The following is the intro blurb I used for my larp, Lexicon. If all goes well, I will put this together as an ACKS campaign setting over the course of time, with most of it's modifications and house rules appearing in this blog.
Once, long ago, the legends tell us that the world was a rigid place, and paths never wandered. There were things called "seas", and "continents", and nations had borders which could be easily measured. In those dawn times, the inhuman folk of Stygia, the
were magicians, artificers, and warriors without peer. They grew wise in the
ways of civilization, and spread across the globe with spell and sword, until
soon the world was united in Empire. First City
Through their sorcerous arts, the Stygians learned the words of power which the First God had used in his forgings of all things: The Lexicon. With their flawed understanding, driven by whispers in their dreams, they sought to use the words as they willed, and wonders and horrors alike were loosed by their sorcerer-tyrants. In the end, their hubris grew to be as peerless as their art, and they sought to enslave the First God to their will. Finally, the First God saw the sorcerers for what they had become, and those who were yet loyal to their world and creator went to war with the prideful people of the obsidian towers of the City.
In their battles, the First God was slain, and his essence shattered. His death caused a Breaking, a mournful sundering of the world which forever destroyed maps and easy travel, as the world collapsed along its bindings into "Shards"- places of power. These fell away from each other as the bonds of magic which had kept them locked became loose and winding. The Maker's death also allowed the ancient enemy, the Nightmare, to be finally able to creep into the world.
An entity without form, possessed of a malevolent intellect beyond the ken of mortals, the Nightmare was all the consumption and chaos the Maker had kept from his fledgling world. Limited before to mere whispers in the dreams of the sorcerers, the Nightmare was now free to bring its full power into Creation. Wild magic, undead, and monsters never before dreamed of soon plagued the world. Whole shards were destroyed or corrupted, and it seemed the world would soon perish. Finally, new gods rose from mortalkind to hold back the tide of darkness, and re-establish order and prosperity.
The gods taught the art of Geomancy to the races, anew way of traveling between the broken lands. They also taught a "safe' form of magic, Wizardry, which used a lesser version of the Lexicon. The old spells, sigils, and creatures of the Stygians were hidden away behind trapped tombs and forgotten ley lines, and the new gods swore to never allow mortals to gain the powers of the old sorcerers. From the center of the new Worldweb rose a godly city, called Tykoria after its founder. Future kings (and later, emperors) of Tykoria expanded from these roots, and the world was again to come under the rule of a single nation, the
Alas, not even the gods are all-knowing, for the Nightmare had found a way into the very center of the Weave, and once again an Emperor heard the whispers in his dreams and fell sway to dark promises. Tykoria became a place of tyranny and injustice, a new Stygia. Desperation drove the good folk who were left to revolt, and bloody battle again enveloped the earth. The forces of light prevailed again, but the cost was great. The world was diminished yet again, and many things once again were re-ordered or lost.
Four hundred dark years have passed, and new nations have risen from the ashes. The greatest of these nations is
of six countries two hundred years ago. However, two decades of civil war,
crusade, and misrule have resulted in an unstable, fractured realm. Galicia
is now rife with intrigue and mistrust, and many of her shards have broken away
through civil war to form her greatest enemy, Trencian.
It is a time for heroes, a time for bravery and exploration. Ruined cities and broken tombs, arcane secrets and forgotten truths await those who would seek them. The Nightmare's power lurks just in the next shard... or riding in the head of someone you know and trust. The gods yet walk the earth, bloodied but unbroken.
Would you take up the call of the hero? A bold scholar, Thane Tergard Loren, seeks adventurers and settlers to inhabit and explore the environs of a fallen Tykorian outpost, Swampgate. Riches and rewards are promised, as well as lands and prestige. It is a time for new legends to be told.