A game I started playing with myself a while back was writing down interesting words that happen to pop up on Blogger word verification when posting comments on other people's blogs. You know, the little popup that asks you to type in a randomly generated word to verify that you are a flesh and blood person and not a spambot? Anyway, if you pay close enough attention to these things you begin to see that sometimes a pretty cool sounding word happens to be generated. It doesn't happen all the time, but sometimes you get lucky and it happens more often than not that an inspired word presents itself. Case in hand, here are the last twenty words that were generated for me these past couple of days:
Yes, these are all gibberish words. Nothing here Tolkien could hang his hat on. But there is plenty here for a writer of Weird fiction to love. Many of these words have a strange and exotic sound to them. Add little flourishes, like hyphens and apostrophes, and they begin to take on even more character. If you think about them for a minute, some of these words begin to evoke images in your mind. People, places and things all present themselves when I hear some of these words. I am not sure if it is some kind of word association thing that is working on an almost subliminal level, but when I hear some of these words I can't help but associate them with things I can use in my game world.
Let's take a handful real quick, and I will quickly share with you the first thing that springs to mind as I type the word:
- Semerris - a notorious sorcerer who is a known diabolist. Some whisper that Semerris killed his own master as a blood sacrifice to enter into a pact with a powerful demon.
- Nessen - (the Nessen Forest) the old wood where the tower of Semerris lies enshrouded in an unnatural tangle of thorn trees. Some say there is a "Black Man" luring young maidens deep into the old Nessen Forest, never to be seen again.
- Enaria - a local girl who has recently gone missing, and is widely thought to be held captive in the tower of Semerris. This is the daughter of the mayor of Coffl, and he is willing to pay anything for his daughter's safe return.
- U'luxin - the demon with whom Semerris is aligned. Uluxin requires an annual blood sacrifice to be performed in his name as payment for any pact that is entered into with him.
- Coffl - the town that lies just on the edge of the Nessen Forest. Folk have whispered of seeing a "Black Man" skulking on the edge of the forest, and "hell hounds" can be heard in the forest, baying at the moon deep in the night.
Like I said, these are the words that jumped out at me, and I typed out the first description that came to mind for each one. In my descriptions I linked all five words together to weave a small tapestry. This tapestry could easily serve as an adventure seed, and even provide a foundation for a larger campaign.
So here is the challenge. I would like to see other bloggers try this same experiment, and post the results on their own blogs. Take a group of randomly generated Blogger word verification words, choose the five that "speak" to you and quickly describe what each of the words could be used for in your own game, which could be anything -- places, people or things. The choice is yours. Once you have them posted, come back and leave a link to your post in the comments, so others can check them out. I look forward to seeing what everyone comes up with.