2018: The Oberlin Mysteries
Centuries ago, the power of entropy was put into an artifact by a sorcerer, who became the human host for this deity, known as Mithras. He created the gods Sol and Luna to serve him and speak for the time god Aeon, who prophecies the next host. A following sprung up around these three-and-a-halfish deities. Welcome to the Society of Mithras.
It’s time for this ancient Roman totally-not-a-cult (spoiler alert: it’s a cult) to hold their annual initiation cycle, and you’re invited. Learn about the Dog faction; also known as the Legion, they’re the defenders of Mithras, but their leaders Fenn and Skohl seem to be kinda half-assing their pitch. Then there’s the Raven faction, the Frumentarii, holders of knowledge and power, where Matthew Corvin asks discomfiting questions and yells in Latin. Snake, the Judiciary, faction of balance and justice, featuring a cheesy Powerpoint and leader Sarah talking passionately about her kids. And finally, Scorpion, faction of…
Of their last remaining member ranting at you in the pouring rain about how dangerous the Society is, how Scorpion leader Ishtar has been missing for nearly a year, how it’s too late to get out now but you sure as hell better watch your back.
After that charming introduction, pick a faction and attend their initiation to learn more about the Society. A couple arcane riddles later, you attend a ceremony to formally announce the initiates to Mithras, Sol, and Luna. Except out of these three deities, Luna’s the only one there. And she’s barely coherent.
The faction leaders–bar Ishtar, of course–present their initiates regardless, and then Sarah steps forward and accuses Matthew of murdering Ishtar. He admits it, and then kills Sarah too, right then and there.
In the aftermath, you learn that there currently is no Mithras. Twenty years ago, the then-leader of Raven, Cassia Stone, was named as the next Mithras and refused, going off the grid. In the chaos, Sol tried to host Mithras and it destroyed his body; his mind ended up sharing Luna’s body, leading to her incoherence. Matthew’s convinced he needs to become Mithras, so he killed Ishtar, who was tracking down Cassia.
The storyline splits: you choose to back Matthew, and help him decipher Luna’s confusing rambles to find the ancient artifact he needs to ascend. Or you side with the Legion and Diana, who’s now the leader of Snake, and break into Ishtar’s apartment to find and decipher her journal to locate Cassia in time.
This two-sided hunt converges on the night of the full moon, with the artifact in hand and Cassia in chains. One team from each side collaborates to prepare a potion for the ascension ritual, and together they decide whether to hand unfathomable power to an unrepentant murderer, or force it upon Cassia against her will.
- 1st place went to Gal Pals, who argued with their counterpart team at endgame so passionately it almost came to physical fighting.
- 2nd place goes to the endgame alliance of The Aggression and tHE sEARCH fOR bRUMBO, both of whom went hard throughout the entire game and tried so hard to find an alternate ending.
- One team (tHE sEARCH fOR bRUMBO) pledged to Snake, but sent team members to spy on the other two initiations. One hid under the stairs in Noah basement for like two hours, and the other was in a tree above the fire pit in Tappan.
- Teams acted very in-character for the factions they pledged to. There were only four initially-Dog teams, and they formed an alliance to work through puzzles together. Meanwhile, Raven members actively cheered after Matthew murdered Sarah. We were all terrified.
- This was the first year to feature extensive pregame, in-character marketing. Faction symbols went up all over campus–you might still find some around.
- S&S was not happy about our faction symbols.