By Jeppe Nybo Jørgensen
Masada, Judea, A.D. 74.
Stepping through the breach of the besieged mountain fortress, making their way across the rubble, the legionnaires find nothing but burned buildings, destroyed riches, broken blades and broken bodies. Nine hundred and sixty of them. Dead by their own hand, leaving the victors neither spoils nor any prisoners of war to rape, torture, and crucify as an example to any that would challenge the Roman Empire. Only the granaries are left intact, a last defiant message from the defeated, that their deaths were not one out of desperate hunger.
This is their story. A story of a failed rebellion that risked it all and failed. The scenario asks how it would feel to be forced to turn your sword on your loved ones – knowing that a fate far worse than death await them, could you kill that which you love the most? Cut your own very flesh and blood, causing them pain? Is there any deed more unimaginable? Can an act of ultimate violence become an act of love?
Inspired – but not limited – by historical events surrounding the siege of the mountain fortress Masada at the end of the First Jewish-Roman War, as they were portrayed by the scholar Josephus at the time. It is also the story of a bloody lottery, in which broken shards of pottery are drawn, so that no Man or Woman will have to kill themselves, save one. All killing each other in groups, decided by the fate of the shards, each slaying their own family, until only one living soul remains. The last one must fall on her own blade, denied a path to Paradise, its doors shut to those who commit suicide.
Estimated running time: 4 hrs.
Number of players: 4 players + 1 game master.
Tags: Tragedy, emotional relationships, immersive, historical, semi-live.
Player types: Immersive players who would like to indulge themselves in an intense and painful story, facing an unimaginable moral dilemma. Mainly playing one of the central characters – The Righteous, The Wrathful, The Meek, or The Lover – you will also be called upon to portray the loved ones of the other characters in some of the scene focusing on them alone.
Gamemaster type: You are good at creating the right atmosphere, both in setting the individual scenes as well as between the players, encouraging the confidence and shared trust needed to tackle a very dark subject. Your finest task will be to help the players nurture the emotional aspect of the story in two very different aspects: in establishing close ties in the first part and in the tragic cutting of them in the second part.
Language: Will be available in both Danish and English
About the author: Having enjoyed reading, playing, running, and judging Fastaval scenarios for more than two decades, Jeppe is finally taking his first stab at writing one. Befittingly, it is literally a story about killing your darlings.