Monday, September 7, 2009

OHMAS - County Descriptions and Biographies

In an effort to supply some setting to OHMAS, I've included short descriptions of the counties of England, as well as short biographies of principle people of the era. Here are a couple of examples:

Kit Marlowe

Born the same year as Shakespeare, Christopher “Kit” Marlowe was born in Canterbury, Kent, to a shoemaker. He attended Cambridge on a scholarship, and received a BA in 1584. In 1587, the university hesitated to award him his Masters, because of a rumor that he had converted to Catholicism, but the Privy Council intervened, praising him for his good service to the queen, and his Masters was awarded. No one knows just what service provoked this extraordinary intervention, and speculation - including that he worked as a spy for Walsingham - flourishes.

His play Tamburlane was hugely successful, and the first blank verse play, influencing all who followed. His most famous play is probably the Tragical History of Doctor Faustus, with its themes of magic and the powers and temptations of devils. In the end, Faustus is torn to shreds by devils and dragged off to Hell.

In 1593, he was arrested on the testimony of Thomas Kyd, another famous playwright, and probably under torture, for libel against the queen. He was found living with Thomas Walsingham, cousin to the spymaster, and a noted spy himself. He appeared before the Privy Council on May 20th, and was set free on the condition he give daily accounts of his doings to the Council. On May 30th, he was murdered. According to official record, he was in a public house in Deptford with three men, all Walsingham’s men, when he attacked one, who slew him in self defence.

It is thought that such a case is far too suspocious to be believed, as the three men were spies with connection to the underground, and the death too convenient to some highly placed members of the privy Council.

Marlowe was rumored to be an atheist, a pagan, a homosexual, and a criminal. None of these charges can be substantiated, but it is very intriguing nonetheless.


A land-locked county, Nottingham is hilly in the west and low-lying in the east. In the southeast is the rich, fertile Vale of Belvoir. In the northwest, the famous Sherwood Forest, haunt of Robin Hood. The western hills are not high, and a ridge runs right down the center of Nottinghamshire. There are limestone caves throughout the county, most famously under Nottingham itself. The climate is dry and healthy. Cattle, sheep, hops, wheat, barley, turnips, and oats are raised in the fertile soil. The County town is Nottingham.

Map - 1809

OHMAS is almost completely done. I am just waiting any last comments from playtesters to make possible edits, then I need to spellcheck and generate a final index, and that's it.


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