September 15, 2010

Gondwane

gondwane_map_enlarged

A new project! This map is based on an actual map of Gondwana, one of the two supercontinents that formed from the breakup of Pangaea. I’ve added mountains and rivers, and enlarged some of the lakes and rift valleys to make seas.

What’s it for? My new setting, Gondwane: Legends of the Lost Land.  Sword and sorcery with dinosaurs, alien artifacts, sinister alien conspiracies, and an open invitation to destroy the world! For those of you who’ve seen my Smaragdis setting, consider this the bigger, badder, bastard child of Smaragdis.   It’s inspired by a host of lost-world stories from H. Rider Haggard’s African tales, to Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Pellucidar and Caspak novels, to Mike Grell’s uber-fun chronicles of The Warlord.

Legends of the Lost Land is set in Earth’s middle Jurassic period, some 180 million years ago.  Man shouldn’t exist in this world yet – but he does, and not only that, several human civilizations even more advanced than our own have already come and gone.  Behind this anachronism are the alien Shapers, who, on learning that their civilization no longer existed in Man’s future, decided to find out just what kind of danger this upstart ape posed to them by conducting a series of millennium-long experiments. 

Humans would be bred from captured genetic stock, given varying levels of technology, and even given a genetic strain that would occasionally produce psychically-talented Espers.  Capricious living gods would be provided for these fledgliing civilizations, who would make sure to keep their worshippers mired in competitive chaos.  And when, despite everything, the humans grew too powerful, the Shapers would ‘reset’ the experiment by genocidal means.

Now another cycle of observation has begun.  But despite the Shapers’ power, remnants of the previous cycles cling to existence, their powerful secrets just waiting to be seized ….

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