Making My Marchland
I’m more re-creative than creative; give me an established setting or characters and I’ll dig into them and find ways to reinvent and use them, but I struggle with flat-out inventing things. (I would have made a great hack comic book writer or DC editor.) Because of that, I knew I was going to need help coming up with an urban fantasy setting. I went on DrivethruRPG and took a look at the Dresden Files RPG: Your Story book for FATE and Marchland for Savage Worlds and concluded that Marchland was half the price of the other. Back to Savage Worlds we go.
Marchland gave me a lot of what I wanted – a functional fictional city, a basic cosmology, and fae creation rules that aren’t just super powers revisited – but I’m going to have to rework a few bits and add a few more. Separating the European fae into season-based courts instead of the Seelie and Unseelie didn’t work for me in Dark Ages Fae and it doesn’t work for me here, the various fae and Manitou tribes are barely described, and none of the important NPCs really work for the purposes of paranormal romance. Also, I hate vampires and werewolves as fae; they’re undead and belong with the spirits.
(Yes, werewolves are undead. Just ask Larry Talbot.)
Our heroine, Una Sheridan, is a negotiator. Half sidhe and half puma Manitou, her position between two cultures gives her greater perspective on the conflicts between fae and Manitou, otherworlder and mortal. She has contacts, friends, and lovers amongst the Mantitou tribes, Seelie and Unseelie, witches and wizards, and other weird folks who call Brighton Bay home.
(Yeah, it’s a lot like “Lost Girl,” but so is Marchland.)
The most important thing I need to do is work up some romantic interests. The easiest way to do that is probably to assign characters to those patented character voices of mine.
Played by “Steve Blum”
(I used to frequently do a voice inspired by Steve Blum’s voice for Spike Spiegel and Mugen. I haven’t really done it in a while – it began to blend together with the Tiger -- but I want to revive it for this game.)
Jackson Panic is a singer/songwriter and session musician in his early forties but who looks ten years younger. He’s been a member of numerous short-lived alternative and grunge bands over the years and currently plays in a Pearl Jam cover band called Oyster Jelly while also playing his own alterna-folk songs at area bars. He “feeds” on the sexual energy of groupies and the emotional highs of audiences. His connections to the local drug scene give him an insight into area criminals and low-lifes.
Played by the Monkey
Alec Olson is as close to pure-blooded Swinomish as it gets in Brighton Bay, but like most of his fellow American Indians, he’s got an English-language name. He works as a day laborer at the docks and does odd jobs; he’s got the smarts to do more with his life, but he’d rather be happy but poor than rich and miserable. As an otter, he belongs to both the land and the sea; like Una, he crosses the boundaries between worlds. He knows a lot of hidden gates between mundane reality and the otherworlds.
Played by the Tamlin
Morgan Drake is an ambitious member of the Unseelie nobility; he works as an investment banker during the day (though he has a pack of internet sprites that do much of the work) and roams high-end bars and clubs by night trying to satisfy his lust for virgins and gold. Drake obviously spends the majority of his time in his human guise; he’s learned through many, many long years of bitter experience that there isn’t enough room in the modern world for a dragon. His well-practiced self-control and urbane manners make him easier to work with than most of the Unseelie.
Played by the Tennant
Trevor Barrow was a chartered accountant a lifetime ago in London; now he calls himself a “liaison” and keeps the balance between Brighton Bay’s living and dead. Undeath has filled him with a manic energy he didn’t know in life, though how much of that is barely-hidden bloodlust is his secret. He’s Una’s counterpart with the undead community and they often find themselves on opposite sides of the negotiating table.
Played by the Tiger
Jason Painter spends a lot of time explaining that he doesn’t do portraits; he carves wooden statuary in a mix of native Snoqualmie and European styles that make him a popular and controversial figure in the area art scene. His clients and detractors would be shocked to learn that he carves his art with his own claws. He’s one of the few mountain lion Manitou in the region, so it’s literally only natural that Jason and Una share an undeniable attraction.