Alone in the Ancient City By Takuma Okada

Instruments: Card Deck, 1d6

Game Description 

This game is a travel journal of a tourist exploring the districts of a sprawling and ancient city. You write about the place, the people, and the food you meet on quiet streets and bustling attractions.

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: 1,231     Played: Nov 8, 2020

Day 1  Religious District

Roll: 6 

Card: 6 of Clubs , Nature; Next to an Old Church

Roll: 3, come across it suddenly,

I walked silently around the pavement admiring the well-maintained buildings before I tripped over the roots of an ancient tree. It was growing into the side of one of the old churches. It was a large banyan tree with more roots growing like vines from its branches. The floor roots grew into the pavement and upturned the bricks below. 

Card: 5 clubs, nature: on a quiet street lined with shady trees 

Roll: 1 it is in a crowded place

I circled the banyan tree to find a narrow passageway lined with more of the banyan trees, all conjoined at the top. People were filled in the passage way, making prayers by coating their palms in oil and placing them on the bark.  

Card: Queen of Diamonds, Culinary ; Under a bridge

Roll: 1, in a crowded place 

I ventured away from the trees and towards the river running through the city. I paused along the bridge when I spotted a small vendor underneath. He was under a square canopy and frying small squares of dough in a vat of oil. The smell was delicious and I ate more than I should have. 

Card: Jack of Hearts; Interesting people, In a large plaza full of birds

Roll: 6 you spot it as you are resting

I took my beignets and sat in a charming park outside the banyan church. I saw the people quietly leave one by one. As they left they were greeted with a priest who swung a small thurible and bowed to each of them. She had short hair and a tall cylinder hat. 

Card: Queen of Clubs: Nature, Under a bridge

Roll: 2 in a crowded place 

I left the park and continued back under the bridge. I hadn’t noticed before but hanging under the bridge there were thousands of hanging jars, each hosting small plants. As people walked above the bridge the jars clinked together but didn’t break. 

Card: 8 of Hearts;  Interesting people, on the main street 

Roll: 3 you come upon it suddenly.

I returned to the top of the bridge and continued walking for the rest of the day. I saw many different types of religious practitioners in the streets. Some were heading towards their temples and others returning home. There were others like the woman with the hat but the city was filled with a vast amount of religions and there were many other types of regalia. One man wore shoes that were over ten inches high, another person had all of their hair, including the eyebrows shaved completely. 

Day 2 Theater District

Roll: 1 

Card: 2 of Spades; Public Art, under the light of a streetlamp

Roll: 3 You come upon it suddenly. 

I had many plans to see the vast art of the city but I was swept away by a single performance today. I was resting in the park when I saw a large crowd gather by the largest lamp in the center of the park. It was a theater troupe doing their monthly performance for the city. Hundreds of people soon gathered and I learned that it was an old decree by a long dead queen that if troupes want public funding they must first perform for the public. It was a delightful show and it lasted the entire day.

Day 3 Living District

Roll: 2

Card: 7 of hearts, Interesting people, By a bubbling fountain

Roll: 3, You come upon it suddenly 

I was strolling through a small street when I saw a small fountain out of the corner of my eye. I turned and explored down the alleyway until I came across it. I wasn’t alone either. About 4 other couples, all young, were gathered by the fountain. I observed them quietly and when the clock struck the hour, the fountain bubbled higher and each of them kissed before heading on their way. I learned later that it was a local legend that couples that kiss by this statue are said to live a long happy life together. 

Card: 2 of Diamonds, Culinary, 

Roll: 3 you come upon it suddenly

I was still observing the fountain when a small plump woman shouted to me. I was startled and she laughed. She told me I looked hungry and I noticed she was standing in front of a quaint cafe. I told her I was and she said she would serve me the daily special. I was given a warm, toasted sandwich filled with avocados, thick tomato slices, a strong cheese and salty meat. It was delicious but nothing compared to the mango salsa she served alongside it. 

Day 4 Shopping

Roll: 1

Card: 4 of Clubs; Nature in a narrow alley

Roll: 5 you spot it as you are resting

In the back alleys of the shopping district, behind all the stores and away from the crowds there is a lone tree. It’s a banyan tree like the others in the city, and it too is covered in oily handprints. I suspected it was for the people who didn’t have time to visit the temples and churches during the mornings. 

Day 5 Fishing along the River 

Roll 1:

Card: 2 of hearts; people, under a streetlamp

Roll: 6, You spot it as you are resting

One of the major attractions of the city is night fishing. I stood on the riverbed and watched the river become alight with the fishing boats filled with tourists. An old man stood next to me under the streetlamp observing. He had a long, thin white beard and a straw, bamboo hat and smoked a long thin pipe. We talked for a while and he told me he used to be a fisherman in his younger days and he still came out here on nights to watch the boats. 

Day 6 the Zigarraut 

Roll: 2

Card: 9 of Diamonds Culinary, In the shadow of the tallest building

Roll: 2, it is in a crowded place

No trip would be complete without seeing the ziggurat in the heart of the city. I had walked about an hour before I reached the building. Thousands of others were there to see it as well and the place was bustling with noise and excited tourists. Small vendors lined the outside walls of the pyramid and since I had quite a walk before I arrived bought myself a wonderful drink. It was filled halfway with small berries and tasted like mangos and lychee. 

Card: 4 of Diamonds, Culinary, in a narrow alleyway

Roll: 3 you come upon it suddenly

The ziggurat was as exhausting as it was impressive! I found myself hardly able to stand after the long tour and dragged my tired feet into the nearest cafe away from all the noises and people. It was nice and cool on the inside and I ordered myself a small coffee and delicate cake. I sat on a large pillow on the floor in front of a short square table. The cake came decorated with flowers and chocolate syrup on the side. I watched them heat the small coffee by raking it over hot sand until it was complete. 

Top of Page