Wolsung World Tour

 

Wolsung presents an alternative version of our world at the end of the 19th century, a version strongly influenced by adventure novels, penny dreadfuls, action movies, video games and comic books. The world is familiar enough, so you will not feel out of place, and at the same time it has the freshness, dash and magic that will compel you to explore it during your game sessions. The World Tour presents the setting of the game: its history, geography, technology, as well as details on everyday life in the daring times of Magical-Industrial Revolution.

 

 

Click the image to the left to download the Wolsung World Tour pdf, or continue reading for the basic overview of the setting.

VICTORIAN FANTASY

The world of Wolsung is a magical version of our 19th century in which Victorian ladies and gentlemen come from fantasy races, and mysterious magic interweaves with amazing steam technology. Under the sky crowded with airships, steam-powered automobiles race the streets and luxurious steamers cruise to overseas colonies . The marriage of magic and science gave birth to mechanical golems, cabalistic thinking machines and fearsome iron dragons. Yet most of the world is still unexplored – who knows what treasures and mysteries await deep in the jungles and high on the mountain tops. In the dark corners of the earth the undead lurk (a terrifying relic of the Great War) while villains and evil masterminds plot their deranged plans. In Wolsung you will find lots of familiar elements, that will remind you of your favorite action movies, the classics of fantasy, video games, graphic novels and the adventure books from your childhood. This is a world meant for playing, and the number of sources of inspiration you may use is practically infinite.

 

 

RACES

There are eight playable races in the world of Wolsung:

Elves - aristocrats and artists with an allergy to iron;
Gnomes - a mysterious and clandestine race of golem-builders;
Dwarves - a subterranean race of engineers and bankers;
Humans - a race of travelers and vagabonds;
Halflings - once peaceful farmers, now confused factory workers;
Ogres - a cursed race of apelike giants, only male ogres exist;
Orks - strangers from distant lands communicating with spirits;
Trolls - a furious race of doomed heroes.

 

 

 

LYONESSE

Most of the action portrayed in Wolsung Steampunk Skirmish Game takes place in Lyonesse.

Lyonesse had a rich history, and now, after over two millennia, it’s the greatest metropolis of the world. Just look at the glorious palace of Queen Titania, or at the Tall Tom near the Houses of Parliament, or at the skyscrapers in Tintagel District, but please, avert your eyes from the other side of the river. There’s nothing to look at in Bridgebank, just decay, poverty and fog.

The capitol of Alfheim is a city of universities, museums, art galleries, textile workshops, docks, forges and factories; it’s a centre of cinematographic industry and the last harbor and new home for thousands of immigrants from all corners of the earth. A melting pot of religions, cultures and cuisines. It is a city of commerce, art and crime, ostentatious luxury and extreme poverty. The city of contrasts. The city of wonders. The city of the cities. The City in the Fog.

The Metropolis of Lyonesse
Administrative division: 54 districts and the autonomic Tintagel District
Mayor: sir Horace, the First Baron of Erlkin
Languages: Alfish, Old Alfish and Utalian, Wotanian, Shangese and others
Population: 7 million (unofficially more than 10 million): 16% elves, 15% halflings, 14% humans, 12% trolls, 12% orks, 12% dwarves, 11% gnomes, 8% ogres.

 

 

SOCIETY

In Lyonesse people talk all day long in every language possible. They whisper in the docks at night, declaim in university classrooms, sing over glasses of ale and stout, gossip over gin and pickled eggs, testify in courtrooms, chat in clubs over brandy and cigars, flirt in theaters and ballrooms.
What do they talk about? They say that eleven bridges over the Tether is not enough anymore, comment upon the last delivery of colonial goods at the d’Arrots, and this new Golemic Museum that is soon to be opened, complain about the influx of immigrants, laugh at the caricatures in the press and drink to the Queen.
Nobody mentions the hundreds of thousands of homeless, the poor housing conditions in the industrial districts, strange disappearances in the docklands or the juvenile crime, drunkenness and prostitution. Nobody frets that after all those years the Alven Yard still haven’t stop the Butcher. Nobody questions the idea, that absinth, black lotus and laudanum are really such wonderful cures for the big-city melancholia.

 

INTERESTING PLACES

Treecoven – the Royal Astrological Observatory is located near the dockland area, exactly on the Prime Meridian – which makes it a perfect place for performing magic rituals.

Comedians End – part of Uldnesse (the old town), known for its cabarets, theaters and pubs. You must visit the New Theatre, the Moon Theatre and the world’s famous Hand and Mask Pub – situated right between them.

Ethnic districts – in Lyonesse the strangers stick together. Everyone knows that Svart Thule is a gnomish ghetto, immigrants from Dekan live in Yakshatown and dwarves from the continent never leave Stableton. Quirinale, famous for it’s halfling restaurants, is openly called Little Scylla just as Pothill is the oriental Shang Town.

Clairvale – the posh district of the aristocracy. This part of the city is full of manors, lavish gardens, hidden affairs, hushed scandals, dangerous habits, all kinds of eccentricity – and elves. So, it shouldn’t be a surprise that the iron is banned in all Clairvale.

 

 

CHARACTERS

The keywords for characters coming from Lyonesse are: progress and the empire. Lyonesse is the most progressive of cities and the heart of vast colonial empire. You can travel half the world and see less, than what you will see in a year living here. Growing up in Lyonesse is an experience like no other. In this city mere street ruffians witness wonders, that would never occur to even the most educated Wotanians.
It’s hard to find more open-minded people than those living in Lyonesse – and more self-reliant. Well, if you encounter, day after day, those endless riches form all over the world, you do not just have trust in the Empire, you know it’s power. Here are some character concepts for heroes from Lyonesse:
- Alven Yard inspector, an orc born in Dekan and specializing in ethnic crimes.
- A halfing actress during the day, a burglar with a thousand faces at night.
- A troll, engineer and monster-hunter, looking for prey in the Tube’s tunnels.
- An elven artist born in the royal family, with an extraordinary talent, and a knack for scandals.
- A retired air ace and a war hero, honorary member of the Ash and Oak Club.
- An orkish martial artist, adopted daughter and heiress of an influential Lord.

 

STORY SEEDS for campaigns and scenarios

Daring – fierce competition between river-cabs corporations. Halflings form scylla fighting against orkish triads. Aerial duels above the Tall Tom clock tower. Evil mastermind constructing giant steam golems in the forges of Stableton. A giant ape escaping from the Zoological Garden. Breaking and entering a manor inhabited only by an old troll. Saving the Queen. Bank robbery in Tintagel District. Rush-hour omnibus chases.

Exploration – Lost in the Fog. Mapping the Tube’s tunnels. Nocturnal escapades to the pubs in Uldnesse, culinary journeys through ethnic restaurants. Experiments and inventions at the University. Looking for lost artifacts in the Archaeological Society’s storerooms. Hunting ghouls at the communal cemetery in Bridgebank.

Investigation – mutilated bodies of the Butcher’s victims. Luddites conspiring against the industrialists and the gentry. Crimes of passion on a Belvillemovie set. Clandestine cults in Old Ipswitch, kidnappers and pickpockets in Bridgebank. Gnomish mysteries in Svart Thule, stranglers in Yakshatown.

Society – the Buckinghind Palace and intrigues on Her Majesty’s secret service. Clubs for Ladies and Gentlemen: Griffon Club, Ash and Oak. Charity balls organized by Duchess Nimblewist, romancing on the ice rink in Abbot’s Gardens, betting on Winledon tennis courts, gossiping on the Fairy Pond golf fields, dueling in Ferret Forrest.

 

 

 

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