The Rise of the Forgotten
Thousands of years ago the land was ruled by great empires. For centuries they grew in size and power, until inevitably this forced them into conflict. There are myths of great wars between godlike heroes and their armies, legends of acts of magic so incredible that modern scholars would dismiss it as impossible, and stories of all sorts that have no equal in the modern world. But these are just legends and myths, prone to exaggeration and embellishment. In truth, very little is actually known about these empires.
That is because many hundreds of years ago the world was broken in an event known now only as "The Sundering." No one knows for certain what caused it, but the general consensus amongst scholars is that the empires — having long been caught in an ever increasing arms race — finally reached a breaking point. And what little evidence has been found points to The Sundering being preceded by "a war to end all wars" between the great empires.
What followed was the nearest this world has come to annihilation. Legends of great plagues sweeping the lands, of floating cities crashing down to earth, of the world itself breaking. Those that survived fell into superstition. Convinced that the hostile world was the Gods' punishment for their hubris, they desperately clung to their small points of light amidst the darkness. Travel to the ruins of the great empires became taboo. Stories of the empires were only told to reinforce what not to do. Historical records were burned for fear of heresy. And nearly all knowledge of what came before was eventually lost.
But a couple hundred years ago that began to change. The world had largely recovered from The Sundering, and civilization was once again on an upswing. The taboos that had stood for so long began to be dismissed as superstition, their adherents were dismissed as zealots as more and more people decided to live their lives without fear. Slowly at first, but then with greater frequency, brave souls began venturing into the frontier. The delved into the forbidden ruins. And when they returned with riches and secrets they were not shunned, they were rewarded. It was these first adventurers that were responsible for pushing back the darkness.
And so we come to today. Civilization continues to grow and expand. The lands that are settled are safe and prosperous. Trade has renewed between neighboring nations. Cities have cropped up atop ruins, and people are flourishing. Scholarly pursuits are no longer shunned, and research into both arcane and divine magic are in full swing. People that worship the Gods no longer do so out of fear. All told, life is good.
But the Frontier is a different story. At the edge of civilization life is not so easy, there are still many dangers in the untamed wilds left over from the hundreds of years since The Sundering. Furthermore, new ruins from the Forgotten Empires are almost constantly being discovered, and they require trained hands to be properly cleansed of danger. Thus anyone brave (or foolish) enough to call themselves an Adventurers can always find a dungeon to delve or a monster nest to clear out. This has lead to a subculture of Adventurers, wherein successful parties are often met with a degree of fame (or infamy). Most big adventuring parties in a region know each other, and often compete for jobs (sometimes the competition is friendly, other times not so much). Some adventurers are no-nonsense mercenaries, out for nothing more than the coin they make from the spoils. Some are obsessed with the celebrity of it all, going so far as to make themed groups to improve their exposure. And there is everything in between.
But they are all aided by The Adventurers Guild. It is not a guild in the traditional sense of rigid membership (almost anyone calling themselves an Adventurer can look for work at the guild . Instead it serves as a place where adventurers can find jobs. Even in the heart of civilization there are typically more jobs than there are qualified adventurers. People who need the skills of an adventuring group can post bulletins on the Guild board, or pay a fee for the guild to advertise the job to its Adventurers. And most cities and towns have at the very least a Guild-sponsored bulletin board.
In this game you will be taking the role of an Adventuring party! Whether you're doing it for fame and fortune, or to unlock the mysteries of the Forgotten Empires, your reasons are your own! But be wary those who delve into the depths, you might not always like what you find…