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OOC Apocalypse World: The Past Is Never Gone

Dirty Chai

Flamen Solis et Lunae
Validated User
Oooh, all so exciting. This is turning out to have really interesting vibes. I considered Aspen having an ultimate origin in a commune ("intentional community") too, but he's much older than Jay I imagine?

Maybe Aspen has not been to the Source yet, but Ehrenschild has seen "them coming."
 
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The Lore Bear

T(ime) L B(omb)
RPGnet Member
Validated User
Writing the below in first person voice for Justice, just to try to get an idea of the character.

For Justice, you aren't from around here, so where are you from most recently? What is the way like between there and the current community?
Megalopolis. Not the first place I settled down, but definitely the last one before here. Built out of the shell of a bigger city from the old times. They say you can find whatever you want there, if you've got the jingle, the time and the friends. Made a lot of friends. Made even more enemies. You kill or capture enough people, your name starts to spread. People come out of the walls for revenge, maybe to make a name for themselves. I lost some walls that way. Friends too. Eventually, one of those enemies ends up being bigger than you can deal with.

So you take a few days ride through the flats, heading due east. That's how you get here at least. My friends, the ones that were still alive? They went every way but east. Not that we're not friends, just safer that way. Where I am, trouble seems to follow.
 

QuZi

Libido Cattle Prod
Validated User
For Dora the Red, what's the furthest from the current community you've been with the Division? What far place have you been that those in the community have heard of?
The Division (so named because they stand guard at the division between civilization and barbarism, regardless of any original meaning) is based way the hell out east, and this Source is the farthest western outpost. Or, at least, Dora stayed behind with Jay here to prep it becoming an actual Division outpost. The idea is that the surviving others went back east to report on the recon results and that a stable town was found under Ehrenschild's authority, so more would come to help train up the locals and set up an outpost to then expand their knowledge/influence farther.

Dora has seen the southern sea far to the southeast and bathed in its waters. Every now and again, she still dreams of the sunrise over its waters and wakes up with tears in her eyes.

As a sidenote, I was thinking that the source of Dora's AP ammo was basically that she knows how to make mil-spec gunpowder / bullets (7.62mm rifle rounds for her old rebuilt and reworked HK417 and, say 5.7mm pistol rounds for her ancient FN pistol), so the fundamental quality of her ammo is significantly higher than most others which use gunpowder and primer of dubious quality. That is, she knows "The Riddle of Powder".

I like this! Let's roll with it.
OK, cool!
 
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Nobby

Story spinner
Validated User
The changes to Desire are mainly perception.

Sorry about the following. I started writing and couldn't stop. Tl;dr is at the bottom.

For Desire, you made a deal with the Maelstrom—where? What physical marker remains in the place or perhaps was there before you made the deal?
I waited for Aspen as long as I could before I had to run. I've always been a survivor but I'm faster than I am strong and when trouble came I ran.

After years of drifting and grifting I was running from some slavers and I found the grotto.

There was an impassable pass off the road in the mountains. I must have shimmied on a narrow ledge across miles of cliff face.

Then I saw it.

Afirst peaceful forest with smaller oaks surrounding one tree larger than any I have seen. I could have sworn no human had ever touched tgat hallowed ground but there was an underground shelter beneathe the tree.

The old cement shelter was filled with ancient canned food and books.

There were so many books.

I learned ten-thousand things under that ancient tree and I found the ancient art. Monet, Cezanne, Picasso, and so many more. I hadn't known that beauty like those had ever existed.

I don't know how long I stayed in the grotto, studying and enraptured in that place. I wanted to remain forever.

All things end; one night I went to sleep and I woke in an empty but yellowed landscape with words on chastising me on the ground:


This is our place. Why are you here?


I didn't know what was happening so I answered like a petulant child.

"I found this place. I didn't know it was yours."

Words appeared beneath me, I jumped back because I could feel my skin burning ad the bold black letters encroached.


Ignorance is not an excuse. No one may remember our holy spaces. You will not remember anything from here.


Nothing has ever scared me more than that statement, so I screamed back.

"No! I can't forget. I'll do anything if you let me keep it."


Would you give up your soul? Your self?


I like to think I paused and weighed my optiond, but most likely I dived in without looking. "Yes, anything."


You would never see your self again. No one else would ever see you as your self again. You would not remember your self or the others that shape you. No one else will remember your self and when you die you will be forgotten completely. It would be easier to forget. Do you consent?


This time I think I did slow down and think, but ultimately "I consent."

I woke up in the other side of the cliff but the shelf was gone. There was no way back. I had a piece of paper with a painting, this painting:

https://www.vincentvangogh.org/images/paintings/wheat-field-with-crows.jpg

Van Gogh's Wheat Field with Crowd. I still don't know if it is a promise, a threat, or a gift.

Aspen, it was a few weeks before I learned I could enter the maelstrom and call you down from your retreat. Then I listened to your conversion story and told you this one but you cannot remember. Every time I tell you your normal sharp focus fades and you forget every word as I spit it out because you cannot know me and this story is me.

Who were you to me? Are you my father, my brother, my son? My skin is black and yours is white but was my skin always dark? What do I look like to you? Everyone sees in me what they desire most, maybe that's why my name is now Desire I don't know what it once was.

I cannot know you either. We've been together for more than ten years, I know that by the stories you tell like I was around, even though I'm never in them.

Good night, my friend I hope your dreams bring you closer to your god.


Note: this is only the part of the story Desire is comfortable telling Aspen, even if he doesn't remember.

Tl;dr: Across an impassable cliff face in a grotto under a giant tree.
 
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DannyK

One Shot Man
Validated User
Based on this, and stuff I didn't want to cram in there because it wasn't directly Hx related, it looks like we've got the Source as a primary local social axis. Aspen's group of dependent partiers is either trying to integrate with them or has emerged as a particular offshoot of the local community. There is, in character history distance, both a warlord that Playboy used to serve before joining with Aspen and the Division, a warlike group that took in at least one kid. There are some clear areas to press on, but before getting to them, some more concrete landscape type things, so we can all start situating ourselves in the same mental space. I'm not looking to be able to map things necessarily from the answers, but to get us all on the same page of scope and what the current community has around it and would be aware of because of that proximity.

For Playboy, what territory did the one you served as executioner for claim? What territory did they covet?
Babylon, named after an old word for “lawgiver”, sprawls across multiple communities along the old road and a muddy poisoned river. The individual towns are really diverse, tied together by their judicial system and tithes. Babylon lays claim to the whole of the flats West of town, although they really only control the towns near the river and there’s endless miles of wasteland and towns that haven’t accepted Babylonish law and are therefore beyond the law.

The lords of Babylon would love to grab the better land near the Source but their forces are more designed for chasing raiders and intimidating small communities than for laying siege to fortified towns.

(I wanted to save the North for whatever the MC has in mind. I figure that Justice came through Babylon without a lot of trouble because she was passing through and looked like too much trouble for the locals to tangle with.)

Edit: Reading over this, it’s definitely written from a Babylon-centric viewpoint; given that Playboy was a government official of sorts, they probably seem like colorful barbarians to outsiders.
 
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Dirty Chai

Flamen Solis et Lunae
Validated User
Nobby Nobby , I'd reply in Apsen's view but he doesn't ever remember Desire or their story. So I guess we "play to find out!" I'll be sure to make Aspen's memories weirdly missing pieces, though. I also like the idea that Desire pulled Aspen down from his retirement from the world, whether he realizes it or not.

@landscape, I think that sets Babylon the warlord to the west, Megalopolis to the east, and both the southern sea and the Devil Peaks (Ararat) to the south. Also salt flats and "wildfire-ravaged savannas." Maybe the salt flats are that southern sea, which is a salt sea slowly evaporating?
 

The Tim

God-Machinist
Validated User
Yeah, that's the layout in my mind so far. I'm going to try and do a new round of questions tonight and a rough sketch of the landscape.

It sounds to me like there's a sort of city-state type setup, in that there are as self sufficient as possible cities holding against broader, unrooted forces, with the east holding apparently even larger communities—at least in rumour.
 

The Lore Bear

T(ime) L B(omb)
RPGnet Member
Validated User
I intentionally didn't go into Megalopolis too much in terms of how it was governed, both to leave some open spaces and because I didn't want to put too much focus on it from the onset. I was thinking of it as an urban sprawl that had been partially retaken by nature but still has enough infrastructure to have semi-complete buildings and something resembling roads.
 

The Tim

God-Machinist
Validated User
Still sketching the landscape, but I've got some more questions.

Ehrenschild, why does the local area refuse Babylon's laws? Who in the community would like to see the community accept Babylon's laws?

Playboy, how do the lords of Babylon feel about a Division outpost near where they covet? What does Babylon believe must fervently about the Division?

Desire, what is believed about the southern ocean in the community and what did you learn about it in that secret place? Who in the community tries to win your attention with distant things?

Aspen, who in the community collects scraps of old knowledge and lore, and in what form do they collect it? Where do you suspect they get most of it from?

Justice, what have you heard is on the other side of the Division's patrols, that they stand guard against? What signs of what they guard against have you seen in your travels?

Jay, what illness or injury do you encounter in the community that you didn't as a field medic? Is it wholly new or something you only read about in the texts but never thought you'd encounter?

Dora the Red, what is the most dangerous thing to those wandering the flats? What is the thing you're most worried about heading from the flats into the community?
 

DannyK

One Shot Man
Validated User
Playboy, how do the lords of Babylon feel about a Division outpost near where they covet? What does Babylon believe must fervently about the Division?
It’s made them eager to get the area on friendly terms with Babylonish ways and they’re sending agents and envoys, offering carrots and sticks.

The elder-most leaders of Babylon believe that their counterparts in the Division are literally the same people who ruined the world a generation ago. Also, they lack style.
 
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