Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Ganakagok: The Fifth Cataclysm - The Meaty Conclusion

Sunday we finished up our Ganakagok story. Probably would have taken longer if the rules on using Medicine cards to add dice were consistent (at one point they say "base value," but then later they say "root value," and if you don't know Ganakagok that won't mean anything to you but it makes a very large difference in play).

Anyway! Last session is here.

Megan's Turn: Megan (Iqaatu's player) pulls the 7 of Stars for the starting card. The scene begin as she, Tegorqanuk, and Kuiqanuk come out of the ghoul maze into the meadow and up to the cliff overlooking the beach where the not-People's ship is beached. They head through the caves, figuring on using Iqaatu's knowledge of the beach-caves to get down to the bottom. The ground crumbles beneath them, though, and they wind up in a pit of filth and bones, with cannibal ghouls chittering overhead. Iqaatu recognizes that this is a trap the ghouls use, and knows there must be a way out. The twins start spoiling for a fight, but the ghouls just start dumping ice down the shaft. All three of the Nitu are trapped in the ice, and everything goes black.

Stars: Down from 30 to 27.

Michelle's Turn: Michelle (Minotingiya's player) draws the 2 of Flames. She's out hunting and sees that the ghouls are approaching the village through the maze and the tundra. She hunts them, silently, sneaking up on them and cutting their throats with her knife. The ghouls approach the village, though, and Minotingiya can't kill them all...but then the not-People row across the Unfreezing Pool on a boat she helped them get, and they fight the ghouls with the Nitu and drive them back into the Maze. The Nitu are initially skeptical of these not-People, but then Kinut, their leader, drops his cloak to reveal a constellation birthmark depicting the Bear. Minotingiya declares them a new lodge, the Lodge of the Bear.

Stars: Down from 27 to 19.

Sarah's Turn: Sarah (Amagoruqun's player) draws the Man of Stars. She's in the pub, everyone's there, being all loud and chaotic and pushy. There's not enough room to start a brawl, though, so people start to calm down and push the elders to the front. The elders of the Lodges of Stars and Storms are definitely not in favor of this "new lodge," what with its lack of old people in leadership positions, but the Lodges of Flames and Tears are on board. Minotingiya argues for Bear people, but Amagoruqun argues that they're led by children. The youth in the room stand up with Bear-people, Amagoruqun is shouted down, and all of the youths in the Bear-tribe are initiated as Nitu. Kinut, agreed to be the leader of the Lodge of the Bear, gives Amagoruqun a glass lens, which she realizes she can use to see more clearly.

Stars: Down from 19 to 11.

Melissa's Turn: Melissa draws the 4 of Stars. The twins and Iqaatu come to in a ghoul cavern, tied with sinew, as the ghouls point at them and chitter. They seem intrigued by the star birthmark on the twins, but the twins just want to murder them. They pull at their sinews until they free themselves and Tegorqanuk leaps on a ghoul and bites its throat. Iqaatu, tired and furious of all the violence and lack of sense, jumps on Tegorqanuk's back and stabs him with her knife, killing him. The ghouls fall on the twins and slaughter them, feeding their flesh to Iqaatu and finally giving her the initiation she wanted...as a ghoul.

Stars: Down from 11 to 5. It's now Dawn. I draw the 2 of Tears. The ghouls emerge from their maze and march on the village, thousands strong.

Travis' Turn: Travis draws the 5 of Stars. The twins emerge from the ice as spirits, and then become bears, finally taking their true forms. They follow the ghoul tracks to village, where ghouls are slaughtering villagers and the dead spirits are joining Spirit-Drinker. Tegorqanuk gives a mighty bear roar and charges to battle, and he and his sister-bear force Iqaatu (who was locked in combat with Minotingiya) to the play-fields where the children normally frolic. The Lodge of Flames are first attacks the bears, but then realizes that the bears are fighting with the Nitu and switches to the ghouls.  Between the Lodge of Flames and their burning spears and the Lodge of Bears with metal weapons, the ghouls are forced back. The twin-bears kill Iqaatu, tearing her in half, and and water the Playing Fields with her blood.

Morning has come to Ganakagok. The Fifth Cataclysm has occurred, bringing with it a new Lodge...but great change to the land and the people. Both the land and the people get a happy ending, which is a first.

Ganakagok: Michelle narrates based on the 5 of Storms. The sun rises and warms the land, melting the ice, and reveals the ruins of previous settlements and matches the Lodge of Bears, meaning they are ancestors of the Forgotten Ones. The weren't intruders or newcomers, they are returning heroes.

Nitu: Sarah narrates based on the 6 of Storms. Having discovered that the Bears are part of their history, the Nitu merge their culture with the Bears and, over time, decide to keep or discard their traditions. Elders are ejected as leaders and society moves toward picking the leaders by merit and deeds, rather than seniority.

As for the characters...

Amagoraqun: Ancient of Tears. She eventually becomes somewhat friendly with Bears, lives mostly quietly in the pub, dispensing wisdom to those brave enough to approach her with a drink.

Minotingya: 7 of Flames. Has Kinut's baby. He's brought up in Lodge of Bears, which means Mino doesn't quite relate to him the way she would to another of her own lodge, but she loves her son.

Iqaatu: 9 of Stars. Becomes a spirit of nothingness and the Eyeless Prophet of the Void. She is a cautionary tale and a terrifying nightmare to the Nitu.

Tegorqanuk: 5 of Flames. Now a bear in body as well as soul, he stays in the village with the people - he has nowhere to lead the people, as the the village is now everywhere.

Kuiqanuk: 7 of Tears. As a bear as well, she moves out to the ice plains and into the new village, gets people to build bear-statues and teach the Nitu children to fight and play.