Melan’s Fomalhaut

A while back I downloaded Melan’s custom made RPG rules for his campaign on Fomalhaut (which he has shared with the world here. Thankfully for those of us in the US, it is not in the author’s native Hungarian).

His game, “Sword and Magic,” seems to answer many of my wishes for a simple, intuitive and fun rule set that is capable of expansion by the referee and players. I’m also fond of the adventure diary Melan’s players shared on The Dragonsfoot boards.

The photo at right is not Sauron’s Eye from a Peter Jackson Movie, but rather a strange optical effect of some kind picked up by The Hubble Space telescope caused by light and dust specks. That dot in the middle is the star named Fomalhaut. Perhaps I am also fond of Melan’s campaign because we both named our games after a distant star (his is Fomalhaut, mine is Aldeboran). I don’t know who did it first but suspect it was Melan. I remember deciding to name my campaign after the distant star when reading about Chalmers and Bierce sharing ‘Carcosa’ as a fictional location (Either Chalmers or Bierce made allusions to another place named ‘Aldeboran’ which is also the name of a distant star).

2 Comments on “Melan’s Fomalhaut”

  1. Jack Vance used the star Achernar as a common reference point, as well. You're in good company.

  2. limpey says:

    Well, I have to admit that grounding at least one tiny corner of the whole silly enterprise in the 'real world' seems like fun… although I am unclear if the characters and events taking place in Aldeboran are taking place today, millions of years before now or millions of years in the future. And, strictly speaking, Aldeboran is not where the events in my fantasy world take place, but on a planet orbiting that star.
    More reasons to love Aldeboran from Wikipedia:”The Vril Society was founded as “The All German Society for Metaphysics” in 1921 to explore the origins of the Aryan race. It was formed by a group of female psychic mediums led by the Thule Gesellschaft medium Marija Oršić (Maria Orshitsch) of Zagreb, who claimed to have received communication from Aryan aliens living on Alpha Tauri, in the Aldebaran system. Allegedly, these aliens had visited Earth and settled in Sumeria, and the word Vril was formed from the ancient Sumerian word “Vri-Il” (“like god”)…
    …In the Cthulhu Mythos by H.P. Lovecraft and others, Aldebaran is one of several stars stated as relating to Hastur, who inhabits the shores of Lake Hali on a planet circling a dark star near Aldebaran…”

    I'm pretty sure I knew of both Melan's Fomalhaut and Geoffrey's Carcosa before I decided to use the Aldebaran name. Before then I called the campaign by various names, including “Northlands” and “Erduhl” and “Hinterlands.” Northlands because the continent where all my games took place is called “The Northlands” by the imperial powers that fight their proxy wars there… “Erduhl” because that is the name of the planet (or “Tellus”) and 'Hinterlands' because the action in my games always seemed to take place in a backwater area far removed from the major civilizations.


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