The world of Tattered Magicks is something that’s grown organically in my mind over the last few months, but I think it started much earlier than that. The idea of magick — true magick — in the modern world is something I have sought in my fiction choices for years. And each, in some small way, has built it piece by piece, phrase by phrase.
What is the TM world going to be? My elevator pitch is simple. I characterize it a bit like The Dresden Files meets Fringe. Add in a bit of The Iron Druid for good measure and I think that about covers it.
So it seems we’ll start with a few of the key influences for the game’s setting and then we’ll go into the gist of what the setting is all about.
I am going to go ahead and say that my love for urban fantasy may have started with War for the Oaks by Emma Bull. Music meets faerie. It’s probably about time I reread it in fact. But it was cemented by shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Lost Girl.
Add in an enormous amount of The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher, the entirety of The Iron Druid by Kevin Hearne, the Mercy Thompson series from Patricia Briggs, and the Incryptid series from Seanan McGuire, and you get a good idea of where I’m coming from in my fictional setting. (I might have to add American Gods and other titles from Neil Gaiman and the odd nature of the Dirk Gently series from Douglas Adams as well, but those influences are only on the periphery of the urban fantasy mania I have gone through in recent years.)
Where does Fringe come into the picture? We’ll cover that next…
It all started to come together when I began looking at Aliens & Asteroids as part of a multiverse in 2017. In my mind, the Monarch of the Dread tore a hole through the fabric of space and time from another universe. Her goal? Essentially to eat her way through every part of the multiverse one universe at a time. Gluttony at its finest.
Then, a few months ago, I started pondering a few things.
- If there is a multiverse and it is possible to travel from one universe to another, there is something *between* the universes. I refer to this as the Dreamtime, but it’s the synovial fluid of the universe.
- If there are multiple universes connected by this strange space, they are likely affected by other forces such as gravity, pushing and pulling one another closer or further away in a cyclical ebb and flow.
- With these two ideas in mind, it created a third. If attraction is strong enough, these universes may rub together occasionally to create openings through which energies and beings can pass.
That’s where the Fringe elements come in as worlds collide.
In our myths and legends, there are many tales of gods and monsters raging across the land up to a particular point where they just… stop. So the story behind Tattered Magicks is this…
Around the year 500, Merlin fought a series of battles with a sorceress known as Morgan le Fay, and closed the gateway between the world of magick she represented and our world. When that gateway was open, gods, monsters, and faerie were able to pass to and from the realms and cause trouble. We had always been on the losing side of those battles and Merlin used all his strength to push the faerie realm away from our world to give us a fighting chance.
Merlin was the first to see the possibility of a world without magick as a better one than what was to come. He’d had visions of a world dominated by the fae. A world where humanity was crushed beneath a magickal boot heel. A world where we devolved into animals used for manual labor and sport.
He and the Circle actively worked to close the doorway between Underhill, land of the fae, and Earth. But as they were all kept alive by the very magicks flowing between the worlds, they knew it would cost them their lives — and it was their only chance at giving humanity a chance for a better future: a future that enabled them to choose their own path.
Once the doorways were closed and Underhill was set adrift in the space between universes, we would have some amount of time before the fae found a way to return and seek their revenge.
That time is at hand. And that’s where our heroes come in.
Though magick has been gone from our world for a long time, there have always been pockets of the unexplained. Vampires. Werewolves. Ghosts. These are but the tip of the iceberg. A few dedicated members of Merlin’s Order still exist, waiting for the time when they would once again be needed.
Unfortunately for us, the creatures in Underhill haven’t forgotten about the power they held when they roamed freely terrifying humans around the world. In fact, they’ve been actively working to bring our universes together again so they can once again rule with impunity.
Of course, it’s been a while. Firearms and computing power may have reset the balance since the last time they were here. But they’re willing to take that bet.
Welcome to the world of Tattered Magicks where things are about to get a whole lot more interesting.