Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Campaign Pitch #2 - The Fey Border

It is Christmas, 800 AD. In the holy city of Rome, Pope Leo III has crowned the Frankish king, Charles the Great (Charlemagne), as the first Holy Roman Emperor, in recognition of his success against the heathens. On the eastern borders of what is now his Empire, Charlemagne has finally pacified the heathen lands and pushed the borders of Christendom to the banks of the Elbe.

To the west lay the settled Christian lands of Europe; to the East the darkenss of the fey realm. Between them lay the border, anything but strictly defined and fixed. It fluxes and flows as the power of Christendom and Fey wax and wane. The border region is land where miracles of the church stand against and alongside the darker magic of the fey.  Where the 12 Peers of Charlemagne  carry the cross against the heathen. And where opportunists from the settle West come looking for power and glory.


This one is a little different; a pseudo-historical campaign set in an alternate northern Europe.  The heathens of this world are not Saxons, Slavs and Danes, but forces of dark fey. Dark elves, witches, goblins, werewolves, etc.  In Christian lands to the west, it's just like historical Europe; no magic, dull, boring, peasants in the mud type of stuff. The Fey lands to the east are essentially some equivalent of Hell. In between, in the Fey Border, the two realms meet. And it's like D&D, but with a Grimm's Fairy Tale twist (the originals, not the Disney versions).

Locations, NPCs, and so on will be lifted straight from the history books. All suitably twisted to fit into a game of D&D of course. Elves, dwarves and halflings will still be playable, just in slightly different forms. There will definitely be a new paladin class, a witch class, and maybe more to suit to milieu. 

There are basically two ways this could play out. You could take on the role of paladins and crusaders, out to fight the powers of the dark fey. Or vagabonds and desperadoes out to seize wealth and power in a chaotic world. Or a little of both.    

The basic idea I'm stealing wholesale from Poul Anderson's "Three Hearts and Three Lions" [Fun trivia. The D&D troll is stolen directly from this book, as is the Law-Chaos alignment system]. Throw in some old English concepts of the fey and elves, a bunch of Arthurian legends and "The Matter of France", and John Borman's "Excaliber". And whatever histories of Charlemagne and the Saxon campaigns I can read.

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