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Astrea

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The Three Lands:
Far in the depths of nowhere, in the center of Sixteen planes, a design of flawless anarchy and a brutal existence cared for by the twin celestial goddesses; Droduna and Erenna. At the center of their grand design, holding a piece of every plane, connected as a bridge for life unfathomably varied and powerful, is a World known as Astrea.   The life plane, and everything within it, exist in a delicate balance. Good and Evil, Creation and Destruction, Life and Death, Fire and Ice, Light and Dark. For every good act, a bad one may follow. For every tragedy, a spark of hope.   Each aspect is represented by a greater entity; the beings who created Astrea and all things around it. Ageless deities with authority over the cosmos; The Goddess of Life and the Goddess of Death.   And in this Plane, Three Lands Emerge in a Separate cycle. Feeding those who pass through the plane with wondrous journeys and terrifying quests. Experience incarnate. The lands where many beings live their most memorable lives. To this day the locals call these lands Fevira, Asix, and Droza.   The deserts of Droza are brutal and unforgiving. Colder than death, and testing the mettle of any being within every second they stay. Hotter than fire, and bleeding the weakness from those who face its challenges. A place of strength, Honor, and Truth. Painfully honest with the conditions of existence and the pains it inhabits. Hardened by the courageous Tribes who mark it their home. Strong Individuals living the raw challenge of life day by day.   The Kingdom of the modern eras: Asix. A staple in the progress of races united under one goal. Progress and Discovery. Ruled by the capitals and led by the guidance of Flence. The stone and iron of this kingdom are indestructible to the tides of time. It has endured through much, and on a daily duty finds ways to push the expectations of the modern world to new heights. With its most recent discoveries in Atherite, it even begins to conquer the chaos of magic itself.   Fevira is the Land of the Ether. Molded by the weathered and ancient practices of Elvenkind. Magic is strong there, and, so too, must be the mages. Spirits are seen often, and often spirits are omens on a wavering spectrum. But always, the omen is of a great deal. Where darkness exists, you would do well to avoid it. Poking one's nose in a puddle of power leads to extreme suffering, for the ones who wield it as much as their subjects. The aristocratic kingdoms of the Primes know this all too well. Through their laws, and their designs, they keep the wild of Fevira in a comfortable balance with the structures of Quacar; the mighty city at the center of the land of mystics. If ever there were more beautiful societies amidst such a delicate balance, it is difficult to know.    
The Rifts:
Within these lands lies a sickness. A threat to the Balance of Astrea; the plane of Life. Within these designs, the Goddess's creations, a rot has formed. Voie and its realm of Entropy have created a disaster in the fabric, and tears of otherworldly horror, plague, and pure undoing seep through the crust to wreak havoc on the inhabitants of the lands. Kingdoms have been razed by simple gateways, and entire provinces have ceased cooperative practices. Diplomatic and civilized efforts have been placed on hold for the sake of pure survival. Neighbors, friends, and cities have become enemies, lest they fall into the category of victims.   Beasts come out in the shadow. No discernable pattern, no clear design. Shadows of different creatures echo in twisted concoctions of disgusting animals. Vile in sight and nature. Interested only in destroying anything in their path. Gorging down anything that runs, screams, and fears them. Radiating the stench of fear itself. The sight of one could cause anybody great panic. The natural world suffocates beneath their talons. A plane ripe for the burning vision crafted by their blind carnage.   With them comes their pestilence. Plague, known to Astreans as The Devouring. The unstoppable sickness that feeds from the soul, the natural mana, of an individual like a leech. Slowly rotting the body in a matter of weeks. If death takes one before their mana gate is devoured, they are considered lucky. For if your will outlasts the effects of the sickness, then your being becomes a vessel for the destructive quest of the Rifts. Women, men, and children. Slain from the terrible power gifted to the undead stalks of the dark unknown nemisis. Villages emptied for quarantine become nests of creatures lurking in shadow, and those who wander in have just as much likelihood of joining the maw of a mindless pack of humanoid figures, waiting for the next twig to snap.   The Gates of these poisons are indiscriminate and unforgiving. It has taken the Rifts ten long years to surround the world. A world that has made the mistake of believing that their avoidance of these places would be the solution. The Rifts have spread far, to every corner of Astrea. If there was hope before, much time has passed since it was possible for Astrea to fight a force of nature.    
The Rosewood Institue:
And that is where our story begins. Where the foolish have fled to the failed. Where the exiled have collected to find a cause. Where the heroes train for their final battle.   Even the blind can see Astrea is dying, and if anyone is to save her, they'd better do it soon.   So, an invitation has been gifted. Printed and pressed. Nailed to tavern posterboards, and flung out in the air of township squares. Letters providing small coin to mercenaries and battalions for the simple act of reading them. A message, a rally, a roll call. A letter, written by one Alea Rosewood, calling any and all capable to the Isle of Cyrr, to pledge their loyalty to the Rosewood Institute. Promising to find a way to stop the Rifts.   And few, quite few, have arrived.