The Nobles and Peasants

A weak sun barely broke the haze over the market district as Zog the Dung Merchant shovelled out his wares.

The street was crowded with stalls, with peasants aggressively haggling with vendors and nobles sauntering up and down, running vicious eyes over the baubles on offer.

Zog sniffed and spat, hitting the passing cat he’d been aiming for.  The stall neighbouring his, run by the hated Zug, had a particularly towering mountain of dung today.

His rival had enticed a sneering noble to his stall, dressed head to toe in fresh animal furs, still dripping blood. Her manservant held a handkerchief up to his mistress’ nose and mouth as she coldly stated she was looking to downgrade her servants’ hay-pile beds to manure to save on costs.

A noble wearing bloody furs, from the board game Amulet of Thrayax

Zug waved her closer to the looming pile, expounding the quality of his wares. Zog saw his moment and seized it, a swift kick to the rotting leg of Zug’s stall took it right off. It wobbled precariously for a second, before the inevitable avalanche.

The noble saw the oncoming onslaught and let out an ill-timed scream as Zug leapt to the side.

‘GUARDS!’ shrieked the entombed noble, snapping awake the dozy, half-asleep guards nearby. A sharp, pointed finger erupted from the pile. ‘Arrest this cretin!’, she cried and Zog sniggered as Zug was led away in chains.

Smug and victorious, he turned back to his own stall, not noticing the horde of short, hooded figures amassing in the alley behind him.

Thraymania was about to begin…

A Shrubbery!

Hi there Rerollers, I’m Fergus!

I’ve been helping Tom bring Amulet of Thrayax (opens in a new window) into the real world and am also going to be contributing to the blog, starting with this post!

When I was first introduced to the game, it was a little different. The mechanics were there; but the placeholder visuals were a lot grimmer in tone, with a straight-faced, dark, slapstick humour. 

Concept of a guard from Amulet of Thrayax

Tom and I discussed how the style and humour would need to be fleshed out more, particularly if we were going to make murdering the citizens of Bleakpyre funny (we assumed that not everyone out there is as callously humoured as us).

There’s a strong, absurdist streak in British comedy, often accompanied by a refusal to acknowledge how silly we’re actually being. Think Monty Python, with barely one straight man in a sketch taking the whole thing seriously.

We wanted the game to embody that style of humour, with an over the top manner of soul harvesting in a cartoon style that would make the premise more palatable (cue falling anvils).

Of course, we couldn’t have the inhabitants of this world being too sympathetic, we want people to root for the cults after all!

Out of touch, superior nobles are easy to make fun of because it’s punching up, but the peasants would also need to be more contemptible than the cults. We thought back across the games we’ve played over the years where we’ve had no problem being the baddies.

Concepts of nobles from Amulet of Thrayax

Take the video game Fable, for example, all the villagers come across as stupid, selfish, and/or utterly lacking in self-awareness – so you don’t feel so bad murdering them, driving property prices down, buying all the houses and becoming a slum lord (everyone did that in Fable 2 right?)

And so with our residents, we have the snooty, aloof, selfish nobles, and the equally selfish (but less well dressed) peasants, who are as vicious and short-sighted, just a tad less smart.

And then the cults you play as, who might, unlike the rest of the city, have an IQ score you can’t count on one hand.

Thank you for reading!

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We’ll be revealing another of our cults on Thursday so keep a lookout for it!

Thanks for reading,

Fergus (opens in a new window)

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