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Quintessential Quelmar: Getting Started

Welcome to uelmar. Chances are you’re here because you’re a storyteller. Luckily for you, you’ve stumbled into our fertile world just in time to make it your own—as long as you’re willing to share your ideas with the community, and build on the shoulders of those who played thus far.

Now that you’ve arrived and acquainted yourself to the community, it’s time for you to tell the next story. Whether it is the single story of a Player Character (PC), or the stories of realm-changing apocalypses, you’ll need to know the basics about the Realm.

To begin, it’s important to know that Quelmar, like any anarcho-syndicalist commune, holds everyone to a single standard: to have fun.

Over the many years of games and adventures, Quelmar has been blown to hell, frozen over, destroyed, re-created, and sunk. There are no hard rules to follow or remember when running a Quelmar game. To give as much storytelling freedom as possible, Quelmar has long embraced the concepts of “Parallel Worlds“, or as Loki has recently popularized: “Variants“. And your adventure takes place in one of these variants just as much as it takes place on the “Sacred Timeline”. So there’s never a worry about screwing up the lore. When it doubt, do what comes easy!

But it is not variation from the timeline that defines Quelmar, it is the connecting fibers. Much like The Jetsons meeting the Flintstones, Wolfman meeting Frankenstein, or the Jimmy-Timmy Power Hour, Quelmar thrives in the world of crossovers. Not always crossover of characters, but a crossover of geography, history, and heritage.

In a phrase, it’s a Shared Universe.

The Shared universe

To help establish your stories, here are some handy cornerstones that place a story firmly in Quelmar rather than Toril or Westeros.

  • Quelmar is flat and curved like an upside-down dinner plate.
  • If you are telling a fantasy story (and not a modern one), then the sky is Red.
  • If you are telling a modern story (and not a fantasy one), then the sky is Blue and magic is rare and seemingly nonexistent.
  • There is a single moon in the night sky, and many, many constellations.
  • There are 6 Creator Gods who have gone by many names over the millennia. They created the world and have always watched over it.
    • Garl Glittergold, who created the gnomes.
    • Gruumsh, who created the orcs.
    • Mielikki, who created the dryads.
    • Moradin, who created the dwarves.
    • Obad-Hai, who created the centaurs.
    • Pelor, who created the rakshasa.
  • The biggest city in the world is Galik.
  • Large-scale stories are often defined by their wars, whether they take place during a war, or explore the prologues or epilogues to these great conflicts.
  • Small-scale stories often explore singular towns, cities, or areas, and are excellent for world-building a very small part of the greater realm.
  • Quelmar’s central conflict has been with Tiamat, who arose to kill the creator gods long ago in the Holy War, only to be banished and return 800 years later to start a second war. The second war eventually damages the realm irreversibly, causing everything to come to an end 600 years after the second war.
  • The very center of the realm is Tiamat’s home-base, an land called Kiston, and for most of the realm’s history, wasn’t thought to be an island but a deadly whirlpool. Whether Kiston is well known, rumored, or unheard of, it always prevents any easy travel diagonally in the realm.

Using these in the stasis of your session is more than enough for any Quelmartian to recognize that they are back in the realm, but for story tellers who want to firmly cement their stories in the shared canon of our world, you can never go too far with crossover worldbuilding.

Crossing Over: The Wiki

Chances are you’ve already been introduced to the wiki if you’ve made it this far, but if you haven’t, let me introduce the Quelmar equivalent of Dora’s Backpack.

Anything that you might need I’ve got inside for you!

The biggest thrill you can get in Quelmar storytelling is seeing the ideas you created for your adventures percolate through the universe and pop up somewhere else. It can be exciting to know that the town you’ve stepped into wasn’t just invented on the spot, but has its own history from when it first showed up at another table before now.

That magic item shop? Your friend from college invented that.

That goddess you’re following? It was invented by the player sitting to your right.

The war that was fought on this spot 100 years ago? You fought in that war in another life…3 real years ago.

Incorporating the Wiki into your adventures is the quickest way to excite players. Now nearing 1,000 pages of people, places, events, and items, everything on the wiki is the canon of the realm as it exists at the time. When it exists on the wiki, it exists in your game. It is up to you as player or storyteller to decide what, if any, material you’d like to build on top of. But here are a few quick tips if you are quickly looking for ways to ingrain the wiki into your story.

Expanding the universe

The most important thing about adding your stories to the Quelmar collection is to ensure that somewhere, somehow, what you’ve added to the realm is archived or collected back onto the wiki.

For campaigns, that typically involves making a page and keeping some sort of simple log. You can see examples of a campaign page here.

For shorter adventures, that only means adding your Tale of Quelmar to the ever-growing list of one-shots. Of course if anything happens in your game that you want to have added to the growing canon, make sure it gets documented there, or on its own page.

And there’s more to come from Quintessential Quelmar. Look out on our page for more articles in the future!

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