The Darkness Between Stars
Ten things you need to know about Lir
1. The world of Lir is an ocean shrouded in a 1000 year storm.
Life clings to the rocky islands that once stood tall as mountains on the land. Many have flocked to the few remaining cities that offer comfort from the never ending rains. There are beacons in the night and gloom of the overcast skies, but they are small fortresses and villages. These are the scattered abodes of hermits, outcasts, sects, and outposts of greater powers.
For one thousand years it has been raining and storming across the face of the planet. It obscures the horizon and sky forcing the world’s inhabitants to adapt new means of travel, life, and faiths.
2. Many races are not indigenous to Lir
The inhabitants of Lir are mostly from other worlds in the Material Plane. They were brought here as an enslaved army by Ro-Rex. Even The Ancients were wayward nomads who stumbled upon this world long ago. In the time since the introduction of these races to the planet a great many have gone extinct or have been mutated or bred into new species that show little resemblance to their origins. Most are ignorant of their history and see Lir as the only home they have ever had or will have.
When the Star Guild opened the paths between the other worlds, new races came down from the stars and refreshed the bloodlines. This trickle of outlanders is sparse but consistent. And in the dim light of the new Lir other beings have risen from unleashed powers of the gods, Others, and their agents.
3. The God Lir has been reborn
All the worlds of the Material Plane were born with a single God. The God that looked over Lir was killed by a catastrophic ritual that sacrificed her to open a portal to the Astral Wastes that allowed the Draconian to return to The Worlds. Five thousand years later, she was resurrected by the actions of the Keepers of Lir.
Lir has been a silent figure on the planet and seldom seen. But, her religion has spread far and wide in an assortment of sects, churches, and cults.
Over the years she has laid eggs upon the shores of island known as The Throne of Lir. The church and the Star Guild took each egg to distant worlds to bring the grace of a god back to those ruined worlds. There is a great deal of mystery surrounding these infant gods.
3. There are many religions
The resurrection of Lir and the rise of Sa-Nah-Gig into godhood created a great upheaval on Lir. Not only did the world shift overnight in a mix of miracle and apocalypse but from that great event were reborn or reawaken a host of Others and spirits. The surviving population became frenzied with faith and belief in these greater powers.
The zealous movement could not be checked by even by the most skilled and hardened leader. Prophets and holy visionaries emerged in great swarms from every level of population. There were no central churches beyond a few stronger bastions of a particular faith here or there. And even these found that their missionaries would abandon them to form their own religions in distant lands or have the locals take the words of the church’s belief and change them to their own image. Self-made prophets created their own doctrines and evangelized; everywhere sprung up small sects, cults, and churches to the many greater powers.
Faith is the blood of this new world. Many will live and die by it.
5. There are other worlds
The Prime Material Plane is filled with a diverse and numerous array of worlds. Lir is but one place in the cosmos that can sustain life. Some of these worlds are dead rocks while others support unknown civilizations. A few of these civilizations travel between the stars in the ether on great magically powered sailing ships.
The Star Guild has become the sole means to travel between the twelve worlds known as the Cluster of Lir. The navigators have learned to bend space and bring great barges of goods and a few souls between the worlds. Although a few seafarers are known to exist, using slow moving ships to travel between the worlds and what may lie between or beyond.
The distant worlds of the Cluster are kept in order by the House of Harzon. Those with knowledge say the worlds are all still greatly scarred by Ro-Rex’s war march and the Great War waged between the gods and the Draconian. Scribes have noted the worlds are regressed and mostly savage with thin pockets of civilization. Harzon using the Star Guild have bridged the gulf between these worlds and cultivate their resources for the good of all the worlds.
6. Death is not peaceful
The Prime Material Plane also known as The Worlds is where the living toil and die. Laid over this plane is a thin transparent realm known as The Gloom. The Gloom is where the departed souls pass through the fabric of creation to whatever lies beyond. The Gloom clings to The Worlds and connects point for point and covers it like a tight fitting sheet. The Gloom that clings to the surfaces of the worlds is haunted by the terrible and vengeful spirit of Sa-Nah-Gig. This creature has matured over time into a god herself and she absorbs the dead that emerge from through the planar veil that covers the worlds. Those who are not absorbed are at times sent back to the living as half dead shades to serve her dark purposes.
Resurrection is almost unheard of on Lir. Those who are plucked back to the land of living arrive back in their bodies filled with madness or possessed by other spirits. Only the most powerful and forgotten magic of the past can hope to restore a soul to its body. And so death is often a permanent and mournful event.
Sa-Nah-Gig does not tolerate undeath unless it is her own blessing. Undead of Lir are often creatures that are little more than automations controlled by some greater power. Those that still possess their personality do so by trapping their spirit on this side of the divide between worlds. Many powers of Lir will bargain with this power to allow a being to escape the grips of Sa-Nah-Gig in the afterlife. Yet, the most holy of offices in Sa-Nah-Gig’s church are held by creatures that seem to be both of life and death. They are all shades that have strolled in the bleak Gloom and returned.
7. The world is a system of castes
This is world of social station and personal power. Those without means to control their own destiny are many. The masses toil and depend on the great power structures of the cities, churches, and the strongest factions to have a sheltered life and purpose. And many of the masses willingly give up freedom in the name of their faith.
8. Factions of Lir
Lir is populated by an assortment of powerful factions and power structures that operate openly or in secretive cabals to further their goals. Many use their influence to undermine other factions and to increase their power within the status quo; while the myriad of secretive groups strive for obscure goals known to only a few. These groups run the gambit from small trade guilds to the powerful churches dedicated to Sah-Na-Gig and Lir. Some of these factions have influences that stretch across worlds beyond Lir.
One’s alliances with these factions can be a matter of life and death on Lir. All these factions strive to uncover knowledge from the past and about each other. Many factions are outlawed with a penalty of death in some areas of the planet. One must tread carefully in the company of strangers before entrusting them with your own affiliations.
9. Traveling across Lir
The world is shrouded in mist and clouds where the stars and moon are rarely seen except in the briefest glimpses. Even sparse landmarks can be obscured by the shifting fogs and rain. This makes navigation across the endless seas difficult and a new breed of ship pilot has emerged to meet the challenge.
The navigators of this time are witches and shaman who speak to the spirits. They conjure and cast rituals on the bows of the ships to find the path to their destination through the mists and rain. The try to look into the future for favorable outcomes to the paths open to the ship, or speak to the wild Others and spirits for advice and favor to find the path.
While most travel by ship or stay by their hearths, others have taken to the skies. The demon-state of Benn has grown strong with a dirigible fleet and expanded into trade and mercenary work. Their warlocks have become skilled in using the dark arts to transverse the stormy skies. These dirigibles have become the yachts of the wealthy.
The great House of Harzon has harnessed powers of their own to float four great pyramids into the skies. These small floating cities act both as dreadnaught and trade vessels for the house.
10. The darkness is gathering
Although great civilizations have risen and advanced the well-being of the world and distant places. And the gods have created a truce of great balance. This golden age is tempered by an underlying secret of great darkness.
A great watcher of the worlds is passing on and with her dying words will be created one last chance to bring a true balance to the universe. Will the powers that be achieve their sinister plot, will the gathered hosts create a new destiny for the worlds, or will the trickster have his last joke on the whole of creation?