Reuel Campaign #2
Nib’s grandfather often told him of the war of the gods. It was a legend of their people, passed down from the elders. What Nib did not know, was that around the world different people were telling a similar story. The gods they worshipped differed, but each legend described a war that shook the foundation of their beliefs and dealt a mortal blow to the gods.
The heavens shattered and fell like shards unto the earth. Continents changed. Where there was once a temperate plain, now stood a jagged landscaped of ice and fog. Mountains tumbled, civilization was extinguished. Mankind was stubborn and fought bitterly to survive. They began to rebuild but faced many new challenges. In addition to a changed landscape, humanity was threatened by a hordes of creatures that had only lived in folktales and lore. Some came from deep within the earth, others from the shattered realms of the gods, and still others were the remnants and minions of the Great Old Ones.
A thousand years or more passed but time had no meaning other than the daily struggle to survive. Oracles, soothsayers, and wise women and men puzzled over what lay ahead. Were the gods dead? Can the gods every die? These questions and many more remained a mystery. But a spark of insight started like breath on an ember. The thought began to glow in the mind of the most enlightened seekers. There was a consciousness that existed far beyond their understanding. It was not some god from the abyss winging its way to them on immense bat wings. It was a supreme power of good and law, unparalled by any other force. The source of this power was whispered in the ear of the oracles. People began speaking of and worshipping this source of power. The name Eos came into use in many lands and as the people began to connect with this entity, they gained power against the forces of chaos.
The Reuel campaign setting is set in an alternate version of our own world. I did this for several reasons. I’ve spent countless hours designing campaign worlds. I was never really happy with the results. One trick I found that made an interesting map was to use Google Maps. I would find a land mass and screenshot it. I’d put this into MS Paint and add bits from other locations, rotating bits and cutting and pasting. This way I’d get an interesting outline for a new landmass.
This time around, I decided to try something different. Why not just use the world we live in? But to make things more interesting, I found projections of coastlines given the possibility that all the ice were to melt. This would mean a sea rise of approximately 230 ft (70 meters). I pray that this will never be a reality, but seeing how the coastlines changed gave me some ideas. I imagined that during this multi-realm war between the old gods and Great Old Ones, that the realms were destroyed and what remained, somehow merged with the earth. This gives me a reason to draw coastlines as they actually exist for us but also add bits of other realms here and there.
In the world of Reuel, the Great Old Ones have come to challenge the old gods. The war they waged was fought in every realm and involved every pantheon worshipped by man. I haven’t nailed down an approximate date, but want this to include the Greek mythology and Norse mythology. I want to set the time of the war of the gods to occur before the beginning of Christianity. The motive for me is to create an alternate take on a monotheistic religion that I could develop for this fantasy setting. The idea of having old gods based in our history (Zeus, Odin, and the like) would be an interesting link to our actual past, but the inclusion of a supreme being (Eos) was appealing. I envision that Eos would be a supreme being that no one could dispute. Its power is evident. The old gods time had come and gone. There are still old gods, but their power is diminished after the war. This would offer roleplaying options where players are followers of old gods, but Eos will be by far the major deity in Reuel.
Thats all I have for now. Send me some suggestions!
6 thoughts on “Reuel ~ Comes the Dawn”
How will you decide which Old Gods survived? Leave it to players?
Also, Eos was a Greek Titaness, goddess of the dawn. Will the High God be her son? No relation?
It was coincidence that Eos is the name of this new god. In my last campaign setting, I created a god of good and law and called him Theos. I changed it to Eos thinking that it sounding better. I hadn’t known that Eos was the goddess of the dawn (thanks for letting me know!)
As for which of the old gods survived? Well the idea for this came about when I did a solo play combat pitting the Greek gods vs the Great Old Ones. I threw in some Egyptian and Babylonian gods and the Norse gods as well. I statted them up by assigning a d6 pool to each god. Rolled the contest. 5s or 6s were successes on each die. Doing this, I could narrate a story of which gods won. The old gods narrowly won the battle. I haven’t really made a determination of what gods I want to keep yet. It will resolve itself as I continue to write about it.
Thanks for the comment and any other questions/suggestions are much appreciated!
I have a dumb ass question. If I’m understanding you correctly, the general idea is “Here’s Reuel. Here’s all the this stuff in it. Gods, the planet, you name it. Now, do you want to play in my world?” This would seem to eliminate (or maybe diminish?) an emergent world that comes together through actual play. In other words, the Referee sets the stage, the players screw around and muddy it up (gloriously!), and then the Referee riffs off that. And, together, the world begins to be built. Does that make sense?
In these recent posts, it feels like your world-building like an author would. Which I obviously get, but at what point would it be better to just write a novel rather than play a game?
I’m specifically thinking of Griff’s post on world-building over at https://www.secretsofblackmoor.com/blog/the-king-is-dead-developing-arc-story
Great question! In creating a backdrop for the players, I don’t feel that I’m a novelist. A novelist wants his readers to interact with the novel after he has written it. I’m starting with a situation. Old gods fought with Great Old Ones. Bad things happened. Extra-planar realms merged with the Earth bringing monsters and magic. A new deity enters, stage left. Now…the players wander onto the stage. I don’t know what they intend to do. I will throw out some possibilities, but nothing is forced upon them. This is all stage dressing. I’m getting the place ready for our PCs to ruin. It wouldn’t be fun for them to know all the surprises ahead of time. And by carefully watching what they do in game, I’ll discover things about the world that I couldn’t have fathomed on my own.
It is now their actions that will give life to the setting. They can change the world in ways I have never imagined. So, yes, part of me is a frustrated novelist. The other part of me wants to play in a world that has so much left to be discovered by GM and player.
This was why I wondered if you wanted players to “discover” surviving Old Gods.
Any campaign needs signposts or cornerstones…. The basics from which to build.
“Eos” gives reason and purpose for Lawful Clerics. If you go with the other two from the WhiteBox pbp, you have basics for Neutral and Chaotic Clerics. Even giving a short list of some other potential survivals might serve as a springboard.
As an aside, this is a topic where Wikipedia can shine. There are pages with lists of deities from which you could select some odd ones as survivors. You have to dig for the good lists, so here are two you might enjoy!
Thanks for the links! I think that it would be interesting for the players to discover the surviving old gods. Maybe some of the surving gods are wandering the earth, having been diminished in power to some kind of demi-god status? I’d like to place clues that allow the players to uncover more about the war of the gods.