Exceptional Story for June: Flame, Lead, Clay, Glass
“It… seems to fixate on certain workings of Red Science. It seeks to, well, correct them.”
A hungry fire blazes through the streets of London. A fire in the shape of a man. A fire that is looking for something. The Elevated Engineer seeks to harness it; the Clay Correspondent to destroy it. They oppose each other at every turn, and share a secret too terrible to say aloud.
Investigate a working of the Red Science like no other. Are some mistakes too awful to ever be corrected?
In addition to a new, substantial, stand-alone story every month, Exceptional Friends enjoy:
- Access to the House of Chimes: an exclusive private member’s club on the Stolen River, packed with content
- Access to Mr Chimes’ Lost & Found, a shop in the Bazaar where you can exchange currency earned through playing Exceptional Stories for exclusive companions and items
- Three additional outfit slots
- An expanded opportunity deck of ten cards instead of six!
- A second candle: Twice the actions! 40 at once!
Now these are already some interesting characters!
Absolutely adored this one. The genre twist from what I thought the story would be was fantastic and I’m really happy with the ending I got.
Though if I could offer one note. It wasn’t very clearly telegraphed that the ritual would cause wounds. Exceptional Stories don’t normally have mechanics that can kill you and wounds is one of the hardest menaces to mitigate. Starting with wounds 5 I very nearly killed myself before I figured out what watching the clayman was asking me for and it was incredibly stressful to think that I might be locking myself into a bad ending just because I hadn’t realised menaces would be a feature. I think it might be sensible to give the action the sort of note stuff like diving gets (maybe I just missed one, if so sorry) since the feeling that I was locking myself out of the obvious ending to the story just through wounds was kind of heartbreaking and feels a bit antithematic.
Other than that perfect.
An event that was cool as hell, basically a Logoi fight, and a resolution that left me deeply frustrated.
I feel like the story really, really wanted me to get invested in the Engineer-Correspondent’s relationship when if anything I was far more sympathetic to the Engineer’s ambition. So I did all I could to rig things in the Engineer’s favour, and not only did it not work but the Correspondent never even acknowledged I went off-script from his instructions. I really, really wish that you could have been allowed to help the Engineer succeed. Maybe the point of the story is that he never could, but it doesn’t feel that way given how stranger things have happened. I’d argue literally catching Correspondence-fire in a bottle is less odd than earning the right to become a new Master, adopting a human-moon-miser hybrid or devouring a facet of Mr. Veils to don his authority as a dream-god of sacrifice