The following is written from an in-game perspective. Skip to out-of-game
Dear Honored Guest,
It has always come to me in dreams—the call to serve. Perhaps a color I cannot name, or a voice I cannot understand, or a memory I have never lived. These impressions, always just beyond my grasp, signal the coming of one of the chosen. For generations, we Allertons have lived and died to serve these gifted few, assisting them in their strange, unknowable ways. Though we have never ourselves been blessed by the power of the Old Ones, it has long been our family's sacred privilege to know of them, and to aide their vessels whenever called.
But never have so many called to me at once! In a few days’ time there shall be a truly unprecedented gathering of the five cults, each summoned here by their god for the grand revelation of the Eskhaton—the end of all things. Time is short, and my cousins and I must make ready our ancestral home! What follows are my notes on the honored assembly that shall soon join us.
That I have lived to see this day is a joy. That I might die for this day would be an honor.
Servant to the End
An ancient, matriarchal cult with strong ties to that most primal source of life—the ocean and her limitless waters. The Mareen draw their power from the depths, be it the sea itself or the unending well of preternatural memory. Each Mareen carries within them a growing chorus of departed minds, preserved via sacred rituals in service to their abyssal goddess, Illuket. A chorus’s united song may lift up the acolyte to perform superhuman feats, or she may lose herself amid the dissonant bickering of lifetimes past. It is each member’s duty to tame the raging waters within, and without. Serene as a frozen lake, ferocious as a tsunami, as implacable as the very tides, or all of these at once, the Mareen are not to be taken lightly.
The Anglesey Extant
Druids of the Extant worship the goddess N’Klaste and her ever-turning trinity of life, death, and rebirth. The natural world—lush with plants, animals, and blood—forms the basis of Extant rituals. Through these rites, adherents strive to bridge our world with N’Klaste's realm: a mysterious, primordial space which the worshipful call the Otherworld. Much power is to be found there, and it has blessed many adherents with gifts such as second sight and unnaturally long life. Access to the Otherworld is closely guarded by the Extant’s ArchDruids, though it remains to be seen whether they do this to protect fragile novice minds, or for some more sinister reason.
The Pattern Seekers
Unique among the five cults, the Pattern Seekers exist without doctrine or hierarchy. They are united solely by the will of Zhahdahdahdon, the god of the Whispering Labyrinth. The Seekers know that all things are governed by the Pattern, and through it, all can be understood. Each Seeker serves the Pattern in his or her own way—through art, through obsession, through inscrutable choices. A Seeker may be the beneficiary of improbable coincidences or the victim of terrible misfortunes, if the Pattern wills it. It is no easy path, but the Seekers know its worth: to become Wise in the Pattern is to walk naked through a storm, untouched by a single raindrop.
of the Unspoken
In the Beginning was the Word, and Nomen Nescio was the god who heard it. Thus the god was transformed into a language, dying in the process; or so the Expositors of the Unspoken theorize. These are the learned scholars who devote themselves to unlocking the secrets of this haunted language. Centuries of meticulous research, risky experimentation, and necessary sacrifice have granted the Expositors terrible power in their pursuit of this understanding. Each Expositor works tirelessly to increase the cult’s collective knowledge of Nomen Nescio, in hopes they may finally reveal the god’s True Name, and wield it to rewrite creation itself. Until then, the Expositors publish, or they perish.
Fifty years ago, clandestine research efforts of the great Cold War powers culminated in an event known as the Unveiling—a prophecy of the end times. If that prophecy was a question, ProGenus purports to be its answer. Chartered as a corporation after the Unveiling, ProGenus rose to its highest prominence in the 1980s, leading the fields of biotechnology and computer science. It now has tendrils in countless other areas. Of course, ProGenus’s true core value proposition, from which all its innovations flow, is the goddess Aletheia. It was she who delivered the Unveiling and she who will deliver a new world of predators and prey. Every one of the company’s fanatical researchers, accountants, and salespersons believes in her paradise of unending competition and consumption. ProGenus is, simply put, peak capitalism’s apex predator.
The following is practical “out-of-game” information describing a typical run of Eskhaton. Detailed information about Eskhaton is available at its event website.
Eskhaton is loosely modeled on the genre of cosmic horror. It is about the power of belief and its interaction with forces beyond the understanding of mere mortals. As the apocalypse approaches, the members of five different cults—each worshiping a different elder god—gather together to maneuver amid alliances and conflicts, harness their powers, and embrace the end of all things. This larp experience offers the chance to play one of these cultists, or perhaps an agent operating outside them. Many types of characters can exist in this space, from mad scientists to mystic sirens to mute monstrosities. Eskhaton is a blockbuster-scale larp designed to accommodate 60-100 players over the course of two evenings of play. The event includes workshops beforehand to facilitate safety and calibration techniques and to de-escalate after, as well as learn how to play with other participants.
Setting & Themes
Eskhaton is centered on an exploration of the power of belief, filtered through the lens of cosmic horror. In the world of Eskhaton the elder gods and the apocalypse are real. Not just real, but imminent—the signs are unmistakable. The members of five cults have gathered together for an unprecedented conference, at the conclusion of which the world as we know it shall end, and one of the gods shall claim its long-awaited victory.
Belief and its repercussions manifest in many ways during this event. Every player is aligned to a specific elder god and cult having particular traditions, power structures, and ways of conducting itself. The players' shifting beliefs about their gods and the way their cult interprets its will can easily change over the course of play. Belief also affects the politics within and between cults, as members change their beliefs to become zealots, double agents, new recruits, defectors, or something else entirely. Lastly, in Eskhaton's only overtly game-like mechanic, each player possesses a belief token, which they will use to vote in favor of one of the five elder gods, thus steering the larp toward a specific version of the end times.
While the content of Eskhaton tends toward darker experiences—the players are all adherents of the elder gods, after all—a wide variety of experiences are possible. One player may portray a cold-hearted, hardened legacy, eager to reap the dark reward of the apocalypse. Another might be a hapless librarian who read the wrong book and suddenly found that she had The Gift. It is up to the players and respective cults they are defining to determine what scenes or set pieces they may want to role play. Some examples include: a mystical prophetic tea party, a beachside flaying, a fitness hour called Ultra Wellness, a ritual designed to commune directly with the elder god, and a dissertation defense.
Eskhaton nominally climaxes with the revelation of the True Apocalypse and the victory of one of the cults. However, at no point will Reverie Studios attempt to simulate an apocalypse. We don't have the effects budget for it, nor do we wish to force a single concluding experience on all players.
Much more information on the world of Eskhaton is available at its event website.
Event & Character Logistics
Eskhaton is a blockbuster-scale event designed to accommodate 60-100 players. It is played over two evenings (or two evenings and an afternoon, if your cult is especially motivated).
This larp is played in an immersive style, meaning that players fully embody their characters. Like all Reverie Studios events, Eskhaton is fully inclusive of all genders and sexual orientations. Event locations are varied, and Reverie cannot guarantee that all facilities will be accessible to persons of every level of physical ability. If you have concerns about accessibility, please discuss this in advance with the event organizers.
All players are taught the mechanics of consent-based play and several "check-in" and "opt-out" mechanics at workshops prior to the event. As described above, this larp deals in themes that may at times be unsettling. While we encourage participants to create experiences that they will find exhilarating and memorable, we do not wish for anyone to become unduly uncomfortable. Any player may opt out of a scene or situation at any time.
Character creation is a collaboration between the event writers and the players. Players will first be sent a survey to ascertain their level of comfort with larp, the type of experience they are after (broadly or specfically), whether they want connections with specific players, what broad traits their character might have, and what their preferred cult would be. The event writers then use this information to create a character and backstory sketch (2-3 pages of material). In the weeks leading up to Eskhaton, many players modified and expanded their character sketches, writing short stories, creating mood boards, and even producing a few short films! Such efforts are greatly appreciated but not strictly necessary; the goal is to become comfortable with the characters in preparation for playing them. Workshops prior to the event will also allow for character development.