The Brotherhood's Tale
Essential background bits for understanding what the hell is going on.
- Ornas is flat, like Discworld. If you go to the edge of the map, that is the edge of the world. Upon reaching the edge, you will fall off, and reports from that point on are difficult to come by. Some have built mining towns hanging off the vertical slope. There are many rich veins of rare ore, but it is very dangerous.
- IN THE BEGINNING First-Of-Many created whatever it really is that everything is. After creating… creation, it created the gods, giving each an aspect of either order or chaos. he then left, ordering the gods to maintain and preserve the creation. In time, they decided the First wasn’t coming back(and they got quite bored). This led to the creation of Ornas, against the orders of the First. They created the many peoples and creatures, the mountains and seas, the sun and moons, and a vast divine bureaucracy to manage the mortals. For many thousands of years, they ruled their creation. However…
- In time the First returned. The only known words it has ever spoken were said 1142 years ago, in the minds of all creatures in a universal language. It said only, “YOUR PUNISHMENT BEGINS”. The overwhelming power destroyed the minds of all but the strongest willed psionically talented mortals, and left many arcane practitioners useless and burned out of their magical strength. The true effect of what came to be known as “The Return” was the creation of the Godsouls.
- The Godsouls are a product of the Return. Each god was fused to a single mortal, forming a new consciousness with access to the memories and knowledge of both involved, and forming a new personality with parts both divine and mortal. Typically, the mortal was the one who most exemplified the traits of that particular god. For example, the god of war’s chaos aspect, Slaughter, was bonded to a mighty orc warchief. The God of Magic’s Order aspect, Arcanis, melded with the head of The Academy of Thaumaturgical Studies, a mighty and wizened human wizard. The godsouls had vastly reduced power from their god status, but remained thousands of times mightier than an average mortal.
- The Godsouls warred for many years, bitter about their loss of power. They are gifted with immortality, marvelous abilities related to their purview, and regeneration which can bring them back even from apparent death within hours. Though they always survived the battles, millions of mortals perished fighting in the armies of the Godswar. For 120 years, Ornas knew only war. In time, the Godsouls finally gathered on a battlefield, in a battle which could unleash apocalyptic power. The Godsouls rode out for a parley, and though the Godsouls of peace and love begged for a truce, they prepared to return to their battle lines and begin. Suddenly, a black crystal figure materialized just in front of the group. It spoke in Divinus, the secret language of the Gods. The Godsouls rushed forward. Instantly, a sword blacker than the void was in the figure’s hand. He struck. The Godsoul of love dropped to the ground unmoving. The creature was swallowed by darkness and vanished, a haunting grinding laugh echoing behind.
- The Godsoul of love never awoke, though the wound healed. Her body is now kept in a mighty cathedral dedicated to her by her followers. It still rests in stasis on a raised altar. This event marked the end of the Godswar. Once the godsouls learned that they could be truly harmed, they signed an agreement to make peace, and only to make war through mortal intermediaries. They also cannot fight personally in any war. This treaty is enforced by the Dragon Knights, who are pledged to attack in force the first to break the terms by using their divine might against mortals.
*The campaign is set 1142 years after The Return and follows a group of adventurers in the employ of the Unsung Brotherhood, a secret organization serving an alliance of the (relatively) good godsouls and their empire, The Council-Lands. The brotherhood is composed of an irregular elite recruited from all over the world. They solve problems, discreetly if possible, but rather indiscreetly as well if the situation calls for it. Or not.