Saturday, 6 January 2018

Campaign Title and World Map

I've been sketching a world map for my Burning Wheel game. At the moment it's a first draft only (thankfully not inked yet). The castles are major cities; each one about the importance of Paris. Using Burning Wheel's own idea that the game suits a 12th century France, that means each "Paris" has a population between 200,000 and 300,000. I might make one of them a little smaller, we'll see. Each of the square-ish dots is a medium town, with population above 20,000.

As you can tell, this is a well populated world, helped along by magical interventions in food production. There are thousands of lives at stake in any major scenario, but also enough population to support a bloated nobility. Let the rebellions foment.

For a sense of scale, the sea that diagonally crosses this map from NW to SE is around the same size as the Adriatic Sea. I plan to ink major parts of it as they become constants in the game.

As for the campaign name, the impending presence of the qerub has siezed the group's attention so I've turned to biblical inspiration for a name. One book that has a lot of descriptions of cherubim is Ezekiel and the Tanakh translation is a particular favourite of mine. Take a look at how the cherub conveys the word of Yahweh to the prophet Ezekiel.

"O mortal, you dwell among the rebellious breed..." (12:1)
"O mortal, these men have turned their thoughts upon the fetishes and set their minds on the sin through which they stumbled..." (14:3)
"O mortal, set your face toward Jerusalem and proclaim against her..." (21:6)

I think you get the picture. This translation has used "O mortal" instead of "O son of man" that you see in many other translations. The literal translation of ben-adam is son-of-man, I realise, but in the context of an angelic being giving instructions from God to a human, I think "O mortal" conveys a layer of meaning.

That's a lot of ink spilled to say that the name I'm going with is O Mortal. Thematically I'm sure it will include the folly of human endeavour in the face of the power and desires of the gods. There will be pettiness and power squabbles, all of which will come to nothing for the mortals who will eventually, inevitably, die.

But what about the elves? They're ageless! If the war between the humans and the elves taught us anything, it is that elves can die. Violently. Painfully. Cold steel interrupting their journey to the West.

O mortal, be afraid.

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