When I am too scattered to write, or need to chew on some design or description problem for a bit while occupying my conscious mind with busy-work, I spend time going through old files on my hard drive. I try to keep archives and backups of everything, each time I move computers especially, but the orignaization hasn’t always been consistent. I literally have a folder under OwensWork/OldWork/OldWork/Games/OldGames/Unused/OldWork.
The files in there are between 20 and 25 years old. Many haven’t been cracked open this century, just being copied and moved and copied from machine to machine to machine.
Every once in a while, I find something that I absolutely do not remember writing, and kinda like. Sometimes I can see the genesis of trends and ideas I have played with since. Here’s an example, which was saved as a WordPerfect document in 2002.
Virago leader and champion of the Argive League (for which the third king of Argos was later named), a technologically advanced society in roughly 10,000 BC. Defeated the Atlanteans and Gorgons. Was betrayed in the Battle of Thermondon by the sorcerer-demigod Thrax and badly injured. Thrax’s dark magic drove the Argive forces back, and did significant damage to the land and people around its use. As a result of the betrayal and loss, the Argive League dissolved and, not wishing to fight a war where both sides loose, the Viragos retreated. Myrina convinced the Waves, also known as Enesidaon, to create a city beneath the sea, named Mytilene, where the Virago could live peacefully away from Thrax and his chaotic empire. Having done this, Enesidaon is also moved to grant Oceanic Cities to the remaining Atlanteans and Gorgons (naming the cities Cerne and Neith, respectively).
Once her people were safe, Myrina succumbed to her wounds and slept in stasis for thousands of years, until she was awoken in 1920 by the chaotic energies unleashed in random and half-understood rituals performed by occultist members of the Ultima Society who were attempting to wake the Hyperborean divine champion Donar. Myrina discovered Mytilene had waged numerous terrible wars with the Cerne and Neith, which had left all three Oceanic Cities significantly diminished. Upon discovering the Surface World had been broadcasting radio for decades (a technology long though exclusive to the Argive League and a sign the Surface World might be finally advancing to the same technological level as the Oceanic Cities) Myrina choose to travel to the Surface World. She wished to understand how and why the Surface had evolved, and seek any sign of Thrax. She became a costumed adventurers, and when World War Two broke out fought against the Axis.
Myrina is tough, swift, and powerful, as all Viragos are, and is a master of all forms of combat and strategy. She also possesses the Areioi (a divine girdle that grants its wearer the strength of titans and flight of the gods), Ancile (a shield that can turn away any force as long as it is held with conviction), and Harpe (an indestructible adamant blade that can pierce any magic defense).
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1431. Vlad Tepes III, Prince of Wallachia, is born in Sighişoara, Transylvania.
1441. Vlad is knighted into the Order of the Dragon, the youngest noble to ever receive this honor. The order’s primary goal is to destroy the Ottoman Empire. Vlad receives the right to be named “of the Dragon,” or “Drăculea.”
1442. Vlad and his older brother are imprisoned in Tokat Castle, in northern Turkey, and held as hostages to ensure that his father, who is waging war against the Ottomans, does so honorably. The Tepes brothers are treated well, and educated and taught science, philosophy, the arts, and even allowed to continue their martial training.
1444. Chaffing under his imprisonment, Vlad III seeks additional, darker educations. He managed to communicate with a secret agent of the Scholomance, a school of sorcery that is ruled by the Devil and demands the soul of 1 in 10 students as payment. Vlad excels in these dread powers, as he has excelled at everything he has attempted.
1446. Vlad’s older brother is allowed to join his father. Vlad redoubles his efforts to master sorcery.
1447. Vlad completes a complex ritual to force fate to arrange for his release. Vlad’s father and brother are killed by Vladislav II with the support of the Ottoman Empire, and Vladislav takes control of Wallachia. Considered no threat as a deposed younger son, and having hidden his fouler education from the jailkeepers he has largely charmed, Vlad is allowed to leave as long as he vows never to take up arms against the Ottomans.
1448. Backed by King Ladislaus V of Hungary, Vlad takes up arms against the Ottomans, and Vladislav. He fuels his victories with a combination of personal combat prowess, tactics, strong leadership, and blood magic using the fresh vitae of fallen soldiers and civilian victims on both sides.
1453. Constantinople falls. Vlad III takes control of Wallachia, and continues to wage war against the Ottomans. Insisting on continuing the war does not sit well with the boyars under his command. He has them impaled, and gathers and preserves the blood for more sorcery.
1462. Vlad is deposed as Prince of Wallachia by Mehmet II. Vlad flees into the mountains, and returns to the Scholomance for further training, doubling the chances his soul will be demanded as payment by doing so.
1476. While leading a scouting party to set an ambush to destroy Mehmet II, Vlad and a small guard are themselves ambushed and his men are all slain. Vlad appears to be dead, but has been performing blood magics in preparation for this day for decades. Though his own flesh dies, its living functions are supported by the vitality of the blood he has hoarded.
Vlad flees into the mountains, and begins building a hidden network of agents and apprentices he has trained in scraps of the Scholomance lore he knows, plotting Mehmet II’s death. He sustains himself with magic performed with small, voluntary donations of blood from loyal followers.
1481. Vlad unleashes a curse on Mehmet, slaying him. However, Mehmet had powerful supernatural protections of his own, woven by Gileadian talismancers and astrologers, who were tolerated by the Ottomans. Vlad suffers massive eldritch backlash, and his need for blood intensifies. He also suffers a need to draw strength from the earth, preferably in a stone vault, and a vulnerability to many holy words and objects.
For the next 400 years, Vlad Tepes, the Drăculea, and the Gileadian champions of peace and life known as the Hieremias (or ‘Weeping Prophets,’ as they can invoke a sight to pierce illusion which turns one eye blue briefly and causes it to weep tears of blood) wage a secret occult war against one another in eastern Europe. Drăculea is impregnable in his hidden mountain fortress Nefartatul, but lacks the resources to strike far from there. He trains Sfinții Dracului (‘Saints of the Dragon’) to act as his agents and form secret cells of those loyal to him, but they cannot overcome his enemies without being revealed and then destroyed. The Hieremias seek to find a way to cut Drăculea off from the safety of the earth and stone, but must be close to Nefartatul to do so, and suffer great losses in the efforts. Over time, both groups grow weak and are vastly reduced in numbers.
1536. King Henry VIII deposes the FitzGerald dynasty as Lords Deputies of Ireland. A group of Hieremias rush to Ireland to recover and protect ancient Ottoman relics that were in the FitzGerald’s hands. A small group of these remain in Ireland, using the chaos between Catholic and Protestant forces to remain largely unnoticed. They marry in to local families, and pass on much of their mystic lore. Those families become known as “Cuidightheach,” or “The Helpful Folk,” and “Mac Óda” or “son of Óda’ (Óda being a nickname given to one of the original Hieremias to arrive in Ireland).
1691. The Irish Catholic Jacobites surrendered at Limerick. Among them are several families descended from the “Cuidightheach” and “Mac Óda,” though these names have become the family name “Cody.”
1800. Mary Cody, a strong scion of the Cody linneage, is born in the Irish townsland of Clonbrogan.
1820. Mary Kelly ne Cody gives birth to John Kelly.
1840. John Kelly is transported to Australia as punishment for the crime of Pig Stealing.
1845. The Irish Great Famine of 1845 – 1847 begins.
1854. Ned Keely is born in Victoria, Austalia, the third of eight children of John Kelly and Ellen Quinn. He grows up to be a bushranger, a criminal who operates out of the wilderness in Victoria, Australia.
1877. Dracula travels to London by ship, consuming all aboard.
1878. Dracula is nearly destroyed by Professor Van Helsing and his allies. The Dread Lord successfully fakes his destruction, but must flee from eyes that will watch for him in England and Transylvania. Needing a place civilized enough to provide sustenance, and considered dangerous enough for his kills to not immediately raise suspicions, Dracula takes passage to Australia.
1879. Dracula uses his experiences in England to successfully introduce himself into British nobility in Victori, and begins to take control of it
1880. Ned Kelly, bushranger, famously dons heavy armor to survive various shootouts with Victoria police and army forces. Kelly’s crucifix, passed down from the Cody line, reveals one of the sheriff deputies he shoots to be a Sfinții Dracului, and realizes Vlad Tepes, the Drăculea, is present in Australia.
He begins gathering forces to support him in a crusade against the undead prince.
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