Interlude: Weardcynnes Godlar

The setting for Weardcynn is implied within the main rules text. That doesn't mean there isn't a more coherent setting present. I am building this new earth in the image of William Blake's already fallen/always falling Albion with his Zoas and Emanations. In this telling, the fourfold giant that comes to know itself as Albion stirs from within a great deep, void, or unknowing. This is perhaps akin to a Big Bang moment, from which all things proceed, representing the division of all things from the singularity that birthed them.

Physics likewise infuses other aspects of this process. For each action, as we know, there is an equal and opposite reaction, and this remains so even in the stirring of Albion from the deep. Albion is the action that spawns the immediate reaction, and his equal and opposite, or his reflection or emanation, is known as Jerusalem. Here Blake is appropriating and reshaping Biblical concepts into something else, and I am preserving as much as makes sense for what I'm doing.

Now, the awakening of Albion and the casting of his reflection as Jerusalem represents the first Fall, because it results in immediate division of what was previously a unity. But Albion is not finished falling. In fact, he will continue to fragment into countless pieces, and some of those pieces claim dominion over the others or, in some cases, claim to have created them. The eight chief fragments of Albion are the four Zoas and their respective Emanations.

This continual falling or fragmentation is the ongoing Fall that is at the heart of what I call the Schismata (which is also the name for the set of mechanics that underlie this system). This is my own embellishment and has nothing directly to do with Blake. It represents the idea that everything is already fallen and always falling further from unity, and will continue to do so until the harvest after the Final Judgment reunites all of the fallen.

If this feels like a heady and abstract mythology (godlar), I agree. It is, however, the basis for what the Weardcynn believe about their own origins. In their godlar, the primary of which they call the Albiones Hweol (Albion Cycle), the Weardcynn believe that mankind (Manncynn) were the creation of the Zoa named Tharmas, and that they had been seduced away from (disunited) by the Zoa named Urizen. This culminated in the spoliation of the natural world, that aspect of Creation they inhabited, primarily through overuse and exploitation. In response, the Emanation named Vala beseeched her Zoa brethren to entrap Urizen and destroy his hold on the Manncynn. It was Luvah's fire and Urthona's hand that created the trap. Vala caused the earth to birth its own new champions, the Weardcynn, to hem in the Manncynn and watch over them until they could learn to aspire toward unity once more.

There is of course more than this, and I will work through how this looks in a concrete sense as I continue development and lay out the mechanical implications. For these, I will make use of Ed Buryn's William Blake Tarot of the Creative Imagination. In the same vein as Invisible Sun (which has had a profound influence on the mechanics of this game), player characters will be able to use aspects of these tarot cards as mechanical touchpoints, not always to their benefit. The precise nature of these effects, however, are still percolating in my head. At the very least, I will have a spread of cards that makes sense for this game and use the positions of the cards to interpret how they influence the world at the moment they are laid out. Whether this can be done without vastly overcomplicating the system is still unclear.

I will undoubtedly return to this topic from time to time as I think about new lore and mythology pieces to slot in, but in no sense do I expect that players and GMs use the result of this work if they aren't interested. It is and will be a supplement to enrich their understanding of the implied setting.

++++ Like what you just read? You can subscribe to new posts on this blog via any ActivityPub platform (Mastodon, Pleroma, etc.) at or via RSS at