Firmament is fundamentally not a dark game. While dark things, and grave threats, may occur it is the intention of the GMs that these should always be couched in the language of the bold and heroic. This is a story about the power of people to change the world, and be changed in turn by it. This change, and how people react to it is important, and the impassive or the fastidiously realistic will always fall by the wayside for the fun, the interesting, and the awe-inspiring.
Firmament is not set in our Earth, though many parallels to it exist, as I am sure anyone who has read the wiki will start to pick up on. Some of these are intentional, many are likely not, and we set out to create a world that could be placed in many places in our world, and yet none of them. That being said, our main inspiration in terms of aesthetic and feel was the Italian Renaissance. This period of fractious powers, and a re-evaluation of past glories in a more modern age was instrumental to the core themes of the game which can be summed up as:
The ways these affect the game should become more apparent as it is played but we, as a GM team, tried to keep these at the front of our minds while designing world and plot.
While the Italian Peninsula was always a large influence for the naming scheme of places and characters within Firmament, almost as large were the Ancient Phoenicians, and more modern Tunisians. So if you are looking to see why we used that jumble of syllables, or are looking for inspiration for names yourself, that is a place to start.
A number of existing works which guided the GM team include: