Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Writing Prompt: Secret Jackalope 2022, Part II

Folks over on the OSR Discord have started sniping one another's Secret Jackalope prompts, adding to the variety, creativity, and insanity of the writing prompts.

And I need to loosen up my mind with a bit of free-writing.  So here's a request from user Sigmacastell: "1d10 Failed World-Ending Rituals"


First of all, a word from our sponsor: Tonight's creative muse is brought to you, in part, by Hellbent Kölsch.


Apocalypse 6. Opening the seals

1d10 (plus one) Failed World-Ending Rituals 

(or, Eleven Reasons That the World Was Inadvertently Saved From Certain Doom On This Fateful Night)

  1. Dyslexia: The Ancestral Invocation of the Wraiths of Insanity was disrupted because Brother Llewellyn brought a vegan for the sacrifice instead of a virgin.

  2. Scheduling Conflict*: Who could have known that both the the Creed of Greprithos and the Harbingers of Clarity would have foretold that their particular apocalypse rituals at the Stone of Perchaverack would occur on the same night intersecting a particular 200-year planetary alignment and gibbous moon? A serious kerfuffle ensued, followed by a coordination of Google calendars for the next bicentennial planetary alignment.

  3. Pronunciation Error: The Chant of L'etllx inadvertently called up the Dark Lord's brother-in-law L'yttlx, who, instead of ushering in The Burning Winds, indoctrinated the Cult of the Wanderers of Aleflashi into a multi-level-marketing scheme, inspiring them to shill questionable dietary supplements and ergonomic sacrificial daggers to friends and relatives.   

  4. Dress Code: Brother Simon wore the wrong socks to the Ancient Ceremony of Fiends. The Fiends are quite particular about their 100% merlino wool. Blends will just not do.

  5. Procrastination: Fortunately the world-core-shattering Consuming Evocation of the Ghastly Monolith keeps getting postponed by the Cult of Our Holy Sister of the Frittering Nemesis.

  6. Quality Control: No organic-certified(tm) sacrificial goats were available during the window of opportunity for the Paragons of the Comet's Star-Fall Ritual of the Chain of Disorder.

  7. Divine Intervention: Planetary doom was delayed when the dark All-Father-God Croesten showed up when the Cult of Harrowed Emissaries summoned his son Antasban the Dire to enact the Bane of Mankind. Croesten admonished Antasban and grounded him for being out after the solar alignment, before likewise giving the cult a good scolding and leaving in a huff.

  8. IT Problems: Vaccine-implanted 5G microchipping was found to be incompatible with the original coding used by the Antikythera mechanism for the Summoning of the Grave of Heaven.

  9. Failure to Read the Terms and Conditions: Something-something first-born....

  10. Global Warming: The Ritual of the Sallow Wolf has been canceled due to the death of the One-Tree Athachenth, which has been attributed to climate-change-driven invasive boring beetles.

  11. Dead Language: The last native speaker of the Hallowed Tongue of the Hontintur passed away last week prior to the completion and quality-control verification of the final phonetic transcription of the Moon-Splitting Song of Vlu.

or perhaps pancakes...

Completed with some help from a few Random Name Generators.

* And, because user Jojiro was curious as to what constitutes a 'kerfuffle' when two apocalypse cults meet on the same foretold night:

"The adepts of the Creed of Greprithos approached the Stone of Perchaverack from the west, chanting and humming. From the south, came the Harbingers of Clarity intoning their own cant. Over the rise came the two groups, suddenly spotting one another over the cracked, fallen monolith. 

An awkward silence falls. Somewhere, in the back of one of the groups, a sheep bleats.

As suddenly as the silence fell, a loud row breaks out between the two groups, with shouting, insults, and accusations. Scrolls, star-charts, unhallowed texts, and astrolabes are brandished by both groups, with much gesticulating and pointing. Not a few wavy-bladed daggers and wicked obsidian blades are pulled, but nothing comes to real blows as the leaders of the two groups roll out their charts on the stone, showing their alignments, calculations, and criteria of omens and auspices.

They stare at the identical figures. Then at one another. Then at the stone. And at the moon. And back at the charts.

An adept from somewhere in the crowd nervously clears their throat, and points to their watch. The moment of perfect alignment has passed. The window to the apocalypse has closed. 

Fine. Glaring at one another, the two leaders begin to roll up their charts and scrolls in a huff. They check their tomes, sight along their instruments toward profane constellations. Check their watches again. Pull out calculators, tap in figures, looking at the tomes, unrolling a few charts to confirm alignments and positions. 

They check one another's calculations. The sheep bleats again. 

OK. You're good for 19:33 on August 23, 2223. If the world is still whole, we'll be here on the night of October 19, 2224 at 23:56. Let's not meet like this again. Dates are tapped into calendars and someone posts a sticky note inside the cover of the Putrid Codex

Abashed, the two groups begin to go their separate ways. Someone pauses – Hey, the pub's still open – anyone up for a drink?"

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