Hi. This is Josh Hall, Games Manager, known to one as Josh the Taller (and now perhaps known to more). I’ve been completely obsessed with the Invisible Sun RPG from Monte Cook Games since I first laid eyes on the Kickstarter video two years ago. I’ve finally managed to put together a group that includes both veterans roleplayers and some who have never really roleplayed before. I will blog here periodically with updates about hos the campaign is going (spoiler free for my players). If you have any questions about what you read here, feel free to ask me at Fanfare sometime.
We have done our “First Session”, in which the players all introduce their characters and everyone else collectively creates the neighborhood for them (basically, you can choose your house but you don’t get to choose your neighbors). Here are summaries of our Primary Dramatis Personae and their neighborhoods.
Blue, an Eremitic Ardent Weaver who Walks the Path of Suns.
Blue yearns to see another sun, probably pulling her away from her hermetic lifestyle. She shares a love of books with Simon, particularly about Satyrine, which allows them to use the Silent Streets secret as long as they can see each other.
Blue lives inside a tree in a large city park near the Gate to the Hollows. It has windows and doors which look much smaller than a person could use but when entering sizes become relative. To the average passerby these doors and windows look more like they were added to make the tree look like a fairy’s home, so most just ignore it or find it quaint. Inside, the rooms are very organic in design with much of the furniture growing out of the walls, floors and ceilings.
Blue’s house is lived in (on the outside) by a trio of sentient squirrels. These three (Trevor, Slim and Mollineaux) are well meaning but easily disoriented and, frankly, a bit dim. They are constantly trying to get into the tree (it’s their home, after all) but don’t remember how. They can be sent on tasks, which they pursue eagerly (though usually fruitlessly). When lost they can usually persuade children to bring them home.
Not too far away is Trumbolt’s, a newsstand & bodega run by its namesake, an elderly and blind Eldebrin. Though blind, his senses are otherwise heightened by some means so that it is nearly impossible to take advantage of his condition. He likes to change his shape to mirror his patrons. However, the only thing he can’t seem to do is accurately change shape into what he wants, though he thinks he has done a good job. His regular patrons allow him to think he’s nailed it. Trumbolt sells all of the daily news rags, some magazines and assorted sundries. Special customers can ask for “specialty items”, Ephemera Objects, of which he always has a few (but they change each day).
There is often an elderly man named Leonard in a golfer’s cap set up with a table on which he is selling ten to twenty books. He keeps an umbrella handy for inclement weather which is capable of keeping all of his books and patrons dry.
In the center of the park is The Standing Statue. Both who (what) the statue honors and how it is captioned morphs during the night so that at each dawn it is new. No one has managed to find a pattern to the selections other than they all seem to have some connection to The War.
It is not uncommon for the park to be used for black market trading, making it unsafe at night.
There is a coven that meets in the park fortnightly. They seem to be more of a social club than actually up to something but do try to maintain an air of mystery.
Boodish, an Itinerant Empath of the Order Goetica who Provides a Vessel for Spirits.
Boodish does not remember her family since returning from Shadow and is now trying to find out about them. She is known to be a friend to nature spirits. She shares a Mystical Bond with Zeph.
She camps in the the shrubs behind a large tree in the far reaches of the backyard of a garden gnome who lives in a Smurf sized mushroom. The tree bears a different fruit each day, most of which are sustaining.
The gnome, Mr. Bumblecap, is a minor love cherub and about the crankiest gnome ever, partially because local youth pin love notes to one another on his favorite tree (he can frequently be seen pacing the yard trying to keep kids off his lawn). Mr. Bumblecap is unaware of Boodish because she is camped out deep enough on his land that he doesn’t get out there for years at a time.
Mr. Bumblecap’s land backs up to the Bleed. While this is potentially hazardous, this particular section of the Bleed occasionally spews forth items which have been lost (sometimes for a very long time and sometimes it’s just left socks).
Nearby there lives an herbalist named Helen Thieroux. She knows that Boodish is living in Mr. Bumblecap’s backyard but, being only tolerant of the churlish gnome, she’s keeping it secret for now. Her yard is a wild space full of plants from which she harvests her herbs. Occasionally, she will foray into Mr. Bumblecap’s yard for some of the herbs growing there naturally. This is how she came across Boodish. Helen is a non who has learned a few cantrips to help her raise her herbs and identify almost any plant she examines (and often a property or two).
Helen has a shop a couple blocks over called The Dried Root. It is only open Tuesday through Thursday from Noon to 4pm or by appointment.
The central square of the neighborhood serves as the grounds of a Farmer’s Market (of a sort), daily from 7am until Noon. Helen usually occupies one of the 117 stalls, none of which are ever empty. Most are selling some weird and magical food, usually freshly harvested, but some stalls will serve pies, breads, pasties and such.
Recently, herbal shops in the area have been the victims of poisonings (of their plants). This has led to a reduction in the amount of herbalists setting up shop at the Market. So far Helen has not been a victim, causing some whispered accusations, though nothing formal has been brought yet.
Larence Pannek, an Iconoclast Ardent Apostate who Converses with Everything.
Larry does not remember his father beyond the age of five and has decided to find out what happened to him. He has a mutually sarcastic friendly banter with the bookseller Leonard in Blue’s neighborhood. He has an Unrequited Bond with Zeph.
Larry’s house is a large A-Frame, unremarkable except for its lacking any doors or windows. To get in Larry walks around the house until he is suddenly inside, which is sparsely furnished as the house desires. To leave he similarly paces around until outside.
The neighbor to the left is Marigold Smythe. A petite late-middle aged woman, she has a small cottage with a white picket fence and a beautiful English garden. She loves to feed birds and will offer to feed Larry if he is outside for more than a couple laps. She always wears an elegant floral pattern dress, elbow length white gloves and knee length white tights with practical shoes.
Ted Burkowski (most just call him Burk) lives on the other side. He is a butcher and owns the local deli Fartown Fresh Meats. He is a Weaver who spent his time in Shadow on Long Island and he still has the accent. When home he tends to sit on his porch in a grubby t-shirt with a beer in hand and watch the neighborhood, often taunting Larry if he’s been stuck outside for too long.
Across the way is the counterpoint house to Larry’s, it is all windows and doors (though there are plenty of curtains for privacy. This is occupied by the Schulta family, father, mother and 24 daughters ranging in age from 4 to 24 (and at least one of them fancies Larry).
Burks’ Deli, obviously run by Ted Burkowski, is one of the best and most varied delis in all of Satyrine. Any given day there is a new menu as Burk has gotten a limited supply of some new delicacy or other. Reasonably price, Burk’s is always hopping, despite allegations of black marked meats.
Larry’s neighborhood is home to the Zoo of the Nearly Mundane. Home to such animals as a tiger with horizontal stripes, an elephant with a single tusk and two trunks and the infamous land shark, this attraction is a favorite of the children of Satyrine. The zoo is run by a Zilat Finder, Hassentile. It is known that the zoo uses the Bleed as a way to discard waste (some of which ends up in Boodish’s backyard but is quickly put to use by her herbalist neighbor). Lately some animals have come up missing (even foiling Hassentile’s abilities) causing rumors about new meat selections at the deli to feel a bit convenient. Nothing has been substantiated.
Simon Singer, an Established Stoic Vance who Listens to Whispers.
Simon is trying to find out what happened to his parents and twin brother. He has a burgeoning friendship with Wystrin and is reconnecting with his “crazy Aunt” Fenny, Phenimist Singer. He shares a love of books with Blue, particularly about Satyrine, which allows them to use the Silent Streets secret as long as they can see each other.
Simon’s house is a two-story square brick building with a cupola on top. It is surrounded by a brick wall within which is a yard filled with flowering plants. These all bloom the same color and that color changes every few sunrises. Simon’s house has several ghosts haunting it, not all human but none hostile.
Next door lives Versifer, a door to door vacuum salesman. His vacuums don’t clean dirt, however, but instead clean memories. Used judiciously they can remove selected memories but have the potential to do great harm. While these devices can be reversed, unless the bin is cleaned regularly, this can result in quite a jumble (potentially including others’ memories). Versiver’s yard is lined with crab apple trees which are usually overgrown due to his largely absent lifestyle. It is common for apples to drop in Simon’s yard.
Simon’s other neighbor is actually a small garden park, overseen by a self-aware Garden Roomba named Rooga. It does a decent job of keeping the park well groomed but often wanders into Simon’s yard and gets stuck. It has a mild fear of Versifer, suspecting that he want’s to take Rooga apart to see how he works.
Across the way is Aygee, a Journeyman Vance. Aygee looks up to Simon and is eager to please.
Situated at the top of a T junction, the house overlooks the only road into the neighborhood, a 3 block square within walking distance of the Vancian Campus. This gives Simon a good vantage point to watch Taxi’s pick up passengers at the entrance, enter and drive around the neighborhood, then drop the passengers back where they started. Why this is happening is a mystery.
The neighborhood is home to many cats, too many cats. At dusk many of them congregate atop Simon’s walls, looking almost like feline crenelations. One of these cats shows across its body the Blue Sun rising and setting during the day, becoming black at night.
There is a neighborhood Homeowners Association led by Reginald Worthington III. They are busybodies, often trying to enforce daft rules and blaming Simon for the crab apples in his yard and the cats on his walls (neither of which is within his control).
Zephir Warwick Kenmore, an Established Gallant who Understands the Words.
Zeph is trying to write a novel set during The War. He shares a Mystical Bond with Boodish.
Zeph lives in a nondescript Tudor style house. It is well appointed with a large library. It’s tall shelves have a rolling ladder to assist with retrieval and one bank of shelves conceals a small room with a trap door on the floor. Zeph has never attempted to open this door.
Most of the rest of Zeph’s block is taken up by an antiques scrapyard/warehouse owned by a former Maker, now Apostate, who goes by The Magpie. They are tall and statuesque with the head of a magpie (product of one of the Changeries). If you need something you didn’t know you needed, they have it.
Recently, a circus/carnival has taken up residence in what was formerly a vacant space in an adjacent block. Followers of “The Favored Way”, the carnies are constantly proselytizing. Basically, the Favored Way looks at life from the perspective of games of chance, odds always favor the house so it is best to be a part of the house. When a person joins it is unknown where they go but they aren’t seen again. Their most popular confection is a cotton candy wrapped in loss and acceptance.
Nearby lives Aria North, a reporter for the Crepescule Notion. If she sees a known Vislae (like Zeph) she will bounce up to them and ask for “the scoop”. While she never expects to get much from this she is a fan of catchphrases and has chosen that as hers. It’s not uncommon for her to be leaving her house just as Zeph is walking by.
Not too far away is a natural hot springs named Squirrel Springs. Popular for having minor healing qualities, these springs are equally popular for having minor intoxicating and hallucinogenic qualities as well. Since the circus arrived, the springs have become overrun by carnies, much to the irritation of the neighborhood.