GURPS · Worked Example

Reflections: Parts of the World I Really Like

(For those who came in late: having completed the initial sketch of a new fantasy world, I’m now reflecting on how it went.)

Here are two parts of the world I really like:

WolfkinThe Wolfkin of Volbad.

I like these guys a lot, for three reasons.

Firstly, my considered opinion is that there aren’t enough wolfmen in mainstream fantasy – which is obviously a big mistake on mainstream fantasy’s part, because wolfmen are objectively awesome!  They’re a great combination of terrifying sneakiness and high-flying leapiness.

Wolfkin 5
The Wolfkin of Volbad approach an ancient dwarven ruin…

Secondly, these particular wolfkin are also great because their appearance did so much to flesh out the history of the Dwarves in this world.  I’m not usually a huge Dwarf fan, so I wasn’t exceptionally excited by the dwarf realms as I was first creating them – but once the wolfkin got involved, the whole thing began to hum along for me.  The Dwarf vs Werewolf face-off that’s shaping up on the borders the Mountains of Moonlight seems like great fun.

The fact that “Wolfkin of Volbad” is metrically identical to the phrase “Werewolves of London“is just icing on the cake. (All day I’ve had “AAAAAWOOOOO! Wolfkin of Volbad!” in my head, and it’s all I can do to prevent myself from breaking into song in public places.) (Try it: I dare you!)

Singroth Cultists 2The Cultists of Sinisthral

I love cultists and use them often, but the swampiness of these guys gives them their own character. They came as a surprise to me, which is nice: at first I thought the cultists of the Harrowed Morass were working alone; then I thought they controlled just Singroth and the Harrowed Morass, and finally it became apparent that their actual power-base was the vast Unshapen Marsh, far off the the south-east.  That was a cool arc of development – it felt a little bit as if I was investigating them as I went, trying to track the corruption to its source, gradually coming to realize the vast scale of the conspiracy I was facing…  Fun!

Sinisthral 6
The Unshapen Marsh

Their massive power-base in the Unshapen Marsh also explains something that was a bit of a mystery early on: how they could possibly be powerful enough to hold a high-priority territory at the headwaters of the Rulerun immediately adjacent to Valiroth, the biggest “Militaristic” city on the map.

Once I understood the scale of the evil that the Valirothians were facing, this became clear!

Next post: some parts of the newly-created world I’m not yet as fond of…

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