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Atalan:BTF #1


svensson

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Well, Post Number One, or 'How We Got Here'

So with the COVID lockdown, my wife has been working from home in our apartment. Due to space constraints, her home office setup is in the living room while I occupy a bedroom set up as a library /computer /junk room most of the day. I've been pretty bored, especially since I quit Facebook in the wake of Election Assault on the Capitol. I've been trying to pay more attention to my family during the crisis, and slew of birthday presents had me asking one of my nieces if she'd like me to teach her and her older two girls how to play RPGs. She enthusiastically agreed.

The Cast of Characters:

Me- I'm an Old Geek in my mid-50s. Been gaming since the 70's. I'm a US Army combat veteran and have been diagnosed with PTSD and a couple other things, for which I am in treatment. I have some empathy issues and a bit of temper [nothing violent, but I have a cruel streak that isn't very pretty] and I'm determined to keep the worst of my mental issues away from the kids in my family. This has naturally led to some distancing between my siblings, their children, and I, but most of them understand to a degree. Since the lockdown, I've been trying to reconnect with family, keeping track of birthdays and what-all, and I see gaming as a way to share something I love with people I love.

My Spouse- My wife, Aunt E, is a bit younger than I am, but she's an Old Geek like me. She got into gaming in junior high school in the early 80s and had to deal with all the knucklehead pubescent male nonsense at a gaming table. She learned to get pink pens and dice to make sure she them back after a game session 😂 She once worked for a major game producer for 15 or so years and has had trouble in the past with fanboys trying to use her as an entrepot into the industry. Because of this, she's asked me to keep the personal details to a minimum.

My Niece- A nice woman with four children. She got pregnant fairly young and hasn't had much of a chance to let her imagination loose and I think gaming will be JUST the thing for her.

Grand-niece #1, or Niece C- Is the most interested among the kids. She's in her early teens and is pretty impressionable. I have to take real care to keep some of my latent cynicism reined in around her. She hasn't missed a session yet and is an incredibly smart young girl. Some of her decision making has surprised me a great deal.

The Setting:

When we set all this up, I asked 'the girls' what milieu /world they wanted to play in. My niece and her kids don't have a real huge background in RPGS, just some computer games [Skyrim mostly], so I didn't want to hit them with a huge Wall of Text that playing Glorantha would require. Instead, I offered to adapt the RuneQuest in Glorantha rules set to whatever setting they wanted. I figured it'd be Game of Thrones or Lord of the Rings... but NOPE! Surprise #1 is that the Niece C is currently reading the Percy Jackson and the Olympians books and was interested in that. I didn't want the PCs to demigods per se, so I countered with Atlantis. And here we are.

I have renamed Atlantis 'Atalan' and taken some of Plato's work and other sources to create a setting where the Atalan subcontinent still exists. It is about the size of Greenland and sits in the North Atlantic. It's southernmost points are near the Equator and have jungle terrain, and it's northernmost reaches are near the permanent ice pack. The Atalan nation is what could be described as a 'theocratic confederation'... The Atalans know themselves to be the Children of Poseidon and have a semi-divine extended family that rules over them. The principle line are the Emperor[-ess] Priest who rule the capital city and surrounds. The 'cousins' of this main line rule one of eight kingdoms as King/Queen-Priests. While everyone in the family is mortal, when one ascends to the throne they are imparted with a certain divine power that increased their lifespan and preserves their mental faculties. The family exhibits many of the same character faults and foibles as normal humanity, but the rulers themselves have a remarkable ability to stay sane and senility is unknown to them.

Each kingdom is run independently by their respective ruling family, owing taxes, troops, and goods to the empire as a whole to be used for the greater good, and each one has certain unique qualities about them. At some point, I'll even get around to detailing just exactly what those are 😁

What I am sure of is the following:

- Atalans consider themselves to be the only 'civilized' people on Earth, with all others being 'barbarian' to one degree or another

- Atalans understand hydrology better than anyone on Earth, including water tables, sanitation, tides, currents, weather, and so on.

- Atalans field an army consisting of the classic Greek hoplite phalanx, supported by crossbowmen, light cavalry on horses using spears and javelins and heavy cavalry using elephants.

- Atalans forge a mystical metal named 'orichalcum' [no relation to Earth Prime's metal of the same name]. This metal is an alloy of copper, tin, and 'orichal', a reddish mineral that causes standard bronze take on the properties of mild steel. Furthermore, it is more accepting of enchantments than bronze or iron. No orichalcum smith is allowed to leave the Atalan subcontinent, and no outsider is ever taught the secrets of orichalcum. To date, the Atalans have never found a source for the orichal ore anyplace other than the Atalan subcontinent.

There will be more about the Empire, Kingdoms and People of Atalan as I get it written.

Stay tuned.

 

Edited by svensson

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