the artistry and psychology of gaming

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Oases of Beauty: An Introduction

Oases of Beauty: An Introduction

We’d all heard the rumors: the ones about the old abandoned house not being quite so abandoned.  They told of an old adventurer dwelling in its attic.  Being an aspiring adventurer myself, I’d decided to check it out.  That’s what brought me there on that fateful night.  The old gate was swinging in the wind, conjuring memories of every old horror cliché in the book.  Fortunately, logic prevailed over fear, and I made my way inside.  Inside, the place wasn’t quite in the state of disrepair that I’d expected.  Fresh candles, the only source of light, burned all about.  The walls were either painted in a dark purple, or a dark green with an iridescent quality to it; nothing like any paint I’d ever seen.  I headed up the staircase that greeted me as I entered the door, and made my way down the second floor hall.  There was a pastel drawing of a ribcage on the wall at its end.  Behind it, there was a small button, which I pressed.  A staircase to the attic above descended behind me.  It was rather surprising to see that all of the whisperings circulating about the place had been so accurate, right down to the switch behind the drawing.  Collecting my thoughts and raising my alertness, I ascended the stairs to the attic, but what awaited me there was something I couldn’t have possibly imagined.

A huge, furry beast of many bright colors stood at the top of the stairs, glaring down at me.  It appeared feline in nature and seemed very angry with me.  Before I could figure out what to do, I heard a whistle, and the beast walked away, disappearing into the shadows.  I continued up, against my better judgment, and found the source of the whistle.  It was a strange being with its back to me.  It was humanoid, about average height, with silver hair, brushed straight back.  I couldn’t determine whether it was male or female, but I had made the assumption that all of the treasures strewn about belonged to it.  There were countless objects from weapons to treasures all over the small room.  The gaunt-looking figure turned to face me, and I noticed that its eyes were mostly blue, but with a red ring around each pupil.  There was something unearthly in the figure’s gaze.  Before I could open my mouth, it spoke to me in a soft voice.

“Don’t worry about Freya, she’ll leave you alone, provided you extend to her the same courtesy.  I imagine you’ve made your way to my attic to hear of my journeys.  It’s not fancy, but please, make yourself at home.  As you’ve likely heard, I’m an interdimensional wayfarer of sorts.  I’ve been exploring foreign worlds almost longer than I can remember.  Every world has its own unique beauty, including this one; you just have to know how to look at it in order to see it.  I’ve seen such strange and fascinating things on my journeys; wondrous things that would make you gasp, faint, or drop to your knees weeping.  Once you’ve seen beauty in the grotesque, you come to appreciate beauty in your own world, as well. Rest awhile, and I’ll spin you a tale.”

The adventurer sat down in the chair at the back of the attic and the beast made its way to the chair’s left arm.  The strange figure reached down and began scratching the creature behind its neck, making it seem almost friendly.  I sat down on the rug before the chair and wondered what this evening held in store for me.

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