By Joshua Raynack
One of my most treasured possessions as an incorrigable lad and still today is The Encyclopedia of Things That Never Were, by Michael Page and Robert Ingpen. Its words spur the imagination while the illustrations lure those unaware of its magic into a realm of dreams and fancy. In its opening pages, it entices readers about a world . . .
. . . just around the corner of your mind, where reality is an intruder and dreams come true. You may escape into it at will. You need no secret password, no magic wand or Aladdin's lamp; only your own imagination and curiosity about the things that never were.
It begs you to understand that research into things which never existed is by no means an exact science and one must use illogic instead of logic, illusion instead of lusion, and insight instead of eyesight. Within its pages, wonderments of the cosmos bloom, goblins and gorgons come to life, Camelot and the travels of Gulliver awaken the adventurer within us all, and sinster demons of the night call forth their servants beholden to them through magical pacts.
It is a well worn guide and now, a weathered companion as I enter into the lands of the Feudal Lords Campaign Setting. Unfettered by the constraints of previous roleplaying systems, it is now possible to completely indulge the appetites of an insatiable imagination.
While much is still in the development phase and aside from the fancies of Page and Ingpen, we begin our journey with a cue from one other illustrious compatriot: J.R.R. Tolkien. Our intention is not to emulate the world of Middle-Earth, but its intitial premise: to forge a mythology. To be more precise, an American mythology.
Many years ago, we discovered several unpublished manuscripts, nearly two and a half centuries old, detailing the world that would become the Feudal Lords Campaign Setting. Penned by an eccentric and elusive figure, Jonathan van der Maarten, the personal journals expose a fragile doorway between our world and another place, A World from the Sun.
While we pour over these crumbling pages, we shall share excerpts and delve into a realm apart from our senses. We will forge mountains from paper. We will sketch forests with charcoal. We will raise kingdoms from courage. We will intrude into realms that never were.
And as always, we hope you will join us . . .