Before the Tower Falls By

Kienna Shaw

Instruments: Block Tower, Card Deck

Game Description 

This game is about exploring a vast tower of mysteries and secrets before it crumbles into the ground. Will you be able to explore and get out or will you be there when it comes tumbling down?

Game Content Warnings 

These are content warnings that are from the game prompts and are present in all playthroughs.

Playthrough Content Warnings 

These are content warnings specific to this playthrough only.

Game Playthrough

Word Count: 2,048     Played: Nov 21, 2022


What does the tower look like? 

Sleek, black, tall. Made with polished wood and painted with a hard black lacquer that has lasted longer than any stone and preserved through any weathering 

What purpose did the tower serve in another lifetime? 

It was a throne and a connection to the world of dreams. Its going to be destroyed soon because The King has been murdered and their body moved to a far away tomb. 

What do I feel when looking at it? 

Dread, wonder, elation, euphoria, and terror. It draws and compels me but it also makes me wish to flee. 

Who are you? 

A creature from the Forest. I was created in freedom by The King, and I wish to see the domain before it is lost forever. I have ventured out of my woods and into the realm of the mortals. Something is calling me to the top, and I can't resist it. I have to know.  

What do I want to find? 

Anything that I can use to hold onto my creator. They will soon be forgotten. I do not wish to forget. I wish to sit at the throne at the top of the tower and survey the world.

What am I risking by coming to the tower? 

The wrath of the mortals and gods who killed The King. 


Card 1

Queen of Spades: A tool, Fallen 

Where was it found? 

Near the entrance by the door

What is it? 

The grand knocker all would use before entering the tower.  

Why was it important? 

It would signal a guest, someone welcomed, or else they would not be able to open the vast doors.  I had to pick it up and bang on the door with it for the doors to open 

Card 2 

4 of Hearts: A memento, discarded 

What is it? 

A necklace with one simple jewel 

Why is it valuable or important? 

The symbol carved into the surface of the gem denotes love, 

Why was it left behind?

I found it next to a pile of clothing in a small room. Most likely someone was living here and didn’t have time to bring it with them when they fled. 

Card 3

8 of Clubs: A Weapon, Fragmented

What is it? 

The chipped blade of a small ceremonial dagger. It looks like it struck something hard and broke. 

Where was it found? 

On the floor next to a suit of armor. I cannot tell if the armor was left here or someone died. Time is different in here as it is in the forest. 

Who is it from? 

The blade looks to be a different style than that of the armor. The armor is square, with spiraling patterns, blocky inlays,, and heavily ornate. The dagger is plain, and simple. 

Card 4

King of Hearts: A moment, on display 

What is it? 

A large tapestry that hangs from a ceiling at least four stories high. 

Why was it left behind? 

Who could claim something so large? 

Why is it valuable or important? 

It depicts the start of the world. The king is resting on their bed and the world of dreams is above them and the world of things below. The early gods are shown crossing the border from dreams to things and making creatures, mortals, Decisions. 

Card 5

3 of Spades: A tool, Hidden away 

What is it? 

An intact loom. It was hidden away in a corner and covered in a white sheet. It gleamed and looked as though it could have been used yesterday. 

Who did it belong to? 

There was no name on the loom. No names or anything anywhere near it, but it was the only one in the room. I wondered if it was for some fancy lady or lord to spend their time instead of a professional. 

Where was it found? 

Locked away behind a door I had to break down. There were other pieces of furniture in here, so I suspect this must have been storage. There wouldn’t have been time when the invasion started to store things so large. 

Card 6 

9 of Hearts: A Moment, Fixed in place 

What is it? 

A shadow box of medals, hung on a wall, covered in dust and blood. 

Who did it belong to? 

The name on the plaque read: In-Time-We-All-Will-Serve

Who was it from?

It was given to Time when they retired from the head generals and commanders of the guards of the tower. 

Card 7

King of Clubs: A Weapon, On Display 

What is it? 

A set of long hooked swords too large for humans, but too small for giants. 

Who did it belong to? 

There was no tapestry, or plaque or any other indicator. These must have belonged to someone of importance or legend, or at least crafted by someone important, but it’s all been lost. 

Where was it found? 

On display behind a chair, resembling a throne (but not THE throne) It hung on a wall framing where the head of the person sitting would be. 

Card 8

9 of Diamonds A treasure fixed in place 

What is it? 

Ascending up the staircase there is a mural, painted and inlaid with gold and gems and ivory and bones. 

What purpose did it serve? 

It shows the creation of the stars in the sky and the decision of the patterns of the constellations. Each star is made with different materials. 

Who is it from? 

There was only one god who decided the layout of the skies. -A- the arranger. This tower will soon be re-arranged so I didn’t feel bad prying some of the stones out of their sockets. 

Card 9 

8 of Diamonds: A Treasure, Fragmented

What is it? 

The next floor of the tower was one large room. It stretched for miles and miles and all with one simple floor of marble and onyx squares. 

What purpose did it serve?

This is where grand parties were held. The gods attended, the mortals attended, and it stretched for days and days beyond what was possible for the tower to contain

Why was it left behind? 

Who would take flooring? 

Card 10

Jack of Clubs: A Weapon, Embedded 

What is it? 

I could see holes in the walls from the terrible weapons the mortals devised. A small pellet fired at enormous speeds cracking the stone and marbling of the floor and the walls. 

Who was it from? 

All the armies of the invading gods. When The King was sentenced and killed, no god opposed and all invaded in equal towards the top of the tower. 

Where was it found? 

They are all around this room, the other rooms, everywhere in this place, but its more visible now in the empty space where the only things are the spiderweb cracks along the surfaces. 

Card 11 

Queen of Spades: A weapon, Fallen 

What is it?

A pair of broken spears, the tips wider than I am tall. These were the weapons of giants, and champions

Who did it belong to? 

I heard stories of the Giant of the Clouds. They were made of air and water and could condense and contract to fill the entire sky. They fought for The King and they died for The King. 

Why was it left behind? 

A traitor to the living gods and only a memory to the dead one. 

Card 12

7 of Diamonds: A Treasure held close

What is it? 

A skeleton, small, as big as an orange, but a full grown adult, clutching in its hands a large ornate key. 

Why is it valuable or important?

The skeleton crumbled to dust when I took the key. I do not know what it will open, but I have it with me. 

Who did it belong to?

All that remained of the skeleton was the simple robe it was wearing. A servant? Or worse?

Card 13

7 of Clubs: A weapon, Held Close

What is it? 

Another skeleton on the stairs leading to the top. The tower shakes as I climb and I know I don’t have a lot of time before it will fall. The bones hold a small shiny device with a wide hollow tube and a handle made for tiny hands. 

Why is it important? 

The gods seek to rid the mortals of their weapons, of their knowledge, and any of the King. I do not know how far back they will set them. Soon things like this will cease to exist. 

Who did it belong to?

The skeleton wears a uniform from the southern archipelago, a place that was sunk during the war. They had no home to return to. They have no family who will miss them. 

Card 14

King of Spades: A tool, on display 

What is it? 

In a small room, there is a vanity, plated in gold and pearls. There’s a small golden brush resting in the center. I couldn’t help but run it through my own hair. It was soft and didn’t snag or pull. 

Who did it belong to? 

Who was it from? 

Engraved along the handle was the phrase: To the light of my life, your loving Father 

Card 15

8 of Hearts: A moment, Fragmented 

What is it

A small statuette, broken into three fragments. 

What purpose did it serve? 

 It depicted The King. Along with their death, the gods broke all images of them. I took it with me. 

Where was it found? 

It was in an alcove along the stairs.

Card 16 

3 of Hearts: A memento, Hidden Away 

What is it? 

A coin, not one of currency, but to denote a ceremony. It is purposely dull and bears a single stamp of a filled circle in the center. 

Where was it found?

I nearly slipped on it walking up the stairs. 

Why was it left behind? 

Most likely fell out of someone’s pocket. 

Card 17

6 of Diamonds: Treasure out of reach 

What is it? 

A bright and shining chandelier. Made of crystals and glass so clear that it’s almost impossible to see except for the rainbow shimmer

What purpose did it serve? 

A memento, a birth, this was a place of divinity where a god entered the world. It is holy simply to gaze upon it and I find myself brought to tears even looking at it. 

Who did it belong to?

The King. It was a celebration. All the gods are their children, and this was a commemoration. 

Card 18 

7 of Diamonds: A Treasure, Held Close 

What is it? 

Two corpses, almost fresh, holding each other tight. There is blood seeping from the backs of each of them. I must be getting close to the top of the tower. 

Who were they?

A servant, dressed in a simple tunic, and a young man, cleanly shaved, and dressed, wearing fancy clothes and flowers in his long hair. 

Where were they found? 

In a bedroom, in bed. I pulled the sheets over their heads. 

Card 19

2 of Spades: A tool, Illuminated 

What is it?

A glowing needle, made of crystal. 

What purpose did it serve? 

It once connected everything. This was a divine instrument, one gifted to a prophet of The Connector. 

Why was it left behind? 

I cannot help but wonder if I was meant to find it? It feels so familiar like I’ve used it hundreds of times. I know how to use it, though I’ve never seen it before. 

Card 20 

Ace of Diamonds: A treasure in plain sight. 

What is it? 

The throne. It looks like a slab of hard, black slate. 

Why was it left behind? 

It’s the anchor. It's calling. 

Who is it from? 

It’s from my King. 

I could barely lift myself on top of it, for it was so large, but I pulled with all my strength and rolled onto the hard surface. 

I left all my equipment below, all my tools, my treasures, my clothes. There was only me on top of this throne, save for the crystal needle in my hand. 

I lay down on the hard cold slate, the needle extended, piercing through my chest, pinning me like a bug to the slate. Anchoring me to a divine throne: the connection between the world of dreams and things as the tower below me fell.

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