13 November, 2010

Tekumel 1


image by Simon Bisley
You open your eyes.

You are in a dimly lit room, lying on your back, looking at the cracked and fissured brown stone above. As you sit up, you realise you are upon a large stone dais, shaped roughly in the form of a person, and ornately carved.

There is a man before you, lit from behind by low even light. His bald head is weighed down by a long, thin black beard, hanging determinedly from his chin. He wears shimmering robes of deep purple, embroidered with orange. His eyes wide and aglow with avarice, he speaks.

“At last.. at LAST! After so many, the elder gods have delivered eclat!” He takes a step forward and stops, an odd look of discomfiture on his face. Suddenly, he grimaces and large grey-green tentacles burst forth from the front of his robe, wrap around the extents of his body, and like so many coloured scarves through a ring, instantly pull him into nothingness.

Peering over the edge of the dais, you see no evidence of his existence.

Looking to your right, you see a long line of similar anthropomorphic stone pedestals leading off down the chamber, more than twenty in number. Each bears a shimmering cloth entirely covering the obvious outline of a human form. Some are large, some are small. Some are male, some are female.

Rising naked from the dais, you take to your feet on a cracked and dusty stone floor. You stand next to a large metal table, covered with stones and gems affixed to its surface. It is highly polished, and you can see yourself reflected upon it. For a brief, unsure moment, you see a wild succession of faces and forms, but the moment passes quickly, and you view yourself as if for the first time.

What do you see?


The idea here is a game somewhere between a Fighting Fantasy book and a Play by Post rpg. In the comments below this post, and in succeeding posts about Tekumel, you the reader take on a personality within the character introduced above, much in the same way you would take on a character in a normal rpg. Each personality sees only itself when it looks in a mirror, and this first comment gives you the opportunity to share what your personality looks like, traditionally one of the first things exposited about a typical Sword & Sorcery character. Does your personality within the character have powerful thews? Buxom charms? Wizened features? It's your choice. Tekumel has no elves, dwarves, gnomes or halflings, but if you're familiar with the other intelligent races, feel free to have your personality be one of them instead.. even a Hlüss or Ssú.


There are an unlimited possible number of personalities within the character, so the more the merrier, and hopefully more personalities will emerge over time. How did all these personalities get in there? Good question!


What is Tekumel like? We'll find out. But to start with, the first thing which comes to the surface about your personality is simply what he or she looks like. As far as whether it's a soldier, a gladiator, a wizard, a priest, or whatever else, that will all come to the fore in time.


If you have any questions, feel free to ask in the comments!
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