Rise of the Twelve
Kingdoms of Theah
Avalon: The Glamour Isles
There is a land where the heroes of legend never died. Where magic permeates the very soil of the ground. Where eldritch creatures stalk the countryside, and where three kingdoms emerged from six centuries of bloodshed to challenge the greatest powers in Théah. Welcome to Avalon, where your fondest dreams — and worst nightmares — come true.
Castille: The Seat of Theus
From her vaulted universities to her spired churches, Castille is a land of contradictions. Scientific advancement proceeds despite the efforts of an Inquisition dedicated to stamping it out. Celebrations take place mere miles from blood-soaked battlefields. The citizens love their neighbors as family, while treating foreigners with clinical distrust. Here, two thousand years of invasion and occupation has left her people wounded, proud, and fiercely independent; a boy king totters on an unstable throne while enemies surround him without and within; and sinister conspiracies lurk behind wide smiles and passionate speeches. Welcome to Castille, the crucible of faith.
Eisen: The Death-Soaked Fields
Once the mightiest military power in Théah, Eisen has been decimated by the thirty year War of the Cross, leaving the survivors behind to pick up the pieces and bury the dead. Disease and famine continue to ravage the countryside, while the divided Iron Princes argue among themselves. Worse yet, the death of so many has attracted the attention of horrors thought destroyed centuries ago. Eisen desperately needs a hero — someone capable of reuniting the nation before it’s too late.
Montaigne: The Center of the World
This is truly a golden age. Montaigne stands on top of the world, and no one can challenge her authority. The limitless gold that pours from the Empereur’s coffers fuels the war against Castille — a war which can only end in victory for Montaigne, and the destruction of the Empereur’s most bitter enemy, the Church itself. Beneath the surface, however, dark forces have begun to stir, and the voices of a thousand spirits cry out for vengeance!
Ussura: The Living Wilderness
Primal forests cover mile after mile of landscape, stretching through barren plains and snow-swept mountains. The country of Ussura is a raging bear, ruled by a white-haired beast and guarded by pacts of blood. Her church defies the Vaticine, and her people call for strength from an ancient goddess deep within their shifting lands. Uncounted legends lie within her borders, hidden beneath ice and snow. She has many secrets – ancient ruins undisturbed since the dawn of time, walls of fire that tower over a man’s head, and animals that race through the night laughing at the simpleness of man. Ussura is untamed, but she is not unaware. She dares to educate her peasants, commands no standing army, and relies on the tremendous power of Matushka, an immortal being that defies definition and fiercely protects the nation she calls home.
- The Vaticine cannot control her.
- Montegue cannot conquer her.
- Where will you stand when the snows fall?
Vendell and Vesten: Blood and Commerce
Two hundred years ago, the islands of Vestenmannavnjar were home to fierce warrior tribes. Wielding powerful rune sorcery and deadly steel, their warriors struck terror into the hearts of Théans everywhere. All that has changed. Vendel, as it now calls itself, has broken from its past and forged a new future. Today, bankers and merchants rule the country, and swords and longboats have been replaced by guilders and trading ships. The streets are clean and modern, the people stand at the forefront of Théan achievement. From what was once a savage, wild land now stands the most powerful economic power in the world.
But all is not well in this brave new nation. Traditional Vestenmannavnjar still adhere to the old ways, wielding fierce magic in defense of their homes. They call upon the Vendel to abandon their modern advances, while the Vendel sneer as their “backwards” cousins edge closer to extinction. The tensions between them threaten to tear the nation apart and unleash an apocalypse that will consume them all. Whether axes or guilders, their weapons are the strongest in Théah. But will they destroy each other before they realize such power?
Vodacce: The Spiders Web
Vodacce is a lady who hides her steel claws within a velvet glove. Her daughters, mistresses of destiny and weavers of the future, direct their subtle manipulations beneath the notice of the seven merchant Princes and hide their power behind veils and webs. Within her borders lies the ancient city of Numa, a rotting husk within the trappings of the Vaticine Church, surrounded by lost relics of a former age. Gently rising from arched spires and impossible towers, the islands of the Princes maintain complete power over its mainland, controlling their noble families with an iron grasp. Courtesans, beautiful and glittering, dance for the nobility behind jeweled masks while dark shadows conceal Fate Witches and their skeins. While the men war for control of Vodacce’s wealth and power, the women fight a battle of a different sort — against the very destiny they seek to control. The most dangerous country in Théah hides behind a pleasing smile.
The Crescent Empire:The Gateway to Paradise Is Opening…
For centuries, the Empire of the Crescent Moon has remained isolated from the rest of Théah —barred by cultural barriers and a fearsome embargo by the Vaticine Church. Only a select few have journeyed beyond her borders… but they have seen wonders which put the rest of the world to shame. From fierce desert tribesmen to the cultured city merchants, from the gardens of the Sultán to the forbidden slopes of Mt. Karada, from the clandestine Eyes of the Peacock to the ruthless Qathl’i assassins, the Crescent Empire holds enough marvels — and terrors — to fill a thousand lifetimes.
Journey with die Kreuzritter to protect ancient Syrneth ruins. Match wits with the canny warriors of the Sultán’s guard. Seek hidden scrolls in the libraries of Iskandar and play ajedrez with the tribal chieftains of Maglak’kum. A thousand years of isolation are coming to an end. The Crescent Empire awaits.
The Pirate Nations
No men are as free as the sons of the sea. The pirates of Théah are not bound by nationality or religion, only a desire for adventure… and profit. Théah’s kings and queens may rule the land, but freedom rules the waves
The Midnight Archipelago: Islands of Gold
It lies on the far edge of civilization, a tropical island chain thousands of miles from any land. They call it the Midnight Archipelago; it holds enough wealth to tempt the greatest kings, and enough dangers to turn brave men white with fear. Here, stalwart explorers chart the lost ruins of alien civilizations, pirates carve personal empires in blood and gold, and hidden jungles hold monstrous beings unseen since the dawn of man. From the black magic of Sange Tara to the pirates’ paradise of the Straits of Blood, come venture to the furthest reaches of the sea, and see what thrilling adventures await.
Cathay: Jewel of the East
At long last, the secrets of the mysterious East are revealed! Cathay — where family honor is paramount and beauty can be found in everything from a humble rice bowl to a carved jade talisman. Meet the inhabitants of the Seven Kingdoms, from the horsemen of Xian Bei to the fierce pirates of Tiakhar. Charged with the tien ming — the Mandate of Heaven — the beautiful young Celestial Empress rules over the fabled nation as she battles forces that
seek to topple the Dynasty and unleash terror throughout the land.