The Adventure Game and Interactive Novel

The Adventure Game and Interactive Novel

  • Category Archives Middle Ages
  • Brace yourselves… and study


    Chapter I is going to be out in less than two months. The beta testing is ongoing. Soon you will face the trials and dangers of being an inquisitor.


    So you might find useful to study the manual. I’m not talking about the istruction booklet of the game, I’m talking about the Directorium Inquisitorum!



    Here you will find the complete text. In Latin, of course.


    What, you don’t speak Latin? Well, too bad…


  • Strappado


    The quaestio Eymerich uses the most. The accused has his wrists tied behind the back and the rope is attached to a pulley. He is then lifted, causing his shoulders to dislocate and his wrists to break.


    No blood is spilled, in compliance with the Clementine Constitution.



  • Eymerich’s Latin


    Did we already tell you that Nicolas Eymerich, Inquisitor: The Plague will have Latin dialogues? Yes, I’m pretty sure we told you. And what about the Latin used is philologically flawless, and its pronunciation the most accurate as possible? Yes, we probably already told you this too.


    Alessandro Magrini - Latin localization

    It goes without saying that, due to the lack of tools for voice taping, the exact reconstruction of the pronunciation of a language of the past, with all its nuances, accents and tones, is not possible. Furthermore Latin is a language that has been written and spoken for more than 2000 years on a vast territory: it’s hard to establish then an accuracy criterion that is universally valid.


    But the pronunciation of a certain period and zone can be approximately reconstructed by using different kinds of information. There are authors describing the sounds of Latin, often in order to correct their coevals: but the pronunciation that is correct for a medieval author surely is not the one of a grammarian of the classical age. There is plenty of inscriptions and texts in which the engraver or his customer, instead of observing the grammar, for ignorance or inattention, let the Latin pronunciation of his age leak into the writing.


    We can obtain useful information also from word puns, onomatopoeic expressions, assonances and rhymes: in other words, every time that sound can prevail of spelling. Latin words’ transcriptions in other languages and alphabets are important too, and vice versa. Last, but not least, we can make a comparison with the languages that derived from Latin (the so-called Romanic languages: Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, French etc.) especially to recreate the Latin pronunciation of the most recent times, including the Middle Ages.


    Gian Paolo Castelli - Latin Localization

    The most used and known Latin pronunciations today are the “classical” and the “ecclesiastical”. The first is the reconstruction of the pronunciation of the first century B. C. (Cicero’s and Caesar’s Latin, to make things clear), but somewhat used also in the previous century and until the first-second century A. C.. The second is the pronunciation of the Roman Church, mostly dating back to the Early Middle Ages and handed down to us with little to no modifications.


    For Nicolas Eymerich, Inquisitor: The Plague we chose the ecclesiastical pronunciation – but with some nuances by which differentiate the various the characters’ social ranks and origins – because it’s more chronologically adequate and appropriate to the context in which Nicolas Eymerich operates. His Directorium Inquisitorum proved very useful to us, not only to give our character a store of appropriate phrases and words, but also and especially to be true to the formularity of some expressions.


    Directorium Inquisitorum


    Sure, the game takes place in the fourteenth century, in an area where back then they spoke Occitan and the common language was the local vulgar. Nonetheless, especially in ecclesiastical circles, Latin was not only the language used for writing and rituals, but also the spoken language for cultured people. But this is not the point at issue. In every fiction work, characters usually speak the same language. What we call today western literature starts with Homer’s Iliad, in which Greeks and Trojans – against all logic – both speak Greek. Fiction is fiction. So, if all the game characters can speak Italian or English, why not Latin? Indeed, Occitan aside, Latin is surely the language that suits the most the environment and atmosphere of the game.


    As much as possible we also tried to lend the most humble characters’ lines a more colloquial tone, though staying onto the limits of an understandable Latin. The guideline was to use a Latin that was understandable to most people who have some familiarity with the language. We tried nonetheless to characterize this standard language, whenever possible, with medieval nuances, especially regarding the lexicon and – obviously – all the references to Christian culture.



  • “Well, that’s a low blow”


    What is pain?


    Many attempts to create “scales of pain” have been made, the most famous of which is the VAS. Sure thing, the doubt that pain is not measurable remains strong and legit. Pain, just like many things in the world, is subjective.


    But there is a part of the male body that likely every man would confirm to be the most sensitive to pain, whatever is pain anyway.





    Virtually everyone has, at least once in his life, received a hit in the groin. The luckiest ones may have been hit by a blow with a soccer ball. For others less lucky it might have been a well-aimed kick from a very angry ex girlfriend. Maybe someone voluntarily underwent the treatment during a passionate and painful BDSM session. Thinking of it, maybe they would be the luckiest ones…


    But for the unluckiest ones it was a medieval torture.


    It’s the time of the year when apricots ripen, right? If you have recently bought some and left them out of the fridge they would be quite ripe by now.


    Take one of your apricots and grip it. It soon will start to flake in your hand, to mash, to crush.


    Now imagine that that apricot is a testicle. Belonging to you.


    Imagine it


    Without offending the immaginative medieval engineer that created and crafted complex torture devices, full of ropes and gears and levers, a pair of pliers were enough to inflict the worst pain a man could ever sustain…


  • The scavenger’s daughter


    When horror becomes history, people end up to underestimate it. It’s a sort of an emotional detachment, like it was only something that is written in a book. People tend to forget that some things really happened. Maybe it’s just a mental mechanism to survive the horror, to avoid imagining: “what if it had happened to me?”.


    The story of our game takes place in the Southern France of the XIV century, but it was between 1500 and 1600 that the Inquisition reached the apex of its cruelty and agency. It was in that time that many of the most terrible torture machines and practices were invented. But it was not all blood, slashing and gore, no. The worst tortures were often the simplest and most bearable ones. Apparently bearable.


    I wanna ask you to make an experiment. Lay on your bed and cuddle up, then stay still. Stay completely still, without moving a muscle.


    How long did you manage not to move? Five seconds? Ten? Then you get tired. You feel the natural need to move, to change position, to stretch.


    Now imagine you have to repeat the experiment once again. But it’s not an experiment this time. You are not making it by your own free will, you can’t quit, and you’re not laying on your bed. Instead you are locked up in a dark and stinky cell, drenches in your own faeces, you have been enchained for two days with no food nor water, bind by the scavenger’s daughter.


    The scavenger's daughter


    A person condemned to this punishment would perhaps sigh with relief seeing that he is not destined to blades, whips and pliers. But right after a few minutes he would feel cramps in all his body. Natural acts like stretching a leg of scratching would become obsessive desires. And desperately trying to fulfil them he could only skin and slash his own flesh were it is bind. Within a couple of hours his descent to madness would begin…


    And nothing could prevent the torturers to integrate this punishment with beating, whipping and other torments, to undergo without being able to move a muscle, to let out an involuntary shake, an instinctive physical response to pain.


    There are fates far worse than death…


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