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Uther, Once And Alwaysby Kevin Powers
Also Referred To As "Project Blackmoor"
It is time for those concerned to begin preparations; the consequences once thought paid have only been staved off by a sort of morbid technological lease. Now, in the middle eleventh century of the time period after the crowning of the first emperor of Thyatis, a civilisation long believed vanquished will arise again. Consequences cannot be imagined, as indeed the road to reckoning will be long. Certainly, it will be quite some time before the empires of the world of Mystara can begin to understand what it is that has returned from an apocalyptic sort of sabbatical. When they do, it will be for virtuous heroes to decide how the course of history shall be wrought. In the age of heroes, a world's history will be wrought all over again.
Welcome to the first in what is sure to be a rather lengthy series of tracts concerning the resurrection of Blackmoor in Mystara. This particular piece occupies itself with the basic facts and figures which will be used in the project at hand, tentatively titled "Uther, Once And Always." These guidelines, such as they are, will of course be subject to changes when necessary, but for now they stand. As usual, the author of this item makes no pretence to be constructing cannon Mystara. However, he will enumerate several sources from which dominant facts will be drawn as background for this project.
I. Proto-OD&D Materials
A. Original Booklet Blackmoor (from the original four-booklet series)
This item will be one of the dominant tracts from which information is drawn. It is one of the two original conceptions of Blackmoor.
II. Judge's Guild Materials
A. First Fantasy Campaign
The project is currently without possession of a copy of this work. Therefore, neither the text or maps contained within it can be utilised at the present time.
III. DA Series Of Modules
A. DA1, Adventures In Blackmoor
This piece contains much information on the culture and history of original Blackmoor, and will be extremely useful in configuring Jomphur Blackmoor.
B. DA2, Temple Of The Frog
In large part, the information within this piece is not useful for Blackmoor at large. The information about the SS Beagle and it's inhabitants IS, though.
C. DA3, City Of The Gods
Technology will be drawn from this source, amongst others. A similar setting to the City may be created in Hollow World or neo-Outer World Blackmoor, but these possibilities are still being debated.
D. DA4, Duchy Of Ten
One of the major points in the resurrection of Blackmoor is whether or not to bring some of the other great societies with it. We shall see...
IV. The Blackmoor Book On-Line
The Blackmoor Gazetteer compiled by David Ross is a collection of many sources listed above. For that reason, it is prudent for Project Blackmoor to utilise this one source for much of the information that is scattered throughout the adventures, partial gazetteers, historical anecdotes, and other miscellanea contained within the direct sources.
V. Later Materials
Decisions will be made with respect to what portions of Gazetteer, Wrath of the Immortals, Almanac of Mystara (this term being used to describe not only the Internet products which bear that title, but also the Poor Wizard's Almanac and Joshuan's Almanac), and other "post-Blackmoor" products will be considered valid for Project Blackmoor. As of this writing, the primary debate would appear to be over the location of Old Blackmoor, which is looking more and more like Skothar with each passing day.
VI. The Age Of Blackmoor
"The Age Of Blackmoor," as available on the archive of the Mystara Mailing List, is considered the project's "official history" of Blackmoor, subject to a number of subsequent modifications and alterations which, however, are all minute in their breadth and nature.
I. Jomphur Blackmoor
A colony of Blackmoor was beginning the conquest of the Hollow World at the time of the Great Rain Of Fire. Retaining much of the technology but little of the resources with which to continue to create that technology, this nation was severed from Iciria when the Jomphur Peninsula broke off in the violent earthquakes and volcanic eruptions which ensued during the Great Rain Of Fire. For millennia, this lost arm of Blackmoor has slowly worked to preserve the knowledge once held by their ancestors, and the day is approaching when the process of re-building that society will finally be complete. Of course, the isle of Jomphur is also home to the descendants of the other denizens of the North, including the horsemen, Duchy folk, raiders, and Thonians. Blackmoor's foray into the Hollow World did not go unnoticed...
II. Hidden Blackmoor
Though the annihilation which wiped out Old Blackmoor was very thorough, there were nonetheless pockets of the region which managed to avoid direct results of the Great Rain Of Fire. These towns and isolated villages adapted to the situation of the day and fled underground, where their descendants remain to this day. A fairly elaborate cavern system was already being developed by each of the factions of the North, but it was expanded after the immense above- ground destruction caused the flood of refugees into what had previously been merely a series of paths for spies.
Since the Great Rain Of Fire, Hidden Blackmoor has witnessed a remarkable resurgence in technology, much of it due to the ability of Hidden Blackmoorian engineers to manufacture Not Men out of a special World Shield ore with a fair bit of reliability.
III. Galactic Blackmoor (including Damocles Blackmoor)
Numerous Blackmoorian colonies were created on other planets during the golden age of Old Blackmoor. After Blackmoor itself was annihilated, many of the colonies merged in an attempt to combine their technological resources and populations. A handful of these Galactic Blackmoors exist as of AC1000, the most prominent of which, Damocles, is about to annihilate itself in a Great Rain Of Fire. When refugees from Damocles come back home, it will be quite a sight...
Technology and Arcane Magic:
I. Technology v. Technomancy
The technology which existed and exists in Blackmoor and it's lost segments is considered pure technology for the purposes of the project. This technology is separate and almost entirely unrelated to the powerful Arcane Magic which also exists. This section is intentionally brief.
II. Arcane Magic
A separate realm of Blackmoorian power was (and is) the Arcane Magic wielded by it's most prolific sorcerers. These spells reproduce thunderous technological and supernatural effects which are almost entirely unknown to spellcasters of Mystara at-large. Foreign observers could very well be fooled into thinking that the effects produced by these secret spells of Blackmoorian archimagi are in fact the results of technology, or vice-versa, but in fact the two areas of study are separate and distinct from one another.
III. Presence Of Each In Latter-Day Blackmoors
This topic will be dealt with as the project develops; however, the following is a distinct possibility:
Order of technological proficiency:
1. Galactic Blackmoor
2. Hidden Blackmoor
3. Jomphur Blackmoor
Order of magical proficiency:
1. Hidden Blackmoor
2. Jomphur Blackmoor
3. Galactic Blackmoor