NaGaDeMon, Serpent’s Nest, and the Citadel of Former Flame

I haven’t made any progress on the game for a week. I was busy last weekend with running Games on Demand for Gaspcon. And I’ve been sick for several days. But I’m getting back to working on the game. Will it be done in November for NaGaDeMon? I can’t guarantee that. Still, work continues.

Current thinking is that the core gameplay might be a hack of Hillfolk/Dramasystem. Partly, this is because I had a really quite successful game of Hillfolk while at Gaspcon. But also I think the essential gameplay of Dramasystem fits pretty well for what I’d like out of the game; with different people wanting differing things for the Realm, and with the drama token economy and that.

I might change a fair amount of the procedural rules for Dramasystem. I figure I’ll reincorporate some of the Ganakagok tarot cards stuff I was planning to use, replace the action resolution with that and use it to make the drama tokens more important in the overall gameplay. Details still need worked out there.

Occasionally, I write up weird bits of setting, though, which hopefully will be of some use to the game.

The Citadel of Former Flame
This plane is the afterlife of flame. Didn’t you realize that flames had souls? Fire is a living thing, too, and the Phoenix Queen’s Realm is where fire goes when it dies. This smoky realm is populated by ashen husks of former flames that give off no heat or light. In fact, the only light or warmth in the entire Realm come from the Phoenix Queen herself. No other flames can burn in this Realm. The queen, meanwhile, burns brightly in her palace. An ingenious series of tubes channels her light and warmth into nearby homes. The lower classes live further from the Citadel and receive less of the Queen’s warmth. Far from the palace, the Realm is dark and smoky and always bitter cold.

Scholars of the planes claim that anything destroyed by flame is reformed in the Citadel of Former Flame. When a flame is extinguished, it appears in its afterlife here with any items it destroyed in its possession. (This is why fire so hungrily consumes all it can, you see.) But the Phoenix Queen claims these as her own, as payment for remaining in her Realm. Somewhere in the enormous and mazelike Citadel, then, must be a vast storehouse of wealth thought lost to fire’s destruction.

Once every thousand years, the Phoenix Queen travels to the mortal world and builds a nest of pure cinnamon in which to die and be reborn in flames. For an entire year, the Citadel is plunged into Wintersnight, a terrible period of deepest blackness and crushing cold. Wintersnight has just ended once more, and while the Phoenix Queen waited to hatch from the egg of her own creation, something was stolen from her hoard. Rumors abound as to what was taken, but no two taletellers agree on what wonder was taken. All rumors agree, though, that the Phoenix Queen blames our neighboring Realm for this theft. The Phoenix Queen, like many others, equates a deity-less Realm with a lawless one, and so naturally assume the thieves are to be found here.

Questions about the Citadel of Former Flame:
-What evidence does the Phoenix Queen have that someone from our Realm stole the items from her hoard?
-What is the most valuable item from our Realm ever to be destroyed by fire?
-Why did the Phoenix Queen rejoice over Nilakanta’s downfall, but then regret her rejoicing?
-Which constituents of our Realm have been illegally channeling the Phoenix Queen’s light and heat into our own Realm?
-What assistance did our citizens provide to the inhabitants of the Citadel to survive the deathly cold of Wintersnight?

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