An Alien World
Crimson sunlight refracts among the crystals of the Forest of Waethe, where reptilian beasts feed on the mystic energies that resonate in the air. Bones the height of mountains arc toward the sky across the Throne of Karnn-the remains of godbeasts dead for millennia, but still the goal of pilgrims. Within the Whitemarsh, swamp vapors coalesce into spirits and illusions, and only the natives can determine one from the other. In the Kaarad Lands, rivers of flesh churn under the watch of wary druids.
Avadnu’s environments are as strange and distinctive as the beings which inhabit them. Pastoral fields and lush green forests are cherished as refuges in a world where nature is as frightening as it is nourishing. But Avadnu’s peoples have adapted to their land, draping themselves in living leather and riding six-legged mokara on long journeys. Secretive guilds collect flowers that make the weak invincible and foolish kings wise. Clay rich in calite-the metal that dilutes magic-is more valuable than gold.
Travelers through Avadnu must learn to expect the alien in every aspect of their lives. But learning is difficult in a world where scholars are few. . .
A World of Mystery
Wars recent and old have devastated hopes for unity in a dangerous land. Ancient kingdoms know little of their neighbors, and rely on the legends of bards for information on regions beyond their influence. Colleges of wizardry struggle for each piece of magical lore they collect, and are reluctant to use what they have. The followers of the old gods are a minority, their faith shrinking as the worship of spirits and godbeasts grows and the inward-looking philosophy of Vohalden wins the minds of nobles and peasants.
At the fringes of memory and consciousness, the Void and its ravenous denizens linger. The xxyth await their chance to end all creation, fulfilling the mandate given to them by a jealous god. Few of Avadnu’s people remember the last time the xxyth entered their world, and xxythite cultists exploit this forgetfulness to expand their power.
Knowledge is a rare commodity on Avadnu, but not one often sought. Survival is foremost on the minds of all but the privileged. The chitinous vulnar are among the few cultures whose organization spans the continent of Rothaaren, and many of their beneficiaries also fear the control of their economic network. The arcanists of Morgathog perform bizarre experiments in their citadel while their people starve in the desert or are captured as slaves.
Valiant individuals may be able to turn away the fog of mystery, but whether or not they choose to do so is another question. . .
A World for Heroes
Survival. Glory. Riches. Conquest. Hope. The men and women of Avadnu who leave their homes to quest for more seek many things, some noble, most not.
Brutal skarren nomads depart their kulvraks to test their prowess in battle, rarely caring who they oppose. Their savagery is both their strength and their weakness.
The arcane mistji represent the last of a magical race, and fight to maintain their power and authority; yet they deny the struggle within their own society, as magic-blind mithu redefine their place.
The sulwynarii hold their beautiful heads high and seek to drive back the darkness of the Void before their race becomes extinct. The passion that drives them inevitably proves their undoing.
Zeidians unquestioningly protect the domains of other races, regardless of whether or not they are wanted. In private, some wonder if their loyalty is deserved.
Three-eyed ngakoi defy all taboos, drawing on forbidden psionic energy as they live in terrible lands. They are admired for their adaptability, and reviled for their refusal to fight that which they can adapt to.
And what of man?
The bravest, the mightiest, and the wisest lay claim to the greatest treasure of all: the right to choose their own destiny.
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