Thursday, September 8, 2011
I had the great good fortune to be raised by my grandparents and my great grandmother. My great grandmother was Norwegian and had many stories to tell me that she heard from her grandparents and so on. These songs and stories were often cute and funny but most had a cautionary element to them as well.
She told me to stay out of the woodshed at night because Villy, Voodleg (Willy Woodleg) would kick me in the seat of my pants if he caught me. She warned me to keep up on my chores or the nisse would get into mischief and tangle the horse's mane or make the cows grumpy. The scariest story she told was of a girl who looked pretty but was hollow inside and had a cow's tail. The girl would get me if I went too far in the woods. Witches, elves, trolls, and other creatures were part of the fauna of my childhood.
I am working on my own campaign world. I have been adding to it since I was a very young boy (I used it as a setting for short stories). This campaign world includes the creatures my grandmother told me about. It includes the deep mysterious forests I grew up next to as well as the hot, rocky, eastern Washington we moved to later as well as the cold narrow fjords that most of her stories came from.
Do any of you have a campaign world influences that come from your childhood? Did your parents or grandparents stories inspire you? Did you see a movie or read a book that got your juices flowing when you started designing your own worlds? What influences if any from that 'magical' period of childhood when Santa, the Boogeyman and elves were real and places like The North Pole, or the Troll Kingdom could be reached if you just knew how?