Sentinel By Megan Cross

Instruments: Deck of Cards, 1d4, 1d6, 1d8, 1d10, 1d12

Game Description 

You are the solitary guardian of the Sanctuary, and it is your sole duty to guard, protect, and stand vigil to all those who would disrupt it.

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: 2,441     Played: August 19-21 2021

Before the Game 

What do you look like?

An empty suit of armor, possessed and determined. 

A rotten cape, a dented helmet and a rusted sword. 

What abilities do you have?

I do not know if I can die

How long have you been a guardian?

My mortal flesh has rotten away and so have the memories of the years before my service. 

How did you come to be the only guardian?

There was only every one and it will only ever be me. 

What does The Sanctuary look like?

I have never been inside, nor has any living creature. I stand before two vast and imposing doors of iron and silver and the winding path that leads down the snowy mountain. 

Where is the Sanctuary located?

High uptop the Lone Peak in the center of the world

Does any other life exist there?

There may be gods, there may be spirits, but no mortal lives here

What is there that needs to be guarded?

There is a beacon inside that desperately calls out to the world 

2 of Hearts

A Memory

1d10: 2  Your First day at The Sanctuary

My first memory is opening my eyes and seeing the path before me and feeling the cold armor against my skin. I could not move no matter how hard I struggled and I could not scream no matter how much air filled my lungs. I was trapped in the cage of my armor before it became myself. I stood in that spot for days before I felt the slump of my flesh against the insides of the mail and my mortal body perished inside me. I wished every day I could forget the sensation of my body rotting away inside me. 

4 of Hearts

A moment of fear

1d10: 6 How old is this memory

I have never been more afraid than when I saw a metal beast flying across the sky. It has been making circles these past two weeks and it approaches closer each day. It’s fast limbless body stirred the air and snow around it in a white vortex. It did not land on the mountain but I wonder if I could kill it if it approached again. 

3 of Clubs

Time has Passed

1d4: 1 year has passed

What did you lose? 

I no longer remember what it was to feel touch. Cold, hot, soft, rough all these words are meaningless to me now. 

What did you gain? 

From the fires of my spirit my blade has become as a ghost of a sword and I no longer need to rely on the weakness of iron. 

What did you learn? 

The beast was merely a vessel, ones containing mortals desperately looking for shelter. They will not find it here. 

What has changed? 

The skies grow darker each day and I have begun to imagine faces in the winds. 

Jack of Diamonds

An Item 

1d12: 2 Something you know is dangerous

I was seeing it more and more. The faces in the winds as they brushed against my armor--my self. I could almost hear a voice whisper to me, laughing at me, and I felt surrounded by nothing but the wind. The door stood fast, sealed and secure, but I could feel this presence creeping through my chain links before being carried away. 

Ace of Hearts

A memory 

1d10: 5 A moment of surprise

The first time I heard the death knell, thousands of years ago, the sound knocked me to my knees. From within the vast and iron doors a bell ran seven times, each resounding and vibrating the metals of my body harder with each strike.  It was from that moment on that my body began to rust and show the signs of age. I must never forget why I am here. 

Queen of Hearts

A memory 

1d10 1 A moment of peace 

All snow that touches the stone of the steps and the iron of the gate sublimates. For hours I would watch as each tiny flake turned back into vapor as it floated to the ground. I once held out my hand, letting the snow pile high upon it. I do not know how long I stood there, arm outstretched, holding onto something nearly intangible, but the snow piled higher and higher until it collapsed under its own weight. The vapors were wite and almost ethereal. It was the first time I realized that I was moving of my own accord. 

9 of Clubs

Time has passed

1d4 4 years have passed 

What did you lose? 

The rust has crept through my back and eaten away at my plates. The torn cape is the only thing that hides this weakness.

What did you gain? 

The ghost of my armor remains in the hole and I wondered when my iron body has rusted will I be a complete spirit or will I be free. 

What did you learn? 

There was smoke on the horizon and I could see the cities burn from below. I fear the world is coming to an end. 

What has changed? 

The snow has turned black with the smoke of the world.

King of Hearts

A memory

1d10: 8 Your Fondest Memory

There is no life on the mountain this high. In my time there have been travelers, fools, those who seek to steal what is hidden behind the doors of iron and silver. I have killed them, I have let them escape, but I have never let them stay. Only once was there a creature besides the travelers, a small beast of scales and feathers, tired from a long journey it stopped to rest on a pedestal on the steps. It preened it’s feathers, stretched it’s long limbs, then took flight into the air once more. 

10 of Spades

A threat

1d8: 6, How were you able to defeat the threat and how you know it will return

In droves they came, like a mist, thick and almost indistinguishable from one another. The faces in the smoke crept over the sides of the mountain, up through the path and over the blackened snow. The wind became still and silent then all at once screeched in a torrent as they rushed towards my body. I swung the ghost of a sword precisely and thoroughly through each face that appeared. Each twisted and dissipated then reformed with another until they whittled down to a few which escaped, scattered on the winds that brought them to me. Their clouds form stronger in the distance.

8 of Hearts

A Memory 

1d10:A near death experience 

When I found that I could walk there was never a moment that I was still. Back and forth I paced along the cracked lines in the stones with only the clinking of my armor to keep me company. I ventured too far to the edge and misjudged the slickness of ice  and almost sent myself tumbling down below into a crevasse. I know that I cannot die but I would be forever trapped in the stones below. I do not venture far from the doors anymore. There is no purpose in unnecessary risk. 

5 of Spades

A threat

1d8: 1 what damage did they do to The Sanctuary as you were barely able to drive them out. 

When they came again the sky was blotted black and they rushed in a crashing wave towards the doors. The force of them slammed me back against the doors and my armor pocked with dents as they crushed me further and further into the doors. 

The iron and silver screeched as it warped at their touch, bending into unnatural and twisted shapes. My own iron caved and warped until the weakened rust broke it into an unusable form, leaving nothing but my spirit free to move and to slash. It was not confined by the physical and freely dissipated the tidal wave of faces. 

I could barely save the door. It remained a twisted wreck of rusted iron and tarnished silver. Spidery cracks as delicate as the filigree intermingled together through the surface. How many more of these attacks could it withstand? 

King of Diamonds

An Item 

1d12: 7 a key to an unknown lock 

My armor lay before me in a broken useless heap. I was free from it’s constraints but I could no longer move the world. The snow no longer crunched beneath my feet and I could no longer move the rocks that fell onto the path. 

I could see all the weak, rusted parts that buckled under the tide of faces, the worn holes in the rotting cape, and broken straps that hung loose. But deep inside the chestplate, attached by a small loop, a tiny key swung in the wind. I was aware of it when I was armor as I was aware of my appendix when I was flesh. But I could not touch it now and I knew no lock for it to fit. 

9 of Spades

A Threat

1d8: 1, What damage did they do? 

It was the mortals that came this time. They marched in shambled lines up the mountain carrying weapons too advanced for my thousands of years. They spoke to me at first, and tried to convince me to let them enter for shelter. 

The world was dying, they said. Their bodies were covered in thick armor but they shambled with rotting limbs and scratched desperately at the flesh underneath. No matter how true their words were, I could not yield. 

There were more of them than had ever approached before. These were not ragged travelers, and they carried with them instruments that exploded the rocks and split the cracks of the door deep into the iron and silver. 

I took more lives in this hour than I ever had combined in my thousands of years of service. 

10 of Hearts

A Memory

1d10: 10, Your greatest accomplishment 

When my armor was still shining and my sword in one piece a small god ascended to the mountain. It was weak, a Decider of Lost Coins, lost with the death of the Value Incarnate. They could not speak, and crawled slowly up my armor and into my palm. I held it as it breathed in tired laboured breaths, spitting out coins from the world upon my feet. 

“Leave them here,” I was able to speak. “They will be lost forever, an easy Decision.” 

The small god looked at me before spewing a coin twice the size of its body, marked with the sigil of their dead god and hurling it over the side of the cliffs. It was the first of many. The little god lived that day. 

10 of Clubs

Time Passes 

1d4: 3 years have passed 

What did you lose? 

The sight of the corpses no longer bothered me. I saw them as a deterrent for more. 

What did you gain? 

The snow grew higher on the crumbled rocks on the path. It will be more difficult for people to approach the gate. 

What did you learn? 

I had seen them leave through their vessels in the sky. I did not know where they were going but I sensed the mortals were fleeing. 

What has changed? 

The sun no longer rose in the sky and the faces in the winds have begun to laugh. 

2 of Clubs:

Time Passes 

1d4: 1 year has passed

What did you lose? 

My armor vanished beneath the snow. I no longer remember what it looked like.

What did you gain? 

I forgot what it was to be present in a body and am no longer confined by what a mortal form should look like. 

What did you learn? 

The death knell has rung nearly once a month, one ring for the order of their arrival. I fear the day it rings once. 

What has changed? 

There are no longer lights for there are no longer cities.

5 of Hearts:

A Memory

1d12: 9 A crisis Averted

During the long year of ringing bells one wisp of a face snuck past my watch. It slithered in between the growing cracks of the iron and silver and wormed its way deep inside the door. I saw a glimpse of the tail before it disappeared and I rammed my sword, my spirit, into the cracks stretching myself further than I could with a body and wretched out into the snow. 

It dissipated quickly through my spirit and I stood almost melded into the door itself from then on. 

8 of Diamonds:

An Item

1d12: A remnant of someone who came before you

I stood in the door itself, iron and silver twisting and rusting around me. I could see and feel all that is before me on the path and the mountain. And then I felt it, a hand on my back and a voice in my ear. 

“You cannot join us yet,” it whispered. Then dozens of hands, all strong and ghostly, pushed me from the door and out into the snowy passage. And for the first time I saw it, the filigree on the door, the iron in swirls, outlines of armor, and swords, and others. 

Why did I think I was the only one? Why did I think I was the first? Why am I still alone? 

8 of Clubs:

Time has Passed

1d4: 3 years have passed

What did you lose? 

I no longer understand this place. I no longer understand myself. 

What did you gain?

I know that I will join them when I am lost. 

What did you learn?

There are no more mortals upon this world. There will be no more Sentinels.

What has changed? 

I no longer have faith… that this place will remain. I know that it will fall. 

Joker:End Game 

1d6 : 6 You have done your duty and it is time to rest 

The stars grow brighter in the sky, each night a new light, each light a new home. 

They are everywhere now and in all colors. The faces near and screech and encroach further and further until I am driven back into the doors once more. I cannot fight them and I beg to all of those who came before me. Their hands reach out and take hold of me and they are upon and in myself and we are whole. We are solid and we are steel and silver and iron and we fill every crack and hole with ourselves. 

Our Sanctuary is safe and we will not rust.

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