The Alkony is a fantasy universe that contains the settings created by our team. These settings are designed by their own creators, and they are related to each other by background elements. These settings usually contain a geographical area, or the campaign settings of a role-playing game.
Examples for such settings are the Inner Sea region or Zonsan.
Sometimes these definitions are used in a wider sense, and a world refers to the setting itself, to the planet that holds the setting, or even to the whole universe of Alkony. I hope it will be possible to find it out the meaning from the surrounding text.
Travel between the existing settings depends on the imagination of the authors, or in case of role-playing games, the storytellers. It can happen as a long road with a caravan, as a magic spell, stepping through a space portal, boarding a skyship, or mounting a dragon to fly to the destination.
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These settings are connected by common elements that exist in most of them. These elements give a theme that can be recognized in every setting.
A realistic approach is important. Designers and rpg storytellers should take care that knowing the realities of our own world, what seems realistic and probable in the settings they try to describe.
A Cataclysm that destroyed the previous civilization is an important element of Alkony settings. The old empires were devastated by a disaster, and the survivors devolved into barbarians. This is an opportunity for every survivor community rising out of those civilizations to be distinctively different.
In the Inner Sea region and the Raider Plains it happened a few hundred years ago, and the world is getting slowly rebuilt.
The human species take a central role, but they are not always the dominant rulers. Humans are just one of the many species, some of the others are more adapted to their environtment, can wield occult powers, have access to ancient technologies, or they hold power over the territory where the humans live.
In the Inner Sea region about half of the population is human, but there are less of them on the Raider Plains. While they have their own states, they are always threatened by aliens.
A low level of magic is also an element shared by the settings. Although according to legends the use of magic was common in the ancient times, using the mystical powers now is rare and difficult. Most of the people live their lives without the use of magic. There are no permanent powers, every magic needs energy to sustain its duration, so old magical items slowly get drained.
It's also true to the Inner Sea region and the Raider Plains.
The gods do not involve themselves directly in the affairs of the world, although religion can play an important role for the population. Many religions worship gods that do not exist, and there are gods that do not care about the world of mortals. Most of the priests can't use magic, or they gather their powers from the worshippers of their gods, to create "divine miracles".
The gods worshipped in the Inner Sea region are usually powerful spirits or smaller demons that are closer to the mortals, so they can connect to them easier.
The lack of resources is crucial everywhere. They can be inherently low on resources, the previous civilizations used them all up, or the Cataclysm destroyed what remained. This shortage is a source of friction between the inhabitants, who always deserve more.
There is a lack of metals in the Inner Sea region. On the Raider Plains there is also a shortage of water and food.
The people live in a threat of doomed future. Although they may recovered from a blow, the next one approaches the horizon. To prevent this catastrophe, they need heroes who can withstand the indifference of the inhabitants, and can join forces to triumph together.
Though the "present" of the Inner Sea region is peaceful, shadows of disaster are looming over it.
The lack of advanced technology is a further common element. Even though they might have the knowledge, the technology used by the people is mostly primitive - its level is similar to our Bronze or Iron Age, some places have Middle Ages technology at most. While magical technology exists, it is not typical to the central settings; they are usually brought there by the travellers from distant lands. Legends talk about mysterious engines - ships that fly, siege weapons that move by themselves, or the fearless armour-warriors.
The technology of the Inner Sea reflects the level of the Middle Ages of Earth, while the people of the Raider Plains use Bronze Age technology. The current inhabitants are unable to create magical technologies, though they can be found in the ruins of old.
From all of these comes that among the adventurers the majority use cunning or physical force - they are rogues and fighters. This also reflects in the stories and games.
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It is an important aspect that everyday people can take important roles in the stories, not just those that have magical abilities. That is why magic-users need to take a background role.
In the beginning we wanted to avoid the mythological beasts of Earth, but due to the pressure of readers and players we had to include some well-known species, that are similar to their stereotypical counterparts in fantasy literature and games. These are the following: elf, orc, dragon, dwarf, troll.
The source of the first four are The Lord of the Rings books from Tolkien.
Elves are long living, magical beings.
Orcs are ugly, aggressive humanoids.
Dragons are gigantic monsters that are able to fly and use magic (though breathing fire and collecting treasure is not typical of them here).
Dwarves are stocky, human-like people, who are good blacksmiths, and live in cities carved into stones.
The idea of trolls came from the Three Hearts and Three Lions novel from Paul Anderson, and they are large, brutish, regenerating creatures.
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Do you have any questions or ideas about the world of Alkony? Tell us in the comments!