Differences and Similarities
In this world, human hearts are hard, gem-like objects, usually around 4 cm long (when cylindrical) or 3 cm in diameter (when round), changing slightly in shapes and greatly in colour from individual to individual. At birth, the heart is only a small, colourless pebble, no bigger than a marble. As the person grows and develops a personality and a world view, the heart solidifies into a specific, unique, shape and hue.
These hearts do not function like real-world hearts. It’s not connected to any blood vessels or any other organ. It doesn’t receive any nourishment from the body, nor does it affect it in any direct way. It doesn’t pump blood, but it does beat slowly, shaking slightly, radiating heat.
However, the presence of a heart is essential to the continuing functions of the body. It’s an essential part of life, just like breathing and eating. Its mere presence inside the body is enough to enable blood circulation. It is theorised that the power that fuels the beating of the heart is the person’s soul – this idea is strengthened by the obvious fact that the person’s mind shapes his or her heart in a very physical way. If the soul leaves the body, such as at the moment of death, the heart stops functioning immediately – and if a heart is taken out, the person starts suffocation, unable to breathe.
It should be noted that a human heart functions only inside a human body and that animals have real-life hearts.
It is possible for a person to become so fatalistic, that they stop willing their own heart to continue functioning. At least, this is the current medical view on the matter; the facts are that sometimes people become very desperate indeed, and this seem to manifest in a condition called broken heart, but it isn’t clear if the person actually just stops willing themselves to live.
When a person is brought down so hard that his or her psyche can’t handle it anymore, they’re on the verge of a broken heart. The person is allowed three Spirit checks, one each day, after waking up. If they fail all three, they become heartbroken. From that moment, any negative emotional event might trigger one last Spirit check – failure results in death, as the heart literally breaks. These checks can receive up to +2 if a friend helps by cheering up or discussing the matter that is looming heavy on on the person’s heart.
Yes, in the world of Crystal Heart depression can literally kill you, unless you get help.
Hearts do not transfer well from one person to another, although it is possible to transplant a heart in a surgical operation. This procedure requires a Healing check and an extended hospitalisation, like a real-world heart transplant. A person is only compatible with close family members, and with other persons who share his general disposition.
In the case of a successful transplant, the person receiving the heart gains a general insight into the original owner’s worldview, as well as a limited, hazy access to some of their memories. It’s possible to try and experience a specific memory more clearly with a Smarts roll at -2.
So What Are Crystals?
Crystals are much larger than hearts, and generally, radiate a soft light. One could also find similarities between their disposition (the Hindrances they give you), and the small mood changes affecting heart transplant patients, as modern medical science recently realised (heart transplant being quite the innovation in recent decades, along with Crystal channeling). The leading theory for the origin of Crystals, therefore, is thus: These are artificial hearts created by the civilisations of the Bygone Age.
This theory could have been improved immensely, if only anyone had been able to find even a shred a evidence about anything relating to the Bygone Age.
Two Players and Up is a weekly podcast in which we talk about the gaming highlights of our lives, with Aviv’s Factoid of the Week, the Patron Song, and go freelance.
Every podcast episode we sing praise to our patrons, using their names. In this one: Luis, David, Stephen, EdibleAnarchy.
The intro and outro are taken from “Vivacity” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/)
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