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Story Games Seattle Message Board What We Played › We serve The One in The Well (Microscope)

We serve The One in The Well (Microscope)

Olympia, WA
Post #: 40
Thursday, August 16, 2011

Players: Martin, Marc, Billy

We tried our hand at Microscope. It was an interesting game, I'd say. Things started slow, but as time passed we picked up steam and the story took off. We opted to do the history of a location, and so our Big Picture was "The history of a township". This presented some interesting opportunities and problems. It was sort of like having a permanent Focus, but it allowed us to delve into the nuances of the place in depth. We decided on a gothic, Lovecraftian horror theme, prepared the palette (yes benevolent government, dark bargains, secret societies, and magick; no serial killers, wise children, or obvious monsters), and dove in. I will now briefly recount our tale, in chronological order.

The town of Clifton was founded on the prairies of the American Midwest sometime in the mid-1800s. The Five Founders, a collection of families, ran into immediate trouble when their town was struck by a drought. Two Founders--Jed and Jed's wife--used a book of spells to summon what would later be known as a Dream Eater, a mysterious eldritch being who lived with others of his kind beneath the ground. The Dream Eater promised to create an endless source of water in exchange for the dreams of the townsfolk. The first dark bargain was made.

But now everyone was having nothing but nightmares. This went on for a generation, and the children of the Founders began to wonder why their town was so different. So the Founders formed a historical society called The Deep Wellspring. Max, a member of the group and son of Jed, found a spell to allow him to ascend in power after death, and drowned himself in the well after going mad from the nightmares. The other members of The Deep Wellspring decided to follow him in exchange for his protection from the Dream Eaters. He became The One in the Well.

Years later, a man named Richard Underman came to power as mayor and ushered in a Golden Age. But the mayor had made a dark bargain with a being called The One Below, and this ruffled the feathers of the Deep Wellspring. Their First Speaker, a woman named Hema Briar, paid him a visit, but he refused to budge from his position. Mayor Underman learned how to bottle dreams in order to keep them from the Dream Eaters, but before he could do much with this knowledge, he was impeached, tarred and feathered, and driven out of town. His final curse awakened The One Below, bringing about the Years of Mud and Twilight.

This age saw Clifton disappear from maps and reappear in the dreams of people around the world. It was now a city that existed only in nightmares. Hema managed to escape by trading places with a dreamer. After an unknown amount of time, the townsfolk managed to resummon the Dream Eaters and bargain with them for their protection from The One Below. The Dream Eaters then devoured Nightmare Clifton, restoring it to reality. But it seems all was not well, for in the end, Clifton was lost again and had to be rediscovered. The explorers who found it were drained of their emotions by the Dream Eaters, and ended up making a deal with the now-ancient One in the Well in order to feel again. So began the cycle anew.

Good game. I liked doing the history of a place. I think I'd do it again. And great work Billy; you did well for your first story game ever!
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