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FATE: In Arthur's Name

Page history last edited by Adrian 11 years, 1 month ago

In Arthur's Name

Heavily based on Bernard Cornwell's 'Warlord' trilogy, this is a game set in an imagined late 5th century Britain when the warlord Arthur is fighting to unite the British tribes against the Saxon invaders. The player characters are all either supporters of Arthur or of one of his close allies, such as the Druid Myrddin.

 

The Situation

Arthur reluctantly answers an ally's call and dispatches a warband to the small kingdom of Garthmadrun, wedged between hostile Siluria and Irish-ruled Demetia in what is now South Wales. King Morcant's lands have been steadily eroded over the years as Oengus Mac Airem's spearmen voraciously seize his land, but Morcant's call for Arthur's help stems from internal enemies: three brothers wage vicious war to unseat Morcant and divide the kingdom between them.

 

Adding pressure on Arthur is Morcant's recent conversion to Christianity. If he fails to support Garthmadrun's king Arthur will be harangued and derided by Dumnonia's Christians, upsetting the fragile peace of his protectorate in protests and rioting.

 

Others are interested in joining Arthur's expedition for different reasons: rumours have surfaced that the monastery in Caer Crochan, Morcant's seat of power, holds a great treasure of the old gods of Britain that has fallen into the hands of the Christian monks.

 

So a mixed group of emissaries accompanies the warband to Caer Crochan. But the journey is ill-fated and the warband ambushed by Demetian warriors soon after landing on the coast. Bloodied and bedraggled, the survivors forge their way through the chill autumn land to fulfill Arthur's oath to Morcant, and theirs to him.

 

Other Pages

Creating a Character

Magic and Miracles

Story so far

 

 

Persons of Note

Dumnonia

Arthur: Tall and lean, Arthur has a clean-shaven open face and makes an upfront, compassionate and fierce warlord. He protects the Dumnonian throne for the infant Modred, grandson of the last Pendragon, Uther. Arthur is Uther's illegitimate son and is suspected of coveting the throne for himself.

Myrddin (Merlin): The foremost Druid of Britain, Myrddin has dedicated himself to bringing back the Old Gods to Britain. Tall, tanned and old beyond reckoning, Myrddin is both an enigma and a sign of hope for the remaining pagan Britons.

Gwenhwyfar (Guinevere): Arthur's beautiful wife, Gwenhwyfar is an intelligent, ambitious woman who seeks to push Arthur toward greatness.

Morgan: Horribly scarred by fire, Morgan wears a gold mask about her head and is a powerful prophetess. Uther's illegitimate daughter and Arthur's half-sister, Morgan keeps the dream of the old British Gods alive.

Bishop Bedwin: The aged Christian is one of Modred's protectors and a friend to Arthur. A moderate man, he has thus far managed to keep the Christians and pagans of Dumnonia from tearing each apart.

Bishop Sansum: Ambitious and a rising star, Sansum seeks the Christianisation of all of Dumnonia and beyond. He chafes under Bedwin's placatory attitude to the pagans and works to spark action against them.

 

Garthmadrun

King Morcant ap Idris: Ruler of Garthmadrun, the king has recently married the much younger Queen Anwen and discarded his previous wife by pagan marriage. His recent conversion to Christianity brought him in as an ally to Arthur thanks to the newly-minted Bishop Cystenian.

Queen Anwen: Young, Christian and beautiful, she has recently married Morcant and replaced his previous wife by pagan union, Heledd.

Heledd: Morcant's wife for many years, Heledd's marriage to Morcant was annulled in favour of a new marriage with Anwen. Spurned, Heledd has left the King's Hall and retreated into the surrounding wilderness. A powerful pagan priestess, Morcant fears her anger and looks to the Christian God for protection from her.

Bishop Cystenian: Previously abbot of the monastery at Crochan, Cystenian's two coups are the conversion of Morcant to Christianity through his beautiful new wife Anwen, and obtaining a powerful pagan artifact from an ancient cache beneath the monastery. A friend of Bedwin, Cystenian's influence has brokered the alliance between Dumnonia and Garthmadrun.

Hywel, Owain and Talfryn ap Morcant: Now disowned, these three brothers are Morcant's sons by Heledd and staunch pagans all. At odds with both their mother and father, they wreak havoc in Garthmadrun.

Gareth ap Menw: Morcant's cousin and champion, the burly warrior defends Caer Crochan from Morcant's three disowned sons with reluctant diligence.

 

Relevant Kingdoms and Lands

 

 

Demetia: Once the British kingdom of Dyfed, it is now ruled by fierce Irish warriors and renamed Demetia. Oengus Mac Airem rules with a canny and firm hand.

Dumnonia: The infant Modred inherited Dumnonia from his grandfather Uther, but Uther's bastard son Arthur is the man keeping the kingdom intact for him. As internal war tears Britain apart and the Saxons close in, only Arthur provides a light against the encroaching darkness.

Garthmadrun: King Morcant's much-diminished kingdom. Once a client kingdom of Dyfed, the beleaguered land serves as a buffer zone between Gundleus' Sileria and Oengus Mac Airem's Demetia, although the latter is steadily swallowing Garthmadrun.

Gwent: Dumnonia's ally against both the Siluria-Powys alliance and the Saxon invaders, ruled by the Romanised Christian King Tewdric.

Lloegyr: 'The Lost Lands' of Saxon-occupied east Britain.

Powys: A large and powerful kingdom allied to Siluria and hostile to Dumnonia. King Gorfyddyd lost an arm to Arthur and has sworn vengeance, and already proclaims himself the new High King of Britain.

Siluria: The pagan King Gundleus is allied with Powys against Dumnonia and Gwent, and accordingly has reacted with hostility to King Morcant's alliance with Arthur. Gundleus views his neighbour's tiny kingdom with hunger and spears are being sharpened across Siluria under the pretext of saving Garthmadrum from the Irish of Demetia.

 

Principal Gods of the Britons

I diverged from the Cornwell novels here and substituted the Welsh analogues of gods like Taranis and Cernunnos.

Agrona: Goddess of slaughter, war god

Annwyn: The Otherworld

Aranrhod: Goddess of the Golden Dawn, associated with the night

Arawn: God of the otherworld, Annwn.

Bel: Father of the Gods, associated with the sun

Branwen: Daughter of Llyr and Iweridd, goddess of love

Gwynn ap Nudd: The Horned God, associated with the natural world

Don:Sky goddess, wife of Bel

Gofannon: God of the Forge

Gwydion: God of light, son of Don

Hafren: River goddess (Severn)

Llyr: Sea god

Mabon: God of youth

Manawydan: God of the Sea, son of Llyr and Penardun

Maponus: God of poetry and music

Nudd: Warrior god

Rhiannon: Goddess, associated with horses

 

Pronunciation Note

This is pretty rough, but may help:

 

c is always hard, like an English k

ch is pronounced as it is in 'loch'

dd is like an English th, as in 'the'

f is like an English v

ff is like an English f

i is like an English ee, as in 'feet'

ll is difficult - sort of like 'hl'. I can't do it.

rh is another tricky one - kind of 'hr' I think.

u is like an English i sort of. For example, 'Culhwch' is pronounced 'Kilhukh'

w is like an English u or oo, except when it's next to a vowel as in 'Gwen'.'Bookie' and 'rugby' are spelt 'bwci' and 'Rwgbi' in Welsh for example.

y is a vowel, kind of an i or u. 'Ynys' is pronounced 'Uhniss' for example. At the end of a word it just sounds like an English y.

 

If you're really keen, here's some sound files.

 

Sources and Links

Setting

The setting is ripped completely off Bernard Cornwell's 'Warlord' trilogy of books, including the kingdoms and major NPCs, with the exceptions of the Situation-specific ones like Morcant and Garthmadrun. That's also where the map of Britain originates.

 

Useful Links

 

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