Thursday, November 14, 2013

FAE: The Dark is Rising

FAE: The Dark is Rising


Draft 1.0 - August 19, 2013 - Blue Tyson

A Newbery Medal winning children's book series by Susan Cooper, with Arthurian, Celtic and Norse mythological and fantasy themes, set in England and Wales.  The old theme of the struggle between Dark and Light, manipulating humanity from the outside.

A couple of prophetic poems foreshadow the events of the five book sequence.

The Dark is Rising

    When the Dark comes rising, six shall turn it back;
    Three from the circle, three from the track;
    Wood, bronze, iron; water, fire, stone;
    Five will return, and one go alone.

    Iron for the birthday, bronze carried long;
    Wood from the burning, stone out of song;
    Fire in the candle-ring, water from the thaw;
    Six Signs the circle, and the grail gone before.

    Fire on the mountain shall find the harp of gold
    Played to wake the Sleepers, oldest of the old;
    Power from the green witch, lost beneath the sea;
    All shall find the light at last, silver on the tree.


Grail Poem

    On the day of the dead, when the year too dies,
    Must the youngest open the oldest hills
    Through the door of the birds, where the breeze breaks.
    There fire shall fly from the raven boy,
    And the silver eyes that see the wind,
    And the light shall have the harp of gold.

    By the pleasant lake the Sleepers lie,
    On Cadfan’s Way where the kestrels call;
    Though grim from the Grey King shadows fall,
    Yet singing the golden harp shall guide
    To break their sleep and bid them ride.

    When light from the lost land shall return,
    Six Sleepers shall ride, six Signs shall burn,
    And where the midsummer tree grows tall
    By Pendragon’s sword the Dark shall fall.

    Y maent yr mynyddoedd yn canu,
    ac y mae’r arglwyddes yn dod.
    (The mountains are singing, and the Lady comes.)
    --Susan Cooper


CHARACTERS

Will Stanton

The youngest Old One
Recovering from serious illness hampered my development
Hard to remember all my siblings
Holidays get really conflicted

Ca +3
Cl +2
Fl +0
Fo +1
Qu +3
Sn +1


Merriman Lion

Legendary Old One field leader and family guardian
Made some serious personnel mistakes
I remind you or Merlin, do I?

Ca +1
Cl +2
Fl +3
Fo +2
Qu +1
Sn +0


Simon Drew

Oldest child and bit of a sailor
Has a sister and a brother
Holidays get really conflicted
My great uncle is more than he seems

Ca +0
Cl +1
Fl +2
Fo +3
Qu +2
Sn +1


Jane Drew

Middle child can see both sides
Two brothers is plenty
Holidays get really conflicted
My great uncle is more than he seems

Ca +3
Cl +2
Fl +1
Fo +0
Qu +2
Sn +1


Barney Drew

Youngest child is rather arty
Has a sister and a brother
Holidays get really conflicted
My great uncle is more than he seems

Ca +1
Cl +3
Fl +0
Fo +1
Qu +2
Sn +2


Bran Davies

Albino unaware Son of Pendragon
Dark bastards killed my dog
The magic sword is for me, immortality not so much

Ca +0
Cl +1
Fl +3
Fo +2
Qu +2
Sn +1


The Walker

Vagabond ragged ex-killswitch wreck
Immortality is a curse
Hawkin, Signbearer

Ca +3
Cl +1
Fl +2
Fo +1
Qu +0
Sn +2


The Black Rider

Dark Lord who prefers the direct approach
Join the Dark, won't you?

Ca +1
Cl +1
Fl +2
Fo +3
Qu +2
Sn +0


The White Rider

Dark Lord of disguise
Manipulator of children

Ca +2
Cl +3
Fl +0
Fo +1
Qu +1
Sn +2



NAMED CHARACTERS

The Lady

The most powerful Old One.

The Sleepers

A high quality group of knights from Arthurian Times.

Pendragon

King of the Britons, cf Bran's dad.

Farmer Dawson

An Old One local to Will's area.

John Wayland Smith

Old One who is probably the blacksmith of legend.


ARTIFACTS

The Six Signs

Circles quartered by crosses, each made of the named material: wood, bronze, iron, water, fire, stone.

The Grail

Complete with ancient secret writing.

The Harp

Magic negater and Sleeper controlling instrument.

The Crystal Sword

Eirias, a sword that flames when the Dark is around.  In an invisible scabbard, often.

The Book of Grammarye

Must be read by an Old One like Will to gain access to all their powers. Protected in a human proof magical clock.

The Doors

A space-time warping Old One teleport portal.

Midsummer Tree

Blooming every several hundred years, the silver flower from which enables the holder to cast the opposition side out of Time.


MAGIC

Three types:

Old Magic - that of the Light and the Dark

The various agents of either sides can use their abilities in a variety of ways, including to hide their activities from humans.  Generally to be approached as a Create Advantage.

Wild Magic - from primal forces and entities

To gain access to aid or information here will generally require a Challenge.

High Magic - The most powerful kind

To gain access to aid or information here will generally require a Challenge and a Contest.


PLAYING THE GAME

Old Ones have superpowers but should not be using them when NPC humans will get in the way, keeping a lid on.  Use will also attract enemies from the other side.  In scenes this will mean the Old Ones are decoys and defenders as the humans try to achieve the actual goals as is often the case in the series.


Play Tweaks

1. A possible away to approach this is that being an Old One costs refresh and Old Magic stunts cost Fate Points to use, keeping the magic low key and Light-Dark conflicts short.

2. Give human characters extra refresh is another possibility to reflect their pivotal role.  A bit Dresden Files either of these.

3. Instead, have Old One magic use of any significant level cost multiple Fate Points.




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