The Lady of Unforgettable Forgetting, or, Who Wants to be a Vampire?

Mara, by Duncan Eagleson.


Her name follows you through your day, like a song you can’t get out of your head.

You first see her playing in the middle of the city square, her lute and lilting voice somehow the only things you hear in spite of the noise and bustle. Her eyes meet yours for a moment, and that brief look plays in your head over and over, a lightning-like jolt that whites over your vision for a second, warming your scalp, then spreading through your body like warm honey.

It is profoundly distracting, if not entirely disagreeable.

You see her again in the Cosmic Coffee, a surprisingly tiny figure with black hair swept away from her striking, pale-brown face, showcasing those hypnotic eyes which, you realized even from afar in Hamilton Square, are purple.

She sees you, recognizes you. She speaks with you for a while, drinks a coffee redolent with cinnamon. Her voice reaches up inside you, and you fear it might pull something out onto the coffeehouse floor.

But before you can get to know her further, she is called away, her phone as much a tether to her as to ordinarily mortals like yourself. She’s made no secret, either in her manner or her conversation, of the fact that she is no such creature.

When next you see her, it will be too close. When next you see her, she will change you. And once you’ve changed, once she links you, forever, to the long chain of blood that leads back further than you can even comprehend, everything will have changed.

Including your ever having met her.

When you awake, weak and starving for something you’ve never before craved, your memory of how you got there will dissipate. Perhaps there was a woman…but no. Gone.

Her name escapes you, the syllables fading like a song you can’t quite place.

Meet Mara and other intriguing companions when you play as a vampire in the upcoming Susurrus: Season of Tides. Our Early Edition game arrives on August 17, at Gen Con 50. Play with us early by joining here.

Magic is a disease, you know

They called it an infection. We called it power.

Evil Overlord Games Plague Doctor Mask
Plague Doctor Mask, by Duncan Eagleson.

We don’t know why the infections all happened at once. It was too long ago, longer than history can trace.

They weren’t gathered together when it happened. They didn’t even know each other, weren’t within a hundred miles, or even a hundred years. Timescales were different then: lives shorter, boundaries softer, news much, much slower. They were all in the great fertile cradle of the world, spread out, coming to it from different angles. The stones came to them by chance, by luck, by fate, or whatever the superstitions of the time and place dictated. Someone may have written down their theories, or the prevailing wisdom around such vagaries of chance in the given culture, but those tablets, scrolls, or woven strands were never found.

For ourselves, we imagine the stones moved with slow intent, finding people with power and will, changing them.

A shaman, holding one of the stones,  stepped out of human skin more literally than ever before. A scribe, toying with the power a stone seemed to hold, carved an alphabet that crawled off the tablet. A tender of the dead, laying out bodies for burial, used a stone’s power to raise them instead. Small beginnings, untraceable now.

The words developed through the ages: Werewolf. Mage. Vampire. But the contagions came about without names, without cures. They spread, and for a time, the blessed infected covered the land. But that age, too, is lost to time, and our speculations are just as good as anyone’s, which is to say,  that and $2.50 will buy you a cup at your nearest Cosmic Coffee.

What we do know is this: for centuries – millennia – the plagues we knew grew silent, went underground. Other plagues arose, killing millions, but humans recovered, persisted, swelled and covered the earth. But now…the old plagues are returning, the plagues that come in through the eyes, through the blood, through the skin, the plagues that don’t kill but give life.

Now, you’re one of us. We’ll tell you what we know, what we’ve learned. We’ll do our best. You have new senses now, new limbs, new knowledge, new problems. We wish we could tell you more. But none of us know how it really happened.

But we’re pretty sure that those who do are still alive out there, somewhere.

Susurrus: Season of Tides will be out on browsers in August, 2017. Sign up for our mailing list to receive updates about its development.