A digression on creativity: I’ve seen many people talk about their creativity like it’s a muscle. I feel it’s more of a gut: something to be fed a diverse and healthful diet, these inputs mashed apart, transmuted together to new forms, its output an intermittent and urgent interruption in other business, all in all a process managed below the level of conscious attention.
The Mythic Underworld, a realm of danger, mystery, wealth untold won by desperate gambits and the skin scraped from your teeth. What you return with (or fail to return with) from the Mythic Underworld in actual Myth is never gold. Most often it’s a person. Orpheus & Eurydice, Asu-shu-namir & Ishtar, Hunahpu & Xbalanque, Izanagi & Izanami, et cetera & etc. But who could you possibly have to get out from the Underworld who has the same emotional resonance for players as cold, hard cash? The archetypal father of a character you might’ve rolled up only a minute ago? No. The answer to me is obvious: you have to rescue Jesus.
The year is 66 A.D. Something is terribly wrong.
Jesus Christ disappeared on the eve of His crucifixion, spirited away in the night by Roman priests who would not see their Aeon of Jupiter ended. No death, no resurrection, only decades spent at the mercy of men drunk on hubris, fixed in mortal flesh. Only a forsaken world where gospel fades to gossip.
You play as the wretched of the earth, the rubble of empire, slaves, lepers, zealots, disillusioned priests, gladiators, barbarians, and the like. Maybe you’ve heeded the good word of the few apostles who haven’t yet been hunted down, or perhaps you received a vision, or maybe you just really hate the Romans. Whatever the case, whoever you are, you’re black sheep in a dwindling flock.
Your mission is to rescue Jesus. He is held prisoner in some unwholesome hole in the earth, bound by vain and venal sorceries. Your mission is a covert one. Rome’s beastly legions stand poised to crush any credible liberators of the Liberator. Go in secret, hide among the tomb-robbers and temple-thieves, rob the treasuries, smash the idols, foster rebellion, disrupt sacrifices and grain shipments, find where Jesus is imprisoned and in the end mount a daring raid to earn salvation for all humanity.
Some dungeons you might delve are:
- The pit below the Colosseum where grub-things feast on blood and corpses thrown down from the carnage above.
- Diana’s sacred, twisted grove, where unblemished nymphs hunt for human flesh on deerback.
- A cave in a cliff by the Dead Sea, guarded by ingenious mechanisms and an angel with a hundred flaming eyes. In its depths lie scrolls of precious prophecy, guidance for troubled times laid in wait millennia ago.
- A library where tongueless slave-scribes are forced to translate their secrets and their magics for Roman perusal. Ink-stained lemures stalk the shelves, hungry for knowledge to slurp from spilled brains.
- The ruined palace of Amalek, where the Romans gleaned the seed of their God-binding ritual, home to satyrs and jackals, whispering demons, and a legion left to guard it, driven mad to the last man.