Krakow: Real Medieval Fantasy Inspiration with Crowns & Skulls



I recently received my copy of Crown & Skull and on an almost unrelated topic travelled to Krakow, Poland, only to learn that there are some maybe spiritual connections between the two.

Krakow may be one of the most RPG fantasy cities there exists. For one, the city has many functional buildings going back for centuries, because its structures were not devastated by WWII despite many other tragedies associated with that war. Secondly, the city of Krakow has a creation legend with the Medieval King Krakus and the defeat of a dragon named Smok Wawelski, where “smok” is pronounced like “Smaug” with a “k”. Thirdly, Wawel Castle in Krakow is part of the Trail of Eagle’s Nests commissioned by King Casimir III the Great, the 14 Century King of Poland.

An unexpected similarity is in the artwork of Stanisław Wyspiański at the Church of St. Francis of Assis and Runehammer in Crown & Skull. Stanisław Wyspiański created his art for the church in the early 1900s when Krakow was under the rule of Austria. Here is a photo of the stained glass window done by Wyspiański depicting King Casimir III the Great, the 14 Century King of Poland.