The Half-Remembered Realms

Written by cavalier973.

Most of what we know about Medieval Europe is wrong--backwards, even.  Kings we read about in history books, like King Richard the Lionhearted, King Edward Longshanks, King Richard III; they're all legends and myths.

King Arthur, though, was (and is) real.

Synopsis:
In the year AD 1066, Uther Pendragon, Duke of Normandy, led his army across the English Channel and defeated Harold "Vortigern" Godwinson at the Battle of Hastings, and thus became King of England.  His reign lasted until his death in AD 1215.  In that year, the boy Arthur, ward of Sir Ector of the Forest Sauvage, was revealed to be Uther's son and heir.  With the help of his advisor, Merlin the Enchanter, King Arthur seeks to repair the damage wreaked on the land by his father's reign.

Shorthand description: Think of the game Majesty set in the world of T.H. White's Once and Future King.


More Info:

Class, Race, and Ethnicity
The Norman Aristocracy is composed entirely of High Elves.  This includes Arthur and his court, the Knights of the Round Table, etc.  In other words, while some of the lessor nobility and gentry may be of other races, for the upper peerage, the only racial choice is High Elf.
Dwarves are generally Saxons, the descendants of those who were defeated at Hastings.
Wood Elves are known among themselves as Cymry (known by outsiders as "the Welsh")
Halflings hail primarily from Ireland, Gnomes from Scotland.
Dark Elves are from Scandinavia ("the Vikings"), and live mainly in the Danelaw (northeastern part of England).
Dragonic are from Avalon ("the Feywild"), and are the loyal soldiers and guards of the Norman Aristocracy; their presence diminishes quickly after Arthur becomes king.
Humans can be members of any of these ethnic groups, excepting Normans.

The above race divisions may differ in other kingdoms (France, for example, has Wood Elves at the top of the class structure)

The Adventurers' Guild

During King Uther's reign, bandits, monsters, and other undesirable elements moved into England to oppress and terrorize the people.  When Arthur took the throne, he did not have the resources or personnel to cast out these interlopers, so, at Merlin's direction, the young king established a national adventurers' guild, the Royal Adventurers' Guild of England (or, as it is more popularly known, "the RAGE").  People who show any initiative, courage, and commitment to Arthur's ideals may be recruited into the guild.


Icons:

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 Archbishop 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 obstreperous 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 enchantress 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, in which only he can safely sit. 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.

 

Some background suggestions:

Constable: this person is in charge of maintaining the lord's armaments to help the defense of the villages.  Also may serve in the capacity of law enforcement. Gives experience in knowledge of weapon care and storage, in dealing with people, crime investigation, and in certain defense methods.
Reeve/Shire Reeve/Sheriff: this person is in charge of the workers and land allotments for a lord's manor.  Gives experience in dealing with people and managing resources, collecting fees and taxes, investigating minor violations of the law
Alewife/Baker/Butcher: this person creates food-related products for sale to the public.  Gives experience in the procedures of foodcraft, in serving the public, elements of shopkeeping and customer service, and dealing with the bureacracy (who make and enforce laws pertaining to the quality of the food being served).
Innkeeper: Manages establishment that offers shelter to travelers.  May sometimes offer meals and/or drinks.  Gives experience in dealing with the public, evaluating people's character, and dealing with the bureaucracy.
Stationer: owns a shop that copies text from published writings, as well as rents copies of owned texts to scribes.  Gives experience in reading and writing, shopkeeping, a wide variety of knowledge based on texts used and copied.

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