Demise of the Gulabadam

Heroes have deaths. In fact, sometimes it’s the crux of their whole story, per Le Morte D’Arthur. And, like so many myths, they’re inconsistent. Did Herakles die? Or did he ascend to Mt. Olympus? It depends on who you ask and what their interest is in the answer.

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A Traveler, Alone

The image of the lone adventurer, exiled from their home society, means a lot to us in American culture, with our adoration of the Exceptional Individual. But roleplaying games aren’t, in general, designed for it, and thanks to Tolkien (and our general love of social behavior), we often play in ensemble casts, anyway.

In Shock: and The Bloody-Handed Name of Bronze, I’ve tried to give us a couple other options. In Shock: your Protagonists often don’t know each other at all; the effect you have on each other is through the medium of your shared world as it changes, where each of you is a perspective on the changes that are occurring around you — and the impetus of that change. In The Bloody-Handed Name of Bronze, you often play with one other person. One of you portrays a lone Companion while the other Knows the Will of the Names of the World. That gives us room for single character stories (though, oddly, it’s harder to do stories about two protagonists like Gentlemen of the Road.) But it still doesn’t change the social dynamic.

And, of course, we use our imaginations in solitary form with mechanical guidance all the time. That’s reading.

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Build a SCION

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Prologue: Healing Scars

The Gulabadam sat at the newborn campfire ruminating, his prodigious jaw grinding slowly at the plain, salted barley flatbread that he found so delicious. His tail wrapped around his waist, sitting in his lap like a pet, and his huge, bovine eyes glittered in the firelight and dawn gloaming.

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Galil and the Gudabadam

There were many ways this story could have gone. You know one already.

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The Age of Giants

The Earthen Firmament was born from the passionate union of the Sky and the Waters of the Underworld. Their love cries we remember now as the Language of Names.

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Limzu, Rib of Galzu

The Age of Giants ended long ago, but its remains can yet be found. Limzu, the Rib of Galzu, is as storied and ancient as that age, itself.

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Adam, a Klezmer from Dream Apart

This is Adam. It’s Rosh Chodesh, the festival of the new moon, and they’ve just wandered into the town synagogue of Shibenoye, a little town near the Crimean Peninsula. They’ve got a balalaika on their back, a song on their tongue, kavanah in their heart.

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An Akum from Far Away

The “akum” are the “huge birds, toothy of maw” that live far to the north of the center of the world, ridden by nomadic warrior tribes. This one is distinct, though: it has a beak like the toothless birds, but has fingers like the akum. She’s wild, and about the size of a modern horse. The akum-rider tribes might see these as unnameable, but I bet there are a people who considers them prize mounts.

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Captain Azouli

It took a long time for Captain Azouli to confirm that this ship was here. Now she maybe wishes she wasn’t.

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