Monday, September 7, 2020

Concubine Wind Puppet

Concubine Wind Puppet

An especially ornate sari with a small ivory peg sewn to one end.  The peg is meant to be pressed into soft earth to anchor it.  If caught in the wind, this cloth billows into a lifelike person able to gesture and converse.  It is likely to know about the history and geography of the location it was found in.  Stories say they can be found in male, female, and ambiguous representations, though all beautiful and exquisitely ornamented.


  1. Thirty-three Chessmen: Set of finely detailed lifelike figurines made of carved and polished black or white stone, most of which wear iconic head gear that indicates their role as pawn, rook, bishop, etc. One piece is made of gray stone and depicts a seated older man wearing a hooded cloak, flowing beard, and a single eye patch.

    If the pieces are laid out properly on a chess board (or even just an 8 x 8 grid drawn in the dirt) the 33rd figurine will animate and grow to human size, playing with great skill against anyone who seats themself across from him. The Gray Player may answer questions from his opposite during the game as long as they don't delay play, with the accuracy and breadth of his apparent knowledge directly related to the quality of his opponent's chess skill. If defeated he will make a singular oracular prediction (often cryptic, sometimes ominous, and always accurate) before returning to his figurine form. The set can be used to play only one such game per day under most circumstances, but it has been known to unexpectedly activate on its own with the Gray Player offering a game to anyone he likes if the GM chooses. If left unused for too long the set will mysteriously disappear, never to be seen again.

  2. Thanks so much. It's this kind of response to my ideas that makes sharing them so interesting for me. I actually toyed with the idea this puppet could play cards or something, but now you have me thinking of other ideas for gaming automatons, maybe worthy of their own post.

    1. If it wasn't obvious I was inspired both by your post and the real-world Mechanical Turk, with a dash of my Norse ancestry thrown in for spice.