Priest Soldier Sorcerer Spy 3e EN:Setting
The World Of Archaea
Priest Soldier Sorcerer Spy is set in the world of Archaea. It is a world populated by the same races and monsters that were staples of the fantasy RPGs of the late 20th century, so most of it should be familiar to you.
The fate of Archaea is guided by a small number of powerful people, called paragons. As the centuries pass, their titles may change, and the individuals who hold those titles may pass them to new generations, but the power and the influence of the paragons continues. Paragons of this nature have been a staple of fantasy games since the late 20th century, but we owe it to the marvelous 13th Age fantasy roleplaying game for codifying the phenomenon.
Khorvash of Symeria appears to be a human in late middle age, but he was present for the coronation of the last three Underkings, and he has been an advisor to the Emperor for as long as anyone in the imperial court can remember. Although human, his loyalties go beyond race or civilization: his ultimate loyalty is to Archaea itself. His counsel is always true, but it does not always serve the best interests of those he advises. For this reason, he is greatly respected, but never entirely trusted.
The Black Queen
Regine the vampire is the self-styled queen of the damned, and there are few who would dare to contest the title. Although she has no respect for life, and little affection for the living, she is an ironically stabilizing force on the legions of the undead. She values her own pleasure and longevity above all, and she is never as merciless as when dealing with an undead that threatens the security of her existence.
There has always been a Champion: the lone warrior who walks the world of Archaea, never seeking conflict, yet somehow always encountering those who are beset by injustice. Where there is a fight so that the hungry can eat, the Champion will be there. Where there is an overseer beating a laborer, the Champion will be there. And when what was wrong has been set right again, the Champion will laugh, and say goodbye, and walk toward the next people who need him. The current Champion is a khul named Prakash. He did not seek this burden: no Champion ever does. He accepts it because he can, and because it is his nature to do so.
The Demon King
Mephistoroth, the Demon King, leads the Ravenous Horde -- the demon beast army, which waits en masse just beyond the horizon of the world of Archaea. The Ravenous Horde exists to rape, corrupt, and consume, not just people, but entire planes of existence. Worlds beyond counting have been devoured by the Ravenous Horde, and if Mephistoroth has his way, Archaea will be next. He has yet to be able to open a burning gate large enough or persistent enough to establish a permanent beachhead for the demon beast invasion of Archaea, but it is only a matter of time.
Wei Xiaodan is the most recent Ilwraithe Emperor in a line going back thousands of years: only the ice elves can claim a longer unbroken chain of succession. A young man, even by human standards, he is nonetheless a keen judge of character and a brilliant strategist. In a different world, he might have been a conqueror, or perhaps a merchant prince. Born into the royal family of Wei, heir to the Throne Of The Golden Phoenix, Xiaodan had a different destiny. He spends the bulk of his days analyzing intelligence reports, and dealing with internal unrest and external threats to the Empire.
The High Druid
Rhonwen of Eidyn is the most recent individual to earn the rank of High Druid. All druids are the voice of the animals, the hands of the earth, and the guardian of the trees, but the High Druid is not merely the head of her order. She is the embodiment of nature in Archaea. Her will is the will of the land, of the sky, and of the myriad creatures which grow, crawl, swim, or fly in between. She is the speaker of fire, the shaper of earth, the mover of water. She is quite possibly the single most powerful mortal in Archaea.
In each age, there is a single Zinjan who is the uncontested master of stealth and bloodletting: she is the Hunter. That Hunter is Zuri. Some say that the Hunter does not always kill her quarry, but that is probably wishful thinking. Zuri may be paid to hunt someone, but that is not why she hunts them. Someone who has enemies may find themselves hunted by Zuri, but that is not why she hunts them. Zuri may be hunting a notorious criminal, but that is not why she hunts them. Zuri does not care if the quarry is guilty or innocent, worshipped or reviled. Zuri hunts for sport.
The Pirate Queen
The seas of Archaea are the kingdom of the Pirate Queen, Zelda. Zelda is a rarity: a stone dwarf who left the darkness of the Mountain Kingdom when she reached adulthood. After working briefly as an apprentice shipwright, she was conscripted onto an Eidyn balinger. At sea, Zelda found her true home. In short order, she led the other conscripts in a mutiny, and they turned to piracy, preying on the ships of the merchant houses of Eidyn. Decades later, Zelda is now the mistress of her own pirate fleet, preying upon merchant ships from the rocky coast of Eidyn to the iceberg-filled waters of the ice elves.
The Spider Queen
In a world of secrets, the Spider Queen is at the center of the web. Some say she is an ice elf, but most people say that she is a human, for who but a human could be so duplicitous? It is said that the Spider Queen's agents are everywhere, from the depths of the Mountain King's halls to the frost-rimmed ballrooms of the ice elves. This may or may not be true, but no one doubts that wherever there are whispers, the Spider Queen is listening.
Raginwald Thunderdelve is the King Under The Mountain, like his father and his father's father. Raginwald is a wise ruler, but he is not as cunning as the Ilwaithe Emperor or the White Queen of the ice elves, and he knows it. For this reason, he is always suspicious where other races are concerned, particularly when it comes to humans and ice elves. Although he doesn't believe that either have designs on the subterranean civilization of the stone dwarves, he is sure that they would cheerfully manipulate the stone dwarves for their own ends.
The Warlock was once a young woman living in modest luxury on the edges of the ice elf kingdom. Her family worked in embroidery and enchantments, sewing intricate magics into the finery of the White Queen's court. That was until the Ravenous Horde came. It was a small incursion, but it was enough to destroy her home, her family, her friends, and everything she loved. She died on that day, and the Warlock was born. Since then, she has devoted herself to turning the power of the Ravenous Horde against itself. On certain nights, she can be seen flying across the skies of Archaea on the back of an enormous bat, a burning halo above her head, and a phalanx of her demons in her wake. She has sacrificed everything to fight the Ravenous Horde, and she will sacrifice anything or anyone in her quest to destroy them.
Rurik the ogre was not always the Warlord. As a child he was a slave in the Ilwraithe Empire, working as a laborer until his size and strength attracted the attention of the masters of the arena. Rurik grew in strength and skill as a gladiator, until the day he led a revolt against his Ilwraithe masters. Since that day, Rurik has wandered the world, always siding with the few against the many, and leaving a legacy of blood and victory in his path.
The Watcher is a sacred duty given to one alate in each generation. It is this alate's responsibility to travel the breadth of Archaea, to observe and remember everything of importance which happens during his or her lifetime, and then to pass that knowledge on to the next Watcher. The Watcher is the living record of the history of Archaea. Huitzilihuitl, the current Watcher, is still young as alates measure the years, but he has seen the rise of the Warlord and the Warlock, and the passing of two Ilwraithe Emperors. What other events will he witness, before his time as Watcher is done?
The White Queen
Asfridur has been the queen of the ice elves for thousands of years. In that time she has seen countless human civilizations rise and fall, along with more than a few Kings Under The Mountain. She is not the most powerful sorceress on Archaea, but she is arguably the most cunning living being in the world. The White Queen is ruthless, and she will stop at nothing to ensure the survival of her people.