...Now, there exists a certain fanciful legend regarding the Time Long Forgotten, holding that the Outlands were not always a lightless expanse, as it is in this our present age, but that there was once a great Lamp perched upon some colossal mountain, that with a gentle and pale light illuminated all the earth, and that this Lamp was known as The Moon, and that it was kept and maintained by a godly Queen, and that her land was called Night.
Some hold to another version of the tale, which attests that there was another great Lamp, and that this one, called The Sun, gave off such a glow that it shamed the dim light of The Moon, and that it was kept and maintained by a mighty King, whose country was called Day. Those adherents of this version of the legend disagree as to whether the King of Day and the Queen of Night were wedded or bitter enemies, or perhaps even siblings. Some say that it was an earth-shaking war between these divine monarchs which rid our world of light.
But, those who believe in this fable claim a still more incredible thing: That the light of The Sun and the light of The Moon were so powerful that they were anathema to the Dreaded Ones, and that even the mightiest of those abominations were so weakened by the light that they had to hide deep underground, as we hide in our Castles in this our present age. With The Sun and The Moon keeping watch over the lands, there was a peace in the earth, the likes of which not one living soul in this era knows.
It may only be a legend... but I pray that it be true, and that there may be some way of restoring even a modicum of the light of The Sun or The Moon. For, if this not be the case, then at our current projections, these Castles which seal us off from the Dreaded Ones will exhaust the last of their power in this generation. These walls, built by our First Ancestors and their secret wisdom, will soon crumble, and the Dreaded Ones shall finally fall upon us.
But life shall not be extinguished, for the Dreaded Ones harbor no such mercy.
-Mendicant Rudolph, Anno Castra 31273
Anno Castra, inspired largely by Underrail, William Hope Hodgson's The Night Land and Walter M. Miller Jr.'s A Canticle for Leibowitz, is a post-post-apocalyptic campaign of the Dying Earth genre, taking place on a world blanketed entirely in impenetrable darkness.
The remnants of mortalkind have been cooped up in a number of Castles, colossal mega-fortresses scattered across the earth, protected by ancient magic and technology built by the First Ancestors, the mythical final generation of mortalkind who lived in the sunlight. Due to a number of calamities that struck after the Castles' creation, almost all records of history, and of the outside world, have been lost, including those records of the First Ancestors' work on the Castles. This means that there is no knowledge on how to restore energy to a Castle's Heart, the source of all its miraculous power to sustain life within and keep the Dreaded Ones out.
This spells disaster for your home of Ironcastle. A mere ten years' worth of energy remains within its Heart, less if the Dreaded Ones increase or coordinate their attacks. Your overarching quest will be to find some means of restoring Ironcastle's Heart, along with defeating or driving off the Dreaded Ones, and collecting any relics of the past you can come across.
This campaign will have few NPCs, focusing mostly on exploration, skill checks and dungeon crawling, framed in small, episodic arcs. There will be combat, but there will be plenty of ways to deal with it as you see fit. Years will pass in-game, so it's recommended to have some inkling of how your character will change as they get older. For this reason, players may wish to use a younger character. Any race is playable, though some will be known under different names because of the passage of millenia since the races of mortalkind entered the Castles.
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