Please meet Philomena Bucket. She has recently shipwrecked on the island (which may explain her worried expression)
Philomena is a Traveller. Which is to say, the example character in the Hopeless, Maine role playing game which is in development by Keith Healing. The whole project is coming along beautifully and has a publisher, so, fear not (or, not too much) it will be with you in the fullness of time. Keith understands the setting and the story in a way that makes us nearly giddy and is finding ways of having players explore and interact with the island and its flora and fauna (and those things which are uncomfortably neither or both) and create experiences and dark adventures.
Here, in Keth’s words, is how Philomena Bucket was born (or created) with some rolls of the dice-
These numbers tell us a lot about her. Philomena is of average build (STR 11) but a little sickly (CON She could well appear a little pale and wan. However, her manual dexterity is good. She is not stubborn but can possibly be manipulated (WILL 10) but is of above average intelligence. She gets on pretty well with people (CHA 11) and is naturally drawn towards things spiritual (PSY 15).
Philomena rolled 52 on Class, making her as Middle class as could be, and 47 on Age. The player determines that as this is towards the top end of the range Philomena is 28 years old.
Given her physical characteristics and her high PSY Philomena’s player decides that she is an Artist specialising in painting. Her high PSY and DEX give her a base skill of 36% to which is added another 10% for her age, giving a total of 46%. She is pretty good but a bit rough around the edges.
She is a keen amateur Biologist.
Finally, and intriguingly, she is albino.”
If the roll had gone another way, she would have been inexplicably attractive to small bits of metal.
If you would like to know how all of this is developing and keep up with progress and news of release dates and such, I can recommend following the development blog, here!
Hoping (as always) this finds you well, inspired and thriving.
(by Frampton Jones)
There have been ghosts on this island for as long as there have been people. Most residents will have seen one or two in their time, I have no doubt. Most of our departed did not appear to stay on, but every so often some pale echo of a lost citizen would manifest. Tragic and disturbing though they are, these ephemeral echoes of the once living are a familiar part of life.
I have noticed this year that the numbers of ghosts have increased significantly. They have gone from being a rare, uncomfortable occurrence, to being a frequent sight across the island. Some, like Vortigern Frog and Greta Calder retain many of their human qualities and will even converse with the living. However, many of the shades we are now seeing are far less substantial. I can only speculate as to why the dead are no longer departing as they once did. Are these echoes, or are we seeing spirits, doomed to continue here for all eternity? It is a hellish thought.
This week’s photograph shows a trio of the dead. I cannot identify them, they retain so little of their original humanity. I have never before been especially fearful of dying, but the horror and pathos of these figures fills me with dread. I fear we will none of us sleep easily in our graves, nor ascend to some better place.
(by Modesty Jones)
When I interviewed Mrs Witherspoon about recent events at the orphanage, she told me she slept soundly all through the night when one of the little girls was taken and Miss Calder was killed. I tried to talk to the little girl but she just stared at me. I guess she’s too traumatised to talk.
Apparently other people can see Miss Calder and talk to her, but I can’t see her, so that didn’t go very well either. Maybe she wasn’t there. How do you tell? But what Mrs Witherspoon did say is that all the spoons have gone missing from the orphanage kitchen too. I suspect a connection with the theft from The Crow. Did they break in to steal the spoons and kill Miss Calder by mistake? Or were the spoons an afterthought? All very mysterious.
Normally I don’t care much for the beautiful baby competition, but this year my camera cast the whole event in an entirely different shape.
All the usual array of mothers and bored dignitaries turned out to look at our island’s most recent offspring. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, to our eyes they looked so much like children. You could almost believe they were of human stock! The camera sees differently. Does it capture their true forms? I think it does.
The more pictures I take of you all, the more clearly I see you for what you are. Phantasms and nightmares. I have not yet managed to photograph myself. Am I the same as you? Am I the one true person here? Sometimes it feels like that. Do you know what you really are, beneath the surface? Or do you think you are real? People of Hopeless, look upon the beautiful babies, and know the horror of your own nature!
Somewhere above us, hidden by the fog, strange and violent things are happening. The screams are enough to terrify the boldest man amongst us. The blood and feathers fall everywhere. Something in the clouds is killing the giant black birds that appeared last week. It doesn’t appear to be eating them, but pulling them apart and scattering their remains over the town.
What happens when there are no more birds? Will this latest fiend then unleash itself upon us, or will we be faced with something even worse? I dare not think.
I can’t imagine anyone missed the major event of last week, but as nothing else of note happened, I’m reporting it anyway as there may be more to this than meets the eye.
On Tuesday night, a bloodstorm swept the island, covering people, buildings and streets. We were lucky in that the rain on Wednesday washed away the worst of it. I consulted Doc Willoughby who confirmed that the red rain was definitely blood, but he could not say if it was animal or human. Where did all the blood come from? Does it represent some unimaginable horror that has happened beyond the boundaries of our beloved island? How could so much blood have become airborn, with no trace of any bodyparts? I fear this latest mystery may go unsolved, but if you have possible answers, do share them.
Deaths – Audrey Pickett, 79, a rare case of natural causes. Funeral Thursday.
Bendigo Weaselgrease, 7, partially eaten by creature or creatures unknown. Funeral Friday.
The rest of Millicent Cobbage will be buried on Thursday evening, with special prayers, in the hopes that she can now rest in peace.
Births – Angel StJohn Goodfellow, born on Wednesday afternoon to Glory StJohn Goodfellow and StJohn StJohn Goodfellow.
Arnold Sanctity Brown, born midnight Thursday to Hephziba Brown and Veritable Brown.
Congratulations to both families, keep up the good work!
Once again the Jones’s opened Meadow Farm to the public to share the delights of spring. Families flocked to see flowers, chicks and lambs. Nothing quite equalled last year’s mutant goat, but the three legged chickens were as popular as ever. Other attractions included the traditional pie fight, a tour of the farm and assorted contests. The spitting contest was won by Ethan Miller while the wife carrying contest was won by Reginald Aubergine. However, this caused some controversy as Mrs Asumpta Aubergine is of course dead, and as a ghost, weighs nothing and cannot technically be carried, which many feel gave him an unfair advantage. No prize was given for best cake, as the cakes were enlisted in attempts to solve the problems over the wife carrying contest. Whether cake throwing will replace pie throwing for next year remains to be seen! This reporter feels that the jam involved provided a nice change from the less appetising pie contents we get most years.