Welcome To Aldeboran

I have been calling my campaign world by several names over the past years — at one point it was ‘The Vales’ since there were different regions (Silver Vale, Red Vale, East Vale, etc.,). It has also been called ‘Hinterlands’ or ‘Northlands’ since most of the action took place is an area that was considered remote and removed from the more ‘civilized’ lands to the south and east. I also called/call it ‘Aldeboran’ (after the sun that the earth-like planet revolves around) or ‘Tellus’ (after the planet itself) but I go back and forth between wanting it to be a planet as an astronomer might define one… or just a ‘world’ which might just be a bubble in space, or moss on the back of a giant turtle… or a clump of dirt floating in space or whatever.

‘Aldeboran’ is an alternate spelling of ‘Aldebaran’ which is an actual orange giant star only 65 light years from Earth and in the constellation of Taurus. The name is arabic and apparently means ‘The Follower’ because when observed, it appears to follow The Pleiades. Lovecraft associated Aldebaran with Hastur, one of his ancient gods, so the name seemed apt.

Most of the action takes place on the large continent divided into several smaller kingdoms. Some of the places are Lenaria — an ancient empire to the east which once rules the Hinterlands where most of the action has taken place. Lenaria was 90% destroyed by meteors a few hundred years ago (or was it fire from the sky — or even some sort of stange curse or magic or weapon?) but the Lenarians still dabble in powerbrokering in the new world (they are a rip-off of the Melniboneans from Moorcock — powerful sorcerers with gigantic galleys, armies of slaves and dragon air cavalry, they worship the Dragon Goddess). The remaining islands of this once mighty empire share the names with German photographic lens formulas of the late 19th/early 20th century (Thambar, Xenar, Tessar, Summar, Summitar, Noctar, Elmar, etc.).

The big city on the continent is Eord, capital of a kingdom of the same name… which is also known as the City of Seven Walls… it stands at the entry of a strait which leads from the Inner Sea to the eastern Sea… from the inner sea you can sail north to the ice sea… from the eastern sea you can sail south to kingdoms down there or east to Lenaria.
South of Eord lie the Vales, including Red Vale and The Red Mountains… home of the dreaded red dwarves (who are cannibals who consider everyone else as potential food). North lies a forest kingdom of Elves (named, quite unimaginatively, Alfheim), and Aluria, a kingdom of Amazons as well as other various wastelands. There is also a large swampy land known as ‘The Sinking Lands’ which is ruled by a very powerful magic user… and to the west lies Thool (or Thule) which is ruled by a priesthood who have evolved (or devolved) into creatures with enormous brains and frail bodies. Of course, they maintain armies of lesser intellects to serve and protect them. There is also the ruined city of Tana Tak, which is said to be overrun by flesh eating ghouls, but great ancient secrets are said to be buried deep beneath the ground. There are various other kingdoms, some swamplands to the south (which are littered with gigantic stone statues rumored to be the petrified remnants of gods).

I used to take the ‘science’ of world creation quite seriously, but later just decided to have fun with it. Although I haven’t run adventures there for years, it started out as a middle earth/greyhawkish place and has since evolved/devolved into Flash Gordon land / Land of the Lost / Planet of the Apes… with occasional ruined rocket ships, flesh eating apes, mutants, death rays, wierd cults, etc.

After discarding the rather pompous and unoriginal pantheon of my highschool years, I just toss in any and every god of religion I can think of, with Cthulhu cults rubbing elbows with pagans of every stripe, authoritarian churches and cults modeled on worst case scenarios from the real world and a heaping teaspon of the Mythos of the Subgenius mostly for my own amusement. If a player wanted to worship some other deity, I would have no problem shoehorning at least a small chapel or shrine in somewhere — like in Ancient Rome, new gods are making themselves known all of the time…

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