->.."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 very much sums up the setting of ''GURPS Banestorm'', the latest incarnation of Yrth, the oldest fantasy setting originally designed for ''GURPS''. To expand on the story mentioned in the blurb, the world of Yrth was originally populated by Elves, Dwarves and Gnomes, Orcs and Ogres. But a faction of 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 amounts of 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).

One 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 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 to [[LaserGuidedAmnesia erase dangerous information from their minds.]]

'''This setting provides examples of:'''

* 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 existance of magic and it's 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. The Shi'ite Hazi consider magic more dangerous and morally dubious, and barely tolerate its use for good, though many Mullahs want it outlawed entirely. Only Megalos' use of magic in it's army keeps these radicals in a minority.
* BarbarianHero: The Nomad Lands is essentially where most of them come from.
* CallARabbitASmeerp: From their descriptions, bushwolves, paladins, treetippers, and milkfish (native non-magical animals) sound like thylacines, glyptodonts, giant sloths, and manatees.
* 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 them look vulnerable and leads to a loss of face and power. It should be noted that they're quite capable of using lethal force, if necessary.
* CityOfAdventure: Tredroy which is [[TruceZone divided between Al-Has, 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 then enemies because of the mutual fear of Megalos.
* ElvesVersusDwarves: More in the sense of contrast between each races preferred philosophy then in the sense of actual hatred. Elves prefer harmony with nature and dwarves emphasize craftsmanship.
* FantasyGunControl: Actually enforced by the [[TheMenInBlack Ministry of Serendipity]].
* HornyVikings. Invoked by some of the tribes of the Nomad Lands, which were in part descended from Norse settlers. ...At least those tribes that aren't descended from [[{{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.
* KnightTemplar: Aside from the actual Knights Templar of Yrth (see below), Megalos also has the Knights Hospitaller, which are actually even more fanatic, barely considering friendly nonhumans worthy of protection, and rejecting any use of magic. In response, the Muslim nations of Ytarria developped their own order of holy warriors, the Ghazi Orders, who mirror the Christian knights eerily well, and have even earned the respect of a few knights.
* LadyOfWar: Caithness has always been the only Kingdom to allow female knights ever since a noblewomen distinguished herself defending the independence of Caithness against Megalos and was knighted by the King of Caithness. 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 is fine; Caithness is an easygoing country with room for both [[ProperLady Proper Ladies]] and [[SpiritedYoungLady Spirited Young Ladies]].
* MedievalStasis: Ytarria has been kept at a Late Medieval level of technology and society. This is in part due to the Megalan Empire's Ministry of Serendipity, a secret police charged with hunting down inventors, technologies and other ideas which threaten the status quo. The other nations of Yrth appear to have similar organisations.
* NamedLikeMyName. The authors (Phil Masters and Jonathan Woodward) are ''not'' related to (respectively) the ComicBook/FantasticFour villain or the actor.
* 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 they have clearly fallen on hard times since the Banestorm, and are essentially a ''DyingRace''. They survive in small communities hidden away in the various forests of Ytarria, with their largest communities being in the two massive forests known as the Great Forest and the Blackwoods.
** One truly different variety of elves are 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 anyone who isn't an elf.
* OurGoblinsAreDifferent. Here, Goblins are short, green humanoids 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.
* OurVampiresAreDifferent: Averted. Banestorm vampires are pretty much the dracula sort.
* 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 [[{{Medieval Stasis}} 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...
* OurOrcsAreDifferent, and 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 rivalling them in aggressiveness, stubbornness and constant breeding: humanity. Now existing solely in the more arid lands of the Orclands, divided into numerous tribes which wage war on one another when they don't gather to threaten their neighbors.
* {{Shapeshifting}}: The [[spoiler:Emperor of Megalos]] and [[spoiler:the chief advisor 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.
* TheKingdom. The Kingdom of Caithness, formerly a Megalan colony that splintered off to become it's own nation. Currently embroiled in a civil war between Rebel Nobles and the Loyalists to the Crown.
* TheKnightsHospitallers. 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 on the spot. Eventually joining [[{{TheEmpire}} Megalos]], they have since become infamous for their [[{{KnightTemplar}} rigid conservatism and intolerance, their order being closed to all nonhumans, preserving a hatred of Muslims even in times of peace, and even banning the use of magic among it's members]].
* TheKnightsTemplar. The actual Knights Templar of Yrth, while being a ChurchMilitant group themselves, are actually rather mild in their fanaticism, compared to their rival order, the Knights Hospitaller. On the other hand, they may have more sinister secrets, having mastered magic very rapidly after their arrival on Yrth.
* TheEmpire. The previously mentioned Empire of Megalos, which dominates most of the continent of Ytarria.
* {{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 very cultures it represents.