Dream A Little Dream ...

I write it
when I dream it

2013-02-11

Dream Fragment 3: The Garden of Obsidian Statues

I seem to dream myself into the Legend Fantasy Roleplaying game a lot this day and age. Something about the game - maybe the compactness of the books, or the simplicty and openness of the rules, just lends itself to using the imagination. In my case, I even dream myself into the game.

Some of the previous dreams have included the inspiration behind The Blood Path and this dream sequence, along with my recent dream The Seer Princess and my dream of a book of wine-dark red. And then there was this third and final dream fragment.

I was apparently in the sumptuous courtyard of one Lady Jorana, a noble lady of some ill repute. She was said to be a practitioner of strange sorcery, and that she had once used it to transform herself into the woman she is today, having been born in every respect a man.

Outside, in the garden of this villa, were a number of strangely-posed obsidian statues, every statue different, their surfaces as smooth and dark as the day they'd been carved. Not a single bird landed on any of these statues; not an insect or spider crawled on their surfaces.

I was with a party of adventurers, just exploring the courtyard at the Lady Jorana's request. There was a lavishly ornate fountain in the centre of the courtyard, and the sound of the trickling waters was like sweet music to my thirsty colleagues. However, I warned them not to drink any of the water. Not even to touch it. Not one drop. I had no idea why, but no way was I going to go anywhere near that fountain for any reason.

The Lady Jorana arrived, her servant bearing golden goblets filled with water, because by now the adventurers were all very thirsty; they'd been travelling long, and the roads had been hot and dusty, kind of like the setting of my Sullup Lurth stories (I'll tell you about them some time ...). She herself wore a flowing, patterned silk cloak covering her face and body; apparently it was some sort of enchantment designed to damp down her natural beauty, which was unearthly beyond human reckoning (part of me was thinking "In game terms, she has a CHA of 22 ..."). As she spoke, she dropped the cloak and stood, her unearthly beauty revealed before everyone. I saw her as Morticia Addams, say, aged 19 when her charms were at their most fiery, a single woman - only this one was, in this case, not looking for a Gomez - presumably because she already knew what it had been like to be Gomez.

Despite my warnings, my fellow adventurers could not resist the lure of the drinks. Some of them downed the water in the goblets, then rushed to the fountain, all reason and caution abandoned, to quench their thirst in the waters there. Bad move on their part: the waters in the goblets were drawn from the fountain, which was enchanted to turn the imbiber into an obsidian statue.

I just watched, helpless, as the adventuring party turned into black, glassy statues, one by one, their eyes reflecting the horror as they realised what was happening. And Lady Jorana smiled, because she now had three fresh new obsidian statues to add to her garden.

3 comments:

  1. Interesting, mind if I use this idea for a game?

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    Replies
    1. Have fun.

      Lady Jorana's a signature character in the adventure I plan on writing after The Blood Path gets published. I'll probably stat her up later, but two things you should note immediately: her stature and her incredible, unearthly, beauty. She is SIZ 17 and CHA 22.

      CHA has no human racial maximum, per the core rulebook. What she had to do to obtain a natural CHA of 22 ... well, you can imagine the trail of bodies.

      She wears a cloak which grants Diminish CHA, reducing her apparent CHA in public situations to 16 - pretty, but still humanly so. When she removes the cloak, her natural CHA immediately shines through - usually making her utterly irresistible. She does this quickly enough that if it catches onlookers by surprise, they must make an immediate Persistence roll or fall over themselves to do whatever it takes to please her - drink the drink she is offered, fall to their knees, whatever she wants. This is not a spell, so magical resistance is of no use whatsoever.

      Like I said, have fun. :) And after the game, tell the players whose NPC she is.

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  2. This reminds me of the scene in the movie Excalibur where Morgana seduces the knights on the grail quest simply asking them to drink of the cup she offers. I have a similar take in a project I am working on, however it was inspired by that scene and a reading of A Life on Paper, and Sweet Street by Georges Olivier Chateaureynaud. I recently read a copy of a collection of his short stories translated meticulously to english from the original french. The translation is exceptional because I doubt much is lost in the transition based on the themes and moods conveyed so accurately. His writings remind me of H.P. Lovecraft, and Edgar Allan Poe. A mixture of the modern and the old, a sense of horror at the smallness of life, an otherworldly place simply waiting if you go widdershis, he captures the strange and fantastic which awaits in little corners of our world unsuspectingly with a relentless pace taking you to the climax of the story leaving you in wonder. I highly recommend this collection of short stories it can do nothing but inspire.

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