Bring Me Her Bones (2021)

Bring Me Her Bones (2021) is by Dirk Detweiler Leichty and adheres to a blue and green color scheme. Of all the Manifestus Omnivorous zines, this is the one that pushes against the rules the most, I think. For instance, it is a bit less of an adventure, say, than it is a setting. Nor is it technically one location, unless “the city” counts and its constituent locations do not. These are nitpicks though. I love this thing.

Big picture: the king is an asshole who sold his soul to the Green Sun for prosperity for 66 years. Time’s up, so he’s started worshiping the Beast in hopes of finding an out. The Beast is down to help, but wants the King’s daughter’s bones, so it can eat them (which will make her his wife in hell?). The problem: the princess is missing. Hence the title.

The adventure is structured a little unusually, consisting of exploration turns that are complicated by astrological omens (determined by dropping dice on the evocative map). There are places to visit, treasures to unearth, murders to solve. Factions complicate things. The King’s agenda, of course, is not public, but the cult of the Beast is working to see the marriage consummated. The princess’s brothers, a pair of bungling wizards, also hunt for her. Princess Europa is the standout character, a resourceful master of disguise, attempting to free her one true love before escaping the city. She’s a worthy opponent for both her friends and foes.

I’m generally on record as to loving Leichty’s geometric art. I think this stands among his best, even with the limited palette — there is something about the obscurity of the astrological element that I think he is particularly well suited in portraying.

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