Tales of the Rampant Coyote

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Frayed Knights: The Old School of Wizardry and the Wizard War

Posted by Rampant Coyote on March 11, 2016

Frayed_cover_finalThe defining event in the history of Kalderia, the setting for the Frayed Knights series – was the Wizard War. In a nutshell, it was a war that humanity – and their allied races – lost. Even though it was technically considered a win, when warfare wipes out a bigger percentage of the population than the Black Death, it’s not much of a victory. I imagine it as kind of like the Black Death, the Golden Horde, World War I, and the Fall of Rome all combined in about one thirty year period. One year, you have a gleaming civilization with huge cities, and about three decades later there isn’t much more than ruins and some huddled tribes of humans hiding in caves and forests.

The masters of both sides were powerful wizards. The arch-lich Nepharides led one side, and a coalition of the civilized world’s most powerful wizards led the other. At least that’s the story. In reality, a number of the more powerful human wizards chose to side with Nepharides. In Frayed Knights 2: The Khan of Wrath, a good chunk of the game takes place in the deserted remnant of one of the more prestigious sorcerer’s schools prior to the war.

The old school of wizardry began as something of a joke (what doesn’t, in Frayed Knights?), but the backstory evolved and spread to much of the rest of the game. The staff was once a united group of some of the best wizards in the world, and they taught the best and brightest (or at least the wealthiest) young magic-users in the kingdom. Then, as the war grew and threatened to engulf the world, the wizards found themselves divided.

Why would some choose to side with a horrible undead monster like Nepharides? In most cases, simple practicality. Nepharides was going to win, they felt. Only those on the winning side would be able to shape the future. They hoped that by working inside the “belly of the beast” they could bring some sanity to the war. Or at least survive to build a better future.

The growing war and their internal divisions forced them to close the school. They sealed it with spells so that no single wizard among them could break it. There had to be some subset of them working in concert. They vowed that they’d get back together after the war ended, in unity of purpose, to reopen the school which would have been preserved from the ravages of battle.

That never happened. The war lasted longer and was more destructive than any of them had imagined. The school was sealed away for over three hundred years, forgotten. The great city it had once bordered had been leveled and forgotten.

Of course, I try and find the humor (sometimes a little on the dark side) in this situation. After all, it’s Frayed Knights. But there’s something special when a world and characters come together almost on their own and I feel like I’m discovering a place rather than creating it.

Oh, and incidentally – that’s why the arcane magic users in Frayed Knights are called “Sorcerers,” not usually Wizards. The word “Wizard” has a pretty negative connotation since the war.

Filed Under: Frayed Knights - Comments: 2 Comments to Read

  • Cuthalion said,

    Cool backstory.

  • ogg said,

    Love to see worldbuilding.