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Story Games Seattle Message Board What We Played › The Mender and the Render (Metrofinál)

The Mender and the Render (Metrofinál)

Erik H.
user 30994922
Seattle, WA
Post #: 18
Those Who Tarried:

The Cavalier (blade+horse) – rides a wild black mare, bears a sword engraved with the eternal laws, and is accompanied by a clarion call to action
Estación Los Heroes (paper+light) – The people wait on the platform but don't get on the trains
awaiting the manifestation of the Lamplighter

The Mourner (death+music) – whispers to protect everyone's ears, smells like freshly-dug earth, carries a bouquet of dead roses
Estación Santa Rosa (flesh+blade) – A musician plays a guitar with only one unbroken string
awaiting the manifestation of the Butcher

The Assassin (throat+ribbon) – moves like a brutal poet, wears an immaculate suit, perfectly tailored, and bears the face of a chameleon
Estación Del Sol (ribbon+heart) – A girl with a yellow balloon has become lost and alone
awaiting the manifestation of the Dancer

The Kitemaker (wind+paper) – wears a cloak that speaks with far-off voices, over a body of a frail old crone, and speaks the language of the fourteen winds
Estación Universidad (flower+vine) – The turnstile is stuck and people cannot get in or out
awaiting the manifestation of the Gardener

The Navigator (light+ocean) – invokes the feeling of a conniving mutineer, is missing a ship and its crew, carries a staff topped with a dolphin's skull
Estación Diagonal (ocean+death) – A dog barks at an otherwise unremarkable wall
awaiting the manifestation of the Corsair
Erik H.
user 30994922
Seattle, WA
Post #: 19
The Flowering (what I remember is a little muddled)
When the Assassin stops here in his trip to another station, he is repeatedly robbed by a vending machine that will give him no snacks. Another man pushes the machine over. There is a crashed train car. People are yelling and beating on the train, demanding to be let on. There are manequin parts hanging out of the train windows. A sound of laughter permeates the station. When the Assassin goes up to the train, a mannequin steps out, laughing at him. (I can't recall why the mannequin split in half at this point)

@Los Heroes
The Mourner came to Los Heroes in the guise of a small girl. The people were polite and lined up in single file between a girl and her shooter. When next the Kitemaker came, she found the crowd in a frenzy, tearing the shooter, a soldier, to pieces. A train pulled in and the people backed from it fearfully. When the Kitemaker sought to walk towards the train, it got further away. She turned and reached backwards, felt it where she could not see it. She stepped back through the train's closed doors and was bathed in light. The station appeared covered in filth and the people retreat and begin to furiously write.

@Santa Rosa, where the flower opened and the New World was born
The Kitemaker wheels a small grocery cart from the train in the guise of an old woman. On the old wooden station, a guitarist is playing but will only respond when paid, a boy steps up to tell the Kitemaker he's good to talk to when you don't want a response. The Kitemaker urges the boy to tell the musician what he will and she promises not to pay the man. The boy whispers to the musician that he's going to rob the old woman, then hits her and sends her sprawling, knocking her cart over, whereupon he steals a parcel and runs among the pillars as he shrinks and vanishes. The Cavalier arrives (can't recall his normal appearance now) and he and Kitemaker talk about the musician. A woman is dropping coins into the musician's top hat, professing her love, but when the Cavalier tries to talk to the musician, the woman scolds him for interrupting, As the two Tarriers speak, the Kitemaker drops a coin into the hat with every comment she makes and the guitarist agrees with what she's said. The coins in the hat begin to glow and threads appear, stretching between the coins and their givers. The Kitemaker and the Cavalier move on to other stations and the Navigator arrives, bringing the lost woman with the yellow balloon from Del Sol, the technician from Universidad, and a monkey, also from Universidad. He asks the guitarist why he doesn't have all his strings. The musician is baffled and says more would be too many, but when the Navigator says where he comes from the guitars all have six strings, the guitarist is crestfallen and begins to lament his broken instrument. He thrusts his hat of coins into the hands of the Navigator, and as he does so, the strings begin to break. The woman (I can't recall if it was the woman who was talking with the guitarists in the second phase or the woman with the balloon) collapsed when her coin's strings broke. The Cavalier arrives again to find the station in bloom like a forest, and the technician lamenting that there is nothing here at this station that is broken, so he is useless. When the Cavalier asks him to listen to the trees, he falls into a rapt state that he only punctuates by shushing whenever the Cavalier attempts to talk to him again. The guitarist is trying to cut his one string into six to string his instrument, but the strings are too short. The Cavalier says he should shorten the guitar's neck. The musician refers to his guitar like a partner, and a living thing. He is confused by the idea of killing her, but the Cavalier urges him to continue. When the musician breaks the guitar's neck, he can finally string it. He said he understands that he can make things more whole by breaking them, but he will need an implement, a knife. The Cavalier unsheathes his sword and gives it to the guitarist, who manifests then as the Butcher, who then breaks the old world to make the new.

@Del Sol
When the Navigator arrives, (in a track suit and a slight limp?) the crowd is orderly and peaceful. There is a disoriented woman with a balloon. She says she's waiting for her husband, who looks like the Navigator. His middle name is Navigator. She begins to mistake the Navigator for her husband. He takes her with her as he boards a train for another station. The Mourner arrives and finds Edward's Cafe offering pizzas in the station. The meat on the pizzas come from the people who order their food, cut from their hands. The Mourner offers to be kind and give meat as well—he carves meat off her hands. The Kitemaker arrives and enters the Cafe. A patron insists their pizza tastes of ash, and is going to leave. The Kitemaker tastes the pizza and it's delicious. She tries to convince him that it's a delicious meal, but he won't hear of it, and leaves. She orders a caesar salad, but there are no anchovies. A patron offers to help with the anchovies. Edward takes the patron into the back and offers to teach the Kitemaker how to wield the knife. She swings the blade but cuts the air. She patches it with tape from her parcels, then cuts meat from the patron's feet.

The crowd is angry, pushing towards the turnstile, but it's broken and a technician will not let anyone leave while he works on the turnstiles. The Assassin (again I forget how he appeared) offers his assistance, and the technician scoffs at him. When the Tarrier tries to let people through the nearby gate, the technician jumps up to block everyone. At that point the Assassin opens other panels on the turnstiles and there is moss and water and steam within. Trying to remove the moss, the turnstile mechanism fires a stream of transit card into the air. When the Navigator arrives, with the lost woman from Del Sol, the cards are a cloud of butterflies (had the Assassin already left?) and cables are falling from the ceiling, the people are shouting. The woman with the balloon is calling the Navigator Richard and reminiscing about their honeymoon in Belize, which she says the station reminds her of. Approaching the turnstile the Navigator sees a group assaulting the technician. He throws them off roughly. He helps the technician who says he cannot open the gates until he gets a part to fix the turnstile, but when the Navigator turns to search for the part, the people behind are like monkeys and they begin throwing fruit and shrieking. He's hit by a mango in the back of his head.
Erik H.
user 30994922
Seattle, WA
Post #: 20
The Mourner arrives to find a dog barking at a blank wall. Everyone has animals. When she approaches she sees there is a person in the wall, and she reaches out to grab his hands, which turn to bone. The dog keeps barking. The Mourner leaves and the Cavalier arrives. The people are all statues now. The dog is talking at him, telling him there's trouble and he should fix it. The dog is quite sassy. The man in the wall is his owner and the dog demands he be rescued. The Cavalier slaps the man in the wall awake. Wallman is disoriented but when the faucet in his hand is turned, it gushes water. Eventually he loses consciousness again and the shell in his other hand also spews water. He opens his mouth which shoots water and the whole station is flooding. The Assassin arrives with the laughing mannequin. The station is nearly entirely flooded. The Cavalier's horse is struggling for air. The dog is very snarky. Either the Assassin or the Cavalier point the hands of the wallman together (I can't recall which), so that the water stops flowing and the Assassin drinks much of the that the water levels drop. He goes to the restroom to pee—which I think is a story game first, and finds statues at the urinals. The one free urinal is the one between two statues and it's full of crabs and lobsters that tell him to get his own urinal as this one is theirs. He moves a statue to pee and when he flushes the wallman begins to shoot water again and now the station is most gone, a sea stretching out and the sassy dog is on a floating bench. “Nice job,” he says, sarcastically.
Olympia, WA
Post #: 41
god, that dog
A former member
Post #: 8
I have to say that I really enjoyed this game. It took a while to get used to a system that was so wide open and encouraged everything and anything, but I appreciated its flexibility. Scenes as fun as the sarcastic dog or the Assassin going to the bathroom, as weird as the chef shaving the meat off people's arms that they could eat it on pizza and as straight-up beautiful and affecting as the Cavalier offering his sword to the guitar player that he could fix things by breaking them and thus revealing the Butcher bodhisattva felt natural within the setting.

One question. Was anyone else reminded of an old-school text-based adventure game by Metrofinál? The current player acts only after as the current station owner describes the scene and what the consequences of the player's actions are, and the player collects objects and people that become useful in different scenes. Yeah?
user 11624621
Olympia, WA
Post #: 36
Wow Erik! Thanks for the complete write-up!

I adore Metrofinal. I think it was wise for us to each take one station and one bodhisattva instead of playing all eight. I thoroughly enjoyed everyone's creativity and playfulness with both the characters and the settings.

I love how the game makes setting and characters equally important and awesome. Sometimes when you get into a game where one person is the protag and someone else is everyone else it can seem just like a GM-y fall back. Metrofinal's design elegantly enables the everyone and everything else to be uniquely beautiful, meaningful, and awesome.

Thank you all for playing! I had a great time!
A former member
Post #: 4
Wow, somehow I missed this play report. Thanks for rocking out to my game, you guys!
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