Question 30: What is an RPG genre-mashup you would most like to see?
Urban fantasy and anthropomorphic animals. I think that would be cool. I have an idea for a novel ticking over at the moment (called The Crow Boy, there’s bits of it scattered about this blog), which features magic, steampunk style crazy science, old gods and new deities; all wrapped up in a tale about birds and cats and surly rats. I think there’s probably a game there too.
Other options for mash-ups:
Buffy the Vampire Slayer…in space!
And also something which is probably best described as a cross between Harry Potter and the Battle of the Somme.
First thing Malley thinks when she hears the sound of a child, crying:
Is this a trap?
Has to wonder, given the state-of-the-world and the way-of-things because, no question, there are some out there who’ll trick and trip and snag the unwary anyway they can. That’s just being a sensible rat, isn’t it? That’s just being safe.
Quiet, and slow, Malley shuffles forth on soft paws, shoves her gleaming sword back over her shoulders (where it hangs loose and close to hand on a twist of waxed twine). Narrows her eye and takes a peek.
She’s only got the one eye, these days, on account of not being careful some years before, but that’s a different tale.
Malley looks out from a hiding place under a damp jumble of discarded planks and plastic sheeting.
In the shadow of the grey stone arches of the eastern bridge, a stretch of churned earth riverbank, smeared with muddy snow and frozen solid in the chill of a winter not ready to leave the stage.
The river surface, at the water’s edge, still showing white and solid; the ice so cold and firm you could walk on it, if you fancied, if you didn’t mind the dark depths beneath.
Malley hears that sound, like a baby, mewling in frustration and fear.
A sudden movement-
Just ahead, something grey and murky shifts and squirms, a few steps out upon the ice.
A bag of some kind, Malley reckons, and within the bag a shivering shape is moving, crawling, struggling. Malley hears it crying out again, trying to get free. Not a baby after all then, but something else in need of help.
Help the helpless, her old mam used to say, didn’t she?
Yes, her mam would be telling Malley now, ‘cos you don’t know if one day you will be the helpless one. Right?
Malley looks at the quivering bag on the icy river.
She looks back towards the tumble of planks and plastic that covers an entrance to her current home; safe, warm and secure.
Malley rubs the patch that covers her lost left eye.
“Right you are, mam,” she says, and she goes to find some string.
“How did we build the Crow Boy?” Mourne said.
Elgar considers this for a moment.
“That’s a very good question-”
“Rhetorical,” Mourne told her.
Elgar nodded like she understood. There’d been a lot of that.
“Adding a shade of drama to the affair, see?” Mourne continued. “A touch of the old theatric, you follow?”
Elgar—just an apprentice—not really following at all, but she kept it quiet. Eyes open, beak shut. Just here to learn. That’s the way.
“This is just rehearsal,” Mourne went on. “They like a bit of palaver, up at the Parliament.”
He nodded his dark head and cast a glance around the crowded, cluttered jumble of his—being polite—laboratory. Mourne tutted and sighed to himself for a heartbeat or two.
“How did we build the Crow Boy,” he said.
Tap of his talons on the grey stone floor, Mourne answered his own question: “We crafted with blood.”
Collected from a human child, Elgar knew, gathered up with a square of silk on a summer’s day. Raised voices, running feet, a harsh and desperate wailing; quite did her ears in, that did.
Another tap on hard stone. “We worked with breath,” Mourne said.
Stolen from a different, sleeping child, Elgar remembered, and captured cold in a bright crystal globe.
One last tap. “We built with bone.”
Mourne’s tone serious, solemn, and the words faded slow into dead air.
“Well,” Elgar said. “It weren’t quite so straight as that…”