Beyond The Shore: Legacy of the Golden Horseshoe II
Welcome to Beyond the Shore.
The setting for this game is British Colonialism in the late 17th and early 18th century, with a fantasy spin. Real-world maps of the period and some historical research will go a long way to helping you understand what it going on, but things will not always be as they seem. Magic and firearms are equally common-place. Imperial warships rule the seas, dragons rule the skies, and people wearing extraneous goggles and decorative gears are shot on sight for excessive anachronism. With the existence of magic and monsters, some trappings of medieval fantasy are still quite prevalent—most notably the use of swords, shields, and armor for dealing with such threats.
This game employs:
- Historical truth,
- Anachronistic historical truth taken from other times and places from 18th century,
- Historical myth,
- Historical detail which is perceived to be true by some, but actually isn’t,
- and pure fiction…
…and it will not attempt to distinguish between them. This is a fantasy role-playing game, not a tool for learning or teaching early American history, nor does it seek to encourage or discourage any real world attitudes towards that history.
Please note that the original sources and references for the development of this campaign were written by white, male colonials and some of the materials of this game attempt to capture that mind-set. Depictions of race and gender in this game are intentionally “non-woke”, and do not reflect the actual attitudes of the DM. Depictions of Native Americans and First Peoples are likewise deliberately inaccurate and based on the perceptions and writings of the early European colonists. Likewise, slavery, as practiced by both the European colonists and the Native Americans, will be treated with deliberate neutrality.
The year is 1720 CE. The place, Germanna, the first settlement in the Imperial Dominion and Colony of Prosperia to accept settlers from Germania, about a hundred miles north, north-east of the colonial capital Williamsburg. But this is not the story of Germanna, nor even of Prosperia Colony, this is a story of what lies beyond.
Four years ago, in the year 1716, then acting governor Alexander Spotswood lead an expedition from Germanna fifty leagues to cross over the Misty Blue Mountains and view the as-yet-unexplored land that the natives called “The Beautiful Daughter of the Stars” and founded the noble “Order of the Golden Horseshoe” from the fourty-six members of the initial expedition. That was then. In the intervening four years, Spotswood has ceded his governorship and become, by the grace of his lordship Emperor Prospero I, Count Spotswood, ruling Spotsylvania County from his new seat in Germanna Colony, and grown quite fat and rich off of Germanna’s iron and silver mines. Now, these four years later, Count Spotswood has commissioned a new expedition to cross the Misty Blues, not simply to view the lands beyond, but to subjugate and settle them.
This is where you come in, young heroes. Count Spotswood, old and settled as he is, is not going to make this trip himself as he did “in his youth”. No, that is your job. “But what’s in it for me?”, ye ask. “Why should I tramp for days over high peaks into uncivilized lands filled with unmasked fey, wild savages, or even colossi?” Gold, glory, and citizenship in our glorious empire for starters. A knighthood at the least, as a member of our glorious Order of the Golden Horseshoe. Maybe even a County and title of your own, for our new colony over mountains is going to need someone to lead her…
For previous adventures that have taken place in the same shared world, see The original Beyond the Shore campaign, featuring an intrepid band of would-be pirates, and Legacy of the Golden Horseshoe I, featuring the first failed attempts to colonize the Blueridge.