Living Saga is the umbrella title to a collection of tabletop game and story projects all set in the same universe created by me - Layman Kingsford. I imagined some elements of this upwards of 4 decades ago. It has certainly seen more iterations than I can count, let alone remember. I wish I had kept better records of all the different forms the stories and, later, games these versions have embodied. Suffice it to say, I am putting together all my genre fiction passions into one enormous epic endeavor combining FANTASY, SUPER HEROES and SCIENCE FICTION into one ginormous story and game project.
The saga begins with Living Empires:
The world of Evorstrom, where the saga originates, is a planet emerging from a cataclysmic event - the impact of a monolithic crystalline asteroid on its surface.
At the opening of the story we find scattered enclaves of people across the globe. Some cultures are tribal and primitive and others have built thriving cities and small nations though most of the world is hostile and difficult to tame. Every living thing is marked by one of the 8 Signs.
Culture, religion, magic and society is structured around these 8 Signmarks. A Flame Sign elf and a Flame Sign goblin have far more in common with each other than that elf would have with a Wave Sign elf.
In fact, the further away on the circle one Sign is from another, the more they interact with each other negatively. For example, a Flame Sign elf will mostly eat Flame sign food grown from Flame plants and Flame animals. They can eat (at roughly 75%.nutritional value) Tree and Tone food and get about 50% nutrition from Stone and Star food. Wave and Bone food is nutritionally vacant for the Flame person and they are deeply allergic to Wind food.
I'll share more details about the Living Empires era in a later post, but this portion of the story will explore what it means to be multi-signed or unsigned and what happens to religious and cultural beliefs when new signs emerge in the world?
The saga then skips forward in time, maybe 1,000 years or so, to a era rather analogous to our own 21st century Earth for the Living Metropolis storyline.
The Signs and magic are now mostly forgotten and the planet has largely been tamed. Massive city-states dot the world and culture thrives on digital technology, international commerce and a new-found penchant for genetic manipulation.
Science has enabled the races to finally interbreed meaning that elf-goblin, dwarf-troll, human-ogre and every other variation of hybrid are born with increasing frequency. Racial strife has been a rare occurrence in history but is now finding fertile ground in this era where race no longer means what it used to.
What happens when science and culture clash and a group of people emerge displaying super powers? Are these powered people the by-products of genetic tinkering? Are they corporate or political tools? Are they something reminiscent of old world beliefs?
And then that brings us another 2,000 years or so into the future with Living Starship.
The people of Evorstrom have colonized numerous planets throughout their galaxy and continue to terraform more every year. 54 distinct races left their planet of origin behind to settle their own solar systems. That home planet was then broken apart and turned into a isolated ring world around it's sun and that structure, called the Citadel, provides all the raw material for growing plants and raising animals to feed the specific nutritional needs of each race.
In all their generations of exploration and colonization, they have never found an alien life form more complex than a single cell. That is until now. One of the most distant settlements has been attacked by inscrutable alien beings seemingly bent on wanton destruction. Every attempt to communicate with these aliens has been fruitless. Their swarms of bio-drones and titanic motherships that appear to be living creatures are either unable or unwilling to communicate.
Citadel technology has limited effect in defending their colonies against these aliens and the entire galaxy is starting to feel the implications of having their resources stretched thin to meet this invasion. This is where you - the reader and player - will first interact with the Living Saga.
Will you strive to help maintain stability within the galaxy or will you head to the war front and lend a hand at repelling the aliens? Maybe you'll continue to seek out new, safer worlds or maybe you'll make the scientific breakthroughs to understand who or what these aliens actually are and where they are from?