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Tellers' Stories / The Tyrant and the Sun
« on: May 29, 2018, 10:28:03 PM »
The Tyrant and the Sun

Long ago, long before any of us were born, the Far South was ruled by a tyrant named Imras, king of the Dramites. And king Imras had as many wives as he had toes. Every time one of his wives displeased him, he killed her and raided another village, saving only one woman. When his armies reached the village of Illus, a beautiful young woman named Meadna rushed towards him and begged him to spare the lives of her people. He accepted on one condition: that she would be faithful to him. And Meadna of Illus promised that she would never tell him a lie. Satisfied, king Imras spared the lives of the villagers and together with Meadna he returned to his castle.

As they rode on horseback in the midday sun, Meadna was smiling, lost in thought, but never looking at him. So he asked of Meadna: "Tell me, and remember your promise, is there someone you love more than me?"
And Meadna answered: "Yes, someone I knew long before I met you, and someone who is coming with me to your castle."
Worried about this secret lover, king Imras locked her away in the highest tower, and had every villager locked in the dungeons.

The next morning, when king Imras and his wives sat in the garden, Meadna was still smiling, but never looking at him. So he asked a second question of Meadna: "Tell me, and remember your promise, why are you thinking of someone else, when everyone you knew is locked away in the dark?"
And Meadna answered: "But he has never been inside your dungeons. You lock me in my room, but it is completely open to him. Every night, I lay awake and I know he will visit me again."
Mortified of some nightly intruder, king Imras had his masons close off all the windows of her bedroom.

But the next day, as king Imras enjoyed a dinner at sunset, Meadna sat next to him, smiling, but never looking at him. So he asked a third question of Meadna: "Tell me, and remember your promise, is this rogue still visiting you?"
And Meadna answered: "Yes, his fingertips touch my skin every day. And even after he has left I can feel his warmth where he kissed my neck."
Furious with this daring seduction, king Imras had her cloaked in black garments that revealed only her eyes.

On the day after that, as king Imras showed off his skills with a bow, Meadna watched with a smile on her face, but never looking at him. So he asked a fourth question of Meadna: "Tell me, and remember your promise, what magic does this trickster use to evade my guards?"
Meadna answered: "He never hides when he arrives, and until he leaves everyone in the castle knows where he is. But his splendor is so great that few dare look at him."
With that king Imras faced Meadna and laughed: "You are afraid to look at him? Be afraid of me! I am the king of the Dramites. Who does he think he is?"
And Meadna answered: "His reach is much larger than your kingdom."
Fuming, king Imras nocked an arrow on his bow and bellowed: "No matter where he is, my arrow can hit him from where I stand. Tell me! Where do I find this fiend?"
Meadna answered "He is with us right now."
Seething with rage, king Imras strung his bow and roared: "Tell me! Tell me his name and I will strike him down!"
And Meadna of Illus answered: "His name is Sun."

King Imras looked up at the sun above and loosed his arrow. And the arrow went up and up, ever higher, but it did not reach the sun and instead was sent back to earth.
Thus died Imras, king of the Dramites.

Not sure if this story belongs here, as I haven't actually told it to anyone, but I figured it fits the style and I would love to tell stories like this if I ever muster up the courage. I wrote a different story with the same ending back in highschool, where the king's daughter kills herself out of loneliness and he attacks the Sun as revenge. It didn't make much sense, and I was inspired to rewrite it when I came up with the idea of 'he touches her skin every day, but she is afraid to look at him'. I have a couple of stories like this based on a pantheon I came up with; I'd like to revisit them but for this one I decided to keep the sun god abstract.


Hi everyone! I'm Sander, one half of the development team that is creating Epicinium.

Epicinium is a strategy wargame where your impact on the environment matters; at the end of a match, the winner is scored for how much of the map is still covered with grass. Machinegunners trying to hit the enemy soldiers might just miss and mow down some trees. Do you capture your enemy's cities so you can control them, or do you just bombard them to kingdom come? Do you let your citizens enjoy the forests that surround your city, or do you cut them down to dig trenches? It is possible to take a less destructive approach, but can you afford to? Building industry gives you more money to work with and access to powerful tanks, but it also increases global warming to ludicrous levels. If you win by having your enemy's half of the map ravaged by firestorm, did you really win at all?

Our initial inspiration was "Advance Wars with environmental mechanics", but the gameplay is quite different because of the simultaneous turns: during the planning phase each player assigns up to five orders to their units, and during the action phase the players' units alternatingly execute these orders. This adds a surprising amount of depth where you have to anticipate your enemy's moves and attacks, because your bombardments might miss or your units might get shot halfway before getting to their destination. And beyond that are the environmental mechanics like collateral damage, seasonal temperature changes, ground pollution and global warming.

Daan and I started working on this game somewhere around May 2017, and we're developing for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux with cross-platform multiplayer.
Because multiplayer is our main focus, we've set up a Discord server for players to chat and find opponents.
More extensive information on the mechanics can be found on the wiki.

I'm really curious what you think!

Edit: Epicinium was released for free on Steam and itchio on 12 October 2020!

Steam | | Discord | Website | Twitter

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