The Scars section of Artifacts (p.24-41) provides tools for building cohesive player character groups. It also describes how player characters of the same Cult can come together as a group. Taking Scars as a start point, this and other Cult Campaign Seeds posts explore ideas for campaigns built around a single Cult.
The aim is to provide gamemasters with ideas that can be expanded, grafted into other campaign seeds, or otherwise altered as needed. With that in mind, here are some ideas for Anubian groups.
Land of Stories
Hybrispania is an exotic, beautiful land. It is also full of dangers obvious and hidden. The treacherous Guerreros plant bombs and slaughter the innocent. In hidden caves and strange grottoes, Pregnoctics bend time itself to serve goals unknowable to Humans.
At least, that’s what you’ve heard. While under the effects of calming medicines, the Scourgers under your care reveal more than they know. Their stories come out in whispers and mutterings, almost as confessions. Their voices carry pain and sorrow, rage and fear. They have done more, seen more than is right to expect of mortals. The way of the warrior does not prepare a man for the horrors of fighting an enemy that can see into the future and know how and where you’ll strike, an enemy that thinks nothing of recruiting child soldiers and sacrificing its own people in order to keep the fires of war blazing.
Far from the nearest fishing village, away from judgmental looks and unkind rumors, your small team of Anubian healers works tirelessly to bring nearly shattered Scourgers. They have been brought back from the land of the Crow and hidden here. Every Scourger lost to wounds, disease, mental trauma, or Burn is a loss of knowledge, of hard-won expertise. While most of the Scourgers who wind up here will ever see combat again, when they are made whole in body and mind, they can school younger warriors and prepare them for what awaits in Hybrispania.
Two years ago the Dumisai Zubari left for his home village after spending months recovering at your infirmary. Now he has reappeared. “I am preparing a return to Hybrispania. You made me whole again. I have every reason to believe you can also help me keep my pack whole in body and mind. I have spoken with your Ammit. You will be my healers and will advise me in non-military matters.” He is not asking, he is telling. Chance has brought you together on this endeavor, and it is time for each of you to take the next step in your journey as Anubians.
Characters with the Concepts of Adventurer, Traveler, Disciple, and Mediator have Affinity with this group, while Aversion greets those with Hermit and Destroyer Concepts.
Meti the Embalmer leads monthly rituals at the Spirit House. On those days she schools Enchanters in the ways of Anubis and presides over the Initiates assigned to her safekeeping. Meti is renowned for her knowledge, calm demeanor, and judgment. Many say that she is on The Path, and that someday she will stand in judgment next to Anubis. Of that, you have no doubt.
Like you, the others she has gathered on this clear, effervescent night are Meti’s Enchanters – her most devoted servant students, all bound by duty to her. You kneel before her as she commits you to silence. “This is a deep matter, an undertaking that may not be spoken of, even to those within the Cult. Will you swear to follow this vow, even after the thing itself is done?” She looks at each of you in turn, her eyes flashing in the starlight.
“Good, very good,” she says with an approving smile. “You may know of my brother, the Embalmer Omar. Until recently he taught at the university in Qabis. But something happened to him. His mind,” her brows tighten, “was infected by the Spitalians.” She closes her eyes for a moment, then continues. “As you may know, they are on some sort of mission with the blessings of the money men.”
Meti paces. “Omar is headed to a city far in the north of the Land of the Crow. It is the seat of power for the Spitalians, and it is called Justitian. You will not catch up to him, but if you move swiftly, you will reach the city not long after he does. Omar has taken a small leather-bound book with him, full of writings from before Eschaton. You must retrieve that book and return it home, to me. If he has already passed the book to the Spitalians, you must obtain it from them by any means at your disposal.”
A thin voice in your head wonders why, if this book is so important to the Cult, it is being entrusted to such an inexperienced group. Another voice asks what might be in that book. And your stomach clenches as you think about the dangers of the Land of the Crow. It is best, you remind yourself, to think of yourself as already dead. That way you will be able to act with confidence in the face of danger. Meti is counting not just on your loyalty, but on your courage. You do not intend to let her down.
Characters with the Concepts of Mentor, Protector, Martyr, and Healer have Affinity with this group, while Aversion greets those with Abomination and Ruler Concepts.
The Spitalians have made themselves at home in Qabis. They have been gifted a Surge Tank, and some of them are taking it south, into the Psychovore Belt. This is unsettling news. You and your comrades may be young, but you know enough of the ways of Anubis to know that there can be no reconciling spirituality with the soulless ways of the Spitalians.
Yet here you all are, entering the city, intent on uncovering a plot to foment open conflict with the Spitalians. Were it not for the fact that Kamari the Buzzard was at the head of this conspiracy, you might yourself be plotting to undo the Spitalians. But each of you has a score to settle with Kamari.
Kamari is always scheming, always coming up with a new way to take treasure that doesn’t belong to him. Several months ago his crew of pirates hijacked a cargo ship off the coast of Toulon. That vessel was loaded with rare European medicinal herbs, harvested Psychonaut remains, and Bygone artifacts, all of it bound for the Temple to Anubis at Algier.
The Sickle Entrou entrusted you with this mission. They must know that none of you harbor goodwill toward the Spitalians. But they must also know that each of you lost someone when that ship was hijacked – a brother, a sister, a mother or a father. Vengeance is a reliable motivator.
Your mission is to settle into Qabis and roam the Grand Bazaar, where Kamari’s flock is rumored to be holed up and scheming. You are information-gatherers, and you will report back to Entrou when you have located Kamari and discovered his full intentions. Then Entrou and his Sickle brethren will steal in like the night breeze and silently eliminate the Buzzard.
Characters with the Concepts of Defiler, Abomination, Heretic, and Destroyer have Affinity with this group, while Aversion greets those with Healer and Mediator Concepts.