Sunday, February 19, 2012

There is a Schism Between the Wizard's Guild and the Leprechauns

Ever since I read that phrase in the 5th Edition of Tunnels and Trolls, I have been addicted. It has worked better for me than the Babylon 5 catch-line from the pilot, "There is a hole in your mind."

It was like heroin to this fantasist stumbling upon it unknowingly. It made me create worlds in words, paragraphs and hand-drawn maps to fulfill the cosmos around that sentence. And since this was the early 80s, I had the great example of Glorantha. Then to a lesser extent the World of Greyhawk and JRR Tolkien's Middle Earth also came into play. So I crafted an epic.

Having been fond of the Norse myth cycle, especially the D'Aulaires' Book of Norse Myths, the universe had to start out with a lot of ice and giants. And since I was designing something a fantasy role-playing game, having dragons also being a primal force made sense. So I had Fire and Ice covering all of the universe, and what a harsh place it was. But then in the in-betweens of the giants and dragons where the places where the First Peoples arose. These were the Trolls, Elves and Fey.

Seeing how harsh the universe was around them the First Peoples warred upon the individual dragons and giants that were closest to them, to expand the in-betweens making room for more peoples. And it is at this time that we see the Tribes of Mann (human, hobbs, apes and hominids), the golbins, the dwarves and many, many others start to pop up as well.

The First Peoples walked around pretty much as gods in these earliest of times. The elves became associated with light and order. The trolls, something of gia
nts themselves, preferred the dark and powerful. The Fey liked both light and dark, but reveled in chaos. While all three had problems with other, the elves and the fey went at it directly. If the trolls weighed in they helped out one side or another.

Well this war was rather far-reaching and earthshaking for everyone around whether they were involved or not. And towards the end, the fey were losing big tim
e. Up until this certain guy named Wakim came up with a plan. He called upon a giant, Grumjellug, who was related to him. You see the dragons and giants are related to the first Peoples in varying degrees. And this giant was something known as a Willder-Magick, about as powerful as solar flare. Wakim called upon Grumjellug to help out his fey cousins.

So Grumjellug severed the magic from the form, and created nature. And no one was pleased by this. This cure was probably harsher than the illness to most of the First Peoples. The most powerful elves were separated from the natural world, leaving only the younge
st and magically diminished there. One elvish Power (god?) lost his arm trying to maintain his hold on his family and followers. The trolls suddenly had to live with sunlight bathing all parts of the world at one time or another, this really pissed them off because they viewed themselves as not participating in the fight-- a partially true claim. The fey were hit hardest of all, well they were losing the war anyway.

As it turned out the fey have a tendency to be allergic to nature and natural means. This mostly meant that those that remained in the world had to stick to a form, except for a few rarities. Some became fairies and some became leprechauns, others became other things.
Most of their strongholds in the universe went Never-Never. The only sizable part to remain on the world was the Island of Ooblun, which also happens to be the name of Elder's second moon.

So I put it somewhere in the southern Westerlees on my world of Elder, a sea where it could be said that the North Atlantic meets the Caribbean meets the South China. Now this island tends to rather hard to find. While it is said to remain at the Western Pole of the planet, that has a tendency to move. Sometimes it moves widder, other times it moves widdershanks in its course. And the areas available to access have a tendency to change as well.

And once there, things can be very strange to very dangerously odd. I populated it ettins, pookas, the more magical goblin (not the goblinoid of standard FRPGs), b
ogey men hobgoblins, Wink-Winging leprechauns and fairies gone wild. There are many more fey running around the place that I just don't have time to list here, heck many more than I myself can ever write down all by myself for that matter.

So why am I telling you all this? Well this last weekend at BASHCon in Toledo, I finally got a chance to start to share some of this with my players. And luckily th
e players I had about the best group of players possible at a convention. Jerry, Robin, and Paul Haynie are members of Trollhalla; Jherri, Perrryton and G'noll respectively. The fourth player Andrew has played in my T&T games in Toledo before. "Leprechaun Island" definitely needs a better title; but as for a start to one day making Ooblun a place for more delvers to explore. The notes and matrices came together with my earlier static narrative scenes. My NPCs flowed from my subconscious nicely as I could see the players in front of me start to wonder about the bits and pieces of information that they were hearing.

And I still didn't explain the schism between the Wizard's Guild and Leprechaun.


  1. Nice mythology, Kopfy, It has a truly Norse quality to it.

  2. Love it, Tom, very interesting! Funny, I was just looking at Urban Faerie RPG this morning, thinking about buying it. I woke up in the mood for Faeries for some reason, and Voila, you post about Faeries. Kewl!

  3. Atroll, the Norse quality is a given figuring in how much the D'Aulaires, Jack Kirby and a book on German folklore given to me by my Aunt Karolla were a part of my early library. You are actually a bigger influence than I've mentioned. T&T including leprechauns and fairies always struck me as terribly knowing of what fantasy looked like before the Hobbit was published and D&D muddled into existence.
    Your deities published at your blog on Monday, was an inspiration back when you mentioned it in the TnT newsletter back in '83 for certain named Powers in my works. I moved around too much to have the close circles you have, so I stuck to legendary archetypes. To name three: Wakim (Fey) is Odin. One-armed Yammar (Elf) is Apollo. Marduk is a troll Power. Jokala (Fey), Wakim's wife, is Kali. The Great Cyclops (Elf) father of the monstrous. The First Ork, errant son of the Great Cyclops. Et al.

  4. Fairies in the brick and mortar world has been one of sub-genres of fantasy since about the mid-70s, Paul. To give White Wolf their due, it is amazing what their WoD series of books has done for TV and movies of the Oughts and now the Teens. Game-wise, Ken had fairies and leprechauns in his fantasy game while everyone else was stumbling over themselves to re-name hobbits.

  5. Kopfy-nice mythos. So is Wakim a fey?