Instruments: Deck of Cards, Notecards, table space
Dying of the Light is a 1-4 player Caltrop Core game about the events that happen within a single night of a city. You create characters, places, and events throughout the times of the evening.
Game Content WarningsThese are content warnings that are from the game prompts and are present in all playthroughs.
Playthrough Content WarningsThese are content warnings specific to this playthrough only.
Word Count: 2,060 Played: Nov 3, 2022
Divining +1 Token
Card1: 2 of Hearts, 2 Strangers are having dinner with friends for the first time
Luita Brantoner, or Luita-From-Another-Place as her Malhal legal name was, was new to the city and had moved there at the insistence of her sister. She had become acquainted with all her sister’s friends and had ingratiated herself into the group swiftly and pleasantly.
Tonight she had been invited to a dinner with her sister, their friends, and her sister’s partner’s friends. She had met some of them before, but tonight, in a rare outing she met the reclusive astronomer, Six-By-Ten-Of-The-Night-Sky.
Denizen: The reclusive astronomer: Six-By-Ten-Of-The-Night-Sky
A natural born denizen of Malhal and part of the absurdly large family Of-The-Night-Sky. They are having dinner with a large group of people in a small restaurant on the river.
Divining +1 Token
Card: 3 of Hearts, A group of childhood friends is united, introduce a Denizen and say why they are missing
The boys stick-ball team of the Second Established University, reunited for their 10th graduation anniversary in a small ballroom on the northside of town. They rejoiced, ate cake and wine, and danced until their feet hurt.
One member, In-Night-And-Glory-We-Sing, had other obligations. She was late for a very important last-minute inspection for the cargo of her boat. It wasn’t supposed to be until tomorrow, but the Dockmaster had suspicions of contraband on her vessel and demanded to be shown the contents immediately.
Skip, Total: 2
Divining +1 Token
Card: 5 of Hearts, The city is constantly changing, what is inherent to the city?
A post office worker shook his head and dumped the letter without an address into the returns bin. He wished that the people of the surrounding areas took more care when the city vanished briefly from existence.
How hard was it to wait until it reappeared? He had suggested dual clocks for In and Out times, but none of his supervisors listened, since they had no power over the surrounding areas. He made a mental note to send letters to all of these departments.
Token -2 Token
The Grand Malhal Post Office.
All letters from out of city are sent here, and they must work overtime to make sure that unassigned letters are returned.
Divining +1 Token
King of Hearts, Describe a Location
The Malhal Riverwalk, a location famous for its restaurants, and floating lights. Each night at sunset the Lantern Guild, responsible for both lighting and snuffing the gas lamps, lights lanterns made of seaweed paper and sends them down stream for people to enjoy.
Token Total: 1
Divining +1 Token
King of Clubs, Describe a Location where people take safe-haven from the monsters and villains of the evening,
The creatures roam the nights. It was decided long ago that this city was blessed by the gods, but then decided sooner that it was damned. After the war between the people and the gods, and after the empire fell and the kings fled, the monsters came.
Small booths, barely large enough to lay down were built as refuge, and marked with both Divine and Desecrated Script, to lend refuge to those caught out in the night.
The streets are safer now, but all the children still sing songs of the monsters, and those who are just paranoid enough will spend the nights inside of one if caught out in the night.
Token Total: 3
Card: Jack of Diamonds, A new moon rises and a new creature roams the streets, Introduce a Denizen
It felt a longing in its hearts, and swam from it’s home on the ocean floor through the rivers of the city before emerging on its banks. The people had long left the night, and the creature, made of slime, veins, capillaries, and too many hearts to count, slithered down the streets, lost, but yearning.
Through the streets it slid, pulsing, beating, and searching for the door of the small stone building that was the home of the one who knew compassion.
A Moment of Light
Roll 1d4: 4, Absolute Success
The Benthic Ooze
It was late in the night, and the Supplicant, the ones deigned by the gods to grant comfort, compassion, and tenderness to the monsters and creatures, waited patiently inside their home.
They heard it first, squelching, and burbling before it stretched itself thin enough to seep under the door frame. It molded itself back into a long and branching creature, limbs protruding from all angles of it’s form, and a thick sickly blood pumping through its many hearts.
What do they Fear?
They reached out their hands to the creature, and it delicately touched their fingertips. All around it still quivered and moved, limbs, tentacles, tendrils, veins, all in motion, all moving and swaying.
There was not a moment of stillness as it inched its way slowly around the room, pumping and pulsating. It wanted to search every corner, to fill itself everywhere and to know the place above the waters.
They knew it was a fear of Stagnation.
How will you fulfill this Desire?
They took it’s one large hand and guided it out of the door, removing the small round lamp that hung outside.
Down the city they guided it, through the large streets and out into an open where they knew they were safe. No one would go against it while they were with them.
They traveled, exploring all aspects of the city, through the Riverwalk, past the Grand Post Office, and down to the docks where it had emerged.
The ooze, delighted in all the sensations of the cobblestones, the grass, the rocks and glass windows. It stretched itself across buildings, over lampposts, and into small crevices and mouseholes.
It reveled in stretching itself as far as it could down the streets and shrinking itself back into a tiny orb. All the while, it still held the Supplicant’s hand, and knew that it was safe in its exploration.
The last place they visited before it returned was the docks. The workers, all scurried out of their way, horrified by the creature but knew better than to go against it or the Supplicant.
It slinked back down into the waters, all while holding onto their hand, and as the last offering, broke free, leaving a piece of itself with them.
The hand solidified in an instant turning a porous hard white with many fine delicate branching sections.
-- End Game within game --
Card: 7 of Diamonds A member of the Unseen City drops a ledge off, which Denizen finds it? (a/n changed from subway to docks)
The inspection had been mostly fine, except the slight interruption from the damned monster and the monster-lover. There was nothing the city could do to stop them, and oh, how they had tried before. The damned churches and all the other religions always got in the way.
Glory was too tired for all this bullshit anyway. She drummed her fingers on her desk, looking over the paperwork she had to sign before handing it off to the inspector, who nodded curtly before heading out the door and off the ship.
She knew she was clean, but she had a sneaking suspicion why they always chose her boat. Since it was late in the night, she had free reign over all the cabins, and since it was their home port, all her crew were out for a night on the town.
She walked confidently down into the crew quarters and, in the course of an hour, had completely ransacked every little nook and cranny until she found it.
Tucked away inside the metal spokes of the bedrames, were papers documenting the sale of illicit currency.
She burned them and made arrangements for hammocks to be installed.
Skip, Total: 1
Card: 3 of Diamonds, A coven of witches assembles for a celebration, Pick an established Location
Flowers-Bloom-In-Gold-and-White adjusted the chain on his pendulum. He was sure that it was leading him in the right direction for the meeting. He knew this location and this time of night was all part of the Oracle Patten but still, he had work in the morning.
The only problem with the pendulum was that it worked like a compass, pointing exactly as the crow flies, but not good for walking. Eventually Flowers found it, after falling in some hedges and almost into a pond.
It was a small Divine and Desecrated Booth near the edge of the park. He could see the other Witches were already there and waved him over when they saw him. Unlike him, they had the sense to bring lanterns and candles so they could see.
Flowers joined up with them and after a brief catching up, they brought out a few smaller telescopes, laid down a large tarp with the oracle markings on it, and began to arrange the stones to align with the stars.
This was to determine where and when they would next hold their Star-Blessed Feast, the best holiday in Flower’s opinion.
Skip, Total: 2
Card: King of Diamonds, the next few hours are dangerous, you may try to create a moment of light by rolling 4d4,
Roll4: 3, You get what you want but things get complicated
It was far too late to be outside but Six had made the mistake of ordering a third glass of wine and found himself out too late as the witching hour had approached. He had thought the stories of monsters were foolish legends until he saw it down the street.
A horrible creature made of slime and blood and veins stretching itself everywhere and touching everything in its wake.
Six ran to the edge of the park where he found one of the old Sacred and Desecrated Booths and locked himself inside. He sat down on the floor, and despite how cold and hard it was, the booze took over and he soon fell asleep.
That was until he heard all the voices and light coming from outside around the booth. He had sobered up a little bit, and despite not being in any mood to deal with people, opened the door to look out.
All the faces turned to him, shocked and surprised. He looked on and saw, what he assumed were Witches, as they were all holding pendulums, and other fortune telling gadgets.
In front of him was a tarp, with crude symbols and a poor rendition of the stars in the sky.
“Oh, I know you!” A tall man pointed directly at Six. “You’re the astronomer! I saw your picture in the paper!”
Everyone around burst into excitement, proclaiming blessings to their god, for leading them to the right location.
Someone shoved a childish telescope into his hands, and pulled him out into the tarp. They began to ask him all sorts of questions about the stars and the sky.
Six never had a chance to escape, and being the social recluse he was, didn’t have the skill to be able to make excuses to leave without offending anyone. He ended up having to spend the entire night with the witches, helping them read and divine the stars.
Card: 7 of Spades, A book sat unread flips itself to a specific page
Deep in the library, down in the basement, an old, leather-bound book, one depicting the movement of the ocean and the creatures found within, fell to the floor. The page showed a large drawing of a white and porous choral, with many fine delicate branching sections. It listed the properties, and speculated the vast value of the creature.
Denizen: With-Silence-Comes-The-Shooting-Stars, librarian, smuggler, bookkeeper, wandering the halls of the library until they hear a crash below.
Card: 5 of Spades, A harsh wind blows through the streets, -3 Denizen/Location Cards, they will not return tonight
Skip, Total: 3
King of Spades: The sun rises over the city.