Thursday, 13 August 2015

New Troy: The Nature of Muspel

Work on New Troy also continues. For a while I've been thinking about how best to conceptualise Muspel. You'll recall that the basic geography of New Troy (i.e., the "real world") is replicated in the mythic otherworld (Faerie) and the mythic underworld (Muspel). But while Faerie is a kind of looking-glass wilderness area reflecting New Troy (see posts here and here), Muspel is - as you would expect - the "dungeon". It will therefore mirror New Troy in a more abstract sense: the similarities may not be immediately striking but there will be ways of comprehending the geography of Muspel by considering where things are located in New Troy itself.

What is the nature of Muspel itself? Here, I steal from, and bastardise, Norse mythology. Sometimes when you descend to Muspel it is a realm of fire, ruled by fire giants (eldjötnar), their fire drake servants, and "sons of Muspel". And sometimes when you descend to Muspel it is really Nifl, a realm of ice, ruled by frost giants and their niflungar slaves. This is because there is a constant struggle between the two sides, with neither side ever gaining a complete advantage, but coming to dominance depending on the seasons. While the tunnels and caverns remain the same, everything else is in flux. The only thing that remains the same is that the nature of the creatures living there is malevolent and depraved.

The other factor to take into consideration when entering Muspel is that time there moves slowly; each hour spent there is 1d100 hours in the "real world". This means that seasons last for only the briefest of periods down there in the darkness; life is a constant struggle of rebellion, warfare, dominance, and then rebellion again. Whenever the PCs venture into the underworld, they find themselves in the centre of conflict.

Christian Kessler, who is going to be doing the graphic design/layout, has come up with some nice ideas for the way things work in Muspel, which I won't go into too much detail on yet. I will post some examples of sons of Muspel and niflungar from the bestiary in the coming days, though.


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  2. You seem to have stated your time distortion effect backwards - if each hour spent in Muspel was 1d100 hours in the real world, the real world couple of months of summer would be much shorter in Muspel, not longer. From the rest of your description you must have meant that time passes much FASTER in Muspel than the real world, and each hour in the real world is 1d100 hours in Muspel, so that the couple of months of summer in New Troy could be long periods of dominance by the fire giants in Muspel, etc. But that nitpick aside, I like the concept of the two factions vying for dominance, tied to the seasons, and the underworld being different each time you visit it because of this time effect. Good stuff

    1. Yeah, I have this problem with the time distortion effects in New Troy (i.e. stupidity) that leads me to make mistakes sometimes. I've edited the post.