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Archive for December, 2013

I recently purchased the ruleset “The 13th Age”. Part of the game involves “Icons”, which are individuals who lead factions with which the players’ characters must interact from time to time. Examples include the Emperor (the ruler of the Human empire), the Orc Lord (a vanished leader of the orc tribes). As the story progresses, one Icon or another may ask the players’ characters to perform some task, or may have their followers try to thwart the players’ characters. People are already coming up with alternate icons; I’ve seen one set that fits with a “Victorian Nautical Campaign world”, and one person is even using Christ’s Apostles!

So, I offer alternate Icons for “The Half-Remembered Realms”. As a reminder, this campaign world is derived heavily from T.H. White’s “Once and Future King”.

1. Arthur (The Emperor): the king of England. He seeks to maintain peace in the kingdom; he ruthlessly puts down rebellions, but works to replace the old medieval system of justice with a civil law that does not rely on, say, trial by combat. He is widely known as a noble person, in the sense of being honorable and well-mannered, but he has dark secrets of which even his closest friends and family are not aware.

2. Guenevere (The Elf Queen): the queen of England . She supports the king in his efforts, but she is in love with Sir Lancelot, and struggles to maintain a balance between her status as queen and her personal desires. She is reasonable and helpful, as long as things are to her liking, but can become quite unreasonable if she feels she is losing control of her situation.

3. Lancelot (The Crusader): devoted knight of King Arthur and secret lover of Queen Guenevere. He works to help Arthur maintain England’s peace and prosperity, but also wishes to protect his status and reputation as “best knight in the world” despite his moral failing. He will always be helpful to anyone who is working for the cause of good, and will show mercy to those who deserve justice, if they beg for it.

4. The Earl of Greymerry (The Dwarf King): Lord of the county palatine of Greymerry, the earl spends a lot of time and energy keeping watch over the frontier between England and Wales.

5. The Bishop of Canterbury (The Priestess): Leader of the Church in England. He seeks to provide spiritual counseling and guidance to the people of England, but he also is charged with protecting the Church’s interests.

6. Merlin (The Archmage): the powerful wizard and former advisor to King Arthur. He guided Arthur in the project of creating a just society. He was locked in a Crystal Cave by his apprentice, Nimue, but there are still people who work to fulfill Merlin’s task.

7. The Dictator of Rome (The Lich King): The ruler of the last vestiges of the Roman Empire; he seeks to re-establish his authority over all previous Roman lands, including England.

8. Nimue, the Lady of the Lake (The High Druid): Mysterious figure who was once Merlin’s apprentice, but stole his magic and imprisoned him in the Crystal Cave. Generally supports Arthur, but can be absent-minded sometimes. Her kingdom resides at the bottom of the Lake of Avalon. Official Keeper of the Sword Excalibur.

9. The Orkney Clan (The Three): Gawain, Agravaine, and Mordred. Arthur’s nephews (and son, in the case of Mordred) who have a “love-hate” relationship with Arthur. They can be helpful or dangerous, depending on their mood or whether or not someone has insulted the Orkney Clan.

10. Sir Bruce Saunce-Pite (The Prince of Shadows): Outlaw Knight that delights in wreaking havoc and plundering.

11. Queen Morgan Le Fey (The Diabolist): Powerful entrantress and half-sister to King Arthur; she seeks to bring his kingdom to an end and reestablish the rule of the “Old Ones”.

12. King Lot (The Orc Lord): Norman rebel, patriarch of the Orkney Clan, and husband of Queen Morgause, King Arthur’s half-sister. He wants to overthrow Arthur and set himself up as King of England.

13. Sir Galahad (The Golden Wyrm): Son of Sir Lancelot, and the true “Best Knight in the World”. Destined to find the Holy Grail, his presence is felt even before he is born, by the appearance of the “Seat Perilous” at the Round Table, which only he can sit in safely. Is considered the leader of the Grail Knights, and anyone who seeks the Holy Grail for the right reasons will be considered an ally by Sir Galahad.

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