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Story Games Seattle Message Board What We Played › In the Beginning There Was Mist (Microscope)

In the Beginning There Was Mist (Microscope)

user 13294625
Seattle, WA
Post #: 68
Players: Marc, Ray, and Shuo

Big Picture: A group of settlers colonize a water world

Starting bookend: Discovery of Caspia
Ending bookend: Last island empire falls

We don't know much about why the settlers left their homeworld, only that they arrived at Caspia and brought their magic with them. With time, a Caspian native named Pontius became familiar with this strange magic and it wasn't long before he conjured his first maelstrom. A woman nearby, Helena, witnesses this and believes him to be the prophesied savior of their people from the invaders.

The settlers, now calling themselves the Sirens, has founded an underwater kingdom and grow tired of the overfishing from the human natives on land. Even though Caspia is a planet with only a small archipelago of islands on its watery surface, the settlers still seek their destruction. As punishment for the squid priests' refusal to help sink the fishing settlement built by the humans atop a giant sea turtle, the Sirens enchant the turtle anyway and make her lust after the flesh of the priests. They also make her dive to the bottom of the ocean, drowning the humans living on her shell and causing a great blow to the human natives' food supply.

With the human's prime fishing vessel under the sea, Pontius (now an Emperor of the Islands) approach the Siren Queen with his men with a peace treaty. The Siren Queen and her advisor laugh off Pontius' shallow conjuring tricks as an empty threat but soon realizes he has the Overpearl, a talisman of prophecy that will bring about the Siren's doom. The Queen quickly agrees to Pontius' demands and a time of peace between land and water ensues.

Possibly by being pure of heart or by dabbling in magic she didn't understand, a Siren child named Ulla summons the great sea worm, Ish, also known as the god of the oceans. While playing with a human child, Ulla pulls the child under the water to show her her home. Unfortunately, the child drowns and Ulla mourns her new friend. Ish offers to revive her in exchange for allowing to destroy the islands. Ulla refuses, knowing the child will be devastated if she wakes and finds everything she knew to be gone. With a heavy heart, Ulla retreats back into the water with Ish, leaving the human girl's home untouched.

In the Time of Rivers and Falls, Pontius' followers spread the teachings of magic among their people. The most talented of them became mages and united with the River dragons to form the River Kingdom. Och, the largest of the serpentine River dragons and god of the land, leads the River Kingdom in opposing the Island Emperors. With his magic, Och pushes all of the archipelagos together into one unified island and is worshipped as its protector. With Och ruling over the earth and Ish ruling the water, it was inevitable that the two must confront each other.

Ish, wanting to cleanse the oceans of the cancerous land, rides upon a huge tidal wave at the Bay of Usha, hoping to submerge it. She is met by a furious Och who boils the bay itself with his power. Soon, magma rises out of the ground and after cooling, increases the size of the island, showing the true power of the land god. Ish hisses curses at her enemy as she retreats back into the sea, vowing vengeance for Och's sins against the water world.

The final battle between Ish and Och is epic in scale. A tsunami of Sirens riding atop armored whales and lobster soldiers block out the sun with its height. Riding at its crest is Ish, her full terrible form laying out over the ocean for miles upon miles long. Och, in turn, has gathered all of the river dragons under his command and the skies blacken with their number as well as his massive coils. A Siren-human hybrid mage calls for peace with a scepter adorned with the Overpearl. With his last ounce of strength, the mage released the power of the pearl. Images of Caspia's past are finally revealed through the talisman.

The planet used to be one of pure mist with no land, water, or skies. Living alone in this world are the two lovers, Ish and Och. As they coil around each other and play through the mist, sky and water start to form and separate. Rainbows appear and the two beasts trip the light fantastic through its colors. Distracted in their mirth, their eggs start to deteriorate from the heat of the newly exposed sun. The parents, hearing its young cry, try to shield them from the sun but it is too late. Ish and Och bitterly blames the other for their children's deaths and the arguments of that ancient time are brought back to the present.

"You formed the clouds that exposed the sun!" wailed Ish. "It was the rays that doomed them all."
"You pulled the mist too densely and formed the water!" cried Och. "Our children could only float on the surface and not hide underneath."

Incredibly, one egg remained unharmed and unnoticed by them during their fight, the Overpearl. The two estranged lovers, now recognizing their last young on the battlefield, each start to curl their bodies around it. With growing speed and power, Ish and Och merge once more and reverts the world of water and land back into one of mist.
user 13294625
Seattle, WA
Post #: 69
This was a great story. I love how it turned into an origin story. On so many levels, it just felt very fulfilling. It almost didn't happen though.

When we started, we had believed the humans were the settlers and the Sirens were the natives. But the events were contradictory when we were trying to figure out who brought magic with them. It wasn't until Ray said, "Well, of course the humans are the natives. The world didn't have magic until the settlers came." And immediately, Marc and I looked at each other with a simultaneous "OMG, the Sirens were the settlers all along!" Then it made total sense. Why else would a race look for a water planet if they didn't naturally inhabit water? Everything made so much sense and worked so well with the story that we kept building off that.

We all loved Ish, the sea worm, and then Marc made Och as her counter. Then it just became natural that these creatures that were being worshipped as gods were actual gods. Of course they can re-shape the world because they shaped it in the first place. So good.

To quote Marc, "Ray, you win at Microscope." Truer words have never been spoken. Thanks for an amazing game, gentlemen. May Ish and Och protect you both.
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