Narrative

Just as the sun wanders across the sky and things fall to the earth, the Narrative is one of the central governing laws of the Dreaming-World. Narratives are metaphysical traits attached to things, people, places or events that define and reinforce their place in the Dreaming-World. Everything has a Narrative and most things have several. Without them, they would have no place in the world - no purpose.    

The Essence of All Things

  Narratives can be simple or complex - from simple things like "the hunter" or "ruined keep" to more specific ideas. The more Narratives something has, the more complex stories they are typically home to. Many Narratives are common and reoccur all over the Dreaming-World, sometimes the same and sometimes with small variants depending on where they take place. No matter what, something can only possess a Narrative that fit them. A human could not have the narrative of "Haunted House", nor could the same house have the narrative of "Kindly Cousin Who Always Brings Great Gifts".  
The Ancient City   A Narrative attached to almost all major city is that of the Ancient City, the idea of the old, forgotten part of the city where blasphemous things hide in the darkness.   Read more about the Ancient City
  Narratives are at most a short sentence long and straight-forward. While flexible enough for the Dreaming-World to hold multiple definitions of the same Narrative, they are not ambiguous. While a "Hunter" can be a man that hunts tiger, or a tiger that hunts men, neither will be a Squitten rancher.    

Threads of a Tapestry

  Narratives do not exist in isolation. Each one influence how the world interacts with whatever it is that possess the Narrative and how it functions in the world. Each Narrative that something has ties to the other to create a more complex tale. While mundane objects typically have only one or two and Sleepers no more than a handful, legends can have as many as ten or more.  
The Narratives of Sleepers change in accordance to the stories they take part in. The narrative of a young man from "brash youngster" changes as he grows old into something different. Even injury and dismemberment are Narratives that they carry along with the physical scars. But unlike the Awakened, Sleepers have no choice in the matter.
  Narrative also influence the world and can draw other Narratives into their sphere of influence and into their stories. The Narrative of Plague infect those who come too close while Squittens have such a powerful Narrative of friendliness that all but the most wicked can't help but to be charmed.    

Pete the Placeholder Bug

    Narratives change and evolve as they interact with the world and each other, or even be lost entirely. An opulent palace put to the torch will be very different place once the flames have settled and its Narratives will no longer speak of Luxury and Decadence, except perhaps in terms of lost glories. The Awakened in particular have ways to evolve and develop their abilities, and their Narratives, in ways that are beyond anything any Sleeper can do. It is also the Awakened with their freedom to make their own way in the Dreaming-World that are often responsible for Narratives changing.    
Magic and Narratives   The abilities and powers of both Sleeper and Awakened are informed by the Narratives they carry. In particular, the art of Arete that all Awakened wield are formed by their defining Narratives. This magic art allows the Awakened to do the impossible and be the very best version of whatever Narratives they embody.   Read more about Arete - Excellence
 

Arete - Excellence cover

Fading

  When a Sleeper lose all of their Narratives as their connections to people and places disintegrate due to death or destruction, they begin to suffer from the Fading. Sleepers who fade begin to lose their definition, their Masque becoming a dull, blank thing. Without help, they wither to oblivion and fade from the world, as if they had never been.   Read more about Fading    
Fading cover
   

Without Form, Without Purpose

  Everything has one or more Narratives in the Dreaming-World, as vital to their existence as flesh, food or air. Everything except for the Unformed. Primordial terrors that have survived the end of previous Dreams by hiding at the very edge of oblivion, they are no longer part of the Dreaming-World. They are alien invaders, holding no narrative on their own and incapable of gaining any other than through theft and corruption.   Read more about the Unformed    
The Unformed cover

Articles under Narrative


Comments

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31 Dec, 2018 23:26

Reminds me of City Of Mist, amazing noir tabletop game. Where we are all sleepers and those who are not have a Myth inside them. Would love to see a mechanic for all this story.

24 Jan, 2019 19:26

It's the plan, somewhere down the line :)   Myth and legend are huge parts of the setting so I definitely want to dig into it.

24 Jan, 2019 19:21

Omgg yess. Ok so returning some of your lovely critiques and help. First I noticed two typos. "No matter what, something can only possess a Narrative that fit them" is it fits or narratives? And then this one " While a "Hunter" can be a man that hunts tiger, or a tiger that hunts men" your A ran away lol. Scratch that..." Each one influence how the world interacts with whatever" influences I think. Ohhh I'm so excited ok. So I love this concept. Is this an RPG? Cause this would be a beautiful way of doing a character sheet. It's like their abilities and such are literally their story and the sheet would be like a piece of flash fiction. Idk but the idea of your narrative as a person defining who you are in such a literal way is beautiful. I wonder if someone can be given a narrative through rumor or slender. It seems more concrete but wanted to ask if it was possible to change, add, or remove narratives if someone had those ill intentions.

11 Feb, 2019 11:37

I have a plan to maybe make some sort of RPG conversion for it, yeah. :D   You can acquire narratives due to external forces, for sure. Chop someone's arm off, and that'll be part of their Narrative from then on, in a sense. Slander or rumor, possibly but such things would be temporary unless seriously reinforced.

11 Feb, 2019 15:05

Oooo thanks exciting.   I see what you mean there by being temporary. It's a really cool idea and it was hard to really poke holes in which is very nice indeed