Have any Judges out there considered placing Dwimmermount in Hyperborea – the North Pole setting from Jeffery Talanian’s Astonishing Swordsmen and Sorcerers of Hyberborea (ASSH)?
I know that Dwimmermount sits very much in a world of its own, but it struck me how much the magical / scientific prowess of the ancient races in Dwimmermount reminded me of the Hyperboreans from ASSH and I started playing around with the idea of melding both settings together.
I am not a huge fan of the ‘surface world’ setting of Dwimmermount (Muntberg and surrounds) and to me the more strange, barbaric setting of Hyperborea fits better (make the city-states more ancient than medieval and surrond them with Conanesque barbarians and woolly mammoths and hidden Lovecraftian cults). I feel like replacing the Elves and Eld with Hyperboreans would work really well – in keeping with their magic / science + Melnibonean flavor.
The Thulians who form the Thulian Empire might then become barbarian invaders from the SOUTH rather than the North (the equivalent of Northern Europe) and / or by slaves brought to Hyperborea at the time of its world-dominance. This would explain the disparate cultural groups in the Hyperborea setting. As written in ASSH, these groups arrive from different periods via the time travel effect of the North Wind, and Hyperborea itself is removed from ‘Old Earth’ but I am thinking of dropping this and setting the game in an Antideluvian period after Hyperborea’s dominance but during the heyday of Atlantis and Lemuria.
Has anyone thought about / tried anything like this?
I think that'd work pretty well, all things considered, even taking the ASSH setting as-is. Heck, maybe the whole mountain was transported to Hyperborea from an alternate time and place.
Perhaps the you-know-what at the top of the mountain is a way out of Hyperborea, for a party deposited there by the North Wind?
Yes - I hadn't thought of the 'you-know-what' as an escape from the Hyperborea setting as written - fantastic!
I can't resist tinkering though, so I am still considering reworking Hyperborea such that it continues to sit at the North Pole of the world rather than in its own dimension:
- the setting remains the post-apocalyptic remnants of the Hyperborean Empire, but the (secret?) history of the ascent and fall of the Hyperboreans is melded/fleshed out with material from Dwimmermount.
- The Elves / Eld become remnant Hyperboreans divided into those who were friendly or hostile to the revolting slaves / invading barbarians. I could potentially tinker with the Zaharan abilities if so inclined as I tend to picture Talanian's Hyperboreans AND the Eld in a rather Melnibonean vein (as was the intention, I think).
- I am less certain about Dwarves - I am torn between leaving them 'as written' but also quite like the idea of replacing them with something somewhat akin to the 'Warforged' from 3.x iterations of the game. They would be even rarer and more concentrated around Dwimmermount than the impression I get of the Dwarves. I am not sure whether magical automatons as PCs would ruin the feel of Hyperborea as a barbarians, mammoths and decadent city states setting, but I wonder if it would create something of a nice post-apocalyptic twist.
- The Thulian Empire comes across (to me at least) in its latter years as a rather dystopian, facist, totalitarian, technologically advanced take on a medieval regime, which reminded me of some of the tropes of the Imperium in Warhammer 40K. I am playing around with the idea of adopting some of the more medieval/inquisatorial of these flavour elements into the remnants of the Thulian Empire in Dwimmermount. As with the 'warforged', I am not sure how this fits with the Conanesque elements I want to play up in the current setting, but when parties are exploring the past I think it helps to have strong cultural hooks to hang the ruins and relics on.
- As stated, Volmar becomes Atlantis, one of the two current 'superpowers'.
- I have to decide whether to include Dwimmermount's cosmology as written or make changes. This fits rather well with Hyperborea, which as written has lots of outer space interactions.