The Tone and Inspiration of Ambitus

The Tone

The Images of Ambitus

The Parts of Ambitus

People don’t want to believe. When something unexplainable happens, the average person wants to keep it that way. Monsters are just undiscovered animals. Survival against all odds is chance. A curse is bad luck. Visions are delusions. The truth is that the world belongs to the believers. When blood sucks back into a soldier’s wounds – it’s magic or the gods. The forest is alive. People don’t always come back from the dark, but something always does. Curses pass from father to son. Visions are premonition.

Ambitus is not high-fantasy or apparent fantasy at least. Magic is real, but mysterious and impossible to unravel. Most people choose to ignore it. In a world with millions of people, only a couple thousand actually read the old manuscripts, trace the rune stones, and read phenomena that are mundane to others. The gods exist or at least some of them do, but they don’t follow our rules. Most people only follow them lightly, plenty more know better than to evoke them at all. Some gods are egocentric, waging creature against creature. None of them are necessarily good or evil, there’s only their agenda. The rest is indifference. The Dawn will banish darkness, but not without killing innocents in the process. The only gods devoid of malice are the gods of the forest, and that’s because they’re beyond comprehension. The sort of omens and pacts reminiscent of Pendragon and Beowulf belong to the old gods and the stories adults tell children. Nobody believes these stories except the children and the survivors.

The only thing that everyone believes is that the world’s brutal. Thousands still die from disease. Whether you believe in a god or not, you have the same odds of dying from an accident, creature, misunderstanding, or someone else’s desires. Regions are controlled by families, councils, and organizations. Atheists and the faithful – it doesn’t matter – the world belongs to the kill or be killed. The world was crafted around the brutal.

The Inspiration

Books and Stories:

  • Ice and Fire series
  • The Legends of King Arthur
  • Beowulf
  • Norse Mythology
  • Celtic Mythology
  • Greek Mythology
  • The Dark Tower series by Stephen King
  • The Minister’s Black Veil by Nathaniel Hawthorne
  • The Lord of the Rings
  • The Hobbit
  • The Simmarillion

Movies and Shows

  • Game of Thrones
  • House of Cards
  • Vikings
  • The Green Mile
  • Lord of the Rings
  • The Hobbit
  • Pan’s Labyrinth
  • Princess Mononoke
  • Thor: The Dark World
  • Jason and the Argonauts
  • Monty Python and the Holy Grail

Video Games and Tabletop Games

  • Pendragon: The Great Campaign
  • World of Darkness
  • Shadows over Camelot
  • Elder Scrolls Skyrim
  • Castlevania Symphony of the Night
  • The Witcher

The Tone and Inspiration of Ambitus

Ambitus ClaytonStine