I’d provide the two character-sheet diagrams I examined while preparing for play, but they are both the same: about 80% of the items on each one was now slammed into the center, including new ones that had been acquired from each other’s sheet.
In other words, both sorcerers (Ahmet and Ingmar), their demons (Solomon and Odd John), the crucial designs of the tattoos and runes from the ruins, the murder victims (Mehmet and Julia)
So yeah. Obviously, it was sorcerous otherworld time, straight out of Sorcerer & Sword. They are in the ruins, or rather, the essentialized and spiritual space that the original structure had defined, their demon-pets are suborned or returned or awakened into the expectations of that time, the murder victims are the focus or instigation of this whole phenomenon in the first place and therefore are the divine sacrifices (in the sense of the Corn King becoming a god), and the obvious focus of the entire situation is Mehmet’s wife, Selma, marked for imminent death which the two demons are all too happy to supply.
Bang and play – time for them to show me, and themselves, “us,” what we came for.
Both players mentioned getting creeped out here and there, and I totally was too. Specifically for me anyway, it was Julia’s and Mehmet’s painted skulls, which I modified slightly by adding the cow horns (both that sort of human skull preservation and cow horns were big deals in the earliest Çatalhöyük remains, but I combined them more closely).
I’d like to follow up with my thoughts on pets, owners, masters, power, rather brutal realities, and how they related to or were expressed by this game. I found it very easy, frighteningly so, to play the demons and – somewhat abstractly – the actual purpose and presence of the ancient “way.” Look for a comment about it when I can find a way to articulate it without providing evidence for some future court case to lock me up.
You will notice that I ended the Nordic Noir “solve the murder” case(s) quite summarily, in contrast to their personal importance to the characters and also in contrast to the ordinary procedure of that particular subgenre. We’re going to talk about why I did that, not as justification, but experientially anyway, and whether it was “good play” or a cautionary moment for others to consider.