Kenneth Hite (princeofcairo) wrote,
Kenneth Hite

Big Eyes, Archaic Smile

And finally the fourth of my nominees for our next campaign, as submitted to my players for their delectation and decision. This one began life as a Suppressed Transmission column way back when; my player jovianconsensus has a bee in his bonnet about pre-Punic Wars Sicily, which is to say the Hellenistic Mediterranean, and here this option was waiting for us. Archimedes has been allowed to drift out of his proper Punic War, and Hieron has assumed the throne three years early, but otherwise it's all pretty much straight history. Except for the flying ships.


"Aristarchos of Samos produced a book based on certain hypotheses, in which it follows from the premises that the universe is many times greater than the universe now so called."
-- Archimedes, The Sand-Reckoner (ca. 225 B.C.)

Sing, O Muse, of the four colors splashed across the world in the wake of the Divine Alexander! Sing of the cyan screens of the mausolikons! Sing of the magenta sails of the aetheremes! Sing of the yellow-bronze armor of the kolossi! Sing of the black dreams of kings and wonder-makers, who hold the key to power over all the world! It’s the year 39 (273 BC – ed.) and Seven Wonders tower over the known world: anything is possible! Neo-Aegypt rules the seas with the unsinkable battleship Iamatos and the deadly red Eye of the Pharos; the Seleucids launch griffin cavalry and aetheremes from their aerial base in the Hanging Gardens above Babylon; the kolossi-warriors of Rhodes guard their island republic; the Amazons grow monstrous and beautiful new life in Diana’s shrine in Ephesus; the artificer Philo guards his city-state Byzantion with clashing rocks while Archimedes builds the Solar Mirror for his own master Hieron II of Syracuse. Still stranger powers grow on the rim of the Hellenistic world: Ashoka of Maurya spins reality-shifting wheels; the suffetes of Carthage heat their desert sands in the burning heart of Moloch to pen daimones into silicon frames; and Saturnus, the overthrown Icon, readies a new army in Rome. If we are to believe Metrodoros of Lampsakos, there are even men on Mars, who carried his teacher Epicurus off with them and now examine us with intellects vast and cool and ironic. But perhaps that doesn’t matter to you – you just have to live fast, love well, and leave a good-looking mosaic.

System: Most likely 13th Age, with the Olympians as the Icons, because hey guess what Alexander the Great won. (Although I would entertain a motion to try HeroQuest again.) This is fantasy history with a properly Hellenistic technic touch and maybe a bit of anime feel.
Tags: games

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