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Setting Primer

The Past:

 

The World As It Was

Thousands of years ago, before the shattering of the Isles, the world was bright and gleaming - magic and wonders walked hand in hand beneath the light of a golden sun. Then, about a thousand years ago, the Cataclysm broke the world.  

The Present:

 

The Material World


The sun has been splintered; its embers gleam weakly in the sky at dusk and dawn. At all other times, darkness reigns.   The moon still exists, looming by the year ever closer. It occasionally refracts and creates dimmer sisters, projections as though the lunar body is being seen through some fractured, crystalline surface.   The stars remain but whirl strangely in the sky.   The The Void Sea that separates the Shattered Isles is no longer water but something else, an inky liquid in which star like points of light can be seen dancing.  

The Immaterial World

  The power of true sorcery has faded since the Cataclysm. Nobody knows why.   Since the Cataclysm the world has been suffused with what people call the ghost field - an omnipresent fuzz of spectral energy. It is always just at the corner of the mind’s eye.  

The Residents

  Humans are all that remain of the multitude of races from before the Cataclysm.   Demons  - immortal, soulless embodiments of primal forces and dark desires, walk the earth. Some taking human form and speech.   Leviathans are thought to be the greatest of Demons. Massive creatures that live in the The Void Sea, their blood is the fuel mankind burns to keep the darkness at bay.   Forgotten Gods influence and manifest the world. Their priorities and values are not those of mortals, YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.   Living beings are connected to the ghost field in ways not well-understood; with the Gates of Death broken in the Cataclysm, souls linger and leave an imprint on the ghost field.   A Ghost results from a death but typically takes up to three days to form. Commonly, Ghosts are vengeful and hunger for the warmth of the living.

The Ghost may be hunted and destroyed by the Spirit Wardens or captured and used in unearthly ways.  

The Shattered Isles

  Akoros: The seat of the Immortal Emperor who has reigned for a millenia. (Primary ethnicity: Similar to West European)   Dagger Isles: Corsairs and merchants, wild and exotic. (Primary ethnicity: Similar to Pacific Islander)   Iruvia: A land of desert kingdoms and open dealings with Demons. (Primary ethnicities: Similar to African and Middle East)   Severos: Plains and nomadic Ghost-hunting horsemen. (Primary ethnicity: Similar to Asian)   Skovlan: Home to an oppressed folk, subjugated by the Empire only recently. (Primary ethnicity: Similar to Northern European)   Tycheros: Semi-mythical, far away across the The Void Sea. Tycherosi are rumored to have Demon blood in their veins.   Mankind uses processed leviathan blood - Electroplasm - as an energy source. Notable also is that Ghosts are made up of semi-solid electroplasmic vapor.   The majority of the isles are covered in The Deathlands - seared wastelands inhabited by wrathful Ghosts and the occasional strange beast. Though it is possible to live here, it is dangerous.  

The City

  Doskvol sits on the northern tip of Akoros. Doskvol  is the home port to gargantuan Leviathan Hunters. Leviathan hunting ships prowl the northern Void Sea, returning with precious Electroplasm. From Doskvol, Electroplasm is shipped by lightning rail to the entire empire.   The city is protected from the The Deathlands by giant Lightning Barrier, powered by Electroplasm.   Unable to expand, the city has grown up rather than out. There is little free space here as the city is centuries old.   The city is also home to a large number of factions, all interested in either protecting what they have, taking what belongs to others, or some combination of the two.   That’s where you come in: at the bottom, hungry for more. Time to carve out your own turf.

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Author's Notes

Original document from Reddit Postby partiallycyber. I have modified slightly to fit my needs and world.


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