Thursday, February 1, 2018

Ganakagok: The Fifth Cataclysm

Sunday we did character creation and world-building for Ganakagok (thanks as always to +Bill White) . I have, of course, run this game a few times before (one such story is here, another begins here). I really like this game, and I was happy when it wound up on the short list of games to play with the group that just finished Misspent Youth.


The Land of Ganakagok: The frozen land of Ganakagok has experienced four Cataclysms. In the first, a volcano erupted and created the Plains of Burning Ice, a desolate, toxic place where the ice steams and nothing lives. In the second, a meteorite struck the land and created the Unfreezing Pool, a huge lake that never freezes over. In the third, a plague ravaged the Nitu people, and led to the rise of the cannibal ghouls that live in the caves near the coast. In the fourth, famine overtook the land, and the meadows to the north appeared - a receding glacier on which live immense ice-hares.

The fifth cataclysm is overdue. Here's the map of Ganakagok.

The Nitu People: The people arrange themselves into lodges. Each cataclysm created a new lodge, or so legend says. In order, that would be the Lodge of Flames, the Lodge of Stars, the Lodge of Tears, and the Lodge of Storms. The Nitu undergo an initiation ritual that requires them to hunt and kill something or die trying...either way, the spirits demand a death. The Nitu answer to a Council, one elder from each Lodge.

Recently, a ship arrived on the shores of Ganakagok, carrying a new race of people. The Nitu, frightened, imprisoned them on an island in the Unfreezing Pool. The Nitu call them "Not-People," and fear them.

The Nitu brew alcohol using grasses and grains from the meadows. They brew and imbibe it at a "pub" in their village.

The Nitu don't mark birthdays, but recognize people born under the Lights based on what color they were that year.

The Characters: Of course, there are five Nitu that are special because they know that everything is about to change.

  • Megan plays Iqaatu, the Determined Seeker. Iqaatu fell down the cliffs during her initiation and was left there, presumed dead, but she survived and witnessed the Not-People arriving. 
  • Michelle plays Minotingiya, the Questing Hunter. Minotingiya sees that the Not-People are marked in a way that resembles the star-bear, an important Nitu constellation. She believes that they are the Forgotten Ones returned. 
  • Sarah plays Amagoruqun, the Wise Crone. She is the elder of the Lodge of Stars; she has no family, and is only allowed to advise the lodge. She is afraid that the youth, the foolish youth, will take over leadership of the Nitu.
  • Melissa plays Kuiqanuk, the Chaotic Bear. Born as a twin to Tegorqanuk (see below), but to different mothers, Kuiqanuk knows that twins of any kind are considered a bad omen and a sign of trouble to come. Kuiqanuk is skeptical, but she does bear (lol) the same constellation that the Not-People do. 
  • Travis plays Tegorqanuk, the Visionary Pathfinder. He believes that the Nitu have mastered the land after every Cataclysm, and this one will be no different - he is here to lead the Nitu to prosperity after the destruction to come. 
In a couple of weeks, we'll see how this myth plays out.