My first Chivalry and Sorcery campaign

I first obtained the Chivalry and Sorcery 1st edition in 1980, a second hand copy with a red cover that no other copy I have ever seen had. Certainly it mystified Ed and Wilf when they saw it.

scan of a 36 year old photocopy.

I quickly got the rest of the books that I could for first, and, like many, set about creating a world. Also like many at the time, that world was created with a map, The Thrankhurian Continent , which was drawn by filling in a lot of a page of graph paper.

To complement that I filled a spare school jotter with background history, perhaps a bit in the style of the Appendices to Lord of the Rings.

I also created my own alphabet. Later, thye Futhark version I learned from “Swords and Sorcerors” would be used on my Viking shields. Luckily the mother in one battle didn’t get time to transliterate “pòg mo thòin” when her daughter asked her what the runes said.

The big fantasy literature influences on me at the time were Lord of the Rings, Conan and Elric, my world was an ancient one, the two major powers on the continent had been competitors for centuries, with the smaller, satellite nations driting in and out of independence, or vassalage depending on the fortunes of war and politics.

However the big event was the fall of the northern Empire of Khandar, a nation of Sorceror Kings that had once ruled all others. In the aftermath of the conflict that overthrew that Empire, many of the ruling class fled (becoming part of the background of Akheron, my adoption of the Archaeron of Ed Simbalist) and laws were made forbidding any mage from the higher ranks of the refounded Kingdom of Khandar.

Part of that came about because my first character, rolled in plain sight of others, was the next in line to a throne. A cousin of the King, but that king had no other heirs, and my character was the eldest survivor of his line. That complicated things a bit, but, although it was my creation, the world was shared, so at least I had a character to take part in our world.

And I wanted him to be a Necromancer because C&S had Necromancers! So Sellar became an exile, still technically the heir but only until such times as the King and Queen had family, and many of the nobles would prefer that the crown would go to another. That gave him an excuse to go adventuring.

So much for the “Elric” influence. The Conan influence was evident in the other major power, Korondar, a naval power with overtones of the 15th Century Spanish Empire via Argos and Zingara from Conan, and a certain Aquilonian like structure to “modern” Khandar.

The world grew with other works. “Swords and Sorcerors” provided Northern Nations, it gave more detail to my already planned Druidic clan federation, Axioros, and brought in steppe nomads, some of whom had long ago been conquered by the refugee Khandarese Sorceror Kings and became the nucleus of the Akheron Empire. The Ardenese were the descendants of an offshoot of the Empire of Khandar, founded by those who had fled those same Sorceror Kings and, later, a bit miffed when their descendants of expanded West. To the East, connected by trade routes that traversed the steppes and the northern kingdoms, was the Land of the Rising Sun, thanks to Lee Gold and, across the Western Sea, the land of the Saurians, though that campaign never really interacted with the main campaign.

While the Hss’Taathi and Kulun Ssatha from Saurians never interacted with the main campaign, some dinosaurs did exist on the main continent, in a region unknown to the rest, shrouded by impassible mountains to the West, and a treacherous coast to the West. Later on those mountains became, in my head canon if not in the game, part of the way to a control room of the Engineers who had built such an unlikely planet, whose size and gravity did not make sense by standard rules. There were elements of The Fantasy Trip’s Cidri bleeding through there.

This campaign carried on into Second Edition, and that coincided with the random family events table showing that Sellar’s cousin died, he was now King. He went , with trepidation, to his coronation and as it turned out, with good cause. There an assassination was attempted, heralding the start of a civil war, hello C&S wargames rules. Although he was winning the civil war, an invasion by Korondar made things desperate. He met with the nobles, abdicated on condition that they united against the Korondarians and renegade Khandarians.

The influence rules in C&S got a lot of work out in that game of politics and war. That wargames campaign continued, but the character element was downplayed compared to before.

That freed my character back into playability, and he went into exile, to Sanctuary, where he stayed for some adventures before the campaign ended.

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