Friday, January 16, 2009

On the Dark Isle

I let Kathy write this one. She reports:

Rhianon and I traveled to the Dark Isle. We arrived in the market area, and realized that our Victorian garb was out of style, which was stuck in medieval times. Our first stop was the tavern, where we fortified ourselves with a generously-sized mug of mead.

In the center of the market was a mysterious tower. Entering, we saw a laboratory, and heard a voice suggest that we might want to seek the Alchemist. I studied the arcane symbols, and Rhianon gazed at the crystal ball. She touched the ball and disappeared. I shrugged, and touched it myself.

We found ourselves in the Alchemist’s house, and perused his Journals.

Upstairs, in his study, we found a map of the isle amid more books and experiments.

I stepped to his looking glass to arrange my hair, accidentally touching the glass, to find myself shipwrecked on the mysterious isle. Rhianon joined me a little later.
“Shipwrecked?” I said. “We had no ship, and we were in the Alchemist’s study not a moment before.” We had arrived via a common Spatial Displacement Device, and retained a callback button that would return us to Caledon the same way. Rhianon had no more idea than I, however, and we agreed that forces beyond our understanding were at work.

We explored a peasant village on a low-lying area of the isle, seeing women engaged in day-to-day menial tasks, then made our way to higher ground, stopping first at a castle, and then at a primitive arrangement of stones that appeared to serve the purposes of some pagan religion. We sensed that we were being watched, but saw no one. The rest of the island had a smattering of hovels and the occasional stone structure. It was clear that these people possessed only the most primitive technology.

As we made our way back toward the castle, we heard the sounds of men in the distance, apparently returning from a hunt. We looked at one another. We were dressed as outsiders, and we had already seen the drudgery of ordinary women’s lives. Furthermore, as Christians, we were unimpressed with whatever pagan religion the natives practiced.

"I have no desire to scrub bloodstains out of men's leathers for the rest of my life," Rhianon said. I nodded my agreement. "Time to go?" We pushed our return buttons simultaneously, and reconvened in Rhianon's parlor - happily, just in time for cocktail hour.

Dark Isle is a role-playing, medieval-Celtic-mythological-magical sim, with Peasants, Thieves, Witches, Nobles, and Druids. One starts as a Peasant and moves "up the social ladder" only by role-playing "the killing of someone whose boots you wish to fill," says the notecard. Not so nice, really. It's a little harsh on women, too: "Yes, there are women who have held magic but they are a dangerous and dying breed, even a child knows to deal with a Witch in one way only, by the blade and fire..." Um. Well. Yes. If that's your sort of thing. I much prefer tea and scones at four, and cocktails at six. And, as Rhianon said, I'm not keen on scrubbing bloodstains (and worse) until the end of time. On the other hand, there may be good opportunities for wenches. I've heard wenches were big in medieval times.


Fogwoman Gray said...

I have to chuckle at the idea of a Lady of Caledon's reaction to the suggestion that she is to be dealt with either by "blade and fire" or scrubbing blood.....
An introduction to Dame Ordinal's finest, whilst a tad anachronistic would doubtless be effective.

Rhianon Jameson said...

No worries, Miss Gray - we were both heavily armed. Although I *have* been known to waste valuable time trying to retrieve my firearm from underneath all those layers.

Still, why take the chance of a lifetime of dishpan hands?