In some ways, the continent of Ansalon is a standard fantasy setting. However, there are no large nations as city-states predominate. Also, the dominate culture is Celtic, followed by Vikings. Two maps are provided at the bottom of this page.
Planet Name: Tyros
Continent Name: Ansalon
Planetary Diameter: unknown (approx. 8250 miles)
Density: ? (slightly less than earth normal)
Axial Tilt: 20 degrees
Seasonal variation: normal
Surface Water: 75%
Dominate Land Type: plains, forests (continent of Ansalon only)
Length of day: 24 hours
Length of year: 365 days
The Land and Weather
Most of Ansalon is temperate. The Dyre Islands and Kebrian Isle are semi-tropical and the northern regions are sub-artic. Some areas are special:
The Bleeding Plains (Mag Cruach): Site of the largest battle with the Vikings, 122 years ago. Undead are frequently encountered in the region.
The Deep Forest (Coill Domhain): Heavily infested by humanoids.
The Grand Hills (Cnoc Mor): Home to many dwarves.
Spiritwood (Coill Geist): Main elvish kingdom
Kebrian Isles: Only active volcano is located here; inhabited by several fire giants.
The Darklands (Tir Dorcha): A barren, blasted area destroyed long ago by some magical catastrophe, before humans came to the continent.
Lost Hope Bay: The weather is very calm here, but 1 in 20 ships seem to disappear fo no reason.
The Black Mountains (Sleibhte Dubh): These low, rough lands are home to many evil creatures, including dragons.
North Hills (Cnoc Thuaidh): This area is inhabited High Barbarians.
The Highlands (Tir Ard): Home to nomadic barbarians.
Fens of the Dead (Riasc na Mairbh): Treacherous swamp with the ruins of an ancient city of unknown origin.
The Desolate Plains (Mag Treighte): Aside from some horse nomads, this region is very sparsely inhabited.
Dragon Mountains (Sleibhte Peist): The north slopes are home to many low barbarians, while the southern slope is infested with humanoids (mainly orcs and goblins). Several dragons live in the upper peaks.
In general, any creature from Greek, Celtic, Scandinavian or Medieval legend can found in Ansalon. Other creatures may be found in isolated areas and small numbers.
|Race||% of total population|
|Humans||59 (includes vikings, celts, picts, greeks, etc.)|
|Half-races||3 (half-elves, half-orcs, etc)|
|Halfmen||1 (brutish, apelike, barely sentient)|
Random Race Selection
|6-11||Human (3-10: Celtic, 11-15: Nordic, 16-18: Old Empire)|
Ansalon was first explored by the Old Empire some 900 years ago, an island hopping trip taking some six weeks. From -200 to -10 CE, several colonies were established, but with all-out war involving most of the city-states of the Old Empire in 0 Common Era (CE), almost all were abandoned or destroyed by local humanoids or picts after defenses were weakened to provide troops back home. Around this time, the celts and vikings, whose expansion efforts had been impeded by the Old Empire's military, sought to expand across the ocean and several successful voyages were made.
Then, in 7 CE, wizards in the remains of the Old Empire unleashed magical attacks that devestated not only their lands, but those of the celts and vikings. With this added urgency, the two races began settling Ansalon with great haste, the celts taking the south-eastern part of the continent, the vikings the north-eastern. Unfortunately, the vikings had chosen poorly, and found their western expansion checked by heavy mountains, desert and an icy sea. They then turned south and attempted to take lands from the celts in 52 CE.
The celts were prepared, however, and only a few hundred vikings got through, settling on the coat of the Inner Sea. These were ignored (and couldn't have offered much resistance, anyway) and the bulk of the invasion was stopped, the vikings kept north of Abhainn Nar. The celts turned their attention to the vikings that had broken through. Though they could have destroyed them, the celts were weary from battle and chose to negotiate; in return for vows not to unite and make war against the celts, the vikings would be permitted to remain where they were, independant of celtic rule (in truth, the vikings had ended up in river valleys the celts had passed up). In time, these vikings became celtized, and by now have as much in common with the celts as the vikings.
Finally, in 231 CE, the vikings tried again, after loosing territory to orcish hordes. They pushed well past Abhainn Nar and a great battle was fough in the plains of central eastern Ansalon. In the end, the viking army was destroyed and the celts were badly weakened.
In the 200 years since, the vikings have had to make do with piracy and coastal raiding, as the orcs and native humans have kept them busy.
Ansalon is dotted by several city-states and fortified towns, most either patterned on the cities of the Old Empire or hill-forts built to massive scales. Most city-states control a great deal of the land within 30 miles (ie, the distance an armed cavalry patrol can travel in one day). Others, such as Dunir, control smaller but strategically important areas.
In general, nothing stronger than treaties exist between the various city-states, and even these are either for non-aggression or trade purposes (this excludes 'colonies' of city-states, which are rigidly controlled, and several small, semi-independant towns which pay generous sums for protection from the nearest city-state). Most city-states are controlled by one clan, with several lesser but related clans present (the exact numbers depending on the size of the city state). Military numbers are (active)/(reserves).
Dunir (fortress port): This city is built across the only pass that runs though Sleibhte Ir. It also controls the Abhainn Nar Thios outlet into Cuan Ir. This makes Dunir crucial to merchants. This is one of the few cities where slavery is illegal. However, forced labor in the city's iron and copper mines is a common punishment for criminals. The king of Dunir is the nominal Ard Ri of the celts, though most of the time this power is merely ceremonial.
Baile Triur Ban (fortified port): This port recieves what's left of shipping from the southern continent. Baile Triur Ban is a female dominated society; male slavery is common and few men reach positions of authority. All men in Baile Triur Ban (native or not) have a -3 to reaction rolls from native women.
Technology on Ansalon is late TL2; the ships and weapons of the vikings are TL3, as well as some theoretical sciences from the Old Empire. The picts are TL1, with some higher tech items scavenged from the celts and vikings.
As normal rules, but aspected mana areas are common, as are spots of high mana (not always stationary; 1d6 miles wide, 1 in 6 chance of moving 1d6x5 miles during an equinox or eclipse, reroll size). Stationary high mana areas are either inaccessable, or 'leakage' from sidhes (and thus avoided by sane people).
Vikings normally use rune magic, Celts magic based on ogham (basically the same as rune magic), Greeks traditional magic and Picts ritual magic.
Celts: Mainly worship their ancestors, plus some appeasement to the gaelic gods (some of whom live in the hills).
Vikings: Ancestors and Nordic deities.
Savages/Natives (Picts): Totemism
Orcs, goblins, etc: varies
Not surprisingly, the people of Ansalon are fine sailors and build sturdy sailing ships. There are several different types. The warships and merchants, while used by the celts, are of Old Empire design.
Warship: These are roughly the same as the Greek penteconters (p.GR107), carrying 60 men and 20 tons of cargo at up to 16 mph. A handful of the much larger trireme exist, but few city-states have the manpower to properly use them.
Galley: Smaller galleys are in use, similar to the Homeric galley (p.GR108), carrying 23 men and 18 tons of cargo at 13 mph. When used as naval vessels, they are used to patrol coastal waters looking for pirates, smugglers and invading forces (usually Vikings). In naval actions, they are used to screen the flanks of larger ships and to harass and scout the enemy.
Longship: Treat these as standard Viking drakkars. Size and capacity varies widely. They are only manufactured by the Vikings; any drakkar in Celtic hands were captured in battle or by stealth.
Merchant: These are roughly the same as the Greek large and small merchants (p.GR109-111). The large merchant requires at least 7 crewmen and carries some 150 tons of cargo at 10 mph. The small merchant requires at least 4 crewmen and carries some 48 tons of cargo at 12 mph.
Aidan (Edana), Aisleen, Alana (Alain, Alina), Amena (Amina), Arlene (Arleen, Arlen), Bevin, Brenna, Bridget (Brigette, Brieta), Bryna (Briana), Cara (Carina), Caera, Colleen (Cailin), Deirdre (Diedre), Doreen (Dorie), Fiona, Flanna, Isolde (Iseult), Kerry (Kerri), Kyna, Malise, Malvina (Malva, Malvie), Morag (Moira), Muriel (Muire), Myrna (Mirna, Moina), Nairne, Orna, Selma, Sheena (Siobhan, Shelia, Sheelah), Sorcha, Tullia, Ula, Wynne (Win)
Adair, Ahern (Aherin, Hearne), Aidan (Adan), Alain (Ailin, Ailean), Alroy, Aneurin (Nye), Artair (Artur, Artus), Baird, Balfour, Banniing, Beagan, Blair, Boyd, Brien (Briom, Bryon), Caddock, Cadell, Caley, Carlin (Carling), Carvey, Cathmor, Conal (Connall, Conn, Kynan), Cormac, Coile, Craddock, Curran, Demsey, Devin, Dolan, Donal (Donnall, Donn), Dugan (Doogan), Egan, Ennis, Ewan (Ewen, Owen), Finlay, Flann, Garnock, Gavin, Hagen (Haggan), Howell, Ian, Inness (Innis), Kane, Keegan, Keller, Kern, Kevan, Kieran, Kinnard, Lachlan, Lawler, Lunn, Muir, Nairn, Neal (Niall, Neall, Neel, Niels), Oran (Oren, Orrin), Quillan, Rafferty, Regan, Riordan, Rorke, Rogan, Scanlon, Scully, Sholto, Sloan, Strathan, Tierman, Tormey, Tristan, Tynam
Ada (Aida), Adaline (Adela), Adolpha (Adolphina), Alvina, Amelia, Armina (Erminia), Bathilda (Batilde), Brunhilda (Brunhild), Caroline (Carline, Caro), Clotilda (Clothilde), Dahlia (Dale), Faith (Fay), Fread (Frida), Galiena (Galiana), Halfrida (Hallie), Ida (Idalia, Idella), Jarvia, Luana (Luane), Mathilda, Millicent (Melisenda), Minta (Mina, Minetta), Nissa, Odelia (Odella, Otha), Ordelia, Quenby, Ramona (Mona, Rama), Romilda (Romilda), Serilda (Serilde)Ula, Ulrica (Rica), Ulva, Vala, Welma (Velma)
Abelard, Adler, Adolph (Adolphus, Dolph), Alaric (Ulric, Ricy), Aldo, Algar, Amory, Anselm (Anse, Ansel), Armand, Baldemar, Berthoud, Conrad (Cort), Davin, Dedrick, Derk, Edel, Ehren, Emmerich, Ferrand, Frederic (Fritz), Fremont, Garner, Garvin, Gerald (Gearalt, Jerold, Jer), Goddart, Gustaf, Harlon, Haydon, Harbert (Hoireabard), Herwin, Hubert (Hobart, Aodh), Lewes (Luthais, Ludo), Lothar, Mandel, Medwin, Norbert, Odolf, Olav, Ormen, Osgood, Radbert, Raymon, Raynor, Reinhard, Ricard, Rodric, Rosco, Ruskin, Searle, Sigmond, Sigurd, Skerry, Skip, Storr, Sutherland, Terrill (Tyrrell, Tirell), Thybalt, Thorald, Thornert, Trigg, Turpin, Waldron, Waine, Wray
Old Empire, Male/Female
See GURPS Greece.
Creating a Character
Characters start off with 125 points with -40 points in disadvantages. Literacy costs 10 points.
For simplicity, the Vikings use modern German, the Celts modern Irish and the Old Empire classic Latin. In the game, these are referred to as Nordic, Celtic and the Old Tongue. There is no written form of the Pict language.
All must take either Code of Honor (Viking) or Reputation -4 (Among Vikings). Either is worth -10 points. Celtized vikings must take a -5 point Social Stigma; normal vikings have a -10 point Social Stigma. None of these count against the -40 point limit.
All must take either Code of Honor (Celtic) or Reputation -4 (Among Celts). Either is worth -10 points.
Old Empire Characters
All must take a -2 Reputation, for -10 points, which does not count againt the -40 point limit.
Picts have Primitive (-1 TL) and Social Stigma (Barbarian), for a total of -20 points, which does not count against the -40 point limit.