So, I recently had the chance to try Dark Heresy, a RPG by Fantasy Flight Games. Like most other games, it does certain things very well and others could have possibly been done better (which could honestly be said about almost every game out here, I’d think). After sitting down with my group to start playing, the first thing they did was hand me my pregen. Then they began to unfold how my Psyker character fit into the Dark Heresy lore. As they wove the setting’s story and elements it was quickly obvious that there is no shortage of over-the-top dramatic elements that come along with the WarHammer 40K universe. One example was that the books made mention of an undying ever-sleeping emperor who is fed thousands of souls a day to be kept alive and thus, through his “spirit”, keeps open the mythical energy that allows interplanetary spaceflight. Sounds like something ripped out of a Megadeth song. This sparked my imagination and I felt it would be fun to come up my own over-the-top dramatic campaign setting elements to share with all of you. I hope you enjoy ’em!
The Nine Dragons of Nol
The Nine Dragons of Nol are as old as time itself and the universe lives and dies by their whim alone. Their breath is the wind, the seas their tears and the stars are the embers of their flames. Some say they are reality themselves. Others say the dragons are merely powerful bullies who feed off of the fear of men. Perhaps there’s a little truth to both stories. Once a week, the Nine Dragons require the Kingdoms of Men to offer up 200 wagons of gold and precious gems (equaling roughly 400,000 gold pieces) or suffer utter destruction. Of course, adventurers are set off into the world to seek and collect treasure as fast and furiously as possible, in order to keep the world safe from the all-powerful Nine.
You live in a world ravaged by ice and snow. Large woolly beasts roam the tundra and a frozen death is always waiting around every corner. According to legend, the world will stay frozen until Boonz, the god of the underworld, has had his fill of sacrifices. A giant pit, half a mile wide, sits guarded by the Umbrish Monks in the north continent. The monks have taken a lifelong vow to keep the pit safe and more importantly to ensure that the pit is fed flesh, daily. All tribes, kingdoms, and free men must send half of their already scarce supplies of meat and other hunted animals north to the monks for the daily sacrifice. Those who do not comply are held in contempt by the Umbrish and then must be forced to offer human sacrifice. It is believed that one day, with enough sacrifice, the world will once more feel the warmth of spring and the never ending winter will end. Legend dictates that if the offerings stop, the world will become nothing more than a frozen ball of ice, uninhabited by even the hardiest of life. In reality, a world-eater, a planet sized parasite, crashed into the world thousands of years ago and borrowed deep beneath the surface. It feeds on the core of the planet, thus slowly killing it, if not fed regularly.
The Kingdom of Blind Men
The Kingdom of Bray, hidden deep in the valleys of the Bluecap Mountains, is ruled by the enchanting and beautiful immortal elven queen, Queen Raween Belladonna. In fact, the queen is so enchanting that anyone entering the Kingdom of Bray has had their sight removed permanently, either magically or otherwise… Even newborn children are stripped of their sight on the day they’re born. The subjects of Bray, who seem to be fanatics for their queen, are trained at birth to use their other senses so acutely that they’re able to function completely without sight and are taught at a young age that the sacrifice they’ve made strengthens them and brings them closer to the gods.
Oh, also the Kingdom of Bray is well known for its most perfect statues… 😉