Magic Realm Backstory

Magic Realm Backstory

I've been thinking (as I do) about the backstory for Magic Realm. At first glance the game appears to represent a fairly static environment, where monsters prowl and natives appear, and adventurers come along to plunder the hidden treasures.

Lovely though this is, there are tantalising hints throughout the rules of deeper stories in the Realm. The thing that first got me thinking about this was the conditional Fame attached to the Golden Crown, Imperial Tabard and Royal Sceptre. I began calling these three treasures the Imperial Regalia, lost in the Realm in centuries past. The Guard then became the Imperial Guard, the elite of the Imperial forces in the Realm. The Soldiers become the "regular" army, and they are aided by the Patrol, who wander the valleys maintaining order. They represent the armed forces of the Empire, which has recently taken control of the isolated Realm. There is resistance to Imperial rule, though.

Looking through the Campaigns, there is a definite split between the Woodfolk/Lancers/Bashkars/Rogues on the one hand and the Guard/Soldiers/Patrol on the other. In the Conquer campaign, the Imperial forces seek the services of the mercenary Company to crush all resistance to their rule. In the Revolt campaign, it is the rebels who hire the Company to free their land from the oppressive Imperials (Help, help, I'm being oppressed!). Even these factions are not at peace - the Lancers and Woodfolk can move against the Bashkars and Rogues in a Raid, and the Company can serve either side without compunction.

Wherever there is civilisation, there is a seamy underside. In the Realm it is the Inn, frequented by a gang of Rogues. They are a diverse lot - some swashbukling ne'er-do-wells like the Swordsman, a pair of dwarven brothers, and an outcast Woodfolk. Their Guildmaster is a hoary assassin, veteran of numerous kills in the name of profit.

The Lancers claim to be descendents of the lost Dragon Knights, and still seek the symbol of their inheritance - the Dragonfang Necklace, which will once again allow them to take to the skies. They are proud and independent, counting Sorcerors and Druids among their friends, but still maintaining a good relation with the noble White Knight.

In the midst of all this chaos there is a haven of calm - the Chapel, tended by the Order of knights and providing a serene haven for all those who hold morals in higher regard than personal gain. But even these Knights band together for a common cause - a Quest against dragonkind, or an evil Witch-King marauding amongst innocents. They also seek the Sacred Grail, a potent icon of the divinity that suffuses the Chapel where they train and meditate.

The Swordsman and Berserker find a ready group of drinking buddies in the Rogues. The Woods Girl could have come from a family of Woodfolk, who she has left to seek her destiny. The Black Knight, perhaps a past commander of the mercenary Company, turns up to further his career. The Captain has finished his tour of duty with the Imperial military, has been honourably retired and now seeks his fortune. The Pilgrim has travelled across the Empire to seek the Chapel and now involves himself with the Order's concerns.

There are a million tales in the Magic Realm. These are just some of them.

Arthwollipot

Note - this story is reproduced on Arthwollipot's Magic Realm Strategy Guide