Ill Met By Moonlight

Ill Met By Moonlight is a mini RPG where you enact the vengeance of a fey monarch onto an unfortunate and rude capitalist.

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Cover image for Ill Met By Moonlight or The Unfortunate Life of Elias Constant After His Meeting With Alberich, Monarch Of The Fey showing a man with his head in his hands in front of a candle and a skull, with a dog next to him
British Library digitised image from page 139 of “Amérique du Sud. Trois ans chez les Argentins … Illustrations de Riou, etc”

In the light of a full moon, the young Elias Constant runs into a beggar on an old road. Being a mean spirited fellow, with little care for others, harsh words are spoken and insults are exchanged. The pair part ways, with the beggar muttering a curse…

What misfortune, though! For Elias has run afoul of Alberich, Monarch of the Fey, whose temper is easily raised and whose vengeance is legend…

An impish figure, with a long nose and ears, horns, and a tail dancing, whilst holding a drum.
British Library digitised image from page 144 of “Na úsvite nové doby. Dejiny roku 1848. v zemích ceských [With illustrations, including portraits and facsimiles.]”

How To Play

This is a game for one or two players, where you take on the roles of both Alberich the insulted Fey Monarch & the ill-met mortal Elias Constant, or divide the roles between you.

You will need a standard pack of 52 playing cards (remove the Joker) & 2d6.

Before you begin, discuss and decide on the following:

  • Alberich’s appearance in the mortal world
  • Alberich’s appearance in the fey world
  • Elias’ family members
  • Elias’ business and source of income
  • Elias’ passions and sources of joy

Next, answer the following together:

  • Where do Elias and Alberich meet?
  • How does Elias insult Alberich?
  • What keeps Alberich from revealing their true identity?
  • What are Alberich’s parting words to Elias?
  • What are Elias’ parting words to Alberich

Alberich will visit the mortal world 7 times. Each visit will be exactly 7 years apart and will bring new pain or difficulties for Elias. Begin with Alberich’s first visit and then play the 7 years that follow in Elias’ life. Repeat this until you have had 7 visits and 7 times 7 years of Elias’ life.  Once this is done, move to The End.

An imp, with one leg raised, playing a fiddle. Its proportions are much longer than those of a human.
British Library digitised image from page 120 of “Prose and Verse … Written and published in the course of fifty years, 1836-1886 [A collection in 20 volumes made by Mr. Linton of all his pamphlets and contributions to newspapers, magazines, etc, as they appeared in the original form, with title pages and tables of contents.]”

Alberich

Alberich does not deal well with insult and is known as a troublesome and tricksome spirit by all who cross their path. To fall into their bad grace is to sow the seeds of a crop of ashes and reap only sorrow.

For each visit to the mortal world, draw to determine the season and Alberich’s power. When you draw, discard 6 cards and read the suit from the 7th:

SUITSEASONPOWER
SPADESSUMMERFULL – Pick 6 INTERACTIONS
HEARTSSPRINGWAXING – Pick d6 INTERACTIONS
CLUBSAUTUMNWANING – Pick d6 INTERACTIONS
DIAMONDSWINTERLOW – Pick d3 INTERACTIONS

When you use an INTERACTION, have a scene where you describe how Alberich’s influence on Elias’ life manifests.

INTERACTIONRESULT
DO HARMSomeone close to Elias sickens, is injured, or dies
TAKE WEALTHA source of income, stockpiled resource, or treasured possession is lost to Elias
RUIN PROSPECTSA plan or venture in Elias’ future is compromised or destabilised
BREAK BONDSSomeone close to Elias falls out of love with, loses trust in, or disavows him
WILT PASSIONA project, task, or object of affection loses all fascination for Elias
DISCREDIT NAMEElias’ reputation is damaged or ruined

Alberich’s influence may not be felt immediately – you can choose to use these INTERACTIONS at any point during Elias’ 7 years, but you must use them all before the next visit to the mortal plane. Your INTERACTIONS may be used in direct opposition to any positive effects that come from Elias’ focus.

Once you have seen the effect of your last INTERACTIONS on Elias, move to THE END.

Elias Constant

Elias Constant is a hard man to like and a harder man to love. In business, he is a bludgeoning cudgel, or a whetted blade. With family, he is cold as stone. The conversations that go on behind his back are seldom unknown to him and the thin smile with which he greets his peers hides a forked tongue and sharp mind.

For each year between meetings, pick one of the following to FOCUS on:

FOCUSMODIFIER
BUSINESS & WEALTH+2
REPUTATION & STANDING+ 1
PASSIONS & PROJECTS0
FAMILY & FRIENDS– 1

When you FOCUS on something, have a scene which shows how Elias’ FOCUS manifests, then roll 2d6 and add the relevant modifier. 

On 7-10, pick 1

On 11-12, pick 2

REPAIR/REBUILDThe FOCUS recovers from complications or damage
ENHANCE/EXCELThe FOCUS grows or improves in some way, to your benefit
FASCINATE/FAVOURThe FOCUS shines in a different way and invigorates you with new passion
BLOSSOM/BURGEONThe FOCUS opens up a new opportunity or prospect

On a 6 or below, whatever you FOCUS on worsens, sours, or turns to ashes – make a MARK. REPAIR/REBUILD allows you to remove a MARK.

When a FOCUS reaches 3 marks, Elias reaches RUIN in that aspect of his life – he can no longer FOCUS on it and must apply his attentions elsewhere.

If all of Elias’ FOCUS are in RUIN, then he is made destitute. Move immediately to THE END.

A mushroom
Image from The Heritage Library Mushrooms 02 pack – https://www.heritagetype.com/pages/free-vintage-illustrations

The End

At the end of Elias’ life, Alberich will visit him and reveal their true form. They will show Elias 3 VISIONS, and revel in his despair.

If Elias avoided complete RUIN, Alberich will have 3 cards left. If Elias was RUINED and became destitute, then shuffle the deck and draw 3 cards at random.

Show Elias 1 VISION for each card. Have a scene for each one.

SPADESA vision of a past, now long lost
HEARTSA vision of a future that could have been
CLUBSA vision of a different present, where Elias prospers
DIAMONDSA vision of what will remain after Elias’ death

Once the final VISION has been shown, Elias will be left in the tatters of his life, to fade away and think on all that could have been. 

Alberich will bid him farewell and return to the Feywield, with their taste for revenge sated; at least, for now…