To begin, the continent on which our campaign takes place has no agreed-upon name, so it is most commonly referred to simply as “the Realm.” It is here, centuries ago, that the Magus Tezla mastered the two major philosophies of magic, those being elemental—or natural—magic and necromancy. It is here that he created a new school of magic, technomancy, that is governed by forces familiar to yet separate from the power commanded by magic-users of the other schools.

Combining his logical brain with his powerful personality and his magical theurgy, Tezla united the majority of the Realm. Certainly, there were those who chafed under his rule—orcs, barbarians of the steppes, dwarven and human slaves—but most were happy.

Until Tezla died.

Wars of Succession

Three large factions immediately claimed ownership over Tezla’s accomplishments—and over Tezla, himself.

  • Dwellers in the city Necropolis, revered for their mastery over the dark arts, reanimated a body; whether it was originally Tezla’s is a matter for historians to debate, but none can argue that the spirit inhabiting the wight is healthy enough. Very few vampires from Tezla’s day yet survive, and if the Tezla-zombie is not, in truth, the magus of legend, none are talking.
  • Druids and elves, all, the inhabitants of the Wylden Forest and its surrounds have a natural dislike of all things undead. In the aftermath of Tezla’s demise, a hoary oak was found to contain a powerfully magical spirit. Many immediately assumed it to be the once-student of elemental magic that quickly outpaced his teachers and became his own master. A protector of the forest and all sylvan creatures, the tree-Tezla nevertheless has a disregard for the dead and the mechanical.
  • Atlantis: seat of Tezla’s political power and site of the largest number of magestone strip mines in the Realms. The Atlanteans, too, claim Tezla’s soul inhabits an avatar—a golem, of their own creation. Only the Prophet Magus can understand its commands and pass them on, but all magic users lucky enough to visit the behemoth agree that there is something unspeakably miraculous—and awful—about it.

The three groups set to each other like bickering families at a holiday feast, but each of these families had weapons of magical destruction. Those who knew Tezla personally passed away or were killed within mere decades. The necromancers retreated into deeper and darker crevasses within their dingy city, the Wylden slowly died and crept inward at its edges, and the humans of Atlantis enslaved or decimated all who opposed them. Three centuries of war passed.

Present Day

The year is After Tezla (A.T.) 216. Atlantis, serenely floating over the lands to which it lays claim, is the major power in the Realm. The elves of the Wylden have more or less disappeared, either enslaved and laboring in magestone stripmines or murdered and zombified by vampires of the Necropolis.

Mountain orcs have become a larger nuisance in recent years. Their leader, Kzar Nabar, is young, charismatic, and built like a bear. He has no desire to fight Atlanteans, but unlike all his forefathers he wishes to carve out an orc kingdom below the mountains and quit the incessant raids that do no more than engender hate for his species. Many of his people remain unconvinced, desiring merely to continue the way of life they’ve known for generations. Both groups raid more than ever—Nabar for land, his opponents for loot.

Other players on the scene—Elven mercenary dragoons, steppe barbarians, and the draconic warrior-monks known as Draconum—are less influential, continuing to live mostly as they have since the Realm was first settled.

There are hints of organized discontent among the slaves of Atlantis. Councillor-General Jeet Nujarek, suspecting his own city of Khamsin will be hit hardest, has begun hiring adventuring groups for certain tasks for which he has neither the time nor the inclination. This is where you come in.

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Mage Knight: Machination Vognarian