Instruments: Tarot Deck
This is a Tarot based game about living in a strange neighborhood. Everything is provided for you, food, shelter, neighbors, but something here isn’t quite right and you can’t seem to remember how you got here and you don’t know how to leave.
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: 1,574 Played: Nov 27, 2022
Who were you?
A Mountebank, a patent medicine salesman,
Who did you want to be?
A rich man, living like a king
What used to get you out of bed in the morning?
I needed to leave before people realized the ‘medicines’ didn’t work
What aspect of the house stands out immediately?
It is all the same as all the other houses in the area, a complete double down to the scratches in the fences and the cracks in the stepping stones
What materials have you managed to scrape together?
Food, water, some loose newspaper pages, all from the same day but with different articles and different advertisements
What neighbors have you met so far?
There was an elderly woman with a limp, a young man with broad shoulders and glasses, and someone in a carriage. I’ve only seen their silhouette but it looks like a wealthy lady.
How can you immediately improve the situation?
Start by clearing out all the nonsense in the house. I dumped the trash in the backyard for now.
What aspect of the neighborhood unnerved you the most?
I can’t seem to leave. No matter what path I take I always end up in the town center with the fountain. I hate big cities like this.
You find a device with a book written in an unknown language with scribbled translations. You think it’s a one way transportation device. What do you think happened to the person who had this book before you?
I’m not normally one for writing all these things down, it’s best not to keep a record of my travels, but seeing what I saw today I might just need to.
I was trying to leave town again, seeing as how I somehow entered here, I should be able to somehow leave.
But I ended up in the town center again as I always do. I went again down another path, trying to follow the signs, looking for some sort of marker or something to find my way out.
I didn’t find a way out but I did see something in some sort of shop. It was a large open area with a metal slide that went vertical that was part way open.
I peeked inside and saw some sort of metal carriage but without a way to hook up a horse to it.
The front of it was busted up real good with dents and dark stains, which I’m guessing were blood.
People’ve died here I suppose just like they die anywhere else.
Now I don’t know anything about this carriage but there was a book lying next to it amongst the wrenches and the knots and bolts. I picked it up and it was in some strange foreign language I’d never seen before. Fortunately there were some scribbles in the margins on what was a loose translation.
I’ll have to go over it myself.
You’ve been collecting the parts you recognize from the manual. You’ve managed to repair parts of it and you think you could get it working soon. What’s the warning label on the last part you found?
I’ve been going through the manual and collecting each part I could find. I haven’t opened up the carriage yet, but I’ve been putting them in the building where I found it.
Most of them are metal doodads and smaller parts but there’s one big square box with a bunch of large writing on it.
I’ve been looking into translating the words, and it’s been slow goings, but I think I managed to suss out that it’s a warning for something. One word says “Dangerous” and the other says eyes.
There’s been no danger in looking at it, so I’ll have to assume that it means don’t get whatever's in it into my eyeballs.
The repairs are nearly complete but you think it will be impossible to test. You think it’s a one way device. What do you think is out there waiting for you?
I got it working! It makes a loud rumbling noise like distant thunder. Something about it tells me that once I get it moving that I won’t be able to go back.
I managed to read some of the translations; this thing doesn’t travel through the space around us like normal carriages.
It starts out normal on the roads, then goes someplace else. I don’t know how to explain it.
I guess it's like when those magicians use the boxes and pretend to disappear in one and reappear in another.
I haven’t left yet. I don’t know what’s going on out there. At least there’s food here and I haven’t been thrown out of town yet.
You have a new roommate. They appeared from nowhere and what is your first impression of them?
There was no one in this house but me yesterday. I’m sure of it. I would have heard someone shuffling about, or saw the lights, or something.
But there’s someone here now.
I saw her sitting at the table enjoying a cup of coffee and a fruit tart. She was a middle-aged woman in a stiff dress, tight hair, and glasses on a fancy chain.
She nodded her head and tilted her cup at me when I came into the kitchen in the morning.
She was no nonsense and immediately began to question me about the location.
She introduced herself as Mrs. Edward Ogburn. How old-fashioned and insufferable.
I told her all I could and she started to lay down some rules about how I wasn’t to go into her room and blah blah blah.
There’s empty houses here, she should get her own damn house.
You see a large creature with glowing eyes on a tree outside. When you wake up you learn one of the neighbors has died in their sleep.
Holy hell. The neighbor, which I don’t remember ever meeting, died. Their name was Jen. I think.
We’re having a funeral tomorrow. They died in their sleep, peacefully, and no one can determine how. They were only 20 some odd years old.
You really can just die at any time.
I think I saw it in my sleep. Ed won’t talk to me about it, she says it’s “Stuff and Nonsense.” That woman is so uptight she won’t even tell me her own damn first name.
But back to the omen. It. At least I think it was an omen. I can’t have been real but nothing in this place feels real anyway.
It was a thing. It screeched like a horrid bird and I saw it outside on a tree. Some sort of animal with arms and legs and wings.
I was looking out the window and it saw me with its horrid red eyes that were glowing like the street lamps.
I hid under the covers like a goddamn child until I fell asleep again. I went to sleep in a dream. How funny.
You see a large dog on the loose. You can’t remember the last time you saw it. It is very friendly. Where do you think it came from?
Today was the funeral. Some of the others in town decided to bury them in the backyard of the house they were in since we don’t know where the cemetery is.
We also don’t have coffins so they wrapped the body in sheets and tied it up real nice in ropes. Some words were said and stuff. Standard funeral despite all the oddities of the place.
But there was also a large dog. I’m not too keen on animals but it seems like Ed knew exactly what to do. Who would have known?
She said she was a breeder as a hobby. (BeCaUse A lAdY ShOuLdN’T HaVe A jOb). Anyway she’s real firm with the beast which is good since it’s too big. I’ve never seen such a big dog. It was larger than some of the other ladies in the group.
Ed said it was a Great Pyraneese and she took it back with her to the upstairs.
I can hear it plodding around the floor above me. At least it isn’t barking anymore.
It's working, you can take 2 people with you. What do you have to lose?
This will be my last entry. Despite the fact that everything’s somewhat normal here, and everything’s provided. I wanna get out of here.
I managed to wheel the carriage into an open stretch of road so that it won’t hit anything before it diss-re-appears somewhere else.
There’s space in the carriage for 2 more. As much of a prude as she is, I offered it to Ed. She accepted and is bringing the dog with her. That dog is as big as a person, so there’s no more space for anything else.
I’m leaving this journal and the instruction manual with a neighbor on their doorstep. Hopefully everything will turn out all right.
We leave tomorrow.
See ya when you get out