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Thursday, 6 October 2022

The indigo triremes of Atlantis

"Experience swords and tragedy in the vein of Michael Moorcock’s Elric of Melniboné and Tanith Lee’s Night’s Master."

How did I miss this? I first fell in love with science fantasy through the Kane of Mars books by "Edward Powys Bradbury" (in reality our old mucker Mike Moorcock) which I discovered when I was about nine years old. Immediately my heart was whisked away to an exotic world of red deserts, soaring towers, flashing blades and ancient wonders. (Was Kane an aspect of the Eternal Champion? Of course not. Revisionist/marketing nonsense, that. He was his own man, and all the better for it.)

In Rose Bailey's game Bright & Terrible you wander the ancient world as an exile of lost Atlantis. It reminded me a bit of Abraxas (a lost continent of the world of fifty thousand years ago) where the players can travel to the mainland and interact with Neanderthals and Cro Magnon tribes to whom the inhabitants of Abraxas seem like gods. The difference is that Bright & Terrible is not set in deep imaginary prehistory like Abraxas but instead overlaps with the Bronze Age. All the action takes place in exile in that new world around the Mediterranean where the characters have only memories of the old world they've left behind -- a perfect springboard for stories.

Rose Bailey also wrote Cavaliers of Mars, set on "a planet of flashing swords and choking sands, of winking courtesans and lantern-lit canal cities." If you're as big a fan of science fantasy as I am there's no need to say more -- other than to thank Roger and Mike on Improvised Radio Theatre With Dice for pointing me in the right direction. Now I just have to find somebody else who loves this stuff as much as I do and maybe I can get a game going...


  1. Sign me up for that game, Dave (which rather seems to overlap - if that's the right word - with your previous post about vanished Doggerland)! We have just returned from Venice, and if ever there was a city that was clearly founded by Atlantean exiles, whose long-buried bodies still dream their way into its architecture, this is it...

    1. You're making me think seriously about it now, John. Maybe I could put a game together on Zoom... Mind you, I really ought to be getting on with my two day-jobs, plus writing Jewelspider, before I leap into running a campaign as well.

  2. Replies
    1. Thank you for the game, Rose! I've been inspired just reading it, and I now have a few players who are interested in a campaign. I shall report back on their progress (or otherwise) in exile.

    2. That's awesome! Can't wait to hear!