Hic Sunt Dracones
"We killed them. We had to. They camped too close to our fields, all the crops would be contaminated. So we armed ourselves.
We waited for the males to leave the camp for hunting and then we attacked. Females can be fierce fighters too, but we had guns and black powder. The Dwarves gave us plenty in exchange of our cows. We shot the females and the children down and burned them all. Sad view, as most of them looked Human, like you and me.
The males saw the smoke and ran back, ready to fight to death. And death they met. They were just three: an old one – almost suffocated by his cancerous hunchback – and two younglings.
We butchered them and throw their pieces in the pyre. We hoped that Fire would cleanse everything.
But look at me. The Orcs marked me with their Plague. There is no cure. Everybody knows it.
The priest told me to pray and repent, to make my soul pure and clean as my body was foul and rot.
The Dwarves offered me to cut my arm and replace it with an iron one. But their price was too high and I had no more cows to trade.
So I left the village. Everybody was getting sick and I didn't want to see my lovely wife and daughters killed by the Orc Plague.
Since then I am waiting here for the Ships. Th Flying Ships. They say that Elves pay a good price for a slave. And they don't care about the Plague since they are immortal. Maybe one day they will fly me over the Borders. There are still Healers there, men and women of Faith who can perform miracles.
- Witches… you mean?
Maybe. But I don't care anymore. Witches or Witch hunters. Pope or Emperor. Heaven or Hell. I just want to fly away from this sick land. Away. Far away.
- And are you not afraid?
Afraid of what?
- Dragons. They say there are still dragons, out there, beyond the Known World…"
The Campaign is set in a dying post-renaissance world, where Magic is forbidden and Monsters almost extinct. Witch Hunters stake and burn magic users to save their souls, Poachers hunt the mighty beasts to sell their bodies as specimen for alchemists or collectors.
Humans are spread all over the Known World (a.k.a. Terra Antiqua) a wasteland of barren fields, smoky cities and miserable war camps, crowded by leprous beggars, sick prostitutes and mischievous potion dealers. The petty rivalries of their Nobility are nothing compared to the famine and pestilence that erode their everyday life.
As the Old Country seemed doomed, brave sailors adventured themselves beyond the Forbidden Sea: they never reached the End of the World (a.k.a. Finisterrae) as the Pope preached, but they discovered the Savage Land (or Terra Incognita). With its poisonous plants and dreadful beasts it turned out to be anything but a paradise. Nevertheless the Nobility ordered to deport the Natives (the Orcs) as enforcement for their armies and slaves.
But with the Orcs the Plague came too. A virulent cancerous disease that attacks, deforms and kills every form of life: plants, animals and humans. Crops become poisonous, cattle rabid.
Orcs were then dismissed and hunted down. Scattered in a foreign land, far away from their families and traditions, they are desperately looking for a way to survive in the wild Unknown.
Taking advantage of this dark time, the Dwarves crawled out the Underground. They offered their Alchemy to heal the sick, their Black Powder to fight the war. Even if the priests warned that nothing good could come from those who live so close to Hell, Dwarves are nowadays welcomed in every court as alchemists, surgeons, engineers, jewelers, toys makers and gunslingers (and some whisper "wizards").
Lofty and aloof as they are, Elves eventually exiled themselves in the Sky. They build amazing cities above the clouds and travel on the winds with their flying circuses, floating bazaars, trading magical artifacts, exotic spices, old stories, (sometimes) kidnapping children and pursuing the mysterious agenda of their Queen.