A cold world, where at the equator, temperatures rarely rise above 22 degrees Celsius.
Ardoon was settled thousands of years ago, in a forgotten time.
The world of Ardoon is filled with dangerous creatures. Humanity huddles together in fortified towns and villages. Travel is dangerous; both overland and oversea. Distances are vast, with enormous stretches of barely inhabited forest, plains, marshlands, ocean and large, inland seas. In this world, filled with peril, humanity never really develops high technology. All effort goes to survival.
Ardoon is set in a region of space where reality is thin. Here, strange things happen. Some creatures employ magic. Rarely, a human is born with instinctive understanding the magical. These people are known as Stargazers. Their 'gift' is more a curse; their grasp of reality is weak, and their minds are dangerously unreliable. Stargazers cause disaster.
The act of magic is actualized through reaching through reality, and slightly bending its underlying systems. Actualization of magic is always temporary; the mechanisms never remain unaltered. The primary rule of magic is: 'It Snaps Back.'
The Order is an order of monks widespread in Ardoon. They command 'magic;' initially merely High Technology, but they have branched out into the Arcane. In order to train a Monk to use actual magic, the Monk's mind first needs to be 'broken.' Magical abilities are few, and gained through hard sacrifice.
The Order protects the balance of Ardoon. It hunts dangerous beasts when those beasts tip the balance against humans, but will not interfere otherwise. Its real mission is to prevent humanity from ever developing grand-scale civilization. Because of this, they guard their knowledge jealously.
Technological level: Aside from the Order, Ardoon's technology level is low. There are no steam engines. Water- and wind-powered machines such as mills exist. Firearms exist, but are made by hand and very expensive. Bronze is the alloy of choice. Iron is even more plentiful, but forging iron into mild steel is a skill few possess, and with bronze being both plentiful and easier to work and repair, it is the most popular option. There is a very wide range of bronze alloys in use, with different alloys for different applications. Common metals alloyed with the bronze are zinc, aluminium, iron and manganese. Most bronze items are made of 'bronzeblend,' a category of bronze alloys created by simply melting down bronze items of any composition and mixing them together. Bronzeblend is unreliable in its qualities, but inexpensive. Only the Order possesses the technology to create hardened steel. The people regard Order technology as magical because they believe those machines run on magical power.