This week I have been reading the Banestorm world book for GURPS. This presents the magical world of Yrth – first published as a setting before GURPS in the classic Orcslayer supplement for Man-To-Man.
I picked up the book back when it was published but, as with many roleplaying tomes I’ve bought over the years, never gave it much more than a cursory glance and flip-through… until now. I am kicking myself because, having begun to delve deeper, what I discovered is a realm rich in religious motifs, interesting ideas, and connected to the wider Infinite Worlds universe.
I like the idea of an alternate Earth in which there originated Dwarfs, Elves, and Orcs and into which raw magical storms (the Banestorm) have swept up Humans from our and other dimensions, bringing them to the land of Yrth. As the history of the world progresses, we see the impact of different groups of human “travellers” who are deposited in the world.
A strong theme is the impact of religious belief as Christian, Muslim, Jewish, and other faiths from the “real” Earth arrive on Yrth. There are wars as Human kings try to forge new empires and learn to use the magic inherent to this world. It’s a fabulous blend of technology, the mystical, and the arcane… all built with the grounded GURPS game engine at heart.
Not sure what I am going to do with it quite yet, but I am tempted to explore it at least solo. On top of that, I have been powerfully reminded of the high-quality work Steve Jackson Games publishes and connected back to the idea of cross-worlds adventuring that I have always enjoyed.