The World: Thirty years ago, a shadow began creeping across the land. The evil sorcerer Barrodrin took one kingdom after another; no matter how strong, they fell before his sinister magics. From his fortress, the Tower of Stars, his grasping hands stretched ever outward.
Rumors began to grow that the sorcerer king would work a ritual to wrap himself in power–enough to bring all the known world under his control.
Then, in a neighboring kingdom, a young knight rose to strength and might, gathered an army, and with the backing of kings and queens rode against Barrodrin. A fearsome battle, on his very doorstep, and in the heat of fighting Bright Rian raised her sword and struck Barrodrin a terrible blow.
Alas, he did not die. He cast a spell of desperation with his own blood and fled, plans in ruins. Some believe his wounds will be his end. Others believe he will rise again. In either case, Rian’s forces were victorious.
. . .
You were not among the fallen, nor among the victors standing bright and proud.
You were Barrodrin’s household, in his service for years, even decades. You knew him as others did not. His victories were your victories. His success was yours as well. His fall may bring you down to death.
Following the battle, you were captured and held for several days in the war camp. No one came to question you, no one spoke to you; meals were brought in silence, and then taken away. You saw none of your former colleagues, only stone-faced guards in the crimson uniform of Rian’s army.
Eventually, you were taken under guard to the attackers’ city. In the dungeons, you were reunited with the other survivors, to await your sentencing.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Barrodrin: Publicly, he was acknowledged as simply evil. You know the truth is more complicated. He is intelligent, tasteful, articulate, and cultured. He loves art and luxury, and insists on propriety at all times. He is rarely to be found in the grasp of any strong emotion. He is ruthless in his quest for dominion, and had been working towards it for more years than you have been alive. He can be charming when it suits him, but treats his household with distant respect.
Magic: Magic is known, but difficult and rare. Several religions frown on it or demonize it. Most big spells require extensive set-up and exhausting personal expenditure.
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Notes: Please feel free to edit the Nature cards - I would prefer you stay within the household roles provided, but take them as a jumping off point for your character. Create your own Strength, Weakness, and Subplot cards as needed.
Think about your relationship with Barrodrin: did you hate him? Love him? Was it just a job? Were you evil because you served him? What about the others? If it’s appropriate to do so, put it in your character description. If it should be secret, let me know when you submit.
The early part of the game will trade between the present (post-defeat) and flashbacks to the Tower before Barrodrin’s fall. I expect flashbacks to become less common as the story moves away from the immediate consequences and as characters and relationships become more clear.
Play style: I’m looking for lots of character interaction. We will need to figure out as a group how comfortable we are with people moving other Player Characters, but generally I am ok with you moving NPCs in small/medium ways (Yes: writing a conversation between yourself and the interrogator. No: Revealing that the evil Queen Bavmorda has stolen Barrodrin’s power and will be conquering the world as soon as the doom comet plunges into the sun!!!).
I write in present tense, and I don’t care what tense you use. Follow your joy.
Looking for 3-6 characters. Any of the roles may be female or male (or neither).
Thanks: This game owes a lot to Shifting Forest’s Argentin, which I playtested many years ago, and to Black Dogs by Ursula Vernon. In particular, Barrodrin’s character description is lifted nearly intact from the pages of Argentin. You don’t need to have read either to be part of this story.
Hosted and narrated by:
Scenes played: 8
License: Community License