Saturday, 17 March 2012

Everything you need to know about Kalesh in five paragraphs

I dislike long setting backgrounds. Yet Kalesh requires at least some introduction for (new) players. I've tried to condense all the fundamental setting info in as short an intro as possible while keeping some flavor (a dry, matter-of-fact description would have been even shorter). Here's the result, for now.

In the beginning there was Angra Nachash, the convoluted. Intent to settle, the gods tried to bind her, whereupon from her blood burst forth the taninim, for which there is no word in the human language, but men call them titans or dragons.

The gods made war upon the dragons, with metal men and killing light, to no clear resolution. Ultimately, amid the wreckage they agreed that the world would be entrusted to man, and man would choose whether he would submit unto the gods or the dragons. 

Man is young, the world is old and burned many times. A few cities rise here and there, alone and transient. The dragons burrow and sleep, but they have coupled with humans and left behind many spawn of royal blood. Some cities kneel before the sorcerous dragon princess, some are bastions of zealous clerics, others totter on the line.

Behold Kalesh, this turbulent boil upon the face of the desert, drinking up every drop left in the ground. To the west, the Ruined Sea, torn up amongst many slithering princelings. To the east, beyond the great black monoliths of Midian, the shrouded kingdoms of Agartha and Targaris. To the south, across the Shallow Sea lies unknown Kalaalit of the Black Ice. North lies vast Yhat, rolling green and empty, stretching to the very end of the world, falling off in a fathomless precipice.

In Kalesh, the Dragon Prince of Stone rules carelessly from his tower, as the city is the playground for upstart wizard merchants, old demons come flesh, gangs and strange prophets. Walk amongst the great lizard beasts of burden, smell the honeyed wine and fried peacock meat on the streets of the Black Moon bazaar. Track down stolen treasures through the slums. Venture north into the labyrinthine canyons of the Giants' Graveyard. Descend beneath the waterways into the Underworld where flayed men hunt in the dark. Or maybe play the princes' game, if you dare.

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