Perpetual Dawn is the name I use for the shared context in which all of my games and stories take place. It is a fantasy world that was born largely out of my love for ancient literature, and for what I call the "stories between the stories."

The World Is Made of Stories

The world of Perpetual Dawn is made out of stories in the way that our world is made out of atoms. A character and the stories about that character are inseparable, and the same is true of places, objects, everything. These stories are all tangled together, they refer to each other, and they nest one inside another. The most important of these are not the broad over-arching frame narratives, but the little tiny stories stuffed into the cracks between the other stories.

This comes from my love of ancient literature. The best example of the "stories between the stories" that I know of is a short passage near the beginning of the Mahabharata. As part of setting the stage for the story, the genealogy of the author is given as a sequence of miraculous conceptions and births, the first of which goes:
"And when king Vasu took his seat in that crystal car, with the gift of Indra, and coursed through the sky, he was approached by Gandharvas and Apsaras (the celestial singers and dancers). And as he coursed through the upper regions, he was called Uparichara. And by his capital flowed a river called Suktimati. And that river was once attacked by a life-endued mountain called Kolahala maddened by lust. And Vasu, beholding the foul attempt, struck the mountain with his foot. And by the indentation caused by Vasu’s stamp, the river came out (of the embraces of Kolahala). But the mountain begat on the river two children that were twins. And the river, grateful to Vasu for his having set her free from Kolahala’s embraces, gave them both to Vasu. And the son was made the generalissimo to his forces by Vasu, that best of royal sages and giver of wealth and punisher of enemies. And the daughter called Girika, was wedded by Vasu."
It's a weird little story, and it isn't really connected to anything around it, except as one step in a chain of begats. It raises more questions than it answers, both intrinsic to the story, (how did the mountain come to life?) and in regards to its role as a story (who came up with such a story, and did they base it on anything? How did such a story come to be included?) The only certainty is that it lends a certain amount of credence to the claim on the previous page that there is no kind of story that is not contained in the Mahabharata.

The Stories The World is Made of

The world is not about us humans, we're just there in it. There are many beings we could call gods or giants, or just beyond the world that is right in front of us. For the humans in this world, the most important of them are Old Wander, who commissioned the construction of the earth as a stage on which to act out his stories, and Mirabella, who makes up all of the stories about humans.

Old Wander is remote and disinterested; he abandons everything he makes before he has finished it. He later is replaced by Melmoth and Gloria, who are tasked with holding the world in balance and with striking the set once the last stories have been resolved. When the earth was ready to be a stage on which to act out his stories, he had not yet selected actors, and so he called upon Father Sea and Mother Sky to populate the earth.

Father Sea and Mother Sky had three children:
Garos, the waves,
Fodos, the currents,
and Mirabella, the still waters.

Garos and Fodos were jealous brothers, and they fought over imagined slights. They fought so much that they frightened their sister away, and so she hid in caves and deep pools, far from her brothers. While she was alone, she made up stories to keep her company, and soon began to fill the world with her own stories.

Father Sea and Mother Sky were also upset by their sons' fighting, and angry that they had frightened their sister. Father Sea withdrew himself, so that suddenly Garos and Fodos found themselves without form and unable to continue fighting. Finally then they stopped, and they agreed to a truce, and so Father Sea and Mother Sky gave form to them once again, that they might still act out their own stories.

This is just one little slice of the world of Perpetual Dawn, and it sets the stage for the first game I am working on, which is called Action Potential. Next time I will look more specifically at the premise 
 





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