The Story of a Story by
Rat Wave Game House

Instruments: None

Game Description 

You are a Story; born from the mouth of a teller, and passed down through the ages to all who listen. Parts of you are lost, new meanings are ascribed, and others are born from your details. You will be told and retold and you will never be the same as when you first started.

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: 1,323     Played: Nov 17, 2023

The Story

Who first told you? 

People on the new island of Annfanwy, formerly a peninsula.  

What are they hoping to be distracted from? 

There was a massive flood that destroyed the connection to the mainland. 

What do they see in you? 

A way to seem like bad things happen to not just people, that even monsters and huge giants can be felled. 

Add 3 Traits

Fairy-tale, comedy, about a trickster/ being clever 


The Sleeping Bull, tells a story of a bull the size of a mountain roaming the land causing havoc and destroying everything. A hero is able to trick the bull into letting them stab them with a magic knife coated in poison that makes the bull sleep forever. The bull is still sleeping out there somewhere coated in grass and trees and buildings and should anyone remove the knife it will wake up and start roaming again. 

Act 1: A Spark 

Teller: An Ailed Caretaker 

The Teller 

An old woman who maintains the fountain in the center of the town of Clirfer. She makes sure there are always clean buckets and no one spoils the water. She loves to tell old stories to anyone, especially children, who stop by to get water from the fountain. I’m her favorite. 

She doesn’t have any more family of her own, they have all moved to other cities, so she’ll try to talk the ear off anyone who will listen. 

Teller Question : Imitators have sprung up. How does your teller exploit this? What other stories make you proud yet nervous?

There are hundreds of stories of sleeping giants, all throughout the world. Every culture seems to have one for some reason or another. It makes me think that I am not the first, and the one about the King and his Guardians is the one that feels the most like it’s real. 

Story Question

A child once visited from another town, they heard the story and recounted it to their friends, but the only thing they were certain of was that something was still sleeping out in the hills. 


One Week 

Teller: A tired Parent

The Teller 

Ten children, 3 sets of triplets, one little singleton, the youngest, and two very, very tired parents. One day the mother made the mistake of sending the oldest to the well, where they learned the story from the well-woman, which then became a household favorite. Every night one of the parents, who have never heard the story themselves directly, would have to retell the story to their kids. 

Teller Question: A part of you is separated, then was attached to another tale. How did it change the tale? Do you miss this part of yourself? 

The part about the poison on the knife, and the bull sleeping was eventually forgotten, soon it was just a magic knife that killed the bull. Another story, one about a princess who was murdered soon became about one who was merely sleeping. I suspect that someone confused them at some point. 


A Season  

Act 2: A Twist 

A young drunk

The Teller 

They frequent what was once a wine bar on a prestigious vineyard that had fallen on hard times and had to be sectioned and sold to farmers for other plants. He couldn’t stop himself from talking, no one wanted to hear his sad stories, so he told me. People begrudgingly listened since it was better than anything else he had to say and no one could figure out how to shut him up since the owners refused to kick him out. 

Teller Question: A teller discovered a resonance no one knew you had. What enabled it?

When drinking and staring out the window, he made a connection between the bull and a couple of large mountain ridges, ones shaped like horns. 

He tried to tell the other patrons and at first no one cared until a painter took it as inspiration and created a masterpiece of the landscape. 


 A gilded time - answer 2 Whispers


You frighten a child. 

A timid child kept thinking they heard the raging bull stopping in the night. Despite telling the child over and over that it was dead, they never stopped believing until they turned 10. It was something they simply needed to grow out of. 

You become a home for listeners who haven’t heard themselves in stories before. How do they take you forward?

An interpretation, one far from the original meaning, began to spring among certain groups. The bull was a part of nature and the “hero” was someone who was destroying it for their own gain. People were sympathetic towards the monster, not understanding that nature can be destructive itself. 

A Beloved Fool 

What reputation do they have?

A busker, one in bells and bright colors from a long tradition of joker and jesters, tells the story on the streets as part of an act. 

Their home is quiet and sparse, they don’t spend much time there and prefer the company of others. Loud parties and lots of wine and ale. They want to tell this story but they need a partner, and eventually they find one: a strongwoman with broad fists and a loud laugh. 

Teller Question: You inspire a great romance, who are the lovers? 

The Fool and the Strongwoman perform this act, together with a troup, seeing each city on the island. She plays the bull, loud, brash and sympathetic. They play the hero, determined, rash, and ultimately regretful. 


A harsh season - answer one Shout 


You travel to a faraway place where you are perceived differently. 

Travelers went to the mainland, taking me with them and telling me to the people in the port cities. They didn’t like the regretful clever hero, and so he was once again changed into a strong man, one who overpowered the bull with strength instead of wits. The bull was turned into merely a dumb animal. 

Story Question

A detail was lost in the very first telling. What was it? 

The bull was supposed to wake 1,000 years after everyone alive had forgotten about it. I wonder if I’ve changed enough where it will be true. 

Act 3 - A Lie

A Heartfelt Songslinger

A bard used me as an extended metaphor for love and how I’ve been told and retold over the ages. Each verse alluded to a different version of the tale and who the lovers were and who the lovers could be and what obstacles needed to be overcome. It itself was a metaphor for how love changes and will always change. I was used because the different versions of me are all well known in the area. No two people know the same story. 


A strange decade - 2 from Whispers


Someone tries to add a scornful message to you? Who and how does a teller rip it out? What was lost? 

The songslinger mentioned the version from the mainland about strength and the animal, this verse is a metaphor for the feelings of inadequacy and incompetence in a relationship and talks about how it won’t live up to the other versions. The metaphor didn’t quite work as one person was made out to be an animal and the other one physically overpowering them. 

Your name becomes a shorthand and imitators begin to appear. How are they different? 

People are now aware of how many different versions of me exist. Some of which no longer feel like me and have grown into other stories completely. The story on the mainland has changed into a man saving a village from a bull. The story of the sympathetic bull has shrunk it down into the size of a large animal. 

I’ve splintered and fractured and very little of my original self still remains and soon the sleeping bull will wake. 

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