This is a thread for rampant, wild unceasing speculation about Band of Blades’ core mysteries!
Forged in the Dark games are designed with a certain amount of narrative flexibility which allows every table to reach their own conclusions about the lore, the world and the characters. The Lampblacks may be misunderstood working men in one game or a monstrous group of violent gangsters in another, but both campaigns share the same sparse lore.
With that in mind, let’s talk about the lore of Band of Blades! I’m starting my Band of Blades campaign this week and I expect that it will be extremely lore heavy: I’m using the Horned One and I’ve decided that her grand strategy is going to be learning as much as possible about the Cinder King and the Broken. I have no idea how I’m going to answer those questions which (might) include:
- Who is the Cinder King?
- Why did the Empire fall?
- What was the Godswar all about?
- How are Chosen Broken?
- What’s the deal with the Cinder King’s 9 pointed crown and Zora’s very similar crown of fire?
- What’s True Flame anyways?
- What happened in Dar?
- Which of the Twins fell to the Cinder King? What has the other Twin Chosen been up to?
- Did the Empire have Chosen?
- What was living in the Old Empire like?
- What was the Old Imperial religion?
- What were the sides in the Godswar?
So…The game here is going to be providing wildly speculative, contradictory answers to these questions for the fun of it. I’m going to post a list of things we know about the lore, and then I’m going to post some wild, contradictory speculative answers.
THINGS WE KNOW
How many Broken are there?
- The First Broken, created by the Cinder King in 840, name unknown.
- The second Broken is one of the two Aldermani Twins in 843, either a Chosen of Mattiar or Gerholtz.
- Five more Broken in the Great Breaking. Which include:
- The Chosen of Nyx. 171, 355 Shadowbinder or Binder according to Stras downthread.
- Blighter. 187
- Breaker. 195
- Render. 203
- One Unknown.
How many Chosen are there?
- The Aldermani Twin who wasn’t broken, either Gerholtz or Mattiar.
- The 4 survivors of the Great Breaking which includes:
- Shreya. 165
- Unknown Chosen #1. 354
- Unknown Chosen #2. 354
- Unknown Chosen #3. 354
- The Horned One’s Chosen. The Horned One only Chooses after Nyx is Broken. 171
- Zora. She emerges after the Shining One is Broken. 174.
What do we know about the Cinder King?
- He has a 9 pointed crown of fire. 182
- There was a 10 pointed crown of fire on a basalt throne in Dar. 364
- Zora “broke” Dar. 174
- The Cinder King has punished Breaker for researching Dar Shadows. 201
- Zora has a crown of fire. 201
- He can grant others great power through cinderblood. 203
- Others can gain his power of True Fire. 393
- He discourages his worship as a god. 413
- Undead have been associated with Chosen, but never in the numbers created by the Cinder King. 182
- The Cinder King may have sailed south. 395 Or the Cinder King has sailed east to cross the sea to reach Panya with some Broken and their armies. 405
- The Cinder King may need to renew his control over the Broken periodically. 183
- The Cinder King’s touch brings corruption. 36
What do we know about the Old Empire?
- The Empire had access to magic and/or technology that is far superior to what is available today, like warding stones and the Old Imperial Roads. 385
- The Old Empire discovered alchemy and codified writing. 352
- The Legion was founded to fight existential supernatural threats by the seventh emperor.
- The Last Emperor was murdered by multiple Chosen.
- Bartans predate the Old Empire. 356
- The Old Empire is therefore related to the Orites? (On account of them discovering alchemy?)
- The First Emperor traveled personally to Panya to seek the services of an architect. 361
- Aldermark was an Imperial province ruled from Karlsburg. 370
- A Tantari Banner was granted to the Legion by the “first Emperor”. This may be a typo as they were founded by the seventh emperor. Stras confirms it is a typo downthread. 381
- An Imperial “sending stone” is spreading corruption near the Duresh Forest. 401
- Powerful blood oaths made to emperors can create undead. 182
- Zora and her fellow chosen Osyngria fought the Last Emperor. 389
- The Last Emperor practiced human sacrifice and blood drinking to gain great power. 409
- They had a religion, but nobody knows much about it. May have been associated with True Fire. 393
What do we know about the Godswar?
- Powerful weapons were developed during the Godswar to fight the gods such as Crimson Shot and the Bell of Keening. 97 421
- Zora ended the Godswar by “striking the god within a Chosen”. 177
- A Dar warrior developed a martial arts style capable of fighting chosen. 441