Instruments: Deck of Cards, 2d6
You are someone with a goal that will extend passed your life. How do people remember you and how does it inspire generations after you? Who takes up your mantel? And who will take up theirs? This game is a hack of Alone Among the Stars by Takuma Okada.
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: 2,194 Played: Nov 29, 2021
Find the Lost City of Betmeth, which was sun beneath the sands of the frozen desert
The tools used to locate the city, most notably a dowsing pendulum made of rose gold, passed on from explorer to explorer, teacher to student
Roll: 5 Someone who needed it obtained it
Roll: 3 They received it suddenly after you passed
Name: Sanny Faint-Exactly
Sanny received the Rose Pendulum after the passing of their teacher and mentor, Brott Tenuous-Justly. They were immensely saddened by the passing, but vowed to continue their research into searching for the lost city of Betmeth.
Card1: 7 of Spades , a challenge faced by a predecessor, the challenge could be the end of you if you aren’t careful
Brott hadn’t properly cleaned the pendulum when it was in his possession, as such it tended to drift to the right marking everything off course. Sanny realized that all the calculations, markers, and coordinates on Brott’s research had been off every so slightly that lead to larger mistakes down the line. If Sanny hadn’t cleaned it then they would have become lost in the desert.
Card2: 5 of Spades, Challenge from predecessor, a personal struggle
Brott’s daughter, Erta, believed that the pendulum was hers to inherit. She was an accountant and had no interest in exploration or ancient civilizations or any sort of anthropological or archaeological background. She simply wanted a piece of her father to remember.
Sanny had to beg and plead with her to let him continue to use it. He reasoned with her that her father would want it used and his research continued. Eventually she relented on the condition it was returned to her when Sanny retired.
Card3: King of Clubs, a negative turn on your fortune, something that shakes the foundation of society, the world will never be the same
Sanny had been out in the desert when the king of Errentol died. The king had no named heirs and the people, having grown sick of nobles and their petty squabbles, demanded an end to the royal throne. A civil war broke out soon against those who wished to remain in power and those who sought to govern themselves.
Sanny’s funding immediately dried up and fearing for their life, decided not to return to his home city.
Card4: Ace of Cubs, A Negative turn on your fortune, an annoyance that is more likely to be a footnote
Sanny truly believed that they would be the one to find the city. Since there was no funding to be found in Errentol, they sent letters to every large city and every royal they could think of. Sanny was a practical person and so copied verbatim everything in the letter except the recipient's name.
Card5: Jack of Hearts, a problem that is only now beginning to rear it’s head, a problem on a national scale that you have a part in bringing to an end
Sanny was called back to Errentol by his sister, despite having previously decided that he would never return. Sanny was on the board with one of the universities in Errentol. The war was in full force and they believed that educated people would side with the nobles and royals. Sanny however agreed with the people and, though he had very little actual power, was able to leak any information to the common side.
His actual contributions were negligible, but he was one of many who helped bring about the downfall of the control of the royals.
Card6: 2 of Spades a challenge by the predecessor, a simple issue that can be solved with ease
Eventually the chain on the pendulum had worn down enough for Sanny to need to replace it. He took it to a jeweler and had a matching chain made to replace it. He was lucky that it didn't break while he was out in the desert, for he might have never found the pendulum among the sand.
Card7: 10 of Clubs A sudden negative turn on fortune, Something that can affect your local area,
The university was left in shambles at the end of the war. Sanny hoped and prayed that it would have been spared but a sudden attack left the building in complete rubble. He hadn’t the foresight to take most of his research out of the building, and was left with almost nothing.
Card8: 5 of Diamonds, A hidden threat, personal struggles
What Sanny didn’t know is that his rival, Tempie Mellow-Fast, did have foreknowledge of the destruction of the university. She had removed all of hers and Sanny’s research and began to publish it under her name. Sanny didn’t have any proof that the research was his and so he was unable to stop her.
Card9: Ace of Diamonds, A Hidden threat, an annoyance, a bit of trivia
Sanny took up picketing in front of bookstores for a month after Tempie’s book was released. He caused a great stir which landed him in jail for about a month, after which he refused to enter any bookstore that sold anything by Tempie.
Sanny was plagued by personal and political problems and was unable to continue his research to find the city of Betmeth
Roll: 3 Someone who was inspired obtains it
Roll: They struggle to recover it after it was lost
Name: Archeologist Hin Ar Student
They were a student from Valley City who read all about Betmeth and the people who went searching for it. They were one of the few who believed Sanny had done the research instead of Tempie, despite most academics believing the contrary. They sought out Sanny’s old home and remaining relatives, a great-granddaughter, who let Hin search through all of Sanny’s old belongings. There they found the pendulum and decided to take it with them to use in their own expedition.
Card1: 10 of Hearts, a problem that is beginning to start, something that can affect the local area
They were only a week into their first exploration when they felt the first tremor. Hin and their team were near the mountains to the south where ancient records said the city resided. They felt the earth shake and the sands shift and wondered how much of the city would be destroyed by a bigger earthquake.
Card2: Ace of Spades, Challenge by the predecessor, a mild annoyance
The chain Sanny had bought to replace the old one proved cheap and unreliable. It broke more than twenty times when Hin tried to use the pendulum. People laughed and said they spent more time looking for their own instruments than they did for the city.
Card3: Queen of Spades, Challenge by a predecessor, a challenge that spans the continent.
A person from Valley City took a moment of Errentol pre-Civil War value and brought it out into the desert. The academics of Errentol were incredibly upset when they found out, and began to threaten Hin and demand they bring it back. Hin refused and wrote to their university in Valley City who backed them up and wrote back to Errentol University stating it had been given to Hin by a descendent and Hin was entitled to it. This started a feud between the universities, in which other universities across the world took sides on the matter.
Hin of course ignored all of this until their return to Valley City.
Card4: 9 of Spades A challenge by one’s predecessor, an issue that took hundreds of lives
When Hin did return to Valley City they were greeted by members of the Errentol police and arrested on spot for illegally keeping Errentol artifacts. Although the academics of Valley City University and many others sided with Hin, the government of Valley City agreed with Errentol and Hin was arrested and brought to trial in Errentol.
After a lengthy trial Hin was forced to give the pendulum to the University of Errentol. It served in a display case with other pre-civil war items explaining how the University was destroyed and many lost their lives to keep these items safe.
Card5: 6 of Spades, challenge by one’s predecessor, conflict pulls in bystanders
During the trial the great-granddaughter of Sanny, a woman by the name ofJady Thoughtful-Yearly, had her life uprooted completely. She went from an unknown woman to a local celebrity. Not many people had cared about Sanny before the trial, but since it had brought the public to his attention many people were writing about his feud with Tempie and the credibility of her research. She was interviewed over a hundred times by papers by the time the trial had concluded. And, although she was found guilty of having given away artifacts belonging to the Errentol University, she was given no penalty or fine for her actions.
Roll: 3 Someone inspired
Had to struggle to receive it
Name: Genna Strange-Promptly
Genna was a tenured professor by the time she went out on her first expedition. She had done all the research a hundred times over, had it checked by experts all around the world, and came to the definitive conclusion that she knew exactly where Betmeth was buried. She asked the University of Errentol if she could bring the Rose Pendulum with her, as it would make for good publicity. The University reluctantly agreed.
Card1: 2 of Diamonds A Hidden threat that revealed itself, a minor annoyance
Like Sanny before her, she too had a rival in the field. A man from Cricenal by the name of Gaetan Astaer. However she was fortunate in that their rivalry was more of a friendly competition. He wrote her a letter stating how he wished her luck because he would soon have an expedition of his own.
Card2: 3 of Spades, Complication, faced by predecessor
Hin had written about the earthquakes but failed to mention how they had changed the landscape. Genna had to go over all of the calculations again once she had reached the desert but found that only a few had been miscalculated and she was able to attain the correct measurements quite easily.
Card3: Seven of Clubs A Sudden Negative Turn, Could be the end of you if you are not careful
As the expedition got closer and closer to the site they thought Betmeth was buried they became acutely aware the ground contained dangerous sinkholes. One of the camels carrying a load of supplies stepped in one and disappeared in an instant. They had to be very careful where they tread or they too would end up somewhere below the sands.
Card4: 7 of Hearts, An Inevitable problem, could be the end of you
Genna had chronic leg and lower back pain for most of her life. On some days she couldn’t even leave her bed because the pain was too great. She had hoped that it wouldn’t flare up during the expedition but inevitably it did. They were delayed almost three days by her inability to walk. Normally this was manageable but after losing a camel and some supplies people were worried that they would either need to cut the expedition short or be stuck out in the desert with no food or drink.
Card5: 4 of Hearts, An Inevitable Problem, predicaments that requires steady attention
One of the engineers was able to rig up a crude carriage for Genna to ride along the sands. This allowed her to rest her back and legs as they continued on towards the dig site.
Card6: 8 of Clubs A negative turn of fortune, problems with those close to you
When they arrived some of the crew were so excited they ran ahead and ignored all of the warnings about the sinkholes. Three people fell into one and another one barely managed to crawl their way out of it. Through more engineering and tethering the group led one brave person on a rope down the hole and discovered an underground cavern. They were able to save one of the people that fell, but the other two were unrecoverable.
Card7: Queen of Diamonds, A Challenge that spans the continent, rippling effects throughout the world, a hidden threat that finally revealed itself.
The desert had been long overdue for another earthquake, and the petty god who sank the city had no need for mortals to rediscover it. There was no warning as the ground shook and opened below them, sending everyone and everything into a dark chasm below. No one heard from Genna ever again and not a single thing from their expedition was ever recovered. It was as if they had been swallowed by the earth as the city had long ago.