Journey to the Frontier
The town of Woodside borders the vast frontier of the Hinterlands, making it a premier spot for up and coming adventurers. With the town only being founded ten years ago to this day development has only just reached the capability of supporting the one thing that would make it finally accessible.
An Adventurer's Guild branch.
With that, it will open up the Hinterlands for further exploration and adventure to discover what our ancestors left behind in these ancient lands untouched by anykind for so long. Of course, developing a branch will be a bit difficult but a suitable spot has been found.
Ruins long forgotten by past failed settlers pose the perfect place to set up a Guild Hall and you brave adventurers have come here for first dibs in creating something grand.
The World of Fragment and the Hinterlands.
Until two hundred years ago, people never really had the chance to form anything beyond simple temporary settlements or roving bands of nomads. Long term agriculture was difficult, if not impossible. While the power of magic alleviated that strain, it meant that no one really had a place to call their own.
Countless attempts have been made in the past. Powerful heroes, charismatic leaders, and prodigious settlers have tried to carve out their own chunks of the world.
All of them have failed. Thus, leaving behind mere Fragments of their legacy.
With the slaying of the Calamities that has all changed. The world, once forbidden, now has opened up for all to see. While the threat of Monsterkind still remains, it is a mere challenge to be overcome rather than a solid barrier. To say the least, the world has experienced a major population boom in the past two hundred years.
No matter where you go there's always going to be some need. There's always more towns and cities popping up every decade. While it is false to say that life is easy, it is certainly a major change that the long lived races have had trouble coming to terms with. So much has changed over the past two centuries.
Currently, a major focus is upon the Hinterlands. Originally settled by shipwrecked sailors, a staging ground for future settlers titled Almas was formed. Owing to their sailing history, the nation-state of Almas is headed by a meritocracy system. Their current ruler is one named Captain Tarkanas. Nestled in the southern edge of the continent of the Hinterlands, it proved a bountiful place to spread out from.
Owing to its roots, Almas and the surrounding settlements is a veritable melting pot. There is no limit to who may come and go as they please. It's hard to forsake your fellow man when there are literal monsters scraping at the door. People from countless walks of life have come here to forge a new one with their own hands.
The Adventurer's Guild
The Adventurer's Guild was originally founded by Elindas Skyfall, the Immortal Swordswoman. Ignoring her immense combat prowess, she proved to be a capable leader in the foundation process that followed the death of the Calamities.
During its infancy, it was quickly discovered that the Guild was very haphazard. While it did the job well enough, it was horribly inefficient and didn't always apply force where it was needed the most. It was obvious to Elindas that the Guild needed a more... bureaucratic approach.
Organization quickly followed suit as the Immortal Swordswoman went on to train entire legions of bibliomancers. Those that tell you that the Guild isn't a political entity itself are either lying or fools. With her quick wit and tongue, Elindas fought for a place amongst the burgeoning nations that formed after those events.
War is a complicated subject. It is incredibly inefficient to hand a few hundred of the peasantry a few spears and tell them to fight for you when the enemy can merely send a small team of their highly skilled and powerful warriors. When a sufficiently strong mage can wipe a small town off the map in a few hour's work... well, large-scale war is an impossibility if you don't want horrendous casualties on both sides.
Elindas, naturally possessing the most skilled Adventurers possible, worked to cement her Guild as part of the foundation. Any nations or cities that refused to work with her found themselves completely dry on contracts. It's rather hard to maintain your army when your lands are being picked apart by Monsters. Blacklisted cities found themselves falling apart as they were picked at on all sides. Merchants aligned with the Guild refused to work with them. Adventurers avoided their lands like the plague. No other cities were likely to provide an alliance.
Currently, the Guild has tendrils in every continent. Entire nations have fallen due to the machinations of the Immortal Swordswoman. Not that the history books will make that very obvious. In fact, the Guild is a stable force of peace in the eyes of everyone. With the oversight of the Guild, the grim reality of war has been reduced to mere skirmishes between two forces. A game, if you ignore the fact that people still die.
But if anyone decides to step over the line the Guild is in place to prevent that. Elindas has broken the mightiest of tyrants and forged them into new tools for her purpose.
Or, at least, that's what the books hint towards.
Magic and the Soul
Magic is the phenomena that occurs when the Soul expresses itself upon the world. It is your inner light made manifest by manipulating the mana inside the body to create wonderful feats.
All around us exists a thick fog. You cannot see it by mundane means, but it blankets the world entirely. Almost like an ocean unto itself, the currents weave an unknown web throughout the world. This fog, called Aether, is capable of being processed by a Soul and turned into its own form of Mana. No two Souls are alike save in very special cases.
Most scholars agree that the Soul is inviolable. It can be injured, tortured, and even flayed apart. But it cannot break unless Godlike powers are applied. When a person dies, they are either sent back into the cycle of Reincarnation to become something new, or ascend to higher planes of reality.
Anything living, and many things not-quite living possess souls. This 'life energy' flows through all life. Even the very world that we stand upon possesses a Soul. Gods, after all, are not so dissimilar to us.
This allows beings to intake Aether and convert it to mana. Anyone can use even the smallest amount of magic. Most learn only a few tricks and cantrips, or specialize according to their affinity. Even the simplest farmer knows a thing or two about magic. Some possess stronger Souls and grow to wield entire firestorms of magic. It would be impossible to be completely mundane, as that would require you to have no Soul. And you'd probably be dead at that point.
Mana can be used to create and destroy. The most common uses are basic means of Terramancy or Pyromancy. Other schools of magic exist like Divination or Abjuration. Magic can do almost anything, should one set their mind to it. The light of the Soul often expresses itself in an affinity towards some specific thing. A hot headed person might find their capability to wield fire that much easier.
Scholars could go on for hours about magic, but the most fundamental rule is as follows: all magic has a cost. Pray that you do not lack the means to repay your debt when the time comes.
Monsters and Gods
What is a Monster? The layfolk often have an idea in their heads, birthed from fairy tales and stories told 'round a campfire. Horrible beings, monstrous in nature.
The truth is that Monsters are simple. They are entities formed from congealed Aether. Provided the aetheric density in an area is high enough, Monsters will begin to form autonomically. For several days they merely form a 'shell' through which they observe the world. Monsters are often chimeric in nature, mimicking the environment around them. Once sufficient growth is done, the Monster breaks free of their shell and begins to wreak havoc.
Monsters are manavores. They consume anything and everything that possesses an ounce of magic. People are their favored foods, but properly adapted Monsters can consume anything, be it magical ores, items, or incredibly toxic plants. Even other Monsters, should they be hungry.
Hunger drives these creatures. By merely existing they expend their own Aether stores, forcing them to constantly be on the move and on the hunt. Those that survive past a week often begin to transform, taking on new enhancements to suit the world around them. Scholars surmise that the Calamities were in fact originally Monsters, only so old that they became oh so much more.
Where a Monster lacks a Soul and is merely driven by instinct, a God possess a powerful Soul but lacks a Body. These entities form around concepts and places of power. They are also known as Spirits, with their proclivity to form Demesnes. These spiritual creatures imbue their Soul into the land around them and subsume it, forming their Demesne.
The world beneath our feet is one such Spirit. Or a God, should one be incentivized. They oversee their domain and ensure its success. Names are inconsequential to such beings, but most religions gather under their own banner and provide tithes in the form of ritually given mana. There are countless large and small Gods, many existing on other and higher realms entirely.
When a person devotes themselves to a God, upon death it is likely that their Soul will be drawn to such a being and become shepherded by it. Theologically, not much is known what happens to these Souls. Grimmer scholars think they are consumed, but only the foulest of Gods would do such a thing.
Regardless, the Gods are often alien in nature. They lack the perspective that we have, and thus should be taken with a grain of salt.
Woodside and Important Figures
Bordering a bountiful forest and mountain range, the town of Woodside is a quickly growing place. Lured by the promise of untapped riches and ancient treasures, the place has truly become a frontier town. It almost feels like every day there's a new building being erected. It's thanks to the tireless workers at the logging camps that this place is growing so fast.
Naturally, there are some important figures that live in Woodside. This list will grow and expand as you all meet more people of notice.
Senior Guild Officer Tabran
A man of many years, Tabran has been hired on as the local Officer for this branch of the Guild. With fifty years of service under his belt, he's the perfect fellow to wrangle a disorganized group of Adventurers into a proper Guild. Tabran is the one to go to when you need a job, and the one who's going to have to give you a stern talking to if you fuck up. Don't get on his bad side.
Senior Guild Handler Bramble
Naturally in an organization as bureaucratically aligned as the Guild, one has ample need of people to aid in the endless pile of paperwork that comes with managing hundreds of jobs. Bramble Berry is here to help! As a Guild Handler, she'll be your go to when it comes to administration and paperwork.
Guild Armorer Seabreeze
This friendly fellow calls himself Seabreeze. Knowledgeable in the art of smithing and magic, he is glad to provide his services to the Guild. If you need a new weapon or require your armor repaired, he's the man to call. Perhaps if you bring him enough materials he'll even make something special.
Rules & Information
Rather than prattle on even more, I will simply say that Roleplayer Guild rules are in place. Common sense is the most basic thing I ask for. On the topic of things like hostile interaction between characters, I would prefer no such PvP. If it is utterly necessary, then both parties must consent and I will oversee things.
This game will be using a little old system that I've come up with titled Weavers & Wyverns. If you have any questions about it send them my way. More will be added to this section as necessary.