View Full Version : Journal Nightmare Hunters (An Anima Campaign Journal)

2016-11-12, 07:37 PM
Recently, I started playing a game of Anima Beyond Fantasy with some friends centered on Deloran, one of the Interregns featured in Gaia Vol 2: Beyond the Mirror. Trapped within holes in the great supernatural Barrier that makes Anima's setting what it is, Interregns are small, but quite different from the rest of the world.

Deloran was inspired by D&D's Midnight, and it drew the attention of one of our friends, who finally decided to GM a campaign for us. So here's the result. It's been quite enjoyable so far, even though we have only started playing, but I feel it will make for a very good journal.

Since I currently don't have a lot of information on the other PCs (I would ask their players, but I'd rather discover more about them during play), you will find that only Anthony's background is "complete".

Rules wise, the only mentionable house rules are that Dereck is using a custom Blood Legacy that I made some time ago (A major version of Toa's Legacy) and that LA is not being taken into account, being balanced by giving the guys without LA some special things during the game.

Deloran is bigger than most Interregns, even though it is barely 700 miles wide. Most of the land is composed of plains, although there are some mountain ranges in the east and north. The center of the Interregn is dominated by a small interior sea, known as the Bronze Sea. The land is fertile, and in normal conditions, it would be a nice place to live in.

Alas, conditions in Deloran are anything but normal. The membrane that separates the real world from the Wake (The world of Dreams and Nigthmares, connected to the Nexus of Souls, origin of existence and magic) is extremely thin in Deloran, almost nonexistant in some points. And Deloran's Wake, for some unknown reason, is a very dark place. The darkness of Deloran's Wake makes people go crazy, dark creatures grow stronger and bad things happen. This, in turn, creates fear and other negative emotions, which translates into the Wake getting darker. In fact, this darkness in the Wake has invaded the real world, and the sun rarely shows in Deloran. Most of the time, the land is covered by darkness, barely illuminated, although for some reason this hasn't affected plants.

This alone makes life in Deloran quite dangerous. What makes it extremely hard and miserable are the Gods of Darkness. Powerful entities that have managed to connect with the Wake of Deloran, and have claimed certain areas of the Interregn for themselves. Within their own areas, these creatures make honor to their titles, becoming beings of divine energy and powers. And even outside them, they are almost unstoppable.

Currently, three creatures claim the title of Gods of Darkness:

Lord Xarabas, the Ancestral Vetala. A vampiric creature that leads an army of creatures of darkness and mortals that have shown to serve him. He controls the southeast area.
Nephila Clarimonda, the Spider Goddess. A dark Kami with great knowledge about the Wake, and the first creature that ever claimed the mantle of God of Darkness. The northlands are her domain.
Zerath, known as the Shadow Beyond Night. The only God of Darkness without any direct servants, Zerath is powerful and unpredictable, acting always through the use of corpses reanimated with a shard of its own essence. The Land of Death are its domains, located on the western part of Deloran.

These three beings maintain an uneasy truce, and are the last survivors of the six creatures that once claimed the title of God of Darkness. They would gladly kill each other to obtain the others' power, but for now they bide their time.

On the coast of the Bronze Sea is Seven Seals, the only free city of the Interregn, a last bastion of resistance against the Gods of Darkness. Its existance is only allowed due to the infighting between these entities. However not even Seven Seals is completely safe. Not all darkness is controlled by the Gods of Darkness, despite their name. Some creatures act independently, sometimes fluctuations in the Wake cause supernatural phenomena, and sometimes lesser creatures manage to establish a link with the Wake, in a manner very similar to the Gods of Darkness, but on a much smaller scale. Thus, Nightmare Hunters are needed. These brave men and women fight darkness wherever they find it, and most of them work on the area near Seven Seals.

The Gods of Dakness allow the Nightmare Hunters to exist as long as they don't meddle in their business because they root out the creatures who would seek to become new Gods, while possibly being an annoyance to their competitors. But nevertheless, these Nightmare Hunters become Beacons of Hope to the people of Deloran.

Finally, as an Interregn, the Barrier that divides the world surrounds all of Deloran. In Deloran, this manifests as a wall of darkness that surrounds the land. Anyone that tries to cross it, dies horribly, fusing with the darkness.
All three heroes are Nightmare Hunters, and have been for quite some time. They have never met before, but they trust each other to be good at their jobs, and there is some measure of proffesional respect.
Anthony would like to live a quiet peaceful life without worries. However, he never could. Before the creation of the Barrier, Jonathan Dawn was a knight from an order that worshipped Azrael Beryl, the Crusader. When he found himself trapped in the new dark world, he used his knowledge to separate a part of his soul and imbue it in pure Light, creating a Sheele, a Spirit Companion. Calling herself Aranjuez, this Sheele was bound by Jonathan to his bloodline, as he thought that he would need help against the darkness.

Some time later, Jonathan died, and Aranjuez became bound to his son. However, this was an act against the nature of Sheeles. These companion spirits are usually bound to a single person, dying with them. The ritual created by Jonathan to allow Aranjuez to help his descendants worked against the natural order, and was corrupted. With each death of one of Jonathan's descendants, Aranjuez would be touched by the dark energies lying in the Wake of Deloran for a brief instant, and her Light would grow weaker. Eventually, from a Shina, a Sheele of Light, she changed into a Xianne, a Sheele of Darkness, taking the shape of a woman in a black, dark armor. This changed her personality and methods, but her dedication to purging Deloran of evil and her fondness of the Dawn bloodline remained.

Aranjuez became a mixed blessing, giving power and assistance to the Dawn bloodline, but also causing them to suffer and eventually die whenever the balance of the Wake was altered, forcing them to become Nightmare Hunters whether they wanted it or not, as only eliminating what caused the balance to be altered would help them. Anthony is the last of that bloodline. A young man in his early twenties, born in the plains, always living on the saddle of a horse, and trying to live a good life whenever he wasn't forced to restore the balance.

A bit arrogant, but good natured and pacient, Anthony is no fighter, but he shares a bond with Aranjuez much stronger than that of most of his ancestors. He knows how to best channel the Sheele's powers, and his minor magical gifts allow him to help her fight to her full potential. Aside from that, Anthony's natural charisma has allowed him to easily gain the trust of people, something that is very useful to him whenever he is investigating. Anthony is a Nightmare Hunter by need, but he shows some compassion, and he is essentially a jerk with a heart of gold.

Anthony is Dark Paladin, focusing on Control to increase the Sheele's powers, with no fighting skills by himself, and some knowledge of Occultism, but otherwise mainly focused on social skills and riding. Aranjuez focuses on using her natural Sheele abilities, and can become intangible and invisible to anyone not able to see spirits, thus acting as a spy for Anthony.
The youngest of the group, Dereck was trained in martial arts and apparently was raised on oriental traditions, mostly lost in Deloran except by those living in Nephila's territories. An honorable young man, his training is mainly deffensive, but he is quick to jump into a fight if he believes he is fighting for a good cause.

Dereck's father was, apparently, some kind of Earth Elemental, corrupted by evil. This is what inspired him to become a Nightmare Hunter, as he wants to destroy his father for some reason that he keeps to himself.

A Tao focused on deffensive martial arts, when he activates his elemental powers, he gains natural armor and inhuman strength, becoming quite a juggernaut. He also has the inusual but useful ability of being able to See the Supernatural. Quite the oddity, he is optimistic in world of black and very dark grey.
In his early thirties, Pietric has been a Nightmare Hunter for over a decade. A scarred veteran, he is crazy prepared, paranoid and intolerant of amateurs, but also a compassionate man that only ever charges for his job what he knows people can afford.

A jack of all trades, Pietric is always prepared, and he knows a lot about the supernatural. An expert in the art of rituals and crafts, he always brings his wagon with ingredients for rituals, special ammunitions and materials to produce whatever item he might need in order to get the job done.

While he can defend himself in a fight, and he will not hesitate to do so if it is the only way to destroy a creature, he prefers other approaches. After all, if a guy with a sword was enough to defeat the nightmares that prey on Deloran's inhabitants, then Nightmare Hunters wouldn't be so needed.

Pietric is the group's grandpa, and he will do whatever it takes to get the job done.

A Freelancer with good combat skills and Knowledgable in all Fields, he is our balanced guy, able to cover our weak spots if we need it.

Soon I'll bring the first session: An investigation of some murders in a village near Seven Seals.

2016-11-13, 06:45 AM
The city of Seven Seals, despite being the safest place in Deloran, is not an utopia. Residence permits are difficult to get, and most people only have temporary permits that they must renew each week. The process of background checking can take years or sometimes even decades, and even then, you are on a waiting list.

We are no different. Anthony is currently renting a room at an inn, while Dereck lives on the streets. Only Pietric has a place to call home, and he is still living on temporary permits (of which he has several). Early in the morning, guards come to visit all of us, as our presence has been required by an official at the city hall. Not being able to refuse, the three of us go, and are kept in a waiting room for half an hour, meeting each other for the first time.

When we finally meet the official, he quickly tells us that he needs some Nightmare Hunters that aren't oficially affiliated with the city. Seven Seals has a big population, so it needs to keep good relationships with nearby villages to support it. A letter came recently from one of these villages, apparently sent by the local mayor. There had been murders, and it seemed like they had been supernatural in nature. Helping the mayor could be useful to Seven Seals, but direct intervention by Seven Seals could be perceived badly by the villagers, or even by the Gods of Darkness. So they wanted us to go there as if we were on a patrol, something common amongst Nightmare Hunters, and solve the problem. As a reward, we were offered extra temporary permits, and some money after some haggling by me.

An hour later, we meet at the city's gates, ready to go. Dereck has been there for a while, as his only belongings are the clothes he is wearing. Pietric has loaded his wagon with some stuff he believes might be useful, and is the second to get there. Finally, I arrive the last, riding an old horse and carrying a backpack with my things, and above us flies Aranjuez.

The journey to the village is uneventful, which is something we are grateful for. There's some small chit chat between us, but we are slow to trust each other. A few minutes before we get there, we start hearing a bell, probably from the village. When we finally arrive at the village, there is no one on the streets and we find a Jayan chained and beaten up in the middle of the main square. Jayans are a race of proud people, bigger and stronger than humans, with three eyes and a pair of horns in their heads. Due to this, is not unusual for some people to blame them for "demonic phenomena" and similar stuff, so we are not surprised to see that one has been used as a scapegoat during the local witch hunt. While Pietric and I are looking everywhere, not wanting to be caught by surprise, Dereck goes to the Jayan, trying to see how badly hurt he is, and giving him a blanket to cover himself from the cold wind.

This action isn't well received by the villagers, and we start seeing people looking through the windows. Finally, from one of the wooden buildings, a man comes, and asks us to go with him. He is the innkeeper, and while strangers are good for his business, we are angering the people, so he wants us out of the streets for now. We follow him and rent a room for the three of us, all while asking for details.

Innkeeper: "You are Nightmare Hunters, right? Well, sorry to tell you, but you have arrived a bit too late. Mr Remus, the teacher, and his daughter were found dead a couple of days ago, but Mrs Remus was able to identify the murderer as that Jayan there. Poor Mrs Remus, she has been left with nothing."

This is quite surprising, and we talk for a while with the innkeeper, discovering that five people have been murdered in the last two weeks, most of them kids or elderly people. Dereck believes the Jayan might have been wrongly accused, and neither Pietric nor I are convinced either. While it would be convenient if the Jayan was actually guilty, we agree to investigate a bit before leaving. After all, we just arrived and both my horse and Pietric's ox are fatigued. We agree that I should go meet the mayor, while Pietric and Dereck will go and ask Mrs Remus a few questions.

The mayor turns out to be a pale man that looks like he might be cracking under the pressure of keeping the village calm, while his son seems a bit absent and his wife spends most of her time alone. Interestingly, it doesn't seem like he was the one who sent the letter, but I keep that to myself while I talk to him. He allows for us to investigate, as long as we don't cause trouble. While we are talking, Aranjuez is investigating the house, but nothing suspicious is found.

Pietric and Dereck find Mrs Remus, now living with her elderly mother. Apparently she saw "a dark tall creature with horns", but when Dereck starts questioning her further, she starts crying, and her mother decides to take her home, not allowing any further interrogation. Pietric is quite angry with Dereck, and it seems like the villagers have heard her cries and they are not all too happy with us. We have an early lunch and decide to change our focus. It is quite clear to us that some kind of creature is using the Jayan as an scapegoat. Pietric will investigate the village's bell tower, while Dereck will talk to the Jayan and I will be trying to find clues in the villagers' houses using Aranjuez.

Some progress is made. Pietric discovers that the bell is some kind of magical artifact that reacts to supernatural energies, and apparently the bell rang a couple of times each day before the deaths of the murdered people. Meanwhile, Dereck finds out that the Jayan had arrived at the village six months ago, and he had become the village's blacksmith. He says that he is not guilty, and when Dereck asks him, he reveals he was with the mayor's wife the night of Mr Remus' death, as they were having an affair. He gives Dereck permission to look through whatever is left of his house if he wants, and he finds there a nail that apparently has some residual protective aura. My findings are nowhere as impressive, but I manage to discard the possibility that one of the villagers is behind all of this, and Aranjuez finds out that there is quite a dark presence in the village. When we meet back at the inn, she is also able to see that the nail that Dereck found is keepind the darkness at bay, although only slightly. It seems it absorbed some power from a relatively powerful protective charm. The charm itself is nowhere to be found though.

After dinner, I decide to go to the bell tower myself, so that Aranjuez can examine the bell. However I am spotted by the villagers, who are apparently angered by this. While Pietric and I are trying to calm the villagers, Dereck decides to go roam the streets for a while (people saw him giving the Jayan a blanket earlier, and he being there wouldn't help us in the slightest). We manage to convince the mayor that there might be something left here, and that if he we don't find any evidence by next day's night, we would leave. He seems to accept this, and people start going back to their homes. Meanwhile, Dereck finds something. In an alley, there's a silver earring, possibly valuable, surrounded by darkness. It is an incredibly obvious trap, but Dereck decides to take it, trying to make the murderer show itself. When he gets the ring, some kind of creature attacks him, but he can't indetify the creature or touch it, meaning it might be a spirit. He is struck and starts feeling cold and pain, and he shouts for help. Apparently this is enough to make the murderer retreat, and by the time people come to his aid, he is alone in the alley.

We finally have some solid leads. Pietric and I quickly identify the creature as a Shadow. Cowardly and sneaky, these dark elementals are intangible while they hide in a shadow, but can kill their prey even then. They prefer to prey on those that can't defend themselves, thus explaining why most victims were children or the elderly, and they can shapechange, explaining why the one Mrs Remus saw ressembled a Jayan. The main problem is that Shadows are rarely alone, so we could very well be facing a dozen or more of these creatures by now. Before we lure them out to kill them, we need something to take out a lot of them. Pietric is confident that he can make some capsules that when broken would produce a flash of light. Since light is harmful to Shadows, that would help. And we decide whatever the charm the Jayan had was, it could be useful in fighting the Shadows.

While everyone is preparing, I decide to give the Jayan my oil lamp, just in case the Shadows attack him in the night, and he tells us that he had a Dreamtrap, a charm used by Jayans to trap spirits and evil creatures. It was taken and possibly destroyed by the villagers, but if we can find the gem that gave it its power, it might still be useful.

So Pietric spends the night on his capsules, while Dereck and I rest. The next day, we find that the Shadows attacked the horse and the ox, leaving us with no means to leave the village, which is ok, as we didn't plan on doing that. We manage to find the gem still in the hands of one of the villagers, and we make a plan.

Pietric: "I have a plan."
Anthony: "That's good."
Pietric: "You will be the bait."
Anthony: "And like that, you've lost me."
Dereck: "Wait, it's perfect. The Shadows can't see spirits. So they won't see Aranjuez."
Anthony: "So they'll think I'm alone... Alright, but you have to be near me. Aranjuez can defend me with ease, but too many of them and they'll kill me in no time."
Pietric: "Well, I'll be sniping them with my crossbow. I'll load it with the capsules."
Dereck: "And I'll be hiding nearby. It will be easy."
Anthony: "Ok... But never say it will be easy. That's just asking for everyothing to go wrong."

The plan goes well, with the exception that the Shadows leave me somewhat wounded, but since Aranjuez is still in perfect shape, we keep on. The gem proves useful in allowing Dereck to strike the Shadows, and Pietric's capsules are devastating. Seeing this, one of the Shadows decides to flee, and we pursue it to the mayor's house.

Apparently the Shadows had been condensing dark energies, and were trying to reach an apotheosis of some kind. Now that there is only one, the energies are enough for it to at least try, and he chose the mayor's son to do it. So we are on a time limit before the Shadow becomes something far more powerful. It would be easy if it was a simple Shadow, but it is already gaining huge bonuses.

The fight is desperate, and it seems we are not going to be able to make it, but Dereck manages to take the kid from the Shadow, stopping its transformation. With this, we have finally managed to stop the countdown, but we still have a more powerful than average Shadow to deal with, and I'm about to drop dead. In the end, in a combined attack I throw the last capsule at the Shadow while Aranjuez punches it, finally destroying it.

Due to our services, the mayor allows us to stay until we recover, and we gain the gratitude of the villagers. While I recover (Between my Curse and the Shadows I barely came out alive), Pietric decides to investigate more about the Shadows, just in case, and Dereck decides to keep the nail, seeing as it still has some power from the gem. It won't be long before we go back to Seven Seals, but we have earned a little rest.

First session was quite fun, and it featured a good deal of investigation and a fight that would have killed us if we had gone there unprepared. Really looking forward to the next session.