Monday, September 28, 2020

Play Report: Thousand Year Old Vampire

Following up my run of Barbarian Prince, it's time to move on to something else in the solo sphere. Something more recent.

This play report will be written as it is in my notebook. I will do my best to clarify events as needed. 

(D) indicates the memory was, at one point, stored in a Diary.

(^) indicates a skill was checked

Strikethrough indicates that the experience or memory has been lost

(#) Indicates the chronological order of experiences, as far as they are accurate (my notes fell apart towards the end)

The Record

Background: Jeanne, a runaway Cistercian nun living in northeast France around 1330.
  • Skills: 
    • Polymath
    • Charismatic Talker (^)
    • Sturdily Built
    • Medicine (bleeding and leeches) (^)
    • The Nameless Language
    • Anatomy
    • The Unspeakable Arts (^)
    • The Greater Unspeakable Arts
    • Visionary (^)
  • Characters: 
    • Margot - The other nun Jeanne escaped from the abbey with.
    • Thomas - Margot's husband
    • Alice - Errand girl from the village
    • Abelard - A clumsy physician's assistant
    • Guibert - The fool who seeks to expose me.
    • Charles -A nobleman. Brother of Samuel.
    • Samuel - A nobleman. Brother of Charles.
    • Joan - My scion.
    • The Rock - A very large boulder
    • George - Looking to make a fortune in the New World
    • The Ember-Eyes Man (Immortal) - Appeared when I performed the ritual of the Book of the Night, cursed me with this state.
    • The Man with the Rotten Teeth (Immortal) - Fucker took my eye.
  • Resources: 
    • The Old Mill
    • The Book of the Night
    • Medicinal Garden 
    • Diary 1 
    • Significant Wealth
    • Country Manor
    • Wondercabinet
    • New World Property
    • Comfortable savings 
    • Diary 2
    • Pearl-Handled Revolver
    • The Star Peoples' Cults
  • Marks
    • White hair, black burn scars on hands 
    • Full black eyes
    • Unhealing knife wound
    • Missing eye

Memory 1 (D)

  •  I am Jeanne, once a nun of the Cistercians in the northeast of France, having fled south since my escape. (1)
  • I find myself in Flanders now, living as the widow of a doctor that doesn't exist. Alice is my apprentice, Abelard my idiot assistant, drawn here because he thinks I have the answers to his inane spiritual questions. (3)

Memory 2

  •  I flee through the night with Margot; running through the forest in the moonlight, cutting our hair, taking new names. I had talked her into this, and she followed. (1)
  • Those who come to me for healing are often afraid. I ease their pains as best they can, and feed on the blood I draw. (4)
  • The plague has come. Abelard is dead. I find some solace in the Book (6)

Memory 3 (D)

  • Thomas' lantern bobs up and down in the darkness as he shows me to the old, ivy-choked mill. He's nervous, afraid of me, but Margot persuaded him to help. (1)
  • Alice arrives to me in a dream, saying nothing. She stabs herself in the chest, and when I wake I find the wound on my own body. Damn this English climate. (9)

Memory 4 

  • I am kneeling in the dirt, weeding the garden. Alice leans against the fence, asking pointed questions of herbs and their uses. Too clever to be wasted as a farmer's wife. (1)
  • The village suspects corruption, that I am teaching Alice witchcraft or some other slander. She warns me before they arrive. We flee towards Flanders. The mill is lost. (2)
  • I have killed Alice. I am sorry. She had thought to counter public opinion through truth and gathering more students, and I could not persuade her otherwise. There is nothing left for me here in Flanders. To England. (8)

Memory 5  (D)

  • Deep in the catacombs I stand before the Ember-Eyed Man. He tells me "Keep the book. I've already read it. Terribly boring. But you have potential to be interesting." It burns my hands as I hold it, unable to let go. (1)
  • A new and nameless language, unbidden, rises in my mind as I study the Book. My perception of the world falls into a different order when I think in it. I can more easily discern the secret threads of the world. (5)
  • My eyes have gone black. The people have seen it. They fear it. Damn that Guibert and his shrieking. They call me Devil-Eyed. We cannot remain here for much longer. (7)

Memory 6 

  • The British are a cruel and superstitious lot. Easy to feed upon. I provided free service to the rebels in Wat Tyler's rebellion, and they paid me back in bodies and stolen noble gold. The nobles do not know this, and so still call upon me. I bleed them dry. (10)
  • A wagon of bodies is brought in for dissection, authorities paid off. The human body is a book to me, and I master the arts of anatomy. (11)
  • [REDACTED] and [REDACTED], the bastards, are arguing the paternity of [REDACTED]. I solve the problem. To secure my secrecy, they offer me a country manor. I move immediately. Fuck London. (13)

Memory 7 

  • I fight with the Man With Rotten Teeth. He gouges out one of my eyes and flees with his new trophy. (12)
  • The book! The book! I destroyed it in a rage of my own doing, upon learning of Joan's ultimate failure. (17)

Memory 8 (D)

  • Joan arrives at last at the manor, raised and educated these last twenty years as I dictated. Fathered by a hanged man's seed and born of a dead woman's womb. occult significance abounds in my new scion. She will do well. (14)
  • In our laboratory, we work with the dead; shaping meat, organs, bones, changing their nature and structure to our own purposes. Joan is as brilliant a student as I might have imagined. (15)
  • I sleep, as if all was well, and wake in the decaying manor. A century has passed since last I walked. Joan did well, but she has died. only I remain. (16)

Memory 9 

  • The language has changed since I last woke, and words are clumsy in my mouth. I find myself disgusted by their preening propriety and false manners. (18)
  • The manor became a site of occult pilgrimage during my sleep. They left and still leave tokens here, to gain the favor of the great dead and deathless teacher. (19)
  • Money is tight. I throw open my specimen cupboards and build myself a wonder cabinet for pilgrims to gawk at. (20)

Memory 10 (D)

  • This Great Stone on the manor grounds is like me - it is a companion that cannot age. It is a summer afternoon, and we picnic together.
  • George, all sickeningly bright and optimistic, one of Joan's journals in his hand, standing on my front step, babbling about opportunities in the West Indies. He offers property there...
  • Ha, the fool. The labyrinth I built on that island, the stones I raised...were just to fuck with people.

Memory 11 

  • Damn them all! I sleep again, and this time I had to claw my way out after I awoke! The manor is gone. It is time to leave. I take a piece of the Stone with me.
  • Fight difficult bloody large injure flee flee
  • (All else is hazy)

Memory 12 

  • George, idiot George, is to be hung for my crime. I used the Arts to alter the evidence against him. No other choice, I was too closely linked.
  • I had been holding myself back in my practice. I have glimpsed the Greater Unspeakable Arts.
  • I have been on the move too long. My knowledge of the mundane sciences has become worthless.

Memory 13 (D)

  • Selling the misshapen embryos and ancient medical tools of the wonder cabinet
  • There is a Man with Rotted Teeth who claims to know me. He says that he was once an enemy, but now desires peace. I do not remember him. He offers me a book as a gift of friendship: The Star Peoples' Cults. I share in turn my visions for the future.
  • I perform the ritual in the center of the labyrinth, as the book instructs. But the gate to the greater cosmos is not right, I have laid a stone incorrectly, or painted a sigil with improper care. I am trapped between gates, never to arrive nor return. For a time I dream up grand fantasies, before I fall forever into mindlessness.

Final Thoughts

Another winner in the solo sphere. While getting into the groove of non-linear recordkeeping took a while to get into (and you really spoiled for choice in background options), by the end it really felt like it had accomplished a goal - my recollections of the early state of my own game were fuzzy and lost. I had expected the old mill to be important, I suppose. No matter.

It succeeds over many other solo games I've looked into for the strength and specificity of its prompts. I'd love to see the structure applied to other scenarios.

1 comment:

  1. Four posts in the space of a week, I must be in the boom part of the cycle.