Edessa and the Patral Lands
On the great risen plains of Edessa, lie the Patral houses. Scattered and distant are these ever changing city states, yet sometimes too close for civility. They each hold their own idea of how best to be a Patriot. And although once they were as a whole body of Patra’s holy might, they lie now stranded and separated, like a vast spider web of connected commerce, mystery, trade and sometimes deceit and war.
While dark canals curl, cross and meander far below, fed from the Great Devourer, the Patral houses rule above, and have for an age. In the name of Patra, the common folk work the land, mine for black rock, and keep the demons they hear of in the Patral Temples at bay through belief in their Twin God and the Patral Saints of yore. All the while these poor souls rise and return to the Earth in their short, haggard lives. Around their endless toil, the angels from a more holy plane fight a holy war, unseen but to the most devout and pious of our world. They battle against the darkened shadows of Theta, Patra’s ancient twin. These shadow demons are the remnants of a great schism that once nearly drove the races of mankind from Patra fully. They now constantly seed the lands with foul deeds, and subversion.
Then there are the Hospitalers, a sometime liaison between the Patral Houses, and yet seemingly dark and untrustworthy society of idealogues. Free to do as they wish by their secret code, the Hospitalers trace their justified might back in a history as an unbroken chain all the way back to the time of Drom. They search, independent of the Patral Houses, for those who would pervert Patra’s holy gifts.
Yet beyond all the borders of these lands, savages and creatures of untold terror threaten the safety of the common folk. As if the common man wasn’t worried enough about the spiritual war fought amongst them, or the very tangible conflicts between houses, there are still other horrors on Edessa. From the mountain ranges come the hordes of the demon races. From the Eastern lands come winged terrors and raids from more savage societies, some of which eat the flesh of man in order to gain the unholy power that resides within it.
From below lie the inhuman races, the Dark Elves, the dwarves and the more sinister Duergar. Others are said to live even deeper, but those stories are not often told or spoken of.
From within the borders of the Patral States come other old and some new, terrors. The dead who rise again, the Undead. And of course the Magi, whose sick and perverted ways steal the holy powers of the common man and especially the divinity of the Patral Priests. These perverted, warped demon worshipping zealots then slink back to the shadows of the world to make their magics. A dying breed some say, the secrets of the Magi are still spoken of in hushed tones, and their dangerous wickedness is still a threat to hard working vassals. Their sworn enemy, the Hospitalers certainly do not believe the stories of their demise, and they are hunted, and often accused. Different lordly houses accuse the other of harboring havens for these demon worshippers.
It’s not an easy land to be born into, and with no title or wealth, an even tougher place to live. And yet, this is where you find yourself. No connections but what you make, and can claim rightly. No allegiances but what you make and what is accepted from those you wish to belong. No protection unless you can connect and align to something bigger than yourselves. What path will you take through the literal and figurative shadows of the lands of Edessa?
The 8 Patral Houses have been warring for years. Split by history and ignorance, joined by a fear of the Shadowlands beneath them, their beacon, Edessa has been taken over by Sarasins from the outlands. What will the party do, who can they trust, and how will they align themselves when old legends become new enemies?
Read about Shadows of Edessa in:
Shadows of Edessa, Introduction and Backrground
ACT 1, Edessan Steel