On an earlier entry, I talked about Far Away Land RPG’s co-op world building tool. I played a session with a bunch of friends and used the results to create the backstory for a Sleepy Dev project. We’re still checking legal claims and such on the project’s name to make sure it is clear for our use–so I can’t announce it just yet but I can share the lore my friends and I created (which I promptly stole… er, borrowed) for it.
Our game takes place in a world called Tavern and this is its history so far. It only goes to the Seventh Age because I had to leave around then. However here is what I know so far of the world in a sort-of historical fashion. This co-op storytelling helped get me out of my writer’s block funk that I had been for the project.
Tavern is a mystical place created by six mighty gods. The whole of the universe rests in a cloud of ambiguous hope that it will stay put. Each world of the universe is a plate suspended in magical time jelly. Tavern is the most populated of the major planet plates.
The land of Tavern shows the warring nature of the gods. Each region has the history of conflict written into its form.
|Quentis||Order||High Rock||Halfs (Humans)|
The First Age
In the beginning, there was nothing. Then there was fire. Lots of fire. Fosh, the fire god, rose an empire of sand and fire from the depths of the void forming all the world plates. When the fire reached Wohn, the moist god, who was generally cheesed off. He flooded the world plates with oceans of fury.
In the conflict Dosh, the darkening god, carved tunnels out of the plates to hide from the war that he was generally just not interested in.
Stepping in to end the conflict, Quentis, the hard god, created mountains to separate Fosh and Wohn bringing the conflict to an end.
In the stability that followed, Adniel, the confused god, created the crystal coral forest from where the lava meets the ocean. In the peace, the followed, Kas, the brightening god, created fields of wildflowers and cats. The first men.
The Second Age
After the war, Fosh spent his time creating monolithic volcanoes, temples of fire, and glass desserts. In his lands, he rose the sand people to work the silicon fields and create a prospering society.
Likewise, Wohn seeded the forests and created a magical temple deep below his cool calm lake. To protect his creation he created the Fistaur. Half horse, half fish, and half-elf—these brave creatures created a society of warriors deep within the Deep Green.
Expanding his domain, Dosh’s tunnels crisscrossed the world plates creating an underworld of darkness. In his maze of creepiness be bore the race of Elfpaca. A race of dwarf goat-like creatures that dug the tunnels of Meh. Somewhere in the twisting nothingness, they built a Temple of Whatever to honor their absentee god.
To continue the peace created at the end of the First Age, Quentis birthed the Halfs. A race of boring demeanor and less than interesting appearance. From them, he also created the Shape-Heads. A race of monks that he placed in his Secret Temple to protect the peace of the world.
Just to screw with everyone, Adniel created a bunch of monsters and sent them into the world for no good reason. His disciples, a race of shapeshifters he created for the sole purpose of being able to say “my disciples,” quote the mad god as saying “it seemed funny at the time.” Due to increased pressure from the other gods to stop being a prick, Adniel made a third of his lands become floating islands to avoid talking about the matters of monsters.
Kas was creating cities of high towers overlooking the peaceful meadows when there was a series of great earthquakes. Investigating she found that Dosh had been burrowing all her lands out from underneath her. In a fit of wrath, she vaporized the area Dosh was digging at… and everything else in the column of her wraith. This created the Void Citadel. So devoid of anything that even the oceans lap against its side neither moving nor touching it.
The Third Age
Fosh, tired of forcing his people to live on ash and lava alone, was determined to expand his territory. Moving North, he attempted to create a volcano at the edge of the Crystal Forest. In response, Adniel made the volcano spew glass instead of magma. The resulting effect looked like glitter so it was called Mount Ke$ha in honor of Saint Ke$ha of the Dance (a second age Chaosium bard that was okay but really had a thing for glitter).
Wohn announced a new war against Fosh to end his warmth. Encroaching from the South, the moist god hoped to catch the fire god off guard.
Dosh’s defeat by Kas forced him to attempt to begin tunneling above the ground. This age saw the creation of the Dark Elfpacas who were like regular Elfpacas but were darker-haired and lived above ground. To make them feel more at home, the dark god created plains of inverted pyramids that induced shadow wherever the light struck them. He also created a region of dense fog where nothing is visible.
Fearing another great war, Quentis created another divide between Fosh and Wohn. Fearing that was not enough however, the orderly god lifted the volcano temple into the air and placed it amongst the stars. From his orderly touch, the volcano became square shaped and is now known as Squarecano. This ended the war before it even started.
During this time, Adniel decided to spread his terror and tried really hard to create a normal forest to the south west of the coral forest. When his chaotic magic touched that of Dosh’s it twisted and cursed the forest.
Kaz was relatively quiet at this time. From the Void Citadel however swarms of light orbs began drifting to all four corners of the world.
The Fourth Age
Fosh dried the lands northeast of his land and aided his people in settling the divide between the plains and the ocean.
Wohn went missing at the start of this age. At first the Fishtaur just thought he was napping however after nearly a hundred years they decided to go looking for him out in the world. This made the people of Wohn become nomadic warriors looking for their wayward god.
Dosh created, deep within his own underworld, hundreds of dungeons, secret rooms, and cave-side resorts. He also spawned a champion of darkness named Lovecraft. A warlock of great Meh-ness sent into the world to extinguish the light orbs of Kas.
Quentis expanded the kingdoms of man. He aided their building of roads, walls, and cities to aid their expansion.
Adniel created treasure chests filled with confusing clues all over the world and in the underworld dungeons. His chosen people became upset that he wasn’t spending any time with them however and many left the Crystal Forest. Over time those that stopped practicing the old rituals lost the ability to shapeshift. Thus the first Orks walked the land spreading to every corner of the world.
In response to the darkening of a single light orb, Kas championed Hiku to invade the dark worlds of Dosh. The mighty cat warlord took every able bodied cat and marched on the cursed woods and the shadow stone plains.
The Fifth Age
Fosh became furious at the number of felines marching across his Deathert and began attacking anyone who came to his lands.
Wohn was still missing.
Dosh began not giving a single wet flip and continued to march his Dark Alfpaca armies toward the meadows over mountains, deserts, and forests. They destroyed and pillaged everything they touched.
Quentis poured his armies of monks into the desert in an attempt to stop the war.
Adniel took a champion of his own… Forty-seven of them. He told each that they were the only chosen vessel of chaos and sent them into the world. Each was a mass of magic given thought and body issues and enchanted to a magical object in which they were contained. These became the Djinn, a force of super powerful and slightly mad creatures. One was enchanted to a castle and started his own city called Tavern. The chaos god sent told them all to go on a quest to destroy Wohn, who being absent from the world was obviously responsible for the Darklight War, and gave each individual specific instructions to kill him.
Kas drew upon the orbs of light power and gathered them in the desert. She brought her armies of light down upon Dosh in an effort to erase him from existence.
The Sixth Age
Fosh began aligning with Dosh to push back against Kas’s feline army and Quentis’s Shape Head monks. The Alfpacas and Sand People began to make headway together.
Wohn was discovered in an orb of black obsidian with “Fosh was here” written across the side. The brave hero Vuvuzela and Vague, an ork bard and a djinn wizard, found and destroyed the artifact releasing the moist god. Who was pretty wraithful and turned his fishtaur toward the Deathert to aid the Shape Heads monks and feline rangers there.
Dosh’s champion Lovecraft began to cast a world plate destroying spell to finally “meh” the whole existence thing.
Quentis was generally fairly perturbed and made things float around the world as he sent an endless supply of warriors into the Deathert.
Adniel opened a casino, his holy place of worship, in Tavern City. They offered a full service breakfast bar all day.
Kas’s champion Hiku, assisted by all the light orb swarms of the void, casted a spell that cracked the world’s plate taking with him Lovecraft and all those unlucky enough to be too close to the action. Thus ended the Darklight War.
The Seventh Age
What do you think? Our game takes place in the city of Tavern in the Meowdows. I’ll be basing the levels off each of major regions of the RPG world. Some things changed later and I’ll have to make updates and such. If nothing else it feels like a solid start.
Thanks for reading!
For more thoughts on collaborative world building, check out the Illuminerdy blog on the same topic here: http://www.theilluminerdy.com/2015/07/09/building-the-campaign-together-why-do-all-the-heavy-lifting-yourself/