Welcome to Crucible
There is a child. He’s a homely boy, perhaps eight years old, and begging for change. Or food. Or simply a warm bed and a roof to protect him from the rain that’s currently beating down along the brick-and-mud street on which he stands. There’s a certain set to his jaw, a certain pallor to his skin that suggests something not entirely human in his family tree. Most of the people give him a wide berth. No one wants to make eye contact with the hopeless, after all, and they all have problems of their own without worrying about another child who will soon be food for flies and stray dogs. There are just too many refugees these days, they say to themselves. Better to help the fully human, anyway.
Welcome to the world of Crucible. The Magisterium teaches us that there is but one god, and He has created this world to forge the souls of his people into more perfect beings. The world is full of danger and temptation, for He has put them there as a test, and those that pass will be rewarded. If this is true, he is making the test extremely difficult.
This is the city of Blackport, situated where the Long Road crosses the great Arandor River. No one travels the road anymore, for the empire that made it is centuries gone. The empire of Man rose hundreds of years ago, and spread across the known world, and in their hubris humanity thought their empire would last forever. Now Nerath’s watchtowers and fortresses are scattered about the land like the bones of other great beasts who have outlived their age.
How many empires have risen and fallen, each one a pale imitation of the last? The age of empires ended long ago, and gave way to the age of city-states. Now an age of barbarism and darkness descends. The elves have retreated deep into their woods, the dwarves into their mountain homes. The humans have built their walls ever higher and stronger as the outlying towns slowly fall one after the other to orcs, goblins, and who knows what other monsters that roam the world.
The darkness is closing in. Slowly, the civilized races are dying. The people brace for the end with grim determination, knowing it’s only a matter of time before the orcs have finished with all the farming villages. In the taverns, bets are placed with gallows-humor laughs on whether the humanoids will breach the walls, come by river, or starve them to death with a siege.
This is how the story ends. Or is it? Perhaps it’s not too late to turn back the tide. Perhaps the light of civilization need not be extinguished. Perhaps heroes will yet arise to save the world from darkness. Will you?
The intention is to set this game in a bleak world where the light of civilization is flickering in the dark. It’s grim and gritty with shades of gray that tend toward black. Can the PCs fight back the darkness? Can they bring hope to a world that has lost all?
This is a game about bringing hope to the hopeless and justice to a world that has forgotten mercy. This is about being lights in the darkness.