- Wicked Hearts
- @ 7:30 p.m.
Wicked Hearts is a court intrigue game that combines historical Imperial Russian politics during the splendor of the final ball at the Winter Palace with elements and characters from dark Russian fairy tales, famous plays and folklore, and legends and myths from Siberia.
It is the early 1900s at the last grand ball of Imperial Russia. It is a night for ballroom politics, social gambits, and scandalous secrets amidst Russian aristocracy in the opulence of the Winter Palace.
The guests are all decked out in extravagant costumes that echo Russian fashion throughout the centuries. You take in the gleaming brightness of the helmets, headpieces of precious stones and hats of fur. The clanking of sabres on the ground surrounds you while lace trains sweep gilded staircases and endless rivers of diamonds threaten to sweep you away. Servants in rich liveries glide about the rooms to offer mead, champagne, burgundy, and vodka.
The ball has already lasted for days. Faces hiding behind masks share drinks and laughter that hide sinister intent. A group of revelers remark on the season, flattery and fear present in every word. The nobles approach one another, just as likely to offer a marriage proposal as to deliver a deadly threat. Perhaps both.
You find a dark corner to hide in, the sort meant for trysts or assassins. No one appears to be looking at you.
But they are watching you.
The aristocracy is always watching. Your position at the court - its approval or discontent - shifts with each social transaction; every pleasantry you exchange, every smile you fake, and everyone you are seen to be dancing with. But dance you must.
As you dance, however, revolution brews. One day - one day soon - the music will stop.
Beyond this palace of manners, spies, and saboteurs lies another far stranger threat. Cut out from one of the world’s oldest mountain ranges, in the darkest part of the snowy forests, is a land of danger and wonder. Those who travel there seldom return, but it is not just the cruel weather and harsh terrain. It is as if the forests are alive and they bow only to a master that is not you. It is the domain of the Winter Lords - a secretive people as icy and unforgiving as the climate - and they too are coming tonight to dance.
Wicked Hearts is a court intrigue game that combines historical Imperial Russian politics with dark Russian fairy tales (including fae elements), plays, occult, and myths and legends from Siberia. Characters range from Tsar Nicholas II and his daughters (including Princess Anastasia) to Koschei the Deathless and Morozko the Frost King, from Anna Karenina to Ilya Muromets, from Baba Yaga to the glorious Firebird.