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Introduction to the World of Haros

War Against the Blight

The year is 2864, five years after The Great Alignment. A night that you, like all survivors, remember all too well. Cosmologists foretold the double eclipse and alignment of three major constellations far in advance, and the entire world stayed up late to watch it happen. But what they didn’t foretell was the evil that would cross through the veil between worlds, and threaten to destroy all creatures of light. Otherworldly creatures walked the land raising armies of undead, and turning those of malign spirit into servants for their cause. And their purpose was immediately clear—the destruction of all living things. 

At first, the Dverge and Alva, ancient races of stone and wood, stood side by side with humanity to fight against the forces that became known as The Pestiline. But after three long months, they had all retreated from the front lines and vanished. Supposedly returned to wherever they had originally come from. So humanity, alone, continued the fight and after four long years where half of the continent was converted into a desolate wasteland called the Blightlands, a hard-won stalemate was achieved. For almost a year the remaining human settlements have enjoyed a strained peace, and well-fortified cities and towns have become crowded havens for humanity. But the constant threat of the Pestiline creates continued vigilance, and all available resources are diverted into standing armies ready to repel the next invasion attempt.

Common Pestiline Knowledge

What you know of the Pestiline comes from a combination of personal experience, stories surrounding the past five years of battles against the Blight, and in some cases training by sages. The common knowledge consists of the following:

·       The most basic Pestiline creature is the Recorrupted – humans, dverge, or alva who have succumbed to the Blight and thereby lost their connection to the light.

·       Recorrupted still show signs of the disease that killed them, and their bodies decay as they age, although slower than a normal dead body would.

·       Recorrupted are simple-minded and slow individually, but through connections of the nether energy that sustain them become smarter and faster in groups.

·       When three or more recorrupted are in close proximity to each other, a green gas of Blight energy forms – it grows in size and deadliness as numbers increase.

·       The initial Pestiline that appeared the night of The Great Alignment are otherworldly beings of great intelligence and power. They are believed to have caused many of the outbreaks of the Blight and direct the masses of recorrupted during combat.

·       Larger and more powerful Pestiline creatures are rumored to exist, such as Krollik, the armor-clad giant who serves as the general of the Pestiline armies. Or the Living Spine, a giant vertebrae-like construct that lives in the center of the Blightlands. Few who see such creatures survive to tell the tale, and none can claim to have fought one and lived.

Magic in the World of Haros

Haros is a world infused with two types of magic, Nature and Nether. Nature magic is tied to the powers of light—of life, the elements, and human virtues (benevolence & honesty). Nether magic is tied to the powers of dark—of the netherworld and death, and human maleficence (corruption & wickedness). Every living creature is born with a connection to both types of magic and learns to use one or both of them in their daily lives. Magic is as natural to life as thinking and breathing. The blacksmith uses magic to shape metal and calm a horse while it is shoed, and the farmer uses magic to know when to plant and how to best care for the crops. They don’t cast spells to do these things. They simply occur as part of a natural, magical connection to the world.