Against the Darkness

By on 11 June 2014

From the pen of forumite Andrew Morton comes this free roleplaying game: Against the Darkness.

Since the first humans became aware, humanity has been under threat of corruption from a force of great evil. This power is known as The Darkness – a force formed and shaped from the dark matter of the universe. Man may pray to his Gods for protection from this Darkness – but who will answer? What if all Gods are a fiction – a fabrication of The Darkness, a deception sent to twist mankind?

Humanity is truly alone in the universe, the only spark of light – the only sentient life in the whole of existence. All other life has been consumed by The darkness. Humanities purpose is to evolve and experience and pass their wisdom down through the generations. When a human reaches the end of its days, its essence journeys to other dimensions where it continues to grow. These other dimensions contain life that has journeyed on from Universes like our own.

The existence of humanity creates a tension in the fabric of time and space that allows dark matter to manifest The Darkness. In the past it has manifested as entities that have been known as demons, devils and monsters. Many religions, myths and superstitions have risen because of these beings and the effect they have had on humankind. The Darkness is a universal power, its only desire is to enslave mankind and turn it to its own ends. Those who are corrupted by The Darkness do not journey on when their mortal bodies fail – their essence belongs to The Darkness. They are forever doomed to serve The Dark and will continue to do so until time itself ends.

There are many who are tainted by The Darkness and they have a blackness in their hearts and madness in their minds – for The Darkness gifts to them unnatural powers that they may work as its agents. This power warps and twists them and blackens their mortal souls. This is the manifest power of Dark Matter.

There are other creatures formed by The Darkness who are not even of humankind – yet they walk amongst men unnoticed, hidden by a dark glamour that only the ‘Touched’ can see. Those wretched creatures who wander the streets as vagrants – the broken and desolate madmen that society has given-up as lost.

All that stands between mankind and the annihilation of his humanity are The Blessed. These strange entities possess remarkable powers that allow them to perform superhuman feats – to manipulate themselves and the world around them. Their purpose is to fight and overcome The Darkness – to prevent humanities light being snuffed out. Ever outnumbered, these beings have always rallied humanity in its darkest hours – once they were the heroes of legend, the mighty kings of saga and myth, and the angels that walk amongst humanity.

It is the Earth that gives these powers to The Blessed – guided by some intangible force. The Telluric Energies that flow through the Earth and are felt strongest along Ley Lines and concentrated at nodes are the source of the power. Since time began some men have felt this power and raised monuments at these nodes. Those that are Blessed have arisen and come together to battle The Darkness for the power that makes them also binds them to the fight without question. To those the power changes, it is both a blessing and a curse.

As human society has become more rational and less superstitious, The Darkness has changed too, becoming more subtle and insidious. Spreading its corrupting filaments through human society and manipulating events from unseen quarters. However, it is no less dangerous now than it was at the beginning of time. In many ways this subtle power has more strength as more people are seduced by its dark design. Despite its creeping influence upon mankind, the existence of The Darkness is unknown by the mass of humanity. Day by day the end draws nearer and The Darkness grows in power.

As The Darkness has changed and increased its control over mankind, The Blessed have also changed – walking amongst man unnoticed by all except those that are ‘touched’. The mighty heroes of old have become the unseen people – those who shun the limelight and strive to keep their gifts from the public gaze. They fight The Darkness in the shadows, the out of the way places, the forgotten and derelict spaces that The Darkness finds so desirable. By forcing the conflict in to the shadows The Darkness has eroded humanities belief in good and evil – this is yet another triumph for The Darkness. Humanities materialism further insulates him from the power of the Earth – weakening his will.

The Darkness also seeks to subvert the power of the Earth by corrupting the Ley lines and destroying the nodes of power. By manipulating man into building across the Ley lines and by removing the nodes of power, The Darkness is slowly weakening the Earth. This is one reason why The Blessed of today are more numerous but not as powerful as the guardians of legend.

Download from here (there is also a character sheet available).

About Dave McAlister

Dave has been roleplaying for over 30 years, having played and/or run most mainstream systems with the espionage genre being an early favourite. So much so that, in 1999, he started Modus Operandi. That same year he joined the Sarbreenar "Living" campaign team as their plotline controller before moving across to the Living Spycraft campaign team (as UK Regional Branch Director) in 2003. 2003 also saw the birth of UK Role Players as well as Dave's first freelance writing appointment (co-writing World Militaries and consulting on both US Militaries and Battlegrounds, all for Spycraft). Since then, Dave has concentrated on supporting the UK gaming scene. He has organised and run several small, one-day, events and was the RPG Area Manager for Gen Con UK in 2004. His current favourite systems are Dungeons & Dragons (specifically 5th Edition), Savage Worlds and Cinematic Unisystem. He has a (currently neglected) blog at dave.mcalister.org.uk and runs a D&D 5e SRD website at DnD5e.info.

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