Dorian Aquila: An Introduction

Today has been a good day. Taking my dad to the hospital has been… OK. I made a really good spag bol afterwards.

While I was waiting I wrote some of The Last Days Of Dorian Aquila, a storygame about a faux 17th century duellist. Including this relationship map:

Dorian_Relationship Map

And some fluff:

“The Last Days of Dorian Aquila: A Tragedy”

Dorian Aquila is a rake and a scoundrel. She is about to fight a duel and will likely not survive. These are her last days, where she settles her affairs. Who will she make amends with?

This is not an historically accurate game. Style-wise it looks a lot like the late 17th to early 18th century; but really that’s just a bunch of social conventions. You could transplant the setting to a fantasy setting, a space-opera setting, etc. I visualise it as being this period because I like frock coats and outrageous wigs.

These are the important conventions:

  • There is a mania for duelling, and people die every day over matters of honour.
  • Duelling is also formalised, with seconds to observe that everything is “fair”. This is used to mitigate against a charge of murder and hanging in the event of a fatality.
  • People are obsessed with honour.
  • People are also obsessed with social class. One can ascend through merit alone, but that is very rare; far more likely that one comes from money already. The latter will always consider themselves superior to the former.

Also, about female pronouns. I want to use female pronouns throughout. (If this bothers you as being a bit too politically correct I will just say this — it’s not intended to be politically correct, just political.)

You could take this world at face value where everyone is literally female — similar to the feminist utopia of Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s Herland. Or you could take it as a statement that gender identification doesn’t really matter, such as in Anne Leckie’s Ancillary trilogy, or where gender roles are fluid as in Ursula Le Guin’s Left Hand Of Darkness. Or you could just do what (I guess) a female audience usually does with male-pronoun fiction — imagine that at any point he may be substituted for she. Except the other way around. Obviously.

(Not politically correct. Just political.)