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 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 →
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?
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Another job, another hotel, another lobby. Being a paid killer might sound dangerous, or exciting, or glamorous, and it can be, I suppose. More often than not, though, it involves waiting. Lots of waiting, when the planning is already done and there’s nothing to do but count the moments, watch the goings-on, and think about what you’ve done and what you’re about to do while you wait for your target to appear.
That’s okay, though. I’ve got Time To Kill.
Continue reading Solitaire Storytelling – Time To Kill →
My Visit to San Sibilia – A Cartographer’s Journal by Campbell McNevin – Day One
What surprisingly good fortune! The last thing I remember from last night, having had perhaps one libation too many, was staggering home in a foul mood after a series of less-than-civil conversations at the Cartographers Guild biennial convention in Paris. Yet here I stand in the light of day, only slightly under the weather, in the strange city of San Sibilia!
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If you are reading this, there is a good chance you already know who I am, but just in case: Hello there! My name is Cory Deepwood, and I am a witch. I have been practicing for many years, now, learning the ways of the earth and the sky and quite a bit in between. At first it was tradition, passed down from my mother to me . Eventually, though, I began to think of myself as something of a steward, taking care of the lands I have worked on and the people within them. Within these pages are the spells and appurtenances I have used in my craft. Whether I have now passed it to you or you have found it in a dusty library somewhere, I hope you use my Grimoire well.
Continue reading Solitaire Storytelling: Grimoire →