A New Dawn
Assumptions about the World
Below are the basic things about the game world that players should know of. This information is general knowledge to most people inhabiting the campaign world of the Seventh Age, and so everyone should be a bit familiar with it.
The world is being rediscovered.
After the Sixth Cataclysm societies across the globe were reduced to near-extinction. Though it was centuries ago, the mortal races are only just now finally stable. There is still much left over from the previous ages, and the discovery of these things is key to returning the individual races or nations to prominence. In this way, there is a race to re-discover the past, ongoing all over the world.
There are power struggles on many scales.
The world being what it is, there is great opportunity for the seizure of power. One man can influence the development of a nation if he is in the right place at the right time with the right words. Conflicting ideals and vehemently opposed views are common, as are the extremity of measures to end those conflicts. This issue can take shape from two elders disagreeing in a village all the way up to opposed empires engaging in full-blown war.
Magic is also being rediscovered, but with a critical eye.
It is believed that the Forgotten Kings and the horror they eventually wrought may have been caused by the casual and widespread use of magic in the Sixth Age. The world is cautiously re-mapping its understanding of magic now; some peoples have re-embraced it fully, while others deride it as a deadly force best left alone. There are many universities and scholars of magic — as well as those who police its use.
The Sixth Cataclysm has changed the world.
Though it was hundreds of years ago, the echos of the Sixth Cataclysm still impact the world. There are unnatural results from this incident all over; bizarre creatures never before encountered, mass changes in wildlife, and even areas where the physical world itself has been forcibly altered or rearranged. Even the races of the world have changed.
Different parts of the world have developed at different paces.
There is a large-scale difference between the various nations and states as a result of this quest for lost knowledge. One may have had to re-learn basic societal needs like metallurgy or construction entirely, while another may have had access to old records or knowledge which allowed them to retain the skills of their forebears in these regards. In this regard some races returned to prominence more so than others. There is an ongoing need to level the field between nation-states.
Technology exists, and is common in some areas.
Some areas have utilized magic or rediscovered knowledge from the prior ages to develop technology. Firearms are fairly common, but greater feats of engineering have been managed in some locations (things like engines, or zeppelin airships, and other “steam punk” tech are all possible).
There are many religious beliefs, but they do not center around gods.
In times of turmoil people turn to faith. But in the Seventh Age, faith in otherworldly gods is part of what many believe caused the Sixth Cataclysm. Instead, people have put religious levels of faith into other things; royalty, technology, magic, ancestry, or even animals. There are still religions based on worshiping gods in the traditional sense, but they are unique in that they operate on blind faith, since there are no longer any signs of any beings akin to the Forgotten Kings.