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Despite its vitality, though, the world seems to be in decline. The great dragons that ruled the world during the ancient Age of Eur are largely extinct, the demonic influence of the Age of Zyte has dwindled, and the Age of Chorus was defined by the Purification of all abominations (anything non-human) and corruption threatening civilized societies. Each age brought great change and the world is changing once again. It is currently the 9th year of the Age of Adelrune.
The Setting: The Continent of Tear
Far to the west of the Expanse, there lies a mysterious “lost continent” known as Tear. Although Tear was fairly well known during the Age of Zyte, it was sealed away from the Expanse for many centuries in the Age of Chorus; fearsome and shifting walls of mist made navigation across the intervening ocean exceedingly dangerous. Whether this barrier was the work of Effendal magic or not, it was essential to the survival of that race: as the warriors of the Purification killed untold numbers of Effendal, those long-lived people retreated across the ocean just before the mists closed in. In recent decades, the oceans have cleared, allowing humans to re-explore these western lands—creating tension with the Effendal who dominate the area. The people and nations of the Expanse see Tear as a frontier rich in resources: new cities have been established there and it is where the combined forces of almost all the world’s nations recently stood their ground against the greater demon Bel’e’athru.
At the beginning of the 2nd year of the Age of Adelrune, Tear experienced a completely new phenomenon. As the result of powerful ritual, formerly-deceased individuals of all different races began to appear on Tear, returning to life. These “Returned” clashed with the Effendal in the surrounding forests but peace was eventually achieved and the Returned began to occupy a strange place in the order of the world as they influenced the world in strange and unpredictable ways. With the Effendal’s permission, they established a tiny settlement named Solace, which grew to become a nation consisting of two cities, Solace and Port Frey, along with the surrounding lands. Port Frey, as a port city, is naturally a bit more rough-and-tumble, but it is a place of opportunity: its position as a gateway to Tear means that trade constantly flows through its densely-packed roads and alleys. Because Solace was founded by people of all different cultures, and because it is near to the seat of Effendal leadership, it is a “melting pot” where all of Adelrune’s peoples can interact with one another in an unprecedented way.