Below is a list of inspirations for various aspects of the world of Ruengoethe. For a list of themes and the rational behind them, look toward the Themes section.
- The feeling, flavor, and current state of the campaign setting was originally inspired by the theoretical “General Crisis”.
- The anachronistic and schizophrenic feel of the technology was inspired by objects such as the antikythera mechanism , the Baghdad batteries, al-Jazari’s 13th century robot band, aelopile , and anything Da Vinci dreamed. While loonies in the real world explain these things with aliens, assuming ancient peoples “couldn’t have done it themselves,” a thesis of this campaign setting is that people are constantly inventing, but also constantly forgetting or destroying the light that they have created.
- The specific fiction that inspired Ruengoethe includes works such as The Devil’s Company by David Liss, The Psalms of Isaak by Ken Scholes, and A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter Miller. Other prominent influences were the tales of Cú Chulainn and Finn , though their influence is more buried in the language and history of the setting. A very special influence comes from R. Scott Bakker’s “Prince of Nothing” series, which provides a few key terms that have been lifted/plagiarized, notably “Nonmen”, which I don’t think can be improved upon.
- The religion of the Ascendant Church is inspired by Hinduism , though it obviously has been restructured to have the jargon and cultural role of Catholic church , especially during the Early Modern Era . The role of this in the campaign setting is to set up the basic religious beliefs of a real-world religion in a setting that has observable, objectively real souls, and then give these beliefs an instantiation in a cultural system different from that of the real-world religion’s culture of origin. So, the question asked here is “what would Hinduism and how would it have developed in feudal Europe?”
- The magical system based on “strings” is inspired by the direct translation of the Confucian and Taoist concepts of chi and i-kuan
- The mercenary companies that are the primary military force of Ackenzal are inspired by the Swiss Pikemen and Reiters.
- The Syndicate is inspired by the East India Trading Company , especially for their role in the colonies.
*The state of thievery in Wyvar was inspired by the historical figure Johnathon Wild.
- Astromancy and the starfalls are meant to be analogous to nuclear weapons, while the effects of Fellwright are designed to mimic the pop culture depiction of the effects of radiation.
- The rogue religion of Thassal, practiced by the Kujeewa that believes the ultimate goal is to remove oneself from the cycle of being woven back into The Loom is inspired in part by Buddhism. The idea of “Evil Buddhist Radicals” is part of the campaign setting’s attempt to look at religion differently, to see that it is the societal instantiaion of beliefs, and not the foundational beliefs themselves, that bring good or bad action into the world.
- The relationship between the Autumn Court and Ackenzal is inspired by issues regarding biological patents and trade wars, such as the Opium War. The general culture of the Autumn Court is inspired by an integration of Confucian principles with the teological views of Aristotle, all structured within the loose framework of Plato’s Republic. My primary concern as a creator of the Autumn Court is that they would resemble racist depictions of the “mysterious Oriental,” a trope that still pervades fantasy literature. The inversion of the Autumn Court being the trader of opium while Ackenzal (which is based on Britain and Central Europe) being the consumer whose government is an intentional inversion made to address this worry.
- Both the architecture of the elves and Nonmen were inspired by this TED talk.
…page in progress…