Monday, November 30, 2009
Introduction to the Known Lands
Yes, for a long time, on this blog, I have been writing down my ideas about the Known Lands. The ideas are disapparent, not very organized, and something of a person with a active Right Brain would write down.
The world you are entering is will appear very familiar and strange at the same time. The Known Lands, on an Earth, is a world much like our own. Its sun and solitary moon are much the same, except the moon has a slight blue cast. The stars, however, are different. Different constellations hang in the sky. The flora and fauna are identical to our Earth's, since this Earth is also an index of DNA. The human cultures have analogs to our historical cultures in the Middle Ages. But, this Earth is different.
It is a magical planet. The wilds of this Earth are prowled not only by lions, tigers and bears. The wilds also harbor griffons, dragons, unicorns, and other magic beasts. Evil spirits rise from their tombs to stalk the night. And humans, the most common race, share the planet with elves, orcs, dwarves, goblins, and numerous others. In some areas, its peaceful. In others, its in conflict and turmoil. This Earth's history was home to the Ancients, humans from another Galaxy who settled this galaxy in order to spread human life. The Ancients created the other races -- mostly elves, orcs, and halflings; through genetic manipulation of their own species to populate certain planets. However, two interstellar wars -- one against a race of cephalopodic humanoids, another against the goblins. It is these two wars that brought the Orcs, Elves, Halflings and all the others to this Earth to find solace.
This Earth is a place where our Earthly fantasies are a reality. To one who is jaded and unimpressed with our world, this Earth has wonders and exotic cultures. It's deserts are just a little hotter, its winters are colder, and its forests more expansive. Wizards and warlocks weave arcane magic, and brave warriors battle creatures of legend. On this Earth, you will find adventure, romance, intrigue, and mystery. Those who yearn to perform great deeds may do so -- if they have the courage.
The Caithness Archipelago
The Game is set on the Continent of Hyperia, with the Continents of Shaleesa to the south and Ashera to the East. Hyperia is like Ancient Europe: forested with mountains and few plains. Ashera is a lot like Asia, and Shaleesa is a continent of deserts and jungle, like Africa. The center of the game takes place in the Caithness Isles or Archipelago. This area is a little larger than the British Isles, plus they are peopled with a familiar culture -- English Culture in the 11th and 12th Centuries A.D. but with some changes.
Caithness itself is the nation forged by Christians, Sacred Lighters, and Pagan humans. To the East is Tir'Tangier, twenty miles off the coast to the west is the sacred isle of Anglesey -- which has been conquered by the violent, and determined Massalian Elves. Fifteen nautical miles to the west is the Island of Killyronde, which is the new home of the orcs and several monstrous races. Caithness shares its land with Scotland and Pictland to the North. And on the Eastern island of Angland some ten miles from the South Eastern shore of Caithness is an island of people in a land that is dominated by the dead.
Fifty nautical miles to the east is the cape of Hyperia, where stands other Christian nations and nations of pagans and infidels -- and cultures of wonder and excitement. Of the three human kingdoms of Caithness: Caithness and Scotland are followers of the Sacred Light and Christian, while Pictland is pagan. Killyronde is Shamanistic, Tir'Tangier is pagan, and Angland is Atheistic. Massalia itself is monotheistic infidels. A final island kingdom, that seventeen miles to the northeast of Caithness, is the island of Kuragos, which is divided between dwarves and halflings. The land is pagan with Christian colonies. Finally, there is the isle of Skara Brae to the north, some six nautical miles beyond Pictland and Scotland. The isle is claimed by humans who claim to be Hindu as well as Pagan.
Like GURPS Fantasy or GURPS Banestorm the religions are presented here are real religions. Shamanism is a real spiritual path of Animism, and Christianity, Hinduism, and Pagan religions are real. There is one pagan religion that is not real in the same sense, this religion is the Worship of the Ancients. Also dominating the religious landscape of Caithness is an entirely atheistic religion -- the Path of the Sacred Light. It's home is in Angland, but the Anglish have spread it to Caithness and Scotland.
How Faith Works
Faith works in the Known Lands according to the Law of Cause and Effect, or in modern parlance: the Law of Attraction. But how a person's faith works is basically up to the GM's conscience, whim, or sense of drama. Although I suggest that the GM study the Law of Attraction and do his or her best to run faith according to the knowledge of that Law. The world works because there is but one God -- but many religions. Its up to you ultimately, GM, to run the world and to make faith work in the game according to your conscience.