Q&A Part 1: The Chronicles of Future Earth core book and setting
Thank you for all your fantastic questions about THE CHRONICLES OF FUTURE EARTH! They roughly fell into two halves - setting and rules - so I'm going to split this update into two parts, otherwise it's going to be massive! So today, without further ado, here are your setting-related questions!
It looks like the far future of North Africa and what remains of Europe are central to the Springtide Civilisations setting. Will the core book also include information about other parts of the Earth, or will this be the stuff of future supplements?
The core book presents its setting information from the point of view of the Sakari - the inhabitants of the Venerable Autocracy. So there's information on how the Sakari view the Venerable Autocracy, including detailed information on Korudav Province, unlocked in the £20K Core Book Power Up stretch goal). Then there's information on the other Springtide Civilisations as the Sakari see them (a lot of which may he hearsay), and then finally how they see the rest of the world, which rapidly goes off into Marco Polo realms of invention. We have future supplements we're hoping you'll help us produce, such as "City States of the Middle Sea", "The Sleeping Sands", and even "Doomed Nayarak", which will present other lands of Future Earth - and even beyond! - from their own points of view. There's a lot to discover...
As the mechanical and spiritual successor to Legends of Anglerre, will the material in the core book contain "toolkit" material to show us alternate themes and tones as LOA did? I can already think of this world as being very far in the future of Starblazer Adventures, opening up the possibility for adventuring beyond the Springtide Civilisations of Earth - or as being the far-distant past of Anglerre before all memory of non-magical science had faded.
Yes, absolutely, we'll be addressing specifically that toolkit aspect. We have an entire chapter of the core book devoted to genres and tropes of fantasy, including guidelines for playing in those genres and sample settings. And while The Chronicles of Future Earth core book and line very clearly focus on the Springtide Civilisations setting, we're also planning a series of genre supplements specifically to provide detailed examples of other types of fantasy settings, such as The Chronicles of High Fantasy supplement, which will see the return of my Hither Kingdoms setting and will feature writing by the awesome Mike Olson (Legends of Anglerre, Fate Core, et al).
What kind of bottled conflicts exist in the Chronicles of Future Earth setting? What faction(s) do / can the player characters belong to?
The Springtide Civilisations are huge, ancient, and filled with intrigue. Wars spark on the fringes, and there's the eternal, mythical threat of the Hegemonist and the Reavers, and the existential threat of the Shakh in the frozen north. Here are some of the conflicts your characters could get involved with.
THE ETERNAL ENEMY
The mythical purpose of the Springtide Civilisations is to keep the world safe from the Hegemonist and the Reavers. Witch cults, demented worshippers of crazed Reavers like Xados the Annihilator, the Gouger, or the Goddess of the Torn Flesh. There's always the danger within the Autocracy that selfish folk will decide to let the future go to hell in exchange for wealth, power, and glory today.
The same conflict exists beyond the Autocracy's frontiers, although to be honest most people don't even think about it these days - the Crusades and the Chaos Wars were thousands of years ago, the Helemoriad tens of thousands of years. It's all in the past, the desperate struggle against the rotting chaos of Gumazhdu the Mutator that threatened to dissolve the very fabric of the world. That's why the recent Devastation of Korudav has been such a shock and caused such panic; suddenly the Shakh, the Chaos Beasts, have been reported within the Autocracy, people have been killed, or transformed into ravening monsters! People need reassuring that the world isn't about to come to an end. But what is happening?
THE WORM WITHIN
Traditionally the biggest conflicts most people face are internal to Imperial society. The twenty Gods of the Great Compact aren't universally what we'd call "morally good", although they all mythologically oppose the universal domination of the Hegemonist or the total annihilation of the Reaver Gods. Nevertheless, Bright Staros raises corpses to be undead tomb guardians, and promises the wealthy unnaturally long lives - or should that be unlives? Minisia the Cold Goddess grants youthfulness to her worshippers, but drains it from slaves. And the worshippers of Dafur the Flame Lord sacrifice war prisoners on the altars of their ferocious god.
All these deities might be considered "evil", one way or another, but they nevertheless form part of the fabric of the society of Future Earth - they stop the world from being destroyed. But worshippers of Unthar the Timekeeper, Konfu the Healer, Regos the King, all may spend their time countering the machinations of this deities. And then there are the more ambiguous gods - Khosht the Builder, Pline Who Cares Not, Qal the Unifier of Opposites.
There are conflicts sometimes with the jeniri and esteri, too - the "Cousins of Man" and the "Not-Men of Urth". The Tung Mai Mantis Men have a very aggressive enclave right next to the Autocracy; the Province of Moritan is still under Tung Mai occupation, although there's an uneasy detente. The Time Dragons of the Shalai Manifest remain locked up in their fastness of Ambara, and no one dares interrupt whatever it is they're doing.
Political intrigues inside the Autocracy are rife. The big one that's been brewing for over a generation is the opposition between the worshippers of Staros the Bright God, including the current Avatar, Enessi XXI, and the worshippers of Belorias the Storm Lord, including the followers of the previous Avatar, Aglaya, who was viciously deposed. Enessi has overseen the wildering of the ancient province of Ellib, and now sends the Flame Lord to oppress the Amadorad Protectorate, traditionally strong in the worship of the Lord of Turmoil, the northernmost of the Empire's territories in Hivernium. Autarch Jakai Tellisan of the city of Korudav has been trying to keep the peace, but the Avatar's actions have pushed Hivernium to the edge of civil war - precisely the wrong moment for the Devastation of Korudav to occur!
And then there are monsters and foreigners. Raiders from the Hagya and the Deserts of the Rabaq Nun and the Rabaq Hor. Even the Autocracy itself isn't a thoroughly controlled land; the Empire would like you to think it has everything under control, but government is very chaotic and even non-existent in places, concentrated in the great cities and towns, and there are vast stretches of lawless wilderness even within the Empire's borders where bandits and monsters reign. Travel between the Great Cities is best done in protected caravans, or in the Virikki Waggon Trains.
That's it for now for your questions about THE CHRONICLES OF FUTURE EARTH core book and setting. In the next Q&A update, I'll focus on rules-related questions - so please let me know if you have any more!
For the Autocracy! For Korudav!