Saturday, February 23, 2019

Echoes Of The Past In UK1 Beyond The Crystal Cave By Brown, Kirby and Morris For Your Old School Campaigns

"Fleeing the rage that consumed their feuding families, Juliana and Orlando fled to the Cave of Echoes, where it is said every wish is granted. Two years have passed, and all attempts to return the lovers to their parents have failed, though some believe them lost in the enchanted garden beyond the cave.

Many are the rescuers who have entered that enchanted park; a few have returned after long absences, their minds and memories curiously disturbed. Now, the handsome reward offered for the return of the lovers has tempted you, but who knows what lies beyond the Crystal Cave?"

Sorry for not being around for a bit and yes I'm late with this blog entry but I want to expand upon the idea of the lost lands of Arthurian legend & old school game adventures. So for a moment I want to talk about Eighty Three's UK1 Beyond The Crystal Cave By Brown, Kirby and Morris. This adventure in particular could be used as the set up for a latter day Arthurian campaign with over reaching adventure plot points for our on going Thirty Year War campaign with the Lion & Dragon Retroclone system. Long before the end of Camelot was a dream, mankind had shaken off the shackles of Elven tyranny. A wide variety of kingdoms & countries in and around Scotland, England, Ireland, & parts of the French coast were settled by the refugees from the Fall of Atlantis and other antediluvian countries. They were slave & food resources fought over by the Elves & various Deep One Tribes.

There are three lands that are central to the Thirty Year War, and the Elven control of England & Dark Europe after the second ice age. These lands are central pillars of Arthurian legend and include AvalonYs & Lyonesse. Finally rebelling against the control of the Deep Ones & the Elves the men of these kingdoms gained great knowledge of both their magicks & techniques. Or did they?! The eloped couple featured in UK1 Beyond the Crystal Cave that has fled into the Cave of Echoes seems to bare all of the hallmarks of having purchase into the Fairyland buffer of Porpherio's Garden. I would put the module within the kingdom of Avalon and the lovers as belonging to two of the most prominent royal houses centuries before the events of Camelot. As I wrote yesterday about the house of Ley Fe there are connections warped within the eloped couple's fate within the adventure. 
 The Ley Fey's have deep connections to the sunken country of Ys and its heroes.  
"Ys (pronounced /ˈs/ EESS), also spelled Is or Kêr-Is in Breton (kêr is the Breton word for "city", see caer), and Ville d'Ys in French, is a mythical city that was built on the coast of Brittany and later swallowed by the ocean. Most versions of the legend place the city in the Baie de Douarnenez" "
Porpherio himself might be of the Ley Fe bloodline and share a deeper connection to "the King In Yellow. "

"The legend of Ys has been used repeatedly in fantasy fiction, prominently by Robert W. Chambers in "The Demoiselle d'Ys", one of the stories in The King in Yellow, Chambers' best-known work."
These connections also worm their way through the witch cult cells & groves threaded throughout Dark Europe but the Deep Ones are not mocked and they took back these kingdoms but by then it was too late as they had been slipped back into Fairyland itself.

Poster for Édouard Lalo's 1888 opera, Le roi d'Ys

France, England, Scotland, & Ireland all claim to have a connection with King Arthur & in a way they do. For the under hill  gateways to the Elven Empire within the chaos tainted borders Fairyland all are still there having once been used by the human refugee &  rebel tribes of former human slaves.
This is where the Avalon connection appears. 
"Avalon (/ˈævəˌlɒn/LatinInsula AvallonisOld French AvalonWelshYnys Afallon, Ynys Afallach; literally meaning "the isle of fruit [or apple] trees") is a legendary island featured in the Arthurian legend. It first appears in Geoffrey of Monmouth's 1136 pseudo-historical account Historia Regum Britanniae ("The History of the Kings of Britain") as the place where King Arthur's sword Excalibur was forged and later where Arthur was taken to recover from his wounds after the Battle of Camlann"

"Avalon was associated from an early date with mystical practices and figures such as Morgan le Fay. It is traditionally identified as the former island of Glastonbury Tor." This is a traditional stronghold of Fairy activity & home to another branch of the Le Fey cult who are keeping a close watch on the human royals.
There are strong parallels between the legends of Tristan and Iseult & the eloped couple in UK1.
Tristan and Iseult legend is forever tied to lost Lyonesse forever the sight of Medieval undersea ghosts, fairy, and undead horrors. All of these were created when the Deep Ones took back the land at the end of the last Ice Age. The human tribes retook the country but it has always had a strange history because it borders both the Elemental Plane of Water & Fairyland. The chaos energies forever pulling & twisting the elemental power into raw chaos of the most haunted type.

Lyonesse by the time of the Thirty Year War is a wreck of underwater dungeons, ruins bordering into the underwater aspect of Fairyland and filled with the most dangerous underwater fairy races & tribes of underwater ghouls.

Giant octopus in its garden in the shade (David Sutherland, AD&D Monster Manual

The bloodshed & violence of the Thirty Year War opens up the gateways into these realms and forgotten kingdoms. Because there are several legendary Arthurian treasures & artifacts there are rumors that these gateways were opened on purpose. Key wizards on the side of the Catholics opened these doorways trying to recover certain items of power holy to the Christian Church while  the Battle of White Mountain, near Prague, on 8 November 1620 raged on. The efforts caused more occult violence and let loose incredibly dangerous forces of both Fairy & Chaos into the world of men.

UK1 Beyond The Crystal Cave By Brown, Kirby and Morris  sets up more then just the initial plot but the history for plenty of expansion & exploration of the ins & outs of a classic module modified to fit the twisted vision of a dungeon master's campaign.  

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