The Chaos Gate

pazuzu“Our power demands your sacrifice. Darkness rewards those willing to suffer for the promise of power. A terrible bounty will be reaped, go forth and sow in Our Name.” – Inscription on the base of the Chaos Gate.

Let’s talk about demons. Not yours or mine, we don’t have that kind of time, I’m talking about Porphyra’s Demon Lords. I like demons. They have a way of bringing everyone together, even devils – especially devils. Now here on Porphyra, they are unable to fully manifest their powers, they were drafted, in a way, by the New Gods to further pester the waning Elemental Lords. Its around this very concept that I’m going to pitch a campaign idea to fully invest in the Demon Lords from one of three ways.

The PCs. This is where the decision of how this campaign unfolds will be decided. Will your PCs be a group of demon worshiping fanatics, a group of fanatics who worship the waning Elemental Lords, or will they be the heroic good guys, stomping evil out wherever they smell its musty odor?

  • Demon Worshipers – Without a doubt this is the most challenging of the possibilities. Why? Because only chaotically evil mad(wo)men worship Demon Lords. This presents a unique set of issues for the DM, – we’ve all seen groups of “evil” marauding PCs roaming the countryside burning everything in sight and thinking that being a jerk to everyone is evil and then they forget the goals of the game. It has happened to the best of us and this needs to be avoided. If the players want to worship demons be sure to keep them goal oriented (perhaps through reward/punishment system from their benefactor) and make sure they worship the same, or closely aligned Demon Lords. There tends to be a lot of infighting.
  • Elemental Fanatics – Easier than Demon Lords but less straightforward than heroes, those who worship the Elemental Lords tend to be the less “normal” members of the populace, but should add minimal complications as long as all the pcs are Elementalists.
  • Heroes – Default setting. Why do we play RPGs? To save the world.

The story thus far: The Demon Lords have been forced into a second rate position by those who hold power here, and as Demon Lords they simply can’t abide such insults. There has been a significant increase in demonic cult activity over the last year, and it isn’t the usual burn, pillage, destroy. They’ve been collecting magical items and harvesting souls though no one has been able to uncover anything more than that.

Meanwhile off in the distant (jungle, desert, frozen waste – select your preference) a great black gate has been erected. This twenty-foot-tall black portal is designed to amplify the powers of the Demon Lords, resonating through sets of obelisks built in front of it, and those built in the surrounding Lands (I suggest the discovery one of these obelisks as an excellent mission for non-demon worshippers, and possibly demon worshippers as they move up the cult ranks). An item of this power, of this magnitude, requires a great deal of magic, not only to power up but also to hide from divine interlopers. It also requires souls to power it. Once the portal is opened, the Demon Lords will gain the same power levels as the New Gods and be able to fully manifest, thus sustaining the portal themselves. The portal was designed by Pasiphae the Mistress of Puzzles.

Here is an optional story bit – she holds a secret from the other Demon Lords. It will only increase her to full power, the others will be lesser to her in power.

Such is the way when making deals amongst demons.

All the demons have thrown their efforts into this device, save one. Karzerothine the Loomqueen. Whether she has her own plans or knows the truth is unknown, but she has not contributed a single soul to its construction, nor is she likely too.

The story at this point should have become rather obvious:

  • Demon Worshipers – Manage to increase the power of your benefactor, and possibly outsmart the Mistress of Puzzles.
  • Elemental Fanatics – Stop the Demon Lords and perhaps even use the device to somehow empower the Elemental Lords.
  • Heroes – Default setting. Save the world.

This is easily a campaign vector which could start with humble beginnings in a small town at level 1 investigating problems with a small cult, leading you to an obelisk near the town, a resonating point source for the Chaos Gate. This in turn could lead you halfway around the world to the gate itself. Leaving you to try and find a way to destroy it or stop the rituals which will bring the Demon Lords to full power. Perhaps even culminating in a party of level 20 PCs fighting the Demon Empress of the Web as her bloated, arachnoid body claws its way through the gate even as it is shut down, trapping her bloated spidery form between Realms.

Or not, your call.

Game on, Alex

Demon Lords of Porphyra is available for sale exclusively at Rpgnow.

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