Foundation of Laeonesse

SCOPE What is your motivation for building this world? The motivation is to meet my desire for a more grounded, complex, low-magic fantasy campaign in a setting that isn't the traditional high-medieval era, bringing in the complexities and challenges of Europe after the collapse of Rome, especially Britain where the historical inspiration for King Arthur originates.   What are you hoping to get out of it? A believable, living Iron Age campaign world with lots of conflict, uncertainty, and the potential of telling a gritty Arthurian story.   What is the Hook or Unique Selling Point of your world? What makes it unique or different? An alternate form of post-Roman Britain in which Fae and Fae lore are directly involved and active in the history of the isles, adding a sense of fantastical beauty to the mud and grit of the iron age setting.   THEME What’s the Genre of your World? The genre is low fantasy, being a hybrid low-fantasy mixed with historical fantasy (ala Guy Gavriel Kay), with an emphasis on post-Roman Britain so roughly the equivalent of 4th-7th century Britain.   How does the world feel (player experience)? The world feels mysterious, beautiful, living, and complex, and large in scope, with more things going on than can be known or kept track of.   What is the tone of your world The world is perilous, both beautiful and dangerous, often at the same time, with restricted magic, very politically driven conflict, and survival itself a challenge, even in the midst of breath-taking beauty.   What is the character agency level like? The agency of PCs is very high, with them being representatives of the High Queen, or undergoing archipelago-altering quests and revelations.   What are the recurring themes which reinforce the genre, tone and feel of your world? (Give three examples) 1. Discovering rebuilding in ancient and forgotten places long left in ruins. 2. Seaspray on the dragon-headed bows of longships. 3. The theme of finding compromises and harmony between ancient and modern realities.   META Government Presence: Once ruled by a foreign Empire, then a High King, the isles have fractured into a wide variety of small, petty-kingdoms striving for greater influence and power.   Religious Influence: The Laeonessai are attempting to reclaim their long-hidden identity and beliefs after several centuries of oppression by the Aelithi Empire and their own officially enforced religion, leading to mixing between the two, and a strong sense of uncertainty.   Race Relations: For several hundred years, the Aelithi have been privileged people under the administration of their mainland empire, suppressing the Laeonessai cultural beliefs and practices, but with the departure of the Empire, that is no longer possible, leading to lots of tension and suppressed anger at risk of boiling over.   DRAMA 1. Forty years ago, the Aelithi Empire withdrew its legions from the islands, as well as its bureaucracy, and any claims to govern the isles, leaving them in a state of turbulence and unrest.   2. The High King is gravely ill and slowly dying, leaving much of the ruling to his wife, Queen Branwen, who is mistrusted by many for being Aelithi.   3. The Sais homeland, to the northeast, is suffering from famine, driving many of them to Laeonesse, often by forcibly taking lands from their inhabitants in order to bring their families to safer land.   4. Rumors of Fae interfering more directly with mortals has become prevalent, causing suspicion and worry that they may be attempting to return in force.   5. There is no known heir to the High Kingship, setting the isles up for a succession war if a suitable heir cannot be found.

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