Limits and dangers of Games? A lot of this goes first to knowing your players and them trusting you. Horror in ways other themes don’t requires that trust and that connection. To the extent that horror, as we talked about before, is about confronting certain terror in the world or in yourself, there are times it can be too intense.
What is too far? A lot depends on what your players want to get out of a Horror game. Joules has been stressing the exploration of fears and ideas that are rooted in our childhoods and what that can tell us about ourselves. The existential and cthonic horrors provide a chance to look at humankinds place in the universe and potential insignificance. What are you looking for when you play a horror themed game?
The Seneschal of Carrion
The Seneschal is the governor to the Lord of Flies, Master of the Carrion Pits. Few know the name or purpose of this power behind the throne. Some scholars say he is a puppet of the Lord but for once they may be so far from the truth. Seeing him is not something many sane people ever want to do. While a few have seen him not in his robes of office each has had a different description. As well each time the same person saw him he appeared different. One underlying fact is that his form has been from a single giant maggot to a colony of them to various other creatures known to consume carrion.
Is this creature the voice of a demon lord or is he the demon lord with the proxy sitting in the open as the target of ridicule and violence. At times things look one way and at others the look like they are the opposite. To what end does this creature and its master have for others is anyone’s guess. But as with most things of a demonic nature it isn’t good.
Joules- Valkyries Lullaby
Breathe. You’re safe. The fight is done.
Lay down your sword. The demons are gone.
At least for the night.
Rest your head
Dream of the stars and the moon
And of love and life and glory
Till the day when the war is finally over
And I will come to take you home.
-Translation of the Notes of the Last Skald
The Valkyrie’s lullaby is heard only by the greatest of warriors. The strong and the true. The Honourable and valiant. The Valkyries know that one day they will one day bring them home. But they know that the warriors life is full of struggle and strife. So they try to offer comfort however they can. So in dreams, the Valkyries sing to them. Offering them a moment of respite and peace.
The warriors have told tales of the Valkyrie’s lullaby. Shared bits and pieces of what they remember. Skalds take what they’re given and try to re-create the lullaby as best they can. Chanting them while the healers practice their craft. Intoning them before a battle. Singing them during funeral rites. Honouring those who gave all.
And sometimes when the Skalds have finished, an ethereal echo can still heard, hanging in the air. A silky and steady female voice. “Welcome home.”
The Grand Masquerade
There is a party that is fabulous. A party you’ve only heard about. A Party that can’t possibly be real. The finest food. The finest drink. The most amazing clothes. The dream of all the scene. Even Tommy Tommy doesn’t know much more about it than the rumors and whispers.
You have resigned yourself to The Grand Masquerade being just a rumor, and then the invitation arrives. Smelling faintly of lilac, the embossed invitation guarantees your entry to the next Grand Masquerade to be held in a fortnight. So you prepare yourself and find the finest clothes and hasten to the entry to The Grand Masquerade …. Down a country road just outside the city, and off the beaten path, quite literally.
The smell of the forest grass, the shine of the mushrooms peaking through the ground, and the quite hoot of the owl all lead you to the Grand Masquerade as you hear a faint musical tone drawing you closer. The Masquerade is full of people, dressed to the nines, talking, dancing, flirting, and making merry. The champagne glistens in the flutes and those canapes are amazing. It is so wonderful, that you know something must be wrong but quickly put that thought out of your mind.
A quarter to midnight, you whip your head around as you think you see something flitting by you. You don’t see anything but realize the shadows are growing longer. You look around and realize that you don’t know anyone who is here and that the clothes everyone else is wearing seems to be … brighter. You mind reels but it isn’t until the clock strikes midnight that it all comes together.
You hear the glass you were carrying shatter as it hits the floor. Looking around, you begin to realize where you are. The ears are long and your hosts eyes almond. Your stomach begins to turn as you look around at the Unseelie Court of the Fae … having followed their music, drunk their wine, and eaten their food.
“Welcome to your new home, mortal. We have many years ahead of us to see what use you are.”
Lapidary noun lap·i·dary \ ˈla-pə-ˌder-ē \
Definition of lapidary
1 :a cutter, polisher, or engraver of precious stones usually other than diamonds
2 :the art of cutting gems
First Known Use of lapidary
Origin and Etymology of lapidary
Latin lapidarius of stone, from lapid-, lapis stone
Guard-a-Manger- The Complete Fiction of H.P. Lovecraft
And Thanks to Merriam-Webster for our Lexicon segment