The year is 1802. The Barcosa, a merchant ship equipped with cannons, sets sail from Amsterdam under Captain Claas de Ruyter to buy goods in Java. The ship’s hold is filled with bricks and weapons. Chief merchant Henk Kuipers manages gold and silver coins which are to be used to buy spices, textiles, and fine fabrics.
What follows is the journal of Gerrit van der Zee, a sailor aboard the ship. How we came into possession of it is something we cannot divulge, but it is enough to say that the journal covers about three weeks, and that van der Zee had no idea upon leaving Amsterdam that this would be The Last Voyage of the Barcosa.
Continue reading Solitaire Storytelling: The last voyage of the Barcosa →
A ghost, trapped in the tree planted above her grave, finds herself exploring the world when the tree is transformed into a ship’s mast. A lonely princess explores a crypt, hoping to find a new name and escape her fears. A merchant, far from home, plays a game of riddles with the guardian of a mountain pass.
The ghost turns the ship’s sails into truth-telling tapestries to set herself free. The princess offers herself to the crypt’s elemental guardian and takes its name. The merchant turns back, defeated by the riddles but enriched by the moonstones he found in the mountainside.
How about one more Tale Before You Go?
Continue reading Solitaire Storytelling: A Tale Before You Go →
I’m the town’s new librarian, which also means I’m its only librarian. It’s a small town out in the middle of nowhere, known as little more than a good place to stop for a break when traveling back roads between the larger cities. Nice views, decent diner, ‘quaint’ town center. I moved here to get away and get some privacy for my own writing, and the fact that I’m an author is probably why I was offered the job in the first place. I accepted the offer because, well, a town without a library just isn’t right. I’m not sure what was in this space before I got it, but it should do. There are two sets of shelves built into the walls behind a small counter, and a small round table with two old wooden chairs between the counter and the windowfront. The town let me grab whatever space I needed, but support for actually filling the shelves doesn’t seem to be a thing. That’s alright. I will fill this library myself if I have to.
Continue reading Solitaire Storytelling: I Will Fill This Library Myself If I Have To →
I am a huge fan of mechs and their amazing pilots. I love to watch their heroics on the news; I visit when pilots come to my town; I own multiple letterman jackets emblazoned with mech pilots’ insignias. I’m burdened with the dream of piloting and eclipsed by the fear that I will never be more than a spectator. I love that which is unfathomably above me, as they exchange Laser Beams Like So Many Stars.
Continue reading Solitaire Storytelling: Laser Beams Like So Many Stars →
Everyone who is part of the story touches Destiny in some way. Even if they are not the heroes. Even if they are not even named in the pages. I am a master bladesmith, the keeper of the Sacred Forge. My blades are renowned for their strength, sharpness, and harmony.
A holy sword does not come from nowhere. It does not materialize from starlight and a wish. It is built through effort, honed through attention, and consecrated by a powerful heart. They will not name me in the story. But my blade will never be forgotten.
Continue reading Solitaire Storytelling: Sacred Forge →
A figure stands in an ancient ruin, bare feet on crumbling stone to make it easier to leap and climb. Her gown is far too fine, representing her dual heritage as the daughter of two kingdoms, bitter rivals only joined through her. Her sword, much too dark, hungers for legacy, fame, immortality via story and myth.
At the princess’ coming of age ceremony, an uninvited guest gifted her with a sword, then vanished, laughing, into smoke. She cannot put it down until she finds the place it came from.
So she has come.
Continue reading Solitaire Storytelling: Princess With A Cursed Sword →
I’ve spent years adventuring through the mysterious, whimsical, dangerous lands of HORIZON PROPHECY ONLINE, a science fantasy MMORPG that peaked at about 161,000 concurrent players. The game always had a scope and reach too ambitious for its budget, but now, with daily player counts in the hundreds, the studio has announced that they’re shutting down HPO for good. With four hours to go before the servers are switched off, I decided to create a new toon and go through the starting area one last time, as a final farewell to the world I’ve given so much of my time.
Continue reading Solitaire Storytelling: A Requiem for Horizon Prophecy Online: The Final Four →
I run a tea shop on the border of the living and the dead. The recently deceased visit for one last hot drink before their long journey to the Great Beyond. Time is strange here. Days and memories blur. Nobody visited yesterday – I am sure of that. Someone passed last week, but I am unable to picture their face.
The fog thins. A figure approaches. I stoke the fire. “Welcome to the last tea shop,” I say. “You are welcome here, To The Dregs.”
Continue reading Solitaire Storytelling: Last Tea House →
The war with the androids has made everyone paranoid. Including me, and including my interrogators. See, Asimov Landing Station is on the far edge of the galaxy, manned by only a skeleton crew, most of them scientists doing research. Nothing ever happens here. But after the government discovered that androids have the capacity of perfectly mimicking human beings the atmosphere in the Station has started changing. Several things had gone wrong or malfunctioned in non-critical but totally avoidable ways before, but now things are getting more severe: research has been delayed, the station’s systems have broken down at critical moments, and people have disappeared. Station security has singled me out as a suspicious person and they’ve taken me in for questioning. I’m starting to wonder… am I really human, or a sleeper agent with programming? Could I be one of them?
Continue reading Solitaire Storytelling: Paranoid Android →
Well, hello there! Welcome to the Flying Stag, our hearth and home among the treetops. My name is Wulflen Skyway, I’m the proprietor of this fine establishment. Now, the dancing doesn’t start until twilight, and you don’t look like you have an undead problem, so what shall it be? We have a moongoat shawarma that’s proven very popular, and craftsmanship demands I recommend the Frozen Drupelet, our raspberry spiced ice wine made right-
Ah, touring around looking for stories, are you? Well, I was a bard back in the day, before some… stuff happened, so I could spin you a few yarns. No, no, the scale armor is just an affectation, nothing to worry yourself about. No, I’m not going to “dish” about my past, thank you. The Flying Stag, though, well, it may not be as well known as The Broken Cask – yet – but it has its stories to tell. Continue reading Solitaire Storytelling – The Broken Cask →