I’ve been building a fantasy world for a B/X D&D game for about three years. While I enjoy the time I spend making it, I realized recently that at my current pace that it will be a long time yet before I feel finished enough to be ready to run games in it. I decided to start this blog and see whether the ideas it engenders help my world-building exercise. Even if it doesn’t increase my pace, maybe writing through my thought processes will clarify some aspects or even be of use to some others doing similar work.
Broadly, I’m hoping to create a dark faerie tale-feeling world. The center of the campaign will be “Slavic” in feel, with a “Nordic” region to the NE and a “Turkic” empire to the SE. My initial inspiration was reading Russian folk lore & faerie-tales. I decided the lands the campaign begins in are at a sort of crossroads between a shadow realm and the lands of Faerie, something like 4E D&D’s “Shadowfell” & “The Feywild,” but with critical differences from that canon. Because the first people who dwelt in this region were for so long influenced by their proximity to and contact with fey from the neighboring plane, (and because another of my inspirations were British faerie tales), I decided some “Celtic” influences mixed in among the “Slavic” might be warranted.
I’m still deciding among a score of thematic elements, but right now, my “Lands of Khos” is a place where magic is slowly dying. Most believe it’s because the elves have retreated from this world, returning to their Feywild courts. Though there are still many potent magical practitioners, the places and artifacts of the world are slowly losing their strength. “The Forest Dark” will be an archetype for the campaign. Magic is more potent in the deep woods and the fey which are found there are tricksy and dangerous. While it is possible to bargain with many of them, that is always a risky project. Forces from the Shadow Realm and The Feywild fought a great war in this material plane some centuries ago and the effects of that war form the scar tissue of almost every element of this world’s landscape and its people.
There’s a start.