Rilmorn, as I conceived of the world, has three times the surface area of Earth, so it always seemed logical that there would be continents that were yet unaccounted. I had hinted about another continent. Robert Hegewood, a friend from college worked up an invader’s history for that unnamed continent. I had long wanted an area that was deeply Celtic in tone. It appeared as Iolta and Thrain.
In early to mid 2013, a fellow member of Old School Gamers asked what people thought about the module Shadows of Evil. I own it, Evil Ruins, and Throne of Evil; all works by Stephen Bourne. I told the OSGers that I liked the book and planned on using it, Throne of Evil, C4: To Find a King, and C5: The Bane of Llywelyn as the basis for a new campaign. Rhonda Hanyes Koti expressed an interest in the final product, so I told her that I would send her a link when I was done.
Around this time, Chris Perkins, in his DnD Online column: The Dungeon Master Experience, posted a link to his new campaign. It had a flavor that I liked and the map was wonderful. I stole it; flipped the map, renamed it, and called it mine. (Yes, I contacted Mr. Perkins and told him about my conscription of his work.) The rest of the information may be mined at a later date. (Updated link 2014.08.12)
I named the continents Iolta and Thrain and labeled the large island between them Avalian. The name Iolta (pronounced ee ole TUH) was taken from the legal acronym IOLTA (pronounced eye ole TUH) meaning Interest on Lawyer Trust Accounts. Thrain is an old name for Wales. Avalian is at alternate spelling of Avalon.
Now, that I had a continent, I needed a more detailed map of the campaign area. I took the overland maps of the four modules I had mentioned plus Evil Ruins, Elven Banner, and N2: The Forest Oracle and began mashing them together in GIMP. I had to fiddle with the scale on occasion, but for the most part it was a simple cut and paste. I prettied up later and here is the link I sent Rhonda.
Now, that I had my maps, I needed a background for my game. So, I took all my source material and my limited knowledge of Celtic myth and history and wrote out a History of Iolta and Thrian. This document is way too long and covers too much to give to most Players, so I will have to chop things down to a minimum and focus the background for any Players in this campaign. This is far more background than I ever build into most campaigns before they begin. There is a great chance that the Players will never learn or have need of most of it.
That just left me with putting together a Gazetteer. I had plenty of places taken from my many maps and so I filled out the information. This was in many ways the most fun. I got to lift histories and etymologies from multiple sources and to editorialize about some locations. It was really neat.
I’ve added some stuff, since I posted it on Live Journal and I’ve altered a good deal more. It is a good example of planning too much before a game begins. There is more information here than I ever had at the beginning of a campaign. I’ve got multiple plots. I’ve got loads of NPCs. History is overwhelming. I have huge numbers of sites for plot hooks. It is overwhelming, but if I get to run this campaign, it will give me a Great Cauldron from which to pull ideas and plans.
When I wrote this yesterday, I failed to talk about what changes I have made in this setting since I posted it and what source materials that I am looking to use in this setting. None of my games are ever created in a vacuum. I am grateful for my sources and look forward to taking the original material and blending it to fit Rilmorin. Every time, I read something or watch a movie or video or even listen to music, I can find something that leads me into new ideas for my game. Since I posted the original Iolta and Thrain stuff back in June of 2013, I have done the following
- Decided that the founders of The Dwarf Crown were survivors of a Aegol a dwarf kingdom from another world. This comes from the book Kingdom of the Dwarves.
- Decided to use a combination of profiles from Deities and Demigods, Dragon Issue 65, Legends and Lore, and Celtic Age to fill out the ranks of the Tuatha De Danu
- Got out my Ironclaw books and decided to change the walls at the edges of Inverness and Warfield to the Wall of Calabria. These walls, ancient and mountainous in scope, once marked the boundaries of Calabria. Calabria, as a kingdom is long vanished, but its Great Houses with their animal standards and totems remain.
- Added the city of Triskellian from Rinaldi: Supplement for Ironclaw to the map. It was the capital of Calbria.
- Changed a line in the descriptor of the Dwarves of the Dwarf Crown to read: “Insular and slightly xenophobic, the Dwarves of the Dwarf Crown only deal with outsiders at specific trade moots and as members of small, but highly sought after mercenary bands.” This change came about because my wife wished to play a dwarf in this campaign.
I’ve done a lot of development on both continents, but where is the action to take place? It should take place in Pellham (the most detailed area of the map) and Montforte (since one of plots comes from that area and is the location of a premade adventure site). I may send the PCs into Inverness, since it is the location of the infamous Ghost Tower of Inverness. Finally, the PCs may end up on Thrain. The premade adventure that starts in Montforte ends on Thrian. Anything else will be the work of the Players and their interests.
I’ve been gathering an Iolta and Thrain collection on LibraryThing. Please feel free to check it out (in the upper left corner of the screen, you will see a drop down menu under the name LibraryThing, go to Iolta and Thrain).