The World of Rodinia
|Size:||3500 miles in circumference|
|Notes:||History of The World of Rodinia|
Places of Interest
|Continents:||The Khemitian Continent, The Lucarcian Continent, The Rodinian Continent, The Underdark|
This section describes the life of Rodinia as it has been developed by me since the year 2000.
Rodinia started life as the Kingdom of Albion, back in 2000. I created this small kingdom as a base in which to run my first third edition D&D campaign. Albion has since then held a second campaign and has developed and been very deeply fleshed out with vivid people and interesting locales.
In mid 2004 when the second Albion campaign started up it became apparent that I needed to have more of an idea of what lay beyond Albion's borders, and so I bought the excellent Fractal Mapper program from NBOS, and used it to create the World of Rodinia. At that stage I loosely fleshed out the Empire of Honshu, into 7 provinces. This land was based on the lands of Rokugan which I own the source book to. I added in the Wildlands to the west of Albion and Hishan to the south west. I also decided on the full size of the Great Desert at that stage. I knew I wanted to take Gary Gygax's excellent Necropolis module and work Khemit into my world but I wasn't sure where to put it. It was a choice between placing it into Hishan, or creating a separate land for it. In the end I decided to make it fit into a large island I had 'going spare' off the west coast of Hishan. I also losely set up the Frozen North as an adventure locale. So far only north western Rodinia had any sort of content whatsoever.
In September 2005 I finally got around to buying an internet domain name for Rodinia and built this site. That resparked my ethusiasm for the world and I began thinking up what was going to take up the central part of the main continent of Rodinia and came up with the Empire of Rodinia which I losely based on the ancient Roman empire at the peak of its time. At this time, in a flurry of activity I added the realms of Kiltland, Athena, Nargastan, Nubia, Marlek, Maya, and Weissland to the list of countries on the main continent, plus the island of Ager. At that stage most of that work was very high level with only a simple overview of what each country is like. It should be noted that most of Rodinia's lands and cultures are not made up by me, but rather taken from real world ancient cultures, and occasional fantasy fiction works, and then adapted for the World of Rodinia. Hence I have middle ages England (Albion), ancient Rome (Rodinia), ancient Greece (Athena), a 'Mordor' type land (Marlek) and so on.
Work continued apace during September 2005 to flesh out the rest of Rodinia. By now I had a virtually complete map of the main continent (I hadn't even started thinking about the other lesser continents/islands yet!) at a high level and I began working through each country at a time filling in the geographical details like mountain ranges, hills and forests and adding settlements to the countries as I went. My aim was to finish off this sort of level on the whole continent before I started fleshing out what each town and village and wood was like in a given country.
November 2005 included a complete rebuild of the web page, writing it all in XHTML. This meant an extreme improvement in performance to the site. At the same time this encouraged me to go on and flesh out all the countries I had added to the world. I reworked the entirety of the Rodinian empire, picking unknown ancient cultures from the real world and mixing and matching various interesting cultural ideas to create interesting and distictive countries. I decided at this stage to create entries for these countries on the web page, even though the entire extent of the information on each country was typically nothing more than a few paragraphs. The island empire of Lucarcia remained completely undefined at this stage, other than some initial ideas for the names of the islands comprising it. During this month I also expanded the Rodinia map, detailing all the countries which comprise the Empire of Rodinia. I added all the geographical features I wanted to them and all the roads and towns. The towns were left unnamed for now as that would be a large undertaking which would require some research into suitable names in the correct style. I did the same with the Empire of Honshu, but did take the step to name each town and city, using real world Japanese names as the source.
Mid 2006 saw the end of the Albion II campaign which meant I was now free to start working on the setting for the third Rodinia campaign. I selected the hitherto undeveloped Lucarcian Empire for this location as it would give me incentive to develop the area and because there was nothing constraining what modules and such I could put into this area. I purchased a few adventure settings from Necromancer Games and placed them into the island of Manabas, thus creating the Domain of Endhome and Quail Valley. I also losely fleshed out the rest of Manabas island at this time.
In August 2006 I began to detail Endhome and surrounding areas on the gazetteer. A lot of this was simply cherry picking interesting and descriptive sections out of the adventure setting and sticking them on the page. Hopefully I have managed to capture the feel of Endhome in the entry I gave it.
In June 2007 we started playing the third Rodinia campaign set on the island of Manabas. Around this time I began to flesh out Manabas as an adventure locale. I drew the maps using the excellent MapTool program and started posting these maps on the web page in place of previous FM7 maps. The Lucarcian Empire remained undeveloped at this stage, other than the beginnings of the Island of Manabas.
In early 2008, with the Rodinia III campaign having come to an end a few months previously, I was inspired to rebuild the web site which holds the gazetteer to Rodinia. I created a relational database model which was designed to hold all the people, places, organizations and deities of Rodinia, and describe their relationships. Rather than having data stored in HTML pages I copied all the text into entries in this database, whilst writing a front end in PHP to get this data out and on display as a web site once more. This design gave me a much greater facilty to expand the details of the world without having to write reams of HTML - all I had to do to add a new place was create an entry for it in the database and it would instantly appear like magic inside the gazetteer in full glory.
In April 2008 the 4th Rodinia Campaign began which was based in and around the city of Cauldron. I had to find a place for this to go and as Cauldron was based in a volcanic mountain range surrounded by jungles I picked the jungle island of Mochica as the setting. The details on Cauldron and the Cauldron Region in the module are extensive and the amount of NPCs detailed are huge, so I was able to add pages and pages of detail about this fantastic location. The gazetteer entries for Cauldron and its surrounds are probably now as detailed as any other location in the World of Rodinia as a result.
Around Summer of 2008 I added a new facility to the underlying database which now runs the gazetteer. This facility allocates a level of "security" to each and every entry and paragraph in the database. Essentially this allows me to have DM-only data in the gazetteer which is not visible to the casual Guest user (i.e. everyone else but me!). So there is now a login available to the Gazetteer and if I login as the "DM option", the database automatically gives me access to all the "DM-only" information, as well as all the public info. For the DM, anything which is DM-only is shown in red so its obvious at a glance what is public and what is secret. This stops me blurting previously secret info out to my players during a game session. This whole mechanism also means I can add stuff to the gazetteer like NPCs who have not yet been heard of or met, or locations never explored, or even just secret paragraphs of text for any given entry. Then, when the players discover this information, or meet this NPC, I can just flick a simple switch on that record in the database and that information is instantly available in the public gazetteer. It makes it possible to update the gazetteer in real time during a game session if neccessary and certainly means I can add all the NPCs and locations to an area when I'm preparing for a campaign without having to have the players know anything that their characters don't. Its a very useful facility
In 2013 I began writing a novel, called Reynard's Fate. Set in the Lucarcian Empire around the time of its collapse, this charted the fortunes of a minor noble from the town of Providentia on Ursum, his time as a slave on a Guild ship and his escape and subsequent adventures tracking down and bringing to justice a daring corsair captain. This book continued the development of the World of Rodinia, adding another plot to the already deeply developed Lucarcian Empire. It also forced me to make sure that all the stuff I was including in the novel was original and mine.
The novel was published in the last quarter of 2013. It is available from Amazon at the following link: Reynard's Fate.