In the last moments before the beginning of time, the great dragon fell in fearsome calamity, rending the earth anew and forging the great bowl world named for its fiery creator: Válka. The dragon’s bones seeded the mountains; from its spilled blood grew the vast forests that spread out like verdigris oceans. Válka’s rivers flowed from deep gorges of stone and out over the rich plains. The ancient native spirits reawoke and began their long tending of the woods and wild places, while their twisted, darker kin took on new monstrous forms, taking up residence in the shadowy places. Other beings emerged from the quiet: the goblin-folk in the mountains, keeping their histories and their secrets; the reptilios, cold blooded inheritors of Válka’s pride and strength.
And the humans, spreaders and changers, tinkerers, short lived but clever. It was they that spread the furthest across Válka, harnessing steel and the oldest of magics. Some sought to live in peace with Válka and headed north, living off the seasons, eventually becoming known as barbarians. Some focused their minds on sorcery, building towers of will and twisting their human kin into weird abhorrent shapes in search of the hidden secrets of life and the dragon’s power. These, the Wizards, continued meddling in the stuff of being eventually led to great enmity amongst their creations, and these strange and twisted things formed the Brotherhood to combat their machinations. The rest of humanity found power in the shaping of the land, clearing the old forests for farmlands and building huge walled cities guarded by Knights to keep the rest of life at bay.
All the many people of Válka came eventually into conflict with one another, vying for power, for honour, for the spreading of their beliefs and the protection of their homes. This great land is now a place of conflict. Válka is a land of war.
Válka began in the mind of its artist and creator Brooke Penrose as a way to turn his drawings into a card game. The basic concepts of the game (front and backlines, buffs, etc) came about through playtesting with bits of paper with Brooke's children.
Every card begins as a pen drawing on paper, is scanned and coloured using a specific pallete. The art has an antique and other-wordly feel, like something that has fallen through a wormhole from an ancient civilisation.
The game design was completed with amazing help from John de Campos of Terrible Games and Brooke's excellent cadre of D&D buddies.
Brooke Penrose is an artist and musician from Melbourne Australia. He has been drawing all his life, and has maintained a facination with the weird and esoteric since discovering the work of Norman Lindsay, Brian Froud, Ian Miller, Larry Elmore, and the writing of R.E. Howard, William Gibson and J.R.R Tolkein.
Copyright © 2023 Válka: A Game of Battle Bedlam for Ages 8-800 - All Rights Reserved.