About Darklands

From Create Your Own Story

More to come on this page!


Important note for editors

I reserve the right to correct any and all poor grammar as I see fit, though I will respect whatever direction other editors decide to take plot threads in, so long as they fit within the rules and general theme of the Darklands world. I will also clean up what I consider to just be bad writing. This is assuming, of course, that anyone ever feels like editing this weird story at all.

General overview

Darklands takes place in Europe in the year 1400. At this point in history the nation-state does not yet exist. Europe is controlled by emperors and individual city-states. The only moral authority in the land is the Church, which is locked in a power struggle with secular authorities. At this point in history there are two Popes, one in Rome and one in Avignon, France, and in 1409 we'll get a third in Pisa. The world is a very dangerous, screwed-up place with many incompetent, treacherous and pretty evil rulers. The Black Plague swept through Europe in the mid-1300s and killed off at least one third of the continent's population, and epidemics recur every so often.

Like in the game, all places mentioned in the story are referred to by their 15th century names.

Political borders are based not necessarily on what existed smack on that first day of 1400, but on the political situation for most of the first half of the 15th century, since like in the PC game, borders never change no matter how long the story goes on.

Holy Roman Empire

The Holy Roman Empire consists of most of modern-day Germany, Austria, Switzerland, the Czech Republic, Netherlands and Belgium, and parts of eastern France, southern Denmark and northern Italy. It is ostensibly ruled by King Wenceslaus IV, also King of Bohemia, who resides in Prague, takes little interest in imperial affairs and is in fact officially deposed in 1400, but hangs around for about 15 more years (in the story he always rules). The Emperor has no power and local nobles and robber knights effectively rule "Greater Germany."

Many of the largest cities in the Empire are Imperial Free States, meaning they are not subordinate to a prince or bishop, but are governed by local nobles, only answerable to the emperor. Since the emperor has no power, Free Cities rule themselves.


Southern Italy is divided into the Kingdom of Sicily and Kingdom of Naples, both under foreign rule. The Kingdom of Sicily is ruled by the House of Aragon (for simplicity's sake, Spanish dudes), the Kingdom of Naples is ruled by the House of Angevin (French dudes). Sardinia is ruled by various people, predominantly Aragon and the Doria family of Genoa.

Northern Italy is theoretically part of the Holy Roman Empire, but at this point in time the Empire is too preoccupied with internal problems to worry about imposing its will on the many powerful Italian city-states. Some of the most powerful Italian republics around 1400 are Florence, Siena, Pisa, Genoa, Aquilea and above all Venice, which controls the territories around the Adriatic Sea. Most of central-northern Italy is controlled by the Visconti of Milan while much of northwestern Italy is ruled by the House of Savoy.

Byzantine Empire

The Byzantine Empire is the eastern half of the former Roman Empire. Rome ruled for a thousand years, and Constantinople has ruled for another thousand. In 1400 the once-proud Byzantine Empire has been reduced to a small state comprising Constantinople and the surrounding area, as well as a few small vassal states. Byzantium's days are numbered, and western Christendom is too divided by internal fighting to worry about the threat of the Ottomans, who have conquered most of Byzantium's former territory. The population of Constantinople has fallen to around 50,000 from a high of up to 1,000,000 in better times.

Time in Darklands

For telling time, Darklands uses the monastic system of hours that was in use in the Middle Ages, based on prayer routines in monasteries. It's pretty simple, here's how it works:

Matins: Midnight

Latins: 3 AM

Prime: 6 AM

Terce: 9 AM

Sexts: Noon

Nones: 3 PM

Vespers: 6 PM

Compline: 9 PM

Easy, right? :)

Evil in Darklands


Magic in the Middle Ages is strictly the realm of heretics against the Church - no mage or wizard protagonists here.

Sorcerers and witches

Through arcane methods, sorcerers and witches, humans who have entered into a pact with Satan in exchange for dark powers, are capable of casting powerful curses, and summoning spirits, undead and demons from the depths of Hell. Both sorcerers and witches may temporarily be possessed by a devil, which can change their body into another form. Witches can fly on ordinary objects, like broomsticks, brew potions and may even have command over evil weather.

Witches gather once a year at their Sabbat, held at a secret location you must discover if you wish to defeat them, for a time anyway.

Heretical cults

Put your 21st century morality away - relativism is not a thing in medieval Europe. Groups that go against the teachings of the Church in Rome are heretics, in league with Satan. While heresy can be found almost anywhere, be particularly wary of small hamlets, which can often be havens of devil-worship. If discovered, heretics will attack and possibly summon creatures from Hell to fight you. Entire monasteries have been known to turn to heresy, and heretics sometimes disguise themselves as monks or traveling merchants to prey on the unwary. The countryside is littered with altars and other monuments that are used in demonic rituals by cultists. If defeated by cultists or witches, you will most likely find yourself sacrificed to the devil in a most gruesome manner.

Knights of the Temple (Templars)

The first of the military orders, founded in France in 1118 after the First Crusade. The Knights Templar were sworn to protect the newly founded Christian kingdom in the Holy Land, and to escort pilgrims to Jerusalem. Originally known as the Poor Knights of the Temple, as the first brothers were reduced to begging for alms, over the next two centuries the order grew wealthy, powerful and corrupt. The impenetrable secrecy of the Templars' initiation ritual gave rise to rumours of heresy within the Order. In the early 14th century, Philip IV (The Fair) of France embarked on a bloody persecution of the Knights. Under terrible torture, Templars confessed to, among other crimes, practising devil-worship, communicating with and obeying the will of Satan and desecrating the Cross. After many Templars were burned at the stake, Pope Clement V officially dissolved the Order in 1312, their possessions passing to their rivals, the Knights Hospitalier.

While the Order was swiftly crushed in France and Britain, no great extermination ever befell them within the Holy Roman Empire and other areas of Christendom.

Most medieval and modern historians have concluded that the Templars were innocent, victims of the cash-strapped Philip IV and betrayed by a captive Papacy at Avignon, but the legend of satanic rites (and some even more ridiculous conspiracy theories) nonetheless endures to the present day, and certainly was prevalent in the medieval period. You may know them as the cartoonishly evil antagonists of Assassin's Creed, in which they play the role of the evil totalitarians against the cool hip anarchistic atheist vegan punk-rock assassins -.- for the love of God, please do not bring any of that into this story, kthx.

Demons and hellspawn

Creatures and monsters


Wolves are one of the most common dangers to travellers, especially in colder climates. Wolves always hunt in packs. Since they hunt for food, they will not always fight to the death, and may stop after downing one party member. When driven to desperation in times of famine, they are even known to invade towns and villages, and bring down their prey in the streets. Can be skinned for fur.


Common to all medieval forests. Once committed, they will always fight to the death. Boars fight by charging headlong at their adversaries, to their dying breath, even when mortally wounded.


Only attack humans when hungry or threatened. Very strong in hand-to-hand combat, can be frightened away and may be demoralized by painful wounds. Bears can be skinned for fur.

Giant spiders

Usually found deep in forests, they are as large as wolves, fast and have poisonous fangs. May be outrun by fast riders, very difficult to outrun on foot.


Men who have entered into a pact with a devil, gaining the ability to transform from a man into a wolf and back again. Werewolves may be driven by bloodlust, sexual lust or a combination of both. Stronger than normal wolves, and usually hunt alone.

Schrat & Holzfrau

The schrat is a giant, humanoid creature covered in green fur that roams the forests of medieval Germany. Known as "wild men," they are very violent and primarily driven by lust for females. Female adventurers must take special care to avoid schrats, as if they are captured, they will be taken to the schrat's den and defiled.

The holzfrau is a hairy humanoid female that is the normal mate to the schrat. Unlike schrats, holzfraus are generally friendly and helpful towards travellers, even giving refuge and food to lost humans in the woods.


Very rare monster that lives in the deepest forests and highest mountains. People are the ogre's favourite food. Falling into an ogre's hands means almost certain death, although since they are astoundingly stupid, intelligent characters may be able to talk themselves out of an ogre's clutches.


Inhabit the deep, deep underground, below the crust of the earth, amid molten rock. Very ancient creatures that may date from before Satan's fall. It is not known whether they are ruled by the devil. Seen by very, very few humans, vulcans only appear above-ground near volcanoes, and then only very briefly. A fight with a vulcan means certain death for all but the strongest, wisest adventurers. Think balrogs in LOTR, you basically have to be Gandalf and then some.


The most dangerous of all beasts. Dragons are highly intelligent, very violent and very difficult to defeat. Dragons hoard treasure, but the more they have, the more they desire. Everything else about dragons you should already know :)


The unicorn is one of the rarest creatures in medieval Europe. A beautiful white horse with a spiral horn on its head, unicorns have magical powers. Its horn can cure poisoning, but once its horn is removed the creature dies. To kill a unicorn is a terrible sin. The unicorn can only be tamed by a pure maiden.

Combat, stats, attributes and stuff

Doesn't matter a great deal. It's just there for immersion and as a guideline, so you don't make a character do something really unrealistic, that doesn't fit with his or her description. Battle systems bore me, so there is none. With attributes, use common sense: a character with a smokin' hot bod but low charisma will definitely be able to seduce a guard, but probably won't be able to talk his or her way into a palace, or out of a fight with bloodthirsty bandits. A petite little girl with "average" strength probably can't wield a 50-pound axe. Etc. etc.

Weapons, you kill stuff with those

Your characters can start off with these or pick them up along the way, idk.

Edged weapons

Two-handed sword - a heavy sword you need two hands to wield

Longsword - a lighter sword, wielded with one hand

Falchion - a one-handed sword with one sharp edge

Shortsword - a short, quick one-handed sword

Dagger - you probably know what a dagger is

Battleaxe - a heavy, two-handed axe

Hand axe - a lighter, one-handed axe

Field axe - the axe you use for splitting wood

Impact weapons

Great hammer - a very heavy, expensive two-handed hammer, deadly in strong hands

Giant cudgel - A very heavy club reinforced with steel

Maul - a heavy iron club with a shaped end, designed to penetrate armour

Military hammer - Light hammer with one sharp and one blunt end

Club - A one-handed wood thing you bonk people with


Pike - A very long, heavy spear, useful in large battles

Halberd - A heavy weapon with various points, blades and hooks on the end

Long spear - A long, heavy spear, slow to wield

Short spear - A shorter, lighter spear, easy and quicker to wield

Quarterstaff - A light, inexpensive weapon, does little damage but easy to wield


Longbow - Made in England, but imported to Europe. Rare, expensive, requires great strength, penetrates all armour

Short bow - Typical small bow used across Europe. Requires below-average strength

Composite bow - Asian-made bow, most effective and expensive bow. Requires high strength

Missile weapons

Crossbow - Mechanical bow that fires bolts, requires average strength

Iron handgun - Very early handgun, heavy, slowest missile weapon to reload, expensive

Brass handgun - Better than iron handgun, very rare, even more expensive

Thrown weapons

Throwing axe - a lil axe you throw, requires average strength

Javelin - a light spear you throw at things or people or other creatures you dislike or need to eat

Dart - a metal dart

Throwing knife - a knife you throw, like a ninja!

Personal tools