A brief description of the world of Seken
Thousands of years ago there was a war between the Gods. This event shaped Seken to this day, both in terms of races and politics of the survivors, and the land itself. The deities were led by Takara, the God of Technology. Takara was unhappy with Seken, and deemed his creations imperfect. He craved the perfect order of the mechanical, but the living creatures (the only intellegent race at this time was actually humans, though there were several other animals and insects) of Seken kept having the pesky free-will trait. He began to develop methods to control the humans. First by using Godlings, semi-mortal creatures of great power, and later by creating many of the horrors an monsters that plague Seken to this day. While they are free to pursue their own agendas in this day and age, at the time they answered only to Takara’s will.
Still the humans of Seken continued to react and move in ways that Takara did not predict, and did not care for. Finally, fed up with his pesky creations, he decided that he would break the entire world down and begin again, creating a perfect Divine Machine. Many of the other Gods could not tolerate this. Takara may be their lord, but he was not listening to the will of his people. Reluctantly, they rose up and the Godswar was fought.
The battles left the world scarred where Takara first tried to begin breaking down Seken, and later where he moved to obliterate cities loyal to the The Godsmenthe coalition of Gods that rose against him. He was captured and exiled, but managed to escape and return to pursue vengence against, well…everything. Only after considerable effort were the Godsmen able to capture him again, and have placed him in what is effectively solitary isolation, which caused him to be cut off from Seken, which in turn destroyed the technology that Seken had been built on. Takara’s final vicious action was to release a magical virus that seeks out intelligent creatures and warps them from the purity of form they were first gifted with. All races that exist in the world are infected subsets that branched initially from humanity. Those major races that can breed true have found magical ways to arrest the worst of the virus, though it continues to find its way into the cracks of every race, causing mutations in any birth not protected by the proper mystical wards.
This virus has left races of the world looking at humanity as the ideal purity, and the rest are stretched below them. See Racial Tensions for more information.
Since Takara’s final defeat, the Godsmen have been trying to rebuild a blasted world. Despite their best efforts, the Divine remain split into factions (see Deities of Seken for more info), which are reflected among the mortals. To make matters worse, certain greedy mortals learned how to leech the power of the Gods themselves during the war, taking what is not rightfully theirs. These Wizards, as they are known, wage war against the entire world, stalking the skies in massive, magically protected floating cities, occasionally laying wastes to entire nations in their hunger for more energy. It is a foul individual indeed that does not put aside a grudge with her neighbor to join forces against them.
Seken is, at long last, begin the stabalize, at least among the politics mortals. The great Empires of the world have realized they serve the same Gods, and fallen into a peace interupted only by half-hearted spats. Most have gone out of their way to leave a Blasted Zones, smaller city-state, or some natural terrain formation between them and their nearest large neighbor, to avoid any unnecessary tension. This is not to say all is at peace and calm in the world, rather that you are unlikely to see Empires waging war against one another. They let the smaller nations squable amongst themselves, and occasionally indulge in a proxy war or two, but they awknowledge that Seken can ill afford another disaster.
Valenci, the capital city of Korpesh, one of the great Empires, is where the game will be set. Korpesh is an empire in decline, slowly falling to corruption and infighting, but it is still a powerhouse in Seken.
On undead- They exist. Occasionally, Caillech returns someone as a Risen, rather than to full life. Why she choses to do this (or not) is a subject of much speculation and no definite answers. Stereotypical evil undead (vampires, wights, ghouls, etc) do exist. Most are created by Wizards and unleashed to cause havoc among the civilized nations. Additionally, mindless undead (skeletons, zombies, etc) occasionally spontaniously animate around Blasted Zones. Just want to get across the point that undead does not automatically equal bad.
I will say that the gods are very important in this campaign, as they are involved in day to day life. I’ve stressed this, but think I should come right out and say it.
A final final note- (the last one was only final in an ironic way) magic items are strange in Seken, please see the House Rules section for more. expect to get a fork of elemental slaying (if you are eating sugar at the time with its matched spoon) as often as you might get a magical sword.