There has been a resurgence of interest in this game here at Casa del Dagorlad. I have copies of every edition of D&D since I first picked up the Red Box back in 1978, but it’s been around 30 years since I played the game. It’s the game that got me into the hobby of painting minis and terrain making. I’m using version 4.0
Anyone who has read Lyonesse by Jack Vance will see where I draw my inspiration from.
The Campaign Setting
It is the year 425AD. Aurelius Ambrosius is the High King of Britain and, together with his brother Uther, is struggling to keep the tide of Irish, Pictish and Saxon invaders at bay. The Roman garrisons departed 15 years earlier and are not coming back. The empire is plagued with troubles of its own, and the emperor Valentinian III is but a 6 year old boy.
To the south east of Britain, beyond the Isles of Scilly lies the islands of Hy-Brasil. Once a rich and prosperous realm, Hybras is now a fragmented kingdom wracked by civil war. Disputes over the right of succession have raged for 30 years and there seems no end in sight.
And another conflict rages unseen across the islands – in the hidden realms beneath the mountains and hills, a terrible war between the Goblins and Dwarves has continued unabated for centuries.
The Starting Point
A Roman corbita (merchant ship) set sail from the port of Ictus in Dumnonia (Cornwall), bound for Gaul. After a brief stop at Scilly, they pay a tithe at the Mermaid’s Isle and head into the Gulf of Lir towards the Armorican peninsula. One day into their journey, the ship is harried by Irish coastal raiders and so it turns south to deeper waters. But a gale blew up and the ship was driven onto the rocks along the north coast of the Isles of Hybras where it broke its back and ws lost.
On board the vessel was a cargo of wool, tin and silver ingots, some passengers, a contingent of Roman troops, as well as a small group of prisoners that were being transported to Rome. The player characters are drawn from amongst the passengers, crew, troops and/or prisoners.
The players are washed up on a rocky beach in the lee of a rocky outcrop, atop of which stands a tall watch tower. The surf is raging and the wind is howling, but no lights shine from the watchtower. It stands black against the storm-wracked sky.
The players only have what they are wearing (no weapons, no armour) and are all slightly injured from their ordeal…
And here are some of the minis I’m using. You may remember them from such manufacturers as Games Workshop and Red Box Games.