Hi everyone. I’m starting a new series with some world building content that came out of my last Dungeonworld campaign. Really, most of the the details, I came up with after the game had wrapped up, but that’s where it started. So it’s a fantasy world.
One particular feature I like and find very rarely in fantasy is magic communities or community-based magic: It’s what we find in games like 7th Sea or Reign, where different communities have each their own kind of magic that only does very specific things. So in 7th Sea the pseudo-Italians can use fate magic and the pseudo-Russians are shapeshifters. In Reign the Empire has Smoke Formers what can produce temporary stuff out of smoke, while the Oblob have diviners. I really like that concept and wanted it turned up to 11.
Another thing I like is posthuman fantasy. That is, the fantasy races, insofar they exist, used to be humans and turned themselves into something else. Gladly, community magic and posthuman fantasy go well together.
One thing I dislike is gods walking around in fantasy settings. I want to see stories about people. So we might just have gods not exist. But having storis about what the gods did in olden times and them being real is cool too. So my third ingredient is: The gods are gone. Not like one day they just went away. Sudden inexplicable retirement on the gods’ part is everywhere from Mother of Learning to Powder Mage and it’s boring (both stories are great otherwise, mind you). If the gods are gone, I want to know why. So my refined third ingredient is: People evicted the gods. Firmly. That fits nicely with posthuman fantasy as well.
So in this first post I will tell a little bit, about the settings prehistory. I will then from time to time post one of the communities and their magic.
History starts pretty much like it did on our world. Humans came up and after many millennia they congregated in larger communities. They started organized cults and when the cults got large enough things changed. Because the gods got real. And having a anthropomorphic god as a defender proved a tremendous advantage. Suddenly the vagaries of weather and enemies where much less fearsome. So the early empires had a much better staying power than in our world.
But while the first gods were mostly projections of their followers at first, they became more individual and idiosyncratic over time. Some started ruling over their subjects in real theocracies, some instead wandered of. There are still structures found, that apparently were made by the gods with unknown purpose and withstood time unchanged (i.e. adventure friendly locations). The gods found that they could procreate, either alone or in groups, and so newer gods came up that had not been spun up by communities of believers.
But as the number of gods grew with the number of people things got chaotic. It wasn’t that the gods where actively malicious. At least most weren’t and many were actually nice to their people. But each god warps the world in its vicinity and multiple gods doing that can have ever stranger effects, not usually conducive to human wellbeing.
Now things likely wouldn’t have changed because the gods were powerful. But then the Warmaster clashed with the Lady Luck on the great high planes north to the central mountains. It wasn’t the first clash between gods and the Warmaster would likely take the win and the Lady’s territory. But instead the Warmaster was betrayed by his trusted lieutenant. It is not known what exactly happened on those mountains, but in the end the Warmaster was left for dead, the Lady flew in a crazed flight over the mountains and over the lands and barricaded herself on an island down south. She has not left in the centuries since and the island has turned into a dangerous territory. Brave or stupid people sometimes travel to find treasures on the Island of Crazed Luck even today (just in case we need a country sized mad house dungeon). Most never return.
Parts of the Warmaster’s body were later recovered by his followers who went west and founded the Obrimic Empire. The Lieutenant though brought from the mountains the sword known as God’s Death. He is known as Lord Red. (Color-coded for my players convenience.) And that is how the #Rebellion started.