I’ll be attending the Bristol Summer Comic & Gaming Con 2019 at the end of August in Keynsham. I wanted my Hatchlings group to stand out from the cosplaycentric event, so I created an A1 poster and bookmarks to display at our table.
Cover designs for the Inspirisles campaign setting. Front features the Friends, the World Willow, the fabled sword, Caliburn and a looming wyrm. Back features some human kids, animal guides and Caliburn in the stone.
‘Long ago, belief in the fey and their magic’s began to fade, and with it, the land of the Inspirisles cracked and its seas churned. Desperate to stop this devastation, a grand meeting was held between the seven principle houses. But centuries of bad blood and feuding are not easily forgotten, and talks were left in tatters. Convinced the races would never see eye-to-eye, Silvane, an impulsive glow prince, decided to act alone. Travelling to the forbidden and dangerous depths of the Starless, a place he had secretly visited as a child, he sought out the spriggan, Abbranor and pleaded for her help. She agreed to aid the only glow to have shown her friendship over fear. Abbranor sent her mischievous changelings to the Earthly cities where they kidnapped and traded places with countless human babies. These abducted newborns were prisoners from the very beginning, growing to know only slavery and darkness. All the while, Abbranor’schangelings terrorised their human families, and through fear and superstition, belief in the fey was restored. Thinking the land had healed naturally, the seven rulers enjoyed a period of happiness, where magic and merriment flowed like the waters surrounding their kingdoms. But their festivities would be short-lived… In exchange for Abbranor’s help, Silvane had promised her sole dominion over the Starless and a seat on the council of the Glowing Court.
Learning of her son’s betrayal, Queen Oona Mithdragil banished Silvane and drove the spriggan back to the depths empty-handed.
As time passed and Abbranor’s changelings returned home, the rulers felt the ground beneath their feet crack once more. Desperate, they had no choice but to honour Silvane’s pact.
And so an accord was struck. Abbranor was given the Starless and her place on the council and in exchange her minions returned to their frightful work. To seal the deal and as a gesture of goodwill, the spriggan offered infants to the rulers of the principle houses to raise as their own. These children would come to be known as Foundlings.
For many centuries, Abbranor’s influence on politics was tolerated, but after a bitter feud with the knockers over mining the mineral-rich Starless, the council turned on the spriggan. Barely escaping with her life, Abbranor took shelter with Silvane (now Vane: ruler of the exiled glimmer) and together they plotted revenge.
As vengeance turned to war, creatures previously oppressed by the rulers of the Inspirisles saw an opportunity…
Realising Abbranor’s attentions were elsewhere, the diabolical witch, Leanan stole away a dozen newborns, consuming their laughter to extend her life and wickedness.
Unopposed by the capra, whose duty it was to slay their kind, trolls moved upon civilisation, covering the land with the shadows of their colossal bridges.
With his restless legion, the sluagh, Morghast laid siege to Avalon in search of the fabled blade, Caliburn.
And discarded by the Crone of Craft eons ago, the twisted fomorians climbed from the abyss looking to extinguish all light.
As the ages passed and the war raged ever on, talk of wyrms on the horizon reached ears too filled with battle and blood to pay heed.’ Inspirisles History, Scriv the Bard
‘Belief. The keystone of the Inspirisles. The energy binding all things. In its absence, the land and its peoples would fade from life and from memory.
In ancient times, wyrms were the keepers of Belief. Theyhoarded it in their vast lairs, barely able to contain the boundless power surrounding them.It was seen as their duty, and so great were their stockpiles, the fey could liveoffstrayparticles escaping through cracks in the earth.
Though most accepted this arrangement, considering wyrms to be the only beings able to tolerate such magic, some regarded them with suspicion and wanted the dust removed from their keeping. These antagonists would come to be known as Linds, named after the serpent said to have poisoned Gogmagog.
The Linds quickly gained support and their rumours of wyrm greed and betrayal spread far and wide. Groups carrying the Lind bannerstruck at the many lairs dotting the islands and the wyrms were forced to defend themselves, using Belief to smite these intruders. Unfortunately, when word of their slaughter reached the principle houses, wyrm’s became the common enemy.
From then on, Scale Maidens, a sorority of skilled monster slayers established by the GlowingCourt, would hunt wyrms refusing to give up their dust reserves.
Unable to convince the rulers of their innocence, and with their numbers falling rapidly, in their desperation the remaining wyrms gathered to consume all their Belief at once.
Now bursting with raw power, the wyrms assaulted the principle houses, casting long-forgotten spells and destroying whole communities with their elemental breath. The devastation was unthinkable and though only a handful of wyrms survived the onslaught, their victims numbered in the thousands.
Feeling the Belief fade from their bodies and exhausted from its effects, the remaining wyrms returned to their lairs and fell into a death-like sleep. Their breathing slowed, their limbs stiffened and their skin took on the hue and texture of the lair surrounding them.
They would not be seen again for thousands of years.’
‘I do believe in fairies! I do! I do!’ Peter Pan, J.M. Barrie
With the rumblings of war, Abbranor withdrew her changelings from Earth, leaving the rulers to find new ways to gather Belief and restore the land.
Travelling via All’s Well, a mysterious portal leading to the British Isles, only the brightest and bravest fey are sent Earthwards to spread belief in their kind.
These elite are known as Dusters.
Groups are sent to observe children from a distance and decide how sensitive they will be to Dusting. Children who talk with an imaginary friend, invent games in the schoolyard, write tales of adventure and read under the bed sheets past midnight are prime candidates.
Once selected, a child is sprinkled with piskie dust containing mites that consume Belief before returning to the Duster like iron filings to a magnet. The amount of Belief absorbed depends entirely on the skill of the Duster.