Sunday, March 6, 2011

The Riddle of the Three Runes

A subject that comes up irregularly at the weekly magic users’ tea party in Domme is the Riddle of the Three Runes. Whoever originally devised the runes is lost to antiquity, but for several years now the social gatherings at the home of Geronymous have been plagued by this curse. In essence, three plain looking runes, when simply placed next to one another in a certain order, arouse in all magic users who behold them (or hear them pronounced) a nearly irresistible need to argue for the lesser or greater importance of one of the symbols and how it relates to their shared occupation. Like a bad case of dungeon funk, the riddle seems to never quite go away, and rears its ugly head most often when a gathering’s banter has begun to wane or become an awkward silence. Once the subject’s been broached, the effect dominates the rest of the social and continues preventing any kind of productive communication between affected magic users for several (d6) days.

The true nature of these runes are known to only a few (those who have made their saving throw at -8). Of course, this cannot be communicated to anyone else (not even to those who have also successfully made their saving throw). What seems a riddle is really a curse: whether read or heard, the effect is also viral, and if one has become infected, he becomes a carrier. From then on, whenever two or more magic users are gathered, there is a 2% cumulative chance per person that the Riddle of the Three Runes will be mentioned yet again.

Sadly, even those who successfully make their saving throw against it are only immune for about a year.

3 comments:

migellito said...

Nicely done, hehe.

ze bulette said...

Thanks - this was partly inspired by a post entitled "Old School eh? Then where's your satire?" by Geordie Racer - whose blog seems to have gone suddenly missing, at least as of this writing.

richardthinks said...

That should be four runes...

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