May 21, 2022 4:03 PM
Permalink

Step 1

[This story takes place on a flat world with magic. One side of the world contains an infinitely tall glowing blue wall which advances across the ground at a walking pace. Anything that passes through the wall disappears. Locals call it simply "the Blue" and migrate across the land to stay ahead of it. A human who sacrifices a body part to the Blue gains magical powers.] 

[Cardinal directions on the plane are bluse, gree, rise, and set. Society is stratified into three broad categories: greefolk, who live far from the Blue; blusefolk, who live nearby; and middlefolk, who occupy the region in between. In general, greefolk are wealthier, with access to fast means of travel. Because the Blue grants magical powers, blusefolk are often more magical or strange, and even greefolk often travel there to gain power.] 

[The main plot: placeholder ]

[This is a long quest.] 

(The beginning will be a short quest to establish Prota's goals and to give the Player a feel for the world and its society. The Player will be told their current situation and starting goal. The Player should also be told of some possible dangers and given at least one choice in how they proceed.) 

[The Blue is a popular travel destination for those seeking power, including the wealthy. Prota will be a middlefolk with some resources, but carrying too much wealth could make them a target. There will be some established safe camps in some areas, taking visitors for a price, but bandits will also be present.]

To start, the Player will be offered three suggestions for travel to the Blue. Hiring a guard, accompanying a pilgrim caravan, or meeting an experienced relative who escorts travelers to the Blue. Alternatively, the Player may examine their options further, or choose a different approach. 

[The experienced relative is Prota's uncle, Glint. Glint possesses shapeshifting magic. He recently got into a fight with bandits. He is alive, but will be late in returning if Prota waits for him.] 

Prota is young, but old enough to be making this journey on their own. 

[Prota is 19 years old.]

Total: 56
Posts Per Page:
Permalink

You are Emerald, a young middlefolk just come of age. You have decided to make a pilgrimage to the Blue, the slowly-advancing wall of magic that destroys whatever passes through it. There, you can sacrifice a part of yourself to the Blue to gain a magic of your own. 

The journey to the Blue may be hazardous. The border near the wall is populated largely by the strange and the desperate. You know a few relatively safe routes, but bandits are common. You know of a migratory camp your clan keeps near the Blue, but their exact location will have changed when you reach them. 

Your family has pooled their resources to provide you with a modest purse of coin for the road. You might use this coin to hire protection at a nearby village, but you will also need it for food and necessities along the way. A small caravan, filled mostly with pilgrims like yourself, is passing through your camp, bound for the Blue along a different but well-traveled route. Your uncle Glint is a Wall-Warden, an escort for Blue-bound travelers with formidable magic. Glint operates from Pescall Village a week's ride greeset from your camp, and is expected to visit you in two days. 

Permalink

None. 

Permalink

I'll wait for my uncle. I'll spend two days making my goodbyes, packing things like food and a fishing net, and making my final decision about what I plan to sacrifice.

I plan to sacrifice all of my hair, which I've been growing out my whole life for this reason, and my little toes and my little fingers.

Permalink

[Prota has long hair.] 

[Prota will have some food for the journey and a fishing net. Prota is competent at fishing.] 

Sacrificing hair tends to give weak powers, if any, but it is still a popular choice. Sacrificing multiple body parts tends to give several weaker powers, often related. Prota would know this. 

[Unless Prota changes the sacrifice, they can expect a linked collection of small magics.]  

Prota does not know yet that Glint has been delayed. The caravan will move on without them, but they will still have the option of hiring help or waiting for Glint. 

Permalink

Hair and extremities are popular choices for sacrifice. Hair grants weak magic unreliably. With this combination, you can probably expect to obtain several small magics, possibly related in some way. You pack, and await Glint's return. 

Permalink

Step 2

Two days will pass in camp. Glint is recovering from his wounds, and will be delayed for an additional three days. This is uncommon, but not unique. Prota knows that Glint has a dangerous job. 

(Since the Player has shown an interest in Glint, this is an opportunity to describe his character in more detail. This will also serve to better inform the Player about their options.) 

[Glint sacrificed both legs to the Blue, and obtained a flexible power. He can shapeshift into any animal he's seen before, and he is stronger and more resilient than normal humans in animal form. When he travels alone, he usually shapeshifts into a bird for speed.] 

Glint is Emerald's mother's brother. He is on moderately good terms with his family, but prefers the wilderness and his work. He knows that he is expected by his family, and will try to arrive as quickly as he can. 

Permalink

Two days pass, but Glint does not return. This is not the first time his annual visit has been delayed, but it is unusual. Glint's animal shapeshifting and resilience make him formidable and difficult to harm, and he's never outright missed a visit before. Not many threats in these parts could detain him, and fewer still could do so indefinitely. But it is possible that he will not return at all. Wall-Warden is a dangerous job, after all. 

Permalink

The Player may choose to establish some fact about Prota's relationship with Glint later. It is at least moderately positive, or Prota would not have chosen to wait for him.

Permalink

I decide to wait a few more days. Three, I think, that's the longest I can remember Uncle Glint being held up. I try to think of all the other magics I've heard people can get, besides Uncle Glint's.

Permalink

Three days will be just long enough for Glint to arrive. 

Sacrificing larger body parts at once tend to give proportionally larger magics. Otherwise, magic distribution is mostly random. Prota has an interest in this topic but no special training. They will be able to recall widely-known examples of great magics and common magics and a small number of uncommon magics, but no more. 

(The distribution of magics affects worldbuilding and the sort of power Prota can expect to encounter. Time travel complicates plot, and should therefore be excluded. Many greefolk live in floating cities, which must be made and maintained by magic. Blusefolk prize magic for everyday tasks like growing food, so those will be common in the bluse. Travel magic is highly prized everywhere. Otherwise, most forms of fantasy magic are possible.) 

(Dramatic tension can be created as the wait drags on.) 

Permalink

You decide to wait three days for Glint to arrive. As you wait, you consider what magics you might expect to gain. You've heard of a variety of magics, most of them small but useful in niche ways. A cousin of yours can dig faster than five laborers; an elder of Pescall can create modest quantities of water; a woman from your mother's clan can move objects without touching them. Bluse and middlefolk prize magics that can aid the growing or obtaining of food, and bandits often have magics that can kill or maim. Most who obtain greater or more useful magics move gree to find work. Artificers can create temporary or permanent enchanted objects, many of which are used to keep the floating cities of the gree aloft and functioning. Forms of travel magic are rare but highly prized by all - teleportation, flight, endurance, or enchantments of motion. 

Permalink

Step 3

Glint arrives on the third day. He is mostly recovered, but still slightly injured from his journey. He will be a moderately common bird that can fly long distances quickly with minimal exertion, such as an albatross. 

(Glint's lingering wounds help establish the potential dangers on the coming journey, and establish that while strong, Glint is still vulnerable.)

Permalink

Another day passes, then another. Glint does not arrive. Your mother begins to worry that some ill has befallen him.

Near sunset on the third day, a murmur goes up in camp. A sentry spotted a broad-winged grey-white seabird winging in from greeset. You recognize Glint's favored form for long-distance travel. 

Permalink

I go out to meet him, with our first aid supplies, such as they are, ready in case he needs them.

Permalink

Prota is carrying first aid supplies: primarily bandages, ointments, and herbal remedies. Their clan does not have ready access to magical healing. 

Glint has been traveling for several days in albatross form, and was injured five days before he set out. His injuries have healed enough for him to travel, but not completely. 

[Wounds that Glint takes in animal form carry over to his human form, but the reverse is not true. When he shapeshifts, the animal body is a fresh one. He can stay in animal form for up to a day at a time before he must rest in human form. His human form does not heal while he is in animal form. His leg-stumps are smooth because the Blue cleanly severed them.] 

Other members of the clan will gather to meet Glint. Because Prota was waiting for him, they will be among the first to arrive. 

(Glint's arrival is a chance to describe his magic and physical appearance.)

Permalink

You bring a stock of bandages and ointments to where a small group of your clanspeople huddle excitedly. 

Permalink

Step 4

[Those who sacrifice larger limbs to the Blue will need a way to prevent death by blood loss. In Glint's case, this was a friend with healing magic that could immediately close over the wound and prevent shock. Lesser sacrifices are less risky, but having bandages and salves on hand is important.]

Glint's arms are muscled from carrying his weight when not transformed, and the hands thickly callused. He has still-healing injuries to forehead and chest. 

Permalink

You are just in time to watch the seabird glide in for a landing and transform into your uncle Glint, feathers melding seamlessly into flesh in the span of a few breaths. Glint is clad in a custom-sewn, worn cloth tunic that wraps loosely around the stumps of his missing legs. Though the tunic hides them from view, you know those stumps are unnaturally flat and smooth, a consequence of close contact with the Blue. Glint holds himself upright on thickly muscled arms, grinning fiercely at your assembled relatives. There are red blotches on his green-grey tunic, and bandages are visible at the neckline. Beneath his grey-brown hair, a yellowish bruise spreads across his forehead. 

"What happened to you, Glint?" someone asks in amazement. You don't catch Glint's response, but the tone is dismissive. He does not seem to notice you yet. 

Thoughts: none.

Permalink

"Uncle Glint!" I call, jogging up to him. "What happened to you?"

Permalink

Everyone in the clan knows Prota planned to travel with Glint. No one will impede them.

Permalink

You hurry to Glint's side and ask what happened.

Permalink

Step 5

Glint is on good terms with Prota, but doesn't like admitting vulnerability. He will answer minimally. 

(Despite being gone most of the time, Glint has known Prota since they were young. It would make narrative sense for him to have a nickname for them.) 

Permalink

Glint's grin widens at your approach. "Just bandits, little greenjay," he laughs, "Nothing your uncle can't handle." 

Thoughts: none.

Permalink

"Well, I brought you stuff if you need to change your bandages or anything," I say.

Permalink

Prota is offering a change of bandages from their supply. 

Total: 56
Posts Per Page: