Art Preview: The Elves of the Eternal Court

Posted: November 28, 2011 in artwork, design, games, Memories & Madness, publishing, storytelling
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Yesterday I showed off the cover for Lost Days of Memories & Madness, my game of intrigue and insanity at the court of the elves. Today I thought I’d post up another piece of art and talk a little about the background for the game, as this piece forms the opener for Chapter 1: The Elves of the Eternal Court.

I’ve posted it up in full colour because I wanted to share George’s awesomeness, but the book is in black and white. You can see for yourself now – I’ve put the PDF up on RPGNow for sale.

The elves of the Eternal Court stem from a thought that had rattled around in my head for a while, and that was the notion that in fantasy elves tend to be presented as a race past their prime, creatures fading from the world, their glories firmly in their past. I wanted to find out what they were like in their golden age. The answer, it turns out, is not nice.

In this respect they borrow a fair bit from the Ancient Eldar in Warhammer 40,000 or the pre-Sundering Elves in Warhammer, not to mention unwitting comparisons with the Melniboneans from Elric! All gothic grandeur and darkly decadent ways, living out their long lives seeking pleasure and indulgence in all its forms.

But when you’ve got a long life behind you – and an eternity ahead – lounging about the palace becomes tediously dull, so the elves seek out new, exotic pleasures in the form of the memories of others, exotic lives vicariously experienced through magic and memory. And it’s these memories that are at the heart of elven culture and – as I’ll explain when I come to talk about the mechanics – the game itself, as the elves trade, steal and otherwise acquire new memories.

There’s a downside to obtaining the memories of others, however, and that’s the inevitability of insanity. Having all manner of often conflicting memories – some yours, others not, and the inability to tell the difference between whose is whose – leads to eventual madness, and it is this madness that will bring the elves to ruin and destruction.

But that’s a story for another time.

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