Issue #2: Cyndril
The Thawing World
I have a ton of notes about the world of Cyndril, and I was contemplating cutting and pasting them to share, but instead I’m going to write everything from scratch. Cyndril is a work in progress, a world under construction that I am sharing some parts of with you below: as I said in the last issue though, whatever I create and whatever I share here is released under the Creative Comrades license, which you can read here:
I also want to make note of something: I came home tonight looking forward to writing this newsletter. I spent most of this week day dreaming about Cyndril and what I would share. When I arrived at home, I went straight to my computer, powered it on and…nothing. Nothing happened. I tried several times, finally got it to work and discovered the hard drive was undetectable. I researched it online and from what I found, following a diagnostic, there’s nothing that can be done to rescue it.
But! I am determined to still get this newsletter written, even though I’m bummed about my laptop (and while I’m not one to beg for handouts, donations to the new laptop fund can be made at http://PayPal.me/insearchofgames). Instead, I am working on this on my iPhone.
It’s challenging, but at least I can write this way. We’ll see if I’ll be able to post it once it’s done.
And if I can include the art I want to include.
As always, if you’d like to share your thoughts with me, I welcome your commentary and inquiries! Email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
The world is beginning to thaw…
Welcome to Cyndril. It is the eve before the dawning of a new day, a new era, for all the surviving species of this otherwise desolate world.
A long and arduous ice age gripped the world of Cyndril for many millennia, destroying dozens of civilizations in the process. Those that remained survived by two means: adapting to the harsh, icy surface world…or withdrawing below the surface, into deep dark caverns.
Over 100,000 years has passed, and the sun rises again, melting the snow and ice, exposing a surface world that is scarred by the weapons of ancient machinery and magic. Unfortunately, the sun is joined by a warped and diabolical twin in the sky: a negative sun, which gives of radiation not of heat…but if hatred. This strange Star devours the sky with awful blackness, like a hole through space, and it burns the surface of Cyndril with madness.
Few places are safe on the surface of this world, but the caverns winding like a maze through the underground are no better. Here once great civilizations have devolved into awful, monstrous hordes, their former resemblance to intelligent species stripped away in the cold, dark, underearth.
There is danger everywhere, around every turn, and only the barest hope for survival in the thawing world. But there is hope. As the ice recedes, ruins of the great old world emerge, full of science and technology and primordial magic. Eager to reveal their secrets.
Cyndril is about adaptation; those who can adapt will survive, this new and weird world awaits them. And those who cannot adapt…they will be destroyed. Swallowed by the mad rays of the negative sun.
Sample Species: The Khurg
The Khurgs are a species of shallow water dwellers, living in dank, dark spaces under the surface. Their skin is bleach white, their hair filthy and matted with blue-white tones. They have swollen stomachs, making them appear slightly obese, but they are strong and fast, especially when hungry.
And they are always hungry.
They wield weapons made from the giant jaw bones of centuries-dead bloat fish, whose remains line their shallow water dwellings.
They stain themselves with filth and blood, painting their clawed hands and arms with dark blood spatter. They are cunning, but not very intelligent.
They raid the surface at night, fearing the light, although they are made stronger and frenzied by the negative sun.
Khurg could be a playable species, if that’s how you want to run them, or they can be monstrous creatures to encounter either above or below the surface of the world.
Let me pause here for a minute.
I’m specifically avoiding writing up stats and abilities and powers for the Khurg. Or for any part of Cyndril, really. This is because I haven’t made any kind of decision yet for what system I’m developing Cyndril for.
If you have one in mind and you want to take my ideas here and flesh them out in more detail, you are absolutely welcome to. Not only am I not going to try to stop you, I absolutely encourage you to do so.
The thing is that a lot of times, very often, I have ideas for games or settings it is because I want to PLAY in those places. It’s not about me writing them or running them as a game for others, I want to experience it as a player. I want to see it come to life. So if something I write inspires you, by all means, run with it!
Eventually I’ll get around to publishing this in some format, and settle on a game system to attach it to, and maybe hire a writer or two to help flesh it out and finalize it. But before any of that happens, I want to make sure it’s understood you too can take this and turn it into something AMAZING. That’s the beauty of utilizing the Creative Comrades License to put the content I share here out to the world, to anyone who wants or needs something to work on, it’s here for you to take.
The art too.
Even if you make something entirely different, just inspired by in some way, that’s great to see.
Thats’s all I want to say about that. I’ll likely keep reinforcing that point over the course of these publications.
Hopefully you don’t get sick of hearing it. 😁
Sample Species: Trollings
Trollings are a surface dwelling civilization descended from troll-like creatures that once inhabited swamps and forests in the lowlands of one of Cyndril’s continents. Adapted over thousands and thousands of years to the cold, they have grown thicker fur and make homes for themselves out of icy, rocky embankments. Now that Cyndril is thawing, their world is drastically changing, although trollings are surprisingly resilient to the effects of the negative sun. While this helps them to be able to survive on the surface, the fact their homes are melting has caused them to turn to a nomadic lifestyle, something they are ill-prepared for.
Especially against the dangerous creatures coming up from below the surface…
What’s written here is about 1,000 words of what could become a well thought out, very detailed game setting. I have a map of the world illustrated by Todd Shearer; I have art by Amanda Lee Franck and Denis McCarthy and Khairul Hisham, but I haven’t gotten all the permissions I need yet from everyone to share the art under the Creative Comrades License, or I’m not sure what more I want to say on the subject of Cyndril just yet.
But more will come, I promise. If you want to learn more about Cyndril, let me know. As I mentioned I enjoy conversations, and I look forward to sharing additional details.
You can always find me at Facebook at http://facebook.com/christophermennell, or on Twitter or Instagram @chrismennell, or via my email at email@example.com.
As always, thank you so much for subscribing to my newsletter, and be sure to share the link to it with your friends and on social media:
I am absolutely blown away that the first newsletter went out to over 100 mailboxes! I have absolutely no expectations of doing better than that, and that’s absolutely okay. 100 subscribers is more than I imagined having in my first year, if I’d ever reach that many people. So seriously thank you so much for following and for sharing and for supporting me, it really means so much!
Oh! That reminds me! I have a Patreon set up if you’d like to support the growth and development of this newsletter project. More features including interviews will be added if I can reach a certain dollar amount in contributions via patrons on Patreon. You can pledge $1 here:
Okay, that’s all the shilling I can do…I hope you enjoyed! Have a great day, and a great Mother’s Day!