing away their Dark Virtues with Samuel’s appearance during the Demigod story arc, the Titans were indeed weaker, but the lack of these virtues, which drove the Titans to selfishness and paranoia, made it possible for them to do what they had never done before: work as a team, as an army.
With Aten at the head, to coordinate them, they captured Ixion’s spirit before it reached the underworld, and used his considerable talents to automate and coordinate their powers, creating temporal rifts around every god realm, putting them out of synch with each other and making it painful if not deadly for Psychopomps to travel. They also used the time loops to create the endless waves of enemies for Asgard by essentially “respawning” them. Aten’s Light and Muspelheim’s Fire combined into the razing beam that obliterated the Egyptian pantheon’s home and every other God realm was under the same Titan-powered combo attacks.
But Aten wasn’t in charge anymore. He was, in fact, about to die.
Pan and Ixion’s work in the last story arc taught them that you can reach the gods through their Purviews, and so, through the purview of Sun, Aten began influencing other light and sun gods, having the most success with Huitzilopochtli, the Aztec god of the Sun, Warfare and the current leader of the Pantheon. But somehow, Huitzilopochtli turned things around and used the link to drain Aten, to absorb his power and through him the combined might of the other Titans.
The reason the Aztec god realm wasn’t under attack was because Huitzilopochtli wanted it so, and he commanded the Titans through his link with Aten. But the Sun God also kept his pantheon isolated and out of battle, which is why they were on the brink of an uprising, not that he cared. He was already more Titan than God and saw those he lived with as gnats, insignificant in their tedious buzzing.
Using Ixion’s machine, they undid the temporal rifts and other combined effects, restoring the god realms, stunning the titans with the sudden “disconnection” and informing their parents and leaders of the truth. The Pantheons unite and push back their attackers, before turning their attention to Huitzilopochtli.
The joint Gods battle Huitzilopochtli but his enhanced powers prove to be too much for the weakened Gods, particularly the Norse. As the Gods retreat, escaping almost certain death, our recurring friend Samuel appears before the characters with his Tablet of Destinies, proving he had lied and never let go of it. He tells them to join the fight and leave him with the machine.
He hopes they distract the Aztec deity long enough for him to find a way to drain his powers. With the other pantheons defeated, the players have no choice and jump into the fray, but they are nowhere near his level of power, and serve only as minor distractions.
When Huitzilopochtli has them cornered, he freezes. His eyes dart madly in all directions, but unable to move another muscle. Samuel’s voice comes out clearly through invisible speakers and explains he now understands how the machine works.
With a push of a button he restores the players to full health, and then creates twenty clones of each of them. At this point, I just told my players: describe what you and your other twenty clones do to Huitzilopochtli. Go nuts, go epic and have fun.
I was tired of the drawn out fights in Scion and knew my players were weary as well, which is why I focused the campaign more on their decisions as a group than physical combat. For this last scene, I just wanted my players to have one last moment where they felt like the biggest badasses in the universe. And they did, going for crazy maneuvers, creative use of combined powers, and coming up with stunt after stunt that had us all laughing by the end at the sheer ludicrousness of it all.
But so ended the Scion game: with a machine destroyed, the Titans weakened, one dead Aztec God, and the Pantheons united in their struggle, leaving their politics for after the battle was over.
It was an open-ended finale. The battles continue, but the pantheons now have the upper hand and there’s no longer a stalemate. But above all, the party’s actions elevated them to positions of leadership within their Pantheons.
The Inspector became Zeus’ chief strategist. The Troublemaker became the general of all the Egyptian’s armies. And the Rock Star? Odin sent him on a quest…the same one he did that left him with just one eye. For those of you who know your mythology, you know how amazing that is.
And that’s it for the plot section. Tomorrow I’ll close off the week with some fun stories, and trust me, there were quite a few of those!