An Oath Against the Shadows
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Introduction

The An Oath Against the Shadows campaign is set against the backdrop of Southeast Asian culture, mythology, and history. Ordinary people live alongside spirits, demons, and other supernatural creatures, without even knowing it.

Long ago, pawangs (shamans) discovered that there was in fact many different worlds. In these realms, ghosts, evil spirits, demons, and even immortals thrived. Some of these realms where heavenly paradises, while others were dark, hellish worlds. Most ordinary people are ignorant or simply lack the proper knowledge or insight to realize this truth. To protect ordinary people from the truth, gurus, pawangs, and sorcerers banded together and founded the Vamachara. It's purpose: to monitor and combat supernatural threats, and keep the supernatural a secret from the rest of the world. Hunters, as these Vamachara devotees would come to call themselves, are the selected few that know the truth, that supernatural creatures are very real and an essential part of the natural order of the universe. Ordinary people do not understand that evil spirits spread illness and suffering. Most of the time, only the trained and initiated can see these otherworldly beings.

The Player Characters take the role of hunters for the Vamachara. As hunters of supernatural things, whether supernatural creatures or items of power, they walk a fine line between the illusionary world, Maya, and the supernatural world, Kala, never truly belonging to either side. They are not necessarily either the good or bad guys—usually somewhere in-between.

Main Cast

Supporting Cast

Synopsis

The players are all outcasts or otherwise expelled from society for what they done or for what they are. Whether criminal or simply wrongly accused, a mysterious order called the Vamachara, approaches them with the intent of recruiting them and using their gifts to protect humanity from the shadows. They don’t really know to what ends the Vamachara keeps track of the supernatural or why the order feels the need to restrict those with supernatural talents. As the story unfolds, they will begin to understand what the Vamachara is and truly stands for, and against whom they are truly fight.

This story takes places in the southern part of Panau, somewhere in the Doyang Swamp near the remote village of Gulang. Rumours of supernatural activity have become increasingly evident, and the Vamachara have tasked the players with uncover what has truly happened there.

Summary of Events

Season 3

Session 2

  • Before leaving, Ismaya warns Sukhayo from abusing his powers. Sukhayo insures him that he'll do no such thing, only using it when time demands it. He tells them that he will make contact with Vamachara if more supernatural activities occur in the region.
  • After defeating the Skullstalker Man, chopping off his head and returning it to the ghost Kirani, Arugan tells the group that Kirani and Vakrama disappears and the curse of the Doyang Swamp has lifted.
  • With this new information, they recruit the help of Sukhayo. He agrees to help them destroy the Skullstalker Man once and for all. Sukhayo brings his zombie workers as aide. The fearless head-hunter is seemingly waiting for them outside the temple ruins.
  • The following morning, they question Yalan, but he is very reluctant to answer their questions. Arugan again uses his magic to persuade him. It turns out that he works for Vakrama, who should be long since dead. The fisherman tells them that he really doesn't know who this Vakrama fellow is, because he wears a mask. They quickly realize that Vakrama is the Skullstalker Man!
  • Arugan questions one of the marauders with his magic, learning that the fishermen are in fact the marauders preying on the ferries that pass through. He learns that they work for Yalan, the head fisherman.
  • Setting up camp outside the fishery, Korah sights activity on the other side of the river. She wakes up Ismaya and Atreya. Atreya and Korah take a closer look and discover four marauders that have set up camp. they quickly take them out.
  • The fishermen are not especially helpful, but agrees to lend them a boat for a small fee. According to the fishers, the marauders were last seen up north of the Black River. After hours of boating, they find nothing.
  • Reluctant to speak about the local marauders in the Doyang Swamp, most of the villagers are of no help. The tribal chief advises them to go to the fishery and ask the fishers.
  • Ismaya is struck by a curse that makes him incredibly hungry.
  • They return to Gulang and decide to figure out what the the ghostly woman wants, and Ismaya realizes that she might be Kirani and she's looking for something off her beloved, Vakrama.

Session 1

  • While exploring the northern region of the Doyang Swamp, Arugan notices a ghostly figure moving between the trees. No one else seems to notice. It only speaks to him, and accuses him of taking the life of her beloved. She demands that heirloom that belongs to him is returned to her. Only then will she find solitude.
  • On their way back from the temple, a giant praying mantis attacks them. They manage to kill it, taking off its head for a reward when they return to the Jarang Cemetery.
  • They encounter the Skullstalker Man and he kills Melati, promptly severing her head and runs back into the jungle. After a quick cremation, they explore the temple ruins. Inside the ruins of this ancient Thalathanist temple, they uncover the Skullstalker Man's working place: filled with carcasses of humans and non-humans, and dozens of skulls piled formed like a pyramid.
  • When the hunting party returns, a boy named Lopan is injured by the Skullstalker Man and taken to the village's herbalist. Ismaya lends him a hand.
  • While exploring the swamp, they happen upon a cave that houses a giant bat that seems to fed on livestock and humans! They promptly deal with the animal and torch its nest.
  • Ismaya, who is well-versed in history, the supernatural, and theology recalls the story of Kirani; a mahomanay woman who fell for a human. According to legend, she cursed the inhabitants of the Doyang Swamp when bandits took the life of her beloved.
  • The villagers tell them of a man called Sukhayo, a witchdoctor who lives in the outskirts of Gulang and that he first reported an increase in supernatural activity in the northern part of the swamp. The villagers believe Sukhayo is responsible. They also learn about a man known only as the Skullstalker Man who kills both villagers and head-hunters alike.
  • Arrives in Gulang during sundown. The following morning, the group splits up; Satria follows the hunters, while Arugan, Korah, and Melati question the villagers about the recent supernatural events, and finally, Atreya and Ismaya explore the surrounding area.
  • The hunters are sent to the Doyang Swamp to investigate supernatural activity in the village of Gulang.

See also

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