The Last Apothecary is a detailed, immersive, exploration driven, haunted house, about an industrial outer colony space apothecary obsessed with the collection of rituals, old-Earth tradition, and reviving the dead.
The Last Apothecary is meant to be stumbled upon in deep playa, a strange and imposing structure that evokes nervous curiosity.
The exterior of the Last Apothecary is an industrial space cargo pod, built from the sort of recycled container that would be presumably common as structural building material in the outer colonies of space. On the front door, which appears to be a stuck airlock door, a notice is posted condemning the place and its proprietor for unlicensed practice of medicine and structural faults. There is a small shrine, left by grateful space colonists from the area, thanking the recently deceased apothecary for his service and help.
Inside the Last Apothecary, the world shifts to warmth. The interior is clearly built to someone’s idea of an classical Old Earth apothecary, all clutter and warm wood and dim lighting reminiscent of 14th century Italian pharmacies and Chinese medicine shops. There is no attempt at masking the anachronism, though – there is a screen playing infomercials for anti gravity yoga, and there are posters and flyers around that promise to alleviate all sorts of space ailments.
It is dust filled, and clearly abandoned, but still warm and inviting. There are shelves everywhere – covered in bottles and bell jars, each one painstakingly annotated with notes on specific ailments and cures.
Behind the apothecary counter, there is a large bank of small drawers. Each drawer contains a fascinating object – an amulet promised to heal small wounds from Egypt, vials of a green powder from Europa that cure nausea. The counter too, is strewn with artifacts that weave between truth and hoax, a box of palmistry hands that aren’t human, a phrenology bust that is more alien than man.
On a video screen, embedded in a wall, advertisements for space-age remedies for space-age ailments are shown on a loop. You may join in a video led practice of anti gravity yoga, if you wished.
As the visitor makes their way behind the counter, they can also see and explore through stacks of journals and records, all carefully detailing the history of the people that have passed through the space.
There are strange occurrences scattered throughout the apothecary, as is befitting a haunted house. Sometimes, simply standing somewhere triggers a siren, or flickering lights. Occasionally, the lights go out for just a second, and hastily scrawled protection runes glow in the cabinets. Things happen. You’re never sure why. There are whispers in the air. You’re never certain of what you just heard.
There are strange ghostly conversations in the air – barely able to be heard unless the room is nearly empty. A colonist asks about some strange symptoms, an apothecary prescribes a herbal remedy from an unknown moon. Mostly, though, it is just the wind.