Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Let us pray, Part 3

William Blake's "Ancient of Days"
It's time to wrap up this series of posts detailing the major faith of the realm of Arche on the world of Icosa. I'll tackle the last two steps outlined by Ray Winninger in his Dungeoncraft article.

4. Create (at least) Two Myths

Myths help ground the characters in a world that seems more real. They also gives players ways to immerse themselves in the imaginary game world and better embrace their game personas. I gave some thought to the Trinity and came up with the following mythical explanations of worldly phenomenon. Keeping the First Rule of Dungeoncraft in mind, I won't develop too many myths for now. I have created one major myth and two minor ones.

It is believed that once two great orbs of light graced the skies as the father sent his eyes circling the world to see all that transpired. The light was cold and distant and the people of the land cried out for warmth and a respite from the endless day so they might rest from their ceaseless toiling.

The son took to heart the plight of the mortals and put out one of the father's eyes by stealing the flame within and gifting it to men so that they may warm their hearth. As a result, night was born. The darkness caused mortals to grow weary and and afraid as they huddled around their fires. Darkness also allowed Chaos to enter the minds of mortals.

To help light the darkness, the mother carried her shimmering shield across the night sky. Alas, the shadow of Chaos chased her through the darkness, threatening to cause her to lose her way and be consumed. Her son, shamed at the sorrow his deed had caused, pinned the glowing souls of fallen warriors to the dome of night, but even this was not nearly enough to hold back Chaos.

The father, fearing for his wife, took the twinkling points of light placed by his son and arranged them in a ward to banish Chaos. His power diminished by the blinding of one eye, the ward could not completely thwart Chaos, but it was able to hold it at bay. The sun now warms the land during the day and the shadow of Chaos still chases the moon and swallows it once a cycle, but the stars in the heavens help guide the moon out from under the shadow to continue the race another night.

As punishment for the crime against his father, the son is tasked with eternally stoking the fires warming the earth to ensure that they never go out. Earthquakes and volcanos are signs of the son's anger while performing his penance.

Souls of the just are gathered by the father's angels and placed in the heavens to keep Chaos at bay, while the unjust are gathered by the son to work the world furnace for all eternity.

Storms are believed to happen when the father and son are arguing, the rainbow after the storm is a sign from the mother that peace has been made between the two. When disputes are settled, peace is signified by the opposing sides clasping hands and a colorful ribbon wrapped around the joined hands.

Madness is believed to be a curse from the mother upon those who try to avoid the fate she has allotted them. As a result, many temples of the mother house the mad (for the proper donation, of course) in efforts to place them once again on their fated path.

5. Imagine Other Faiths

The final detail suggested by Ray is to consider other faiths of the land. In his article this is targeted at non-human races and the deities they worship. After giving it due consideration, I have decided (for now) to shy away from the traditional fantasy races included in the Lamentation of the Flame Princess core rules. I'm not, strictly speaking, using Tolkien as part of the inspiration for this setting. So what about the classes of elf, dwarf and halfling? Instead I give you the arcadians, homunculi and beast men, all of whom are offshoots of the human race.

Aracadians are the result of the unions between the chaos-worshiping Archons and humans. They worship no gods, but venerate their ancestors that first escaped the clutches of their sorcerous masters. They are represented by the elf class.

The homunculi were created when the Archons infused humans with spirits of the earth. As such, there were well suited to build the great Archon fortresses carved into towering mountain walls. They are represented by the dwarf class.

The beast men are the stunted and tortured remains of the humans twisted by magic to serve as feral hounds to their masters. Outside Archon lands they roam wild in warring pack-like clans, surviving off the land. They are represented by the halfling class.

Then there are the oft-mentioned Archons. While not a player class (at least for now) it is worth mentioning that they pay homage to the various chaotic beings. These beings have even found worship by small cults of humans seeking earthly power.

So I'm off to create a few GM secrets for these facts that I've laid out (Second Rule of Dungeoncraft) and look forward to tackling the next of Ray's Dungeoncraft articles.

Follow Your Bliss,

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