[In A Wicked Age] Decemberists Oracle (Help Out!)

edited January 2008 in Make Stuff!
I'm making an oracle for In A Wicked Age based on the songs of The Decemberists, one of my favorite bands. If you know them, you know their lyrics are ripe for this sort of thing.

I think I'm off to a good start, but I'm running out of steam at only halfway done. I'd like to have around 50 total (52 to be exact). Here's what I have so far. Please join in the fun!
  1. A white crane, helpless and bloodied by an arrow, not at all what it seems.
  2. A luckless mariner, haunted and wild-eyed at the bulwark, bent on revenge.
  3. The sole survivors of a shipwreck, huddled close and fearful.
  4. A whispered curse, the last words of an old woman dying from heartbreak.
  5. A pale and lovely stranger, arrived at moonrise beneath the birch boughs, wielding secret talents.
  6. A sudden transformation, revealing truths better left concealed.
  7. A harbor lost within the reeds, home to an ancient sleeper, fouled with piles of tiny bones.
  8. A new-born babe, foretold by sages, rocked within its cradle of briars.
  9. The landlord's daughter, threatened with sabre and pistol at the hands of a wandering rogue.
  10. A fresh corpse laid to rest by the water's edge, coins for weights upon its eyes.
  11. A soldier's sweetheart, vigilant for his return against all rumors of his death, beginning to show her condition.
  12. Two families, locked in a blood feud, muskets at the ready and no quarter given.
  13. The betrayal of a secret romance, with deadly consequences.
  14. A gang of murderous youths, knives glinting under the gaslights, the boogeymen of children's lore.
  15. The ill-timed arrival of a raft of refugees, seeking new homes far from the war.
  16. The ghost of a soldier, heedless of his fall in battle, marching ever homeward.
  17. The lamp-lit tent of a teller of fortunes, redolent of cinnamon, cardamom, and myrrh.
  18. A sickly legionnaire, veteran of exotic wars, the last of his laudanum clutched with bony hands.
  19. A veiled young virgin on camelback, the prince's betrothed, conveyed by night to her lover's hiding place.
  20. A bejeweled palanquin on the back of an elephant, centerpiece of the the Queen's procession.
  21. A fine robe of gold and silk Arabian thread, the burial robes for one of surprisingly low station.
  22. A teenage lookout on a signal tower, sentinel for a convocation of burglars.
  23. A deadly accusation, pointed at the wrong man, but the lie believed.
  24. A sweaty bagman, dreading watchful agents, anxious to be rid of the evidence.


  • edited January 2008
    A crooked French-Canadian, slowly dying, gut-shot running gin.

    A haunted house at the end of a heavily-overgrown road cloaked in a din of rattling chicken chains.

    A rage-filled orphan boy, employed as a chimney sweep, the lover of an old widow.
  • edited January 2008
    1. A key to a wondrous hide-out in the Pyrenees, gifted by a mysterious gypsy uncle.
    2. A girl birthed too soon, haunting a dry ravine, the ghost of a chimney sweep her only friend.
    3. A communist, having deserted his ranks, follows a dream of music and rebellion.
    4. A blind brigadier general, at the head of his fleet of ships, raising a child won in a game of canasta.

    (Trying to drag something out of The Tain, but gosh those lyrics are pretty vague)
  • What your mother does when you're asleep.
  • A bachelor taking violent hands to his soon-to-be bride.

    A man trapped with his mothers murderer in the belly of a whale.

    A writer of fictions trying desperately to exorcise his love with his words.

    A child following his mother to the docks at night, and seeing what she does to earn the collard greens she feeds him.

    (I <3 Decemberists)
  • This is the best idea ever. Now I can run that Coheed game for Dev and Eben.
  • A turbaned bandit queen and her loquatious lover, hiding in a mountain cave

    A colection of castaways and cut-outs

    A letter, sent to a military wife, bringing bad news


    The lesson to be learned is that there is possibly no band more premise driven than the Decemberists.
  • Please, please, please, put this up on Abulafia as a randomizer!
    Oh, and I guess I have to go check out the Decemberists. I've never heard of them before now...
  • Yep, this will go up on Abulafia as soon as we have a full set. At this rate, it'll be in no time.

    Thanks to everyone for the assist! Keep 'em coming.
  • Posted By: lumpleyWhat your mother does when you're asleep.

    When I first read this I thought Vincent was saying "Your mama." to John.


  • I will need to check out this band.

    I also need to summon the bitter drunkards of Story-Games to help me create the Tom Waits Oracle... but on a different thread.
  • Yeah, I want some of the young kids to help me with a Gorillaz oracle:

    ...A floating island, piloted from its lonely windmill, home to a young woman seeking answers about her past...
    ...A scarred degenerate, lifted above by the lustful hands of his many willing concubines...
    ...Chaos springs up as a boy with black eyes and no thoughts wanders through the broken wasteland that is as much home as anywhere...
    ...A captive girl sent to a distant land where she may discover the powers within her...
  • Posted By: DannyKI will need to check out this band.

    I also need to summon the bitter drunkards of Story-Games to help me create the Tom Waits Oracle... but on a different thread.
    I wanted to help with this Decemberists Oracle but I ran out of steam with every fragment I thought up; John and others seem to have pretty much exhausted their catalogue. I imagine Tom Waits, on the other hand, could get to 52 pretty easily...
  • Posted By: DannyKI also need to summon the bitter drunkards of Story-Games to help me create the Tom Waits Oracle... but on a different thread.
    Oh yes. I'll be there.
  • One question: why not just use actual quotes from the lyrics? For example, for Coheed, I'm gonna do things like:

    1. The navigator, the pilot, her favorite, the one they call The Vision that bares the gift.
    2. Man your own jackhammer! Man your battle stations! We’ll have you home pretty soon!
    3. Sincerely written from my brother's blood machine.
    4. Over arms length they'll break protocol.
    5. In the seventh turning hour, should the victims shadow fall, will the irony grow hungry?
    6. The pioneers, in dealing with it they march for dawn.
    7. Jealous envy for the youngest one; to be the hero is all I'll ask.
    8. Can i be buried here among the dead, with room to honor me here in the end?

    And that's just from one song.
  • That works, too, but isn't the tone I'm going for with this one. But rock on!
  • edited January 2008
    Posted By: John HarperPosted By: DannyKI also need to summon the bitter drunkards of Story-Games to help me create the Tom Waits Oracle... but on a different thread.
    Oh yes. I'll be there.
    i'll be there with pasties and a g-string.
  • and if you're doing Waits why not Zimmerman?
    - the empty-handed painter from your streets, is drawing crazy patterns on your sheets
    - louise holds a handful of rain temptin' you to defy it
    - your lover who just walked out the door
    - yonder stands your orphan with his gun, crying like a fire in the sun
    ...heck you could do up a whole Oracle from just Visions of Johanna.
  • Remi's right, the tain is hard

    • A poor man, with neither wealth nor fame, calls and cries
    • A cathedral on a hill, all dust and stone and moribund
    • A trumpeter playing the national anthem on a dock side, the scent of beer and fish heavy in the air
    • A spaniard, buried with his marionettes, leaving behind a soiled teenage girlfriend
    • A loudly ringing carnival, where the barkers call the moon down
  • A brigade of castaways and cutouts no one can stop, longing for their youth and beauty
    A secret agent no one has ever managed to caught, betrayed by his own true love.
    A city on the water, build by our sons and daughters after the war
    Cannibal kings waiting for their dinner, blind and hungry.
    A ghost guiding soldiers to safety on the battlefields

    (Oh god, imagine what you can do with Dead Can Dance lyrics...)
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