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CURSE: The Children of the Night is a dark medieval game in urban territory. The characters are all Brothers and Sisters of the Night, the infamous criminal organization.
The City, located on an island somewhere in a blackened alternative Medieval Baroque version of Europe, is influencing the choices and actions of the characters in order to realize her secret designs and lead her inhabitants toward the ultimate state of Perdition!
Will the characters, Brothers and Sisters of the Night, participate to the entropic designs of the cursed City, or will they take control of their fate, by the blood and the gold?
The plague, the Black Death, never disappeared.
Curse is set in an alternative Europe.
A darker version, devastated by two centuries of plague.
The game takes place on an island, somewhere on the Fading Sea, distant from the rest of the world.
This alternative “Medieval Baroque” context is a deliberate choice, made to allow Masters and Players to imagine and tell stories freely with no fear of creating historical or geographic inaccuracy.
In 1347, the world flickered and everything changed.
At the end of the 17th century, the world is very different from what we know of ours at that time.
The grim reality of Curse is fictional and unstable. And because of that, you decide what you make of it!
This intentional inaccuracy allows you, the Master, to “tune” the world as you want it to be for your game. I say “the world”, but the world doesn’t matter much in Curse, as the game takes place mainly within the walls of The City, on a distant island, cut from the rest of the world.
Curse is a sandbox game, contextualized just enough to trigger your imagination and generate stories within a world that you don’t have to learn, because you know it already. And what you don’t know about it is simply up to you to create.
This creative freedom allows you to set the tone.
How historically accurate do you want your world to be?
Mine is at a crossroad between realism and eldritch fiction. Myths and dark legends have infiltrated reality to a point where architecture took a sinister turn. Superstitions are true most of the time, and nightmares feel like a safe place compared to some of the City streets.
Judgmental ravens perched on smoky chimneys, mysterious hooded individuals walking the streets at night, witches looking for a prey, lustful priests and self-righteous inquisitors, lone warriors and mad sorcerers, they are as real as the noble families who control the money in the City. As real as the worst rumors that the people whisper about the Night and its infamous members.
So yes, in the background of my game there is a thing that used to be Europe.
European kingdoms and nations have collapsed under the waves of pestilent rats, and the names “France, Spain, Italy, Europe, etc, are barely ever mentioned on the island, or at the gaming table.
I use the pseudo-historical context to inject a heavy dose of realism at the table. But the reality is a darker, grimmer, haunted fantasy. Where ghosts walk the foggy streets, and the winds carry the voices of the dead. A place where a cursed city rises, grows, expanding its streets like blackened veins, feeding on the souls of its inhabitants.
The Black Death
Something happened in 1346. And with it came the Black Death.
Since then, the Sun has struggled to pierce through the black clouds rolling in the sky, carrying violent storms and heavy rains.
The world has darkened.
People say the last seal has been broken. That God is gone. They say that Death is claiming the living and that the dead are finding their way back. The haunting superstitions, the grim legends, the fear of the night, it all came true.
They say we have lost the world.
17th Century, The Dark Times
The Black Death is slowly receding, after almost two centuries of insatiable hunger.
Europe is a sinister place. It has lost more than half its population, and the ones who remain are broken and desperate. Men and women have lost faith in God
While many have fled to the new continent, on the other side of the sea, European cities are ghost towns, where forest have regrown.
It is the Dark Times.
A time when people try to speak of renaissance as the shadows of the Dark Ages struggle to dissipate.
The City, the island
There is an island in the Fading Sea, near the shores of Europa.
The island has once been at the center of a conflict between the European Nations. It became independent in 1348.
Since, the island has evolved on its own. Separated from the world.
The island’s identity has been molded by all the different cultures that participated to its building.
And yet, remains of a lost and ancient past have been discovered in the endless tunnels serpenting under the City, suggesting a story dating from deeper in times, way deeper than the stories told.
Carmina Burana (Karl Orff)
Dead Can Dance
Early Cradle of Filth
Jed Kurzel (Macbeth OST)
Wojciech Kilar (Dracula OST)
Yyrkoon (Oniric Transition)
Dimmu Borgir (For all tid / Stormblast/EDT)
Satyricon (Dark Medieval Times/ The Shadowthrone)
Our Survival Depends on Us
L'Homme de la Mancha (Brel)
MOVIES / TV
The Seventh Seal (Ingmar Bergman)
Excalibur (John Boorman)
Flesh+Blood (Paul Verhoeven)
The Sword in the Stone (Wolfgang Reitherman / Disney)
Sleeping beauty (Clyde Geronimi / Disney)
La Reine Margot (Patrice Chéreau)
The Name of the Rose (Jean-Jacques Annaud)
Il Casanova (Federico Fellini)
Nosferatu (Werner Herzog)
Aguirre, the Wrath of God (Werner Herzog)
Dracula (Francis Ford Coppola)
Game of Thrones
Black Death (Christopher Smith)
The Black Company (Glen Cook)
Best Served Cold (Joe Abercrombie)
The saga of Elric (Michael Moorcock)
Kane (Karl Edward Wagner)
Les Chroniques Crépusculaires (Mathieu Gaborit)