Saturday, January 31, 2009

Song Lyric Adventures : Falling Off the Edge of the World

Once again, I've decided to generate an adventure idea from some really cool lyrics. This time DIO and Black Sabbath burrowed into my ear and the following came of it. Here are the lyrics for the entire song, but I'm going to break it down again as we make the song into the background information for a quest/adventure.
I think about closing the door
and lately I think of it more
I'm living well out of my time
I feel like i'm losing my mind

I should be at the table round
a servant of the crown
the keeper of the sign
to sparkle and to shine

Never, no never again!
listen to me and believe what I say if you can
Never, this is the end
you know I've seen the faces of doom and I'm only a man
Help me, tell me I'm sane
I feel a change in the earth, in the wind and the rain
Save me, oh take me away
you know I've seen some creatures from hell and I've heard what they say!

I've got to be strong
oh, I'm falling off the edge of the world
think you're safe, but you're wrong!
We are falling off the edge of the world!

Look out! there's danger! no where to run!
It seems like desperate measures but sometimes it has to be done
Over, it's over at last
There's a message inside as we build a new life from the past

We're falling off the edge of the world!
Yes, the edge of the world!
It's the end of the world!
The first two stanzas speak of a man who believes he deserves more than his station (brother to the king? Baron?). And a plot has begun. Something sinister. Something long and calculated. Years pass and the brother succeeds in killing his brother (and having the family excommunicated by the church), seizing the throne in the process.

None suspect him. He is above reproach.

But somewhere in the darkness, the shame that he bears for his sins against his brother start to weigh on him.

In the third stanza, the darkness begins to take hold. Spirits visit him. Haunts from another place and time appear whenever guilt grips him. Are they real? Are the spirits really there to teach him anything? Or just a side-effect of his madness. Soon the nation slips a little from his fingers. His lack of control is noticeable.

He seeks absolution for his sins, but fears he can tell no one of what he's done. He sends soldiers to the corners of the earth, seeking a mute priest who will hear his confession. And in the meantime, he grows more and more mad, seeing visions of a world beyond ours (Astral Plane).

He waits months… then years for his soldiers to return, as his kingdom slips out of his fingers.

Madness grips him. The new King can no longer bear the weight of his sins. He climbs the stairs of his tower, locks himself inside, and writes the final words of his madness into the pages of any book he can find therein. Dozens of books litter his tower, each hiding a clue to his madness, each the key to something he's seen.

It is unclear when he dies in the tower, but it isn't long until infighting consumes the castle and the nation. A bloody civil war erupts…

… and the PCs enter, bearing the mute monk in their charge, arriving at the gates of a city consumed by bitter infighting.

And what sense to make of his notes? Are they madness? Or the keys to something greater? Something he's seen? Something beyond the tenuous grasp of man.

No comments: