Sunday, January 5, 2020

Where in Pseudo-Europe is Stericksburg?

During our last game, someone asked Aldwyn's player where Aldwyn is from. He said, "From where this world's England is."

Since the players help define the world, this means there must be some Britain/England/Avalon/whatever type place, presumably bordered by where "Mild Bruce" came from.

But the same player stated that he thought that Stericksburg was in this world's pseudo-Germany, because of the use of the title "Baron" by Baron Sterick the Red.

Interesting. I actually hadn't defined this area as Germanic. I've got a Russian/Slavic area to the East, for sure - Molotov. I've got a French/Flemish/Belgian/Norman area to the West (the city of Arras, for example.) But this one? Germanic . . . I don't really think of it that way.

Sterick isn't actually from this area. He's been defined as a wandering adventurer type who showed up, seized Felltower with his troops on behalf of the Kingdom, and then eventually revolted (detailed here.) It's still not clear why, except that the players decided that it's because he's either Evil or just a bad person. That's not exactly the whole reason, but it'll do for now.

In any case, he's not a local. Neither are his Viking-esque men, who are less Viking-like than Hjalmarr was because I'm just not as into Vikings as he is.

So where is Stericksburg?

The map sure doesn't say much.

In my mind's eye map of the world, Stericksburg is rather far north. There isn't much north of it that's civilized, and that extends West and East pretty far. Molotov is notably north of Stericksburg but it's much further East of Stericksburg than it is North of it.

There is a big crescent-shaped area north of those cities that's howling wilderness at worst and semi-occupied borderlands at best.

Still, though, I haven't defined it as a specific European country, not like Darklands does with Germany and its neighbors. I don't really think there is sufficient value in doing so. The more defined the area is by comparison with some half-understood stereotypical Middle Ages version of a modern country it is, the less useful it is to me. The less I can stick in because, hey, that's sure convenient right now. I'd like to avoid definitions that pin me down instead of expand the value of the area as a campaign-boosting bit of background. To define something is to put boundaries on it.


  1. I’m sure “-burg” is what let him to think “Germanic,” and the “-rick-” element (a Germanic element having to do with realms or kings or wealth) and its s-genitive helped matters. “Ste-” looks kinda like “stiff” to stick to Germanic roots, so “Rigid (emotionally) king’s hill.”

    1. I don't know if he knows that much German, actually. He specifically said it was "Baron" that made him think so. Even so, it's Sterick because it's a name from Doug Cole's old campaign, bolted on to "burg" because of "Otisburg."

    2. Odd that he drew that from Baron, though that does have Germanic origins (albeit passed through Latin to English). It was usually Freiherr in greater Germany, with Baron more in Britain and France, per Wikipedia.

      From a geographic standpoint, “burg” is clearly Germanic, in all branches of it, though it’s apparently “borg” on the Nordic branches. (“Berg” is the same in all, different vowel grade.)

      Your players seem hellbent on putting Stericksburg somewhere. Hence why I conlang for place names.

    3. I think they're mostly hellbent on making characters based on historical cultures, and want to thus know where Stericksburg isn't. Witness our Vikings, English, African, Roman, Carthagenian, and Spanish-themed PCs.


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