I have spent time digging through bestiaries of all kinds, eking out goblins, ghouls and shades suited to the Tudor Europe setting of The Dee Sanction.
As it happens, the business of bugs, as they called them, arises from the subject matter covered in Forest. The waning strength of belief in tradition, driven by print and an assault of pseudo-intellectualism, meant that the barrier between worlds eroded, rapidly. The harassment of both noble and preacher led the commoner to question what had once seemed obvious, mostly because the old ways were all too frequently parcelled up with heresy and sedition.
Opportunity knocked for supernatural entities and genuine practitioners of magick to make their mark and recover ground lost through centuries of passive resistance generated by a wall of incomprehensible faith. The mortal population had no way to know or understand the repercussions, seeing the resurgence of the shades and Fae as a result of witchcraft, rather than the result of fading traditions. The problem is self-reinforcing but close up it’s impossible to see the wood from the trees.
In all honesty, even the likes of Dee couldn’t see the full extent of the threat and how much ground has been lost up to the middle of the century after Luther nailed his Ninety-five Theses to the door of All Saints’ Church and the Pope’s excommunication of King Henry VIII more than a decade later. The chaos that ensued cut whatever solidarity of faith had existed in Europe up to that point—though, to be clear, it was the relative detachment of the Church that was key, not the Church itself, in established the bulwark against the other worlds.
The defences of our world crumbled and the shade (and shades) of other worlds crept in.
Every day during August, I’ll be writing something new on The Dee Sanction and aim to connect the word prompt of the day with the development of the game. Check out the concept, the list and the graphics over at AUTOCRATIK.