The World of Arth
Arth is a rich and fascinating place. The arts are hugely popular, with plays attended even by the poorest of citizens. Craftsman practice all sorts of wonderful crafts, jewelers particularly enjoy great success and export their wares all over the world. Lastly, people travel freely from anywhere in the world to any other.
At least those are how the stories of old go. Passed down from mother to child, these stories explain the how the ancients lived, played, and why they built these fascinating structures, back when the moon was whole. All anyone knows now, is that the few who do have money will still spend some on the art of long ago, but for the most part they spend it trying to wrest power and influence from one another. Those who do not have money, the vast majority, simply try to squeeze by. They do what they can to get by, usually as indentured servants to the rich, or simply stealing from them. It is not uncommon to find a large region under the control of one powerful family, and with no government to coral them in, their word is law. They rule through power and fear, with little to no loyalty that isn’t bought or intimidated.
Wait, what was that about the moon? In case you didn’t notice up there, the moon has split. Cracked down the center by some unknown force in the ages past. The moon is now two large fragments with thousands of smaller ones ringing it. Any of a thousand legends attempt to explain what happened and its cracking explains any of a thousand more.
Where do players fit in? Those rich families need to look powerful and impressive. This has led to a new class of wandering mercenary called the “Adventurer”. An adventurer makes their living in one of two ways. The main way is as a simple bodyguard. After all, when rich family #1 attends Rich family #2’s ball, they don’t want to go unguarded. There is a very real chance that the ball is an elaborate ruse to kidnap them. Not to mention the odds of being robbed, or killed on the journey by their “loyal subjects”. Having an exotic troupe of bodyguards attend you is a sure way to prevent that. The second way adventurers make a living is by “Scavenging”. Scavenging is essentially what it sounds like. See, way back in the day when people had money, and the creation of magic items was common, people would build elaborate mausoleums and tombs filled with magical treasures. Unfortunately for the money hungry nobles, those tombs are usually guarded by terrible magical beasts or powerful traps. Here is where an adventurer steps in. A powerful noble puts out a call for adventurers. He tells them where the tomb is, and asks them to bring back the magical treasures. Common forms of payment usually include “You can keep most of the loot I want the items” or “I’ll let you abuse the locals” or anything else they work out privately.
Oh wait, there was one more method adventures use to make their living. See, sometimes when adventurers get to that tomb, they decide not to come back. Usually a local lord employs his most powerful adventurers solely to prevent this. Their job is simply to make sure no one runs off. If they do, they are to track them down and make an example. Often times they are allowed to keep all of the stolen loot, and this is the most lucrative adventurer’s contract.