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    1. Short Story - Segment from a Microscope RPG

      For context, Microscope is an RPG system where you collaboratively write the history of a world. It's focused entirely on collaborative storytelling, rather than dice-rolling (there are no dice)....

      For context, Microscope is an RPG system where you collaboratively write the history of a world. It's focused entirely on collaborative storytelling, rather than dice-rolling (there are no dice).


      So I wrote a Dictated Scene for our world, and I was rather proud of it, so I thought I'd post it here since it almost stands on it's own. I'm curious what other people think and what kinds of questions it provokes about the world it inhabits.


      Meris had played in the clearing all her life. Every time she went to play by herself the little Jima would come out and sit on it’s rock to watch her. She always talked to it, though it never talked back. It just liked to watch with it’s tiny eyes, wary of approaching shadows that might scoop it up.

      Under the Jima’s rock was where Meris kept her treasures. Well some of them where the Jima’s treasures. Meris had found all of the treasures, but she let the Jima watch them so it seemed only fair that she let him keep some of them. Her favorite treasures were the small crystals no longer than her finger, though her fingers weren’t very big since she wasn’t very big yet. They were probably half as big as Momma’s fingers.
      When the wind blew hard enough on some days, like right before Momma made her come inside before a storm, the crystals hummed. Dozens of little humming voices, like a choir singing a song just for her.

      On some mornings Meris went to the market with Momma. She liked listening to people in the market, especially when she heard them use new words. Sometimes when she repeated the new words, Momma would scowl at her, which usually just made Meris get the giggles.

      The last day that Meris went to the meadow, she was repeating some new words she had heard an angry man yell at someone. As Meris looked through her treasures, she counted to make sure they were all still there. As she picked up her favorite treasure, it’s shiny crystal facets cast spots of rainbow light around her. Meris repeated her new words one final time, and then was silent.

      When Momma found her, the sun was low and the last rays of light were still shining on Meris, sitting unnaturally still, looking down at the crystal she held in her hand. The last rays of sunlight were still striking the small crystal, sending a few small prisms of light across Meris’ motionless face, frozen perfectly in marble.

      Momma took the crystal from her daughters hands, tears streaming down her cheeks as she asked the gods what she had done to deserve this, what her daughter could possibly have done to displease them. She pleaded with the gods to return Meris to her, gripping the crystal tightly in her fist. As her desperate Words reached toward the heavens, the crystal suddenly emitted a single clear Tone, and all the grass around became frozen and still.

      She ran as fast as her legs could take her, the crystal still gripped tightly in one hand.

      3 votes