As I was strolling through the ahem boulevards of Spite the other day, I came upon a small clutch of chaps dressed in odd costumes: they wore atop their heads hats in the style of the geometric solids: triangles, squares, dodecahedrons. They were offering supplications and orisons to some god (or spirit, or devil, or natural force) they called "The Mighty Arr-Enn-Gee." Curious, I chatted them up, and as they explained the rationale of their weird cult I thought on two old Arab proverbs, "The fortune of a man who sits, sits also," and "A man’s future is written on his forehead." I’d thought these two bits of wisdom expressed the Alpha and Omega of the vexatious problem of Free Will vs Predestination, but these fellas seemed to have evolved a third idea, that a man’s fate was controlled not by his own will, nor yet not by the Will of some Supreme Power, but was rather a matter of chance, of dice-rolls, as it were.
What could be the purpose of such a bizarre cult? Are they connected with some of the other factions of the 'Neath, who sit in the shadows pulling the strings? And what have they to do, if anything at all, with the sudden disappearances among the Urchin gangs which populate the City? More investigation is clearly needed!
(This is intended to kick off a participatory story/game in which players write the narrative of the Case of the RNG. It should be done in the form of a FL story, with little vignettes advancing the plot. Take the investigation to any parts of the 'Neath you please, speculate on connections, add the odd red herring or two. Just don’t quash another player’s narrative without his concurrence.)
edited by malthaussen on 10/14/2015
You had fallen very melancholy as of late, what with that last heist a bust and those rude women spreading rumors around about you. You decide to go to the Filt to cheer yourself up, the urchin gangs aren’t usually the most polite company, but are almost always a good way to raise your spirits. However once you arrive to the roof of the lesser Urchin gang "The Red Hands" they all seem very frightened by your arrival until they realize it is you. What now?
You produce a lucky weasel as a gift for the urchin gang. The grubby little children are immediately cheered and a pair of girls take it with them. They begin to explain about how a tall individual has been sneaking into their hideout in much the same way as you did when you entered. The entrance is usually terribly difficult for an adult your size. This person has been taking the children by force and throwing them off the Flit. Bodies are never found, which suggests they’re being taken somewhere.
edited by NotaWalrus on 10/18/2015
You make note of the information and pass out some sweetmeats you happen to have about your person. As you turn to go, your shoe raps against something, sending it skittering across the roof. You examine the object: it is an octahedron, with the numbers 1 to 8 carved on its facets. And what is this strange material it is made of? You pocket the thing and carry on.
There are a few people you could likely ask about this strange item. The Dockers, Criminals and Devils all seem to be well acquainted with dice, so they may know something. But what of this strange material it seems to be made of? Maybe some of your connections at the University or in the Tomb-colonies could shed some light, it may be something from the elder continent.
A few favors quickly earn you the location of an illegal gambling ring. Nothing out of the ordinary, but the Wheezing Organizer seems to know an awful lot about dice. The discussion about your particular find does not yield much. It is not a common shape down here, and it is only used in a few obscure games. The conversation quickly turns to the urchins.
“Dunno who’d be doin’ do it, if someone’d been hiring for that kind o’ job, I’d know 'bout it from the loudmouths in here.”
You thank him for his time and proceed with your investigations…
You rub your fingers once more over the strange material. It is hard, yet very light, with a slight translucence when held before a candle flame. Apart from the numbers carved into each face, its surfaces are smooth to the touch. Could it be some variety of amber? You ask a passing rubbery man. If he knows anything at all, it is of little use to you, as you can make neither heads nor tails of his erratic burbling and twitching.
That night you are plagued by nightmares of frustration and failure. It takes six attempts to get your trousers on properly, and four more for your shoes. At breakfast, you somehow manage to miss your mouth entirely and stab yourself in the face with your fork. After a choking fit following a brief forgetting of the proper method of breathing, you finally awake, eyes settling on the octahedron where you had left it on your nightstand the prior evening, a bold ‘1’ facing up toward the ceiling.
As you make your morning promenade, the Rubbery Man you briefly encountered yesterday comes in view. With him is another, very decrepit and seemingly older than his companion. "Die, die," it burbles, and after being briefly taken back by the thought that it wants to kill you, you realize it wants to see the object. Your take it from your pocket, and the old one shrinks away, burbling "Tabu! Tabu!" He and his companion turn about and run off into the murk.
You examine the thing once more. Is it glowing? Is it warmer than it was? Are you imagining things?