Thursday, May 7, 2009

The Work Of Demons

The book I'm currently reading, A Distant Mirror, is proving to be endlessly inspiring, especially for quasi-medieval games like Dragon Warriors. The following passage from Tuchman's book is a near-perfect summary of the mindset that I believe the setting of Legend seeks to evoke:

"People lived close to the inexplicable. The flickering lights of marsh gas could only be fairies or goblins; fireflies were the souls of unbaptized dead infants. In the terrible trembling and fissures of an earthquake or the setting afire of a tree by lightning, the supernatural was close at hand. Storms were omens, death by heart attack or other seizures could the work of demons. Magic was present in the world: demons, fairies, sorcerers, ghosts, and ghouls touched and manipulated human lives; heathen superstitions and rituals abided among the country folk, beneath and even alongside the priest and sacraments. The influence of the planets could explain anything otherwise unaccounted for."

Of course, in Legend, the flickering lights really are the work of goblins, the seizures are the work of demonic forces, and the fissures in the earth lead to underworlds dreamlike and nightmarish.

Must... run... game... now...