Emergent Destinies

1. Core Ethos Sentence.
Centuries after a war of magic plunged the world of Emergent Destinies into a dark age, the people must decide whether to reclaim the returning magic, or embrace the untested ways of science, in their efforts to build a new Golden Age.

2. Who are the heroes?
Shinza, mystic and sole remnant of the deposed Elven royal house.
Bothor, Dwarven mayor and technologist.
Skylan, human thief—er, archeologist.
Rochelle, human archmage.
Sintar, halfling high priest.

3. What do they do?
1) Shinza works to free her people from the brutal human occupation the elves have endured for centuries. In secret, she has led the elves in finding ways around their inability to perform magic (a curse leveled against them by one of their own, long ago). Over the centuries, the captive people have honed their fighting skills to near-supernatural levels, as well as begun to unlock the mysteries of the mind. Soon, Shinza feels, they will be ready to take back their homeland.
2) Bothor is the mayor of a city that pushes dwarven craftsmanship to new levels, expanding on the science he and his people have always preferred to the capricious ways of magic.
3) Skylan, once just a humble thief, stumbled across a cave leading to a lost underground city, filled with ancient magics and treasure that made him rich beyond measure. He now sponsors ventures across the continents, searching for similar finds, seeking to unlock the power from the past one artifact at a time.
4) Rochelle is a relic from before the dark ages, a human woman who once wielded awesome power. When the devastating wars were at their peak, she sealed herself away, sleeping through the chaos, reviving only recently. She wishes to understand this new world, and seeks out those who can wield magic of their own to aid her.
5) Sintar was once just a vagabond, traveling from city to city, living on scraps. One night, after getting lost in the woods, he stayed in an abandoned structure that turned out to be an ancient temple. For reasons known only to the gods, he came forth the next day a changed being, given a holy mission to go forth and seek new followers for the gods, who at long last were making their presence known again.

4. Threats, Conflicts, Villains
1) Rathgar, Human overlord of the elves. Rathgar is descended from the barbarian leader who conquered the elves centuries ago, and takes great pleasure in having the same slaves serve him that served his ancestors.
2) With the return of magic comes the reawakening of magical creatures—including dragons. To them, magic comes as easily as breathing—and they have no desire to see the humans and other peoples abuse their world so carelessly again.
3) Lunar goblins. Once, when the magic was strong, the humanoids that populated one of the world’s twin moons were a constant threat, using magic to travel to the world below and attack it. When the magic left, they were stranded, unable to continue their raids. But they have been busy over the centuries, seeking other ways to bridge the gulf between the worlds, and bring war once again. And the magic that once made it easy is returning…
4) Hiska, ancient lich. Old even when the wars were new, this being stayed alive over the centuries on hoarded magic, waiting. Now that magic is returning, he once again seeks dominion over all. There are rumors that this frighteningly powerful being serves someone even more powerful, an entity from a dark plane—all that is known is that Hiska is served by beings seen nowhere else.

5. Nature of magic
Once, long ago, it was easy to bend the energies of magic (which came from the earth itself), to one’s will. Then the magic went away, and only those who had hoarded the power had any to use. Now the ancient energies are returning, and the people must learn to wield it once again. As well, all across the world the returning magic is re-energizing portals, refreshing mystic pools, and awakening ancient creatures. Even as the people seek to build for the future, magic from their past will come into play, both for good, and ill.

6. What’s new? What’s different?
Rather than have the characters take part in a comfortably civilized world, they must work to rebuild one. Rather from just rediscovering and harnessing magic, however, this setting brings into play certain ideas from the popular steampunk genre, giving the players something new to enjoy.