The World Afflicted: An introduction to Expedition Demeter

Welcome to the World Afflicted

Expedition Demeter is a setting for an RPG System of my own creation. It is a story driven game of hope and discovery.The players will create their own characters who are members of the titular expedition. Their have been 14 expeditions, with with variable degrees of success and failure. Expedition Demeter is the one that succeeded entirely. The story of Expedition Demeter is predetermined. It's mission is destined to succeed. This means that, for the GM, the events have already occurred, and the expeditions achievements and failures are always referred to in the past tense.
This will forever hint at what is to come for the players. It hints at a deeper plot that is going on in the world that the players must face. That being said, it is not the end that matters as much as how you get there.
There is a large focus on emergent game-play as the players explore a massive world filled with secrets to uncover. Characters must still tread lightly. While The expedition is destined to succeed, nothing has been said about its members...

Genres and Themes

Expedition Demeter is a dark fantasy setting with many elements of science fiction, steampunk, and horror thrown into the mix. These genres are often skewed by and blended with several distinct themes. Romanticism and the hope it brings will often be juxtaposed with nihilism and defeatism. These two themes drive the plot and often influence the motivations of those in the world. The Freehold Knights, for example, are hopelessly drawn to romantic thinking. They are hopeful, honest, and honorable paladins of good in the eyes of many, but this is not entirely by choice. The armor they wear comes from a tainted land and it taints their mind as well. They are just as often seen as loose cannons, with a suicidal drive that can lose crucial battles simply because their honor (and ego) would suffer in their retreat. This irony persists in many parts of the world.
Jhoterordenes are some of the most efficient and brutal killers, even when compared to the vicious Weir Beasts. That is, unless the target of their rage is wearing purple, which they find revolting and renders this mighty predator to an ailing pup.

A Dreadful Sandbox

The players have an enormous control over where the expedition goes and what it will do. The game is designed to give freedom to the players and emphasize improvisation on the part of gm.
Players will even assist in building lore. While this is the gm's world, its the players' story. Players will encounter random events. They will stumble on long forgotten ruins, and discover the many wonders (or many terrors) that dwell within. Accompanied by colorful npcs that populate the expedition, they will save the world or send it hurdling further into oblivion.

Existential Crisis

The world is sick and broken. Reality itself is unraveling and this only gets worse as the events unfold for the players. A series of Universal Maladies ravage the world. Each does so in their own unique ways. These maladies are evidence of the bigger picture. Something is going on in these places of sickness. All it would take is a group brave enough to peel back the skin of the world to see the monstrous horrors feasting underneath.

Young Gods

The gods have all but abandoned the world for reasons kept secret from even their most devoted followers. The gods are young and reckless in this world. Gods the players may know will be seen long before the myths that made them famous. The gods are not as active anymore. They don't answer as many prayers, they take fewer SCIONS, and its starting to get noticed. In their youthful ignorance, the gods made a mistake, a mistake they are desperate to fix.

Nations Scattered Through Time And Space

Time doesn't work right in the world. Universal Vertigo ensures it. In many places, going to the market across the street can be a day long affair and asking your neighbors for sugar or milk can be an expedition in and of itself. This is one of the many goals of Expedition Demeter. With the help of The Estoyan Pathfinders, the players will unite the world with roads that don't stretch and stabilize them in time and space.


The center of civilization, a nation of refugees, Estoya is where the players will start. They are known for their expeditions and remarkably progressive society. Their unique take on had led many to flock to their border.

The Freeholds

The freeholds are fading away, and generally only exist in the north. They are a group of many city states. Each has their own distinct culture. The three largest among them holds sway over hundreds of others.
Cordais with its intrigue and decadence, Valheim with its hospitality and harsh wilds, and Espada, A place of culture and art


A theocratic nation split into many warring tribes, The provinces of Mhirriah are what remains of the bygone empire of Ozlith . They fight and train constantly to prepare for the infernal armies that crash against the southern gates.


A land filled with feudal families, inspired technology, and strange traditions, Lartasia is a land to the north west on the other side of the world. The Universal Mania that plagues the land leads to many inventions that put if far ahead of other nations technologically.


A desert with a haunting past that has come back to haunt its shifting sands, Dis is home to several cultures. Each one pledging loyalty to one of its four pharaohs and fight over what little scraps of fertile land still remain.

A Tale of Terrible Wonders

Expedition Demeter is designed to be a story of exploration. To put any one theme as its primary focus would be a disservice to the game. This is a game that cultivates inspirational, emotional, and sometimes terrifying stories about the experience we call life. Action and Drama are balanced with one another. The interactions between players and recurring NPCs are just as important as the action packed combat.

About The Author

My name is Dylon and i'm a 26 year old man living in the state of Oklahoma. I've been writing for almost 10 years off and on, starting in high school. Telling stories is a passion, and one I desperately want to share. I joined World Anvil to share these creations with you all, and experience your's in return. My worlds are very much a part of me, so thank you for taking a look and I look forward to sharing it with you.

World Map
A basic map of the world.

Further Reading

While one could start anywhere, the table of contents for example, I find the following articles to be a great place to begin your journey. Thank you for reading this far and I hope you enjoy my world!


Cover image: by khius from adobe stocks


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