The dwarven High King has summoned a rare meeting of the full council of kings. The rulers of all the lands have been invited to attend to discuss a matter of utmost urgency. The human rulers are intrigued - the dwarven race rarely has much dealings with the humans of the plains. The dwarves live inside the great mountains of the North, which guard the plains from the savage races of the frozen wastelands. The High King’s messengers refused to disclose any useful information about what this urgent matter might be.
The player characters: Each player will control one of the “kings” at the council. “Kings” is being used loosely, as each of the lands has its own political system. (They can also have female leaders). There are also some NPC “Kings”, including, obviously, the Dwarven High King himself. In creating your character, you are creating not just an individual, but an entire “land” and “people”. I include a list of the existing “kings” here as examples, but you can fit in your land anywhere else on this imaginary continent. I gave the “lands” pretty bland descriptive names on purpose, but you can call your lands whatever you want. The idea is that each of the lands is roughly equal in “power”, with relative strengths and weaknesses based on their position, their economy, etc.This is a list of the NPC “kings”High King Harkon of the Mountain Dwarves.High Lord Mardur of the FreemenChief Dragnor of the MarshlandsKing Larmonde of the LakelansQueen Arithea of the Western Isles
The setting: The council has been called at the Vault of Ages, the central chamber of an ancient temple complex long since abandoned. This was built at a time when the entire continent was ruled by a mighty empire. With the demise of the empire, many centuries ago, the temple was abandoned to decay. Each of the kings has their own private chambers for the duration of the council, and we can have “private” meetings in the nights between council meetings as required. (The council is expected to last several days).
The idea is that we will collaboratively create a “world”, with a complex political system, that can serve as a setting for other adventures. The council will end when the kings decide how they will deal with the threat that the dwarven King is concerned about, and hopefully that decision will inspire a different story that deals with that threat directly.
A note on magic and other fantasy elements: Magic does exist in this world but it is relatively rare, and has become increasingly rare since the ways of the Empire have been forgotten. Obviously there are dwarves (and thanks to the first player submission, also elves now) and you can assume other standard fantasy races (orcs, goblins, etc). Your characters, however, do not have any first hand knowledge of magic, or magical creatures. Dragons have not been seen for centuries, and many people don’t believe they ever existed. Some people don’t even believe in magic any more, though it is generally accepted that it was through their use of magic that the Emperors were able to subdue an entire continent for so long.
Queen Arithea of the Western Isles: The small nation of the Western archipelago is proud of its singular history - the only known part of the world that was never conquered by the Empire, which was never a significant naval power. The islanders trade in goods from all over the continent, and have also developed advanced industry based on their imports. Most of the lands are dependent on trade with the islanders. Arithea is the first woman to hold the throne in living memory, being the only daughter of the late King, but she has proven herself as a capable leader of her people.King Larmonde of the Lakelands: The small kingdom of the Lakelands lies at the Southern edge of the continent, and is therefore a safe and peaceful haven of contented fishermen and farmers. The young king himself is a tragic figure, widowed soon after the birth of his only daughter. The queen’s mysterious death was never explained - some even say she took her own life. Larmonde is very protective of his daughter, who is rarely seen outside the palace walls since the death of her mother.High Lord Mardur of the Freemen: The nation of Freemen was founded by former slaves of the Empire, who settled the rough lands to the East of the great mountains. Fiercely proud and independent, they are governed by a council of elected rulers. While the old ways of the Empire have largely been forgotten in all the lands, the Freemen make a point of rejecting any reminder of old imperial customs, which they see as superstition and backwardness. The High Lord was recently elected to lead the council for the next four years. Being the only elected leader at this council, he is uncertain of how the crowned heads at the table will receive him.Chief Dragnor of the Marshlands: The tribal societies of the Marshlands survive primarily through hunting. They have no large settlements, and many of them live an entirely nomadic life. Each tribe is largely independent, but Dragnor is recognised as the first among the tribal chiefs because according to legend it was one of his ancestors who slew the last of the dragons that had invaded the land from the North. Dragnor, however, is ageing, and the future leadership of his tribe is uncertain.High King Harkon of the Mountain Dwarves: Older than any of his human counterparts, Harkon rarely makes any appearances outside the mountain home of his race. The human kings are aware that it is only the fortifications of the dwarves that keep their lands safe. Harkon himself is long past his prime, but he was once a fierce warrior and remains in direct command of the dwarven troops, who are always primed to face threats from the North. Like many of his race, he prefers to speak little but insists on having the final the word.
Hosted and narrated by:
George Panaghi (thenewyorker)
Scenes played: 11
License: Community License