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Monday, 22 March 2010

Another fabled land

Abraxas is a lost continent from before the beginning of recorded history, which is destined to give rise to myths of sunken lands like Atlantis and Mu. Here advanced technology coexists with magic, primordial animals stalk the jungles, incredible civilizations flourish, and Mankind must share the planet with alien races from other worlds and planes of reality.

The scan of Russ's map here hardly does justice to the almost luminous original, which is over a metre tall. The map shows how the inhabitants of Abraxas envisage their land. Its actual coastline, if you were to look down on it from space, would be recognizable enough to modern eyes to break the suspension of disbelief, which is why we keep it from the players. If we ever publish Abraxas as an RPG, however, that version of the map might find its way into the referee's book.

There are five great city-states of Abraxas: Vertis, Utesh, Tamo Anchan, Eibon and Argistillum. The wide plazas and towering palaces of the cities indicate high refinement, in some cases even decadence. Nobles are carried in carved sedan chairs by their slaves to watch the death-duels in the arena. Fortunes are gambled and lost at great feasts. Assassination and intrigue decide who holds power.

The cities are connected by the Vadem causeways designed by the great wizards of the still more distant past. On payment of a toll, the causeways allow rapid transit from one city gate to the next.

Other relics of old science-sorcery still remain, lighting the streets with glowing posts at night or enabling the very rich to glide over the forest in sky-yachts when they care to go hunting. Some actinic lances survive from ancient times - weapons capable of hurling blasts of electric energy. But few now know how to recharge them, nor how to make the causeways function when they grow dim. What was once technology is now becoming, through ignorance and secrecy, a magic art.

Each city has its own character. When Abraxas finally sinks (many millennia yet in the future though that is) some of its people will escape to create the civilizations of our own ancient history. Thus the city of Tamo Anchan shows similarities with Maya and Olmec culture; the descendents of Eibon will become the Carthaginians and the Etruscans; Argistillum's survivors are fated to found Babylon; Vertis gives rise to the halcyon image of Greece and Troy; Utesh's beliefs and customs will live on in Ancient Egypt.

For millennia the city-states of Abraxas have enjoyed peace, but now they are under attack by the Ulembi, ruthless aliens who come from a dying star cluster beyond the Coal Sack and are capable of psionically broadcasting their physical forms through outer space. The cities must put aside their rivalry and send champions to meet the menace before it is too late.

And that's where you come in...


  1. Abraxas definitely fits in with the Fabled Lands series so I feel that it would definitely be a worthwhile addition to the series. Since you are planning on expanding the existing titles, it would fit right in. Also, I had some ideas to expand the existing six titles which i'll post on here at a later time. The fan-made book 9 is about twice the length of any other Fabled Lands title and it doesn't even have illustrations!!!! I was wondering if you had a chance to play thorugh it and get an idea of how to finish the series and expand the original titles. I feel that you and Jamie should double the length of the original six books in print form before you finish the series.

  2. I decided I'd better not look at the fan-written Book 9 in case Jamie and I ever get the opportunity to write Book 9 ourselves - I wouldn't want to rip off anybody else's ideas. I'm very impressed and flattered that they did it, though!

    I found a few role-playing scenarios for both Abraxas and Ophis that we may post up here eventually. I think Jamie even has a lost Duelmaster book (a series of gamebooks where two readers could play against each other) that we may put up as a download.

  3. Yeah, you're right,you shouldn't check it out because it'll ruin the surprise of what you design.I believe that someone has decided to work on The Lone and Level Sands as well, seeing as how there are tons of notes for that one, :') You could still work on doubling the length of the first half of the Fabled Lands as well as finishing the rest of the series in print. Lone Wolf has republished their titles as hardcovers with added material for $24.99 US. I believe that you could release both printed titles and ebook formats simultaneously or maybe include access to the ebook format for those who purchase the printed titles. I have written an article about the merits of print vs. e-media and believe that you would find success in both formats. You're Dave Morris, you, Jamie, and Russ are quite creative and I have a creative background myself. Although I'm only 22, I am passionate about the gamebook format and hope to continue creating various things, well into the future. As I have mentioned before, the gamebook format has quite the renewed interest, the only problem is the fact that most gamebook titles are only available in the UK.

  4. I had no idea about the Lone Wolf hardbacks, Mike - I should check those out. It was always hard to get gamebooks into the US market in the old days, but maybe if we can prove there's a big enough readership with the ebook versions then we'll be able to get a publisher to commit to the print versions also.

  5. To my knowledge, only a few Fighting Fantasy and the whole Lone Wolf series are still published now in France (haven't they heard of Project Aon ?)