Campaign of the Month: February 2023
The Domain of Dread Council Meeting
The Mourning Rail
Each domain has a train station, nobody knows where it came from or why but stories tell of people catching the train but while many tell of people getting on, no such stories exist of those who have gotten off – implying that those people must have escaped – or be taken to a different domain!
At the station there is no timetable, no sign and the clock is always trapped at 2 minutes to 9. A yellow line warns you to ‘Mind the Gap’.
The train is always late, if you look to it or watch the clock it will never arrive, but just when you give up you hear it… screaming and thumping it heads towards you, you think it will stop – it doesn’t… you think the screams are just the sound of steam but as it arrives you see the ring of elemental energy has faces mixed in, screaming as their souls mixed with lightning power the train… this is the first clue that this is no normal train and the desperate efforts taken to keep it running.
The train doesn’t stop but the mists thrown up and blended with the steam and screaming will allow you to board if you are brave enough to jump into the gap.
The Question is:
are you brave enough to jump the gap?
You dither for a moment – and then you jump.. the SCREAMS of the train mixing with the screams of the souls that power it – everything goes black.
Some time passes, you awaken in a room with nothing but a steel table bolted to the floor, on it is a small box with a black screen. You fell the floor vibrating underneath, the room is narrow only 10 feet tall..The walls are thick plate steel with the corners tapered inwards. You hear the muffled sound of the train, the slight lean from side to side as it moves, always rushing, never stopping.
A women sits at the table across from you, she is wearing a blue tunic and to either side of her are two heavy set guards. The walls are thick plates of led and you can see foreign runes etched into them.
In the corner of the room you see a small red dot illuminate as a voice rings out “Good Morning Passengers. Please do not be alarmed as it appears we have taken on a couple of Hitchikers, The Captain has requested that all passengers return to their assigned seats until processing has been completed and we know of their intent.”
The Mourning Rail is one of the transient Domains of Dread, a train travelling on a endless loop trying to outrun the events of the Last day of Cyre – the final blow of the Last War of Eberron in 1313.
It’s unknown when the train stations first appeared in each of the domains, but not long after stories started to be told of how if one wanted they could catch the Train to be carried away to any domain you wished.. but oddly enough while many had told tale of seeing someone catch the train, nobody seems to know of someone getting off
You see the train picks people up, but those it collects either become passengers, food or fuel for the soul forge that keeps the train running on it’s constant cycle, never stopping and never slowing down as it travels though each domain of Dread looking for a safe place untouched from the mists and visions of endless war that haunts it and every passenger on board.
Before it was destroyed the Morning Rail was 999 carriages long and housed what was believed to be the last remains of the people of Eberron.
Survival was the name of the game with the original Last train to Cyre being only 20 carriages and slowly being added to over time to house the growing numbers of survivors trapped to live out their entire lives abord the train – for outside the windows show nothing more then endless fields of Warforged fighting Undead in a endless War without end.
Any new passengers are quickly detained to be questioned about who they are, where they come from and more importantly – if they are friend or foe.
The people of Cyre are of all classes, in a reverse of Snowpiercer it is not how rich you are but what you have sacrificed and what you have given to the train that controls your ‘rank’ in the complex hirachy. Wartime paranoia is rife, the natives of Cyre see themselves as the last hope for the people of Eberron. The small number of other Eberron natives and those unwitting passengers who have found their way onto the train during it’s journey across Ravenloft are valued only by how ‘useful’ they are to the train, but always hold suspicion for any one of them could be a spy sent to infiltrate the train and destroy the last hope for Civilisation – for the people abord the train have no idea that the war was ended years ago, that THEY where the ones who where lost and died, Cyre falling to become nothing more then refugee’s of those other nations that they looked down upon.
The victims of their own obsession with ‘progress’ and technology’.
One unique aspect of fashion abord the train is that all adults wear long sleeved gloves and most are very modest in dress.. very rarely would you see bare flesh.
This hides the secret that any living passengers boarding the train are asked to ‘pay the fair’ – the civil and refined society hiding that the payment must be made in flesh – for every non-essential passenger who is not a child nor able to bear a child to ‘grow the population’ is expected to give up a limb to provide food for the next generation.
This is seen to be a ‘civil duty’ and any lost limbs are replaced with Prosthetic Limbs made of fine metals that functions just as well as the old one.
So why then in a society that ‘prides’ giving up the flesh and ‘doing ones duty to serve all’ why do they hold Queen Dannel of Cyre so highly? What did the young Queen do to ‘earn her place’ amid such people, and what other “sacrifices” have been made by the people of the train to survive?
Characters moving up and down train can discover a wide range of carriages ranging from a Aquarium (one of the only places players can speak in private), the Lab of Norran d’Cannith, workshops, animal carriages and a entire ‘undertrain’ system of tunnels where small carts can be used to quickly move up and down train without the need to work though the endless series of lock doors and checkpoints – where Warforged stand to attention ready to not help, in the event of trouble.
At the head of the Train is the private quarters of Queen Dannel of Cyre and the Captain. Who is not a person but a ‘Super Docent’ – the final secret of the train being that the doomed pairing of Queen Dannel and Norran are not at all in charge of the train. No, the real master is the AI that controls every aspect of the Train, deciding who gets to live, and who gets to die with ruthless precision.
10,000 people live on the train, no more no less.
Roll a d1000 to figure out where the party arrived.
1000 – The Train
999 – VIP Cart – Personal Quarters of Queen Dannel – on reaching Cart 999 you expect to be able to cross to 1000 – the Train – only to find instead of a door is a Console over which is a red glowing light – ‘The Captain’ is a AI.. The entire train is one big robot.
933 – Tropical Fruit
932 – Chickens
900 – Aquarium
899 – Water Sanitization Cart / Industrial
898 – Clothing Manufacturing
897 – Air Reclimation
638 – Food Cart
683 – Norrans Lab
156 – Brig – Where the PC’s start