Festering Ideas and Fantasy Fun

The following is from my notes to “The Whale Omen” – a fantasy roleplaying adventure based off of an older project – my very first attempt at writing a novel, when I was still but a young and innocent teenager. That novel was in itself inspired by an experimental gaming campaign I co-ran with a friend.

I love how ideas can sit and fester for years, blend with other ideas and influences, and come back out looking all new and shiny again.

The reason it came back, was that I started reading the excellent fantasy series “A Song of Ice and Fire” by George R. R. Martin. That made me think of the novel I had written (which I am not ashamed to say, barely deserves even getting mentioned in the same paragraph as mr. Martin’s epic series), which in turn inspired me to want to rewrite it now, 15+ years later. The only thing is, I’m already not writing one novel.

Still, I could not shake it. So, I turned it into a gaming adventure once more, which may yet inspire even further writing later.

The point I’m making is this: the good ideas can be recycled, transmuted and disguised many times over the years. The trick is to keep working with it, or at least that’s my theory.

The Whale Omen Intro

“The Whale Omen” is fantasy with a nordic medieval flavor. The characters are from a clan at the top of Rockbite Bay in the far and barren north, a village of whalers. Magic exists in this world but is rare and regarded with fear and suspicion. The characters are skilled but normal people with a personal tie to this village; it is their home. Once coastal raiders, the people here now catch whales and do trade instead, and live longer, happier lives for it.

Every spring, whales in great numbers pass by and the whalers go out with nets and harpoons. The villagers use everything from their catch. But this year is different. The whales came late, and when they arrived, they were all dead. Bloated, foul smelling carcasses floated past the village for three days.

Many think it is an omen, and the survival of the village is at stake. No whales means nothing to trade but a few sheep and barrels of salted herring. Not enough.