Jeremy here again with another inspired rant about the imaginary places that invade my dreams and find themselves being expressed in song.
Realm is a favorite of mine as it is full of war and interesting occurrences. I originally created it with a question: what would it be like if staples of history, fantasy, and potential futures were to co-mingle? Thus, the 4 Thrones and 4 Gates of Realm were born.
At its heart lies a mysterious place named Finsgard Eden. The people and creatures of the all the Thrones see Eden as a taboo place because it is said that spirits travel there to rest and meet their maker. It is a still place where trees and gardens grow straight out of the shallow motionless waters. You can hear the ethereal wail of distant sirens (think aquatic banshee mermaid) echoing from the hidden center where legends speak of a crystal palace that is home to a timeless god banished there by forces beyond reckoning.
At the cardinal and mutable edges of the lake-bed forest there are bridges to the sacred gates: Alfvana, Goldengard, The Boneyard, and The King’s Feast. Each of these is a shared dimensional space between two thrones and oft a place of unending conquest.
The most notorious of these gates is The King’s Feast because is it not stationary! Despite having a constant connection between the Thrones of Abyss and Heaven (and of course the secret door to Finsgard Eden), The King’s Feast is an infamous pirate-ship that is constantly celebrating the pleasures of life. Through magical feats beyond the limits of all of Realm, its primary plane of existence is the elemental plane of water. The ship is captained by the nameless pirate: an eons old man whose wit was replaced with boundless energy! It is said that he mixed rum into water from the fountain of youth and hasn’t sobered up in ten thousand years! The nameless pirate’s story is told in Pirate Madness but if you’ve heard us play it live you might ask the question; how can such a tale can be told without lyrics?
I dare not tell! The crew is made up of party goers who live for thrills, acrobats with no attention span, and the best cooks in the universe. They love the ride, they get free room, board, and otherwise but they are also not the kind of people to double cross. They are still pirates after all, even if they don’t appear like it at first…
I’m going to stick with the gates for this rant as the thrones are more than enough for a blog each. The next one of interest to most adventurers is Alfvana, a beautiful land at the peaks of majestic mountains. Home to the magical fae, this quaint land is a pure reflection of their intensely magical and wildly exotic nature. It sits nicely above the hustle of stone and below the kingdom in the clouds. All the best apothcaries and enchanters are to be found here. Heaven and stone once sought dominion over each other, using Alfvana as a magical and technological battleground but pacifists from both lands revolted and claimed it as their own. Violence is considered an abhorrent crime punished with exile so all contests for prized spells or artifice are done through tests of wit and arcane skill. I was a little confused about were I was when I wrote the song Eden, in that song I speak of going to a castle in the sky and peacefully opening doors to new possibilities. It turns out that I was actually travelling from Stone (where my adventures had taken on an unfortunate series of events) and moving through Alfvana up to the Heaven and got myself in some serious trouble by calling both places Eden!
Remember me talking about Finsgard being taboo? Yeah, that’s how I found out…
Going down the Alfvana mountains you get to Stone and moving through there you get to the next gate: Goldengard. Remember how I said that I wanted to combine futuristic, modern, and fantasy elements in the lands of Realm? Goldengard is where that juxtaposition comes to a fever pitch.
As the name suggests, there is a lot of gold here. Gold is a wonderful resource because it can be used in numerous ways; it conducts electricity, it resonates with the frequencies of power, and its easy to manipulate in both magical and technological contexts. Have you ever wondered what would happen if circuitry were built in accordance to sacred geometry or if a cell phone could aid in spell casting? Tinkering of this sort is the nature of Goldengard, but the laws of sentient nature are pretty clear on the fact that wherever there is an abundance of an all-useful resource there are outsiders trying to gain control of it. This place is the polar opposite of the lush and peaceful Alfvana. The land, although brimming with glittering gold, is jagged and scorched. The ambiance is explosions, gunfire, pulsating hums of otherworldly machinery, and the screams of the suffering. The eldritch hellions combat the forces from Stone. Both factions furiously work to surpass the powers of their opposition. Travel is best done in small tactical teams of four to eight and if like me you’re traveling downwards from Stone, just know that the onslaught you face here does leave you the option to retreat. Once you get into the caverns you’d better be well stocked and determined to never look back. My travels through this area inspired the song Black Tar Falls which you probably haven’t heard but it’s one of my favorites so it will happen soon. (^_^!!)
At the other side of the caverns is the Boneyard, it’s really a frozen beach of death where the caverns of Hell meet the seven seas of Abyss. It’s the best place to leave someone to die, or drop off a dead body but your odds of having a nice stay in either of the neighboring thrones is easily double what it is here. Hellions and Pirates who venture to the Boneyard find themselves in a free for all against each other, and the dragon worshiping natives. If you’re into using the corpses of fallen monstrosities and the loot of dead buccaneers to your advantage I can see why you might want to explore this gate, I’m actually writing a song to express the style of the Boneyard as we speak. Hope you’ve enjoyed my rant, there’s more to Realm and more songs to come!