Fragments of Aeterna
Two universes collide, both controlled by rival “super gods”, the contents of both universes incinerated by the fires of a new universe. The gods are met with a blank canvas and massive stores of mana at their disposal. One creates a planet and begins to create inhabitants, the rival god, seeing this, begins adding some his own opposing creations to the planet. This goes on and on. Some planets end up solely dominated by one side, others are heavily contested and in constant battle. The gods’ mana stores wither up as they finish creating the universe and they must concentrate their remaining mana and efforts to maintain the existence of what they’ve already created. Their Will is to be carried out by their creations.
One god, created creatures of fearsome and horrific nature. Primal creatures bathed in evil, to even glance at one tests your sanity, to do battle with one tests your resolve. Fear is more than just an emotion. Fear is also the colloquial name for psionic energy. In the same way that a mage would use mana to create flickering flames and crackling lightning, the beasts of this god’s creation use mana to assault their opponents with psionic energy. The end result of being assailed with this energy is the overwhelming sensation of fear. A fear so strong that it eats at the sanity of its victim.
The other god, your god, favored a differing genesis. Rather than fight monster with fetid monster, his creations are those of purity. Their very DNA is encoded with the power to resist the maddening glare of these creatures, to a degree. They are told that their ability to be strong in the face of great fear came from their Ancestral Heroes, those who apparently did battle with evil unimaginable, and won. These are creatures gifted with intelligence.
Their great god gifted them with fortress cities, one at the helm of each planet. Within the walls of the cities are the Tablets of Omgnosis, obelisks of advanced knowledge. Inscribed into these tablets are volumes of knowledge of how the world works. Tablets on chemistry and mathematics, even ones containing blueprints for vehicles and devices. The tablets contain everything a man or civilization could ever dream of knowing. The most advanced sciences, the darkest magics, all of their secrets were in the Tablets, and every Genesis City had a set. But, just because you are presented with a textbook does not mean that you can read through it and understand it. So they tinker and think, many scientists working to make sense of the texts. While the texts are not able to be immediately understood, their existence causes their rate of scientific discovery to be much higher than it would in any other scenario.
The Tablets also include a message, an introduction of sorts. It reads, “You who read this are my chosen children. You have been created, you children of perfect and divine birth, to oppose a great evil. You are born into this lonely and dangerous world, and soon you will understand that there are other worlds around you, filled with your kin as well, and they will struggle as you do. This evil stands to destroy you and your far flung kin, looking to blanket the vast reaches with primal rage and putrid evil. Before you lie great stores of knowledge, these are the keys to your salvation. From this, you too will create great things. Bide your time, my children, take to the enemy as voraciously as you take to study this knowledge. With every moment of academic enlightenment your struggles will diminish. Endure this struggle, as your children will. Endure so that your children will have less to endure. Rise to your feet, O, Aet’Vari and begin your work”.
The players find themselves several generations after the Great Genesis. Since then, with the help of the Tablets, technology has been developing at breakneck speed. Seeing as the entire race has been locked in a war from the beginning, the technology advances are focused on military applications. Our players’ were born in time to see the first crude tanks roll out of assembly, and just recently the first planes and airships have taken flight. While the technology is here, the infrastructure to extract and process the raw materials necessary to create these things are scarce, so the products of technology are few and far between, military outposts in towns having on average only 2 tanks, and maybe a single airship. The scarcity of materials means that bullets are inefficient to produce and use, so magically powered energy weapons (essentially magic missile on a stick) are more widely available, but still not commonly owned by non-military and non-mercenaries. On the frontier towns, at the forefront of the warring borderlines, the action and money flow freely. To get goods from point A to point B is more dangerous, and so the traders here make more money. The mercenaries out here make a killing, in more ways than one. The danger associated with these towns means the land is cheap. People will come up for cheap housing and well paid work, some even come to raise a family out here. Whether you’re a trader or a scholar, a mercenary or a tech-priest, there are as many good reasons to come to the frontier as there are reasons not to, but fortune favors those to take risk. Here we find our players arriving at the frontier town of Cardes. Cardes lies deep in the woods, with several small encampments of enemies on either side of them deeper into the woods. You players find Cardes in a state of quiet chaos, everyone worrying in silence. Enemy encampments encroach on their territory from either side, and the capitol is a long ways away.