Here's the campaign concept. Let me know if you're in. Writing for speed here, not to win a prize: Your PC's Known World
A dark age on the mainland. When wars aren't breaking out across the countless fiefdoms that surround your home famines, pestilence, and disease cull the population.
There's little respite in faith; the church's corruption is a way of life- as are their inquisitions. But you had better show faith in god. It's common knowledge that heresy brings these evils upon the land.
Not that being a man of learning is much better. When the times are bad, and they often are, lay people would just as readily sell their children to a sorcerer in order to dispelled the scourge-Du-jour one day while whipping up a mass purging of anyone rumored to be affiliated with the dark arts.
You hear there were better times in the past. And many pray for better times ahead. Most keep their heads down trying to survive.
But some want more out of life. Perhaps an escape from being a vassal on some lord's property. Or maybe just a respite from any of the above. Sometimes people just recognize a sense of futility for the whole situation and will wager their life for a chance at something more.
And that's when they make plans for Austron.
From time immemorial it has been known that the western ocean means death.
Venture a few days journey and the clouds form, the sea froths, and the way becomes impassible. If the storms don't get you, monsters if the depths; serpents, sea dragons, and giants would.
It was known. Heck, even the holy texts the priests read each week cite nothing but evil in the West. That's where the souls of the non believers and enemies of the faith go when they die to suffer eternal torment.
Until, at least a generation ago.
During one of the great wars, some armada was blown off course and into the maelstrom of the West. Years later one ship returned telling of an unspoiled land filled with riches protected by fantastic creatures.
Every few years the stormy sea calms a little bit for a month. And some ships make it through.
Some ships must make it back because you hear legends about the new land. That and fantastic artifacts are coming to light in your own lands, shifting the balance of power.
There are signs it's getting ready to open now.
You've decided to seek your fortune on the other side. Whatever awaits, it has to be better than here. Where the trouble came from
Noted Rifts influence.
<quote> The Rifts world is Earth, but hundreds of years into the future. Ley lines, lines of magic energy, criss-cross the earth forming supernatural geographic areas such as the Bermuda Triangle. Points where Ley Lines intersect, called a nexus, are places of powerful magic, such as the Pyramids of Giza and Stonehenge. If a Ley Line nexus grows strong, the very fabric of space and time can be torn, creating a rift, or a hole in space-time leading to another place, time, or a new/parallel dimension. Ley Lines are normally invisible, but in the magic-saturated world of Rifts Earth, they become visible at night as massive bands of blue-white energy half a mile wide in some places, and stretching for many miles. When extremely strong, Ley Lines can be seen during the day.
For hundreds of years after the holocaust, many creatures, both mythical beasts and alien beings, come through the Rifts - some of them now permanently opened - to wreak additional havoc. The old world gone, a new dark age dawns and humanity's shrinking population is reduced, due to catastrophe and domestic failure, immeasurably.
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