Roman à clef game

Players choose a symbolic “title” for an unknown character. They then fold and pass to the next player,  who blindly writes the “real” identity of that title.

Round 1


The Queen of Dream Sweden is really Friedrich Nietzsche

The Witch of the Great Dismal Swamp is really Harpo

The Head Advisor of the Queen of Atlantis is really Louise Brooks

The Consort of Duke Ariel is really The Possum


The Professor of Snakes is really President Nasser

The Lover of Eyes is really Mr. Mathematical

The Queen of Nails is really Thomas Hardy

The Tiger of Shadowland is really Dr. Frankenstein


The Cloud Navigator is really Valeriana of Montreal

He Who is a Void is really Kropotkin

Inevitability is really Kathleen Fox

Stranger’s Weirdly Non-Strange Daughter is really Desmond Morris


The Saint Among Frogs is really James Bond (the ornithologist, not the agent!)

The Cut-Throat Cat is really Rosemary Eldritch

The Hair Puller is really Alice Cooper

The Queen of Silk is really Beef Boy

Round 2 

In this round, the completed lists of characters were randomly distributed to players who were then to write a story including them.



The Devourer of Salty Chips is really Paracelsus

The Eviscerating Onion is really Aretha Franklin

The Duke of Cascade is really Werner Herzog

The Alienator of Children is really Charles Darwin

(Galino Ustuolskaya left blank)

After many decades of isolation, the Alienator of Children is freed from their walled-off prison-turned-apartment complex. Their memory is almost completely wiped, with the lone exception being an image of an Eviscerating Onion. Wandering the open streets of the cityscape that surrounds him, he’s suddenly run over by a phantom-like train with a sign that memorializes the Devourer of Salty Chips on its side. Collision with the train teleports him to an abandoned factory town. He can’ t move, left to just stare upward to a water tower. No matter where he moves his sight toward, the water tower is still in the exact centre of focus. He’s approached by the Duke of Cascade. The Alienator assumed that the Duke was just his parasitic twin that perished at birth. Seeing the Duke reminds him of the automated mantra.



The Duke of Happenstance is really Vincent Price

The Clade of Temptation is really the Loch Ness Monster

The Mystery of Atlanta is really Rick Schmidt

The Clipper of Knowledge is really Chu Ishikawa

The Dreamer of Tusks is really Carnacki, Occult Detective

In the night, the Dreamer of Tusks came to the city of scottish tobacco to seek out the Clade of Temptation. To prove its reality was his primary motivation. It was a city of backgrounds, used in many different films, which explained the presence of The Mystery of Atlanta. He had come to direct the Duke of Happenstance in a horror movie, coincidentally also about the Clade of Temptation. The Dreamer of Tutsks appeared on the set thinking he had found the mysterious Clade. When he walked into the swampy location, he heard the maniacal laughter of the Duke of Happenstance, and in the background the strange musical soundtrack provided by the Clipper of Knowledge. The dreamer lost the skein of reality in that moment and sunk into the mire of his own delirium. The puppet Clade and the fully-costumed Duke merged into a fury of images. The Mystery of Atlanta had the perfect shot to complete his greatest film.



The Knitter of Antelopes is really Kobo Abe

The Harbinger of Derangement is really Puppet Boy

The Lord of Dancing Pigs is really Megan Leach

The Ruler of the Land of Snakes and Boars is really Janice Hathaway

The Wise Elder of Falling Rocks is really The Female Pope

The Knitter of Antelopes ate a falling star created by the Wise Elder. Meanwhile, the Lord of Dancing Pigs was struck by the erotic aspect of the long lost Harbinger of Derangement. It was a tricky sort of Saturday where even the Ruler of Snakes and Bones [sic] would take to clutching her squirrels. No rest for the weary Sun here, not ever. The Wise Elder, despairing of any relief from an eternal itch, rolled a fruit covered ball down a hill, never to be seen or heard from again.



The Bartender of Bottled Dreams is really Tituba

The Prophet of Time is really Caligula

Shoemaker X is really Aunt Petunia

The Shy Ghost is really Inspector Clouseau

The Shy Goat is really The Incredible Hulk

The Bartender of Bottled Dreams quickly sold out in the land of insomniacs and bees. “Where now,” the bartender asked, “should I go to sell my liquids of firefly lisps and sparrow feet?” And the Puppet of Lost Time answered from below her skirts that that she should seek the shop of Shoemaker X who had never slept nor desired to see the aurora borealis nor the sea. So the bartender left to find the shop of Shoemaker X, but she was waylaid on a stone bridge by a Shy Ghost, lost in a dream who only wanted to sleep. So the bartender sold the Ghost a draught made of the urine of the Shy Goat chewing leaves nearby and she lifted the Ghost on the back of the goat and they slept their way to the moon to bleat. 



The Butchershop-Keeper of Osaka, Japan is really Casimir Cline

The unintelligible Slab of Facial Skin is really Lewis Carroll

The Industrialized Iron Tumor of Downtown Decatur is really Alfred Kinsey

The Nostalgic Void of Sentient States is really Steven Cline

The Skeletal Flesh Grinder of Spatial Anomalies is really Jan Svankmajer

It was a cheerful morning in the cemetery as the butchershop keeper of Osaka, Japan, arrived with her picnic basket and her cooler full of almost inedible fruits. Oddly, her usual spot was occupied by an unintelligible slab of facial skin. The skin slab was trying to lure children to the spot with promises of terrifying stories, which he certainly intended to keep. So the butchershop keeper chose to climb a big cemetery sycamore instead but once up in the tree she found that to be occupied as well. It was the nostalgic void of sentient states, spying on the unintelligible skin slab to record its remarkable and highly sublimated courtship behaviour. At this time, her patience was all spent and she refused to change spots again, so she tried again to scare the iron tumor away by detailed dream-telling. He was not that easily scared. Simultaneously, the only prey that the skin slab managed to lure to its sunny spot was the nostalgic void of sentient states. They got along well together, singing absurd songs throughout the day and through dusk well into the night, not knowing anything about how they were not being spied upon by the butchershop keeper and the iron tumor stuck in compulsive dreamtelling in the nearby foliage. There was a skinny old hobo sneaking around who was actually the skeletal fleshgrinder of spatial anomalies, who was the only one who had seen the whole development, and by the powers invested in him in his line of duty, he claimed that he was the author of the scene. We have seen a large number of megalomaniacs like that. It’s best to just play along. They wouldn’t hurt a kitten. Or they might possibly hurt a kitten. But at this time, the kittens were slaughtering little songbird nestlings in the same tree. Our reticent heroes the butchershop keeper and the iron tumor were now happily falling asleep.


Sept 15th at the Polymorph Bodyshop…

Players: Johnny Williams, Mary Foshee, Macy Goodwin, Jason Abdelhadi, Casi Cline, & Steven Cline

If the bear is wearing chain mail today…then maybe I could see the light on the other side.
If the north wind blows…then the doorknob will become volcanic
If love is real…then where will the children play?
If the cream spoils…then the tulip will become covered in red ants.
If the plant blooms…then how will they know how tall it could get?
If the blue cat becomes an opera singer…then the bamboo knocks to the rhythm of conjunctivitis.
If the possum becomes a blues singer…then reset the knob.
If the dog neglects to bite…then looking south, the phone rings.
If the earlobes were dangling…then the chicken wing will fly off.
If you touch your nose to your knee…then the motor explodes.
If summer is over…then the codswallop dreams big.
If only I could reach the top shelf…then everyone must leap with joy.
If the corpse flower blooms…then the green caterpillar will grow spots.
If the sinkhole swallows the drowned…then the eyeball will become an astronaut.
If birds lose their timbre…then fingernails on the chalkboard will sound.
If larvae dance to the tune of dawn…then a plucking of whiskers should occur.
If I got stuck in the space there…then the cat screams in joy.
If the torrents lisp in sweetness…then and only then would I do it.
If the missing octopus spits gold…then the sinuses would clear.