Saturday, February 19, 2011

Looking Back...


            Imagine, if you will, a land not too unlike our own. Yes, the land masses are different, but the humans there are pretty much the same as you or I.

            It is a time of hardship and toil. A time when steel is new, and kingdoms are forged like irons in the flame. It is a time when we, as people, create borders… and alliances… and monuments to the gods above… only to have those gods come down in vessels of crystal and enslave us all.

            The gods were not like we imagined. Instead of benevolent presences that brought all that is good, our gods were alien and inhuman. Our gods oppressed us and made us work the land until it was bled dry of resources. Our gods tainted our crops and our animals, making those things dangerous in their own right, filling us with fear and dread.

            Until one day, one of us said “no more” and lashed out at one of our gods. Yes, the originator died, struck down not two moments after he snapped, but he had done the damage that we needed him to do. He had taken one of the gods with him, and that’s when we realized these creatures, these… As’kali… were not gods, but beings much like ourselves… More learned, and with different physiologies, but they were a people of sorts, and people can die…

            We fought the As’kali for decades, not knowing that time really was our ally. For in the crystalline structures of our oppressors vessels lay the key to the power of our lands, and gave us our ability to wield it. The fragments of crystal that fell off their ships and war machines during battles lay in the fields of blood and bone, slowly absorbing the ambient energies of Tai’eres. Energies that, until then, we never knew about. Magic.

            Different types of crystals created different sorceries, and we relentlessly wielded that power in our fight against the As’kali, until a band of our mightiest heroes took the fight into their main sky-fortress… and it all exploded in our skies.

            The Rain of Shards killed thousands in its wake, reducing cities and nations to ruin. The As’kali were no more, but they had left their mark on Tai’eres. We are now just recovering…

            Welcome to Tai’eres, the land of shards.


            This is an introduction to a fantasy heartbreaker world I came up with a few years back. Basically, I took the premise of Evernight (a Savage Worlds setting) and extrapolated it with different aliens doing the oppressing, and the end result of it all.

            I threw the characters into the world pretty much cold turkey. They didn’t know much beyond their own little farm village, but they were full of adventure and willing curiosity. This group had stout fighters and sneakier archers. They even had a novice shardcaster with them. The group ran into dangerous animals such as Screamtoads and Spearcats, mercenaries working for would-be nobles, and even members of the Shatterers; a group dedicated to wiping out the As’kali influence on Tai’eres by any means necessary.

            I ran this using a home-brew system of my own. Yes, it was incomplete, but it was complete enough to run the game for a time. The system has its warts, but it had a lot of good things going for it as well. I often find my mind wandering back to that system and that setting, and I do have plans to revisit Tai’eres… …if time allows.

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