Wednesday, March 21, 2018

DIALECT Backdrop: A House of Shadows

This, like yesterday's post, is a backdrop for the absolutely phenomenal language game, Dialect.

At first, when the grownups left, we thought we'd be fine on our own. The first few days were uneventful. We read in the library, or watched the lawn fringed by forest. Then, one night, the house was bigger than we remembered; throughout the next day it grew, and grew, and we could no longer find the outside rooms.

We came to the House together, as children, but the House has grown. The Wood creaks without, the wood creaks within. Now its corridors are countries, and its chambers continents. We cannot find the Front Hall, which was there only moments ago. There are people in the House, other than us; and they are strange, and mysterious, and cunning. How long can the House hold us?

Aspect Generation Questions

Children's Games. We are all children, ranging from the ages of eight to eighteen; how do we know one another? If we're family, what kind? Are we something else?

A House Not Home. This isn't where we began; something brought us all to this house. What was it? Why are we here?

Free Aspect. The choice is yours.

Community Questions
  • What other things live in the House? How many of them are there? Are they friendly?
  • What part of the House do we call our home?
  • How long have we lived here, in the House, away from the grownups?
  • Is there anything dangerous or scary about the House? If so, what is it?
  • Are the children divided by age? By gender? What makes the older children different from the younger children?
Age Transitions
Entering Age 2. An event to foreshadow the end of the Isolation. It finds its way into all conversation and is impossible to ignore.

The creaking has started again. Parts of the House, way near the edges of the known lands, have vanished; we cannot reach them. We speculate that the House may be shrinking again, losing its mystical nature. No one knows the cause, but its undeniable: something is changing. What do we do, knowing the House is shrinking again?

From deep within the House there comes a grumbling, grinding rumor—the true Masters are returning. Everywhere you look, you see signs of their approach: portraits weep blood, the stairs twist at your hand. Who are these Masters, and is there anything to fear?

Entering Age 3. What was foreshadowed has come to pass. The end of the Isolation is near. There is no escaping it.

Countries have disappeared overnight. Seas have been swallowed by the floor, and whole stories of House have simply evaporated like dew. It is happening: we are losing our connection with the House. Will anyone take a desperate act to preserve our new life here?

They have come. The House bends to their will. They have established a powerful court in the center of the House, and the tendrils of their control roam the long halls. They will soon bring everything under their sway. Shall we submit? Can we? Or do we stand and fight?

Entering the Legacy. The last moments or the aftermath.

It was over just like that; the snapping of fingers, the tick of a clock. The House groaned. The Wood groaned. Then it was all gone. The wide countryside beneath skylit halls, the countries and secret places of the House have all vanished. The grownups are back, and coming through the front door. But surely, our time in the House has marked something—us, or It, or both. What is left? Who will know?

All of the House is under one rule. The Masters control everything; it was theirs since the beginning. They have returned, and the mighty corridors thrum with their intention. Though our little community of outsiders has been made subject to alien laws and ways, some of us may still preserve a memory of the world outside the House. What do we do, now that the outside is gone? Who remembers? Who forgets?

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