Wednesday, December 22, 2010

And About the World(s)...

I keep thinking about how the various incarnations of the game may be linked- what are the common themes that reverberate between the supers and fantasy (and other) settings- for example, what ties Knights of the Falling Stars to Arvandoria/Del Anon and to the worlds of the supers game? I know that light/dark and good/evil are sort of universal fantasy/adventure conflicts and those are easy enough to use as the common theme linking the various games, but it’s a bit trite. Okay, it’s exceptionally trite.

Then it hit me. Ruins.

Del Anon has been my fantasy world for 20+ years, and I’ve spent that time fleshing it out a little at a time. I’ve always assumed that Del Anon meant ‘the land between’, a not-so-subtle borrowing from both Tolkien’s Middle Earth and the Norse concept of earth as the middle of creation.

Now, I’m only an English teacher and not a linguistic; however, I want there to be some veracity to the way that my fictional language of Old Gallan (as close as my fantasy world comes to Latin) is represented. I know that Del means ‘land’ in Old Gallan, although Anon has a more negative connotation than “between”. In fact, another realm I was working on for a bit I called “Del Marev”, and that feels more like “middle” to me. If Del Marev was the old world (before the Reckoning of the fantasy game) was the same way that Meridian (the city in the middle) was the ‘old world’ before the Messari attack that fostered the creation of Nativity… there’s my link. A virtually utopian world that has been destroyed from within, cast into ruins. The heroes of this world (whatever world it is) need tremendous resolve (hence the title) to fight back the darkness and restore the world to its previous glory- or even better yet, find a new glory.

And my map backs it up.

Previously, I’ve published a map of Del Anon- but it was only half the map I had drawn all those years ago (probably 1998 or so), and I’ve never been quite sure why I had a second side to the continent- I never knew what it was. Now I think I know…

The eastern continent (the side you may have seen somewhere) is the remains of Del Marev, ripped apart through its interaction with the Barrens. The western continent is the ruins of Arvandoria, the faerie land. In short, the eastern lands are darker and more brutal, the western lands more magical and mysterious.

Arvandoria once had this series of towers that once linked the magical nexus points of the realm, keeping its magical energy humming nicely- unfortunately, those are all broken. The great cities of man from Del Marev? About ¾ are now desolate ruins inhabited by all nasty things… which is a shame, considering the libraries, magical devices and incredible treasures that were once held there.

Oh, and the Supers game? It has the ruins of Meridian buried beneath Nativity; it has the ruins of the Citadel of Tomorrow sitting under the frozen north… and I think it might have other ruins. Valhalla, the seat of the Norse gods? Yeah, it’s been wrecked. Atlantis? A ravaged war zone. Mount Olympus? Not a bad place to visit if you can stomach a little nuclear radiation. In fact, the planet that the Messari took over and used as a staging ground for their first invasion of earth- Mars- yeah, it’s been pretty well trashed as well. Too bad, too, with all those incredible Martian artifacts that are now buried under millions of miles of red sand…

And you don’t even want to know about the Five Systems (formerly the Six systems)… the biggest sun imploded, and the huge black hole at the center of the star cluster threatens to wipe everything out… including the ruined planets hovering on its fringes that may hold the secrets to closing the black hole forever, if heroes can get to them, and survive the horrors they present.

I’ve been playing with these worlds for about 20 years, so let’s make that our starting point. It’s been 20 years- for all of them. All worlds suffered a Reckoning that reverberated across time and space. All things were affected. The great source of power (the most powerful sun, the one true goddess, he who sees all things) was destroyed, and the ripple effects were felt everywhere.

And the Messari were behind it all...