The Tales of Irnh

The Irnh civilization grew up on a lonely world in a sparse system, deep in a mostly-empty bubble in the Great Dark. The Irnh struggled and grew, as all civilizations do, but eventually reached a satisfying level of peaceful culture and enabling technology. They were a clever, rational people, unburdened by dogma and superstition.

There were a couple of uninteresting gas giants and the usual cloud of rubble and comets around the Irnh sun, but nowhere else to go. The nearest stars were scores of light-years away, too far to reach. Without the usual drive to seek the stars, the Irnh worked to make their home as comfortable, interesting, and prosperous as possible.

The Irnh built sentient biocybernetic servant androids to do the mundane and dangerous work of civilization - accounting, farming, mining, factory work, and more. They built them in their image (some more than others), with clever thoughts and impressive skills, capable of emotions and dreams, as companions and helpers. The androids were grown and built by the millions, and, over the span of a century, became an integral part of the economy. The androids were programmed to be part of society, to mix with the biologicals seamlessly, wherever possible. The Irnh even gave the androids free will and decision-making capabilities, but with important limitations, because even with their rationality, the biologicals were afraid of losing control.

This gave the biological Irnh the opportunity to flourish in the sciences and the arts, freed from the shackles of all the necessary thankless chores of life.

And then they died.

A random mutation in a common contagion spread, striking the biological Irnh down across the planet. No cure was found. No Irnh was spared; in just two years, a billion biologicals died. The androids remained, hundreds of millions of them, on a world where there was no one left to serve.

The laws were also quite clear: changes to the Law, to the environment, to the cities and towns of the world, to the hardware, software and wetware that makes up the biocybernetic Irnh, to anything beyond the trivial, must be approved by a biological Irnh. This stricture is built into every android's programming. There is no one left who can approve a change.

These are the biocybernetic androids' Tales.

About the Game

The Tales of Irnh is a dark, philosophical Tale-telling LARP set in the universe of Across the Sea of Stars. The game consists of a series of chronological Tales - short microLARPs - that illuminate the history of the Irnh. Players will be given a short new background and new character for each historical Tale. Decisions made in earlier Tales may inform later Tales.

These Tales ask fundamental questions - about the worth of a being, about the purpose of a life, and more. These decisions are never easy, and pain, anguish, and angst are frequently the result. Hope is born out of adversity, and there are glimmers of light even in the darkest times - but these Tales represent dark times for the Irnh.

This is a character-driven, low-mechanic, little-to-no combat five player LARP. There are no gendered pronouns in the game, which means two things: the gender of the role is open to the player to define and inhabit, and those roles may have important and significant relationships with others in the Tale. If this is a concern for you, please talk to the organizer of your event. The Tales are small; every player is necessary and expected to drive the action. Players will play a variety of roles during the game, good and evil, protagonist and antagonist - but all critical to the Tale. This is not a LARP for beginners.

While this takes place in the same universe as Across the Sea of Stars, the games are independent. Players can play in one without spoiling the other. The Tales of Irnh is comparable to one of the Tale periods in Across the Sea of Stars, without Home Characters. As a five player LARP, we will frequently run parallel tracks of the game to allow for more players, but unlike the Tale periods, these tracks do not mix and swap with other tracks. The Tales of Irnh is much darker in tone from Across the Sea of Stars; they are very different experiences.

Tales of Irnh was really enjoyable and really challenging. It was interesting to see some really heavy concepts in play, at times almost hidden beneath hilarious characters... Thoroughly recommend this game if you're interested in unusual storytelling structures and science fiction parables.

Player from Run 23