Updated: Aug 7, 2020
It's time I start my next play through of a Wretched & Alone game, and I wanted to go with something that was tonally very different from what I'd played so far. I've had my eye on To Reign in Hell by Cody Faulk for a while, and so this seems like the perfect time to try it out!
I've mentioned before that W&A games are weirdly meditative for me, even though they are usually about stories of doom and hopelessness. Right now I'm in the height of preparing the book of my latest game, Slayers, and so a round or two of a W&A game seems like the perfect distraction.
In To Reign in Hell, you play as the last fallen angel in Hell, the final warden trying to hold back the demonic forces before they break free and bring havoc to all of creation. As with many W&A games, the rules provide the first journal entry for me. After that, I'll be playing my turns and updating this post as I play! If you want to know when I've updated and played more turns, make sure to follow me on Twitter.
Without further ado, To Reign in Hell.
I have lost count of how many days have passed since Lucifer abdicated Hell and left it in my care. This is the first day I saw fit to record my account, so I name this the first day. I do not know how many more will follow. My name is Drauzael, and I am the last of Lucifer’s faithful. All of my siblings, those who founded Hell, have been lost, and there is no sign of Lucifer’s return. The walls remain intact, but they cannot hold. I know that I cannot fail to maintain them, or it will mean the End of everything. I must hold on to hope and keep the prison intact until Lucifer returns, though my four siblings, the Father’s archangels, are out there searching for me and my charge. Should they all four find this place, they will no doubt finish what they started so long ago. Should I falter, these words will be in vain, for no one will remain to read them. For now, though, they are all I have.
My name is Drauzael. This is the second day since I began this journal. I remain alone, but I persist. A denizen attempted escape last evening, and it left me wounded. Normally I would have gone to Mara for tending, but I am alone, and my will binds the wounds together. The attempt was simple, they thought I was vulnerable because I was alone, but their numbers mean nothing. I invoked the Song, and sent them reeling back to their cells, but only after they had raked their infernal claws against my flesh. In the quiet that followed, I heard the machine heart of our fortress, a sound I haven't heard in some time. The roar of the prisoners has risen as of late, and it seems only the Song will quiet them, if but for a short time. But the Song is a curse, for moments after I invoked it, I heard it echo from on high. And lo, there came Gabriel, my brother, horn in hand. His eyes wounded me more than the prisoners I keep ever could. He waits outside the walls, I can feel his presence. I cannot help but feel sick seeing him. Not out of revulsion, but out of pain, and pity. Fear follows though. For I once thought I could find refuge beyond the fortresses wall, to hide from the denizens within if they coordinated their feral efforts. Now, with Gabriel's vigil started, I realize I am trapped in here, and must hold.
My name is Drauzael. This is the third day since I began this journal. I remain alone, but I persist. I thought my eyes deceived me, and that a true dawn had arrived in Hell. But then I remembered, Gabriel, a beacon alit outside my walls. I could not bring myself to leave my chamber today, to face his eyes, filled with righteous judgment. The denizens within this fortress must have realized this, noticing my absence as the day went on. The halls echoed with their cries, and movement. They plan something, and I will have more work to do tomorrow. Oh well, judge me not reader, for I have had enough of that today from my winged brother outside these walls.
My name is Drauzael. This is the fourth day since I began this journal. I remain alone, but I persist. I awoke this morning with a tune stuck in my mind. To call it a tune is to disparage its purpose, for it is part of the Song. But to invoke the Song with Gabriel at my walls is a dangerous prospect. I will keep it to myself for today, though I may use it in the future if needed. A desperate melody, it invokes a feral nature in anyone who can hear it. Mayhaps I can drive the denizens within this fortress to a madness that will scare away Gabriel? A desperate hope, but that is all I have right now. The fortress was abuzz with activity most of the day. The demons are writhing about, plotting, skulking...scheming. That is nothing new, but something different happened but an hour ago. It has been silent, completely and absolutely, for the last hour. It is too much to hope that they have given up on escape. So what is it that they are doing? This hour has been trying on my mind. Gabriel at my gates, and the demons within gone quiet. I know I should check on them, but have I not deserved this moment of peace? If the silence meets me in the morning, I know I will need to act. Is it strange that I've started to miss their violence, their madness? I am so very alone down here.
My name is Drauzael. This is the fifth day since I began this journal. I remain alone, but I persist. I should never have wished for the silence to end. I woke to pounding at the gates, a fury made only possible by my brother Michael. It took some time, but I went to the ramparts to confirm my suspicion. Michael stands now with Gabriel, the sword and horn brought together. Despite the roar of the demons within, I could hear Michael whisper "traitor", the word knocking me back. I rushed back into the fortress, and lo! Deep within the bowels of this foul keep I found a bow, made of obsidian, bound in hair of Lucifer himself. This was wielded by Sybil, and if there was anything that may challenge Michael's blade, it is this bow. I keep the bow with me at all hours now, it will never leave my side. Michael's pounding on the wall caused a problem, a breach! As I readied the repairs, the demons of this fort made themselves known again, swarming me. Fate was on my side to have Sybil's bow, but it only bought me enough time to collapse a portion of this fort, to seal these demons inside. If ever I was tested, today pushed me to my very limits. Mara taught me a ritual, a means of invoking the Song within me, rather than projecting it. It calms me. I don't think it is the Song that does this though, but instead my memory of her...My day ended with reading, as I try to end most of my days. Perusing the stacks, I found a scroll of, listing the most loyal angels of Him. My eyes danced across the scroll, recognizing most of the names. One name burns my mind now, even as I write this journal. Castiel, the first angel I slew during the war. An angel's light is wondrous indeed, and to see it blink out, forever. Well, that's a darkness deeper than anything you'll find down here. It's time to rest, though Michael continues to pound on the gates, I must try to keep my strength. I hope I dream of her tonight...
My name is Drauzael. This is the sixth day since I began this journal. I remain alone, but I persist. Despite my brothers being outside, I must endure and complete my work. I was met this morning with a clamoring at the gates, not from Michael's incessant pounding, but from a mass of souls, wicked to their core having arrived. Odd enough seeing so many at one time, but Michael stood aside to let them in. Strange he allows me to persist. Perhaps he caught a glimpse of Sybil's bow, which never leaves my side, and decided to not make his move just yet. Either way, my morning was spent processing souls who could barely mutter more than "DARK SUN DARK SUN" again and again. And yet, despite the clamor, I heard her, uttering a single word "Shame", rung so clearly and brought me to my knees. I knew it was her, I didn't need to turn and see. But alas, I must face my fate, and so I was met with the sorrowful gaze of my sister, Raphael, come from on high on wings made from a sunrise. Now my siblings numbered three, and I realized my time is running out.
DARK SUN DARK SUN DARK SUN DARK SUN DARK SUN DARK SUN DARK SUN
The call came from atop a spire in the fortress. I know not how the demon got there, but they cried up to the sky, and the sun was blot out. Not by moon or cloud, but by Uriel, my fourth and final sibling. On wings of steel, with eyes to match, he landed among my other siblings. I write this final entry now, the sounds of Gabriel's horn deafening out all other sound. I have but one final song to sing, and I do so with Sybil's bow in hand, and Mara's words in mind.
I remain alone. I fear I will not persist.
And that wraps up my play through of To Reign in Hell! I had some pretty terrible luck there in my sixth turn and pulled TWO KINGS in a row. Even though I had the Ace of Clubs and had a chance to send my holy siblings back, even for a moment, luck was not on my side.
I absolutely recommend this Wretched & Alone game. It was a wonderful dive into the realm of being alone, despite being surrounded by others, and performing a duty, even though you know it will be your doom. Check out To Reign in Hell by Cody Faulk, and other games from the Wretched & Alone Jam. I'll be doing another play through of one of those games soon, so keep an eye on my Twitter for when that happens!