Plot Thickeners—Love & Loss

Adventure hooks are a dime a dozen and, if you get down to it, unnecessary. The fact that a dungeon teeming with monsters and treasures even exists may be a compelling enough reason to risk life and limb exploring it for most characters. The adventures of yesteryear often hardly cared why the PCs would venture into a dungeon or the ruins of a castle. Exploration was reason enough. But most of the characters of today prefer more from their adventures and the players behind those characters often seek more meaning in their temptations. This accessory seeks to do for hooks what hooks do for PCs: give the hooks more meaning and significance.

February is most likely named for the Roman festival, Februa. Supposedly this was a festival of purification and would later be incorporated into another festival known as Lupercalia. This purification  ritual lives on in modern times. Have you ever involved yourself with Spring cleaning? This rite of cleaning (or purifying) the things we overlook the rest of the year seems like it was more frequent than once yearly in my childhood home, so perhaps it’s a misnomer for some.

The Roman poet, Ovid, contended that the name, ultimately, came from the Etruscan word for “purging”. Additionally, it was the last month of the Roman calendar for a time. Regardless of February’s true etymology, it is clear that February has its roots in the purge that follows periods of indulgence. Some bemoan the neglect that necessitates purification in the first place while others adhere to the ritual with zeal.

And, of course, there is Valentine’s Day. A time for celebrating your romantic love interest with gifts and undivided attention. Or there is Single’s Awareness Day (S.A.D.) the day after that. Or if you’re not the sentimental type, many a culture looks at February as a time when the snow is melting and yielding not flowers but mud and ice and frost. This issue of Plot Thickeners takes a cold, hard look at Love & Loss.

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