Thursday, October 29, 2009

Sauce for the Goose

In a recent OHMAS (On Her Majesty's Arcane Service) game session, the player characters returned to their home base, a semi-ruined castle in the Scilly Isles, full of satisfaction for having completed their job successfully. The Teamsters - the people hauling freight in wagons, not the union - had been behind the whole thing after all. They settled in, and the secretary took quill in hand to begin draughting a report to the queen on the strange occurences of the false famine in Bristol.

As the secretary began interviewing the participants, however, discrepancies emerged. Up to a point, the stories of the participating characters were very much the same. However, once that point had been passed - a fight with a massive teamster on the streets of Bristol - memories of exactly what happened diverged, sometimes radically, from each other. All remembered the fight, then the realization that the Teamsters were behind stealing and selling the stored food, and that they were suitably punished, but details varied wildly, and the times between those points of commonality were remembered very differently by everyone.

What was going on? It was a false memory implanted by a Minstrel. The Minstrel, one of the game's Paths of Power, can change ones' memories. By singing a song of surpassing beauty, the Minstrel can implant Words of Power into the minds of all those listening, so long as they can hear and understand the song's lyrics. These words work like seed crystals, freezing the memories of those listening into a new shape.

Why were these memories different? The Minstrel's Words are few in comparison to the memories displaced. Where the Words of Power hit, their memories were closely aligned - all remembered that the evidence convicted the Teamsters, the punishment, and the return home well content with finishing their job successfully - because that was what the Minstrel directly said with her Words. Everything else they made up, sometimes from whole cloth, sometimes from bits and bobs of buried memories resurfacing, to fill in the void left by the new implanted memories. Where the characters made up their own memories, they diverged quite a it from each other.

The PCs were horrified. What had they done that they couldn't remember? Who had done this to them? Who were the real culprit, and what was going on now?

The PCs, by the way, have their own Minstrel, who had "adjusted" the memories of many others, including that of the Queen herself. Sauce for the Goose.

So, have you ever used the PCs' own weapons against them?


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