Between 6 and 8 things

I used to spend late nights sat in a comfortable silence with a good friend on the other end of a headset. I'd do my thing, they'd do theirs. Few people are comfortable being bored together.

8 things you might find in the dead guy's pocket

  1. A piece of string with two knots in it, a reminder of something
  2. A locket with a picture of somebody else's family in it
  3. A ticket for a ferry
  4. Dog treats
  5. Sand
  6. Bunches and bunches of hair, different colours, shreds of scalp attached
  7. A Russian dwarf hamster chewing on something else from this list
  8. A flattened Russian dwarf hamster, crushed in the fall
Usually it's a performance. Nothing controversial about that, not going to put it in my manifesto. You meet up with someone, you do a little dance for each other. It's exhausting though, isn't it?

8 things that happened while you were away
  1. Squatters moved into you home, they're very nice but won't leave
  2. The mayor was outed as a lizard man. Emergency elections have been declared. He is running again, this time as a lizard man.
  3. Your serving maid was turned into a settee by a travelling goblin leatherworker
  4. Gremlins have infested your thatch
  5. A cult who worship a prophetic goat have followed it into town and protect its rambling way. They make money by selling audiences.
  6. All of your furniture has been moved. Nothing has been taken, you think.
  7. The ancient prophecy that the dark one would return while you were gone didn't come true. His followers liquidated their secret cult and went legit as a loans company with the assets.
  8. I dunno, your house burnt down or something.
But being bored together was easy. Just two guys struggling to stay alive, doing cool little things, making games, creative subsistence living. And then one day one of them fails to keep on living. What a gyp.

6 ways you could be a better player
  1. No more fights. Don't fight ever again. Passively resist, appeal to their humanity, be the change you want to see.
  2. Decide your character has fallen in love with the villain.
  3. Invest all your adventuring money in real estate
  4. Invest all your adventuring money in charitable works, become the most beloved person in the country
  5. Settle for less
  6. When things get rough just kill yourself
Then you find out things about yourself. About how important that comfortable silence was, and of having someone around who wants nothing from you. I wrote this stuff mainly to get a rise out of him. Offence or a giggle, either way. I lost my audience and I don't really want another.

8 wedding gifts from old friends
  1. Shelac the Circumspect made a familiar that looks just like you, but small, naked and in a cage
  2. The pixie collective gathered up all the pixie dust they can and made a wish that the pair of you'll always be covered in at least a bit of glitter
  3. Go'Ol'o'Ololo the slaad presented you with a box full of hands. One of them was his.
  4. King Ngarund sends you his regards
  5. The mayor presented a box of mysterious eggs
  6. The ghost of your departed party members send their direst warnings
  7. The son of a family you once saved offers his services. He's all grown up
  8. The goblins have made you a settee of one of their grandmas
And what's worse is life goes on. People eventually get weary of sympathy but not enough to just go away. It's all so sad-sad-so-sad until something I'm led to believe is just normal and the done thing is required. Come do this, go do there, wake up, don't starve, justify why we should keep paying you. No?

The 6 layers of hell
  1. The Hall of Records. A series of small to very large rooms full of chairs. Somewhere there will be a window at which you can get the correct rites to pass through to the next. Cities and wildernesses are found in these, but to travel anywhere requires paperwork.
  2. The Tiger's Banquet. A continent sized party. Very formal, the rules change rapidly and spread like a ripple. Anyone failing to maintain small talk is devoured by the other guests, who are forbidden to eat from the tables until the host arrives. He never will.
  3. Jangling Solitude. Iron boxes on chains, hung in darkness. The insides are lit to better reveal the hopelessness of it. Anyone escaping their box will discover an expanse of them hanging from some unseen ceiling. Falling will drop you, quite literally, in to some new hell.
  4. The Sorting House. All of the unworthy dead are sorted according to height, each to a separate layer. They are then packed into rooms of exactly their height, nose to nose, heads scraping ceiling, unmoving for eternity.
  5. The Garden of Imminence. Appears to be a leisure garden where demon mingle with the damned. All the people look haunted, in contrast to their pleasant environment. Each of them awaits a fate they know is coming. An indistinct dread haunts them. The demons sample it like a rose.
  6. The Field of Want. A great snowy expanse where the demons keep their regal homes. The damned wander the snow naked, freezing but never dying. The demons wander about in many layers of furs, demanding foul acts and entertainments for the chance to sit by their fires.
It's nothing new. Old hat. We all die alone. I could take a lesson from this whole thing. Selfishly, ghoulishly, turn it into a lesson. But it's meaningless. It doesn't get better, it just changes. Don't let them lie to you.

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