Wednesday, May 1, 2013

The Conceptual Concerns of a Low Fantasy Setting

The following is a Concept Draft I wrote to keep myself on task while developing my Low Fantasy setting, Ayhton. I intend to release Ayhton as a bonus setting along with my Roleplaying System Grit as well as a stand alone, system-less product. I reckon that revealing this abstract will illuminate both what Ayhton will be as well as what I like and dislike in a Fantasy World.

Ayhton: A Concept Draft

Ayhton is a world not unlike what our own world once was. The myriad cultures  of the continent of Ayhton bear striking similarities to many cultures of earth's past. The Braegings and Feyruslunders certainly have much in common with the various Germanic Medieval nations, the Thortoni vaguely share a not unsimilar history with the Greco-Roman world, and the Pyroshi are not unlike many diverse Slavic and Turkish tribes. But Ayhton is not some grand historical experiment of renaming real world cultures. It is a living, breathing place all its own. The many peoples of Ayhton are in a constant state of movement and change. They migrate. Their mores, religions, and ways of life evolve, mutate, and sometimes cease to be. Nations in heavy trade with each other spread more than wealth and produce; they force change betwixt them. There are no eternal cities or unchanging societies. Even the most xenophobic tribes change over time if from no other force than the weight of isolation. There are no "good" kingdoms nor are there "evil" empires, no evil goblins nor any good elves, no infallible gods nor innately wicked devils. Everyone and everything in Ayhton must be judged singly to be judged well. 
It is a place where the fantastic is certainly possible but rare. The vast majority of folk live their whole lives without ever witnessing any form of magic: divine, supernatural, necromantic, wizardly, or otherwise.