Postcards from the Edge Item in pèryl | World Anvil
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Postcards from the Edge

Even since the horrible fire at the Parkside Lunatic Asylum*, on November 9th of 2023, the Circle of the Chimera play group had all but assumed their friend had died. Brendan P., had been a patient there since 2006. After the fire, when the patients and staff were accounted for, there had been five deaths—one staff member, an orderly, and four patients—P. was never found. Although, he was ruled missing, the Circle of the Chimera—old friends who had played TTRPGs and things of that nature for years: Robear, Peter, the Other Brendan, and Chris, the newest of the gang—had sadly assumed that their friend had burnt to death in the fire and they would not ever see him again.   Months later, they began to receive cryptic postcards that very much implied otherwise. The postcards were signed ASYLUM which was a dark joke that Brendan P. had made over a few games on days when he had earned out-patient trips and his friends had gathered. He always tried to lighten the mood, but nonetheless, the darkness of his mental state and the plastic bracelet with his medical information always seemed to threaten. Fewer of their circle of friends would come to these game days. By October of 2023, it was only Brendan P. Parkside Lunatic Asylum Out Patient (or "PLAOP": "No, no my surname is now Plaop rhymes with... well not much of anything really.") and the core: Peter, Brendan II: the Revenge, Rob-the-Bear, and Chris of Montréal who would visit when he could, but mostly attended virtually.   Starting in the week of February 10th, concurrent with the Chinese New Year, the four friends began to receive postcards. And they were definitely from their missing, presumed dead friend.   Brendan the Second, was the first to receive. It arrived on the day of that freak warm thunderstorm. (Calgary weather amirite?) The temperature rose rapidly and dark clouds gathered, first striking Airdrie and then moving south to Calgary. Power was knocked out. Strangely, even cell towers failed. Brendan S.'s cell phone coincidentally failed at the same time as the power went out. All the while he was talking about the postcard he had received from their missing friend.   In the weeks that followed, all four would receive. And although Brendan S.'s first postcard was cryptic, it at least contained full sentences. The subsequent arrivals were strings of letters and numbers and the scrawled ASYLUM. None of them made sense. Even before the friends began to talk to each other about their bizarre missives, they noted two things: holding the cards made them anxious. They were off putting and although technically unsigned, the friends were certain that they were from Brendan P. and that he was alive. What had he been doing for months since the fire? Where was he? (Why) was he hiding? Even the images on the cards themselves were scrutinized. Did they have meaning: 1) Robear's, dated Feb 9: a cartoon black cat waving a Canadian Flag. 2) Chris', dated Feb 10: an old cartoon wizard in a blue robe, blue boots, blue hat, inside a blue cave. 3) Peter's, dated Feb 11: a mountie on a moose. And 4) Brendan's, dated Feb 12: a detail shot of a sword and a set of polyhedral dice.   If the sense of foreboding were not so heavy in the psychic weight of the postcards, they would seem all a silly joke: Canadiana and fantasy gaming tropes.   The obverse, however, was utterly bizarre, inexplicable strings of numbers, coloured ink, and nonsense.


The postcards revealed that Brendan P., Plaop, the Asylum, was still alive.
(But also still crazy AF.)

*Although it had been renamed, the Parkside Mental Hospital, in 1990, no one really ever called it that.
Item type
Book / Document
Creation Date
February 9 and afterwards, 2024
Unique: only a handful of cards were ever made. Most were acquired from kitchy tourist shops, making them essentially untraceable.
less than an ounce
6' x 3'

Cover image: [Redacted] by 包德強


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