Arcluminus is a world torn asunder, ever changing, in a constant state of uncertainty. It is dangerous and it is deeply volatile. Most civilizations are in a perpetual state of peril, whether that is due to erratic climate, aggressive wildlife, ceaseless earthquakes or devastating volcanic eruptions.
In a world such as this, citizens flock to whomever is able to provide refuge from these threats – powerful individuals and groups able to offer a safe haven, usually for a price (whether that be gold or piety). These havens are known as Bastions – fortresses or sanctuaries where the populace may put their minds at ease, out of reach of the dangers of the world. But Bastions come with their own risks. These shelters have a tendency to be governed by barbaric kings, mighty sorcerers or monstrous creatures; additionally, Bastions more often than not have a long history, within which lay the pieces of nefarious secrets best left alone. They are also a place of constant conflict, as many wish to hold these seats of power. The populace may kneel before a malicious dragon one day only to find themselves looking up at a warrior queen whom usurped the beast on the following morn.
Small towns and cities are few and far between but do exist – though their lifespan is never assured to be of any significant length. These smaller outposts tend to have weaker defenses and are easily overrun by Or-kin
war parties, Coilwood
, unending hosts of the dead, typhoons, etc.
Religion is of immense importance to many people of Arcluminus. Faith is a free bandage that any may apply over the wounds of a world that fights back. Most deities are known to be of flesh (or stone, or fire), making it easy to believe in something greater – it is hard to argue otherwise when there are those known to have reached out and touched said “gods”. Some of these idols are much more powerful than others, whereas some may not be gods at all (but the benefits of others believing that you are can be quite high). Regardless, these immortals are said to be the founders of the world whom laid the bedrock, the mountains, the trees, one by one until they saw it fit for the coming of man, Elfen
and the rest. The people of Arcluminus will always hold their beliefs close to their hearts, as it helps give meaning to their often-wretched lives. And yet some Bastion rulers have abolished religion in favour of the inhabitants worshipping themselves instead – there is no greater pleasure than being bowed to as if you were a deity, and it quickly fills your pockets too.
The economy of Arcluminus has fallen into an unstable balance. Some regions highly value coin, where you can never go wrong with a pocket full of gold. Other places could care less for such currency, finding the metals better spent melted down into fine weapons or armour. Due to the constant state of change of the world, trade routes often shift, transform or disappear completely. One nation may be cut off from their nearest allies by a sudden crack in the earth splitting off the only safe roads between them, only to meet again a century later to find themselves as enemies under new banners. It is best to keep a close eye on your assets and allies.
Sorcery is extremely powerful on Arcluminus, often attracting unwanted attention. Those who wield magic are playing with death itself – a solar flare or an unknown leyline could turn a simple magician’s trick into a fiery sphere of absolute destruction. Some of the more powerful magics require blood sacrifices or giving up your beliefs to bow forever before a forsaken god. Wizardry is something to think long and hard about before wading into its murky waters.
Lastly, Arcluminus has two stars – one which the planet orbits, called Solune
. The other is an artificial star of refined thaumaturgy, called Ruin
, summoned into existence by a mad sorcerer named Vendris Emberbrand
eons ago – it resides ~25,000 feet, unmoving, above The Crucible
. This is the primary source of Arcluminus’ environmental instability, while also affecting the minds of those who stray too close, mutating inhabitants nearby, and most certainly worse…