Castle Marrach - The Forever Winter

Player's Guide

These two scenes show examples of the gameplay possible in Castle Marrach. The scenes are written from the view point of an observer not participating in the scenes.

Midnight Meeting

A Player’s Scene

Escorted by Clovis Gerd, a guard you know to be in the service of Sir Boreas, you make your way through the darkened hallways of the castle. It is late at night, but you see more than one cloaked figure flitting through the shadows on some mysterious mission as you make your way to a small tower room, where you find Sir Boreas sitting behind a paper-laden table.

BoreasBoreas looks you over and says, “What is this?”

Clovis bows and nudges you.

You bow.

Clovis says, “Your Highness, this man has information that will be of interest to you. I thought it best you hear it from him directly.”

Boreas looks you over and says, “Indeed.”

You bow nervously and say, “Your Highness, I… I….”

Boreas says, “Spit it out, man. I don’t have all night.”

You say, “Forgive me, Your Highness.”

You say, “Two days ago, I overheard a conversation in the stair tower. I was around the bend, so I don’t think they knew I was there. I don’t normally listen to the conversation of others, you understand….”

Boreas smiles dryly, “Of course not.”

Clovis says to you, “Get on with it!”

You say, “One of them, a woman, mentioned your name, and that’s what caught my attention. I slipped a little closer so I could hear.”

You say, “You must forgive me, my lord, but I could not hear every word that was said. What I did hear, however, sent chills down my spine. For I believe they intend to murder you at the Estrella Feast!”

You wring your hands anxiously.

Boreas strokes his beard thoughtfully and says, “Indeed. And did you happen to get a look at these erstwhile assassins?”

You nod excitedly. “Yes, your highness! I was most anxious to know who might be planning such a dastardly act, so I slipped back up the stairs and returned a minute later, so they would not think I was spying on them.”

Boreas smiles slyly at Clovis, “Can’t have that, can we?”

You continue, “As I came down, they stopped talking of course, but I’m recognized the two people there.”

Boreas says, “Yes?”

You swallow anxiously and say, “Lord Tremaine and Lady Lizette.”

Boreas frowns darkly. “You are certain of this?”

You nod.

Boreas paces across the room.

Boreas turns to you and says, “How do I know you are not lying? I have no reason to doubt the loyalty of either Tremaine or Lizette.”

You kneel and say, “My lord, you have my word that I speak the truth!”

Boreas says, “This would not be a fabricated tale to sully the names of two honorable nobles, would it? Curious how it was these very two who were responsible for blocking your elevation to the knighthood but three weeks past.”

You gasp in astonishment, “How did you know about that?”

Boreas waves his hand dismissively, “It is not important how I know. Now answer my question. Is this truth you speak, or do you make up tales to gain revenge?”

You say shakily, “Your Highness, I assure you, it is the truth. I admit I felt some resentment towards Tremaine and Lizette for interfering in affairs that didn’t concern them….

You continue, “But I would never tell a falsehood to gain revenge.”

Boreas says thoughtfully, “Very well. I shall investigate what you have told me. If I find what you have told me to be the truth, you will be rewarded.”

You smile hopefully.

Boreas continues, “But if I discover that you have tried to deceive me, and abused the names of two good nobles with your lies, then I will very angry.”

Boreas looks at you menacingly and says, “Very angry.”

You gulp audibly.

Boreas gestures to Clovis and says, “Take him away. And ensure that he talks to no one else about this matter.”

Clovis grabs you by the arm and pulls you to your feet. As he maneuvers you out into the corridor, he whispers in your ear of all the terrible “accidents” that might befall you should you speak to anyone about what you have reported, or of your conversation with Sir Boreas. Back through the castle halls he leads you, to the door of your own room where he leaves you in dark dread.

Foolish Words

A Player’s Scene

It is early evening. A number of Guests, yourself included, have assembled in the Conservatory to hear Sir Bragi, the Royal Poet, recite his new poem before dinner. Bragi has just finished his poem, to well-earned praise and applause.

You say to Bragi, “Sir Bragi, won’t you honor us with another poem?”

Bragi gestures self-deprecatingly and says, “Alas, I regret not. I am an old man, as you well know, and my voice tires easily.”

Gaudis says, “Perhaps a taste of wine will encourage you, Sir! Give me but a moment and I’ll have some Claret brought...”

Gaudis summons a servant.

Dagonet says, “For a taste of the Queen’s Claret, I’ll sing you a song, Sir Gaudis!”

Alacia rolls her eyes; “No one wants to hear one of your fatuous tunes, Fool.”

Dagonet says to Alacia. “What’s that, milady? Surely you do not refer to the ballad I wrote in your honor, to commemorate the occasion of our wedding!”

Dagonet winks broadly at Alacia.

You say, “Wedding?”

Alacia reddens.

Dagonet says, “Ah yes, a most glorious day, indeed. Let me see if I can recall the tune, it captures the event most perfectly...”

Dagonet begins to hum.

Alacia says furiously, “How dare you! You know full well the Queen has forbidden any to sing that song!”

Dagonet sings, “Forbade, forebode, forgive, forborne. Does no one have a bone for the poor fool?”

Alacia clenches her fists angrily.

Bragi pats Alacia’s shoulder consolingly and says, “There now, my dear. He means you no harm.”

Dagonet cackles.

Bragi turns to Dagonet and says, “Come, good Fool. Let me lean on you as we go to the Banquet Hall. I need strong arms to help me make my way these days.”

Dagonet hops to Bragi’s side and says, “I am at your service, my lord. But if it strong-arms you truly need, it is Sir Gaudis you should seek. For if the ladies in truth do speak, that one has a fair physique.”

Gaudis preens.

Dagonet continues, “But so they whisper in the night, that his other charms are very slight!”

Gaudis frowns.

Bragi says sternly, “Enough, Fool. You’ve done your work well enough here tonight. Come along.”

Dagonet says, “Well and merry, my master always said. Always leave them wanting more.”

Bragi exits.

Dagonet exit.

Alacia sighs indignantly.

You say, “Forgive me, my lady, but did Sir Dagonet speak truly? Were you and he truly wed?”

Alacia purses her lips and turns away.

Gaudis says, “Come now, milady. It is no use pretending it did not happen. It was not a true marriage, you must understand. Twas only a game, part of the Fool’s Day festivities. Our friend Dagonet was made King for the day, and as every king must have a queen...”

Alacia says bitterly, “Aye. And I was the victim of that cruel joke, chosen by none other than Her Majesty. Though what I did to deserve such a punishment is beyond my understanding.”

Gaudis says, “But to be chosen Fool’s Queen is a great honor!”

Alacia says, “It is no honor to have my reputation besmirched by that foul hunchback. You’ve heard his song, Sir Gaudis, and his claims to have bedded me. And because he is the Queen’s pet, I can do nothing to defend myself!”

You proclaim, “My lady, if you are in need of a champion, I would gladly offer myself.”

Gaudis holds up his hand. “Stay. You don’t know what you offer. The Fool is under the Queen’s Protection. It is forbidden to challenge him for any cause.”

You sputter disbelievingly, “What? Do you mean to say that the Fool can say what he wishes, even lie outright, without fear of retribution? How can that be permitted? Why, he just insulted you yourself, Sir Gaudis, and you do nothing to avenge yourself?”

Gaudis shakes his head firmly and says, “It is forbidden.”

Gaudis says, “I suggest we make our way to dinner.”

Gaudis stands and heads toward the door.

Alacia eyes you speculatively.

You say, “This is outrageous.”

Alacia slowly says, “Yes, truly...”

Gaudis exits.

Alacia leans close to you and whispers, “…but accidents are not forbidden, are they?”

You swallow nervously and say, “Milady?”

Alacia shrugs her shoulders lightly.

Alacia says, “There are many types of accidents, you know. Many are unfortunate, to be sure, while others are quite… happy. In fact, there are some accidents for which I would be quite grateful.”

Alacia turns toward the door and says, “I don’t think I’ll be dining in the hall tonight. Good evening to you.”

Alacia exits.

You make your way to dinner, though you find you have little appetite as you ponder the benefits — and risks — of pursuing the course of action that has just been suggested to you.

Please note: The Player Scenes are drawn from the downloadable Castle Marrach Player's Guide.