Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Saturday Night Keep: The Setup

At the beginning of each era, the gods of light and darkness decide upon a race that will have dominance over all the world. The gods are fickle, however, and inevitably their creations fail them in some fashion and are cast into decline. The dragons, the giants, the dwarves, the elves... all of them have had their empires and golden ages, and all of them are now hermits and vagabonds living in shadow and memory. This is the era in which humans have been given dominion over the world. The dwarves ruled from below the earth, the elves from within the Eldewood, the giants from their mountain castles and the dragons from the very skies, but humankind has chosen to carve their realms out of the very heart of the land. An island of settlements in the center of a dark world, humans push the monsters and the remnants of the old times farther and farther out into the fringe. They build keeps on their borders to hold back the chaos. Those who chafe under this new age of civilization make for these keeps, places from which they can escape the Holy Church, the tax collectors, and a life spent pursuing an honest trade.

This Keep has no name. It sits uneasily on the border of the Old Kingdom and the Eldewood. Here you will find opportunists, vagrants, fugitives, madmen, treasure seekers, fanatics, and pariahs. Some seek to plunder the riches of the Old Kingdom, some to slay the monsters, some to avoid the toil and tedium of civilized life. Most of them will end up broken, dead, or imprisoned. Some will end up wealthy, perhaps enough so that they can elude a common life.

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