Moonlight and Roses
'... a place of silver and shade and cool waters, where the stars shone like bonfires at night and the green of day was always the green of spring. Youth, love, beauty -- I knew them in Avalon. Proud steeds, bright metal, soft lips, dark ale. Honour...' [GoA, 31]
But that did not last. The silver towers fell, and the Avalon of long ago was no more. It has been some ten score and thirty years since that day, maybe a few more, maybe a few less. The land was in ruins, invaders came and ruled for a time, savage barbarians and strange creatures, monsters from every fairy-tale, from a
land no-one had heard of... or has, since.
You were born in those days, and have been living in this land, still called Avalon, since then. Slowly, most of the ruins were rebuilt, and the silver towers climbed high into the sky again. But it is not the same. The brightness of spring somehow seems to be lost, and the roads to other, stranger, places are closed now.
There are tales of a place called Amber, but the tales remain tales. And the people have grown scared of the one called Corwin, and call him Sorcerer and Necromancer in the legends.
You seem to be one of the few people who remember those better times, if only vaguely, from your childhood. The people you grew up with, however, grew old, and died... and the current folk keep away from you if they know of your longevity and powers, and call you demon-spawn, or witch, or sorcerer. At times, it might be good to hide your heritage.
But now it seems change is in the air. The thorny roses, which have never bloomed for as far as you can remember, are growing rose buds. Who knows what else will happen...
"It was in the days of the Sorcerer Lord Corwin, that the land was set upon by invaders from lands beyond the seas. Lord Corwin fought mighty battles against these people, who were strangers to the Land of Avalon, a huge brutish people, against whom he could not win a single battle. And thus the Lord Corwin decided to summon an army of demons, to fight at his side.
The demons came, and fought the enemy, and slew many of them. But they did not stop at that. They went on into the towns and manors, and slew a great many of the people of Avalon as well. Corwin saw this, but even his mighty sorceries came to no avail. He was unable to stop the bloodshed, and was defeated and killed in the end.
Then arose a young man, the son of the former Steward, called Bedwyr. He was wise in the ways of the Forest, and from that place he called upon the help of the Merry Men, a group of valiant knights (some say of Fey origin), to save the land from the demons. Together, they drove the demons from the land, and thus freed it from both invaders and oppressor.
In the end, he was made Steward of the Land of Avalon. He swore on his father's grave, that he and his family would keep the Land save until a rightful claimant to the Realm of Avalon would come forward, and he took for his device that of the Lord Corwin, that is, a Rose Argent on a field Sable."
As the legend tells, the Land of Avalon was indeed raided by both demons and men. But as far as you can recall, they seem to have worked together for the downfall of the land. But the common folk remember it as in legend.
The part about Bedwyr seems to be true, and his line have been the Regents ever since, with varied amounts of success. Opposing them, came a girl called Vivian, who claims to be of Corwin's blood. She set up court in the ruins of his former castle, and managed to rebuild part of it. It is surrounded by the thorny rose bushes
so common to Avalon, which seem to have formed a kind of maze in the castle garden. It is now totally overgrown. In defiance of the Regents, Vivian dresses her men in silver (or white) garments bearing a black rose. She has been around since shortly after the Downfall (as the war is known in Avalon), and still looks to be in her early 20s. Common folk hold their distance, thinking her a demon's child or sorceress.
The stories of demons and the like seem to have somewhat lost their power in the minds of the people. Also, tales of magic and sorcery seem less likely to them. Therefore, the power of the Regents in the council of Avalon has grown again in recent years. They claim to hold the city for when the line of Lord Corwin returns, and seem unwilling to give it up to another.
In recent years, this has led to more open conflict between Vivian (now calling herself openly the 'Lady of Avalon') and the Regents. The current Regents is called Amyr, and is a man in his sixties. It has not (yet) lead to open warfare, however.
The Realm of Avalon is situated in a valley, about 30-50 miles from north to south, and about 70 miles from east to west. Through the middle of it (roughly west-east) flows the River of the Blessed, originating in a large lake (the Lake of the Moon), and flowing out into the sea (which is at the east end of the valley). Close to the mouth of the river is the harbour town of Emmeth, which now contains just a couple of fishing boats and the ruins of a much larger quay.
The valley is surrounded in north, east and south by rocky hills, which are covered by the Forest Sauvage. One can wander for quite a distance through those woods, which become denser and darker as you go further in. Finally, the way is always barred by thick barriers of impenetrable thorny rose bushes, which never bloom. No one has been able to cut a path through them, and neither will they burn. Even the strongest, best armoured knight becomes stuck after a few hundred yards. It is said that the Fey, who live in the forest (according to legend), know secret routes through the thorny bushes to other places.
Across the sea, about a day and half of sailing away, lies the realm of Lyonesse. It is a dead kingdom, covered by ruins and empty villages, amongst which savage tribes of humans roam.
The thorny roses of Avalon, which have not been known to bloom since the Downfall, are said to have bloomed with magnificent silver roses at each full moon. There are other roses in the realm, but none as big or as thorny as those.
Characters are to be based on 75 points.
Pattern or Logrus are not available, nor are exalted powers or constructs (the last due to personal preferences). Personal Shadows are also not really in keeping with the background (good back stories always mitigate this... it might be a sort of 'pocket dimension', only connected to Avalon).
Trump is available, but it will not (initially) reach out of the world of Avalon, or perhaps to the lands of the Fey.
Sorcery and Conjuration are available, but they, too, cannot reach beyond the boundaries of Avalon.
Avalon is a land of low technology... it is slowly crawling into a kind of Renaissance. Try to keep this in mind when creating characters.
What I would like to see for each character:
Statistics (Strength, Endurance, Warfare, Psyche)
Info on who your character is (somewhere between 75-150 words is fine.)
What the 'common folk' know about you.
What you think others (i.e. other PC's) know about you.
Possibly some 'private' background, something your character tries to keep hidden from others (in 100 words or less.)