Nothing in the castle is an accident.
Which child looks surprised by the altar and which looks resigned? Anyone should answer.
I am relieved that the children will come to no harm yet, and the hollow ache in my heart eases slightly. My ravens, you are brave and powerful creatures to protect them so.
The interior of the castle is no less mutable than the exterior. What room do the children arrive in and what is its strangest feature? Anyone should answer.
The castle's magic is strong, and the thorns are long and wicked. I feel a fist 'round my heart as the children race through the portal.
My beloved ravens, fly before them and guide their way. Confound the sharp barbs that would tear their skin and protect them from harm as they dare the castle's defenses.
Do you obey me? Anyone should answer.
The branches pull back to create a portal, seemingly open and inviting. The children do not know the danger and begin to step through.
I cannot bear it! My ravens, fly! Fly down to their side and warn them of the perilous thorns which could hold them, captive and bleeding, at the gate until they expire.
Do you obey me? Anyone should aswer.
Though the sound of the knocker is mundane, I feel the shuddering magic reverberating through the castle walls. What is the danger of the golden branches which make up the door? Anyone should answer.
Seeing their closeness feels like jagged glass in my heart and I mourn, though I don't know what. I wish I could set aside this terrible pain, but whatever it was that the comb awoke in my will not fade.
No doubt the children will approach the front gate of the castle. The castle is as magical as you, my ravens, and can shift its form. What does the front gate look like? Anyone should answer.
She clearly carries some form of knowledge that I do not. The sense of loss I felt before flares suddenly, painfully, and I cannot bear my own ignorance.
My ravens, gather your magics around yourselves and dive into the stream of time. Fly into the past and tell me : how does the girl with the coiled hair know about the decay that infects trees so far from her own home? Anyone should answer.
I feel some small relief that the castle's magic has not yet extended so far, though I'm not sure why it matters to me.
Which child bounds ahead to investigate and what does she see? Anyone should answer.
The two girls seem to be near the same age, their limbs long and their movements just clumsy enough that it’s clear this growth spurt was recent, though they are tall enough that this could be their last growth before adulthood. Their brown skin is darker and chapped at the cheeks, as though they have travelled in persistent cold and wind. The shapes of their faces suggest they aren’t related.
They are dressed in many dull, practical layers, with packs which may have bulged once but which are looking decidedly lean now. One girl, broad as a champion wrestler and with a shaved head, forges ahead of the other, grim determination in every stride. The other, just as stout as her companion but with a mane of rich black hair coiled up, seems almost to float, so light is she on her feet.
The stray ray of sunshine pierces the clouds and her hair glints. I see that she is wearing a hair comb, the shiny off-white of polished bone and ornately carved with the shape of a hound. When I see it, I am filled with an overwhelming sense of loss.
Before I can puzzle out why I feel this way, something startles the children. What is it? Anyone should answer.
This is a game and everyone can play!
Deep within Ruritania, in a pristine mountain range where there are no roads and no villages, a castle looms over the trees. It is a place of mystery, of magic, and of potential. Its secrets are many and they are as wondrous as they are terrible. Its dangers are of the heart and soul.
My true form has been lost to memory and time. The tallest tower is my domain and from here I watch as poor unfortunates stumble near, their need so great that their hearts act as a needle in a compass pointing to the castle. I bend my will to sending them onward - I’ve no need for company or pleas; I am not alone. After all, I have you, my online friends. You play my ravens. You are my eyes and ears, my hands and my magic. You are wonder made flesh.
Today, we have new visitors: a pair of children. Their eyes glint with fear and determination. Something about them seems familiar - it calls to me. I will allow them to enter the castle and find what it is that draws my interest. You, my ravens, will help me.
1. I do not leave my tower so rely upon my ravens for information. When I ask a question, please answer it. Usually, but not always, I’ll say anyone can answer.
2. You are not the bestial ravens which live in the rest of the world - you belong to the castle, and the castle is made of potential. If you don’t know the answer to a question, make it up.
3. We do not know what dangers might reveal themselves and time is precious. Keep your answers short.
4. The castle fights back against disruptions. If your answer is disruptive, I’m allowed to delete it.
5. The swiftest raven will always have my ear and the first answer given to a question will be accepted as reality. I’ll “like” it. Sometimes, other answers might also be accepted - I’ll “like” those as well.
6. Please be wary of your own cacophony. Each raven should not post more than one comment after each question I ask.
7. More ravens may come to my aid or merely watch. If you wish to watch for now, please use the phrase, “Dark eyes glint from above.” as your first comment.
I’ll make the first comment.
Point of clarification: when you say, for example, no homophobia, I interpret it as there can be games which explore the topic of homophobia as an experienced phenomenon but not games which promote actual acts of homophobia (either directly or for "irony"). Am I interpreting this correctly?