Saturday, April 23, 2011

A special holiday campaign idea.

In keeping with the spirit of the holiday season, I've come up with the following idea for a historical fantasy/horror campaign setting:

"Blessed are those who come to this supper..."
And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.  (Matthew 27:52-53)
It was during the reign of Tiberius that they brought the world as we know it to an end. At first they were just tiny cult from Judea--the region has been thick with holy men since the region came under Roman control. This one was led to by some self-proclaimed rabbi, who claimed to be a carpenter's son from some backwater town, preached that the kingdom of his god was at hand and that he was some long-prophized "Messiah." There were rumors that he could heal lepers, make the blind see, drive out demons, and even raise the dead, but nothing was ever substantiated. Eventually, the Hebrew religious authorities had enough of his blasphemy and had him crucified like the common criminal that he was. Chances were that with the leader dead they probably would have faded from history like so many other short lived sects.

That is until the refugees from the East started to pour into Egypt and Byzantium with blood-curdling tales of horror. Tales of the freshly dead rising from their resting places to kill and feed upon the flesh and blood the living. Those who were bitten by the undead would quickly take ill, die, and rise to join the others in their cannibalistic orgy. The walking dead where difficult to put down again, and soon they out numbered the local Roman garrisons. Some survivors whispered of a leader; a grim, rotting man with nail wounds to his hands and feet and a slash to his side who would insanely howl and ramble spiritual platitudes at his growing, rancid flock as they staggered their way from city to city.

If any of this offends you, kindly fuck off.
Many of the Empire's poor and desperate believed that this was divine punishment for mankind's sins. Others believed that this "King of the Jews" really was the son of god and that by serving him they would be spared the horrors inflicted upon them by his mouldering followers. As the undead army began to appear, many deluded souls would riot against the defending legions, or throw themselves at the creatures so that they might join them in "everlasting life." Mighty Tiberius sent legion after legion at the oncoming wave of walking corpses only to have them the fallen add to their numbers. Within a year, they were at the gates of Rome herself. The slaughter was unimaginable.

The remaining vestiges of the Empire fell back to the northwest. The now-dead Tiberius' nephew and  son of the great general Germanicus, Caligula,  ascended to the purple and was spirited away to rule from distant Londinium.  The remnants of Rome's mighty army must join forces with old enemies to defend the living: Gauls, Celts, and other barbarians. Zoroastrian magi from the East confer with the priests of the Roman gods, Druids, and the mysterious clerics of Mithras and Cybele to find a supernatural answer.

Meanwhile, there are reports of "apostles" spreading the word of "the Christ" ("the anointed one") throughout the untouched regions of Europa. Where ever they go, the dead are soon to follow. Thus were the mindless followers of the Judean lich-lord, both living and dead, given a name that would strike terror in the hearts of millions.

They were called Christians.

3 comments:

  1. That would be an interesting apocalyptic setting! An all clerical party would come in handy.

    Happy Easter!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Awesome. How about an unholy land mega-dungeon Masada filled with fanatical Christian zombies, ant-miracles of poisoned wine, ergot bread, and undead piranha, baptisms in blood, summoning black angels of death?

    ReplyDelete
  3. Ooooh Drune. You know what I like!

    ReplyDelete

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