Monday, June 24, 2013

The Voriskoghn: Concepts

I've stated previously that I'm reworking the Shadowend setting, which I do periodically to suit my whims.  This time (read: decade) , I'm looking at the area at top left on the map, the Voriskoghn.

If you divide the map into four quadrants, they are, clockwise from top left, the Near North, Utgard, the Woodmarch, and the Hundred Kingdoms.  My intent, ultimately, is to slide the Near North to the right, and expand the Voriskoghn, putting the great big fjord near the center top of the map as a divider. It will be fractured, with many small mountain ranges, forests, swamps, and lakes.

Things to include in the Voriskoghn:

  • Slavic influences/folklore/mythology.  Ivan Bilibin illustrations.
  • Minor Scandanavian influences.
  • Arthurian influences.  Arthurian knights and Russian bogatyrs aren't that far apart.
  • No big kingdoms.  Or cities.
  • Fractured civilization.  Small settlements.  Each man is king in his own castle.  And there are a lot of castles.
  • Perpetual cycle of ruin and regrowth.  It is a wilderness, but not an empty one.  The population holds steady, but settlements shift, move, and change.
  • Family loyalties.  Going along with the "no big kingdoms" thing, most people's first loyalty is to their family.  A family might hold a few castles in a loose alliance, but there is no feudal system in operation.
  • "Advanced" humanoids.  Many humanoid tribes (giants, hobgoblins, etc) are at roughly the same level as the humans.  A castle might be held by hobgoblins.  Giantish castles are not unknown.
  • Distinctions in magic.  Illusionists, Enchanters, and Wizards each have their own areas of ability.
  • No ancient fallen civilization.  There are enough of those around.  The cycle of ruin and regrowth provides enough dungeons and lost towers to satisfy.

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