I wrote this about 15 years ago now. It's pretty.. meh. But it's a good starting point for this year's effort.
Quite a few years ago, the continent upon which Lord Holt's realm sits was a vast, uncharted wilderness, completely untouched by humans. The vast, fertile fields lay empty, while various wild creatures roamed the lands in search of food, shelter, and some higher purpose.
One summer, a violent hurricane swept in along the coast of the southern sea. After the storm cleared, the creatures near the coast went out to survey the wreckage, and beheld an unexpected sight. Twisted and mangled along the shoreline were various piles of wood, and, standing in front of them, several hundred tall, thin, pale creatures. This was the first time that humans set foot on these lands.
The leader of this group was a knight by the name of Sir Holt. He and a few other knights had been embarked on an adventure, and had never completed it due to the sudden storm. Seeing that their ships were beyond repair, the knights took their people and set out in search of good land to build their own kingdom.
At first, the knights decided to settle on the small plains near the wreckage of their ships. But they soon realized that the land near the coast was unsuitable for farming. The knights counseled among themselves, and decided to each take a portion of the people, and spread out in search of more suitable lands. They then elected Holt, the eldest and wisest of the knights, to be their ruler, hailing him as Lord Holt.
Sir Malis, an experienced sailor, declared that he would stay along this coast with his people. They built the village of Malisa, and made their living plundering the riches of the sea.
Sir Sunim took his people eastward onto the plain, eventually finding good soil near the mountains to the south. His warlike people built a walled citadel, and pledged to defend themselves and the rest of Holt's peoples against all enemies.
Lord Holt, Sir Sarn, and Sir Korz took their people north, across a barren desert, and found a broad, fertile plain. Again deciding to spread out, Sir Sarn took his people east towards a forest. They built the town of Sarnville, and mined the resources of the mountains to the east.
Sir Korz, bravest of all the knights, took his people north, and into the mountains to the northwest. Word of their fate never returned.
Lord Holt took his people west, across a wide river. Atop a massive hill, they built Castle Holt, and settled in the valley beneath it. They called their town Holtsson, and farmed the fertile lands to the west.
After several years passed, a tall man in armor appeared in Lord Holt's great hall. It was Sir Korz, bearing good news from his people. They had found a broad plain across the mountains, and settled in it. They spent their time delving into the arcane arts of magic, and had achieved many remarkable feats.
As knights are wont to do, the four younger knights became bored, and set out adventuring across the world. Through might and magic, the four knights imprisoned many undead and dangerous creatures in a dungeon of their own devising, beneath Castle Holt. The knights would then amuse themselves by venturing into the dungeon to slay the powerful beasts.
It was this practice that lead to the decline of unity in the lands. On one of these trips, the knights did not return. None in the kingdom was brave enough to enter the dungeon in search of them, save Lord Holt, whose advancing age prevented him from joining the search. The towns continued on their separate paths, growing less and less unified in each passing year. The attacks of the monsters grew more and more ferocious, and it became apparent that the presence of humans was in mortal danger.
In the third year after the disappearance of the knights, Lord Holt sent out a call to all citizens of the realm. Those interested could apply to serve Lord Holt, and increase their prowess and knowledge as a reward. These adventurers would become the last hope for Lord Holt's kingdom.
I dig this. I could see a great campaign arising from this one!
Sorry, before I read on. Contextually- what's this for?
Just like to know what audience it's being aimed at before I judge :)
In fairness to myself, this was written as the background to a role-playing MUD I administered for more than a decade. Since it was intended to be the less-than-five-minute introduction to the world they were about to enter (and back in those days, we didn't have supporting web sites or wikis--hosting was expensive stuff!), it had to be kept fairly succinct lest it venture into tl;dr territory.
And quite a number of great campaigns did arise from this humble beginning: more than ten RL years of quests, intrigue, war, deific scheming, and mortal hijinks, involving somewhere upwards of two hundred players (not all at once!). But MUDding fell victim to MMOs for their graphical excitement, and synchronous role-playing became a luxury of time that I and the other staff could no longer afford. Fortunately, we found Myth-Weavers, and now we can create more great stories together.
For this NaNo attempt, I'm going to focus on the early stories that fill in the 650-word panorama above. I'm thinking of a format that consists of a page out of Lord Holt's personal journal, followed by traditional narrative to complete the chapter. My writing strength is in scene-setting, so the journal entry will allow me to indulge that, but my main goal is to improve the quality of dialogue.
OK, time to get off the snide. Here is the journal entry preceding chapter 1. It clocks in at 709 words and was written in about 90 minutes, which gives me hope that I can catch up on my days off next week.
Love it so far, Mordae! I literally cannot wait to read more. Don't leave us hanging! Haha. I've been wanting you to write something since I first joined this site and came across one of your games. Can't wait to see what you have in store.
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