Hello again! In previous blog posts I’ve talked about the direction and themes Nick Lowe and I wanted to address for our Vasgothia project. I’ve talked about how we wanted to reinvent some classic Namegivers and how they might live in the frightening and alien forests of Vasgothia. And I’ve talked about how the unique Namegivers of the province could bring a unique feel to the table that fits with our themes. Now, as we get closer to making a more formal announcement, I feel like it’s time to talk about the higher “concept” of the book.
Most Earthdawn books are written from a closer “in-universe” perspective. That is to say, it is written by people in the world about the world. They often come to spurious conclusions or hypothesize things they have no way of knowing. In many cases, these books are put together as “in universe” projects released in the Great Library of Throal. Nick felt that there was no reason to make Vasgothia an exception to that tradition. As such, he put together, and then we collaborated on, the book’s pitch from the perspective of a Namegiver in Earthdawn. And he is even lucky enough to be married to an artist, Bex Lowe, who was happy to lend her hand to the project. Below is how a grand work on Vasgothia might come to be, as well as an idea of the kind of person who might kick the project into gear.
Nine years ago, I accompanied the contemporary Master of the Hall of Records to the Eternal Library of Thera. The official invitation was for a Symposium meant to discuss every province considered “part” of the Theran Empire. While the Kingdom of Throal, and indeed all of Barsaive, has much to say about our relationship with the Empire, we had yet to win the Second Theran War, and the opportunity for learning about our neighbors was too good to pass by. What followed was nearly a full month of the brightest Scholars from the farthest corners of the Theran Empire discussing their homelands in detail. Unfortunately, while a month may sound sufficient to wax poetic about your homeland, I assure you it was not enough to learn everything there is to know about “Thera’s” eight provinces.
Still, we gathered what information we could. Some facts we discounted immediately as propaganda, but there seemed to be so many wild and wondrous possibilities out in the world, it became difficult for us to separate fact from fiction. Even our King Neden, may he rest in peace, advised us to share the most heroic forms of the most heroic tales of Barsaive, and I am confident our peers did the same for their homelands. So it was that a treatise on the provinces was written, The Lands of the Theran Empire. It is a whirlwind tour to match our own experiences, and a cursory glance at the world around us. At the time I believed my work outside of Barsaive had concluded, but I soon realized just how wrong I was.
In 1517 TH, soon after Jhogar Bloodreaver founded his Banner of the Wolf, he dispatched to Throal one of his treasured oath-bound. Queen of her people in her own right, Herleva of the Iron Spears treated with our King Kovar, long may he reign. She gifted him mysterious idols and chests on chests of misshapen hacksilver. She congratulated Throal and all of Barsaive for casting out the villains of Thera, and requested that we aid her Barrites of the Deep Forest in their similar cause against the Empire. While our people are unable to wage a war so distant on a scale so massive, King Kovar agreed to dispatch yours truly to learn all there was to know about the province of Vasgothia.
My harrowing expedition lasted nearly a full year, and I regret that I was not able to see more of their wild and bountiful homeland in that time. Still, using the connections that I had made nearly a decade earlier, I believe I learned more in a year’s travel than most could learn in a lifetime. The treatise you hold in your hand is now the seminal work on Vasgothia, and I could not have done it without my many capable and trustworthy companions.
-Jerriv Forrim, Senior Field Scholar of the Grand Library of Throal
With the idea in hand, we were ready to put together the book! Stay tuned for more developments on Vasgothia!
About the Author: Kyle Pritchard is a second-generation tabletop gamer who has been slinging dice since before he was crawling. He’s been working with FASA Games since 2014 and has been a member of Earthdawn Team since 2018.