Welcome to the Old world!
It’s a world full of danger and adventure. It is not a world totally different from that of ours, although a few centuries back, in the times of the dark Middle Ages. Just as in Europe of the 14th century, for example, there are monarchs in the Old World reigning over individual countries that have to cope with the day to day troubles of the feudal world—be it the rising power of the aristocracy, demands of citizens growing rich or the all-encompassing power of the Holy Mother Church, the representative of God Almighty on Earth. And when there is nothing else going on, a plague breaks out, or the faithful world is invaded by the pagans from the desert realm of Jad-Habaal or the barbarians from the distant north.
The story that awaits you, and in which you will play the cardinal role, takes place in one of these faithful kingdoms, in an ancient land known as Ultherst that its citizens simply call “The Realm”. As well as other faithful countries of the Old world, the Realm has existed for nearly a thousand years now under the protection of God—counting from the instant when the paganism was overthrown and the individual faithful states rose up on the ruins of the ancient realm of Ereborn. While it wasn’t a time full of calm and piece, as you might imagine, as periods of prosperity took turns with periods of wars and decay, there was on the other hand nothing in all those long thousand years that could severely endanger the faithful world. But that was soon to change, and quickly.
The Prophecy of Saint Ezekiel, one of the twelve followers of the First Prophet, the harbinger of the true faith, written up in the book of Revelation, haunted the faithful world with the fall of the thousand year old Kingdom of God on Earth and the release of the Devil from his prison. That was supposed to happen after an ill star appears in the sky and the land is struck with three terrific disasters called the Scourges of God—famine, plague and a rain of fire. And that is exactly what happened. Three years ago a star appeared in the sky that was never seen before. In the same year, the Realm was smitten with such disastrous bad crops that the people as well as their cattle were dying from the starvation. Those who hadn’t died, lived to become a witness of a far more deadlier catastrophe next year—a plague. The Black Death consumed more than a half of all citizens of the Realm, turned many towns and villages into deserted places and threw the Realm’s population into a deep desperation. But that was not supposed to be the end of the suffering—the third Scourge of God struck this year in the form of a rain of fire that burnt everything it touched.
The Prophecy of Saint Ezekiel simply began to be fulfilled, and there were no doubts that the end of the world was coming. And you know the people—instead of starting to pray to God and to ask him for forgiveness whosoever began secretly to evaginate the inwards of domestic animals or desecrate wafers in their cellars in an attempt to catch the fancy of the one who will with the utmost probability take it over here for another thousand years. And that is why the inevitable happened—in an effort to prevent the Realm from the decay from within, the king had signed a decree which entrusted all of the investigative and judicial power to the hands of the Inquisition. The Holy Office, as is the pretentious name of this clerical apparatus, began to act immediately and a witch-hunting was commenced that had no match to itself in the last centuries. The whole Realm was veiled in the fumes of burning stakes.
You might think that all problems were solved by this—but quite the contrary. The omnifarious powers of inquisition became a thorn in the side not only of the potent Realm aristocracy that was afraid of their abuse, but above all of the Brotherhood of the Righteous, an ancient knightly order long entrusted with keeping its eye on the justice in the Realm. That is why Ultherst is being decimated not only with heresy and the panic about an anticipated end of the world, but also with deep inner clashes. And to add to it, the Realm has been flooded with monsters from the old times that as if poured out of the gates of hell set ajar. No wonder that the rest of the faithful world watches events in the Realm with a growing discomfort, because the taint can easily overcome the frontiers of the Realm and infest the whole world!