• Quentin Northcott

The Dancer and the Stranger

The mouth of the portal pulsed and hummed as it gaped to reveal a quiet, dimly-lit street. I saw a girl walking in the rain, visibly upset. She wore a shirt showing the silhouette of a dancer centered on the front. She sullenly meandered into a remote pub where she sat alone and sad. The girl sat at the bar of the pub as the rain hammered against the roof, offering refuge for its remaining patrons. She wiped wetness from her eyes.

"Beer please."

She ordered to the bartender. She noticed his questioning look as if he thought she was underage, but chose to give her the drink anyway. The top of the beer mug hissed and fizzled as she plunged the glass toward her lips. She carelessly returned the glass to the bar top as some of the beer trickled out of her mouth and ran down the sides of her chin. She wiped her face with angst as she stared at her own reflection that was being cast on the glass.

The bell of the pub door was impacted as a dark-looking man entered. His coat was long and drenched from the unrelenting rain. The edge of his jaw was about the only feature that peeked out from the shadow cast by the brim of his hat. He was seemingly unnoticed by the comatose patrons as he carefully approached the girl.

"Sorry you’re having a rough night."

The girl didn’t look up. He continued.

"She was cruel to you, I didn't like that."

That comment got her attention.

"Do I know you?" She replied, as she gave him a firm look, not wanting to let on that she was afraid. He didn't answer her question.

"If you'd like some help remedying the situation, perhaps, if you want to make things even, let me know. I can help."

Her eyes followed his gloved hand as he slid a small piece of paper across the bar, placing it right in front of her.

"Bartender! Can you get this guy away from me, please?!"

The girl turned to gesture the position of the man but instead was met with the door of the pub closing swiftly behind him. She looked down at the folded piece of paper. She curiously opened it to discover that it had a local address written across the top in poor penmanship. At the bottom was one two single words in typed font; ‘ KEEP DANCING’ accompanied by a pencil-drawn heart.

#boardgames #boardgamegeek #gamelore #wintermoongames #tabletop #pandemoniumestate #gamedesign #story #backstory

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