I am going to claim “Foul!” on the Hellboy people. 😉 If you watch the latest trailer for Hellboy II, you will see a large banner hanging outside what appears to be an auction house, written on the banner is “Blackwood’s” and the rest is unreadable. Given that I started using Blackwood last summer after I discovered Savage Worlds as the name of my secret organization, The Blackwood Society, that fights to save our world, I call “Foul!”
Seriously though, this has gotten me started thinking again about writing (and inevitably about gaming to some extent) again. The Blackwood Society as I imagine it has been around for ages, probably since the Dark Ages I gather, in some shape or form combating the forces of evil that vie to strike out from darkness and consume our world. Their methods of attack are numerous including through dreams, paranormal means, demons, dark magic, etc…essentially anything and everything they might get their hands on. The Society walks the thin line between our world and theirs and ensures that a balance is kept.
What follows is an introduction on the Society from a Play by Post game I ran for a bit that I used to inform the players to what the Society was all about:
Blackwood is the ‘codename’ of a secret group of people, many of whom are professionals and experts in various fields of science, medicine, the spiritual, and antiquities. They have been brought together by a mysterious benefactor who is somehow connected to the Field Museum in Chicago, in fact their ‘headquarters’ is located high up in the rafters of the massive museum complex. It is from here that they plan their adventures that take them around the world in search of antiques from the history of our world.
Blackwood is a small group, but more than just the characters we will see in the game, and Blackwood has agents around the globe that are associates of the organization. They may support it through donations, information, and providing resources to agents in the field. You might find a well-respected New York business man who sends funds to help support the organization, or a female MI6 agent who sends data to Blackwood whenever she comes across information that would be useful in tracking down long lost archaeological treasures, or a Spanish ambassador to Germany that keeps a chalet in the Alps that allows the organization to use the basement as a safehouse. While perhaps not officially a member of Blackwood, these people are instrumental to ensuring that Blackwood can continue their mission of securing the treasures of the past and ensuring they end up in the right hands.
The primary organizer of Blackwood is Director Jonas A. Herrington, a wealthy business man who serves on the Field Museum’s Board of Directors. He is somewhat of an elusive figure, dancing at the edge of society just beyond common knowledge. He is immensely wealthy, an expert in certain ancient histories, able to speak equally well in English, German, and French, and when younger, recovered many items now stored at the Field Museum. He has since retired from field work, but now serves on the board. Knowledge of Blackwood, nor his involvement in the organization, are known to the public.
My idea of Blackwood takes place around the late 1930s, just as the world was starting to suspect that Hitler and the Nazi Germans were not so nice a bunch of fellas. I planned on slowly opening up the world to paranormal oddities like those that might be found in the Hellboy comics and books, or the movie Constantine. That was my main idea anyway, linking timeless artifacts with black magic and the occult, to the demons that fight angels to take over the world everyday. The group was intended to be a sort of cool “League of Extraordinary Gentlemen” but with the aim of fighting dark and sinister powers, not just brilliant men bent on world domination.
And that brings me to my latest idea. Since I have always claimed that my gaming was merely a means to and end, that of writing, and now I will not have the time, nor ability to game. Perhaps I could write some short stories based in the Blackwood world as I try to work out the kinks and work out the world until I have the time and ability to really sit down and focus on just it.