The Fifth World

Heed the spirit of the place.

Every place has a story to tell. You can hear it in the pattern and rhythm of life that unfolds there. Listen for it, and you’ll hear it. You’ll notice patterns and themes that keep recurring there — something that every animal seems to do there, regardless of species, or something that happens again and again in the history of that place, regardless of the differences of the people involved. The people of the Fifth World do not think of intelligence or creativity as faculties that dwell within them. Rather, they think of them as dwelling in a particular place, which they partake in when they go to those places.

Discovering the names of places plays an important part in a saga. These names condense the place’s story down to something short and memorable, so that some people in the Fifth World might simply recite place names in a soothing way, allowing their minds to wander familiar paths through stories that criss-cross the landscape.

Heed the spirit of the places where the game unfolds. Remember their individual personhood, and treat them as you would any other person, with life and understandable motivations. What does that mean for any given place generally, or this place specifically? What does it mean for the way things unfold there right now?

This principle relates to our agenda to hunt the wild story by allowing our experience of real places the opportunity to influence the story, alongside the people at the table. Its voice comes to us filtered through our own experience, but if we truly partake in its intelligence and creativity when we go there, perhaps we can bring a bit of that with us to the table, and let the place have its say through us.