For a time, I’ve tinkered off and on with ideas for a game setting of my own, as most long-term GMs tend to do. I’m going to start recording it here for people to look over and consider, and perhaps offer their own thoughts on. This might be a once-a-week thing, or more frequent if it draws interest or I don’t have much else to discuss on a given week.
The overview, then – this is a world that is quite literally built from the corpse of a god; all the major celestial bodies are the incarnations of gods, most of them quite alive and whole. The world itself died when curiosity tore the veil between the side of life and the non-place where the things that never were are, for lack of a better phrase, contained. The first thing through the gap was the incarnate form of unlife, which slew the world and sank into it to feast on the divine spark within it; the other gods quickly shoved the corpse of their slain sibling into the gap and set to work turning the corpse into a plug, half in the living realm and half in the Void.
From there, the mortal races were born, grew, some became corrupted by the Void and some by the Hunger, the world slowly hollowed out until there’s an entire inner world lit by the feeble light of the Hunger-enshrouded divine spark of the world’s spirit, and entire empires rose and fell. The most recent of these fell after unleashing a disaster known as the Manafall, leaving a glass waste and haunted ruins across the world. Now, kingdoms begin to explore the world anew, seeking an understanding of what has come before.
Into this will come the PCs, purely mortal heroes and villains who have the chance to shape the future of the world – and the dark mirror of it on the far side of the veil, where the world has become a twisted echo of itself. The things that never were inhabit this other world, creating a nightmare mockery of the living world as they do so. Beneath the surface, empires of deep-dwellers – drow, duergar, and stranger – survive from before the time of the Manafall, while below them lie kingdoms of aberrant horrors and tribal survivors who populate the inside of the world.
The sins of those who came before lies across the world; the active gods have gone missing or dormant, demigods are unheard of, and all over the world are the remnants of the Heroic Age that the last empire presided over. Powerful relics forged for exemplars lie forgotten in ruins, enchantments that have decayed with time leave entire areas saturated with unstable magic, and the line between treasure to harvest and trap waiting to be sprung is uncomfortably thin.
This is Kuramen; a world whose last Heroic Age devastated the world above, leaving the wreckage for the champions of a new era to find. A world whose depths contain the restless spirit of undeath and empires founded on forbidden secrets, biding their time against the surface.
Let’s explore it together, shall we?