Each Thursday, our copy of ‘The Tough Guide to Fantasyland’ in hand, we shall tour the mystical countryside looking for adventure and fun (and tropes) from all over fantasy.
Today’s Tour Topic is… Hidden Kingdoms
Hidden Kingdom. Usually reached through CAVERNS or after an arduous trek into the heart of the central masssif, this is often the object of the Tour QUEST…
Good god this was hard this week. Why can’t I find any damn hidden kingdoms in fantasy? It seems like something that should be all over the place. And yet, I got nada. So live with what I give you. Hopefully the other travelers did a bit better this week. Oh well, this is the best I can do. And if you say some of them are cheating, well, you are right. I cheated like mad.
The examples I came up with can be found in the following.
The Silk Map – Chris Willrich- Strange land? Strange monks? A timeless place in which people spend eternity trying achieve perfection? Ya I think this one counts. It was even the destination for Gaunt and Bone’s quest, thought to be a hidden place of silk worms that weave iron silk.
Probably best if you don’t eat any of the fruit though.
Iron Jackal – Chris Wooding – You know you can’t always be the first to arrive at the hidden kingdom. What if the enemy has been there for years? Well if you’re the crew to the best junker ship on the planet and your captain has a curse to break you don’t let that bother you. This was an abandoned kingdom, and thus maybe more suited to be classified as ruins, but as the technology within was still good I am going to count it.
Are all hidden kingdoms worth saving? Maybe not, sometimes explosions are a bit more fun.
Dread Hammer – Linda Nagata – Not every hidden kingdom is a place of enlightenment. Sometimes all they need to gain their qualifier is the ‘hidden’ part. The Puzzle Lands are damn hard to get to, and impossible to invade. Not because no one can find a map, or knows the password to a hidden cave, or has access to flight that would just point the way. The Puzzle Lands are hard to reach because one family has the ability to pull on all the strings and change things up on a whim, any path you are on will probably disappear on both sides within a few minutes.
Camelot – Monty Python- On second thought, let’s not go to Camelot. ‘Tis a silly place.
Join us next week, where hopefully things get a bit easier. The topic will be… Immortals.
IMMORTALS are fairly common in Fantasyland. There are three kinds:
- GODDESSES AND GODS, who exist forever unless people stop believing in them.
- ELVES or DARK LORDS, who live forever unless someone kills them.
And as always, please visit the other travelers. And feel free to join in at anytime.