Riverworld I: Resurrection Day

Session Seven

The Dark Tower

A doozy of a session.

The PCs, disgusted by the circumstances of their deaths, resolved to lead a pacifist lifestyle among the creatures they dubbed “sasquatches”. Tim even tried to put the moves on a lady sasquatch, but was brutalized by her mate for his troubles.

Aside from this setback, Tim focused on honing his physique and became a master spear-fisherman while Alex focused on quiet contemplation and taming some of his inner demons, finally sloughing off the alcoholism that had dogged him since just after the Resurrection.

After 18 months on the Riverbank, the group had their first notable encounter, meeting and speaking with a missionary from the Church of the Second Chance. He explained that his faith had grown up organically since the Resurrection, starting with a man called La Viro who had preached that a race of Ancients had constructed the world specifically to serve as an ethical testing ground; those who “united with the Godhead” would cease the endless cycle of resurrections and “go on.” The Church advocated instruction of Esperanto as a means of facilitating universal communication and were a pacifist, anti-technology faith.

After the visit from the missionary, the next major event did not occur for another 12 months. During their time among the bigfoots, Tim and Alex grew their hair out and watched their skin bronzed under a sun that did not appear to suffer from seasonal variations. Between the area’s cooler temperatures and the lack of foot or River traffic, the group figured they were probably somewhere in the northern latitudes not far from the River’s mouth.

They were given an opportunity to find out for themselves when they spotted a boat laboriously rowing its way upRiver. It was built in the style of an Egyptian Nile barge of antiquity, and indeed was crewed by nearly two-dozen Egyptians. The boat put in to replenish its grails, and the crew mixed with the locals. In the end, having grown somewhat bored with their peaceful, uneventful lives, Tim and Alex volunteered to board the boat—along with one of the sasquatches, whom the Egyptians called “Thoth”.

The ship had apparently been on the River for three years, but it was close to its destination. After only another month of travel, the crew reached a massive cataract that made further ship-travel impossible, so everyone debarked, loaded up as many supplies as they could, and set off. The passage up into the mountains at the head of th Valley was arduous, and over half the group perished. Tim and Alex both had their moments where they nearly plummeted to their dooms, but they were saved by timely intervention of rope and Ally.

After passing through wind-whipped gorges and claustrophobic lava tubes, the group emerged to peer out over a vast calm sea some 60 miles in diameter. In the center rose a black tower, itself 10 miles across and rising above the waves nearly 5 miles. This was indeed the Dark Tower the Mysterious Stranger had referred to in Alex’s vision!

Curiously, they discovered boats of a technologically-advanced nature in a cave at the water’s edge. Piloting over to the Tower, they were set upon by drones firing stun beams. Only Alex, Tim, and Bob made it in, Thoth and the remaining Egyptians falling right at the edge of a hidden door granting access to the Tower’s interior.

Once inside, they soon found themselves trapped in an invisible force bubble and taken before a council of six men and six women, seated in floating chairs in the middle of a spherical chamber, all with strange glowing orbs above their heads. The council gently interrogated the party, showing considerable alarm at the revelations of all the help the group had received in getting to the Tower, as well as Alex’s ability to read runes and his interactions with Mysterious Strangers. Tim tried to get the Council to agree to work with the party in uprooting the other faction, but the council told him, “That is not why you are here.”

In the end, the group was returned to the Valley after the Council informed them that they would have their memories wiped. And so they did—but for some reason, Tim’s memory remained intact. After sharing these memories, the group set about making plans to return to the tower and take vengeance on the puppet-masters who controlled their lives…

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