The World of Rift Fallen

“The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents. We live on a placid island of ignorance in the midst of black seas of infinity, and it was not meant that we should voyage far. The sciences, each straining in its own direction, have hitherto harmed us little; but some day the piecing together of dissociated knowledge will open up such terrifying vistas of reality, and of our frightful position therein, that we shall either go mad from the revelation or flee from the light into the peace and safety of a new dark age.”
― H.P. Lovecraft

No one knows why the Riftfall happened. There are as many theories as there are descendants of humanity, but even the most learned scholar or insightful magus cannot be sure of the truth. Some say it was the wok of crazed cultists practicing ancient magic they could not control, others say that it was mankind’s pursuit of science and technology it did not understand that ripped open the walls between worlds. Rifts in reality opened all over the world like the cracking of a pane of glass. They swallowed cities, farms, people and monuments. They were all torn asunder as pieces of them fell through the shimmering, yawning rifts and landed in a new realm. It was not a thousandth of the world, but even that was millions of humans stranded in this new place.

Those that survived found themselves in a nightmarish new world. It was a blasted and savage place they would come to call Outland. The bleak landscape offered no comfort, its waters poison, its earth wretched and unyielding.

Horrific creatures lived in this new realm, beings so alien to our existence that they broke the minds of those who looked upon them. Life for which we had no reference, malevolently stalked this new world. Some sought knowledge, but more sought flesh. It didn’t end there.

This wasted realm was ruled over by ancient beings exiled from reality, the Great Old Ones – ancient deities, older than our creation, beings of unknowable minds and ancient hate. They were not totally unknown in our world. Old cults had worshipped them, seeing their mysteries through cracks in reality or tortured dreams. Here though, they dwelt in the realm of flesh and had carved it out in their image.

Humanity’s one saving grace was that these beings hated each other far more than they even noticed our insignificant mortal forms. Aeons old rivalries kept them locked in eternal struggle. Their minions, ancient horrors in their own rights, ruled over domains as Chthonic Dukes, and the mad existence they created was a culture beyond the bounds of our understanding.

Some of the refugees from the old world joined these beings, choosing to worship a great old one, serve a Duke and gain some measure of safety in their cult like societies. Some chose the life of freedom, making their way in the unclaimed wastes.

The touch of the great old ones and the mystic forces of this new realm forever changed those who found themselves in this strange new world. ‘Humans’ no longer exist. What exist now are humanity’s descendents. Warped beings bearing the touch of a great old one or elder thing. Changed to survive in this world. Birth does not determine allegiance, the great old ones power cannot control the human mind for long unless the human gives it that power, but they have altered our flesh to serve their needs and warped desires. A human is born into this world as any human child would be, but upon the first night they survive they are changed into a form more fitting to the Outland. The form they take is determined by which Great Old one’s sign is dominant in the sky.

One of the most unnatural aspects of this new life is its ability to return from death. Twenty years after humans arrived in this new realm a different being arrived. It, unlike the Great Old Ones or their minions, did not seem malicious, at least not in the way we understand it. It was called the Nodens and it seemed, in its own profoundly alien way, protective of the survivors and antagonistic against all the great old ones. Starting a year after its arrival death ceased to have the same meaning. As its minions passed through the land they lay down pillars of white stone, marked with alien sigils no one could read, they were seen as shrines of the Nodens. Those who were killed near one of these shrines vanished minutes later with no explanation, and in a few hours awoke in their own bed (or whatever passed for it) as if from a horrible dream. Those who died too far away never returned.

The more powerful entities of Outland, the Chthonic Dukes, and Elder Things found the area about a mile around a shrine was warded against their entry. Despite this protection the shrines also have the unfortunate side effect of acting like beacons to the horrific creatures of Outland who are weak enough to enter the shrines boundaries and their existence enrages the Chthonic Dukes who constantly plot their destruction.

Because of this protection the decedent’s settlements have been traditionally built close to the Noden’s Shrines. It places them in greater danger of the Outland horrors but also closer to resurrection. The Auspices call this the Damocles principle.

Not all survive though. Many of the Auspices have succumb to madness, and in this madness found themselves bound to the great old ones and their powerful servitors. Different than a cultist who has willingly joined the worship of a Duke or Elder God, these beings, now called Shrouded have strange and dangerous powers unknown to the humans of Outland. The Shrouded are in many ways a different kind of nightmare, because they are the ultimate fate of all touched by the Great Old Ones and represent the futility of resistance.

Rift Fallen takes place more than five hundred years after Riftfall. This world is a maddening, horrific wasteland ruled by ancient horrors and stalked by unimaginable creatures and the cultists who serve them. The descendants of humanity survive, and often thrive, by will power and grit, scavenging the cities that fell through the rifts for salvage and history. They have built new societies, and new cultures that cling to existence in the bleak realm. Your character is an Auspice, a decedent of humanity changed by the celestial touch of the great old ones and trying to survive in the nightmare realm of Outland.

“I have seen the dark universe yawning
Where the black planets roll without aim,
Where they roll in their horror unheeded,
Without knowledge, or lustre, or name.”
~Lovecraft

The realm between realms, the crossroads of the universe, the home of the elder gods, the Dreamlands. It is a place out of time and out of space. A place of warped reality, confused dimensions, and maddening creation. It’s earth is poison, its waters corrupt. Its sky a jaundiced yellow. At night strange stars whirl chaotically about the sky bending the world below to their whimsical fate, while a fat, pale moon sits low on the horizon, feeling almost close enough to touch. During the day, twin black suns crawl across the sky scorching everything beneath their gaze. Monsters and worse stalk the landscape, which is dotted with alien cities and the magnificent relics of aeons of humanity all existing in timeless wonder side by side. Endless deserts, mysterious swamps, deep black seas, and frozen wastes abound alongside even stranger landscapes that defy human understanding. Weather is unpredictable and savage. Blistering storms carrying arcane forces scour the land leaving great changes in their wake. Change – which is the only constant in this place without the laws that govern other, more sane, realms.

The Elder gods, the great old ones, those beings of inscrutable and acute evil that are bound out of normal reality live here and rule with impunity. Their servitors, the Chthonic Dukes rule their territory from city states whose population and culture are bent to the will of their disturbing and alien minds.

Despite all this, there is a culture to this place, and a type of order that comes from accepting that nothing is given for truth. Merchants walk the land, trade continues, things eat, or are eaten, things grow, or are grown. Birth is given, lives taken, there are alliances, and politics, there is life, in it’s own way. It is a dangerous, brutal, and maniacal life – but it is life nonetheless.

Some call it a miracle, others a curse. Regardless of outlook, the work of the Nodens is inevitable. Those that die within a mile of a Sanctuary Shrine fade from view a few minutes after their last heartbeat. No one can explain this vanishing act, but for some reason anyone who has ever viewed it occurring finds it totally reasonable. For some reason the body disappears but the mind does not question why, or even recognize it as a sudden act. It is merely there at one point, and then it is not, and it seems logical that it should not be. Scholars have speculated that something is happening that the mind cannot fully apprehend and thus is excuses it and rationalizes the occurrence as a way to cope with the impossible.

A few hours later the person who had died will awaken in their own bed, as if from a dream. Those watching their bed experience the same sense of rationality at their appearance. Somehow they will awaken there, their gear and items beside them, well rested if not for a strange feeling of disconnectedness and the vague memories of a terrible nightmare.

It is what happens between life and death, that is the greatest mystery. People claim all sorts of mystical experiences in that twilight place in between. For some they claim to have confronted the darkest parts of themselves, for others it is a vision of madness, others claim warped prophecies of what will come or the knowledge of things long past. This has come to be known as Dreamtime and it is a profound experience for any who go through it.

The process of reconstitution is a difficult one on the mind. For a time their mind is one with the consciousness and mythopoeic resonance within the shrine. This, time, while in reality brief, can feel like an eternity or the blink of an eye.

New River is a small but thriving trade settlement built around a Nodens shrine on the south coast of Khem in the swampy deltas past at the end of the river Fadar. To the south across the southern sea lies vast Thalarion and it’s dark and decadent court. To the west is the deserts of Khem with their long and lonely sands and great pyramids, and to the east past the forest of Parg, is the Basalt city of Dylath-Leen that is ruled by Moon Beasts.

Originally the town of River was a Ghoul and Revenant settlement with a strong Merrow presence from the seacoast. It was built around a massive old world shipping factory, now a ruined scrap pile after falling two hundred feet out of the rift that brought it. When the Shrine appeared just outside the scrap yard the Revenants built a trading post and selling the scavenged materials was their primary source of income. The Ghouls discovered that the factory had fallen upside down into the marshy land and its upper floors and formed a series of underground caverns beneath the scrap yard that served as a fine Antrou. Not many others wanted to come down and live in that swampy place, so the Revenants and Ghouls were mostly left alone except for the Merrows who came to trade with them.

Then, around sixty years ago the lands and islands near Thalarion fell to the Jaundiced Wars when the Eidolon Lathi went to war to wipe out the last remaining Pax Romas settlements near her citystate. The casualties were immense and many of the refugees sailed across the South Sea strait and found themselves at the Nodens of River. The Revenants did not initially appreciate the massive influx of so many different folk, but they were a rough people not evil ones, and they took them in and made homes for them as best they could. The Eidolon Lathi had no interest sailing her minions so far for war so she left them alone save the occasional emissary to tempt them, and remind them she was still present.

The survivors renamed the town New River and built up a larger settlement out from the scrap yard. The refugees had brought with them everything of true importance they could carry, for most this was the lores and histories of their previous homes. They collected these texts together and built the River House, a large library with a diverse collection of lore that despite the town’s relatively small size is known and respected by many scholars across Outland who often make visits there to study.

Today New River is a port of call for traders, refugees, smugglers, diplomats . . . and travelers from a hundred lands that come down or head up the great river. As such the town makes a brisk trade. However few stay long in the harsh southern swamp, preferring to trade or study, and then move on to more hospitable climes, or at least the closest they can find in the hellscape of Outland.

The hardy, independent folk of New River elect a Mayor every year. Ballots are cast on the day of Thanks in late Fall when planting is over and before the good scavenging weather starts. The winner gets a small stipend from the town taxes and is expected to keep good order, settle disputes and act as the leader of the town militia. The Mayor normally appoints a Lawkeeper, and a council of five respected locals to assist them with day to day activities. On the outskirts of the Nodensai a small estate and Garrison of the Pax Romas empire has sprung up. Its leader Console Legate Chandin is a refined man who despite his cosmopolitan taste does not seem overly pterbed at being assigned this post so far from home. The Garrison has had a good relation with the town since its arrival and try not to get involved in local political matters, content to work on whatever mission brought them here.

Day to day life is hard in New River. Like most human settlements in Outland it is under constant assault by the beasts of the mythos, shrouded tribes, and cultists in service to the elder gods. More than that they must always be on guard against the wiles of traders, pirates, and the emissaries from the city of Thalarion which are always attempting to tempt the residents of New River into giving up their freedom to become an outpost of the great city. But the citizens of New River take a certain pride in that hardship, knowing it keeps them strong and independent.

Auspices of the Rift Fallen

In the Outland the descendants of humanity have been changed by the mythos forces that pervade the realm and the turning of the stars. As each new human is born into the Outland they are changed by the dominant sign of the great old one in the night sky the day of their birth. They call the different groups Auspices, referring to the astrological nature of their fate. Auspicious groups often time their mating to encourage the birth of others like themselves creating family groups and lineages, but often time is warped, the stars change, and in Outland nothing is ever certain.

You have 15 Auspices to choose from for your character.

Awakened: Yog-Sothoth (Time, gates and portals, The ever-open mind)
Those born beneath the sign of Yog-Sothoth are changed to reflect both its mystical power and alien mind. They have power over gates and know the hidden secrets of the stars.


Bastions: Ghatanothoa (Petrifying, shaper of the world, looks like a twisted Medusa)
Those born beneath the sign of Ghatanothoa find shelter in the mountains and high peaks away from the blasted plains. They have stone skin marked by burning sigils.


Boreans: Ithaqua (The frozen god, the cannibal king)
Those who are born in the frigid air beneath the sign of Ithaqua are untouched by cold. With blood like ice they are hard to kill and they know the value of a good meal when times are lean.


Cusps: Cusps are the result of being born between celestial alignments. They are often easily identified by their lack of easily discernible auspicial characteristics.  **Cusps are Very Rare and not meant for starting PC's.


Eregots: Shib-Karanoth (the Dark goat of the woods with its many spawn)
The Eregots are born under the sign of Shib-Karanoth a goat-like being that rules the wild places far from the touch of steel and fire. Those touched by its mark grow horns and sometimes other goat like features. They are hardy, resilient, wild, and highly resistant to any technology made past the rise of man’s civilization.


Enkida: Mh'ithrha (The great beast, the Lord of Tindalos)
Those changed by the sign of Mh'ithrha exhibit a savage and bestial mein. The Ferals, as the other auspices call them, are at home in the brutal wilds and their predatory nature makes them consummate survivalists.


Ghouls: Mordiggian (The Charnel God, Lord of Revenants, the Necrotic force)
The Charnel Lord has left his Auspice marked by decay and the power of Necromancy. They are hard to kill, perhaps because they are already mostly dead.


Merrows: Dagon (Lord of the deep, the horror beneath the waves) and rarely Bokrug (The Water Lizard)
Those changed by the sign of Dagon are born to the deep, dark, and hostile Outland Sea. They are called Merrows. The seas are a mysterious, dangerous and extraordinary place and more goes on beneath the waves then we could ever guess.


Outriders: Haiogh-Yai (The wandering Dark, the traveler)
Born with a profound wanderlust, they feel the call of the long roads. The change has left them struck with a desire to live life on the move.


Planters: Eihort (Planter of seeds, dealmaker, the inheritor)
With a feel for the earth and that which grows within as well as being tough as nails in a fight they are a valuable asset to their communities. Rumors say one day however they will be the death of humanity.


Solari: Cthugha (The Burning Sun)
These charismatic people of the deserts survive in the burning heat and cherish the spoken word. They are known as the people of wind and fire and they know the secrets of the sand.


Sophisine: Yibb-Tstll (The wise one and knower of things, the Patient one)
This Auspice is intelligent to the point of savant. They use their wits and technological skill to survive. They have strong ties to the Mi-Go.


Trogs: Tsathoggua (The dweller beneath, whisperer in darkness, father of Morlocs)
This Auspice is changed to live life deep beneath the surface. They are a cunning people more adapted to the dark caverns then the bright light of the surface.


Thralls: Cthulhu (The dreamer in the dark, The lord of R’lyeh)
The great old one Cthulhu draws the life of those born beneath his sign to stir restlessly with him in his eternal slumber. This auspice is not quite alive but not dead either, they bear the calm of eternal dream.


Vaulted: Hastur (The Yellow King, Repairer of Reputations, He Who Must Not Be Named)
Those “Lucky” ones changed by the rare auspice of Hastur find themselves magnets for wealth and good reputations. They often come together forming alliances and houses for even greater wealth and power thus consolidating their advantage.

“May the merciful gods, if indeed there be such, guard those hours when no power of the will, or drug that the cunning of man devises, can keep me from the chasm of sleep. Death is merciful, for there is no return therefrom, but with him who has come back out of the nethermost chambers of night, haggard and knowing, peace rests nevermore. Fool that I was to plunge with such unsanctioned frenzy into mysteries no man was meant to penetrate; fool or god that he was — my only friend, who led me and went before me, and who in the end passed into terrors which may yet be mine!” - H.P Lovecraft

Dogmas, Religion and faith play an influential role in Outland. Outland is a place beyond reality where the Elder Gods, their servants, and the conscious minds and the will of the human descendants have great power to shape their world. Some wish to improve the lives of those in the Outland, some want to discover hidden knowledge, while still others seek only destruction, domination and power.


Carcosans - In the times long before man came and shaped the universe with a logical mind, there were uncounted years of pure chaos, a universe of possibility, of dream… of madness. For eons that world has lay beyond the reach of man, veiled behind a wall of form, matter and unyielding reality of their own creation. There have always been prophets, the mad seers, those whose broken and twisted minds could glimpse what was behind, but their wisdom was never seen by the blind, sane mortals around them who couldn’t possibly understand the truth in the madness. The coming of Outland changed all of that. This new world was broken, insane and twisted in ways that man could never have dreamed. All their works were torn asunder and try as they might they could not hold on to their sane dreams any longer. They found themselves beyond the wall that stood for so many eternities and in the world beyond, the lands of Carcosa and Lumeria, the realms of Dream and illusion were within grasp and the wisdom they offered just a dream away.


Disciples of October - Believers in the moral corruption of wealth and the absolute equality of all auspices in Outland. They seek to work in perfect communion and harmony with each other to ensure both survival and happiness. Many work towards building strong communities while others stand up against capitalistic systems that they feel degrade the dignity of personhood. This belief system can seem out of place in the barbaric and nightmarish environs of the Outland but its message of cooperation and unity resonates with groups throughout the realm. In a community of Disciples everyone is given a role and job based on what they can best contribute and they are given from the whole what they need to survive and thrive. Greed is seen as one of the highest sins, along with pride and divisiveness.


Humanis - The Humanis Dogma arose relatively recently in Outland and is not as widely known as many others. When the Pax Romas Empire fell a collective of former soldiers, educators, and magi came together at the Narvanis Nodensai Enclave and, after much discussion and debate, established the tenets of this new Dogma.  These founders were well aware of the phenomenon inherent in Outland to channel mass will into reality altering power and sought to use this for the benefit of all humankind rather than suborning it to supernal powers beyond human understanding, or focusing on endeavors extant the crisis of human existence.  They decided that they should no longer place the faith and devotion of humanity in an idol or a messiah, instead they would create a philosophy that exalted human existence and the power of humanity itself. The dark forces of Outland may be able to defeat one great human, but they could not defeat humanity united.


Children of the Nodens - The Children of the Nodens worship the Nodens as a protective deity for its ability to grant life back to the dead and guard settlements against the Elder Gods and Chthonic Dukes. One would think that this dogma would enjoy a much wider, or even universal worship, and yet while most auspices respect the Nodens, its form and actions are often too disquieting, and the visions between life and death too hard to bear, so they turn to other philosophies instead. The Nodens does not seem to mind. Its protection is universal and indiscriminate, a quality its followers say is proof of its ultimate forgiveness and benevolence.


Seekers - The Seekers were originally a small group of devoted scientists who studied the strange properties of the Outland after humanity found itself moored in this new realm. They found that the laws of physics and the nature of science were far more mutable here, and that new forms of technology, advancement and biological change were possible in ways that could never have occured on Earth. The discovery of alien life forms opened their eyes to infinite possibilities and that understanding the infinite universe became like a religion to them. As more scientists joined their research they discovered the mystic manifestations latent within the Auspices and from there built an entire faith around the exaltation of science.


Sensates - Believers in the importance of self-awareness, fulfillment of desires, and delving the depth and breadth of possible experiences, the Sensates are dedicated to seeing and experiencing all that life in Outland has to offer. Sensates regard the ideational and purely spiritual aspects of life to be unfulfilled at best, and a waste of time at worst. The physical realm, they claim, is all that exists, and all that matters. If we are to find wisdom it must be by knowing this world in its fullest form because nothing good lies beyond.


Shintao - A dogma born out of the belief systems from the humans from East Asia that found themselves in Outland. The Shintao combined the wisdom and teachings of their predecessors into a strict code of conduct to honor the ancestors that guide their people. In many ways the Shintao is not one dogma, but several. Each sect and indeed many of its members following different paths, or family traditions. However the reverence of the ancestors and the desire for a life ordered by traditions unites them, as does their shared history. They see honor as fulfilling one’s oaths and obligations in an upright fashion and without betrayal. This does not always mean that a Shintaoist does the good thing, or even the right thing, but they will do the honorable thing.


The Temple - God is eternal. The world is His and the woe we face is a test of faith that we must overcome. The Temple believes these things with a single-minded devotion. After humanity found itself in Outland, many of the survivors formed a multi-faith ecclesiastical council made up of clergy from many of the old world’s major monotheistic faiths. They sought to discover the divine purpose behind the seemingly impossible and horrific events of the fall into Outland. After weeks of intense deliberation they came to the conclusion that God had allowed this catastrophe as a test of his faithful. They joined together, a bastion against this darkness, building a compound called the Temple that was part bomb shelter, part cathedral and part military base. From there they gathered the faithful, trained their soldiers and set out to bring peace to this brutal alien wasteland.


Tungasar - A nature-based faith whose various Sects are found throughout the tribal peoples, from Solari mystics to Eregot shamans. They find common ground in seeing the world as interconnected on a very basic level. They seek to understand these connections and celebrate the cycles of the natural world. Unlike other dogmas, the Tungasar have no distinct hierarchy as a church, in fact it is only due to a loose agreement among the leaders of its various Sects that it is even named. The only thing that really binds them is a belief that magic is unexplainable by science and that that magic flows from the cycles of the natural world. They stand united in faith against the more urban communities who dismiss them as superstitious and support each other's spiritual journeys.

Auspice Culture has grown across Outland. The descendants of humanity have created culture that often combines the vestiges of their old world with the harsh realities of the new. Unlike Dogmas, these groups are not based on faith, but rather on mutual interests or goals.

Pax Romas
In the days after the survivors of the Rift Fall came to Outland, a military historian and general in one of the old world armies began organizing settlements under a single banner in order to, in her assessment, increase their chance to survive and thrive in this new world. A pragmatic woman, she took this new world as it was and did not waste time pining for what was lost. She based this new society on an ancient human culture from the old world called Rome. In the image of this once great empire she unified a swath of settlements, built a vast and well organized army, and created a new society that would influence the descendants of humanity for centuries.


The Bookkeepers’ Guild
A guild of beggars, thieves, scoundrels, and con artists, this guild is the central trading hub for the black market and any other illicit job outside of murder that you might need done. The Black Market is a group of interconnected traders, criminals, and smugglers who trade and transport illicit goods across Outland for sale and purchase by those that would avoid knowledge of such purchases by the lawful authorities of their settlements. If you wish to make a living by pilfering or tricking the wealthy from their hard earned coin or are skilled as a smuggler of hard to acquire goods then this organization has a place for you.


The Astrologer’s Guild
The Astrologers are scholars whose central goal is to gather as much knowledge about the celestial powers of Outland as they can and try to finally understand the real ebb and flow of its forces and powers beyond the seeming chaos of the stars. They gather at their observatories and share their findings. One day, they hope, humanity can gain some control over its destiny.


Lazarites
A secret cabal of Necromancers that are intrigued by the Nodens’ ability to resurrect the Auspices. They study death, some maliciously, some to help, but they are united in their scholarly pursuit. The Lazerites seek to understand the fundamentals of resurrection and learn how to shield the mind and soul from its harsh process. They believe if they can learn to do so they can render humanity immortal.


Couriers
The Outlands are a dangerous place, to put it mildly. For humanity to thrive someone must keep the Sanctuaries connected, bring the news, and carry the tales. The Couriers are those few. They are bold, tough, fast and always on the move. To be a Courier means to be able to run the Badlands where there is no hope of resurrection should you die. They do it all for a little coin and hopefully a hot meal. It’s a hard job, but without it civilization would collapse.


Fugitivari
Law, order, and justice in the Outland can be hard to come by. When settlements are often hundreds of miles apart and widespread communication is difficult tracking down criminals becomes a specialized job beyond the scope of a local Sheriff. That’s where the Fugitivari come in. Professional bounty hunters who track the wastes for fugitives and criminals, bringing them back to stand trial.


Trade Syndicate (NPC)
Trade is the lifeblood of the humans of Outland. No one community can make or do enough to survive so they must purchase goods, and ship them out. To make trade a stable reality it must be organized, and kept centrally balanced. In the old world this was handled by global organizations like the WTO, but in the dangerous realm of Outland it is handled by a far more merciless organization. Every settlement has a Trade Syndicate office and representative and while they are religiously apolitical they will get involved if matters occur to disrupt or try and circumvent the fair and orderly flow of commerce. The Syndicate taxes import goods and trade routes to finance itself and in doing so maintains strong relations with the Couriers.

“I have seen the dark universe yawning
Where the black planets roll without aim,
Where they roll in their horror unheeded,
Without knowledge, or lustre, or name.”
~Lovecraft

The realm between realms, the crossroads of the universe, the home of the elder gods, the Dreamlands. It is a place out of time and out of space. A place of warped reality, confused dimensions, and maddening creation. It’s earth is poison, its waters corrupt. Its sky a jaundiced yellow. At night strange stars whirl chaotically about the sky bending the world below to their whimsical fate, while a fat, pale moon sits low on the horizon, feeling almost close enough to touch. During the day a dim, but hot red sun crawls across the sky scorching everything beneath it gaze. Monsters and worse stalk the landscape, which is dotted with alien cities and the magnificent relics of aeons of humanity all existing in timeless wonder side by side. Endless deserts, mysterious swamps, deep black seas, and frozen wastes abound alongside even stranger landscapes that defy human understanding. Weather is unpredictable and savage. Blistering storms carrying arcane forces scour the land leaving great changes in their wake. Change – which is the only constant in this place without the laws that govern other, more sane, realms.

The Elder gods, the great old ones, those beings of inscrutable and acute evil that are bound out of normal reality live here and rule with impunity. Their servitors, the Chthonic Dukes rule their territory from city states whose population and culture are bent to the will of their disturbing and alien minds.

Despite all this, there is a culture to this place, and a type of order that comes from accepting that nothing is given for truth. Merchants walk the land, trade continues, things eat, or are eaten, things grow, or are grown. Birth is given, lives taken, there are alliances, and politics, there is life, in it’s own way. It is a dangerous, brutal, and maniacal life – but it is life nonetheless.