Insider 3-23-2011

Lock & Load GameFest 2011 is right around the corner. This is going to be a great opportunity for folks who love Privateer Press games and our worlds. If you are even slightly tempted to attend, make it happen. Not only can you immerse yourself in all aspects of the games and hobby, it’s a chance to meet the Privateer staff and ask us questions. For my part, I will be giving a class on the history of the Iron Kingdoms on both Saturday and Sunday where I will do my best to confuse and bewilder you about the details of our setting and its history. I will also spend some time answering or creatively evading questions attendees put in front of me.

It is not a secret around here that I can ramble on at length about our setting. This is an inevitable consequence of having spent ten years immersed in the world we call Caen, and in particular a little corner of that world we call western Immoren, or more narrowly the Iron Kingdoms. As a writer for a complex and intricate world like ours, one that has involved the work of an entire team of creative minds, I consider my role to be that of a “creative historian” more than anything else. Being a historian of a fictional setting is a decidedly peculiar job.

Over the years I have had a hand in shaping some of the first accounts of our history, and I have put my pen to work making ongoing revisions and updates over the years. Such revisions are important since ours is a living and changing world. Sometimes a closer examination of a faction or region requires us to revise previously stated facts or to reconcile apparent contradictions. It is best to think of this as revising our records to better reflect recent discoveries. (For example, a single sentence printed in the IKWG describes the Dawnguard of House Nyarr wearing red surcoats, but recent sightings have proven that to be the result of a confused eyewitness.)

This is similar to how scientists and archeologists make discoveries that force us to reexamine our understanding of our world. Since this is a fictional setting of our own design, we have a bit more liberty. But we strive to make such revisions judiciously and without compromising the larger stability and plausibility of the world within the parameters we have set for it. As part of my job I need to know not only what we have printed, but also what we later revised or reinterpreted. I try to integrate these myriad facts into a seamless and cohesive whole.

For those who sign up for Lock & Load, my class will give brave attendees the rare privilege of listening to me talk at length about the history of our world. We can examine the momentous events of the past to help us understand the Iron Kingdoms as it stands today. What led to the rise of these warring factions and the present strife? Why is everyone so angry? Is there rhubarb pie in the Iron Kingdoms, and if so, how did this impact the War in Llael?

If this sounds like something of interest to you, I highly suggest signing up for Lock & Load and attending one of my classes. I cannot promise you will be less confused when you leave than when you arrived, but it should be a fun ride.