This installment of RSP’s Village Backdrop-series is 11 pages long, 1 page front cover, 2 pages of advertisement, 1 page editorial/ToC, 1 page SRD and 1 page back cover, leaving us with 5 pages of content, so let’s take a look at the settlement!
Know then, young prince, that in the days of yore, when Atlantis had first sunken into the seas, there was a place called Macrimei, situated amid windswept hills in colder climes, where ruins howl of ages long past, its populace descendants of a once glorious culture, now reduced to a state that is but a shade of their former glory; a place where once towers of ivory pierced the sky, everything looks as though a certain Cimmerian’s sandaled feet had cut a swath through the landscape. Into this desolation came the wizard Anazturex with his own private little army of henchmen, dubbed after the strange local deity “Soryan”, his Sons of Soryan. It’s been years under this small magocratic rule, and nowadays, everyone is barred from the red obelisk where Soryan’s supposedly worshipped, as the wizard’s tower watches over a village born in ruins.
It is rumored in town, that one day a strange silvery child appeared and subsequently vanished…and the wizard’s tower has an odd tendency to disappear for weeks on end, only to suddenly reappear…but to what ends, no one knows. No I could spoil the truth about the wizard’s nature and the power of the artifact orb of soryan (which comes with full game-rules/information, just fyi) that is found in the red obelisk…but that would do the village injustice. The former village priest Kulway and Grul, brutal leader of the Sons of Soryan, get full statblocks herein and the sample events provided similarly add to the book…but can the PCs unearth the truth of Macrimei? Oh, and in case you are not too keen on the reveal of the nature of the wizard, an alternative is provided as a designer’s suggestion…kudos for going the extra-mile!
Editing and formatting are top-notch, I didn’t notice any glitches. Layout adheres to RSP’s smooth, printer-friendly two-column standard and the pdf comes with full bookmarks as well as a gorgeous map, of which you can, as always, download high-res jpegs if you join RSP’s patreon. The pdf comes in two versions, with one being optimized for screen-use and one to be printed out.
In case my ample allusions to the genre-classics were not ample clue: This village is a perfect bow before the tropes of Swords & Sorcery, a village dripping flavor and atmosphere out of every pore; just as useful in a post-apocalyptic scenario, Macrimei is a fantastic village that manages to evoke the primal sense of the ancient, of decay and ages long past with panache and prose so concise and dense, you feel like you could cut it. While it could just as well be tinted through the shades of high fantasy, unlike most sojourns of PFRPG into the genre, I’d strongly advise against that, for this village backdrop GETS what makes Sword & Sorcery so amazing – it’s neither flowery prose, nor the themes…it’s the room for growth, for question-marks, the precarious balance of blanks and filled-in information, the tone.
This is a place through which Red Sonja, Kull or Conan could have ridden – so saddle up, adventurers and get a taste of the taste of iron and spice, of dust and lotus and check out this village. If you even remotely like the genre, you will love this village – which btw. also doubles as proof that John Bennett not only excels at writing horror… My final verdict will clock in at 5 stars + seal of approval for one of the strongest entries in the whole series.
You can get this great village here on OBS!
You can directly support Raging Swan press here on patreon!