Fantasy & Sci-Fi
Songs of Albinor Introduction
By Marcus Pan
The Songs of Albinor has and always will be an experiment in
poetic license. Originally intended for use in Albinor explicitly, they have
since grown to encompass a little more.
Albinor, as you can probably figure out, takes place in a
medieval-fantasy setting. A mixture of knights in armor with some ghosts and
goblins thrown in, it is nothing more than you could expect to find in any
other Advanced (or unadvanced for that matter) Dungeons and Dragons setting.
However, known to take things to extreme, especially in the creative arena, I
demanded a higher quality. When you play in Albinor, my goal is to bury you in
the setting. Not just narrate or tell you about it as other DM's do, but
surround you with my world.
In medieval times, the only form of news or knowledge came,
at least for the common folk, from word of mouth. If you didn't hear it, you
didn't know it. Add to this the fact that town pubs and inns are probably one
of the best places for a character to find work, blow off steam and grab some
ale; all while listening to the latest news from far parts. The people
most-loved in these pubs were known as "bards," the men and women who would
travel the world and gather news and stories of brave adventures and amazing
things. These they would turn into stories much like the Albinor Chronicles,
and poems much like the ones you will read in this compilation, the Songs of
These poems were written mostly to further enhance the
setting of Albinor. Descriptions of recent events, both exaggerated and
truthful, are wound throughout the images I hoped to create with the poems.
Players who've played in Albinor reveled in visiting the local pubs to hear of
the latest. You'll notice some strong correlations between the Songs of Albinor
and the Albinor Chronicles in many cases. Some are even poetic forms of the
chapter series of fantasy stories. Others may have no correlation to other
Chronicles, but were written to provide a wide and diverse pool from which I
can draw the latest bard's tales.
Many of them are experiments with different styles. You'll
see me crossover from freestyle, to sonnet-like form and throughout all I've
tried to use old English words and imagery to provoke the fantasy and medieval
setting I strive to create in my game sessions.
This is the first time I'm offering the entire series up as
one bundle. Normally they show up one at a time, throughout issues of Legends
Magazine or as pages on the Pan Pages. Nonetheless, even though re-reading of
some of my work from the past has made the word "corny" flash in my head in
bright, fluorescent colors, I've still not changed any of the poems and all are
included, in full, for your enjoyment (or for kindling