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Parselings is a modern Deck building RPG about using collaborative word magic and discovering your place in it. The game takes place in a world like our own, but with one major difference – to some, words have literal power. Parsecytes, swarms of ravenous ink-like parasitic organisms, have emerged into the world causing irreversible changes to society and our ecosystem.
When a Parsecyte invades a human host, it forms a symbiosis with them, together becoming an entity known as a Parseling. At a glance, Parselings are indiscernible from most other humans except for the labels on their skin and the ink mixed into their blood. When brought together in groups, these individuals become greater than the sum of their parts. The infected hosts can use their tattoos to form phrases and sculpt the world to their desires. This power has come to be known as a Parse.
You will play as one of these beings. Struggling to strike a balance between appeasing the Parsecyte within, and proving you are a complex human being who cannot only be defined by a few careless words. This is both a curse and a blessing, but with the others that share your affliction, the world is your oyster.
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Nominal City, or The Wellspring of Infection as it later came to be known, began as a dark metropolis. The weak and watery sunlight shone feebly through the gray sky for only several hours of the day, before the smothering dusk fell upon the tall cluster of buildings. We now know it as the ground zero of the parseling phenomenon, the very soil fertile with meaning and words. In the germination stage of the infection, the stench of paranoia and hushed whispers filled the air. I suppose it was only fitting that in such a place every thought and the stray word became enriched with such intensity of significance. Perhaps the most distinctive thing about Nominal City is that large areas of the city were torn from their roots and rose into the air where they have been ever since. The catastrophe of this created many victims and refugees still clustered within the city, to which the rest reacted poorly to. The memory of this event remains a stain in the collective psyche of the people.
The old city encircled by a new wall, sits quarantined on a peninsula away from the rest of the mainland. Underneath in the craters and shadows, it smells like a dense forest of tall gray buildings with faded and peeling pastel paints. Posters are layered over each other like rings of wood in a tree. Replace the forest animals with people rugged up in their thick coats and scarves becoming anonymous figures. There’s a feeling of oppression in the concrete, the enclosing wall bordering the entirety of Nominal City and the nearby mountain range, the fall of the government, and the rise of large private corporations to take over public interests. It doesn’t help that there’s a new movement, spoken of only in quiet corners. Something that might be a threat.
Parselings, have you heard of them?