Tuesday, May 10, 2016

While The Night Away

So I improvised this last night, let's see how it reads after a little thought:

A banquet hall, feast hall, particularly large dining room or well-appointed kitchen dependent on where you are. Several tables are arrayed in the space, and a group of ten to twelve people migrate from one to another in a regular clockwise pattern, spending about ten minutes at each before collectively standing and moving to the next. Every time they go from table to table they will 'set' into a specific period of time during the day, and 'reset' after those ten minutes to move.

Aside from this movement, they are able to step away from the table to about eight feet, with increasing distress every foot.

Any food or drink taken from the tables and consumed will be incredibly delicious and aromatic, confer wonderful texture and mouthfeel, and provide no nutritional value or satiation whatsoever. If taken out of the space, or kept alongside normal food, it will putrefy everything. If observed, the tables themselves will never run out of anything, there will always be more food taken from where one is not looking.

D10 Tables, Their Spreads, and Their Events
1- Huge, spiny fish gutted, fried, sautéed in its own juices and lemon and salt. Its head is still intact, dominated by seven rolling eyes and vestigial horns, and gapes repetitively when cut into. The table is topped with marble, beads of mercury are collected on its surfaces.
The group will be set to nine at night,  and engaged in an excited practice of exchanging grotesque masks, always returning to the one they originally wore before resetting. They do this by ducking under the table. Each mask speaks with a different voice, superimposed over the wearer's. Anyone taking a seat must save versus Device or be compelled to wear one of these masks; when taken off, the wearer's face will also come cleanly off.

2- Sharp cheeses, olives, pickled vegetables of all kinds, crispy sourdough loaves wrapped in soft cloth to keep the heat in. Light herbal oils and alcoholic sauces available for dipping. All the glazed dishware is styled as coiled worms eating one another, all the silverware engraved with eyes. The table stands on knotty humanlike legs done in brass.
The group will be set to seven at night, taken over by light conversation and shy greetings as if first meeting. They will regard anyone standing with quiet discomfort, and make every suggestion of it being disrespectful. Anyone taking a seat must save versus Device or be lulled into introducing themselves and revealing otherwise painful or harmful secrets.

3- Hunks of roast goat and zucchini cut apart with tiny, viciously sharp knives and drizzled with pear cider. Personal dishes of spice are scattered all around the table, some knocked over. The table's surface looks like hundreds and hundreds of fused molars, uneven but uniformly polished.
The group will be set to ten at night, contentious and amorous in turn. A couple will be exchanging veiled comments and euphemisms, the rest will be increasingly sour. Anyone taking a seat must save versus Poison or be poisoned by taking a glass not meant for them.

4- A wide variety of spiced wines, vodka, gin, hard cider, cocktails, mixers, chasers, and aperitifs clustered in tin tubs of ice. Glasses are always large and at least half-filled. The tablecloth is stained with tears, booze, spit, and bile.
The group will be set to three in the morning, all intoxicated and maudlin, weeping to one another or in the process of passing out. Anyone taking a seat must save versus Paralysis or pass out drunk until the group resets and moves away.

5- Massive crustaceans, their legs removed and stacked to one side of the plate, their bodies riddled with wriggling parasites that smell and taste of roses. Steaming hot alcohol and tepid brine stand in tall bottles like dancers elongated and twisted into a single mass. No utensils, everything is hand-eaten.
The group will be set to midnight, and be more focused on eating than anything else. Conversation will be short and utilitarian. Anyone taking a seat must save versus Poison or join eating; only the parasites were 'real', and whoever eats is now completely infested.

6- A blank table, unadorned.
The group will be set to the hour between midnight and one in the morning, totally aware of their cyclical behaviors and ravenously hungry, riddled with sickness, poison, addiction, parasites. Cannibalism is an option to them. Anyone taking a seat must save versus Device or be permanently made a member of the group.

7- Minuscule dishes piled high with caviar, diced celery, raw egg yolks, aniseed, dried pitted cherries stewed in alcohol, and salt. Long-handled spoons available for each and every taste, and flutes of white wines to cleanse the palate. There are knives taped to the underside of the table at every other seat, like half-smiles with embossed brass teeth on the fullers.
The group will be set to one in the afternoon, weary and workworn, adjusting sweaty collars and peeling off uncomfortable gloves. This is pretense, for a single word beyond tired greetings elicits a suspicious and hostile response, which escalates to table-wide argument. Immediately before weapons are drawn the table will reset and move on. Anyone taking a seat must save versus Magic or be the target of violence, and will have a 3-in-6 chance of having a knife available to them.

8- Three large tureens, one full of mushroom soup, one full of onion broth, the last full of savory rabbit stew. The silver tureens and their platters have been shaped as a human in the fetal position, or possibly prostrating, and the solemn face of the moon respectively.
The group will be set to eight at night, jovial but impatient, bored and provoking each other into excess and risky consumption. A handkerchief or cloth will be passed around, its contents taken in pinches. Effects will vary. Anyone taking a seat must save versus Poison or be intoxicated and develop a terrible disease.

9- Sliced fruits and complementary flavors: peaches and honey, apples and caramelized sugar, rose hips and blackberries, bitter green tomatoes and salt, strawberries and cheese. Tinctures of camphorated opium. Everything sort of lodged into the irregular mounds of candles atop the table, a dozen dozen wicks lit with flames in every color, running wax pooling on the floor and on diners' legs.
The group will be set to five in the morning, collectively exhausted but motivated by camaraderie and a persistent whispered question passed between each member. Anyone taking a seat must save versus Magic or be told the question in full, causing Wisdom damage until answered.

10- Dense pastries, almonds worked into the crust, slathered with butter and bitter jellies or sweet glaze. Baked bumblebees and honeycombs, live bees gently orbiting the table. Flowers of spun sugar in false bouquets suspended in tonic water. There is nothing on the table that isn't modeled after parts of insects: veiny locust wing patterns on the glass tabletop, segmented centipedes holding up furnishings, distorted spider legs for fork tines, weevil bodies for spoons.
The group will be set to two in the morning, mostly docile, having broken up into small factions. Each will insist anyone standing should join them. Anyone taking a seat must save versus Magic or be physically subsumed into the person they are sitting closest to; not violently, just a gradual decrease in distance until the two people are overlapping at the same point in space.

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