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A new epic and grim fantasy tabletop roleplaying game.
A new epic and grim fantasy tabletop roleplaying game.
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THE WILDLANDS - First Steps

Posted by Bastien Lecouffe Deharme (Collaborator)
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THE WILDLANDS

None have returned alive from beyond the giant misty mountains of the North or of the humid and venomous jungle of the South. In between those and the thunderous seas is a land called The Wildlands.

A vast and wild land of danger and adventure.

A land that breathes under the light of its Sun and its two Sisters: Sinla, the Silver moon and Akhat, the Bad one, swallowing the stars and corrupting the mind by its ominous presence.

A land that was once the playground of fantastic creatures and giants called  the "First Men", and where humans are building new empires and civilizations. They build their cities on the gigantic ruins left by the previous inhabitants of the land. They build upon the vestiges from a forgotten past of another scale. They build their cities to protect themselves from the wilderness and the dangers of the land.

The Blue Door of Tameth (Art by Bastien Lecouffe Deharme)
The Blue Door of Tameth (Art by Bastien Lecouffe Deharme)

A world forgotten by the gods 

The gods are silent. They have neglected the people, no longer responding to their prayers and rituals. Some say they have deserted the Wildlands. While the Vaelkyr warriors are trying to catch the attention of Mother North by reviving the ancient traditions in blood and fire, the Avhoreans have grown weary of the prophecies of the Mad Druids. The Sabaah inhabitants witness the destruction of the statues and icons of the old gods, to see it replaced by representations of the One God and the Prophet.

From the small villages to the cities and capitals, men and women are left to fight for their survival. Their fate is in their own hands, and civilizations seem to collapse faster than they grow. The grim Cult of the Black Sun is spreading like the plague, preaching the Word of the One, and providing answers to the people in need of some, in exchange for their allegiance. 

The Free City of Kuuma (Art by Bastien Lecouffe Deharme)
The Free City of Kuuma (Art by Bastien Lecouffe Deharme)

A world to explore

Untamed, the Wildlands call for heroes. Women and men chasing their own destiny. Adventurers courageous or crazy enough to take on the roads and uncover the dark secrets left behind in the ruins of a forgotten world.

Unexplored deserts, deep forests, inaccessible mountains lost in the misty horizon, the Wildlands are full of mysteries to discover.

Current civilizations are built on the remnants of the empires of the First Men, the giants who walked the Wildlands centuries ago. From these empires only ruins remain, massive blocks of sculpted rocks, vertiginous arches, and other architectural wonders rising to the sky as witnesses to the greatness of the past.

Stairs with gigantic steps leading down to dusty corridors, blocked by impenetrable doors engraved with esoteric signs. Towers built and abandoned between mountains, harassed by crows whose silence sounds like a warning to the most courageous travelers. Underground libraries containing impious knowledge. Tombs of exiled heroes, buried with their steel and their forgotten secrets. Graves containing manuscripts from Shamans and hermits whose prophetic words were lost between dementia and knowledge. Remote temples and altars dedicated to forgotten gods. 

These are the mysteries of the Wildlands, the ones that shine the eyes and run the blood of the most reckless adventurers.

First Men Cave (Art by Bastien Lecouffe Deharme)
First Men Cave (Art by Bastien Lecouffe Deharme)
The Red Grave (Artwork by Bastien Lecouffe Deharme)
The Red Grave (Artwork by Bastien Lecouffe Deharme)

A brutal world

There are a thousand ways to die in the Wildlands.

Smothered by the coils of a giant python in the mangroves of the Mother. Impaled on the battlefield by a cold, anonymous spearhead. Sacrificed on a stone table, giving blood as an offering to buy a better future for their children. Gnawed by the bites of the cold, lost on the endless pack ice. Poisoned by a friend who had eyes only for the blade one carries at their side. Thrown over the guardrail of the hanging gardens of Sabaah for not being able to satisfy a picky master. Spiting black blood and chunks of lungs as a consequence of a strange disease one brought back from the swamps of the south. Trampled by the hooves of a steed even more terrifying than its rider ... In this violent world where nature expresses itself in all its brutality, and where women and men give free rein to their most primitive instincts, lucky are those who allow themselves the luxury of living. The others only survive.

The Marshes of Saeth (Art by Blake Rottinger)
The Marshes of Saeth (Art by Blake Rottinger)

The People

Cartographers traditionally divide the Wildlands in three major regions.
The North, the East and the South.

The North is a cold land of mountains and forests, old tales told around the fireplaces during the long winter nights. The North is the land of the Vaelkyrs, the strong people from the mountains, with their horned helmets and armors of bones. By the forests and the fields is Avhorae, a modern and advanced feudal civilization, masters of warfare and commerce. Only the forgeons from the islands of Aon know the secret of the precious Black Steel.

The sunny plains of the East are home to the Empire and the city of Lux, ambitious and rising military civilization, expending everyday under the eye of the Cult of the Black Sun and its dogma. The plains of the East are also the playground of the Horde, an endless caravan of mercenaries and individuals living by the blood and the gold of the unfortunate travelers or villages who cross their path.

In the legendary South is Babel and the mythic city of Sabaah with its hanging garden, where the water is sacred and the sand is burning. To the south of the south stands the Mother, the primordial jungle. The Master necromancers of Ool and the Nine Cities have tamed the mangroves and the swamps bordering the edge of the forest. Where the sands meet the sea is Khalistan, a land of traditions and knowledge, keeping the Forbidden City protected as a precious jewel. Saeth is a place of blood, of sacrifice and death, built where the river Siirh meets the Gulf of Shadows and cursed by a mysterious disease.

The Strong City of Uruk (Art by Gary Jamroz-Palma)
The Strong City of Uruk (Art by Gary Jamroz-Palma)
Pass of Exil (Art by Blake Rottinger)
Pass of Exil (Art by Blake Rottinger)
The Mother (Art by Bastien Lecouffe Deharme)
The Mother (Art by Bastien Lecouffe Deharme)
Thieves (Art by Sergey Vasnev)
Thieves (Art by Sergey Vasnev)
Low Market (Art by Sergey Vasnev)
Low Market (Art by Sergey Vasnev)

The official map of the Wildlands is currently being crafted by an artist known for the quality of his work in the roleplaying field. This is only a sneak peek at Bastien's original draft:

Detail of the first draft (By Bastien Lecouffe Deharme)
Detail of the first draft (By Bastien Lecouffe Deharme)

Comments

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    1. Missing avatar

      JN Childs Collaborator on

      Okay, folks - you've seen some of the Wildlands. Tell us which culture you like and tell us how you would make it your own!

    2. Arkhane Asylum Publishing Creator
      Superbacker
      on

      @Joakim Almgren: You're welcome Joakim! If you have any more questions, we're here for you.

    3. Joakim Almgren
      Superbacker
      on

      Thanks for the thoughtful replies, guys! :)

    4. René Schultze
      Superbacker
      on

      I like the similarities to our own cultures with a twist. My players and I can relate easily to such a world - therefore we always loved WFRP. I think this game will be a real goodie :)

    5. Arkhane Asylum Publishing Creator
      Superbacker
      on

      @Joakim Almgren: The Wildlands has a classic fantasy feeling, but there's more than meets the eye. The North is not only viking, but a lot of nordic culture people (but for a matter of space, we summarize by vikings, everyone understands the idea). The East is composed of The Empire (romain-like), the Thalos Republic (greek-like) and farther, The Horde (nomadic people, huns-like), so they're not the bad guys. The Empire is just the only country to still have a god, and is expanding it's controls to godless countries in search of a meaning in life. Of course, you will see similarities, it's a classic fantasy game, but trust us, you will discover a world you've never seen before. Being influenced doesn't mean being the same.

    6. Joakim Almgren
      Superbacker
      on

      @Bastien Thanks for the reply 👍 I will defer judgment until I've read more.

    7. Bastien Lecouffe Deharme Collaborator on

      @Joakim The Wildlands are indeed very inspired by our world, and written in a way that they reflect a very traditional Dark Fantasy setting. Connecting the Wildlands to our world is a way to maintain and push this feeling of realism we want the game to have.
      But fear not, what you just red is an overview, and when we start digging and show you the details of each regions and civilizations, you will realize that the Wildlands are not so stereotypical!

    8. Arkhane Asylum Publishing Creator
      Superbacker
      on

      @Alexandre Leal: The map is being designed by ENnie award winner Olivier Sanfilippo who previously worked for various publishers such as Chaosium. We are currently working on it, but we will show you in a News what Olivier can do, and you'll understand why he can walk along the Gods.

    9. Zaarin on

      Love it! Maybe by the time this comes out I can convince my scifi-loving players to indulge my preference for fantasy again (we're just about to start a game of RuneQuest Glorantha). :D

    10. Joakim Almgren
      Superbacker
      on

      This might be an unpopular opinion, but this post made the GODS world sound so stereotypical that it made me a little bit uncomfortable. I understand that it's inspired by old school dark fantasy, but it reads kind of like an index of real-world prejudice. North = Northern Europe, vikings and religious sacrifices. Avhorae = European imperialism, technology, bastion of civilization. East = the bad guys, either organized under a religion with one god (and one prophet!) or, I guess, unorganized terrorists. South = biblical stuff. The Mother = jungle with voodoo people.

    11. Alexandre Leal on

      Drawing upon known legends and cultures to which we can more easily relate, and thus immerse with ease, while maintaining a depth of originality is a tricky endeavor but one I'm quite confident the Dev´s will accomplish with merit.

      I´m especially curious about the cartography, one aspect I mentioned in one of my posts in the comments section.

      Any chance at a glimpse of the work of that particular artist?

    12. Martin Greening
      Superbacker
      on

      Love the artwork for this game. Looking forward to the book.