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Two hundred years ago, a cataclysm rocked the world. Mountains rose and fell, continents moved, oceans boiled. And, perhaps strangest of all – the world, previously known to be a sphere, became flat… and at its furthest reaches, there was nothing but endless, rolling mist. The great empires of the day collapsed in the chaos, and an age of strife followed. The gods, normally vociferous in matters of cataclysm, were – and still remain – mysteriously tight-lipped on the reasons behind the upheaval. The good powers might have been expected to pass such events off as a cleansing of the evil of the world’s great empires, but even now they say nothing. Even the dark gods of slaughter and tyranny seem not to desire responsibility for these troubled times.

In the present day, islands of civilization have begun to form amongst the chaos of the world’s wilds. These petty kingdoms cling to the ruins of former civilizations, dwelling among the ruins of cyclopean metropoles and the dungeon depths lurking beneath. Lawful religions such as the Church of Saint Iocus have gained a strong foothold, driving out the older, gentler gods from the hearts and minds of men, desperate for order in a world of chaos. In these oases of law, life is relatively peaceful and safe. But this safety is hard won; tribes of humanoids roam the wilds, and ancient horrors fester in lost caverns, beneath the very cities in which we shelter…

Very often, it is bands of adventurers such as yourselves who are instrumental in keeping these points of light burning in the darkness. Indeed, many of the rising kingdoms were founded by such individuals, the original true bloodlines of the old kings and emperors having been long lost.

Perhaps someday, you might carve yourself out a kingdom of your own… or at least die trying.

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Shadows of Koratia markpank