The empire that once spanned a third of the known world is gone, her cities destroyed, her forests razed, and her rivers poisoned. The Noble Houses that ruled the provinces and commanded vast armies have withdrawn to rule from the wreckage of isolated city-states.
However close to ruin they have come, the struggle for dominance, of the Houses, the cities, and the entire empire, continues without end. The Imperial Guard, forged after the war from the remnants of the Imperial Army, is the only bulwark against open warfare.
Lacking the resources and will to re-establish the glorious civilization of old, the Noble Houses instead spend their efforts on the rediscovery of long forgotten libraries, forges, and arcane facilities. Hucksters peddle rusty junk and broken trinkets to the ignorant, while the Lords seek out and hoard the technological wonders of a dead era, though they are barely understood.
Chivalry, honor, and valor, now widely regarded as the luxuries of the past, have been cast aside in favor of transitory loyalties and a rule of law ever available to the highest bidder. Alliance and reputation are the true currencies now, and a careless word or unpaid tribute can cost the ultimate price.
There is a change lately in the unstable flux of power and intrigue, of stroke and counterstroke. A fanatical mysticism is slowly gaining favor, a new and seemingly unstoppable faction which threatens to sweep away its squabbling, disorganized competitors. Some speculate that another war approaches, while others rubs their hands in anticipation of the profits that strife must surely bring.
While these events mean dark times for the common folks, they offer a once in a lifetime opportunity for an individual determined to seize the moment, to follow it to riches, power, glory and, most likely, an untimely death.
You’ll be able to visit and explore 22 locations.
Here are a few places to give you an idea of what to expect:
Your adventure begins in Teron, a small crumbling town far away from the main tracks of travelers and caravans. It’s been dying for the last hundred years or so, kept alive only by the combined efforts of its inhabitants.
Affectionately known as ‘the city of all cities’, Maadoran is the largest and most powerful city-state left. It was hit hard during the Great War – the attack left a wound that never healed, but the city survived, creating the impression that it can endure anything and will stand forever.
Another ancient town, Ganezzar was built around a castle that gave the town its name. The castle belonged to House Crassus, which was always more interested in arcane rather than military triumphs. Unfortunately, the old ways are all but forgotten now. Research was transformed into rituals. Understanding into blind faith. Dedication into zeal. House Crassus became a twisted image of what it once was.
Caer-Tor is a large military base, built far away from cities and towns to avoid the taint of “civilization” and ensure battle-readiness of the legions. Nobody but the Imperial Guards can enter Caer-Tor. For everyone else, the base is off limits.
Every RPG worth its salt needs a tomb or two, so it should come as no surprise that our game comes with a state-of-the-art tomb, featuring raiders, hidden doors, evil altars, dead warlords, legendary treasure, and necromancing opportunities.
Described by many as a mysterious temple cut into the face of a mountain, Hellgate has a dark reputation. Few men who have entered its ancient halls have lived to tell their tales. Out of those who ventured into the lower levels, none have returned.
Ruins are everywhere these days. All shapes and sizes, as they say. If you dig deep enough, you’re bound to find something, be it tablets with cryptic warnings or flying chariots. A flying chariot makes a very dramatic entrance, so be on the lookout for one.
This tower is all that’s left of the ancient town called Zamedi, which was obliterated in hellfire unleashed by the enemy. Many a hero has tried to gain entrance and help themselves to untold riches, undoubtedly contained within, but none have succeeded.
Harran’s Pass is all that stands between the southern cities – the few remaining beacons of civilization – and savage hordes who would pillage and burn everything in their path, if not for the brave men who were chosen to repel the invaders or die trying.
A small village overlooking a hill, Inferiae is named after sacrifice offered to the souls of dead heroes – a practice the locals take very seriously. Most visitors are thrown into a hole at the top of the hill that some say leads straight into the underworld.
An ancient ziggurat, lost and forgotten. Well, not really forgotten since everyone wants you to find it, but you get the idea.