Werewolf S06: An Emperor in Atari

OT: If held in the same prison as a former emperor, people probably had enough power, even blinded, for the prison grapevine to inform them of a political assassination. Rich and powerful people tend to be networked like that, even in prison. Whole revolutions have been realized behind bars. A Google search would reveal that Isaakios was connected enough to even briefly reclaim his throne.
Sidenote: a person powerful enough to be cell buddies with an emperor would probably be renowned and hardly mistaken for a commoner.
The number is mentioned in the note, but if we are being pedantic, let’s just simply accept that the person who wrote the story isn’t good enough to find a more realistic way to implement it. The person humbly accepts the criticism and asks for people to try to work with that.
Eastern Roman Empire had diplomatic relations with the whole known world at this point, so someone could choose a character from literally everywhere that isn’t the Americas or Oceania. Powerful men can be diplomats, generals, imperial astronomers, eunuchs, there is really no restriction. If people are inclined to work with the story, of course.
The writer hoped that the era, war, empire and notorious intrigues would catch people’s imagination way more than the building’s function that happens to be a prison, and apologizes for the miscalculation.


I’m not sure if the historical setting is clear, but it’s a rather interesting piece. In February 1203, ex-Emperor Isaakios II (r. 1185-1195) had been blinded and imprisoned eight years ago, deposed by his older brother who since then ruled as Alexios III. In 1202, Isaakios’ son (whose name is also Alexios), offered to the Crusaders to convert to Catholicism and help finance their crusade if they helped him to liberate and re-install Isaakios and himself. In summer 1203 they sieged Constantinople Alexios III. fled the city, Isaakios II and Alexiov IV. reigned briefly for some more months until they were ousted by another guy called Alexios.

The Fourth Crusade itself is weird story in itself. The French and German knights wanted to take ships to the Holy Land. The Doge of Venice, Enrico Dandolo, 98 years old and blind, offered them the passage. But there were far fewer knights than expected and they didn’t have the money to pay the Doge for the ships. So the Doge said ‘alright, go and plunder the city of Zara in Croatia for money.’ (Zara was a rival to Venice) And so they did. But Zara was a Catholic city, so the Pope excommunicated the Crusaders. The money was still not enough, and then young Alexios showed up. When in early 1204 him and Isaakios still weren’t able to pay the Crusaders for their help, the Crusaders engaged in pillaging, burning, raping, and wanton violence, stealing everything that looked remotely valuable. The Pope excommunicated them some more.

And this is why the Duomo di San Marco in Venice has Byzantine bronze horses on its balcony and many other spoils.

@Vsotvep’s statement that the Crusaders needn’t come near Constantinople if Isaakios is killed now refers to this. Without him, they needn’t come to liberate and re-install him. I still think Alexios might hire them to help himself. Now I’m off to play some CK3.



Sorry, @Gia, I don’t mean to be critical of your story or setting. I’m just trying to poke fun at my own ignorance of the crusades and related history (I understand that they were about a bunch of Catholics going to war and generally being bad people, but I just very recently learned that there were at least four) and express that in the manner of my own absurd sense of humor and hopeless pedantry.

I somehow overlooked the “two wolves” comment earlier, but I see that now. Sorry for asking a dumb question. Cauliflower must be really losing his mind.

Back to the story…

Indeed Cauliflower was losing his mind. He had no actual connection to the Black Forest and was actually the scion a powerful and immensely wealthy noble family that has long resided and influenced the political intrigue in Constantinople. Coincidentally, his real name was also Alexios, but he bore no relation to any of other Alexios mentioned earlier. However, all that remains of Alexios is this broken shell of a body now occupied only by Cauliflower.

While rocking back and forth in the fetal position, Cauliflower mutters to himself, “Montezuma, send a telegram to the Khan, ‘England expects every man to do his duty!’”


Søtsten paced up and down, mentally checking his notes and noticing that something doesn’t add up.

Day Warden had rushed the counting, eager to go spend his salary in the Ippodromos, as usual… He counted bodies and mistook @Haze_with_a_Z for a new arrival, that useless nepotism hire. Or he did it on purpose. Who knew, everyone was trying to trick everyone in this wicked city.

There was a prisoner not yet assigned to his cell, waiting with his guardian next to the pyli (gate).

It seemed consequences had caught up with @bugcat, that idiot. Søtsten made quick arrangements, and sent off the guardian with a few aspra (coins), for keeping him up so late.

10 prisoners to look out for, and listen to. Who were the dangerous wolves among them? Søtsten flexed his hands and kept walking.

OoC: Please welcome bugcat, an extra player. All things have been taken into account, please rest assured the information above is complimentary, nothing already in place is undone.


El Ka-Oz scratched his head. As an experienced merchant, his world had mostly been clearly structured so far, nicely devided into columns with numbers and only few (economic) uncertainties. This absurd situation, however, was just kon…, uhm, confusing. How could it be possible to protect oneself - and the rightful king! - from assassins under these circumstances?
He touched one of the cell’s walls with his hands and began to count the stones. Slowly, he relaxed, while still listening to the chatter in the background.


Marco was thinking.

In a previous life, he had borne a noble Latin name “Marcus Julius Callixtus”, hung heavily with the memories of those great men who had gone before him, gold-shining lines of resplendent emperors both spiritual and temporal, stretching down to him from the fogs of a lost world.

And had he not taken a proud name, but also a lordly rank? A bishopric once had he held, in Italy – oh, the world of sunshine; oh, the vale of flowers, like a ripe red grape bursting with wine; oh, to set foot just once more on those ancient soils, and feel the springtime grass beneath his feet! -

He scolded himself for his foolish nostalgia; a just man’s house is the house of labour, and he had faithfully served his master, the True Pope, before the time of Lucius and Urbanus, whilst the pretender Alexander laid injust claim to the sacred office; and he had taken his master’s name. But where now was Callixtus? Brought beneath the heel at Tusculum and and lying in his grave.

Marco was an old man; an old and wrinkled, bald-headed man, and he felt the cold as a deep ache in his bones. He reached for the silver cross which had hung about his neck; he knew that it had been taken from him; he chastised himself for his attachment. It had been a trinket, nothing more.

All things that come to pass, pass because the Lord decrees them; as he commands the winds to rush north or south; and as the wind carry the African sands, and whip up the waves of the ocean, so is it the pleasure of Man to do his fitting and natural part – to be what is required of him at whatever moment, and in whatever place, he is required, and not rot away his soul with a longing for fine clothes, or sweet wines, or tuneful pipes, or charming company–

Well, perhaps this last could be found. He would be Marco.

Marco coughed.

"Please, friends. Let’s not argue amongst ourselves – let’s keep our heads, if we’re to do what is needed of us, God willing.

First, how many are we in this cell? Speak up, every man, and be counted; speak your name to your brothers in suffering, that we may share our burden together.

My name is Marco. As my accent belies, I am Italian; once, I had the pleasure of its summer meadows and autumn woods, but this time is over now and nothing remains of what I have made myself by my labours under the sun.

Speak, friends, and conversation can at least serve as our blanket tonight."


"My name is El Ka-Oz. Maybe you’ve heard of me before; I’m a merchant for silk and other luxury goods. Once wealthy, now blind in this cell… and still in support of the true emperor Isaakios II, for that he may soon be emperor again.

What about you, Marco? Are you with me in this cause?"


Χαίρε (Greetings) Ioannis.

Night was uneventful.
Other than the fact that one prisoner was unaccounted for.
I would greatly appreciate it if my esteemed colleague could valiantly offer to greatly inconvenience himself and properly arrange the Tower’s guests’ accommodations, before tending to his well-earned rest.

New Year’s extra ration request for personnel and inmates is on my desk, the Nuncius will arrive at noon to receive it, signed. My seal is already on it.

May God grace the Emperor and may Παναγία (Mother of God) protects us all.

Søtsten Badukson :crossed_swords:

Søtsten decided that the night had been long enough. He pushed his chair back to tower over his desk, hesitated without knowing why, and then opened the door, startling the guard slouching outside.
The Sun was rising, but the night was never far.


Night Shift 1 has ended.

Prisoners are not allowed to communicate in this thread until the next Night Shift begins.


January 30th, 6710 ε.Κ.

It was a cold morning. The first sunrays started to shower the busy streets of the αγορά (agora) with pink colors.

Ioannis Leiros could feel the frosty breeze filtering through his winter coat, and drying out the porcelain of his left eye. He removed it, and moistened it with a wet handkerchief. “It’s amazing what you can find on this Poli, when you know the right people,” he thought to himself.

He made a turn into a back alley, where a shady figure handed him coin purse, with enough solidi to buy a small estate on the other side of the Bosporos.

—You’re stretching it too far, Yannis—warned the mysterious man.

—Are you crazy!? Don’t say my name!—he responded, snatching the packet from his hand and hiding it as discreetly as possible. He then headed back to the Prison of Anemas.

On his way back, his thoughts got lost into his hometown of Delphi, the old ruined Temple, the maxims that had been blended into folk tradition… ΓΝΩΘΙ ΣEΑΥΤΟΝ—Know thyself—he whispered softly.

“Well, I know that I am corrupt, I’ve never shied away from that fact. More than I can say about Isaakios, the incompetent buffoon who believed himself a great leader. I’d gladly have taken an eye for an eye, but I’m afraid they’ve already taken his both hahaha!”

“Still, I’m not willing to risk my skin just to end his sorry life. Besides, Alexios III Angelos made it publicly clear that his brother would not be touched, lest he himself be dishonored. But those prisoners, they don’t even know who they are anymore; the two that I hired before didn’t even think twice at the sound of some gold. Sure enough, there must be at least another Coward amongst them, and I think that this here should do.” He grabbed the purse tightly

Inside the Tower, he was greeted by the Night Warden.

—Hi, Søtsten, how’s your shift going?

—Greetings, Yannis. I have left my report on my desk. See you tonight—Søtsten was in a sour mood, it seemed; he tossed the keys, turned abruptly and left.

—Yeah, hang in there—he winked back at Søtsten while catching the keys, and then proceeded to the prisoners area

—A’rite little puppies, out of your kennels!, no more chit-chat—he announced—you know what they say, in the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king. I’m in charge now.


At the beginning of day 1, a corrupt gamemaster uses his resourcefulness to change the following rule:

  • Coward
    One of the Prisoners is a Coward. During the Day Phase, if the Coward is targeted to die, he will beg for his life upon which he’ll be bribed and switch sides instead.
    However, if the Coward dies during the Night Phase after being converted, he will rat out one of his co-conspirators. The assassin who will die alongside the Coward will be decided by luck, he will blurt out one name with his last breath.
    If they Coward dies during the Night Phase without being converted, he counts as an innocent death and no additional action is taken.
    Only the Wardens know who the Coward is, he will find out his true nature at the moment of truth, if it comes.

There will be no more surprise mechanics

Day Shift 1 has started.

Only players with special characters can interact in their designated threads until 2021-02-08T18:00:00Z


"I haven’t heard your name, friend; it is my pleasure to meet you, although the circumstances of our encounter are so unpleasant. Are you perhaps a Syrian? I wonder how well the Faith holds in that land, in these dark days.

Forgive me, I am a simple man unaccustomed to the people of the East. It is a joy to converse with a tradesman; you must have many tales to tell. As for myself, I was also a man of business – once, I owned a vineyard in Latium, on the sea-coast south of the Eternal City, Rome. There, the warm sun and cool rain nourished the land, and the earth fed the vines, and their nectar was exquisite; like a modern-day Falernian, it flowed into many a fine country house and pooled, like precious amber, in the chalices of wealthy men’s tables. Likewise, beaten gold sovereigns flowed back to our humble farm.

As for our common captivity, let me say only this: that I was brought low by my love for a woman, the wife of a powerful man, and lost myself in immorality and lust; like Icarus, I flew too high and was consumed in the flames of the sun. I’m sure you know this story.

I am a simple man, I say; I like honest folk, faithful servants, trustworthy partners in business, and good companions to share my evening meal; I’ve no great love for war. The victor must destroy those he has triumphed over – burn their houses, despoil the virtue of their women, kill the citizens or take them as slaves. How can it be right to stain the canvas of the Lord with crimson, and fill his earthly temple with the stink of blood?

I hope only that those who hold power show mercy to those beneath them, and pray that rightful judgement be passed on all men’s souls.

It is good to hear your voice, brother, in this time."

[I was typing this for a while before Gia’s announcement.]


Χαίρε Søtsten.

I have secured a dormitory for our unaccounted guest, and he has now been accommodated for in chamber number VII.

The prisoner formerly occupying those chambers was an aristocrat named Alexios. He has been struck by an unknown malady caused by his festering ocular wounds. He was found delirious, likening his own self to a brassica plant, and was moved to the infirmary.

The nuns attended said wounds with myrrh and other fragrances, but he passed away by dusk, may God Almighty rest his soul. No further inquiry is required.

Long may our Emperor reign, by the Grace of God.

Ioannis Leiros :mermaid::trident:

Ioannis looked at the empty vial in his hand. By good fortune he had arrived on time to pocket the evidence from the scene. Poison is only as discreet as its deliverer.

Easter Egg

Beside his report, Leiros left a little hand drawn sketch in a piece of parchment, in the hopes that it would cheer his old friend up.


At the end of Day Shift 1 @yebellz was found dead.

Day Shift 1 has ended
Players may no longer interact in their designated threads, until the next shift.


Night of January 30th, 6710 ε.Κ.

Søtsten walked briskly into his office, trying to let some of that freeze outside.

Something seemed odd, like someone had messed with his papers. He knew trying to find what happened in that wasp’s nest was useless, but decided to carry the more sensitive papers under his shirt and lock the rest. Not that locks meant much.

Yannis had left him a report*, unusual of him. He read and his forehead was lined with concern. So, it had begun. The wolves were on the hunt. Without thinking much of it, he had omitted informing Yannis of the note, but this mysterious death made that decision conscious.

Those rugged rich would probably know something, he would have to miss not a single whisper these following nights. Given their predilection to surviving, they would probably keep tabs on things themselves.

His first round was usually uneventful, but he heard some weird rasping sounds from @Claire_Yang’ cell. He was grasping his neck, coughing, but otherwise in good shape. Søtsten approached the bars, but kept a safe distance.

-Να πάρει (Na parei/ dang), that merchant had probably mixed some questionable dust in the flour again. Hey prisoner, keep it down. Hang in there, it’s just a sore throat, you’ll be fine for breakfast.

@Claire_Yang would have a sore throat for a few hours, but he would be fine by tomorrow. Not much Søtsten could do, and in any case nobody (including himself) was in that Tower to have a good time.

*and a sketch. Leiros, that βλαξ, more immature than newbie guards.


Night Shift 2 has started
Players can interact during the night, until Day Shift starts at 2021-02-10T18:00:00Z

OoC: @claire_yang has Emoji Disease and will only be able to post emojis for night phase 2.


Who do you think is an Assassin and should be reported to the Night Warden for execution?

Good night, fellow traitors, I can’t see, is everybody still alive and well?

Has anybody found any clues on the assassin yet?

1 Like

Well, if yebellz said anything genuinely provocative last night I most certainly missed it. It seems the assassins were operating randomly, and randomness is probably all we’re left with, if we choose to report anyone at all.

Friends, colleagues, feel free to jump in here anytime.


It is sad, yebellz used to be a very dependable and good friend, a keen mind, he would have been an excellent partner in the predicament we currently find ourselves in, were it not that he seemed to have lost his mind.

I see no reason to suspect any of us yet, either.