This setting is the latest iteration of the world I've used for most of my fantasy gaming since late middle school. Currently, it centers around an Australia-sized island continent called Arn. Arn is now the frontier for the nations of the large, Eurasian-like landmass to its east, but in previous ages it was center of various now-fallen civilizations--including the enigmatic "Dungeon Builders" who left Arn riddled with their labyrinthine, subterranean ruins, so attractive to adventurers. Arn is the site of several city-states founded by the Old Thystaran Empire, amongst hostile, barbarian tribes, and nonhuman enclaves. The greatest of these is Terminus, named so because it was founded on the site of the farthest boundary marker of Thystarus at a landing on the River Fflish.
But Terminus isn't where the player's currently find themselves. Instead, they're on Arn's northwest coast, in the narrow streets of the mist-choked, pirate haven of Raedelsport. As supplied by The Second Darkness, the city is currently beset by strange happenings related to an omnious, inky-black cloud which hangs, unmoving, overhead. After various interactions with the criminal underworld of Raedelsport, its finally time to move beyond the city and find out the secret of the eldritch cloud.
So that's the set-up. Here's the cast of player characters:
- Zarac: A veteran sellsword from the eastern Arn, troubled by an acquisitve nature and a current surfeit of funds after the untimely death of his last employer.
- Gannon: A monk and thief from an abbey in the Eiglophian Mountains (yes, a lot of pulp fiction name borrowings here) to the north. He's a servant of a obscure minor goddess, Mother Scythe, the Lady of Reaping, whose exoteric teachings focus on self-reliance and stoicism, but whose inner mysteries promote fleecing the less wary. He's been sent on a mission for his goddess.
- Renin: A wanderer from distant Staark (think Prussia under the Teutonic Knights, mixed with a pinch of ancient Sparta, and a smidge of various millenialist heretical sects in the Middle Ages), with rare powers of the mind (psionics, to use the D&D-ism), drawn to Raedelsport by mysterious dreams.
Play of first module has seen the basic outline and set peices remain largely intact (in a Yojimbo to Fist Full of Dollars sort of way), with changes to NPC presentation and motivation, and some player driven digressions along the way. I hear some later chapters get more railroady, so I'm fully prepared to jettison some of them entirely in favor of crafting our own version of the overarching "plot."
Anyway, so far, so good.