Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Five Things You Need to Know About Sarpedon

Howdy!  Back in April of last year I wrote a weird thing about a science fantasy D&D world I called Sarpedon.  I've decided to try fleshing it out a bit.

Five You Need to Know About Sarpedon

1. Sarpedon is a gas giant system. A huge ringed planet looms in the sky. Technically the world that the adventures happen on is Sarpedon E, the gas giant being Sarpedon Prime. However, in daily conversations its clear to most people whether you are talking about the Sarpedon in the sky or the Sarpedon under your feet, so most folks don’t specify.

2. Jack Kirby’s Celestials are the gods of the setting. These armored space giants are just as silent and enigmatic as in Kirby’s original vision, so that the various beliefs of the sects and temples on Sarpedon are based upon what people think about the Celestials. The gods are real. The divine power of clerics seems to be based upon them somehow. But they don’t hand out cosmic truths or give commands.

3. It gets pretty hot on Sarpedon. People dress more like Frazetta’s Barsoom than most Middle Earthy fantasy worlds.  I'm still working on a good simple rule for overheating while wearing heavy armor that uses one's Con score but isn't a complete kick in the pants.

4. There are two strains of humanity on Sarpedon, with their own histories and cultures. The Cyrannians (see below) are descended from Earth people, while the Gandaharians have their own range of skintones (blues being most common, but reds, yellows, greens, greys and stark whites have been seen). The Gandaharians have a genetic predisposition towards total baldness and some have pointed ears, but otherwise they are physically identical to Earth-type humans. Beyond appearance, there are major cultural differences between Cyrannians and Gandaharians. The Gandaharians live in small matriarchal groups. Their technology tends to be more organic.

5. The Cyrannians are descendants from a minor colony so far in the space boonies that the Cylons didn’t know they existed. They never got the evacuation order. New Cyrannus on Sarpedon E is a colony of the original Cyrannians, though contact with the mother world has been lost for centuries.  Their culture is more classic D&D faux-medieval pseudo-feudal than the matriarchal tech-organic hippy-ness common to the Gandaharians.