The setting of Shadows of Esteren is a dark age, but one that holds the potential for great progress. The kingdoms of the Tri-Kazelian Peninsula — Reizh, Gwidre, and Taol-Kaer — once united in common faith and customs, have grown remarkably distant due to the introduction of foreign ideologies and technology from the Continent, a faraway land that is virtually inaccessible. The common folk live in isolated communities, engaged in the daily struggle for survival against the elements and common mortality. The balance of power in Tri-Kazel dances on a razor’s edge toward eruption as resentment towards other ideologies and certainty in their own drives the kingdoms farther apart.
All the while, malevolent, ineffable creatures known as Feondas lurk in the shadows.
Thre three major ideologies:
1) Demorthen Traditions. The worship of nature and the spirits maintaining it are central to this ancient belief. Druids known as “Demorthen” read the signs of nature and try to maintain its delicate balance while serving as spiritual and sometimes secular leaders of their communities. Experienced Demorthen who are true to their creed even have the ability to manipulate natural forces. While most rural communities in all of the kingdoms continue to hold true to these traditions, the kingdom of Taol-Kaer is the only one that has not officially abandoned this way of life.
2) The Temple of the One God. This monotheistic religion was brought to the Peninsula centuries ago by missionaries who managed to cross the Ferocious Sea from the Continent. After decades of persecution as they spread their faith in the countryside, they saved the capital of Gwidre from certain destruction by a horde of fiends by performing miracles of an awesome magnitude. Following the conversion of the Gwidrite king, the majority of the population followed suit in less than a century, leading to unparalleled unity within the kingdom.
3) Magience. This advanced technology was introduced to the Peninsula by explorers from the Continent. By extracting Flux from the environment, Magientists power the machines that provide running water, lighting, and exponentially increased resource and commodity production. Though not an ideology per se, the Continental ideas of science and rationalism taught at the universities appearing across Tri-Kazel are antithetical to both adherents of the ancient Demorthen traditions, who perceive industrial growth as harmful to nature, and the zealous followers of the One God. Though present to some degree or another in all kingdoms, the kingdom of Reizh is the only one to enthusiastically embrace it.
This is where you come in.
You are an ordinary person thrust into extraordinary circumstances. Your adventures will take you from your lifelong home and across the Peninsula, delving into mysteries both local and ancient. You will go through trials far greater than most will ever endure, and you will experience sights and situations so horrible that they defy comprehension. You may even go insane.
But madness is only the beginning.
Along the way, you will meet many people whose lives you may change forever. You will make friendships that last a lifetime. You will earn the ire of many, including powerful adversaries with the will and the means to stop you. Whatever happens, you are no longer a slave to your birth and circumstance: Your fate is yours to shape.