Recently, I took part in a four-hour game pitch project where people were given an exercise draft up the following for an imaginary fantasy game: character sketch, worldbuilding, dialogue, and pair of item descriptions.
Cassi is a 20-year-old outlander, a resourceful woman who lives beyond the rules of the strict city-state of Grandhaven. Born inside its walls, she barely survived a plague that claimed the lives of her parents.
She left Grandhaven as a rebellious teen, choosing to defy the city’s harsh laws and what she saw as a dead-end life filled with bad memories. Her uncle, Vonrad, still lives there and is the only living member of her family. She risks punishment by occasionally sneaking into Grandhaven to see her uncle, who is a scholar researching the history of the War of Wizards.
Despite her childhood losses and the hardship of living in the Outerglade, she remains optimistic about life, preferring to take each day as it comes and enjoying the challenge and accomplishment from making her own way.
Vonrad is a wise scholar living in the city-state of Grandhaven where he is writing the definitive history of the War of Wizards. He served in the war as a young wizard, something he tries to keep in the past because of a terrible incident he endured. Impulsive and reckless as a young man, he’s now more reserved in his middle age, devoting his time to his studies and being concerned about his outlander niece, Cassi, who lives in the wilds beyond the safety of city walls.
Having nearly lost his niece to plague when she was a child, he is afraid of losing her again to the perils of the Outerglade. He struggles to reconcile his desire to have her stay with him in Grandhaven with accepting her choice to be an outlander.
Tucked away behind massive walls, the city-state of Grandhaven is the last safe home for humans in the aftermath of the War of Wizards.
Started by a splinter faction of the Council of Mages interested in exploring darker magic, known as Fellmagic, the War of Wizards was fought for more than 40 years and claimed countless lives. The devastation from the magic-fueled battles distorted the countryside. Waterfalls flow lava, entire forests became crystallized, and once-fertile fields are now poisonous bogs.
But the greatest danger in this new world is the Fellbeasts, dark and vicious monsters of magic and bones engineered by rebellious Fellseeker mages to overrun towns, villages, and armies. While the Fellseekers vanished at the war’s end, the Fellbeasts still roam free. No one knows their true number, but their presence, along with the twisted countryside, is the reason why humans have fled to the safety of Grandhaven.
No one – except the elite Kingscouts – is allowed beyond the city walls, and no one is allowed to enter the city.
Life inside Grandhaven is strict, with constant royal dictates and the watchful eye of the King’s Guard. People live in terror of breaking the law, since the punishment is exile beyond Grandhaven’s walls.
But some choose to live outside of Grandhaven, seeking a life of freedom or adventure. These people are known as “outlanders.”
The return of outlander Cassi to Grandhaven has caused a minor scandal in the fortress city. Her uncle, the scholar Vonrad, has quickly secreted her away in his home before the King’s Guard can get their hands on his niece, who is regarded as a criminal to the city despite completing an act of bravery for the very people who regard her as a threat.
Vonrad: You interfered with a Kingscout patrol. Your actions—
Cassi: Slayed five Fellbeasts, located Sir Pendleton, and saved a Kingscout patrol.
Vonrad: You could have been killed.
Cassi: Not by the Fellbeasts, and certainly not by the Kingscouts.
Vonrad: If someone else had gotten to you before I did, you’d be—
Cassi: Exiled? I live my life in the Outerglade already.
Vonrad: What if the King’s Guard found you? There are worse things than exile.
Cassi: I’d find a way around it. Just like I found this patch of ripe Eldersky leaves.
Vonrad: Oh, Eldersky tea! Your mother and I, we used to love this with milk and clove.
Cassi: I know. And I figured we could toast mom. Ten years after, I still see her.
Vonrad: So do I, child. Every time I look at you.
Crystal Sword = Leonid’s Valor
Forged during the War of Wizards, this blade grants resistance to Fellseeker magic.
Magic Staff = Moonlight Verge
When wielded during nighttime encounters, this ageless staff gives a boost to mana.