The Ratrilpot Reference Guide

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Major Characters

Ratrilpot Geography


The "Games"





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Talt Tales and Magical Misadventures




The (Ghastly) Games With Fabulous Names

About the Games

One of the ways the Queen of Ratrilpot keeps the peace in her realm is with her Games with Fabulous Names. However, it's not because folks enjoy the perverse form of entertainment; it's because they don't want to become a participant.

Since the fiction in which the stories are referenced may not go into details of the game, this list provides details about what John C. Tremblay was envisioning when he wrote the stories.

(And although it shouldn't need to be said, these games are not meant to be taken seriously. The author does not endorse violence nor does he advocate that anyone would try playing such games at home.)

All Creatures Rake and Maul

Referenced In: The short story, Preying for Help.

Details: Gladitorial game where prisoners are put in a pit with various beasts and told to kill them or be killed. Early rounds start out with smaller starved or rabid creatures, and with each subsequent round the creatures grow in size and ability. The number of rounds depends on the creatures available at the time, but it's rare that any prisoner survives to the end of the game, given that they are not armed and large cats, bears, or other oversized beasts are used for the high range middle tier beasts. (A dragon would be used as the final beast if there ever was a need.)

Axe Me No Questions, I'll Fell You No Lies

Referenced In: The short story, Survival Idols.

Details: The Queen provides answers to a series of 5 questions. The prisoner has to guess whether she’s telling the truth or she’s lying. If contestants answer incorrectly, they lose an appendage to the axe (2 arms, 2 legs, 1 head). Very few folks win this game, and even fewer live through their first failed question… since once they pass out from the pain and can no longer answer any questions, the Queen “mercifully” decides that they feel so horrible about not knowing their queen better, they have opted instead to give their lives to make amends.

Death to the Heathens

Referenced In: The flash fiction story, A Time to Croak.

Details: The Queen of Ratrilpot has the tongues removed from a number of prisoners. She then invites these prisoners to participate in a contest where they must praise the name of Annūté, the god and creator of Ratrilpot. If the participants manage to recite his holy name, their faith is proven and they are released with an apology from the crown. If they fail, they are declared to be heathens and run through. To date, the Queen has never apologized for anything.

Liar, Liar, Legs On Fire

Referenced In: The short story, A Girl's Best Friend.

Details: The Queen asks the contestants a series of seven embarrassing questions in front of their families. If the contestants try to lie (which the Queen is able to discern due to her magical gifts), a pyre is set on fire beneath them. If the contestants answer all seven questions truthfully, they get to walk away. In most cases, the contestants picked for this game are folks with very dark secrets (often perversions, adultery, and the like), and thus the revealing of these secrets either ruins their lives (or ends their lives depending on how angry their spouses/parents/neighbors get) when the game is done.

Peter Cheetah, Plump Kin Eater

Referenced In: The flash fiction story, The Midnight Ride of Polly Revere.

Details: Like the name implies, this game involves a hungry feline and a family of plump persons. The participants are released into a walled arena and expected to battle to the death with the vicious beast. Unfortunately for the family, they are not permitted to have weapons, and Peter the Cheetah happens to be a world champion people eater that always cleans his plate.

Note that as a token of good will, the Queen will sometimes call Peter off before he's finished the last family member (which tends to be the father of the family). Coincidentally, by that time the man has usually keeled over from over-exertion and grief.