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Von Scottish Knight,

Welcome to the world of The 9th Age.

With the release of v.1.0, I wanted to take a little time to discuss the progress on constructing a new background for The 9th Age. You will have already seen the Undying Dynasty Army Book, our first published work, which set the standard for the Army Books we will be releasing in the months and years to come.

Our next release will be the Sylvan Elves Army Book. It is a fantastic piece of work, with many great contributions from our artists and writers, and I look forward to seeing the reactions once it comes out.

Many of you will have questions about your own army – when you can expect them to have a full army book, and what you can do in the meantime. There are also questions about how The 9th Age world is structured. I hope I can provide some insight here.

The 9th Age is set in a fantasy world, which draws upon both real world inspiration and preceding fantasy themes. Each of our stories will be original, but they should also feel familiar to fans of the genre.

Army Books are not intended as a comprehensive summary of each faction. Instead, each Army Book is designed to give a flavour to the faction, to set the tone and atmosphere for that army. With the Undying Dynasty, that tone was the eerie horror of a long dead civilisation returning to life. For the Sylvan Elves, you can expect a more wondrous experience, tinged with the brutality of an alien people living according to the laws of nature.

We have adopted an approach of having an in-world human narrator for each book to draw out these themes. The intention is that the experience should be accessible to both existing players and newcomers, and it should set players up to devise their own stories around their armies. We don’t intend to ever define the limits of our world, or to comprehensively list every city, lord or battle – this is as much your world to populate as it is ours.

However, we also recognise that players do want to have some details to use when constructing their forces, and know how their faction fits into the wider world. To that end, after the Sylvan Elves Army Book, we will be producing a Background Compendium. This will be released with the Rulebook and give a brief introduction to each faction, summarising some of their key interactions, as well as some useful details about rulers and history. For players whose armies have still to receive a full Army Book, this will also provide an initial flavour of that force in The 9th Age world.

Along with the faction backgrounds, the Rulebook and Compendium will also contain a map of The 9th Age world, a timeline of the Ages leading up to this the 9th Age and some particulars about the Gods and magic in the world.

After that, it will be on to the next Army Books, and to fleshing out more of the world. I ask that you are patient with us, the Army Books take time, but I hope the end result will be worth the wait in each case.

And for those of you who would like to contribute to the developing background and art – please stay tuned to the announcements, in the next few weeks we will be holding a contest to showcase the talents of our community, and to invite some new applicants to the Background and Art Team.

Thanks to you all for your support and kind words so far, and I hope you will enjoy the forthcoming works.

Scottish Knight (B&A Team Leader)
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