The Boundless Empire
250 years ago the Great Cataclysm destroyed the Mighty City of Spina, Capital of the Boundless Empire. A fearful Earthquake opened the ground splitting the city in two. They said that the Emperor himself, who was feasting in one of his lavish seven-nights-long orgy, fell into the dreadful chasm with all his courtesans and cascades of ruby colored wine. The Temples of the Old Gods collapsed and the Halls of Wizardry were set on fire (and they are still burning today darkening the sky over Spina with a storm of ashes): a dark Age of Chaos began. Plagues, famines, floods scourged the Earth and reduced dramatically the numbers of the living. But the Cataclysm didn’t touch the physical world only: it eroded the very foundations of reality, breaking the boundaries between the mortal world and the spirit world, between Life and Death, and new menaces endangered the Earth: the restless Undead and the untamed Demons.
It was in those times that the Elven Realms mysteriously vanished, leaving fabulous but empty cities in the deep forests or under the hollow hills. Elves became then extremely rare and elusive.
Dwarves, disturbed by the Cataclysm, left the Underworld and began to adventure themselves over the ground, establishing new deals with Human. They traded weapons, gold, jewels, and the dreadful Powder of Fire and slowly started to conquer more and more land under the Sun…
Orcs took advantage from those disorders and set themselves free after centuries of slavery. Some of them managed to sail back to their Pristine Land and founded the Free State of Orcland Beyond the Sea. Most however became mercenaries, raiders, beggars (as the famous Beggar King with his Wandering Court of lepers, rogues, actors, bards and mad people).
A century passed before the First Red Pontifex eventually claimed the throne of Spina, founding the Church of Many Sorrows. Under his rule the World gained new Order, new Hope. Anyway scholars still call this: the Age of Many Sorrows. Plagues, Famines, Floods, Undead Armies, Seductive Demons are still out there. And Wars between the New Kingdoms and Queendoms make life even worse. The Church itself, who didn’t want to subdue to temporal power, armed its own soldiers and called them Paladins. The Holy Inquisition was founded to judge and punish all the magic-users who do not follow the rules of the Church: those who don’t bear the Burning Mark on their skin are called Demonologists and killed with no mercy.
If the life inside the Church seems hard, consider how dangerous it is to live outside its holy protection…
Hordes of Mercenaries (cunning Half-dwarves, fierce Half-orcs) roam the country, robbing and raiding and raping wherever they go.
Lepers and Beggars wander in the wilderness on rotting feet, shaking their tiny menacing bells. If they touch you, you are dead. Medicines are so rare and expensive far from Monasteries…
The Wild Forests are home of witches, werewolves, wild Orcs, weird Elves, bloody-thirsty druids and all the monsters that escaped from the Spirit World after the Cataclysm.
Demons are almost everywhere, disguised in many forms in order to deceive you and steal your immortal soul. Only the most courageous wizards dare to enslave them through enchantments.
And wherever the Church cannot extent its holy power the dead cannot rest, and walk on the land, hungry of human flesh. If you die out there, you will never rest in peace.
But there are also amazing wonders in the waste: next to the Fractures of the Earth Dwarves settled their own wondrous bazaars, where they sell amazing artifacts, splendid weaponry, and strange alchemical substances. In the darkest Forests, under the fairy hills there are abandoned elven palaces to explore, filled with magic from the Past. Here and there you can find one of the Old Sanctuaries where powerful clerics still make miracles in the name of the Old Gods. And secluded in their Towers, the Wizards are reclaiming the power that they lost after the Cataclysm. They said that the Demon Overlord himself sent his Ambassadors to the Towers to make treaties with the Warlock Princes.
If you are a Dwarf you will have many chances to become a Master among your kin
If you are an Orc you are finally free to become whoever you want, no more slave of the Human
If you are an Elf you can walk like a shadow in the world, searching for your lost kind or enchanting people with your own magic
If you are a Human you can achieve ultimate glory, power and maybe immortality.