The Path of the Advocate
The Advocate has been called the great mystery. In the darkest hour, as the last of us were to be consumed by evil, a voice spoke and our world was saved. Though so much was destroyed some of us survived, and here we remain.
The Path of the Advocate describes the woven fates of those who seek the redemption of our world. These men and women advocate for the people and intercede against the forces of evil. Among these heroes are those who choose the path, as others wander onto the path by chance or by fate.
Mighty heroes and bold adventurers travel ancient roads and assail terrible evils on the righteous quest to redeem a fragmented world.
Heroes of the Advocate
The Questing Knight
Dukes and Lords often train an elite fighting force from among the upper class. These knights study a wide variety of martial disciplines in service of their liege. However, there are a select few who are overcome by the plight of the world and disappear into the wild lands. Questing Knights are powerful fighters bearing castle forged arms and armor. Formally, the lords are required to respect the Path of the Advocate for any of their Knights. However, individuals are often met with scorn by their brothers and chastised for foolishness. This only serves to harden the resolve of those who truly walk the Path.
Of unmatched martial prowess, Questing Knights wander the lands seeking their true duty. In this world glory and death await just beyond the walls.
The Cleric of Justice
The Justice Clerics are organized to seek the path of the Advocate and resist the Adversary in every way. Bearing the sigil of the Advocate, the clerics travel from city to city on the dangerous roads through the wilds. The innocent adore the Order of Justice, as the wicked tremble.
The Clerics of Justice are armed with shields and powerful war-hammers. Blessed with the ability to summon the might of Justice in the form of a spirit-weapon: a spectral hammer that fights along their side to deadly effect.
The Handrak, people of the dragon, were once hated and distrusted by other races. After the sundering the Order of Justice took in a handful of orphans. Now these half-dragon clerics are their most fearsome agents. The Clerics of Justice are among the most dedicated opponents of the Adversary, and often gather others on The Path to their cause as they resist the forces of evil.
Wild elf Druid
The Wild Elves chose to embrace the changed world in their own way. Rather than retreating into walled cities, as many other survivors chose, they became part of the new wilderness. As nature persists through cataclysm, so shall the Elves.
The way of the Druid is a solitary existence. The druid is in communion with nature and abides within the savage laws of the wild. They are able to take the shape of a wild beast and the druid may spend years in this form without ever encountering civilization.
The shape of the mighty cave bear is among the most fearsome shapes a druid may choose. These powerful beasts can contend with the horrors and monstrosities that plague the land on equal terms. With tooth and claw these creatures are horrors in their own right.
But even the wild heart of the druid is not immune from the Path of the Advocate. Some are chosen by the great mystery and find themselves as powerful allies in the fight against the perversion of evil upon the world.
Rogues of every kind inhabit this world of uncertainty. While many in pursuit of nefarious lifestyles do so to take advantage of their fellow man, some have been driven into the profession as a last resort. In these dark times Justice is a rare luxury, and many find themselves struggling to survive under harsh rulers.
Nimble, clever, and rightly suspicious of authority. The Thief is a valuable member of a Seeker's team. She is able to quickly dive into situations keeping a keen eye out for danger and an aptitude for claiming valuable treasures.
The Lone Guard
Legends dating back to the sundering tell of how a single individual with righteous purpose can make a difference in this cruel world. The Lone Guard are built on this very foundation. They say the first was a simple shield bearer who lead eighty refugees to safety. In harsh winter conditions he boldly protected the people against all odds. To believe a single low-born soldier could protect eighty grants faith in hope for today.
The Lone Guard are an ancient order of ever vigilant rangers and warriors. These frontiersmen travel hidden paths with deadly purpose to forge a new destiny. They have stood for centuries as the main hope for small villages and larger strongholds alike. Tracking the movements of larger threats and bringing low monstrous beasts.
The inspiring work of the Lone Guard attracts aid from beyond the sworn brotherhood. These intrepid warriors are aided by brave companions. Both the stalwart Billman and the savage Sabertooth lend aid to the noble cause.
Wilderkin is a broad term describing individuals of fay ancestry. Elves, while rare, are the most common in settled society. However, the term Wilderkin is often reserved for more conspicuous outlanders.
It is generally believed that the fay realm and ours were more closely tied in ancient times. In the terrible cataclysm known as the sundering, when great empires were brought low and from which there is only a faint hope of recovery, the relationship between realms was irrevocably changed. In this new and unstable landscape the otherworldly races adapted in strange and marvelous ways. From the peculiar gnomes to the indomitable stonekin, the Wilderkin abide by their inscrutable ways.
Gnomes are largely unchanged by our changed world. Gnome interactions have always been centered on their fanatical devotion to craft. These pint-sized hobbyists have only the slightest concern for the greater world. They are even known to forget entirely the plight of our modern age! Instead they focus with razor precision on mastery of a given craft.
Gnomes are still intimately tied to the fay realm and may even travel between worlds. Accordingly they are visitors with minor alliances to a select few. It seems their primary endeavor in our world is to explore their passions. Once a gnome fixates on a craft they are utterly obsessed. They may be captivated by anything from shoe-making to the most complex alchemical sciences.
Due to their tiny stature, gnomes rarely travel without an animal companion. They have been seen riding everything from common mountain goats to exotic creatures only imagined in the most obscure folklore.
The stonekin were elves once. In the tumultuous years when civilization collapsed a sect of mystical artisans took extreme measures to survive. In desperation they placed irreversible enchantments on their families, forever changing their bodies to lifeless stone.
With a faint hope the artisans went to work. Employing unknowably ancient secrets, once used to create marvels beyond reckoning, the artisans worked into the fading twilight of all civilization to finish their final masterpiece. The world burned, but the work was complete.
The stonekin were born. The artisans had saved their beloved people. A new race, half-elf and half-stone, arose. They were completely alive, not living statues or enchanted stone. The stonekin were reforged in the fires of a dying world, and emerged a race fit to survive in the coming dark age.
Wild elf geomancer
The wild elves owe their earnest allegiance to nature and regarded the sundering as a natural shift. Embracing the chaotic heart of creation, the wild elves humbly adapted in the midst of mass extinction. They plunged themselves deeper into asceticism and immersed themselves in the changed environment. Some individuals became indistinguishable from nature itself.
The wild elf druids adopted powerful beast forms to live in brutal harmony with the wilderness, while the geomancers tap into surging rivers of energy that course through the earth. Embracing the wilderness, the geomancers enjoy a place of privilege in a chaotic world. Though they are wanderers in a savage wilderness, geomancers compose themselves in complex formalities and are utterly dedicated to the discipline of the earth. As servents of the enigmatic wilds, the geomancers often find themselves entangled in heroic endeavors.
The Path of the Adversary
The Adversary was worshipped for a millennia before his true power took shape. Walking among his worshippers he created abominations in his image, and gathered every evil thing to his banner. He may be bound now, but his call still rises from the darkness. The Adversary's beckoning call festers like an infection in the hearts of the wicked.
The Path of the Adversary conspires to dominate and destroy. Followers of the Adversary harness the fury of trecherous villains and terrible monsters to carve their rightful domain in a world of chaos.
Villains of the Adversary
The Pig Men
Formed centuries ago by the dark will of the Adversary, the Pig Men possess a cruel mockery of intelligence. In ages past, the Pigs were organized into vast armies that conquered powerful kingdoms. Like so many monstrous creations, the Pigs were abandoned after the world was destroyed. These twisted creatures now gather in feral tribes and war bands that survive by foraging in the vast ruins that cover our broken world.
These fierce warriors crave nothing more than destruction and snacks. Our fortified farmsteads and frontier outposts are under constant threat of Pig raiders. The allure of a merchant caravan is too great for any Pig to resist. Smashing open boxes to reveal the treats hidden inside is the greatest pleasure a Pig can experience. Survivors of these raids often describe the ecstatic squeals and tears of joy as they discover the contents of each package.
The Pig menace has been akin to bad weather: a harsh reality that destroys crops and kills the unwary. But since the Call of the Adversary the pigs have become more organized and bold than before. These foul creatures are an ever present danger, and as common as weeds.
Heralds of Bone and Darkness
Mysterious evil beings have been spotted in the wilderness. Dark Wanderers are a threat unlike anything we've seen before. Wielding horrible bone-magic, a new form of necromancy, the dark lords spur unnatural growth to create mutated skeletal monstrosities. The resulting horrors are rabid living-bone creatures of unrelenting fury.
These skull faced villains appear to be heralds of a dark truth. The harsh reality that the world is changed. They bare the terrible visage of this cruel transformation on their skeletal masks. They are visions of unnatural beasts created through perverse mutation rather than shaped by natures careful hand. It may be impossible to truly understand the finer details of their mission, but their brutal scheme and sinister methods are perfectly clear.
As the ashes of the sundering settled, six unknown champions sought their place in the world. In their quest for hope they came across a gaping hole where a proud capitol once stood. For nine days they camped at the edge of the abyss. Observing uncountable corpses smoldering in the darkness below. On the tenth day a macabre stair grew from the depths.
Descending into cruel ash choked catacombs, the companions resisted the horrors they beheld. At once the grim silence was broken and terrible mutated creatures assailed their advance. With axe, bow, and spear the warriors gritted their teeth and pushed ever deeper into the stygian depths.
With bone-crushing might the champions entered the final chamber, a dark shrine both beautiful and terrible to behold. Unimaginable rituals and dizzying writings lined the great cathedral of bone in this womb of death and darkness. At the center of it all lay a minuscule shard. As the bold heroes approached the altar, their lore-maiden began to sing in guttural tones. The new song vibrated the air and a grim reality settled upon their minds. This was a fragment of the adversary itself, and from that moment forward nothing would ever be the same.
Apostles of the Deep
Somewhere along the jagged coasts a cursed fortress stands crumbling into the sea. Antediluvian mysteries lie hidden in its darkest chambers. As you make your way deeper into its treacherous belly the tide abates to reveal a coral encrusted dungeon. Frothing saltwater rushes through the living catacombs echoing otherworldly sounds.
The creatures here are twisted and transformed by an unimaginably ancient power. The fortress was once the seat of a proud royal lineage. The foundations were built on foundations older than the very continent, and as the world shifted and fractured the dizzying discoveries changed the royal lineage forever.
Eldritch powers course through the veins of completely inhuman creatures. Unimaginably brutal sharkmen and slithering eel-like beings are powerful allies to the path of the Adversary. However these servants are submitted to an troubling force, and are not to be trifled with.
THE WRETCHED HIVE
The Wretched Hive is a sinister underworld that exists on the fringes of society.
The iguan are a ubiquitous reptilian race whose myths claim a primordial origin predating all human civilization. The pragmatic iguan do not build cities of their own, but rather opt to live in nomadic groups operating with a network of semi-permanent encampments on the outskirts of large cities. Traveling bands will meet to trade with the settled iguan, who in turn offer goods and services to the wider markets.
Due to their peculiar psychology many iguan find full integration into civilized life distasteful and traditionally work as laborers and sailors. They never shy from dangerous work, and take special pride in their ability to endure. Despite the obvious value of strong workers, the complex cruelty of civilization has branded the iguan as the lowest class. Merchants gain hordes of wealth while the workers struggle to survive.
In the absence of true justice, following the law is a luxury few can afford. Thus we enter the vile black markets of the Wretched Hive. Where cruelty is the law and only the strong survive.
The slave trade is perhaps the most depraved of the black market practices. The legality of slavery may vary from kingdom to kingdom, but legal status only truly changes how public the slave auctions are.
The Iguan Slavers are powerful fighters and bitter task masters.These depraved individuals offer harsh motivation to their comrades in brutal fashion. Slavers are rightly feared for the sinister depths of their inhumanity.
Poachers are almost universally nomadic in origin. Many ply their humble, if illegal, trade as hunters. However, in the harsh depths of the black market, not every poachable entity is a beast.
The brutal wilderness takes its toll on nomadic tribes. In the harshest seasons many poachers turn their unmatched skill as scouts and trackers to the benefit of dangerous crime lords. With highly valuable skills and keen javelins, these deadly warriors are rightly prized.
According to their customs a select few are chosen and groomed from birth to assume a terrible duty. The elder crone prepares these youth for many years. Until the fateful day they must read from the unpronounceable black pages of agog. The black pages tether the iguan to their primordial gods. As the chosen study the dizzying passages their inner minds are assailed by terrible dimensions beyond reality.
Sadly, many are utterly consumed by madness. Those who survive are honored and assume their place as iguan witches. These witches are respected councilors and powerful sorcerers. They peer into the void to observe the threads of fate, command plagues, and call upon the boiling depths of the earth. These powerful women form an integral core of iguan political and religious society.
Nomadic iguan have formed strange alliances in their bid for survival. One such partnership is with the mangrove basilisk. A long snouted sub-species endemic to the brackish badlands.
These cold-blooded beasts have a near super-natural hypnotic gaze and are extremely venomous. The Iguan Witches made connections with the beasts and have used them as powerful assets for generations. These pitiless creatures grant an exotic edge to an iguan fighting force. They paralyze combatants as swift warriors descend upon their ill-fated foe.