Planar Adventures

Planar adventures are fantasy tropes that build on a rich tradition: religion, myths, medieval sources like Dante’s The Divine Comedy, celestial spheres, and modern sources like Moorcock’s Elric or Marvel’s Doctor Strange. Everything was poured into fantasy roleplaying in the 1970’s and remain part of the genre.

These sources build on the idea that the cosmology is a multiverse, meaning the universe is part of a larger multiverse of multiple planes and parallel universes. Continue reading “Planar Adventures”

The Way of the Sellsword

“Back to the company. Back to business. Back to the parade of years. Back to the annals. Back to fear.”

– Glen Cook, The Black Company (1984)

Mercenaries and mercenary stories are probably the most basic fantasy tales in a world with lots of rain and morally dubious characters. Sellswords are mercenaries – soldiers for hire. The way of the sellsword – a life of war on the road – is a hard one, but offer a high reward for those who survive. Continue reading “The Way of the Sellsword”

The Secrets of the Demon Hunter

The demons have lingered on the fringes beyond the border of your reality since the Dawn of Time, and the Demon Hunters may be our last chance. One day the gates will burst open the gates and the world will end, or at least that is the beliefs of many loremasters. Continue reading “The Secrets of the Demon Hunter”

Writing Fantasy Religions

“I pray to the four winds… and you?”

– Conan the Barbarian, 1982

Writing stories involving fantasy religions is fun and for some folks tricky. Religion is a large part of the human experience, and you lose some great story potential if you choose to omit religion from your world.

This post is not about the deities themselves. Great stories are about conflict and the darker side of human nature, so with that in mind, let’s proceed with some basic design choices, then get into the juicy bits with followers, dogmas, sin, heresy, redemption, and crusades. Continue reading “Writing Fantasy Religions”

Writing Fantasy Timelines

Anyone who has studied the timeline in the appendices of the Lord of the Ring knows what life is all about: writing fantasy timelines. Right?

You can easily get lost in your creation when you write a fantasy timeline. I know I have, so you should make some basic design choices and nail down some fantasy staples, before your focus on the core of your story: the needs of your characters.

The following is a generalization of (mostly) European history and fantasy tropes and may serve as a blueprint for a fictional history.

Continue reading “Writing Fantasy Timelines”