The Third Calamity-the empty forge
After The Elves left, the Dwarves returned to their holes. Abandoning their cities and their forges, they dug ever deeper in the search for new veins of Aether Stone. No one knows what they found because they were never heard from again. No one who went to explore their homes never returned, after awhile they stopped trying, Then they stopped caring. All they knew was there was no one one left to work the Aetheric Rune Forges so no new Aether gear could be made.
The Fourth Calamity- The coming of the Negamagi.
Centuries passed after the Dwarves left. Man forgot what it was to be. Those in the crumbling cities slowly turned savage while those that had fled to the great mountain flourished. Deep in one of the overgrown cities, an Aethermagi (whose name is stricken from all record) found an unusual phenomena. The places that the Aether came from were filled with another magic, a negative energy. She studied this new power in hopes of bringing back the old days. The Aethermagi and her disciples attempted to solidify this power and got their life force sucked into these negative spaces. This negative energy pushed out sought a new home…the bodies of the stricken Magi. They stood up, themselves…but reborn into forms stuck between life and death. The three of them Christened themselves Negamagi and began to subjugate the savage ruin dwellers.
Within Every major city lies a massive Aether Stone called a Heartstone. This building sized depository of magic pulses with energy and sends it flowing through the city. This eldritch energy powered street lights, heating, and allowed for smaller stone charging. The quaking of prior events had caused a deep flaw to run through the center of the Elven Heartstone. The fear of running out of magic caused the citizens to charge more stones. This panicked drawing of energy caused the Heartstone to crack along its flaw. With a brittle snap heard through the city the Heartstone disgorged its contents, the unstable magic warped everything it touched. Most of the Elven race twisted and mutated into hundreds of monstrous forms, their souls the only thing more monstrous than their new bodies. These creatures tore across the aligned realms leaving swathes of destruction in their wake. Eventually this horde was stopped by an alliance of Dwarves, Men, and the remaining pure Elves. Broken into tribes and scattered across the lands. In the aftermath, the tallied loss of life, and remaining Aether Stones was disheartening. What remained of the Elves wandered into the far wilderness to atone for their mystic gluttony never to be heard from again.
So awhile back I posted about my theoretical retro clone. (search TRC on my site for various posts about that.) I did a skeleton of a system, a system overlay, if you would, for second edition D&D. I called it the Boneyard system and left it at that.
Recently I went back and decided to try to make it a filled out system, finished enough to sell. Maybe a PWYW title on Drivethru. Maybe restart designing games, I have another self-made system sketched out on a legal pad and a couple of setting ideas. Anyway, I began to work on it, adding stuff I like and changing what I didn’t.
Now it’s beginning to look less like a retro clone and more like its own thing. Which has me wondering at what point does a system cease being a retro clone? Is it a bad thing if I can’t even design a retro clone? Does it mean I hate those old systems, or that my brain can’t accept the flaws they had?
In the end, it doesn’t matter as long as it is cool and fun to play I suppose. I feel weirded out that I have begun fretting over these questions. I wanted to make a retro-clone, but is that what I truly have?