I made a little D&D campaign for my friends in the town of Nyflot. Nyflot is a small town in the bend of a river. It has small amounts of retail, residential, and agricultural areas, but much of the town is devoted to the warehouses and docks that traffic in goods up and down the river. A lot of people come through Nyflot, but it's a only home to few.
Nyflot drew inspiration from the vast repertoire of media I've consumed lifelong, and I wanted to broach three of the specific elements I used. This is an exercise in writing, and it allows me to test/play with posting images in the blog. Let's go.
My very first idea for Nyflot was derived from the scene from the original X-Men film where Magneto puts Rogue into his machine. That image of Rogue with her hands stuck atop the Status of Liberty torch became the story of the young hedge witch who'd been kidnapped and forced into a machine of sorts that used her as a magical conduit to wreak havoc on the town. Think of the machine as a laser, and she was the focusing crystal it needed to work. Where Magneto's machine mutated humans, this was designed to create a bisecting crevasse straight through the middle of town. My players raced to stop it.
The second element that I weaved into my story was that of the ghostly elf lord whose tower appeared at the edge of the town. His story wasn't directly relevant to the havoc-wreaking, but the players had to traverse his tower to reach the girl at the tip-top. Long ago, the elf lord's wife was poisoned and he encased her in a crystal to preserve her while he researched a cure. He died with this work unfinished, and so he continues to sit amongst his dilapidated books and papers fruitlessly trying to finish his life's work. I wrote this whole story for the elf lord before I realized it's mostly Mr. Freeze's story from Batman: The Animated Series. Whether it was conscious or unconscious, I embraced it and named my elf lord after Mr. Freeze: Victor.
In the end though, everything that had transpired was the work of a group calling themselves "the Danes." Mangled from "the mundanes," the Danes work to exterminate magic as an unfair advantage in the world. They do this by killing magic users and sowing distrust of magic among the common people. That's what they were doing by moving the tower to Nyflot: showing people how dangerous and destructive magic is. This was sort of a coda for the story, a "to be continued…" if you will. Anyways, this—almost exactly—would have been the story arc of 17th Precinct, had it been picked up. I considered it my way of continuing the show which had enormous potential.
Someday I'll actually write up what happened in Nyflot. Telling people what happened in D&D requires a lot of care so as not to scare or bore people, so it may be a while.
thumbnail credit: "Wisdom 051-2" by jprime84 (CC BY-ND 2.0)