About the world

Brettenwood Province is a misty place, full of unseen terrors that lurk in deep corners, where discoveries tend to raise questions rather than answer them.  It is a place where people gather around the fire in the safety of the house or the tavern and tell stories of the gloomy, windswept wilderness, many of which chill the blood because they are often known to be true.  It is where one can discover secrets of both current and ancient times, where people can seek and find their fortunes, and where the wondrous and horrific are intertwined….

The old kingdoms have ruled for thousands of years without much exploration beyond their own borders. They fought the battles of the past with sword, spear, and arrow; now they fight the battles of today with musket, cannon and bayonet. Telegraphs and railroads connect people in ways they never had before, but echoes of ancient life still prevail. The fabled, magical creatures, from the majestic mountain wyrms to the playful but humble dryads, still lurk just outside of society, and certain people have strange abilities to harness energy into light. New discoveries and new ways of thinking about science and research have blended with the old ways of mysticism and lore; it’s an exciting time to be alive.

But something happened that changed everything; the discovery of a new, mysterious land overseas, totally uninhabited, drove the monarchs and their people to explore new horizons and expand their kingdoms, driven by the thirst for adventure and lured by an overwhelming sense of wonder. Explorers and pioneers traveled to this land, followed quickly by settlers and colonists, and eventually colonies and provinces developed and flourished.

But what lay further within? What secrets did this strange, enigmatic country have hidden, awaiting discovery to the west? In the beginning years, not much was found and development of the provinces continued. But the more people pushed west, the more they discovered.

Within Brettenwood Province, under the rule of King Theodore, the land’s dark secrets are beginning to unfold. The foreboding and endless Brettenwood Forest has become a natural barrier that impedes exploration to the west, too dangerous to simply hike through. Rumors have spread that the land was not always an uninhabited wilderness, as more and more evidence surfaces to challenge that original notion. Objects and relics are being uncovered in the province’s distant corners, though they seem to hold ominous secrets, as the owners have met with terrible fates or unfortunate demises. The further people go, the more baffling and unexplained the land becomes, as if the further west they push, the darker and more isolated they become.

Yet, simply because there are no civilized inhabitants does not mean that the province is empty. Strange, dark creatures roam and lurk just outside the watchful eye of civilization, sometimes reaching in to devour hapless victims or simply out of curiosity. Reports are rife with descriptions of unnatural horrors and beasts, ghosts and evil spirits much darker and more terrible than the fabled creatures in the old kingdoms to the east. Creatures that can only be described as “the undead” are whispered to be roaming the earth, and the newspapers have likened it to “having the lanterns turned off and being surrounded by a ring of red eyes”. There is a level of nervousness among the people who continue on about their lives, but glance over their shoulders now and then. Some say there is a layer of gloom upon the province, and the more people explore, the thicker it becomes.

Today, there are countless mysteries yet to be explained and untold horrors waiting in the darkness, but that has not stopped the people of Brettenwood from expanding further into the unexplored. Only time will tell if they will be able to answer the unanswerable and face the darkness without becoming overwhelmed and consumed.

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