Concept and Inspirations
The idea for ‘Legacy of the Forlorn’ came from a lot of different sources. The Sevenwaters trilogy by Juliet Marillier was a major inspiration, particularly the first book, Daughter of the Forest . It’s about a noble lord and his eight children, and the remarkable bonds that they share. I wanted to tell a story where the characters have that same sort of exaggerated familial connection to one another, drawing from concept of brotherhood and family that exists in myths and fairy tales. I envision the characters of the story as being heroically loyal to one another, their family bonds to one another being larger-than-life.
The fantasy game Burning Wheel has a particularly interesting take on elves that especially inspired the character of Caladlon Edasseril. In that game, elves have a ‘Grief’ characteristic that measures how heavily the weight of their long existence weighs upon them. In the Burning Wheel setting, elves are immortals living in an all-too-mortal world, and although they can’t actually die of natural causes, eventually their Grief overwhelms them. Caladlon is a truly tragic figure because he has endured the type of sadness and loss that can only be experienced by the truly long lived. There’s a sort of redemption, however, in Caladlon’s legacy, and the story of this redemption is essentially the story of the campaign.
The elves of the Pathfinder setting are, to my eyes, both beautiful and alien in appearance, and this was something else that interested and inspired me. Their eyes are entirely black (all pupil) both explaining their legendary low-light vision and giving them an unsettlingly inhuman look. I wanted to play around with the culture and expectations of a non-human race, especially one that is as well-developed as Pathfinder’s elves are. I particularly like the idea of ‘The Brightness’, their way of experiencing/searching for enlightenment.
In the past, I’ve run games with strong themes of destiny, fate, and predestination. With this campaign, I wanted to do something more open-ended, working with the concepts of potential and responsibility. The characters’ destinies are not set, and as such there’s no fixed path that the campaign might take. Although the story as I’ve planned it leads to an eventual confrontation with Treerazer, that confrontion’s ending is open, as well as the path the characters take to get there. I want to create a situation where the players are freely able to create their character’s own destiny.
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