Development Diary: Sorcery, Steam & Six-shooters.
A Dustpunk Delve Into High Fantasy, Spaghetti Western
World Building & Game Design.
Years ago i decided to write up a treatment for a high fantasy/steampunk/western thing. it’s plagued my mind since i started, and every now and then i dust it off and add a little something to it.
Most recently i decided to develop a bunch of aspects, which i will be posting as they are finished. So, this will form a kind of evolving development diary for a project i’m not sure will ever be fully finished…
Three Ages of the world have passed.
The First Age saw the coming of the Elves and Dwarves, along with other elder creatures like Forest Spirits, the goblins, and trolls, and of course the dragons.
The Second Age saw Men come to the world, and the flourishing of the old races, the great leaps in crafting saw amazing works like the Runeway; the Dwarven-built elevated roadway that connects the three principal kingdoms of the Dwarf Lords and crosses the largest inland sea called The Cauldron. Hilspyth; the greatest of all the Elven cities was completed, a gleaming spire of white stone surrounded by concentric rings that seamlessly merge city and forest, home to several hallowed Mage Guilds and the most expansive library in the known world.
In the Third Age the Citadels were founded; these beacons of commerce and learning were hubs of culture and civilisation, all races would come together in an effort to trade knowledge, goods and services, building on works from previous eras and cultures.
Men came into their own, founding huge cities complete with mage guilds, colleges, and forges all built around keeps of stone and steel. Dwarven engineers worked with Elven mages and the great builders of Men and, in time, the steamways and airships were constructed allowing for even faster travel between Citadels and exploration of the uncharted areas of the world.
At the end of the Third Age, a calamity shook the world, oceans turned black and then began to dry up, replaced by great open swathes of choking, sandy desert. Scholars stopped travelling, instead walling themselves up in monastic colleges, only taking the most skilled students. Steamways collapsed or were sabotaged, isolating the last four Citadels which became disconnected Outposts, points of light in an increasingly dark, harsh world. This is the world of the Fourth Age.
Reliquaries are littered all over the world, some people think that they are the keys to fixing the world. There are those of us who doubt that anything can do that, but we still try and find them, some because they still respect the power that the relics have, some just know that they will sell for a lot of gold…
“There are four Outposts, our ancestors called them Citadels, once great, now… less so. To the South there’s Van’vrell; an Elven Outpost, a second home to those with a penchant for games of chance, spirits, and most other types of vice. Scoundrels are welcome, but memories seem to run long , debts are best paid quick.”
“To the West is the Dwarven Outpost Horum’s Horn; Named after the most famous Grudge-horn of all the Dwarf clans, Horum’s isn’t the type of place you’d go for a good time, it’s more of a trading post – big business, hard bargains and high quality provisions, with high prices to boot.”
“The central flatlands is home to the Stoneforest Outpost, the great trees that covered the land where petrified during the calamity, now they stand as a forest of stone columns. The Elves who stayed have devoted themselves to restoring the forest, many think it is a lost cause.
“Blacksands Outpost teeters on the edge of the Eastern Collapse, their reputation as the roughest of the Outposts is well earned, and might have something to do with the fact that the ruins of the cliffs below serve as a rookery grounds for giant sand spiders.”
Coming up next; character biographies…