Sunday, April 19, 2009

Some Musings on the Campaign Backstory

After DaveS published the backstory for us, some discussion should be repeated:

Okay, so a thousand years ago the Empire was destroyed and everyone fled. The Empire was a big government structure on the Old Continent and population included Men, Halflings, Dwarves, and Elves. It isn't clear if there were seperate governments back then or if the Empire ruled everything. Doesn't matter. There are seperate governments now. The Old Continent is apparantly huge. So huge that the Empire didn't explore it all, and when they did they stumbled into some hostile enemy with huge numbers and huge magic. Big war, big battle, big losses. Everyone fled. Or died. Or apparantly some stayed behind and survived. The some brave souls started going back. That, apparantly, would be us.

I can see this playing out a lot of different ways.

This Vertious settlement would probably be a goldrush town, a Skagway or a Whitehorse or a Fairbanks or a Seward or a Nome, where anything could be had for the asking for the right amount of money but most things and especially luxuries massively overpriced compared to "back home". Thats "at best". At worst, it might be a Jamestown, where waves of immigration barely keep pace with a high death rate due to illness, disease, and injury.

In a thousand years the northern lands have probably become quite stable and civilized. The exodus population would have grown and expanded to occupy all of the arable land and sought to exploit all of the easily exploitable natural and mineral resources. The Triad reminds me of medieval Italy. Mercantile, money, power, and politics go hand in hand. Read Machiavelli. They probably bankroll expeditions to the Old Continent, recruiting second sons of Western Alliance families as muscle to do their work, or conscript prisoners and deport them to the Old Continent like with Australia.

The government of the old continent. Was it really an Empire, with an Emperor, or was it something else. Makes a little difference to me as I'm fiddling my backstory, and "Old Empire" doesn't have the same ring to it as "Old Kingdom" or "Old Republic". Maybe I'll just refer to the "Southern Empire", but that doesn't sound right either. Maybe it was more of a Republic of independant Kingdoms: Men, Dwarves, and Elves. Then we'd be more right in referring to the "Old Kingdoms". I think I'm going to talk about the "Old Lands" or "South Lands" and avoid the entire subject. It sounds more vague and mysterious that way.

Yes, the government of the old continent was really an Empire, with an Emperor and royal family and all.

For back-story purposes:
Early on, on the old content there were plenty of Kingdoms, Warlords, Realms or whatever the different rulers wanted to call themselves or there government. Eventually, either through diplomacy or as a result of wars all of the races ended up under imperial rule. The first Emperor was a man and after his death his second son and heir took the reins but after his death there was a power struggle between his heirs and a dwarven noble of considerable sway and power. There was little in the way of open fighting between the factions but in the end both heirs died less then a month after there sire. Although most successions are passed down to the first born or heir designate there have been several instances that resulted in out right wars and a few that found unlikely successors rising from a third or four in line heir after several mysterious deaths.

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