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->''"Welcome to the land of Yrth, a magical realm of incredibly varied races and monsters – including people snatched from our Earth and other worlds by the cataclysmic Banestorm! Whole villages were transported – from such diverse locales as medieval England, France, Germany, and the Far East. Now humans struggle with dwarves, elves, and each other. The Crusades aren't ancient history here – they're current events!"''

That sales pitch very much sums up the setting of ''GURPS Banestorm'', by Creator/PhilMasters and Jonathan Woodward. This setting book is the latest presentation of Yrth, the oldest fantasy world originally designed for ''TabletopGame/{{GURPS}}'', which was originally detailed in the first edition of ''GURPS Fantasy''. ''GURPS Banestorm'' revises the setting material from that book, advances the setting date in parallel with the real-world publication dates, and updates the rules material from ''TableTopGame/{{GURPS}}'' 3rd edition to 4th edition. Additional information on Yrth has appeared in various published scenarios, magazine articles, and secondary supplements.

To expand on the story mentioned above, Yrth was originally populated by elves, dwarves, gnomes, orcs, and ogres. But a faction of the elves, deciding to rid themselves of the destructive orc race, designed a powerful magical ritual called the "Orcbane". It did not work as planned. The resulting magical catastrophe, known as the Banestorm, [[MassTeleportation brought countless people and creatures to Yrth]], including humans from medieval Earth. And as humans tend to do, they soon expanded to take over most of the continent of Ytarria, displacing the native elves and orcs (the dwarves remained safe in their mountain fortresses).

Nearly a thousand years later, Ytarria is now more or less a StandardFantasySetting, dominated by TheEmpire of Megalos, surrounded by various other nations on all sides. Technology is maintained at a [[MedievalStasis relatively low level]] by the Ministry of Serendipity, an Imperial office which hunts down rogue technologists and victims of modern Banestorm incidents, in order to brainwash them and [[LaserGuidedAmnesia erase dangerous information from their minds.]]

The company gives the book a Web page [[http://www.sjgames.com/gurps/books/banestorm/ here.]]

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!!This setting provides examples of:

* AllTrollsAreDifferent: Yrth trolls are fairly generic monsters, perhaps most resembling a much-toned-down version of Grendel and his mother from ''Literature/{{Beowulf}}''.
* ArabianNightsDays: Exemplified in two distinct nations: the kingdom of al-Haz, founded by Shi'ite Muslims, and the kingdom of al-Wazif, founded by Sunni Muslims. There used to be a third such kingdom, al-Kard, but after it was conquered by Megalos and subsequently became an independant nation, it became the culturally diverse nation of Cardiel. al-Haz and al-Wazif are primarily divided over the nature of magic and its acceptability according to Sharia law; the Wazifi Sunnis see nothing wrong with the use of magic for bettering human lives, though they require wizards to serve two years in service to the government, while the Shi'ite Hazi consider magic dangerous and morally dubious, and barely tolerate its use for good, with many mullahs wanting it outlawed entirely. Only the need to counter Megalos' use of magic in war keeps these radicals in a minority.
* BarbarianHero: The Nomad Lands is essentially where most of them come from.
* BeCarefulWhatYouWishFor: The point of the original Bane spell was to summon 'something that will deal with the orcs'. In a manner of speaking, ''[[GoneHorriblyRight it did]]'': it summoned humans, who promptly set about exterminating the orcs, but the elves swiftly realised that to deal with the orcs, they'd summoned people that, while marginally more friendly, posed a far greater long-term threat to them.
* ButForMeItWasTuesday: Implied but then, as a twist, averted, in one of the snippets of flavor-text fiction at the top of a chapter:
-->''“What '''harm'''?” he cried. “Ten long years ago, your orc pets burned a village on the coast of Araterre. Perhaps you have forgotten; they were just another few deaths among many, for a necromancer. But that village was home to the woman who owned my heart. Since then I have followed your trail across deserts and seas, and foiled a dozen of your schemes – today, you will pay for that murder.”\\
“Ah, yes. I do remember.” Suddenly the voice was no longer calm or even; it was amused...''
* CallARabbitASmeerp: From their descriptions and the book's illustrations, bushwolves, paladins, treetippers, and milkfish (native non-magical animals) sound like thylacines, glyptodonts, giant sloths, and manatees.
* CanNotSpitItOut: Conall VI, king of Caithness, has fallen madly in love with Bronwyn, baroness of Durham and supporter of his rule. Unfortunately, he isn't able to properly convey his feelings, and ever since her last husband died of cancer, she's only had her mind on the CivilWar, making her totally oblivious to Conall's attempts to get her attention.
* CherryTapping: Sahud ninjas are quite skilled at this; since honor is paramount in Sahud culture, they often trip their victims, dump fertilizer on them, or otherwise embarrass them. This makes the victims look vulnerable and leads to a loss of face and power. It should be noted that the ninja are also quite capable of using lethal force, if necessary.
* CityOfAdventure: Tredroy, which is [[TruceZone divided between al-Haz, al-Wazif, and Cardiel]], is a MerchantCity, and to some degree a CityOfSpies. It would be more of a CityOfSpies except for the fact that the three kingdoms are more likely to be allied than enemies, because of the mutual fear of Megalos.
* CrystalDragonJesus: Banestorm actually ''{{avert|edTrope}}s'' this, believe it or not. Since the humans of the setting were initially yanked from TheCrusades-era Earth, the major human religions are Christianity and Islam, with most nonhumans having converted. The Lazarite cult of Abydos is this trope played straight.
* EldritchAbomination: Implied about the old gods of Olokun, the world the [[OurMermaidsAreDifferent merfolk]] and the [[SharkMan shark men]] came from. The merfolk seem to have hated/feared them so much that they are mostly atheists with a few Eternal worshipers mixed in and have a natural distrust of religion, while the shark men worship their deities the same as always, hoping to be able to one day draw them over to Yrth, which the book describes as a ''bad thing''.
* ElvesVersusDwarves: More in the sense of contrast between each race's preferred philosophy than in the sense of actual hatred. Elves prefer harmony with nature and dwarves emphasize craftsmanship.
* TheEmpire: The previously mentioned Empire of Megalos, which dominates much of the continent of Ytarria.
* FantasticReligiousWeirdness: Being transported to Yrth along with numerous non-human races raised significant theological issues in the major human religions:
** For Islam, it was the question of where do Muslims pray to. They are TrappedInAnotherWorld: they cannot go to Mecca or face towards Mecca in accordance to the ''qibla'' (direction of prayer), and they have no idea where they are geographically in relation to Earth either. Solution? They have a city called Geb'al Din in al-Haz, which acts as a substitute Mecca. According to the legend, it was founded on the site of the miraculous discovery of a large black rock with passages from TheQuran carved upon its surface, guarded by an old man who claimed to have been waiting sixty years for people to find it, and that here was where a new HolyCity should be built. Regardless of the story's veracity, the Muslims of Yrth now make the ''[[RiteOfPassage hajj]]'' (pilgrimage) to Geb'al Din, and orient the ''qibla'' towards its central rock.
** For Christianity, it was the question of who's in charge of the Church in Yrth. They can't contact ThePope, and no cardinals were transported. A few priests came through, so they've maintained [[MasterApprenticeChain apostolic succession]] (sort of), but they're completely out of contact with church hierarchy. They muddled around in confusion for centuries, dealing with sporadic religious strife as they did so, until the emperor of Megalos got fed up, had his troops abduct the most prominent Christian leaders he could find, sealed them all inside a cathedral, and demanded they work it out. Eventually they settled on establishing the Curia, a council to act as the Church's ruling body in Yrth, made up of the Grand Master of the Hospitaller Order, Grand Master of the Olybrian Order, Grand Master of the Templar Order, Grand Master of the Thomasite Order, an archbishop from Caithness, three archbishops from Cardiel, and five archbisohops from Megalos. It theoretically governs in the Pope's name, but since they have no idea who the Pope is and no ability to contact him anyway, in practice they govern autonomously.
** And, of course, there was the thorny question of whether non-humans could be converted or not. The Muslims noted the {{Djinn}} in their SacredLiterature and figured "if a spirit of fire can be a Muslim, so can a goblin". Christians had more trouble, since TheBible doesn't say much on the topic of non-humans, but they eventually concluded that it would probably be wrong and definitely be very impolite to ignore the possibility of conversion. Theologians even have theories about parallel evolutions from [[AdamAndOrEve Adam]] pulled through dimensions and such, or that they're outcasts from a different Eden, or somesuch. Another theory is also basically the premise of ''WestOfEden'': Adam and Eve left Eden and travelled east. What was on the other side?
* FantasyGunControl: Actually enforced by the [[TheMenInBlack Ministry of Serendipity]].
* FantasyPantheon: In opposition to the real-life human religions, the elven/dwarven religions native to Yrth don't have gods at all, but follow the Eternal, [[{{Pantheism}} an animistic gestalt consciousness that pervades every piece of the universe's fabric]]. The elves worship the Eternal through animals and plants, while dwarves worship stone and metal as their chosen part of the Eternal. The other worlds of Gabrook, Olokun, and Loren'dil had their own pantheons as well, but few still worship the ancient gods, having converted to one of the human religions or turned to Eternal-worship, with the exceptions of the lizard men who didn't convert to Islam mostly still worshipping the god of strength Bozdaag, the shark men wishing to bring their very active [[EldritchAbomination old gods]] over to Yrth, and centaurs being the only people of Loren'dil that fully kept their faith in the old pantheon (especially in Atallie, goddess of learning and wisdom).
* GorgeousGorgon: In this setting, medusas typically have the Beautiful Appearance advantage.
* TheHeretic: The great conflicts between various splintered Christian and Muslim groups after the Banestorm lead to the appearance of many sects and cults:
** The Penitentines were a sect that believed Yrth was Purgatory, all non-humans were demons, and that magic was Devilry rather than the strange science the Church came to see it as.
** The cult of the Manites hold the belief that mages are actually chosen miracle-makers of God and thus holier than the non-magic members of society.
** Lazarite Christianity in Abydos (or Lazarite heresy elsewhere), started by a heretical monk who supposedly discovered the lost books of Lazarus of Bethany, the Lazarus who Jesus raised from the dead. Those books, called "the Renewed Testament" supposedly extol the raising of Lazarus, expose Peter and Paul as revisionists, and exonerate Judas (St. Judas, to the Lazarite Christians.) Basically, the Lazarite Church preaches that raising the bodies of the dead to serve and aid the living is a righteous and holy act. While the mainline Ytarrian Church hasn't managed to expunge them, they've done their best to seal off the island city by wiping it off the maps and by denying its existence.
** While not of Christian origin, the Islamic sect of the Balikites qualify. They are lead by Balik Abdallah al-Firuz, a Shi'ite mullah from northern al-Haz who is extremely against magic and so consider mages infidels. While the Sultan of al-Haz hates the Balikites with a passion for their murder of one of his most trusted advisors and has put a hefty bounty on Balik's head, most Hazi mullahs are very apathetic towards the sect in spite of their murderous brutality. In al-Wazif, where magic is far more accepted, Balikites are treated as criminals and are sentenced to death by public torture if they are captured.
* HornyVikings. Invoked by some of the tribes of the Nomad Lands, which are in part descended from Norse settlers ... at least, those tribes that aren't descended from [[Myth/CelticMythology Celtic Warriors]], that is.
* HumansAreTheRealMonsters: Not a major theme, but this ''is'' a setting where humans are better at being orcs than orcs are.
* TheKingdom: Caithness, formerly a Megalan colony that splintered off to become its own nation. Currently embroiled in a civil war between rebel nobles and loyalists to the crown.
* KnightTemplar: A mind-set that is far from unknown on Yrth, with at least two groups more or institutionalizing it:
** For an obvious start, there are the actual Knights Templar of Yrth.
** However, Megalos also has its own version of UsefulNotes/TheKnightsHospitallers, who are actually even more fanatic, barely considering friendly nonhumans worthy of protection, and rejecting any use of magic. The first ChurchMilitant group to develop on Yrth from Banestorm immigrants, they interpreted the event as divine will, and founded the city of New Jerusalem. Eventually joining Megalos, they have since become infamous for their rigid conservatism and intolerance.
** In response to the two Christian groups, the Muslim nations of Ytarria have developed their own holy warriors, the Ghazi Orders, who mirror the Christian knights, and who have earned the respect of some knights.
* LadyOfWar: Caithness has always been the only kingdom to allow female knights, ever since a noblewoman distinguished herself defending the independence of Caithness against Megalos and was knighted by the King. Numbers of female knights vary between knightly orders, but one order is mentioned having one female in five and another with one in ten. Also, a number of Caithness noblewomen prefer hawking as an entertainment to [[TextileWorkIsFeminine needlework]]. All of which works fine; Caithness is an easygoing country with room for both {{Proper Lad|y}}ies and {{Spirited Young Lad|y}}ies.
* LizardFolk: The Reptile Men, a race of reptile people originally from the Desert World of Gabrook.
* ALoadOfBull: Minotaurs look like outsize humans with bull heads, but [[ImAHumanitarian eat other sapient species]] and are extremely violent {{Blood Knight}}s who often go berserk in combat. Some, however, manage to overcome their brutal nature towards other lifeforms enough to instead turn PsychoForHire.
* MageTower: Caithness is mostly lower in magical power ("mana") than other lands, but has some patches where magic works quite well. Its wizards tend to move into those to set up shop -- often building towers on these sites, some of which have been detailed in published material.
* MedievalPrehistory: The bestiary includes "bushwolves", "paladins", and "treetippers" - from their descriptions and illustrations, they're evidently thylacines, glyptodonts, and giant ground sloths [[CallARabbitASmeerp by other names]]. "Striders" may be [[FeatheredFiend one of the many species of flightless predatory bird]] that appear from time to time in the fossil record.
* MedievalStasis: Ytarria has been kept at a late medieval level of technology and social development. This is in part due to the Megalan Empire's Ministry of Serendipity, a secret police force charged with hunting down inventors, technologies, and other ideas which threaten the ''status quo''. The other nations of Yrth appear to have similar organizations.
* MegaMaelstrom: One is located off the southern coast of al-Haz. Its location means that ships heading from any of the regions to the north can enter al-Haz but can't make it further west to the Lands of the Djinn and beyond, nor can anyone from the west head eastward to al-Haz in that direction.
* NamedLikeMyName: The authors, Creator/PhilMasters and Jonathan Woodward, are ''not'' related to (respectively) the ComicBook/FantasticFour villain or the actor.
* NamedworldAndNamedland: "Yrth", the name of the world, is the word "Earth" with a few letters short and pronounced almost exactly the same. Yttaria, the name of the continent, is simply a modification of the name Yrth.
* TheNecrocracy: The necromantic citystate of Abydos, which is ruled by necromancers, liches, and the undead. The populace doesn't mind, as the rather ... ''odd'' sect of Christianity that the locals follow makes raising the dead a holy act.
* NewNeoCity: New Jerusalem, founded and ruled by TheKnightsHospitallers, and a semi-autonomous region of Megalos.
* OneGenderRace:
** The snake-haired ''medusas'' are all female. They mate (carefully) with human, elf, and orc males to produce offspring. Their children are usually medusas, but some are boys with a recessive medusa trait.
** WordOfGod [[invoked]] says that Yrth also has ''euryales,'' a small all-female reptilian race, whose eggs are fertilized by eating their dead, and ''sthenos,'' a much bigger all-female reptilian race, produced by a virus that infects human (or orc or elf) women, and spontaneously transforms them if they are violently injured.
* OurCentaursAreDifferent: Yrth has fairly conventional (human/horse-like) centaurs. Loren'dil has neither humans nor horses, so the mere existence of horses (initially seen as deformed or maimed centaurs) may confuse or horrify centaurs, and they dislike the paraphernalia of human horse-riding. They live in small nomadic herds across the plains of al-Wazif, al-Haz, Cardiel, and the Orclands. Most are brash, impetuous, footloose party animals, and not especially bright, but a few are highly intelligent and scholarly — thus reflecting both the Greek legends of thuggish centaurs (in toned-down form) and the atypical intellectual centaur Chiron.
* OurDwarvesAreAllTheSame: Very much so, from the beards to the underground kingdoms. They are also well known as artificers and merchants. Some dwarven renegades actually end up becoming warlords in the Orclands, dominating orc tribes.
* OurElvesAreBetter: Subverted in that Yrth's once-formidable elves have clearly fallen on hard times since the Banestorm, and are essentially a DyingRace. They survive in villages hidden away in the various forests of Ytarria, with their largest communities being in the two massive woodlands known as the Great Forest and the Blackwoods. They ''are'' a little more dexterous, smart, attractive, and magically talented (and physically weaker) than humans on average, though, and they can be extremely long-lived. One truly different variety, albeit a culture rather than a variant race, is the Dark Elves, who are notable for being anything but Drow; they are actually a faction within elf culture, calling themselves "The Purifiers", with a philosophy of genocidal xenophobia, first against orcs, and then against anyone who isn't an elf.
* OurGnomesAreWeirder: These cousins of dwarves, noted for preferring the surface world, have more or less evolved into go-betweens between humans and dwarves, but are otherwise unremarkable as a race, harkening more to the pre-Dragonlance versions of D&D Gnomes then the modern gadget-loving versions. This is in part due to the [[MedievalStasis Ministry of Serendipity's enforcement]] of Ytarria's ''status quo''. Though it wouldn't be hard to imagine a hidden group of Gnomes experimenting with steampunk inventions...
* OurGoblinsAreDifferent: Here, goblins are short, green humanoids originally from the mostly arid desert world of Gabrook. They are intelligent, civilized, and naturally curious, and actually fit well enough into human society. Hobgoblins are their larger, dumber cousins.
* OurOgresAreHungrier: The ogres are technically among the Elder Folk of Yrth, but are by far the least advanced race; even the orcs are cultured and intelligent compared to them. Their only saving grace is that they're stronger and tougher than pretty much every other species (except the big, rare races like giants and dragons).
* OurOrcsAreDifferent: Banestorm orcs are located somewhere between Tolkien and Blizzard orcs. Another race native to Yrth, they were once spread across the continent of Ytarria, before being pushed back away from the more fertile regions by the only race to rival them in aggressiveness, stubbornness, and constant breeding: humanity. Now existing mostly in the more arid region of the Orclands, they are divided into numerous tribes which wage war on one another when they don't gather to threaten their neighbors.
* OurVampiresAreDifferent: Averted. Banestorm vampires are pretty much the Dracula sort.
* OurWerewolvesAreDifferent: People afflicted with lycanthropy turn into actual wolves. It's not contagious; either you or an ancestor has to have been specifically cursed.
* ThePlague: The HolyCity Geb'al Din is subject to frequent outbreaks of "Pilgrim's Plague" ([[TheBlackDeath bubonic plague]]) in the city, which have never been quelled due to the fact that wizards aren't allowed into Geb'al Din and thus can't magic away the problem. So far, outbreaks haven't occurred in tandem with a call to pilgrimage in fifteen years, [[FridgeHorror but since it happened once it can surely happen again]].
* SchizoTech: ThePowersThatBe suppress gunpowder, but many minor technologies and concepts have become common, including the germ theory of disease, some experiments in vaccination, heliocentric astronomy with elliptical orbits, the modern novel, stagecoaches with suspensions, sloops and brigs, fingerprinting, and the use of perspective in art.
* {{Shapeshifting}}: The [[spoiler:Emperor of Megalos]] and [[spoiler:the chief adviser to the governor of East Tredroy]] are examples of this power; the former is a demon who wants to cause as much chaos and destruction as he can for as long as possible, while the latter is a dragon working [[spoiler:to make Tredroy independent]] as part of a decades-long experiment in affecting human politics. There are also a few werebeasts and suchlike, especially in the Nomad Lands.
* SingleBiomePlanet: None of the old worlds seem to have had environments as diverse as humanity's Earth:
** The homeworld of the goblins, hobgoblins, kobolds, and reptile men, Gabrook, was an arid desert planet.
** Olokun, the merfolk and shark men's homeworld, was an ocean planet where all but small islands were covered by water for most of the time, save for violent daily tidal shifts that would briefly turn small islands into large landmasses before covering them up again.
** The centaurs, giants, halflings, and minonotaurs from Loren'dil remember their world as a verdant GhibliHills, made of plains interspersed with swathes of dense forest and thick meadows, with trees tall enough to reach the clouds.
* TheSoulless: Church canon accepts that most races such as goblins and reptile men have souls and are thus subject to the original sin and salvation, but declares that demons, spirits (which are considered demons by the Church even though they aren't), medusas, trolls, and vampires are beings explicitly lacking any souls. Lycanthropes are the most complicated subject, as it is believed that they have a soul but can have it disappear and become soulless if they act too much like animals compared to people.
* StealthInsult: The honor-obsessed Sahudese culture considers direct insults to cause both the insulted and the insulter to lose face. Therefore, they have elevated the StealthInsult to an art form; the standard form is to compliment the target on everything except his most obvious flaws. For example, at a meal consisting of a rice dish, fish and somewhat inferior cakes for dessert, a hostile guest might elaborately praise the rice and fish, but say nothing about the cakes. Thus, the cook will be shamed for their poor quality.
* SummonEverymanHero: In effect, the original Banestorm invoked this trope on a continental scale, and residual banestorm surges and other magics can always repeat the effect on a smaller scale.
** One example NPC used to be an accountant from 1990s Chicago before being dumped in Caithness. He is strenuously averting the "hero" part of the trope, though, being fully aware that he isn't qualified and would likely just get killed or mind-wiped.
** A somewhat more ''deliberate'' example of this trope appears as a suggested plot hook in the ''Abydos'' supplement; a professor at a magic school attempts to summon an archangel, but gets the [[PlayerCharacter PCs]] -- humans from modern Earth -- instead.
* TemporalThemeNaming: The advisers to the Heavenking of Sahud are known as the Eyes of Heaven. They are named Vision of Budding Flowers, Perception of Bountiful Growth, Glimpse of Falling Leaves, and Sight of Bone-White Snow, thus corresponding to the four seasons.
* TransplantedHumans: The basic premise of the setting, with the magical Banestorms picking up people and whole villages from other worlds (including Earth) and depositing them on Yrth.
* UndeadLaborers: In Abydos, the eponymous city of necromancers, they use zombies for work--including [[KarmicDeath executing murderers with the reanimated corpses of their victims]]. Slightly Deconstructed, as the health hazards of having numerous walking corpses as a part of daily life is discussed.
* UniversalUniverseTime: The setting [[SarcasmMode totally coincidentally]] happens to stick closely to its sources' publication dates, having the same calendar as ours and a 12-month year. Strangely, Yrth seems to be using the Gregorian calendar, despite the fact that they where transported there before its institution and should really be using the Julian calendar.
* {{Wutai}}: The nation of Sahud, a definitely Japanese-inspired kingdom with strong Chinese, Korean, and Mongolian elements. This is justified in that, like all of Banestorm's human cultures, Sahud was founded by humans from the cultures it now resembles. In this case, tried to do the same as the Europeans but ended up with a society that looked less like any actual Asian nation of the period and more like ''TheMikado'' on acid, as written by Creator/MontyPython.
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