Wednesday, May 8, 2013

The Scroll of the Beginning and commentary

I have written a lot of personal material on the Majestic Wilderlands over the past thirty years. Most it is in note form or half done articles. One of these is the creation myth of the Majestic Wilderlands.

Recently I upgraded my CorelDraw to version X16. This is the software I use to create my maps and other graphic material. So I decided to try it out by turning my creation myth notes into what it would look like in-game.

You can download the result from here.

Now it not the most original myth ever written as it heavily inspired by Tolkien's Simarillion. But it is not a straight copy either.  My main objectives in writing this was to

  • To have absolute evil. Demons who are the enemies of creation and want to reshape it to their own whims.
  • Leave open shades of gray.  Basically the gods with extreme philosophies as a result of the Uttermost War. Yeah they hate demons too but what they preach is not exactly pleasant.
  • Explain the multitude of sentient races. The Demons mutated human using magic into the hundred+  races of the D&D Monster manual and most fantasy RPGs.
  • Explain the origin of magic.  Low level magic was part of the creation of the Wilderlands but the act of creating the Abyss focused the ambient level of magic and allowed spells to be used instead of only rituals.

The scroll I created only goes up to the start of the Uttermost War. I have projects to complete for various folks so I didn't have a lot of time to format the full story.

What follows is a short Uttermost War story for each of the ten major gods of the Wilderlands. Revolving around how they rallied the survivors of the sack of the First City to fight back. Eventually liberating the Demon's slaves and finally defeating the demons on the island of Tiranog.

The story concludes with nine of the gods creating a crystal of power each of a single color. Veritas uses the Chromatic Crystal to create the Abyss and the Nine Crystals are used to seal it imprisoning the Demons until the final battle. A side effect was that magic became potent enough to used in spells instead of long rituals only.

In-game The Scroll of the Beginning is one of the seven scrolls that make up the Chronicles of Mitra, the holy books of the Ghinorians who believes themselves to be the holy people of Mitra. The other scrolls are the Scroll of Exodus, Scroll of Judges, Scroll of Kings, Scroll of Prophets, Scroll of Hymns, and the Scroll of Palanon.

The last one was supposedly written by the first Imperial Prince of the Ghinorian Empire, Palanon the Great. It provides a crucial but controversial piece of theology that transformed the Ghinorian Church of Mitra from a parochial religion of a specific tribe to a universal religion where anybody professing belief in Mitra is considered Ghinorian. And as critics note aided Palanon and his successors to successfully weld the disparate peoples they conquered into a single empire.

Yeah there is a bit of heavy adaptation from the structure of the old testament.

So I hope you enjoy this and I hope it inspires you to write your own legends for your campaigns.

Note that Inkscape does everything that I use CorelDraw for. The reason I don't switch is because of the volume of stuff I have in CorelDRAW but for somebody starting out using vector graphics for mapping Inkscape is the way to go. Plus it is free!

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