You were dead. Now, you are not. The last seconds of your life flicker through your head, a moment of fear or acceptance before a moment of knowledge – and then now. Your body, what remains of it, was made of it, slowly moving at your command. Reaching out – pulling from a grave, or stretching from an urn, you focus your form into place.


You are Undying. Whether recently buried, mostly decomposed or cremated, you became aware again and able to move what remains of your body. Although you may have died very far in the past, Undying is set in the modern day.

Game information

Information about the game can be found here


The main setting of Speakeasy is the city of New York in 1958, except our story takes place not in the city as it is known by the mundane and common folk, but instead as it is known by the magic folk. With New York the centre of the United Nations who have begun to regulate more heavily on magical creatures, the schools of magic have begun to move their political operations there, strange goings on are happening and with greater law there has come to be opportunity.


In a bar known as the Volstead, the Bar-Keeper wipes down the bar as the incessant crows that exist above the bar circle ahead, a prophecy of difficult times. The Volstead is where the Magical Private Investigators are found, the most effective method of solving cases where magic is involved. Many have come to be the principal contact for those who desire political, magical power and just sometimes, a wrong righted. Cases can be anything from a wizard’s murder, to the appearance of a magical plague and even magical folk have their honey traps.


The other clients are magical creatures, finding a place within the largest city where they can if they choose, remove their masking spells and walk in their normal form if they wish. Keeping up the mask is trying, and just as they begin to relax in walks the final piece of the puzzle: the UN Attache for Magical Affairs. His presence can mean only one thing. It’s Friday Night, the clients are here, magical cases are in need of solving, and everybody noticed the Necromancy on Third Avenue….


Game Information

The world setting can be found here

The Downtime system can be found here

The Register of Magical Interests (list of players) can be found here

The character creation system can be found here

Gods’ Game

You are the gods of the peoples of this world. You are imbued with the power to bless mighty heroes, answer the prayers of your followers and do titanic battle with other gods in the mortal realm. However, you are not omnipotent, you know all too well your strength and even perception is tied to the belief of your followers, and that even the most fervent believers can only empower you so far; gods may claim to raise and set the sun, but in their absence all that would happen is a fusing ball of hydrogen would crest the horizon in the morning.


Your power is mostly subtle, influencing the air currents to redirect rain, slipping tales into the dreams of a sleeper or protecting a faithful champion against the arrows of their enemies. The most direct influence you have is to manifest directly as a divine avatar in the mortal world, but this is a draining process, and for reasons you cannot fathom, only a limited number of gods may perform this feat at once.


Now your followers are on a great migration to form the first truly great city in the known world, founded from a simple village of a single faith, and consequently your presence is drawn along with them. Some claim it is a religious pilgrimage, others are fleeing flood or drought or famine and others yet seek to control and exploit the new city. The exact stories are less important than this fact: the gods of all these peoples must now work in harmony, command with an iron will or manipulate each other to rule over their new domain, win followers to their side as cultures mix and fuse.


Welcome, to the Gods’ Game.


Public documents available here

Department of Peculiarities (2018)


The Department of Peculiarities is a top-secret government body located under an unloved toyshop in Marylebone, London. It’s the late 19th Century and most devices from watches to automobiles are experimentally harnessing steam technology., However, this department has its own niche. It caters to the weird, the curious and the downright horrific. If something does not make sense and is too worrisome for normal minds to comprehend, it’ll go to the department. Most of the people who work here are given the title of “Researcher” – that is on the paperwork at least. They are people who explore the vaults, libraries and temporal anomalies in the department trying to understand them and in some cases, neutralise them. Occasionally, that which does not turn the researchers crazy will contribute significantly to popular science.

Underneath the toy shop, the inner workings of the department are vast. From large comfortable reading rooms to the Libraries of banned books to the vaults where the most dangerous creatures are kept, most things can be found if you dare to climb one of the confounding staircases. You will find weirdness and horrors here but you will also find strange things you thought only existed in fairy tales – goblins, mythical creatures and mutants. During the evenings,  employees meet in the Departmental Smoking Room where they can enjoy a drink and discuss their research. While they’re there, however, they are still on duty and will be expected to deal with problems that arise.

The Department of Peculiarities will be a game of mysteries and problem-solving, a game where you can create your plot based on your specific research interests and constantly create the world around you. Do you want to bravely defeat the Kraken who’s been locked in one of the vaults underneath the Great Library? Would you like to solve the minor time anomalies in Room 10Alpha? Would you like to solve the mystery of the lost children in the portal? The choice is yours. The game takes elements from steampunk, lovecraft and other mythology. The magic is generally that which emnates from artefacts and creatures but weirdness is everywhere.


Red Armbands

In DoP, players vary between normal-looking human beings and strange abominations. To signify this, those characters that look peculiar/not like a standard human will wear a red armband. If you see a character with a red armband on, this may prompt you to ask “NARRATE What do I see?” to figure out their state of appearance.

White Armbands

In DoP, refs will wear white headbands to indicate their refdom and that they are not present in character. You may also see a ref wearing a white armband. This indicates that they are there in-character but may be approached for OC reasons


Here – the game’s public documents



Greetings citizen! Are you interested in travelling the galaxy, visiting interesting new cultures and working in a rewarding and enriching environment?

Goodman’s Intersystem Shipping Services is now recruiting crew for its newest acquisition:

The Fairhawk!

We are currently accepting crew for the positions of: Lieutenant, Engineer, Medical Officer, Electronic Warfare Officer, Communications Officer, Security Officer, Cook, Gunnery Officer, Counselor, Able Crewman and many more!


The United Human Systems

The UHS is a loose alliance of systems that has existed for almost 200 years, centred on humanity’s homeworld, Earth. The inner systems, including Sol, Vesta, New Brazil, Juno and New China, are the most powerful members of the UHS and have the wealth, culture and political clout to reflect this. Further out are the core systems, which make up the majority of the UHS, and include terraformed planets, colonies within biomes, and space stations in orbit around uninhabitable planets. At the fringes of UHS territory are the newly colonised worlds; here, the influence of the UHS is barely felt. Advanced technology is rare, due to the lack of maintenance facilities and the rarity of visits from off-world. Instead, the populations of these planets use more traditional methods – construction is mostly done by hand and supplies are transported by horse and cart. There are also several independent human systems, but these rarely have any significance on a galactic scale since systems that have a degree of significance find it very difficult to secede from the UHS.

First Contact

First contact occurred in the early 22nd century, when envoys from the alien species now called The Keepers arrived in system and introduced themselves. They claimed to have been watching human development for some time and believed we were now ready to leave our solar system and join the galactic community. The Keepers installed warp-gates in Sol and some nearby systems, giving humanity access to several uninhabited systems suitable for colonisation. They also gave humanity universal translation technology to install on their ships, which would allow them to communicate with the other species in the galaxy. Shortly thereafter, the Squidfolk, who were interested in trading for biological resources unique to Earth, made contact with humanity.


Bionic modifications are extremely common across the UHS. Ranging from the animated tattoos so popular in high society to the crudely enhanced muscles of a gang enforcer, these are a widespread part of society and it is rare to find a person who doesn’t have at least a few installed.

UHS Systems

Sol is the capital system of the UHS, as well as its financial centre. (Pop. ≈ 40 billion)

Earth is home to the bulk of the UHS government, as well as the head offices of almost all major corporations. It is densely populated, with most citizens living in cities and most manual labour fully automated.

The Moon is notable both for its proximity to Earth and for extremely low property prices resulting from its hazardous conditions; as such, it is a popular base for anyone who wants the prestige of a Sol headquarters but can’t afford the Earth rates.

Mars is fully terraformed and is a popular location for second homes.

New China was the first colony settled and is still the largest in the UHS. It also has the most warp-gates of any known system, resulting in it being a heavily industrialised planet with an economy built on trade and manufacture. (Pop. ≈ 9 billion)

Vesta is somewhat unusual in that it required no terraforming before colonisation and has almost no native wildlife dangerous to humans, resulting in its nickname “New Eden”. It is the galaxy’s only supplier of Vestan wine, a beverage made from the native flora, and has strict laws in place to maintain this situation and protect the local environment. It has a fairly small population, mostly living in comfort surrounded by farms and vineyards. (Pop. ≈ 3 billion)

New Brazil is a heavily militarised system and the home system of most of the defense corporations in the UHS. It has a reasonably relaxed legal system compared to the rest of the inner systems and a more independent populace. (Pop. ≈ 7 billion)

Juno is the youngest of the inner colonies; it has a high concentration of tech corporations and a reputation for being a centre of innovation and learning. (Pop. ≈ 6 billion)

Goodman’s Intersystem Shipping Services

Goodman’s is a small shipping corporation based on the Moon. It operates a fleet of five ships, including the recently acquired Fairhawk (of which the players are the crew).

The Fairhawk

The Fairhawk is a middle-weight cargo transport ship at approximately 550m long. It is equipped with 2 missile racks, a small shuttle and a basic electronic combat suite alongside its transport capabilities.

The Fairhawk has an A.I. installed, also called Fairhawk, who is responsible for such crucial jobs as plotting the course to destinations, regulating the ship’s general processes, and such other things.


The UHS interacts with several alien factions in both trade and war; the most notable species humans interact with are the Squidfolk, the Borrowers and the Keepers.

The Squidfolk are an aquatic species, with their multiple prehensile tentacles making them extremely dextrous. They have a reasonably cordial relationship with the UHS, as their underwater lifestyle means humans are rarely in direct competition with them. When on the surface, or in low pressure water, they require pressurised exoskeletons to protect them from the low pressures.

The Borrowers are a species of small humanoids with similar living requirements. This has placed humans in direct conflict with them on several occasions, and we have learned that their courage and sharp intellect make them formidable opponents.

The Keepers operate and maintain the warp-gates. They are of a similar size and form to humans, and are the only species known to have discovered the secrets behind faster-than-light travel, a secret they refuse to share, but relatively little else is known about them.


Long distance travel is accomplished solely through the use of alien devices known as warp-gates; these are created by the Keepers and the details of their operation are a closely guarded secret. The gates are generally inactive, with the Keepers requiring payment in order to keep them open; exceptions to this being the hub systems – those systems that experience enough traffic to warrant the expenditure of keeping gates constantly open. Warp-gates are usually installed in an outer orbit around a system’s star, and are kept away from any large masses.

Single-use FTL modules are also available at a steep price, and allow a ship to travel from a warp gate to any location within approximately 300 light years before burning out.


Pirates are an occupational hazard for shipping; these raiders usually operate out of concealed bases in the outer colonies and target ships travelling to or from warp-gates. Occasionally, they will ‘piggyback’ on another ship’s passage through a warp-gate if they need to relocate their base or raid in a different system.

There are rumours of a so-called pirate conclave somewhere in the outer colonies.


Colonies are usually established as part of a UHS settlement operation in order to secure valuable resources, or in preparation for future population growth (although occasional private ventures by the extremely wealthy have been known). Colonisation is a slow process, with volunteers from other planets travelling to the system using a single-burn FTL module and expecting to spend up to a century almost totally isolated before the colony is considered significant enough to establish a regular route to.

Not all colonies succeed, and there are many stories of colonies being discovered destroyed by all manner of calamities.

Ship Design

The primary weapons used on spaceships are guided missiles due to their accuracy at long ranges, low cost, low weight and lack of recoil. The risk of pirates means most ships built for intersystem travel carry at least a few racks of missiles. Most ships are also equipped with long-range communication lasers that can reasonably easily be repurposed to hack into the systems of other ships.

The primary defences of spaceships are: a sturdy metal hull to absorb impacts; point defence lasers to intercept missiles; and a magnetically charged layer in the hull to deflect harmful radiation.

Ships are usually powered by a nuclear reactor of some form (fission or fusion) mounted near the centre of the vessel.

Space Elevators

Space elevators are the standard method by which goods and people are transported to and from the surface of planets. The tops of these elevators act as ports, with integrated docking facilities, customs offices, and sometimes shipyards.


Automated labour is common in the UHS and has almost completely replaced manual labour in most of the inner colonies. However, fears of a robot uprising have been ingrained into humanity be centuries of popular culture, and restrictions on artificial intelligence are high. A.I.s are only permitted by UHS regulations to operate under human supervision and strict behavioural controls.


Death and Dying:

A character reduced to 0 hit points is downed: they should fall to the ground, may make no calls, may move no faster than a slow crawl and should role-play being severely injured. When downed, a player should begin counting down from 60 at a rate of 1 per second; if another play role-plays attempting to stabilise the downed player, they should insert the word “and” between each number (effectively halving the rate at which they count down). If a player reaches 0 on their count, they immediately take a SLAY.

Red Armbands:

If an individual is playing a character who is obviously nonhuman, they will be wearing a red armband to signify this. They may then NARRATE their appearance if asked.


Items are separate from attributes and abilities and as such are unaffected by DRAIN. Furthermore they may be freely traded with other players (including a label or lammy describing what it does, which calls it makes, etc.) and must be physrepped – if you are carrying five guns IC, you must be carrying five guns OC.


If you wish to physically drag a resisting person, you should NARRATE your CARRY. If you are resisting someone and their CARRY is greater than your CARRY and equal to or greater than your BULKY, then they are capable of dragging you relatively trivially.

New Call Modifier: FRAG X

FRAG is a modifier call, and is a derivative of ZOC. It should be called immediately before throwing a grenade, and it has the effect of ZOC this grenade on impact. For example, if a call of FRAG BURN 5 preceded the throwing of a grenade, everyone within the ZOC of the grenade when it hit the floor/a target/etc. would take the effect of a BURN 5. For clarity, ZOC is here defined as “an area within a metre, or roughly the length of one’s arm, from the target” for purposes of determining whether one is in a ZOC or not.  

Ship Combat

Whilst the formal mechanics have not yet been finalised (watch this space), ship-to-ship combat will be part of the game and will involve multiple actions and roles. The mechanics of this will be closer to strategy games than hitting each other with foam, and so if you feel you would be interested in this, there are character roles geared towards specialising in this area of game.

Google Drive

https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/0B9sYEw55To_ZV2ZwVVNxQWtnMUk – the game’s public documents

Tilt II


The main focus of the game is a seedy tavern in Shepherd’s Find, a fairly large stallic mining town in the Grand Republic of Vardell with a few distinctive traits – Mayor Linson governs the town and has recently implemented new laws banning the practice of technology and magic within the town borders. The town watch patrols frequently, and most people seem to feel that this new law (as an addition to an already large list of laws and punishments) is a much needed one. It is generally frowned upon to be a mage or a technologist, and even the more accepting townsfolk advise keeping it hidden. There are two pubs – an upmarket one near the main square, called the Traveller’s Rest, and another, plain-looking pub called The Bull’s Head. It is rumoured that if you need a “problem” solved, The Bull’s Head is the place to go…

How Tilt Works

Although all people understand the basic nature of tilt and the danger it poses, they may not comprehend the more complex aspects depending on their level of education and time spent outside of stable areas. Tilt is not a fully understood phenomenon.

When people spend time in tilted areas, they gradually take on some of that tilt over time. Conversely, being in the same area as stallic removes that accumulated tilt, extremely rapidly in the case of directly touching a large amount. If a person is extreme tilted they can experience a variety of debilitating effects, including physical injury and death. Prolonged exposure to lesser tilt can cause disease and mutation. Moderately and extremely tilted areas experience a wide range of effects- most notably, pockets of magical or technological energy form and lie dormant, waiting to discharge violently if disturbed.

Tilt appears, changes, and migrates relatively rapidly. Over the course of several days, it’s possible for a given spot to swing from one end of the spectrum to the other. What causes this is unknown, but it is believed to be somehow related to the actions of technologists and mages. Stallic serves to dampen this effect, gradually bringing everything around it back towards balance. As these ‘waves’ of Tilt roll across the land and clash into each other, they form comparatively stable boundaries of balance between the areas of tech and magical tilt, and it’s these boundaries which caravans must negotiate as they travel.

Laypeople can’t see much of a difference between technological and magical tilt, but they know intuitively what each feels like, just like people intuitively know what hunger feels like and its cause. Likewise, they can intuitively feel the difference between their own tilt and that of the area they’re in, and so work out its tilt. It is commonly believed that magic becomes more powerful in magical tilt, and likewise for technology in tech tilt.

The seven discrete stages of tilt are a mechanical simplification- in character it exists as a pure continuum.

Reason’s Folly

Reason’s Folly is a bustling and vibrant city, and one of the two major powers in the geopolitical area surrounding Relief. The bulk of the city area is built atop a cliff overlooking the sea, though the sprawling mass of structures continue for some distance, and the city has no real boundaries or walls to speak of.

It is impossible to discuss Reason’s Folly without discussing The Church of Folly– they are, in many ways, one and the same. Though Reason’s Folly has a civil council nominally in charge, in recent years its power has degraded to the point where it is almost wholly ineffectual. Nothing of importance happens in the city without the approval of the Church.

The Church teaches that nothing is permanent and man must learn to live in the moment. The making of long term plans is seen as arrogant, as you declare you know the future state of the world in the face of the vagaries of chance. Life is short and cruel, so why not have a good laugh while you’re here? Gambling forms a central part of worship- you offer up your works to other players and the Church, and chance decides who amongst you can make best use of it. Many of the parables told by the priests of the church involve a Vardellen, stereotyped as an unimaginative dullard, being taught valuable life lessons by a perceptive and witty jester.

Ceremonies and rituals to chance are conducted publically with great aplomb and humour. Perhaps one of the faithful will receive a basket of ripe tomatoes, while another will have the same ‘reward’ hurled at him- it’s impossible to tell in advance, and visitors are astounded that anything here runs at all with such a zany, casual attitude in the air.

Morality in the city is extremely lax- theft, murder, and the practice of magic and technology are some of the only crimes against civic law, though the Church deals with those who fail to keep the faith in all manner of creative ways. Punishment in the city is a light-hearted affair, with minor crimes punished by small tasks with a view to embarrassing and humbling the perpetrator. For more serious crimes, punishments are usually left to chance, the most serious being to walk across an area of extreme tilt unassisted.

Despite this apparent lack of organisation, The Church of Folly is one of the foremost powers in the geopolitical area around Relief. The Church enjoys immense popularity amongst the laypeople, due in no small part to its fun-loving and casual attitude, which contrasts sharply with many of the other, much smaller tilt-based religions. Every single person in Reason’s Folly at least makes a show of keeping the faith, and pilgrims flock from surrounding settlements on holy days to worship at The Wheel– the stone cathedral at the centre of the city is one of the largest structures in the known world. The internal workings of the Church- its leadership, organisational structure and so forth- are mysterious, though one can safely assume some element of randomness is involved.

While boats can travel along the coast with relative ease, the further one travels from the shore the worse the tilt- and the waves- get to the point where the sea becomes unnavigable. Fishing is one of the city’s main industries however, and excess stock is commonly traded for much-needed metals from Vardell.


The Grand Republic of Vardell has emerged from the city of Vardell, and is one of the two major players in the geopolitical area surrounding Relief. Vardell itself is well defended, with high stone walls, a well-trained and equipped Guard, and the whole city lying in a cleft in the mountains which protects against the elements. In addition, Vardell sits on the largest field of stallic ore known to exist, making the whole area remarkably resistant to tilt. Many Vardellens say (only half-jokingly) that Tilt creeps into the less stable places of the world, making everyone outside the city mad.

Law and order are treated with the utmost seriousness here. The law is based ideas of common sense and community, with most offenders sentenced to hard labour to make amends for damage done to The Grand Republic. Unfortunately, Vardell’s legal system incorporates a number of obscure traditions which limit its efficiency. Diligence, patience, and loyalty are among the most favoured virtues here.

There is little attention paid to questions of philosophy and mysticism, and few of the smaller belief systems seem to make much impact here. In particular, membership of the Church of Folly is publically discouraged. Visitors often remark that there is not much to do in Vardell, either culturally or in the more raucous forms of entertainment typically found in pubs and taverns elsewhere.

The Grand Market of Vardell is probably the largest in the land, open every day, and folk say you can buy and sell almost anything there. In particular, much like prostitutes are euphemistically known as ‘seamstresses’, it’s possible to find a technologist by asking around for a ‘hingemason’ if you’re lucky, though the practice of both magic and technology are illegal here.

Vardell’s main exports are minerals and metals, gathered from the Grey Mountains. The refined stallic slab which forms the heart of Relief was formed almost entirely from Vardellen stallic. However, trading stallic or stallic ore with those outside the Republic without proper authorisation is a crime of the highest order, punishable by immediate execution, as it risks destabilising the whole of Vardell. The city is importing natural products such as food and fabrics from outlying villages as well as Reason’s Folly to fuel its growth.

Though there is no official currency in Vardell, officials of the Grand Republic are authorised to write chits– basically IOUs for resources. These are expected to be bartered as though they were the resources themselves as the Republic guarantees their value, and no trader in Vardell would dare refuse one- though caravaneers are perhaps more discerning. Use of these chits is on the rise.

Several years ago, a charismatic young Captain of the Guard, Anton Verper, rose through the ranks of the city council. His glorious vision of a chaotic world united under the banner of Vardell caught the minds of the populace, and he was elected to the newly-created post of Commander to execute his vision.

Now, it is the stated goal of Commander Verper to unify the many villages and small towns scattered in stable pockets throughout the Tilt under the banner of the Grand Republic of Vardell. Much progress has been made, and over a dozen settlements now swear allegiance to Vardell. More are expected to join within the year, as Vardellen diplomats expound the merits of The Grand Republic and gradually expand their sphere of influence. The city itself is still adapting to being the centre of the burgeoning Republic, and a new class of bureaucrats and managers is rising to meet the challenges of this new age.


Generally speaking, the rules for Tilt II are the same as those for Tilt. Exceptions to this are listed below:

Power & Tilt

The land is always considered to be balanced, though personal tilt can still vary. The effects of this on technology and magic may vary between characters.



Tilt I focused on the fledgling town of Relief. Most characters headed there after reading this stuck to a communal noticeboard:


I have recently founded a new settlement in the twisted countryside along the main trade route between the cities of Vardell and Reason’s Folly. A settlement named “Relief”, for the rest and sanctuary I hope it will provide travellers along the wild and winding routes.

Relief has been established around the largest core of refined stallic to have been created thus far. Rapid construction is underway, and we have already created a central meeting hall, basic facilities, and enough accommodation for our burgeoning population, which will soon be in the hundreds. We are well supplied with food from the farmers in the village of Stone nearby.

It is my dream that Relief will not be another town ruled by petty kings and councils, but rather become a community of equals, thriving and prospering together to build a town that will last the test of time. Though I have taken the position of Arbiter to ease Relief through its birth, it is a title which I pledge to lay down as soon as the town is properly established.

What are you waiting for? I’ll see you in Relief!

– Charles Thomson
Leader of Thomsons’ Caravans
Temporary Arbiter of Relief


Everyone has heard a story of The War. Many hundreds of years ago two rival powers came to blows, one wielding immense arcane power, the other utilising devices of unmatched complexity. The War destroyed them both and left the land and everything in it tainted. Or maybe the land had always been this way, and the powers disagreed on how to deal with it. Or maybe it was one power tearing itself apart- the stories tend to disagree on the details.

Regardless of the reasons for it, Tilt is woven into the fabric of this world. It is a complex phenomena with straightforward rules, known to even the simplest peasant. Casting spells ‘tilts’ the caster, the area, and the target of their magics, spellwards. Likewise, utilising technological devices tilts techwards, in the opposite direction. Tilt accumulates over time, much like radiation, and makes it increasingly difficult to use the opposing power- magic acts chaotically in tech tilt, and vice versa. High levels of tilt cause reality itself to become less stable and more dangerous. This makes magic and technology wholly incompatible, and makes both a threat to everyone.

Most of the land is heavily tilted- indeed, the vast wilderness outside of the small pockets of civilisation is often simply called ‘The Tilt’. Walking over tilted land in particular is like walking over a minefield, with injury or any number of bizarre effects possible as pockets of energy are disturbed. The flora and fauna of the Tilt has been drastically altered. While domesticated animals such as horses and cows are commonplace, out in the Tilt most animals which can survive have been changed and mutated to such an extent that the idea of a ‘species’ ceases to apply, replaced by a more immediate concern for the capabilities of the rampaging beast bearing down on you. Rumours persist of Tilters, men who have been similarly warped to the point of insanity, though few claim to have ever actually seen one.

All the land would be absorbed into the Tilt, were it not for the remarkable properties of a rare mineral known as ‘Stallic’. Stallic has the invaluable ability to draw tilt from its vicinity and dissipate it over time. In this blasted world most people must spend several hours a week near a large deposit of stallic in order to safely go about their business. Settlements can only be established in areas which have a natural abundance of stallic ore in the ground, or around a core of refined stallic.

Travel is a risky proposition at the best of times. The routes which seem to be most stable and therefore safest are long and winding through hazardous terrain. For any journey longer than a few days it becomes essential to bring enough stallic to clear any accumulated tilt, even through these relatively stable areas. Unfortunately several tons of refined stallic are typically required, and so caravans are huge affairs, in many respects like self-sufficient mobile towns. These obstacles mean news travels slowly- lone couriers which deliver small numbers of messages or parcels directly through the Tilt exist, but it’s an extremely hazardous job.

Nowadays, both mages and technologists are viewed with a combination of anger and fear by most common folk. Mages are typically seen as a sort cross between medieval witches and simple thieves. They are accused of spoiling harvests, manipulating minds, and putting entire villages under their power using invisible magics. They act only for personal gain and think of nothing other than their own power. Dealing with mages is roughly equivalent to dealing with devils- you may get want you want in the short term, but the mage will inevitably get the upper hand and use it to twist you into his unwilling pawn.

Technologists are looked on slightly more favourably, perhaps as the connection between common tools and technological devices is rather more direct. They are well-meaning idiots, dabbling with infernal powers which should have been lost hundreds of years ago. It is said that, if you are going to be foolish enough to seek the aid of a technologist, you should at least be as specific as you can with your request. For to a technologist told to simply ‘make a hole here’, the most direct course of action which comes to mind may be to leave a smouldering crater where your town once stood. There are some relatively simple technological devices which are not uncommon and in high demand- such as guns. But by and large, people prefer simple, reliable tools in preference even the simplest technology.

There are certainly no ‘Guilds’ to speak of, and those foolish enough to advertise such abilities too openly quickly find their welcome exhausted. That said, both mages and technologists can be found if you know where to look in most settlements, and both can usuallyfind enough work to support them from the more open minded- or less scrupulous- in their communities.

Few people know much of the world beyond their community save the news the caravans bring, which tends to be from the two major cities they trade between. To the east, at the foot of the Grey Mountains, lies the ‘Grand Republic’ of Vardell. The people here are hard-working and honest, and many visitors from outside the city visit regularly to exchange their wares for the work of talented Vardellen craftsmen. This previously peaceful city came under the rule of Commander Verper several years ago. Since then it has pursued a policy of increasing expansion, bringing several nearby settlements into the Republic, offering protection and order in exchange for allegiance to Vardell.

Across the vast wilds on the western coast, is the town of Reason’s Folly. Though a city council theoretically holds power here, nothing happens without the approval of the Church of Folly. This religion holds that, in this cruel world where life is hard and even that can be snuffed out at a moment’s notice, the only true power is chance. Their rituals involve randomly determining who receives favour and disfavour. The priests frequently journey out into the smaller villages in the wilds, advocating their beliefs in place of the many diverse and unstructured beliefs which tend to prevail there. Reason’s Folly grows annually thanks to the steady trickle of immigrants this evangelism generates.

Relief is a new settlement, recently established roughly halfway along the busiest trade route from Vardell to Reason’s Folly. It was founded by Charles Thomson of Thomsons’ Caravans, one of the largest trading organisations, as a place of rest and sanctuary along the long and treacherous path between the cities. It currently has no significant infrastructure aside from a large meeting hall built around a huge slab of refined stallic, though rapid construction is underway. News of its creation has spread relatively quickly along the major trade routes, and the fledgling settlement is growing quickly.

There is no true currency to speak of, though there have been several attempts to introduce them by travelling caravans. Vardell has begun to use a system of hand-written chits, and some villages use small, finely-made items such as glass beads. Most people view these as untrustworthy though, and prefer to rely on the barter system. The world is populated by a myriad of other people with all sorts of different professions. Traders, doctors, builders, lawmen, councillors, farmers, herbalists, couriers, craftsmen, writers, entertainers, and many others are common sights all across the land.

The general feel and aesthetic is somewhere between ‘medieval’ and ‘western’ for most people, though those in positions of power can obtain finer apparel and equipment. Any device more complex than a crossbow is almost certain to arose suspiscion from those who fear technologists. There is no particular naming convention- everything from Mark to Mazzarok is acceptable, although one should take care not to reference famous characters, whether real or fictional.


In addition to the basic A.N.T.I.C.S system, Tilt utilises the following:

New Call Quality- Energy
Calls may be prefixed with TECH, indicating the effect is technological in origin, or SPELL, indicating it is magical in origin. These types have no effects by themselves, though various abilities and effects may interact specifically with TECH and/or SPELL calls. Roleplay-wise, unless you know otherwise, you can assume TECH effects are caused by electricity whereas SPELL effects are caused by invisible force, should you be need to.

More formally, the grammar for calls is: ‘Target [Silence] [Energy] [Damage] [Effect [Modifiers]]*’. This means that all calls have a target, which comes first. They then may or may not have the words SILENT, SPELL/TECH, and a damage number, each element of which will appear in that order if present. Finally, there may be multiple effects, each of which may or may not have a modifier.

New Call Type- TILT
Modified by Tech, Spell, or Balance, moves you one step closer to that position on the tilt continuum. This has no immediate mechanical effect, but may affect your vulnerability to further tilt effects, and empower or weaken any technological or magical abilities you may have.


Items are represented by small cards. This typically includes a name, description, and bulkiness. Anyone who can see the card can see the item- you should read the description of items near to you if asked. Items may also come attached to props, in which case the card must stay attached to the prop. Items can be carried, given to other players, and so forth- but do not do anything with item cards you couldn’t do with the appropriate item.

Tilt uses an invisible skill system, which means that players will not be directly aware of the skills they have. For example, if your backstory indicates you are tougher than average we may give you additional hits, but you will only be told the number of hits you have. You may have some special abilities, but you won’t know the behind-the-scenes structure of your characters skills which grant these abilities. The refs will always attempt to give each new character at least one skill which is initially unique to that character.

These are small folded cards which can be owned by players or attached to items.. Packets have conditions for opening them written on the front- if you meet the conditions, you should open and read the packet as soon as possible. You must never look at the contents of any packet you haven’t been instructed to open. If you open a packet because of something you’re doing, such as eating or drinking, you’re committed once you open it. You can’t consume/use/etc only a part of something, although you can roleplay doing the whole thing gradually. Packets are O.O.C and invisible to characters- if you see packets instructing you to open them when an event occurs, you must not specifically try to trigger or avoid that event.

Each player has a number of hits. If you take damage, you lose an equal number of hits. Players must roleplay the effects of any and all damage they receive- for example, if cut by a sword across their chest, they should clutch at it as if in pain. Healing a wound mechanically is unlikely to instantly remove these additional roleplaying effects. If you have 0 hits you are ‘incapacitated’ and helpless. You can no longer stand, hold any objects in your hands, use any skills, or shout. You are not necessarily unconscious, though you should be if you feel it is appropriate to your injuries. Further damage has no mechanical effect, but should continue to be roleplayed. You do not die unless affected by SLAY- however, you should see a ref at the next convenient point if you are reduced to 0 hits or lower.

If you are reduced to 0 hits or fewer, you are ‘dying’ in addition to incapacitated if no clear effort was made to limit the injury you received, or you took any damage call higher than a ‘ONE’. If you’re not sure, you may assume you are not dying. If you’re dying, start counting once per second in your head. If you reach 100, you die. Other characters can see that you are dying- you may appropriately NARRATE this. Any character can stop this count by roleplaying any suitable attempt to prevent you from dying. This attempt can be interrupted as normal, or if they try to move you- if this occurs, resume your count from where it was stopped.

If you die, roleplay your corpse for as long as its relevant. Please don’t talk or comment on the game, tempting though it is- you are encouraged to spend this time relaxing and reflecting on the ultimate futility of life and the insignificance of personal achievement. You should convey the basic state of your corpse to anyone who examines you closely and asks ‘What do I see?’.

A character with ‘Carry X’ can have X points of bulky items on their person without inconvenience. Characters may move at a slow walk, dragging excess bulky items behind them, if they have 1 bulk more than they can carry. Characters with 2 or more bulk than carry cannot move. Corpses have 3 bulk. Bulky items may not be concealed on your person. By default, characters have Carry 2.

Any act which requires delicate physical manipulation or investing time may be interrupted by a non-helpless character within 1 meter (approximately 2 arm lengths) saying ‘No’, ‘I stop you’, ‘Interrupting’ or otherwise unambiguously indicating opposition. Combat, moving away from a required item or location, beginning another action, or becoming distracted for more than a few seconds also interrupt.

One Second
Regardless of what abilities you have, you may make, at most, one call per second. Similarly, you may never attack faster than one strike or one shot per second. This does not include meta-calls such as PAUSE, NOTED, NO EFFECT, etc.

Any items hidden in the environment will be discoverable without needing to move or rearrange out of game items, although you may have to move your head around and look carefully. Players may hide items in the game area, so long as they meet the above criteria. Searching a willing or helpless character takes 30 seconds and reveals all the items they have on them. Any visible item cards or props indicate visible items in character.

A willing or helpless character can be restrained by anyone who spends 1 minute doing so and has appropriate materials, and can be freed in the same way. The restrainer specifies the manner in which the captive is to be restrained at the beginning of the timer. Regardless of skill or materials, all restraint applied in this way is completely inescapable unless the captive is left unsupervised for 5 minutes or more. In this case, the captive may free themselves after one minute of obvious struggling.

Not Here
If for any reason your character is not in the same place as your physical body, keep one hand in the air. Anyone with their hand in the air, or wearing a coloured headband, is invisible and intangible, cannot sense anything, and so forth. Take care when using this so as not to obstruct players. If you need to go to the toilet, get food and so forth, so does your character.

If at any point during combat you’re not sure what is mechanically going on (for example, you lose track of hits, or aren’t sure how to take a call in a split moment where you can’t ask for clarification), you should immediately fall unconscious. You don’t lose hits from this, and can rouse yourself or be roused by another character at will (once you work out what’s going on). If asked IC what happened, you should comment on ‘dizziness’.

There are seven levels of tilt which form a continuum- extreme magic, moderate magic, slight magic, balanced, slight tech, moderate tech, and extreme tech. All characters begin at balanced unless otherwise specified. All people are intuitively aware of their own tilt and the tilt of their immediate vicinity- ask a ref if you’re unsure. You are ‘magictilted’ if your tilt is one of the first three, and ‘techtilted’ if it’s one of the latter three.

Some items and/or abilities have different effects depending on the level of tilt in their user and the surrounding environment. Such items/abilities will be written in three forms, labelled ‘-‘, ‘/’, and ‘+’. Unless you have been told otherwise, you can only use the ‘-‘ power level on such effects.

Tilt is designed to avoid situations where characters who have been playing for a long time are much stronger than new characters. Character advancement is possible, but is handled at the discretion of the refs. New skills may be awarded for consistently interesting roleplay, completing significant character goals and/or awesome player action, and will be thematically related to the action taken.

Players are encouraged to discuss the game with each other O.O.C. Players must not use knowledge gained of any part of the game or its workings to gain an advantage for their character. Conversely, players should take reasonable steps not to tell details of plans against specific characters to their players.

Everything Else
These rules exist as a basic outline to play. The refs may tell you to do something not covered in these rules. Should you have an idea for a course of action not covered in these mechanics, find and ask a ref.



The main focus of the game is the regular gatherings of superheroes, supervillains, and everything in between, at a BRIGHT facility in Geneva. Here human and super factions vie for power, recognition, glory, and occasionally punch each other through walls. Brave individuals fight to uphold justice and truth, while darker minds attempt to subvert and outwit for greed and entertainment. Who will come out on top? Will the humans ever truly accept the Supers? Will the recent arrival of mysterious aliens complicate matters? Tune in to the next exciting episode and find out!


Aahh, the world of 1973! So DIFFERENT, so INNOCENT, compared to the WORLD OF TODAY! But to understand this BRAVE NEW WORLD we live in and how it came about, we must travel BACK IN TIME to the VERY BEGINNING, and discover the ORIGINS of the SUPERHUMAN INDIVIDUALS who DEFINE it!

It was just an ORDINARY NIGHT– the night of January 13th, 1973. Children were tucked up in bed, while their parents busied themselves with the day ahead. Then, SUDDENLY and WITHOUT WARNING, the sky was FILLED with a mass of PURPLE SHOOTING STARS! Citizens gathered to watch the MYSTERIOUS and BEAUTIFUL phenomenon, unaware that their world was about to change… FOREVER!

The shooting stars fell to Earth as dense, purple crystals which would soon be known to the world as ENERGY X! Scientists warned the people to STAY AWAY from the meteorites, which emitted STRANGE RADIATION previously UNKNOWN TO SCIENCE! Meanwhile, astronomers tracked the radiation to its source- the far off star cluster of TAU CETI FIVE!

Soon, ORDINARY CITIZENS began to manifest STRANGE POWERS as they interacted with objects infused with ENERGY X! Seemingly every ability from the wildest dreams of comic book authors was suddenly REAL, and in the hands of PEOPLE LIKE YOU AND I!

Unfortunately, not all who come into GREAT POWER so easily are WORTHY of it! CRIME was soon at an ALL-TIME-HIGH as RUTHLESS VILLAINS and their GREEDY MINIONS plundered defenceless PUBLIC INSTITUTIONS and PRIVATE PROPERTY!

Just when it seemed like NO ONE could stop those fiends imbued with ENERGY X, a NEW WAVE of EMPOWERED CITIZENS began to appear! These VALIANT HEROES fought the VILLAINS, and over time beat them back into their SHADOWY LAIRS and out of the public eye!

The public outpouring of adoration for these MORTAL SAVIOURS was OVERWHELMING– but all was NOT AS IT SEEMED! The ‘heroes’ soon turned out to be little better than those they defeated, becoming DRACONIAN and DICTATORIAL OVERLORDS with WARPED IDEALS of law and justice! The people, JADED and ANGRY, turned against their heroes, stripping them of the privileges and positions they had granted – only to find that the FORCES OF EVIL had rallied and again begun to plague the world anew!

With this VICIOUS CYCLE continuing despite all attempts to end it, the NATIONS OF THE WORLD were at their WIT’S END, and resolved to form a SPECIAL DEPARTMENT to deal with the problem ONCE AND FOR ALL! Known simply as ‘BRIGHT’ after its chairman, ROBERT RIGHT, BRIGHT quickly nurtured connections with the most ADVANCED TECHNOLOGY COMPANIES in the world, offering LUCRATIVE CONTRACTS to those who could develop a solution to the SUPERPOWERED MENACE!

Meanwhile, the forces of good and evil fought to a STANDSTILL, causing UNTOLD COLLATERAL DAMAGE as their battles spilled over onto the STREETS of OUR FAIR CITIES! With neither side able to gain the upper hand, the rapid development and deployment of THE BRIGHT BATON– a simple stunstick able to DRAIN, WEAKEN, and even INCAPACITATE superpowered individuals, finally allowed ORDINARY MEN AND WOMEN a voice in the conflict!

With both sides and their resources EXHAUSTED, offered AMNESTY to all involved in the conflict on one condition- that they attend a MONTHLY GATHERING at BRIGHT HQ in GENEVA, SWITZERLAND! There, it is hoped, SUPERPOWERED INDIVIDUALS will be able to TALK THROUGH their differences without resorting to violence, under the watchful eye of BRIGHT SECURITY PERSONNEL!

Now, however, it is the BRAND NEW, EXCITING year of 1975! Though the CHAOS and RAVAGES of 1974 are far behind us, many NEW CHALLENGES– and OLD DISPUTES– are waiting just around the corner! Who are the BRAVE YOUNG HEROES– and DASTARDLY VILLAINS– who will doubtless RISE UP as ENERGY X continues to SHAPE OUR WORLD? STAY TUNED TO FIND OUT!


Two Seconds

Regardless of what abilities you have, you may make, at most, one call per two seconds. Similarly, you may never attack faster than one strike or one shot per two seconds. All strikes and swings, especially unarmed ones, should be slower and more dramatic than usual to convey a sense of power. This rule does not include meta-calls such as TIME STOP, NOTED, DODGED, FAILED, etc.



Sanctum draws inspiration from classical mythologies such as Greek and Norse, the Discworld series, Black & White, and Dungeons & Dragons, amongst other sources. Though this is new ground for Duggle, there are many larps out there which have Gods in them- but very few where they’re the overwhelming focus. We hope to run this sort of game to an unprecedented level of awesome, while mixing in the classic Duggle attributes (player-generated content, unique and flavourful characterisation, accessibility), and adding some cool new ideas.

Your characters can be any humans that could conceivably exist in this world. Everything from an ignorant farmhand to a high priest or holy warrior is entirely doable, and we hope to see a lot of variety. In addition to your character sheet, you’ll also receive an individual backstory brief containing points of crossover with other characters we’ve identified, places you’ve been, things you’ve seen, and stories and rumours you’ve heard.

In addition to designing your character, you can also design any number of Gods which exist in this world. We plan to put lots of effort into portraying the Gods which you’ve all designed as consistent NPC characters. Gods will have their own secretive agendas which they proactively seek to enact by giving their mortal servants quests and tasks. To this end, there will be no downtime system, partially to free up ref time for this more important feature, and partially to ensure as much stuff as possible is actually happening in uptime.

The game will focus on the struggle for supremacy between different groups, both mortal and divine, and the inevitable conflict- both physical and social- which arises when you have a lot of different viewpoints in a single place. We hope to move away from the recent focus on ref-generated, linear plot, while also avoiding stagnation and a lack of things to do which some older games displayed, by using these Gods to make players make things happen.

Mechanically speaking, we’re going to try and keep it simple, with character power levels generally low. Dedicated servants of the Gods can be considerably more powerful, but their God will place much greater expectations on them, actively watching them to make sure they’re abiding by their commandments and setting them goals appropriate to their power. All characters can gain advancement and new abilities through consistent good play, at ref discretion.

There’s a lot to read here- however, due to the geographic size of the setting, the generally poor communication and education systems, and the general nature of Gods to keep their business to themselves, it is unlikely that any character will be fully aware of all the information here. We recommend that you read this fully, but don’t worry if you find yourself forgetting minor details– just roleplay that your character hasn’t come across that particular piece of information before.


Sanctum is set in the town of Vaivazi (vie-VAR-zee), a unique and sacred place atop a large hill at the point where the borders of three proud nations meet. Between them, these nations span a continent known simply as ‘The Land’, with Vaivazi roughly in the centre.

The Land is generally flat, warm, and dry, roughly resembling our Middle East. The most temperate regions exist in the cooler north, which hosts lush forests and meandering rivers, while the south is especially arid and inhospitable. The flora and fauna of The Land are generally analogous to our own, though stories often speak of rather more wondrous- or monstrous- creatures. On occasion, a tipsy sailor will tell tall tales of having sailed until he reached the edge of the world, or of finding a new land with sand made of gold and populated by fantastical beings- but no one knows for sure what, if anything, lies across the great seas.

Generally, society resembles that of our own Middle Ages, but with a few notable exceptions. The occasional snippet of divine insight into the natural order, alongside the proliferation of simple divine artifacts, has enabled civilisation to haphazardly advance somewhat beyond this level. However, enough areas lack developed systems of measurement that, in most cases, tracking things which we modern folk take for granted- such as age and distance- is a non-trivial activity.

The barter system is in universal use, however simple plain ‘coins’- basically small discs of valuable metals- are produced in some areas and used to facilitate bartering and make up differences. In addition, some areas, and indeed some Gods, have their own more nuanced systems, but these are uncommon outside of specific geographical areas.

One of the main pastimes is the telling of stories, especially myths and legends of the Gods and their followers. The veracity of such tales comes a distant second to their entertainment value.

Thankfully, this world is generally free of prejudice based on gender or skin colour, though other forms of prejudice- whether based on God, nation, or social standing- are extremely common. The nations and their respective leaders are generally in control of goings-on their their territories, but hardship is widespread. Whether from natural misfortune such as famine, man-made misfortune such as theft and banditry, or the wrath of a slighted God, life is hard for the inhabitants of The Land. Even the law can provide little comfort, with corporal punishment and even execution in use for the most serious crimes.

All three nations emerged after the Qizzik (KIZZ-ick) Empire collapsed many dozens of generations ago. Few details are known about it, though it is generally believed that the Empire oversaw a time of great peace and prosperity, before collapsing and fragmenting almost overnight. Although The Land is vast, people frequently travel for personal reasons, or at the command of the Gods. As such, the common language, Qizzeki (kizz-EKK-ee), is spoken and comprehended everywhere, though various local expressions and idioms often need explaining.

The Gods

First and foremost, that the Gods exist is plain to see- their priests are keen to demonstrate their powers to, or perhaps on, unbelievers. As such, only the maddest of fools would truly believe otherwise. Beyond this, questions regarding the nature of the Gods become rapidly more difficult to answer, as the Gods themselves seem unwilling to divulge such information. The following is generally believed to be true by most wise and educated people, however.

Over the years many Gods have fallen in and out of favour, their fortunes and powers rising and falling with those of their followers. It is not known whether Gods are ever truly created or destroyed, or even whether they have a natural lifespan much like humans- but for all intents and purposes, this is how it appears. Any scholar with the dedication and diligence to travel and survey The Land would find tales of hundreds, if not thousands, of unique Gods.

Determining which particular Gods are in power or ascendent at any time is a complex problem. The power of individual Gods seems to fluctuate on a weekly basis, and as months and years pass previously strong Gods can fade so much that even their priests struggle to hear them. Further, tales of dark and hidden Gods regularly drift through the taverns, and of near-silent struggles between the almost-dead Gods of ages past- and their veracity is impossible to determine.

Smaller, less-powerful Gods usually draw their worshippers from the same geographic area due to the way their stories and influence spreads. Even those powerful Gods with worshippers all over The Land had more focused spheres of influence in the past before they reached their current levels.

These Gods are sentient and wilful beings, with a huge range of appearances and personalities. The term ‘God’ is used for everything from armour-clad warriors, to nurturing mothers, to horrific tentacled monstrosities. The domains of these beings are equally varied. While some lay claim to classic concepts such as ‘War’, ‘Love’, and ‘Fate’, others have domains as strange as can be imagined.

There are, however, some things common to all Gods. Despite their variability, the Gods uniformly punish ‘blasphemy’- declarations and actions against the Gods as a whole.

Similarly, drawing on the power of Gods is not a simple matter of waving a hand. Almost all such invocations require clearly calling on the desired God in the correct manner, beseeching them to perform a miracle on your behalf. Grander effects may require more complex rituals, depending on the nature and whims of the God petitioned. Needless to say, the Gods will only lend their powers to mortals who have proven themselves to be both devoted and worthy.

However, swearing ‘by the Gods’ is commonplace and thankfully doesn’t appear to cause any offense. That said, taking the name of a specific God in vain is generally considered needlessly risky, due to the vague possibility of negatively drawing their attention- though few people claim to have seen anything bad come of it.

Just as the blessings of the Gods can be grand, so too can their curses be terrible. As intelligent and tremendously powerful beings, the Gods tailor their curses to their recipients to punish specific acts of wrongdoing or teach valuable lessons. Curses are not bestowed lightly, and as such their removal requires a great show of contrition and atonement towards the offended God.

Crucially, there is no such thing as ‘magic’- both the word and concept do not exist. All supernatural powers comes from the Gods in one form or another. Whether it be blessings, boons, and benedictions for those they favour, crippling curses for those who displease them, or potent herbs or bizarre creatures placed in the wild world by their hands. Priests are swift to correct any ignorants who believe otherwise. There are also stories of artifacts- physical items which grant powerful abilities to their wielder, often pursued by the heroes of legend. In addition, there are many, far more minor and common blessed items currently in circulation.

Likewise, there is no word or concept of ‘science’. These two ideas, were they somehow to be expressed coherently, would be easily confused- as both are, fundamentally, ways of viewing the world without the need for Gods. All Gods share the view that such things are clearly blasphemous- even those whose domains would seem to encourage such things if taken to their logical conclusion.

There are, of course, a few bold individuals who defy the Gods and study these things anyway. They are known as alchemists, natural philosophers, and diviners- though this last term is by far the most common, applied to anyone who attempts to study such things or the way the Gods ‘work’. The Gods look upon such blasphemies with disdain, and as such diviners are universally viewed with suspicion and mistrust, unable to flourish or even survive outside of solitary lives deep in the wilderness or, for the lucky, the hushed and gilded halls of Qarzi.

Gaining the attention of a God is challenging, usually requiring one to demonstrate- with dramatic and creative deeds as well as words- that one is willing to align oneself to their cause, or at least be useful to them in some way. Furthermore, as many legendary characters have discovered to their detriment, drawing the attention of a God is not always a good thing, and losing it once it has been gained can be even more challenging. There are many tales of Gods dramatically intervening to aid those who desperately pray to them on the cusp of death or ruin, once they guarantee their lives in servitude- or even greater offerings- should they be saved. Such tales rarely end well for their protagonists.

Most people get by praying to the Gods as appropriate- to a God of Farming when the time comes to harvest, a God of Healing during childbirth, and so on. However, beyond their general role in keeping the world turning, the Gods do little to respond to or even acknowledge such prayers, whether they be delivered in solemn silence or screamed in the heat of the moment.

Those who dedicate themselves more strongly to a single God can generally expect to be rewarded for their devotion. But divine boons are not given lightly. The Gods expect their loyal followers to live their lives as they direct and make themselves available to work in their name. Though layfolk who dedicate themselves to a single God can expect one or two extra rules to follow in exchange for a simple blessing, high priests and holy warriors must consider the impact of their God’s commandments on their every action- or risk swift and severe retribution.

The daily expectations of the Gods on their followers can be divided into two broad categories. ‘Tenets’ are often loosely worded and open to interpretation, such that different followers of the same God can interpret their tenets differently. However, the essential spirit of the instruction remains the same throughout- and they are in no sense ‘optional’. The second category, ‘commandments’, are the opposite- unambiguous, clearly worded instructions on what to do and not to do in different circumstances. Gods often demand that those who are especially devoted to them follow one or more commandments as a sign of faith, in addition to their tenets.

Some believe that the Gods are engaged in some sort of ‘game’ with one another- either metaphorically as a massive contest for power spanning The Land and everything in it, or literally, using their believers as ‘pieces’ on a divine ‘board’ hosted somewhere. As usual, the Gods are silent on the issue.

Gods almost never manifest in the physical world- at least, not in an obvious form. Furthermore, it takes a high level of devotion to even stand a chance of hearing the voice of a God outside of unusual circumstances- such as being in the Inner Sanctum of Vaivazi.

Finally, the Gods do not generally interfere directly in the affairs of humans- there are scant few tales of a God suddenly striking down anyone, even a hated foe, without provocation. They do, however, love to meddle, tasking their trusted followers with quests to further their own agendas- such as striking down hated foes.


Vaivazi is an ancient town built on the summit of Mount Jhura (JURE-ra). It is known particularly for the Sanctum, a grand temple dedicated equally to all the Gods. Many hundreds of years ago, Vaivazi was founded by the Qizzik Empire as a neutral site where all the Gods could be honoured and better understood, and has served this purpose for many years. Legends say that the Gods themselves keep a covenant to which separates Vaivazi from the toils and stresses of the rest of The Land.

Even when strife and skirmishes have raged across The Land, Vaivazi usually seems strangely unaffected. Though the area around it is parched and desolate, a bountiful subterranean aquifer ensures the town itself remains prosperous. These blessings, and its neutrality, make the town an excellent site to host negotiations and meetings, especially between the three nations.

Many pilgrims often travel to the Sanctum, either at the command of their Gods or out of a desire to be closer to them. Many wish to linger there in order to better take advantage of Vaivazi’s boons, but quickly find themselves ill at ease. It is believed that the Gods frown upon those who linger in this holy place without purpose, and this alone is enough to keep the population of the town generally small, though it can fluctuate quite rapidly as the months pass.

While individual Gods may well have grander shrines erected by their followers across The Land, no place is as holy to all as the Sanctum. Despite its ancient construction, the Sanctum has been well-maintained by both the townsfolk and the blessings of the Gods. The massive stones which comprise much of the structure seem as sturdy today as they did generations ago, many retaining their original markings despite the toll of ages. Inside the Sanctum are many small shrines to individual Gods, and empty alcoves where new ones can be erected.

Within the Sanctum lies the Inner Sanctum, an especially holy place where those devoted to the Gods can be closest to and commune with them, and even those who lack devotion can hope to experience a glimpse of the divine. Prayers made within the Inner Sanctum seem to catch the attention of the Gods far more readily than those made anywhere else.

The town specifically does not have any written laws whatsoever, much less any sort of official government, law enforcement, or ruling body. The Gods consider their collective rule over this holy place to be absolute, and consider attempts to enact civic law to be blasphemous. This is little comfort to those who seek to exploit others, though, as this very same lawlessness frees the hands of both victims and any other interested parties to respond how they wish to any slight, whether real and perceived.

In the unusual event an important matter affecting the town itself arises, an informal gathering is held. There is never any voting at these gatherings- issues are discussed until agreement is reached or, more frequently, people grow tired of discussion and reach a compromise. This can, of course, result in different individuals within the town working at cross purposes- but life in Vaivazi, as always, goes on.


In the arid wastes to the south of Mount Jhura lies Berrain (bare-RAIN), and its people, the Berrin (bare-inn). The Berrin are composed of a large number of tribes, often centred around strong familial or ancestral traditions. Although the largest nation by terrain claimed, its people are scattered, disorganised, and relatively primitive. Though previously mostly nomadic, in recent generations the Berrin have settled down into mostly permanent settlements- though they still lack any holding grander than a large town.

Due to the infertility of the land in Berrain, most tribes cannot produce enough food from farming and hunting alone to support themselves. As such, Berrain is a relatively warlike nation, whose people frequently engages in skirmishes and raids along its ill-defined borders, journeying deep into the neighbouring nations to stealthily steal or simply take what they need. These raids can travel for days before striking deep into the lands of the other nations, making concerted defence tricky. Furthermore, each tribe has its own stratagems and approaches- while some will pride themselves on taking only what they need or ending life only when necessary, others will ransack entire towns and raze them to the ground for sport afterwards.

The Berrin value the qualities of fierce loyalty and discipline, but also of cunning and opportunism. They believe that it is good and right that strong men should naturally rise to positions of leadership, regardless of the steps necessary to ensure this. This view also extends to their religious beliefs- so too is it natural for strong Gods to replace the weak over time. Just as men should not follow a weak leader, they should not worship a weak God. That said, a good man does not openly challenge his weak superior, but rather waits for the opportune moment, either challenging him to a battle to the death or simply killing him while he sleeps. A strong leader, they argue, would not be so easily dispatched.

Their names are often harsh and monosyllabic, arising from a tradition where clear communication in battle is the imperative. Their flag is a silhouette of a desert snake on a horizontal red-and-white background. They view slavery as impractical- a slave in Berrain is unlikely to be able to even feed themselves, and certainly cannot be trusted to wield a weapon for the tribe which captured them. People from the other nations view them as violent, backwards, and uncivilised, only able to eke out an existence thanks to their brutish Gods and blasted territory which nobody can find the value in conquering.

In an unusual move, a few weeks a small tribe of Berrin launched a raid against Varvazi in the dead of night. Though this alone would be bold, the raiders have decided to hold the town, and have thus far repelled hasty attempts from Galaiya to ‘liberate’ it. The raiders have been careful to avoid disrupting the day-to-day business of the town, beyond killing any who attempt to stop them and who refuse to lay down their weapons. While the situation at present is undeniably tense, all things considered, its impact on the town has been minimal. Life in Vaivazi, as always, goes on.


To the west lies Qarzi (KARR-zee), whose inhabitants are the Qarzik (KARR-zik). Their leaders claim direct lineage from the ancient Qizzik Empire which once covered The Land from shore to shore, and Vaivazi was built by their hands many hundreds of years ago. Their current leader, Grand Savant Blue-Height-Horizon, is primarily concerned with upholding the ancient Qizzik and Qarzik traditions at any cost.

Qarzik society is based around a strict caste system. The largest caste are the slaves- whether captured in battle, purchased in trade, or simply born of slave parents. Slaves have no rights whatsoever, and are legally the property of their masters. Above them are the craftsmen and artisans, then the soldiers and enforcers. Finally at the top are the privileged scholars and philosophers who rule the nation. They are generally above the civil law in all but the most intolerable cases and take charge on all matters of great importance, from overseeing the nation’s resources to designing grand monuments to honour the Gods. Though leaving one’s caste is impossible, the relative strength of one’s position within the caste is vitally important.

Qarzi lays claim to less territory than the other nations, but the territory it does have is some of the finest, from coastal ports overflowing with seafood to mountain ranges full of precious ores. The Grand Savant and his close allies undoubtedly live the most luxurious and decadent lives in all The Land. The largest city in The Land is Qizaka, from where the rulers of the Qarzi govern. To the other peoples, the Qarzik are either aloof and arrogant fools, meddling in matters beyond the mortal realm, or ruthless slavers, lounging in luxury while their serfs toil and die for them. Though the Qarzik view diviners and their ilk with the same hatred as the other nations, many diviners are Qarzik scholars. As a people, they value patience, observation, wisdom, and intelligence across all castes, in addition to the skills and traits clearly needed to excel in one’s caste.

The Qarzik believe that all Gods are parts of a larger force known simply as ‘The Divine’, which has three distinct aspects. These are The Mother, The Father, and The Child, also known by some scholars as the Hypothesis, Antithesis, and Synthesis. The Mother embodies nurturing, and is often the God who is most helpful to the prayers of the Qarzik. Conversely, The Father is a challenging influence- often not directly harmful, but the creator of obstacles which must be overcome. The Child combines elements of both Mother and Father, and is believed to indicate the solution to the nation’s problems and the direction it should be progressing in.

Typically a single God will be believed to host each of these aspects, though the aspects can gradually ‘migrate’ over time from one God to another. These Gods tend to be invoked and respected over others in their nation. Qarzik names are often in three distinct parts, in reverence to The Divine such as ‘Grey-Sky-Flare’ or ‘Blade-Hold-Hand’. Even their flag is composed of three purple triangles on a golden background.


And finally, in the fertile grasslands of the east is Galaiya (gah-LIE-ah), home of the Galaiyan (gah-LIE-yan) people. This loose collection of disparate towns and villages is drawn together and unified by central government known as the Senate, and its people are the most populous in all The Land. Each settlement democratically elects a representative, who is sent to the Senate in the city of Syna (SIGH-na) to decide on matters of importance affecting the nation. Seats are also given to prominent nobles, high priests of powerful gods, wealthy traders, skilled generals, and so forth.

As such, Galaiya is the only significant democracy across The Land, and its citizens enjoy an unprecedented level of control over their own lives. Unfortunately, the system is notoriously slow, bureaucratic, and occasionally outright corrupt. Galaiyans value civic participation, patriotism, heroism, and honesty- even to the point of causing offense. Their taverns echo with tales of ordinary citizens who stood up to moral injustice and righted a wrong by taking the law into their own hands- though, paradoxically, they commonly still hold the rule of law to be essential to strong society.

Their names are as diverse as the settlements and peoples found across their nation, but as a people, they’re fond of titles. Whether granted by the Senate, local councils in recognition of services rendered, or by friends or strangers through casual or professional interaction, titles are taken very seriously. To mock another’s title, or interrupt them before they can finish introducing themselves, is a grave offense. Though they collect many over their lives, Galaiyans tend to introduce themselves with a few carefully chosen titles.

Galaiyans try to treat all the Gods with respect and dignity, but have laws to discourage the worship of Gods who seem potentially destructive to the nation. The Galaiyan flag is a source of pride for them, and consists of three vertical bands of blue, white, and green. Galaiya does not have a single central city or overall leader, but almost Galaiyans make an effort to know their representative and most follow reports from the Senate. Berrin and Qarzi see Galaiyans as painfully slow, stifled and constrained by procedure, or blundering oafs, willing to die for their so-called ‘freedom’ while blind to the machinations of their senators.

Though Vaivazi is, as always, neutral, it has been the tradition for many generations that it sends a representative to the Senate just like any settlement in Galaiya. Galaiyans justify this due to Vaivazi’s importance, but the other nations accuse Galaiya of applying political pressure to the town. Those in the town without experience of Galaiya’s democracy relish any chance to control their own fates, no matter how small, and are generally flattered to be taking part in these processes. In recent weeks, nearby Galaiyan settlements just across the border have launched hastily-prepared counter-attacks in an attempt to drive out the Berrin raiders who have taken up residence in Vaivazi, but have so far been unable to overcome the town’s natural defenses.

At present, these three nations formally exist in a state of truce, though this has little practical influence on the Berrin raiders, Qarzi slavers, and Galaiyan ‘liberators’ who are able to sally forth into other lands as the whim takes them. Though the current ‘peace’ has lasted for as long as this generation can remember, between the plots of Gods and man and the lessons taught by history, no one but a fool would expect it to last forever…