Thursday, April 29, 2010

Heaven & Hell - Bible Black

Heaven & Hell is a music group that is essentially the old Black Sabbath group with Dio as the lead singer. The old Bible Black song is one that has many parts to it that could easily be slipped into a role playing game.

At last alone, his fire dying, burned another day.

Now to pretend and make up an ending somewhere far away.

He reached for a book all bound in leather. Something that he knows he's never read.

And the first page says beware you've found the answer. The next one says I wish you were dead.

Don't go on, put it back, you're reading from the bible black.

What's this word I see. Who are you and who are me. Maybe I just stumbled in the dark.

I must have been out cold, but the way the story's told they found my lying naked in the rain., yeah.

Let me go, I've seen religion, but the light has made me blind.

Take me back, I must have the bible black.

Well here I go again, from the startand to the end I wish I could remember what I've done.

Now here's another spell, it could take me straight to hell, and I feel I'm getting closer to my home.

Let me go, I've found addiction, and it makes me feel alive.

Take me back, I must have the bible black.

He locks himself away and tastes the silence.

Hungry for Another bite of wrong.

And just the words "Oh Lord please take me with you

Took him to a place we don't belong

Let him go, he can't come back he's reading from the Bible Black.

So if your fires dying, and what's the use of trying I may know another place that you can go

Its hiding in the pages, but you may not come back, your reading from the bible black.

To me this suggests a strong campaign element with either a priestly type whose more of a scholar or the dreaded mage who seeks too much information.

The characters either have this individual as a patron or personal friend, perhaps the actual mentor to the group as a whole. They may notice that lately, the old mentor hasn't been doing too well lately. He's never without his classes. He complains of chill in his hands. His tires easily. His face is more wrinkled than ever before and his hair whiter than the players have ever seen it. However, as an old man fond of books, he has had a new collection come in lately.

His behavior starts to change. Those in the priesthood or the guild of mages swear up and down that it's the combination of the liquor that the old mage has been hitting, but also, the loss of his mind. That the poor man's mind goes sometimes and that everyone is lucky that thus far, he hasn't wound up dead at some thug's knife point. The players may speak to him of it and notice that his mind isn't really with them during the conversations. That he seems to be staring into a place that no one else can see, that he's hearing things no one else can hear. That his senses are working overtime and that he claims he can 'taste the silence'.

But there have been others reports in the low end of town. Reports of a man possessing strange vigor and a touch that burns with essence not of this world.

And then the mentor is gone.

Behind he's left notes on the book's he just inherited, including one bible black. It has notes that cause insanity in those who read it, but also contain information on how to return those who've taken that final page and went into the far realm. In 4e, the GM can treat this like a disease. The more the players use the book, which is filled with rituals that may have the standard game effects but with a far realm twist, the harder it gets to shake off the disease.

Those who know of the book recommend vaulting it. That the mentor must be left in the far realm and that he's contaiminated by that realm's very difference. The mentor may be returned to the world, but his sanity is gone and in his place is merely a shell, another victim of the bible black.