[DRYH] The Bluesman

edited December 2011 in Out-Of-Game

"I am a bluesman
and if you've read the album cover by now you know that
my name is, what my name is."

3 Discipline
0 Madness
3 Exhaustion

[-] Fight
[-] Fight
[ ] Flight

Clarity (exhaustion): Sometimes, gripped by his music, he's stayed awake for days on end, writing and playing almost the whole damn time. That was his best work, truth be told, since only in the most complete exhaustion does he slip off his mundane concerns and achieve that holy, unshakable concentration, a state of utter clarity. But those were his good times ... now he's wound up in the endless search, and it is rare that music falls from that obsessive focus, though it deepens with each sleepless night.

Dead Man Walkin' (madness): It's like a living hell, this fruitless search. His life is over, abandoned for streets and back alleys, booze and sleeplessness. And maybe Hell is all he deserves ... maybe that's exactly where he is, and this nighttime search is no less than his own Sisyphean hill. What is true: when madness crowds close, his footsteps burn with sulfurous fire.

A musician, a blues player, his harp and guitar close at hand. A blues man, a black man, a broke man, scrawny and white-eyed, down-on-his-luck, probably on drugs. By turns smooth and acerbic, meditative and edgy, easy and nasty. [What's on the surface?]

He's been better, playing at clubs instead of street corners, and he'd still be there if it weren't for what he's done. That thing didn't touch his career directly, but it tore him up inside until he crawled into the bottle for just a little peace. He's a hard man to get close to, now, but he's still a good man, where it counts, even if he don't know it himself. [What lies beneath?]

He's been looking for the woman he betrayed, needing to make amends, or at to least see some closure, to put an end to wondering. And nightmares made of guilt and grief've tortured him until he just stopped sleeping altogether. It's a waste of time anyway: surely he must be close to finding her? [What's been keeping you awake?]

And just now, in a bar so far buried into the labyrinth of back alleys that there been some that never made it back out, there's a woman without a voice, playing the piano. She could be his woman's sister, so alike they are (though his woman sang with the voice of an angel). When she saw him, she fled, and he's followed her into the nighttime maze. [What just happened to you?]

And soon he'll see that he's been looking in all the wrong places, and - in the city that knows no dreaming - he will find the woman he searches for, and he will know if he can be forgiven. [What's your path?]


  • edited December 2011
    Dead Man Walkin'
    madness talent

    • What can I do?
    Like Orpheus, he can walk into Hell and then walk back out. Hell is a funny sort of a place. It borders on every city and every town. Sometimes, it rings true with the stories of fire and brimstone. Other times, the place is more abstract and allegorical. There’re demons, of course, but they too are ever-changing. One day, they’re snarling beasts sprung from Medieval woodcuts. Another, they’re nebbish bureaucrats just pushing paper and doing their jobs.

    A man can find all sort of people in Hell. There’s sometimes no rhyme or reason to who’s down there and why. Some are blameless, suffering damnation for an arbitrary cultural reason. Some ran afoul of their own beliefs in ways they themselves couldn’t forgive. Others are clearly monsters who deserve their fate. But regardless, if nobody is looking, he can sometimes sneak people back up with him.

    There’s a Hell of a price, though. He's a known quantity in Hell. Demons know him by name, and if he thinks for a moment, he can recall theirs. Hell marks him by the ash in his tread and the look in his eye, and that look … because of it, there’s few who can meet his gaze.

    (1-2 dice) - Sidle down one of the hidden ways where Hell impinges to find a shortcut past a guard or through an unlocked door. Don’t descend more than a step or two, but still hear and smell Hell.

    (3-4 dice) - Saunter through Sheol to speak with the damned. Duck through the hellish suburbs to wander amongst them, and see terrible horrible, forbidden things. The damned are a pretty chatty lot, when they have tongues. Emerge wherever, even use it as a shortcut to get from one place on Earth to another, with just a walk down Pandemonium Boulevard.

    (5-6 dice) - Go straight into Hell’s teeth, sprinting full-out downward, faster and harder right into the heart - where it is timeless and eternal, bordering on all places and all times - to emerge anywhen. Go back to an enemy’s childhood and push them in front of a bus. Or grab somebody or something from Hell’s grasp, and drag it back out. (But Hell is greedy and jealous, so run like the Devil’s coming behind, because he’s about to.)

    • How does it break me?
    Fight - Sometimes he brings something back with him, a little spark of infernal wrath. All the pain he's seen and been unable to stop … well, maybe the demons have something good going on, and he ought to try inflicting a little pain of his own.

    Flight - When he least expects it, something reminds him of Hell. For a moment, he flashes back to the sulfur and screaming, and he can’t see any way out. But that won’t stop him from running - he who hesitates in Hell is truly lost.

    • How do I change?
    There is no sun in Hell, but sometimes the whole sky burns like one, blinding, and no matter how much he squints grit always blows into his eyes. The things he see during his descents are more and more writ upon his face. His breath huffs out in a sulfurous cloud. His feet smolder in his boots. The look in his eyes, it’s a mile beyond a ‘haunted look’. People stop treating him like a regular person, and start warily edging around him. Nobody will meet his gaze (and if they do, he knows they’re not really people).

    All the pain and misery he sees around him on Earth is as nothing compared to the vast horrors he's seen Below. The world is less and less real, life more and more pointless, and he has nothing but the search to lead him on.
  • [reserve for ... yeah, I dunno ... something]
  • edited December 2011
    Fixed up madness, and formatted the madness talent in the expanded DLYM manner. Admittedly, that was fairly easy, since I was just editing from what was in the book.
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