10 Further Questions

 An interlude.

Here are some setting questions (from the mad queen's court)


 1) What class knows the most martial arts? Are they real martial arts like kung fu, or made up ones like krav maga?

You'd want to be an Aristocrat from the Enduring Empire. Nobility are trained in traditional, ceremonial combat arts, and encouraged to use them in low-stakes ceremonial wars. Their martial arts are extremely made up, because they're based on exaggerated Spanish accounts of the martial schools of the triple-alliance, where noble warriors would do backflips and catch arrows out of the air. In the Enduring Empire you're catching bullets with your withering glare and waltzing somberly with your rivals but the same principles apply.

2) Can I start out having already made a deal with the devil or do I have to do that in game?

The Devil isn't real (but she loves you all the same). Orpheans start aligned with one of the Houses of the Moon, which is like having a muse and like having a recurring nightmare and like having relatives in a country you've never visited. The House of the Waxing Moon, which is the House of the Mare, which is Strongest in Summer, which is a place of dry smoky heat and grease-slick metal and self-indulgent liberty, is the closest you can come to meeting the Devil in the Lovely Dark.

3) Do you want me to write an 8-page backstory? Can I write an 8-page backstory, if I want to? If I write something down in it like I'm the timelost princess of the brass city and the daughter of the sun and I commanded legions in the Hell War but was betrayed by my father's vizier but I don't know that, or that I'm elf conan and cooler than everyone else, will that be true?

I don't want you to, but I won't stop you. If you write it down, it will be in the past, and so it won't be real, because the past only exists in your imagination. But that doesn't mean it isn't important. It might be the most important thing there is. You can always be from Elsewhere. Elsewhere is full of lost princesses.

4) If I eat someone's heart, will I gain their powers? What about their brain?

I think it depends how you eat it. If you choke it down raw, it keeps beating like a drum in your mouth and down your throat and in your stomach. It synchronizes with your heart, eventually. It finds a way to nestle itself inside you and make a nest of little veins, and if you follow its urges and yearnings better than its last host did, perhaps it will save your life. But if you thwart it, and suppress your desires, perhaps it will pulse out of time, and kill you. Cook it in its own blood, render it in the pan rich and crisp in blankets of lovely things, and the Baron Mouth will seek you out. You will go on all kinds of grotesquely whimsical adventures. Eating a brain is a good way to get prion disease, if you want prion disease.

5) These classes are boring, can I be one from somewhere else? What about from a different system entirely?

Always, if it's spooky and dreamy or can be made so. This is first and foremost a game of vibes. Porcelain masks and tarantula kisses.

6) If I make a sword, which one of us gets to name it?

You do. Always. Never worry.

7) Am I allowed to kill the other player characters? What would I have to do to be allowed to? Do I win if I kill them all? Actually, how do I win in general?

Murder can be collaborative. I've died all kinds of deliciously awful deaths in RP before, and it was often very gratifying and exciting and funny. If you set your own goals, and one of those goals is "kill the party" and they're interested in participating, then I suppose you've won.

8) What language stands in for 'Common'? Or what are we all talking to each other in? Like the party, mostly, but also everyone else?

New Mandaic. Imported from Shaddad after the conquest but before the fall. The hegemony is broken, but the language remains. It is beautiful, but compared to the glory of Imperial Mandaic it is only a rancid guttering flame.

9) How do I learn how to talk to rocks? No not once a day just, like, normally?

Bury yourself alive. Do not see, do not hear, do not speak. Do not, especially, breathe. The voice of the earth is stillness, and the motion within stillness.

Or, if you were very impatient and unusually foolish, you could dream of the House Gone Empty, which is the House of the Woodsman, which is a place that will destroy you. Perhaps what returns will understand.

10) Which kinds of wizards get to serve kings and live in towers and shit and which ones are run out of town or stoned to death in the streets? Can I be both? At the same time?

We don't have wizards, but we will have viziers!

If you can tell the truth with lies, and lie by speaking truth. If you can see the place where dream intersects reality- in the future and the past, and explain why these places are the same, then perhaps you can be a dangerous and beautiful and loving tool of empire, for a time. But if you slip, and you fall, you will be burned.

(There are Witches, who are the cannibal daughters of the Mother Of All Monsters. Part of the pleasure of being a witch is chopping up and eating anyone who throws a stone at you.)

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