Tuesday, September 14, 2021

The Red Knight: A Less Tiresome Keep on the Borderlands?

 So I don't really do book or media reviews on this blog, and I'm not about to start now, but I am reading a book that I think fits very well into D&D in my head. It's called The Red Knight, my Miles Cameron. 

So the basics: a nun hires a group of mercenaries to defend them from the encroachments of the Wild, yes Wild with a capital W. There are a million subplots and various intrigues, but that's the long and short of it. 

Some interesting features: 

This is basically Keep on the Borderlands. The Wild encroaches on the domain of humankind and is full of various monstrous humanoids like "boglins" and "irks." There's a vaguely referenced "Wall" somewhere that is supposed to keep the Wild at bay, but in some places it bleeds into the realms. 

Magic is labelled as either Gold (power comes from the sun, sanctioned by the Church, draws on the will of God, basically cleric magic but see below) and Green (Magic of the Wild, powers of Satan, used by eeeeeevil wizards and godless witches and such) 

Both types of magic can be used to do the same things, but one comes from a source deemed societally acceptable, and the other from an unacceptable source. Magic seems to be generally feared and most casters don't advertise their abilities. There are some sanctioned "Hermetic" magi, and normal people are terrified of them. 

The Church is actually Christianity, like with God and Jesus and saints and all that, rather than just Great Value Brand Christianity where they rename God. 

The setting references "Archaics," which seems to be a Greeky, Romany style ancient culture that uses real world names- Aristotle is mentioned. 

This book is not set on Earth, however. All of the kingdom names seem real-world-adjacent, but not quite the real thing. The geography thus far has been extremely vague. The "East" is mentioned, and knights from it follow different customs (and are dickfaces, generally.) The Continent is mentioned, capital C. For once, the East isn't Basically-Real-Life-Asia as fantasy settings are wont to do...it seems to be Sort-Of-France-But-Not-Really. Names go from mundane fare like Tom and Hugo to Desiderata. 

Anyway, it's given me some ideas, considering that my last outing with Keep was total misery. In fact, the only time I halfway-enjoyed Keep was when I ran it using 5e back in like...2015? 2016? (Before I knew about that Goodman Games translation.) 

I probably won't post about it again unless the book does something surprising or takes a turn, since like I said, I'm not really in the business of doing book/media reviews. 

1 comment:

  1. Interesting. Still working on about three gigantic books, however, before I'll allow myself to check out a new one.

    Please do keep us posted.
    : )