In the Spring of 1890 a strange agitation fell on Ivan Sergeyevich. Formerly of an imperious, careless type, he looked as if awakened from some deep hibernation as he declared that a change would come to the old Lazarev Estate. What the change was, what caused it or what, even, was to be done with that information was anyone’s guess. In the following weeks, the house was subjected to a flurry of carpenters, painters and decorators, summoned from all corners of the empire, and repaired, remodeled and refurnished until even its longest inhabitants were unable to recognize it from the dreary old manor where his first wife, Elizabeta Pavlova, breathed her last.
The district suddenly became plagued with all sorts of rumors, Ivan Sergeyevich was out of his mind. No, he was deathly ill. No, he stumbled into some secret fortune. Not at all, he was planning on selling the old house. Every day some new speculation could be heard in the local drinking houses, each more extravagant than the next.
Yet no one expected a wedding announcement. The Lazarev children least of all.
The eldest son was rushed back from the city, the daughter saw her tour abroad suddenly cancelled and the youngest, well, perhaps took it all the hardest. All, family, friends, neighbors and even strangers, are summoned and gathered in the house by the lake to celebrate the arrival of the second Mdme. Lazareva, or so they are lead to believe.
A House by the Lake is a character focused, historical drama. Most of the action will take place on 1890, during the last throws of the Russian empire, in a small village and the surrounding estates.
This is a ‘mostly freeform’, cooperative story that mimics the plots and themes of 19th century Russian plays and literature, like intrigue, romantic entanglements, sudden tragic turns of fate and even murder. Think more Chekhov’s Cherry Orchard and less Woody Allen’s Love and Death.
Knowledge of Russian Literature is not required, but I do expect players to strive for historical accuracy with their characters and actions.
Number of players:
3 to 5 players initially but more can be accommodated depending on submission quality.
In this narrative, players assume the role of the Lazarev family members, neighbors, guests or servants. There are several natures, strengths, flaws and subplots to pick from, but players are free to create custom cards as well.
Since many characters are related to each other, biographies should focus more on overall personality and keep background information to broad strokes. Interesting is better than detailed. Once a cast has been picked, players will be encouraged to fill out more as necessary.
Character submissions will not be reviewed before Monday
First Scene will be:
Due to the cooperative nature of this story, I’d like the first scene to be a discussion where everyone can establish any existing relationships as well as vote on some important background information. After that, the story will begin with a dinner party at the Lazarev manor.
More details via:
Please direct any questions, comments or critiques to the Forum Thread for this story in the ‘Looking for Players’ section.
Hosted and narrated by:
Jules B (JBrie)
Scenes played: 6
License: Community License