In the Shadow of Princes

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Post-Apocalyptic Adventure
in a Techno-Futile World

This campaign is set in the twilight age of a fallen world. Human beings once held dominion over a globe-spanning civilization that had mastered the earth, the seas, the skies, and beyond. This was the civilization of the Precursors and theirs was an age of wonders until it all came to an end. Whether driven to their own destruction by overweening hubris or simply laid low by the societal paralysis of a decadent malaise, the Precursors were helpless to resist their decline and eventual downfall.
Over a millennium has passed since an extinction-event known as the Great Cataclysm ended the world of the Precursors. The scattered survivors of the Cataclysm took shelter in a world poisoned by the Cataclysm's disastrous after effects. Theirs was a miserable existence of dwindling resources and endless material suffering.
Only those lucky enough to take shelter underground managed to spare themselves from the retrogressive effects of blood poison. In a world of rampant physical deformity and mental disability, language itself began to bleed from living memory. New generations were born in agony, lived in ignorance, and died in ignominy.

Everything changed when the interminable blackness of the poisoned skies was finally lifted. The miracle of Skybreak marked the beginning of a new Age of Renewal, a time of legend that witnessed the world's rebirth and the recovery of collective humanity as a sapient species. It should have been the beginning of a new era of human progress and enlightenment, but the promise of the age was usurped by an oppressive cabal of technocratic tyrants known as The Princes.
Scene from the Apocalypse (1829) by Francis Danby (1793-1861)

Most cultures have attained a pre-industrial level of technological advancement, though there are secret enclaves of far more advanced Precursor scientific knowledge and expertise.

Under the baneful influence of The Princes' Hidden Empire, the intervening generations since Renewal witnessed a revolving series of convulsions and crises that kept the human race trapped in a perpetual state of servile subsistence.
In a world still tainted in many ways by Post-Cataclysmic pestilence and violence the human race struggled under the power of The Princes' yoke. Human beings were forced to rediscover their humanity again and again in the ashes of the Precursors.

For centuries, scattered men and women have been born with prodigious psychic powers. These gifted individuals have existed ever since the dawn of Renewal, but their numbers have grown to such an extent within recent generations that they can no longer be ignored. The rise and fall of the Phoenix Order is an obvious harbinger of the disorder this evolutionary shift will bring to human civilization.

In addition to this, ancient wisdom has revealed the existence of arcane secrets that predate the high age of the Precursors. The present age has witnessed not only the rise of psionicts but wizards as well. All will vie for supremacy in the troubled times of chaos that lie ahead.
The domination of the Princes came undone when a generation of heroes rose up to oppose the Hidden Hand. The Battle of New York in 973 PCE shattered the Princes' ruling Tetrarchy. This victory was finally secured in 999 PCE with defeat of the Phoenix Order's Golden Empire and the death of its emperor, Primus Archonibus Goland Revize, the Last Prince.

Our current campaign is set at the turn of the first Post Cataclysmic millennium. The characters of the Core Campaign have achieved the capture of Rome, the death of Goland Revize, and the defeat of the Phoenix Order. This marks the end of a significant chapter in the story.

But the story is not over.

As the legions recede new powers will rise.
Who will rule the dominant power of the new era?

Old tribal conflicts will resurface as liberated patriots challenge Rome’s conspirator factions.
Who will quell the violence and secure a lasting peace?

The Phoenix Order itself is defeated but its members remain, riven into factions that vie for dominance.
Who will be the leader to dominate or reunite the Shards of the Phoenix?

Scientific knowledge beyond the Precursors' wildest dreams now lay within mortal grasp.
Who will harness the legacy of the Princes and lead humanity into a new enlightenment?

The Age of Heroes was dominated by the revelation of evolutionary psionics, but arcane magic has also emerged to tempt human ambition.
Who will preserve the balance of power in an age of wonders?

Moreover, The North American Campaign has been reactivated, setting a band of adventurers on a new odyssey into the jungles of the Forbidden Zone. What began as a treasure hunt is developing into something far different than any could imagine.

  Cover Image: The Triumph of Death (1562) by Pieter Bruegel the Elder - Museo del Prado, Public Domain


The Forbidden City of the Phoenix

Pathfinder 1e

A party of adventurers sets out from Noirlan in search of a lost city and a legendary treasure.