The Shattered Lands
Pulp Action in the Shattered Lands
Millennia ago a forgotten civilization used an unknown power against its enemies and torn the world asunder. This power split the continents into thousands of islands as the world’s oceans rushed inland and swallowed forest and desert alike. Mountains were reduced to valleys; rivers became seas. Such was the damage done to the world that even the people’s gods turned their backs and fled. The world became a global wilderness—a place where creatures not seen for eons suddenly ran rampant, feasting on those that once drove them away. What little was left of great nations was lost over the years as those that survived clung to the lands they once knew—barely managing to adapt. Now, all that remains are hidden ruins and fleeting whispers of a world that is no more. These are the Shattered Lands. The world now thrives. Each land mass—from island to islet—fiercely protects its way of life. Cultures have grown and changed and order has settled across the lands. The hidden places feared by ordinary denizens call out to those that would be heroes. From the barbarians of the Skaysore Plains to the vesseli arcani of the new cities of Grey Realm, from the ranger woodsmen of the Royal Oaks to the celebrated bards of Formeir’s Brow, from low scoundrels hidden in shadows to the brilliant paladins of the new gods—these are the stars of new legends, set to eclipse the dark dealings of past atrocities. Within the Shattered Lands groups have set to discover the secrets of the ancient kingdoms, to unlock the workings that made the old ones so great in their prosperity—others in an attempt to capture the devastating power for themselves. Vast empires are a thing of the past; the bloodlines of old kings run thin and those that claim the rights to the Thrones of Ancients are merely figureheads and pawns of the guilds. Each village that springs from the mud in hopes of becoming a lasting culture must accept favors from, and fall under the influence of, the guilds. Once merely a convenience, the guilds have become hegemonies. Whether it be the Guild of Tradesmen and their codes of mercantile conduct, or the horror left in the wake of the Guild of Assassins—the survival of most ventures depend on the support of or allowances made by one or more guilds. Where there once was a vacuum of power, now stand men and women of great influence who seek to shape the destiny of lands who lay dormant no more.
The catalyst for change came with the discovery of the vessels—beings who demonstrated a gift for magic. Before the vessels the world was mundane, with only the wild beasts, sleeping dragons and hidden elves able to utilize the powers of magic. Less than five hundred years ago children with extraordinary powers began to be born to all the races of the world. To some the powers were arcane in nature—with the ability to bend the elements to their will. Other found ways to tap into the magic of the natural world. Most miraculous of all were those who found a way to communicate with the gods. For thousands of years, the world’s tribes called to the skies for answer and gleaned nothing in return. Now a new Host resides above and has begun to answer the prayers of the select few. While these gods are not those of old, they show an interest in the workings of the world—not seen since the cataclysm. Gone are the gods who molded the lives of mortals from the safety of the heavens. These new gods walk among the mortals—in vast new cities and shattered ruins alike—surveying the damage and plotting their own greatness.
You are a hero. There is something about you that makes you better than others. Perhaps it is your skills with the sword or bow. Perhaps you have a silver tongue and nimble fingers. It may be your ability to lead others. Perhaps you are one of the few who command the forces of magic, or curry the favor of the new gods. Regardless of your gifts you are now faced with the difficult decision of where those gifts will take you and how you will be remembered along with the newly forged legends of the Shattered Lands.