Thursday, May 3, 2012

Whisperweed, Wrapping Paper, and Flints

Fortune Card: Trickery, Reversed - Subterfuge Revealed

Whisperweed is the primary export of Rumor Mill, a small-minded realm that has gates to numerous other realms. Whisperweed is rolled into a cigar using bleached paper. When smoked in a small room deep within a large building such as a castle, palace, library, temple, chancery, or treasury, Whisperweed smoke gently pervades the building. The user begins to hear conversations, discussions, and arguments  that would otherwise be relegated to the secrecy of "smoke filled rooms". Sensitive noses may detect the very faint odor of the smoke. Balconies and rooftops are somewhat more immune to the affects of Whisperweed. The plant is highly addictive.

  1. What was the last conversation overheard by this Spherewalker?
  2. What does s/he do with the information gathered through Whisperweed?
  3. How does this addiction manifest itself? What are its signs and affects?


  1. "...a small-minded realm that has gates to numerous other realms." What an intriguing description. Like the 'Smoke filled rooms' bit as well. Very interesting item. this could easily find its way to any number of settings...

  2. Nice - like the imagery. Like Garrison, I found the realm description intriguing. Very apt as well. The last question is powerful.

  3. 1. A conversation between a nervous merchant and a high-ranking local clergyman, in one of the back rooms of the Moon's Shadow Inn. They were discussing some unnamed but clearly illicit cargo. The goods were soon to be shipped by a man wearing a distinctive ring, to a man with a matching ring in a neighbouring city. The last words overheard were, "Do you smell smoke?" A pause, then nothing could be heard but a pervasive hissing, as of many angered snakes.

    2. Curiously, the purveyor of this particular pouch of weed sold it for only a few coppers. In return for such a good price, they requested - more of a suggestion, really - that the buyer make attempts to spread any especially interesting tidbits of information. She must make the truth known to as many as she can... and of course, she must do so as discreetly and anonymously as possible. What harm could there be in that?

    3. Initially, the user feels the smug satisfaction of knowing the unknowable. Repeated use over the course of a month or two can result in the user hearing even more - there are other voices now, coming from behind the walls, even when there is nobody present to speak them. The voices praise the user for his cleverness, and suggest other places where a curious ear might like to listen, where there might be things to be heard... Over time, the influence of the strange voices causes increased suggestibility. Confidence soars, borne aloft by the sweet praise. A continued user is driven to seek out ever more secret places, the most delicious clandestine knowledge. After perhaps six months of repeated use, paranoia begins to set in. The disembodied voices now seem mocking and insincere. The victim's pleas for silence are met with harsh laughter, and demands for more secrets. It is said that, having reached this point, not even complete abstinence from Whisperweed will silence them. The inevitable result is, of course, madness.

  4. Murk, thank you so much! #1 is a great story seed. #3 really plays with the theme: "A secret addiction? An addiction to secrets?" Very cool.


Thanks for your comment!