Between Events – Foot and Mouth
Things have been a bit hectic at Carcosa Dreams HQ these last few weeks. Whilst finishing the website we’ve had two events in the last four weeks and now it’s the final push.
In the meantime and before starting the official countdown, we wanted to share some more things with you about the decisions we’ve made about interactions between the games themselves, and why we’ve chosen to make those decisions.
Travel in the World of Alba is neither common nor safe and it is extremely rare for individuals to stray a day or more from their own village without the company of a Keeper. There are no maps to guide and the landscape is fraught with those who seek to harm those who dare wander their territory. And that is just during the day – the perils of travelling overnight are magnified tenfold.
At night, the Other Place closes in and an unwary traveller can find themselves lost for ever. Anyone daring to travel during the night – or to travel more than a day’s journey from the safety of their community – runs a massive risk of becoming lost in The Other Place.
Those who are so lost may find themselves hundreds of miles – or hundreds of years – from where they began their journey with no way to return to their lost homes – if, indeed, they survive at all. The Other Place is home to many beings who crave what humans can give them and will be loath to let one such out of their grasp. Spirits roam free; Those Who Came Before work their designs, and the dark beasts of legend crave the hot blood and flesh of the Albanni who stray.
With the knowledge of their predecessors passed down generation after generation the Keepers are adept at navigating the lands of Alba during the day – and have the wisdom and skill to avoid the dangers of travelling at night too. Only the Keepers know the ways between villages that avoid the pitfalls of The Other Place – closely guarded hidden paths keep them and their wards safe, charms of passing unseen and unnoticed, and ancient places of power where one can shelter safely for the night.
There are some cases – especially in the Summerlands – where villages are close enough together that some contact might occur between them, but this tends to create rivalry and hostility between communities and reinforces the insular community aspect of the home village.
The result of this lack of travelling (with the exception of the Keepers) is that the people of Alba see where they are now as home, even adopting the local traditions, garments and Woad. It is possible that a character was born in the Old Country and travelled north with a Keeper, or was one of the lucky ones who survived a trip through The Other Place, but once settled they would consider themselves a member of the Northlands.
Why Maps Don’t Matter.
While the game team have an out of character map of Alba which we use for a variety of purposes, we do not envisage publishing it. Maps, like writing, are a technology currently beyond the grasp or understanding of the Albanni, and would mean nothing to a culture where anything beyond a day’s travel is a mystical unknown.
Alba’s fluid borders and shifting landscape and the influence of The Other Place make maps a nonsense – and the line between the Lands of Alba is one that is decided by the people and the land, not by an arbitrary line. While Alba draws extensively on British folk legend and myth, Alba is not the island of Britain, and assuming direct correlations between the regions of Alba and the equivalent regions of Britain may lead you to the wrong conclusions.
Nor should you assume that the way the Keepers safely move from community to community is via secret maps. They may have other means of understanding the safe tracks between communities that do not pass through The Other Place.
In Alba, faith is your map and imagination your compass. Let go of everything you think you know and embrace legend.
In-Character Communication Between Events
This is, unfortunately, not possible in the game world. Characters outside of the same village are unable to converse between events.
Please do not initiate in character communication between events. It is not possible within the game world.
If someone initiates in-character communication with you between events, please – just let us know.
Remember: in Alba, written language is the sole province of the Keepers. There is no opportunity or means to write letters; and outside of events, no opportunity to safely meet with others from outside your village.
There are background options – especially within the Summerlands or the Northlands – which deliberately place villages within possible theoretical reach of each other. This is to generate story and tensions during the events themselves, not to create a reason for downtime communications, and no player communities will be placed in proximity to one another at game start.
Further, the Summerlands background also stresses that contact between villages usually ends up being hostile and violent, and culturally Albanni are insular. Life in Alba does not leave much time for luxuries like cross-community festivals. The risks are too great and the other demands on time too significant.
As a consequence of the above, while no doubt players can find reasons or explanations for why it should be possible to communicate between villages between events, it is an OOC policy decision of the game team that it is not possible – and until events in the game change the basis of the decision, there will be no exceptions to that, no matter how carefully argued.