Saturday, June 8, 2013

Mystara 1400

This one is Mystara lore heavy so I'll annotate in italics. This was mostly inspirational brainstorming - you can tell by the ordering from "setting" to "why is it like this?" to "what is interesting about this?". I think I was going for a Shannara vibe with this one.

New Selenica

A small woodcutting town on the border of the Freelands and the Empire. (I believe the Freelands refer to areas that used to be Darokin north of the Empire of Thyatis.) Mostly consists of Darokinians, some Thyatians. Ruled by old Darokinian nobility - the Caldwells. A community of loggers, woodcutters and carpenters who specialize in working with the twisted wood of the Elfwood. (The Elfwood refers to what was once Alfheim. During the Wrath of the Immortals it was twisted by the Shadow Elves who took over and renamed it Aengemor. We'll get to why there are no elves now later.) The houses and woodwork are twisted and intertwined making for bizarre looking structures. "The secret is to work with the wood, to follow it's natural shape. Let the wood inspire you, don't force the wood."

There is a small community that has formed to support the woodworkers and New Selenica has become a growing little town. The nearby Elfwood is also home and secret travelling route to the Dur, who have been declared outlaws by the Empire. (I think the Dur are supposed to be a combination of Traldaran Darine - the Mystaran Rom - and settled Urduks.)

On the border of the Freelands and the Empire is Fort Canobolas. It is one day's travel from New Selenica and the whole area is carefully watched for Dur and Freeman outlaws. The soldiers there are called the "Bordermen", but that name is reserved by the people for true warriors farther into Darokin's wilds.


During the Wrath of the Immortals Darokin was invaded by the Master of Hule. The forces were mostly Sindhi Urduks with the Master's own humanoids and elite Thrashers backing them up. As the war raged on much of Darokin was conquered by the Master's forces. However, with the destruction of the Nucleus of the Spheres, the Master's powers began to fade. His patron, Bozdogan, abandoned him. Eventually his own humanoid forces fragmented and the Urduks settled down. The master just disappeared.

(I'm using some custom Mystaran lore and war outcomes here. Additionally I changed then end of the Wrath of the Immortals. Instead of the Nucleus of the Spheres simply being redirected it was destroyed along with all magic. The Immortals themselves disappeared. So Mystara after Wrath of the Immortals of bereft of magic and gods.)

Magic seems to be creeping back into the lands in bits and pieces. A unicorn here, an elf conjuring a ball of light there. However the Master is also returning. Humanoids are stirring in the far west again and rumors of darker things are surfacing.

The truth is that the immortals are being reborn as mortals and magic is slowly returning. Whatever punishment the Old Ones had for the younger gods is mostly over and they are getting another chance to regain their power. There are some forces that don't want the old ways to begin anew, though...

The trickster god is making his bid to regain immortality by creating the false impression of the Master's return. Even if he can't muster up the power that the Master of old had and ravage the remains of civilization the mere threat of his return could throw the whole land into internal strife and warfare.

Just as Loki as been reborn so has Odin. He has been travelling the land trying to pin down exactly where Loki was resurfacing. Young and two eyed again, he still strikes an imposing figure. He wants the new world to find its own way and leave the past that brought so much destruction behind.

The d'Amberville Family
One of the next immortals to be reborn is Rad, the immortal who began all this trouble. He has similar beliefs to Odin but still believes that magic is the path for mortals to enlighten themselves. His bloodline is especially strong and the slow return of magic is favoring his decedents. The Empire claims all of d'Amberville's kin were slain in the Pogrom. (Apparently after the War there was a imperial Pogrom against any surviving magic users... who couldn't defend themselves because magic has ceased to exist.)


Not a lot to work with here but I really dig the idea of the immortals being reborn and struggling anew as mortals in their bid to reshape the world. What strikes me a being a cool idea now would be to have the players take on the roles of returning immortals - this would really fit the feel of a 4th edition game where the PCs are so far above anyone else in power levels. Some things that I know I was thinking at the time but didn't write down was that gunpowder, or at least redpowder from the Savage Coast, had taken a stronger hold and technology was increasing. Gnomes would be especially important. Conflicts could be between immortals vs. no immortals, magic vs. technology and freedom vs. security. 

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