Once upon a time, there was an island that was far, far away, across a vast, blue ocean. This island, surrounded by rocky shores, tall cliffs and cold, cold waters, was more famous for its green fields and clover than it was for its games. But that didn’t matter to Rory O’Connor.
You see, Rory was a man who was especially interested in one thing more than anything else in the whole, wide world: Rory liked to help people use their imaginations and think more creatively. This was Rory’s purpose because he understood that everyone has a very special gift inside them. He knew that everyone — boys and girls, moms and dads and even grandparents — knows how to tell beautiful and wonderful stories, but Rory recognized that some of them had forgotten how.
One night, after a dinner of turnip soup and fresh-baked rolls, Rory was sitting in his comfortable chair by the fireplace. As the flames slowly danced in front of him, he thought to himself, “There has to be a way to help people tell stories. If they could only shake the rust from their imaginations!”
So Rory sat down and thought of a bunch of pictures that could be building blocks to help people make really great stories. He drew a mighty sea turtle swimming freely in the warm waters of the Caribbean, a hot air balloon floating above the clouds on its way to a mysterious destination, a stone castle where a princess might be trapped and many, many more. Then Rory put these drawings on a set of dice and decided to share them with the world, so they could tell wonderful and beautiful stories, too. And that’s how Rory’s Story Cubes were born.*
Since then, the game has gone on to win numerous awards, as well as become a huge GeekDad favorite. There are several variations on the rules, but we’re going to play the simplest version: Roll the nine six-sided dice (which I’ve done for you, above) and arrange the icons however you wish. You must then tell a story that begins with “Once upon a time …” and includes each element that you’ve rolled.
If you’d like to tell us a tale for the chance to win one of eight copies of the game that the US publisher, Gamewright, has sent us to give away, spin a yarn in the comments below. Be sure to use each of the elements in the image. We’ll pick winners at the end of the day tomorrow. Good luck! [Edit: Wow! Lots of great entries and really fantastic tales! Thanks to everyone who entered. We’ve randomly selected eight lucky winners and notified those bone-based bards. Congratulations!]
* While Rory O’Connor lives in Ireland, invented Story Cubes and makes his living helping others think more creatively, the rest of the story owes itself to a lot of artistic license.