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Rating: 4
Condition: Normal
ID: 870


October 28, 2005, 12:42 pm

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The Mad Prince


He was a madman, that was undeniable.  The called him a prince because of the remains of a noble bearing and fine clothes.  But sometimes, in his lucid moments, he seemed very sad.


He is a tall young man, and was good-looking once, but time and madness have taken thier toll.  He usually walks hunched over like a beggar, hiding his height.  His hair is somewhat long, and almost black, although the color is usually obscured by dirt and grime.  His clothes were fine once, but are now little better than rags.


He was found by some children on the outskirts of their village.  No one had seen him before or knew who he was.  At first they thought that he was a nobleman who had been attacked by bandits; his clothes, though ruined, showed quality.  They were quickly disabused of this notion.  The stranger was unquestionably mad.  He raved of monsters and traitors and shining lights, among other things.  No one knew what to make of him.  He wouldn’t tell them who he was, or who he supposed himself to be.  He frightened the children.  Then, suddenly, he seemed to regain his grip on reality.  He would converse in a natural manner with the villagers, and, when told of his previous behavior, apologized profusely.  He seemed to have a natural noble bearing that came out then, and somewhat refined speech.  People again thought he might be a nobleman, albeit a mad one.  But that question was never to be answered.  The stranger couldn’t remember anything prior to being found, and his memories of his period of madness were hazy at best.  There did seem to be an inexpressible sadness about him, however.  Then, as quickly as the madness had vanished, it was back again.  And so it would be.  The stranger, whom people were now calling the Mad Prince, went through cycles of madness, in which his deranged raving grew more wild and frightening, and cycles of lucidity.  He had trouble remembering anything that happened during his cycles of madness, and began to have trouble remembering things that happened during his lucid periods.  Soon the villagers found themselves having to reintroduce themselves to him everytime the madness broke.  They have also noticed that the periods of madness are getting longer, and the lucid periods are getting shorter.  They feel that soon, the Mad Prince will be entirely mad.

Roleplaying Notes:

The villagers wonder what horrors the poor fellow has seen to drive him out of his mind.  The current consensus is that he was a soldier, and what he saw in battle broke him.  Many, however, feel that is not an adequate explanation.

The Mad Prince’s ravings contiuously grow more incoherent and frightening, but a common theme seems to be something about monsters and traitors, which might give a clue to his past and what happened to him.

The Mad Prince’s ravings might have begun to take on an air of prophecy.  Whether or not his predictions are correct remains to be seen.

Perhaps a stranger was passing through the village, and his appearance triggered something in the Mad Prince’s warped mind.  He became violent, and had to be restrained.  Could it be that maybe the Prince dimly recognized someone?

In his lucid moments, which are becoming rarer, the Mad Prince has a tenous grasp on what’s happening to him.  Knowing that he will probably lose his mind entirely, and after hearing the villagers tell him about what has happened during the mad periods, he might decide to leave, so as not to be a burden on them.  They may or may not like that.

An idea that has loosely formed, and seems to stick with the Mad Prince into his cycles of madness, is that maybe the villagers are not as innocuous as they seem.  That suspicion could be just a paranoid delusion, but then it might not be.

Perhaps a group of adventurers had encountered the village, and has noticed that the loacl lunatic bears an uncanny resemblance to the (missing?) heir to the throne, local lord, hero of the kingdom, etc.  But surely that resemblance is their immaginations, or a coincidence.  Isn’t it?

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Comments ( 4 )
Commenters gain extra XP from Author votes.

March 18, 2003, 18:12
Perhaps he has been marked by a creature from another plane and as that creature grows more powerful, he plagues the mad prince even more. The creature may have attacked or destoyed where ever the mad prince came from, leaving him the only survivor, and it will soon attack where the mad prince resides once again.

The prophetic visions may be the workings of the creature that has a hold on the mad prince. He could be tormenting the prince with whispers of his plans, then when it acts on them, the plans could lead to the creature appearing in the village. Of course, the villiagers, worried about the mad prince's increasingly erratic behavior, start finding mutilated livestock or people come up missing, are likely to suspect the prince himself first, rather than any strange voice no one else can hear.
Ria Hawk
March 18, 2003, 21:19
Also, the Mad Prince would make a very good person to frame for any sort of violent crime. But what happens if he himself turns up dead?
Voted valadaar
May 31, 2013, 21:47
Ah, so many possibilities. I like this one. Into the faves it goes...
Voted Kassy
June 1, 2013, 6:31

Does anyone know where Ria has disappeared to? I'm sure I saw her return to the site a couple of months or so ago.

Also, this sub is rated a 4. There are 3 votes on it. But in the comments section only valadaar has voted on it from what I can see?

Random Idea Seed View All Idea Seeds

Hu's Iron Ball

       By: Murometz

Hu was an ambassador of the Seventh Emperor of the Reng Dynasty. Throughout his life he traveled across many miles and lands to entreaty with neighboring kingdoms and the semi-savages who dwelled amidst the Metal Mountains.

During one such diplomatic mission, Hu was gifted a small iron marble as a gesture, by a shaman of the Kiy-Kiy tribe. Little else is known of Hu, but that marble was lost and is now somewhere out there for someone to find.

A tiny, shiny sphere, the marble has several properties. First and foremost it is a strong magnet, considerably stronger than its size and density would indicate.

Secondly, if thrown or rolled upon the ground and the command word is spoken, the iron ball will magically enlarge to either the size of an ogres's head or to that of a great globe, twelve feet in diameter. The rolling ball of either size will continue to roll or fly at the same relative speed it was when launched as a marble, and can thus cause great damage to anything in its path. The magnetic power of the ball will also magnify when enlarged.

Legends claim that the ball has been tossed from besieged castles upon attacking foes and rolled at marching armies in ages past. At the end of such rolls, the larger size globe has been known to not only crush soldiers underfoot, but to also "collect" many dozens of metallic weapons and bits of armor unto itself, appearing as an armored sphere, with swords and spears sticking out from it in all directions.

Owning this powerful marble has its drawbacks. Anyone carrying it on their person, will experience the iron ball's insidious effects after some time. The owner feels no worse for wear, but after two month's time they will suddenly awaken one morning to find that their hair has fallen out completely, their teeth loosened like baby's teeth ready to drop, and their fingernails simply shriveled and sliding off the fingers and toes. Perhaps unbeknownst to the owner at first, the iron ball also renders an owner sterile or barren by this time.

Regular clerical healing will not reverse this horrible malady. Only finding and beseeching a shaman of the Kiy-Kiy tribe to heal the iron ball's effects with their particular brand of magic, will work.

Hu's Iron Ball should be handled carefully by players and gms.

Ideas  ( Items ) | March 8, 2014 | View | UpVote 3xp

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