Tagged: story

Making a Monster: The Striges

Sorry for broadcast delay folks, its been the traditional cavalcade of family weddings and sickness. In recompense, here’s some design notes regarding the last little arc of our Flying Circus game.

Though Flying Circus obviously draws very heavily from historical sources when it comes to how its planes operate, the setting has been from the beginning plugged as, I suppose, a kind of diesel-punk laced high fantasy. Now we were operating in an odd place here, as a lot of the setting info is not yet published and we had adopted a slightly alternative setting anyway. Not wanting to jump straight to dragons, I decided to bring in an alternative airborne creature.

Naturally, the solution came in the form of a strange multilingual pun.

Now, our setting Maralto draws heavily on Italian imagery, and the Italian word for witch is strega. We can trace the route of this word back to the Latin strix, for screech owl, and its distant cousin strige does in fact parse as “a bird of ill omen”, which could be seen as equivalent to the bad reputation that crows and ravens have in English speaking countries. So naturally this gets thoughts of psychopomp birds stirring around in my brain.

The Striges then, within our setting, are a kind of revenant. When a strong-willed witch or sorcerer dies and that death cuts short the great work of their lives, the screech owls of the ghost world may offer them a choice. Rather than carrying them on into the great unknown beyond death, the owl may bring their spirit back into the world, repairing the body in their own image and fueling it with a hunger for blood, vengeance and the shadowy magic of the netherworld.

With this flickering magic surging through their skeletal frames and between their grey feathers, the Striges are given a near immortal chance at vengeance or, more rarely, closure. Their shadow wings carry them as fast as a fighter plane, and the long claws on their fingers can tear horrific gouges in steel plate and flesh alike. Perhaps most alarmingly, these avian horrors seem beyond the reach of death; though they can most certainly be wounded and broken in the manner of mortal things, the shadows will knit them back together in time. There are rumours that only burial with full funerary rites in consecrated ground will spell a true end to these creatures, but given the rarity of priests willing to cooperate with such actions this remains speculation.

So there you have it. Our terrifying owl-channelling sky witches were based on an old Italian play on words and some bits of James O’Barr’s The Crow, with perhaps a smattering of the Strix from Vampire the Requiem. But ain’t it funny how inspiration works that way…?

Good hunting to y’all.

Paddy

Sacrifice by Paul aka howzey AN$ND

Sacrifice by Paul aka howzey on Flickr, CC A N$ ND

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Flying Circus Ep 2: Flying High Pt 2

With their victory over the pirate at the Pontoon having gone reasonably well, Zelig and Francesca return to the Span to conduct vital business and give Geneve a chance to recover from her crash landing. Naturally tensions manage to run hot as the stresses of the flight bubble over, and its anyone’s guess how those will shake out…

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Flying Circus is a roleplaying game currently being developed by Erika Chappell, who has created a great many quirky and fun indie-games to date under the umbrella of Newstand Press. Check ’em out!

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Pic is MM00005148x by Florida Keys Public Library on Flickr, CC A.

Don’t Rest the Dead Ep 3: Don’t Rest the Dead Pt 3

With their exhaustion building and their ties to the world of the living growing ever weaker, the two Corax agents make the final descent into the surreal guts of the haunted factory, ready to face whatever echoes of the past and present remain.

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In case the title didn’t make it completely obvious, these sessions were played using Evil Hat’s Don’t Rest Your Head, a tension-pumping horror game of insomnia, delusion and unreality. Definitely worth checking out.

Incidentally, in the little debrief at the end of the session we spend a fair bit of time talking about a little module by Jason Morningstar, The Rooftop Necropolis of the Blood Mummy, which is also worth a read if you’re in the mood for a unique fantasy setting.

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Pic is memento mori by kaelin on Flickr, CC A SA.

Don’t Rest the Dead Ep 2: Don’t Rest the Dead Pt 2

After a messy encounter with a projection, Henry and Tyler limp on into the depths of the ghost ridden factory, in search of the truth and their missing compatriot. But as the ghost-world around them gets more nightmarish and pervasive, will they survive long enough to understand?

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In case the title didn’t make it completely obvious, these sessions were played using Evil Hat’s Don’t Rest Your Head, a tension-pumping horror game of insomnia, delusion and unreality. Definitely worth checking out.

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Pic is memento mori by kaelin on Flickr, CC A SA.

Don’t Rest the Dead Ep 1: Don’t Rest the Dead Pt 1

After a previous investigation went catastrophically wrong, Corax Incorporated “cleaners” Tyler and Henry are sent in to deal with an abandoned industrial complex’s ghost problems. But with their own souls already tiptoeing on the edge of the abyss, will they be able to resolve the horrors of the past?

Play Episode

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In case the title didn’t make it completely obvious, these sessions were played using Evil Hat’s Don’t Rest Your Head, a tension-pumping horror game of insomnia, delusion and unreality. Definitely worth checking out.

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Pic is memento mori by kaelin on Flickr, CC A SA.

Don’t Rest the Dead Ep 0: Psychopomp Siren

Taking Evil Hat’s brilliant insomnia-drenched horror game Don’t Rest Your Head and flipping it sideways, seasoning it royally with dried fragments of The Frighteners and Orpheus… and you can see pretty well how it was we got here.

This is the introduction and character creation for our session of Don’t Rest the Dead.

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Pic is memento mori by kaelin on Flickr, CC A SA

Buy Lee’s Book!

For those of you following along at home, you may have recognised that the Liberation Industries crew frequently leap headlong into creative endeavours, followed by screams, explosions and a great deal of boozy rambling close at their heels.

But after a spectacular chrysalis, the first instalment of Lee’s book series, The Ferryman’s Apprentice, is now available for you to possess! So for those among you who prefer something with physical mass, its your lucky day; head over to Amazon and check this out!

You can find more ways to support Lee at their website, Whimsy and Metaphor, including the book in both electronic and physical format, so… well , frankly, the more you support Lee the higher the number of Jury the Rigger’s clones you all get to meet. Ultimately its win-win.

Keep on rockin’, listeners (and readers).

Ferryman Cover

 

Planescape Ep 9: Crunchy Cave Lobster Pt 2

With their delicious assailant slain, the party plots the best way past the Duergar guards. The plan is more or less what we have grown to expect from Carson, Urdan and Domingo…

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This is a recording of a Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition game, and this is perhaps the closest we have come to a dungeon. There were, however, no dragons in this episode.

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Pic is P1016484 by Jeremy on Flickr. CC A.

Blades Ep 7: The Astounding Tentacle Assassination Pt 2

With injuries like these, Vand the Whisper, Veleris the Hound and Miss Ruby the Spider could really do with a cocktail, a massage and two weeks on a beach in Iruvia. What they have is two canisters of Leviathan Oil, some hastily trained orphans, a bag of improvised explosives and a priest to kill.

Time to do the Deep Lord’s work.

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Pic is Urban Explorer Aboard Derelict Frigate by Tom Blackwell on Flickr, CC A N$.

Blades in the Dark is a fantastic game, and you’re likely to be hearing a lot more of it and its descendants from us.

Urban Explorer Aboard Derelict Frigate by Tom Blackwell CC A N$ 1

Pic is Urban Explorer Aboard Derelict Frigate by Tom Blackwell on Flickr, CC A N$.

Blades Ep 6: The Astounding Tentacle Assassination Pt 1

With the wounds of their last encounter barely closed, the Disciples of the Depths set their eyes on clearing the Docks of their competition. Will Veleris the Hound, Vand the Whisper and Miss Ruby the Spider be able to send a Priest of Ecstasy to their God once the stars are right?

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Blades in the Dark is a game of heists and bastardy set in a haunted industrial city, and is a product of John Harper’s fevered mind. Check it out.

Urban Explorer Aboard Derelict Frigate by Tom Blackwell CC A N$ 1

Pic is Urban Explorer Aboard Derelict Frigate by Tom Blackwell on Flickr, CC A N$.