Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Gateways, Generals, & Some Real History Resources For The Lamentations of the Flame Princess, Dark Albion, & Your Old School Campaigns

Real history is rife with weird characters incidents of the odd, the macabre, and the down right horrid. All of this is excellent fodder for creating memorable NPC's, incredible adventure locations, and linch pin events for their old school or retroclone campaigns.

First up is Eunus whose exploits are mostly forgotten today but he was known to be a king, magician,general, and finally slave to Rome. According to many outside sources he was;"His name was Eunus – which may be translated, roughly, as “the kindly one” – and although he is practically forgotten now, he was a leader fit to rank alongside Spartacus – or, in truth, above him, for while both men were slaves who masterminded wars against Rome (Spartacus six decades later), Eunus’s rebellion was four or five times as large, and it lasted something like three times as long. He built a state, which Spartacus never tried to do, and all the evidence suggests that he inspired fierce loyalty in ways the Thracian gladiator could not – after all. " He's perfect NPC fodder for a Dark Albion or Lamentations of the Flame Campaign, in fact for Dark Albion does his state persist into the alternative history of that world? 
You can learn more about Eunus right over here.

 Need a real life 'blue beard' of sorts, the sort of an NPC that will have your players talking about them for years to come? Another customer from the pages of history rife with possibilities was;"
Conomor the Cursed, and he lived in the darkest of the Dark Ages – in the first half of the 6th century, 150 years or more after the fall of Rome, when much of Brittany was still dotted with dolmens and covered by primeval forest, when warlords squabbled with one another other over patrimonies that were generally less than 40 miles across, and the local peoples were as likely to be pagan as they were Christian. We know almost nothing about him, save that he was probably a Briton, very probably a tyrant, and that his deeds were remembered long enough to give rise to a folkloric tradition of great strength – one that endured for almost 1,500 years. But the folk-tales hint at someone quite extraordinary. In local lore, Conomor not only continued to roam the vast forest of Quénécan,  south of his castle, as a bisclaveret – a werewolf – and served as a spectral ferryman on another Breton river, making off with Christian souls; he was also the model for Bluebeard, the monstrous villain of Charles Perrault’s famous fairy tales."

  You can read more about
Conomor the Cursed right Over Here

 Next up is an article on Salvador Dali's
  Crucifixion hyper cube which uses some weird mathematics at the core of this modern master piece. Perhaps these same principals might be applied to an artifact or relic of Dark Albion or Lamentations of the Flame Princess. "While it’s difficult to grasp, the idea of multiple dimensions allows scientists to envisage shapes that mathematician Marcus du Sautoy calls “sculptures of the mind”. As he argues in his Radio 3 programme The Secret Mathematician, “It’s not possible to see a 4D cube in our limited 3D universe, but there are different ways to imagine one.”Dalí’s own ‘sculpture of the mind’ brings geometry into the realm of the metaphysical. “There is a meditative intensity to Crucifixion (Corpus Hypercubus),” says art critic and poet Kelly Grovier. “The painting seems to have cracked the link between the spirituality of Christ's salvation and the materiality of geometric and physical forces. It appears to bridge the divide that many feel separates science from religion.”

  You can read more about
Dali's Hypercube Cross right over here 

Underground secret libraries, strange societies, and preserving hidden knowledge for future generations? Sounds like the latest Hollywood block buster doesn't it. Instead its an account of recent from Syria about one of their hidden libraries. "
Beneath the streets of a suburb of Damascus, rows of shelves hold books that have been rescued from bombed-out buildings. Over the past four years, during the siege of Darayya, volunteers have collected 14,000 books from shell-damaged homes. They are held in a location kept secret amid fears that it would be targeted by government and pro-Assad forces, and visitors have to dodge shells and bullets to reach the underground reading space.
It’s been called Syria’s secret library, and many view it as a vital resource. “In a sense the library gave me back my life,” one regular user, Abdulbaset Alahmar, told the BBC. “I would say that just like the body needs food, the soul needs books.”" This is a perfect fodder  for a hidden library in your war torn old school campaigns where your PC's have to rescue certain forbidden or ancient books or scrolls for future generations of scholars and risk their very lives in the preservation of knowledge.
You can read more about Damascus's hidden libraries right over here
 Surely when the bloodshed and violence of feuds and strange casual violence of history's dust ups is done the settings where these  took place is over? What if these places are merely place holders for door ways into the realms of the dead? These places get more then mention in this article. There's plenty of food for thought and potential fodder for unique adventure locations.

The Bloody Histories and Remaining Relics of 5 Violent Feuds

Could these places where violence has thinned the veil provide crossover points into the lands of dead? Perhaps in your old school campaigns they might making this a perfect point to use for a Lamentations of the Flame Princess Old West adventure campaign.

Need an adventure location for a post apocalyptic dimensional teleporter or dimensional gate right in the middle of New York City as a bridge gap for Carcosa to say your favorite  Mutant Future city or Old Earth setting? Then look no further then the windowless Long Lines building, a sky scraper designed to withstand a nuclear blast and fall out. No admittence and security is very tight to say the least. According to Wiki;"
It is often described as one of the most secure buildings in America, and was designed to be self-sufficient and protected from nuclear fallout for up to two weeks after a nuclear blast.[11] Its style has been generally praised, with the New York Times saying it is a rare building of its type in Manhattan that "makes sense architecturally" and that it "blends into its surroundings more gracefully" than any other skyscraper nearby.[12]
The building is completely self-sufficient, and contains its own gas and water supplies as well as generation capabilities. Even with no public utility support the building can remain open for two weeks. During the immediate aftermath of the September 11, 2001 attacks, it was the only building south of Canal Street that was operational." I've used the Long Lines building numerous times as the location for faction of other worldly alternative Earth travelers with shadowy ties to the US government.
You can read about
the Long Lines building from here
Is there a series of books of forbidden knowledge that shook a real world empire to its foundations and does it have ties in legend to one of the most legendary court magicians of all times? The answer is yes. According to an article by Mike Dash on The Blast From The Past Website;"The sibyl, so the story goes, was a woman named Amalthaea who lurked in a cave on the Phlegræan Fields. She had once been young and beautiful–beautiful enough to attract the attentions of the sun god, Apollo, who offered her one wish in exchange for her virginity. Pointing to a heap of dust, Amalthaea asked for a year of life for each particle in the pile, but (as is usually the way in such old tales) failed to allow for the vindictiveness of the gods. Ovid, in Metamorphoses, has her lament that “like a fool, I did not ask that all those years should come with ageless youth, as well.” Instead, she aged but could not die. Virgil depicts her scribbling the future on oak leaves that lay scattered about the entrance to her cave, and states that the cave itself concealed an entrance to the underworld.
The best-known–and from our perspective the most interesting–of all the tales associated with the sibyl is supposed to date to the reign of Tarquinius Superbus–Tarquin the Proud. He was the last of the mythic kings of Rome, and some historians, at least, concede that he really did live and rule in the sixth century B.C. According to legend, the sibyl traveled to Tarquin’s palace bearing nine books of prophecy that set out the whole of the future of Rome. She offered the set to the king for a price so enormous that he summarily declined–at which the prophetess went away, burned the first three of the books, and returned, offering the remaining six to Tarquin at the same price. Once again, the king refused, though less arrogantly this time, and the sibyl burned three more of the precious volumes. The third time she approached the king, he thought it wise to accede to her demands. Rome purchased the three remaining books of prophecy at the original steep price.

What makes this story of interest to historians as well as folklorists is that there is good evidence that three Greek scrolls, known collectively as the Sibylline Books, really were kept, closely guarded, for hundreds of years after the time of Tarquin the Proud. Secreted in a stone chest in a vault beneath the Temple of Jupiter, the scrolls were brought out at times of crisis and used, not as a detailed guide to the future of Rome, but as a manual that set out the rituals required to avert looming disasters. They served the Republic well until the temple burned down in 83 B.C., and so vital were they thought to be that huge efforts were made to reassemble the lost prophecies by sending envoys to all the great towns of the known world to look for fragments that might have come from the same source. These reassembled prophecies were pressed back into service and not finally destroyed until 405, when they are thought to have been burned by a noted general by the name of Flavius Stilicho." Now this is prime stuff for either a Dark Albion or a Lamentations of the Flame Princess campaign. Imagine those books being used for predicting the outcome of the Rose War as the civil war rage across England. Now according to legend John Dee had connections to the Sibylline Books which he had copies of in his special library but like many things this turned out to be mere mythology and occult hyperbole. Perhaps in your old school campaigns this is not the case.
You can find a ton of information on John Dee here

A John Dee style court magician is the perfect figure to add into a Dark Albion campaign, his methods, magic, and courtly spy network ties are a nice balance against the players of the Rose War. He's subtle and canny enough to survive in the dangerous and dark intrigues of the events of the Rose war with easy. His possible ties to the Sibylline Books would make this style of magus a force to be reckoned with.

Finally there is a series of articles on real life historical sex cults that are perfect to add to your old school campaigns for adventure fodder. This article covers the cults of
Simon Magus to Antinous & The Adamites plus lots more. This is perfect fodder for LoFP and especially Dark Albion because its by the author of that campaign setting.

Read about 

15 Of The Craziest Sex Cults Of All Time here

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.