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Tabletop Game / Gods of the Fall

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Gods of the Fall is a Tabletop RPG setting designed for the Cypher system by Monte Cook Games, where players play as young gods working through their early years as they struggle to form a pantheon in a post-apocalyptic fantasy world.

The realm of the gods, Elanehtar, has come crashing to earth. All the old gods are dead. The moon of Nod casts a large portion of the world into perpetual darkness, the Nightland, which is ruled by a despot bent on keeping her power, acquiring more, and making sure that the dead gods stay that way. The gods died a mere 42 years ago, and as such there are those alive who remember the world as it was and the stark contrast it had to the world today.

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Slavery is commonplace, and in some places you can get away with paying a fee to legally murder someone. The afterlife, a place called Soulrest, is just as twisted and broken as the living world, with the former guardian now turned into a ravenous devourer of souls.

Gods of the Fall's central concept is that the PCs aren't just powerful adventurers: they are also divine. They might even be on track to raise a new heaven, or restore Elanehtar. Are you ready to forge a new pantheon?

Although the settings are different, Gods of the Fall, Numenera and The Strange share fundamental mechanics, and there's a conversion guide that gives you all the tools you need to lift material from Gods of the Fall and drop it seamlessly into Numenera or The Strange.


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This game contains examples of:

  • Abandoned Mine:
    • The Cursed Quarry gained its name when trolls from the Verge overran it ten years ago. Something even worse apparently wiped out the trolls, but all mining expeditions to find out who or what has taken over have failed.
    • The Vault of Lithostros is an abandoned mine once worked by tarans. Bones of tarans, nefar, humans and sleen are everywhere, as of from successive waves of habitation, apparently each ending in slaughter.
  • Adipose Rex: Baron Uttama, ruler of Mehergan, is grossly obese and his heavy footfalls thunder through his palace when he moves.
  • Adventurer Archaeologist: Salvage guild members and adventurers seekers track down artefacts, cyphers and other relics, often from the Ruinscape. Anyone with the means to do so can travel to the Ruinscape, find a passage down into the deeps, and explore.
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  • Affably Evil: Whether in dream or in the Afterworld, the King of Nod is the most cordial man you'll ever meet: quick with a smile, hospitality, and an invitation to a seat at a feast in the palace dining hall. He's also a dream predator, hunts the dreams of Nightland natives and attempts to trap visitors forever on Nod.
  • After the End: Forty-two years have elapsed since prayers failed and the heavens fell. It smote the world, killed all of the gods, and spawned a new dark age of misery, doubt and evil. Two generations grew up in the Afterworld never knowing the divine.
  • The Alcatraz: Passing through the Gate of Iron delivers one to the centre of Nod, where they are imprisoned in a dungeon from which few escape, not even gods. The King of Nod uses the Gate of Iron to dispose of particularly troublesome entities, at least two of which are gods that survived the Fall. The imprisoned can only be freed by someone else calling their name at the Gate of Iron.
  • Alien Hair: Instead of hair, Willer has a nest of pitch black tentacles.
  • All Trolls Are Different: A troll is a hideous humanoid standing at least 3 metres tall that hunts by smell. They are the most dangerous of the nefar, but not the most intelligent. Always ravenous, trolls eat anything, rarely take the time to cook and enjoy a magical metabolism.
  • Ambiguous Gender: Nothing in the voice, dress or appearance demonstrates Captain Larandu's gender. Those who answer to the captain assume Larandu does not have one.
  • Ancient Tomb: The Echoing Caves are reputed to lead to an ancient tomb, protected by ghosts and magic. Various legends claim the tomb holds a king or queen, a dragon or even a god.
  • The Archmage:
    • The magic of dragons approaches the divine abilities of the old gods, or at least their avatars.
    • Visheidon, a mighty sorcerer whose presence and incredible abilities turned the tide and kept Somorrah safe during the Troll War in 39 AF. Though he has yet to publicly confirm it, Visheidon is indeed a god.
  • Asleep for Days: Members of the Guild of Sleep dream away whole days in devotional comas. Masters doze for months, years, decades, or more.
  • Asteroids Monster: If a troll receives a particularly egregious wound, it splits into two smaller trolls that can grow into full-sized trolls if given access to adequate food.
  • Bald Women: Workers in the Iron City mint answer to Artemissa, a bald woman.
  • Barbarian Tribe: The nefar live in scattered tribes across the Verge. They hunt and kill intruders who attempt to cross this wild land.
  • Barred from the Afterlife:
    • The Shadow Lord, after having his love stolen by Samiel, swore a terrible oath of vengeance that, among other things, denied all those who died within the ancient cities in the Aravan Range access to Soulrest.
    • Naimish, former servant of the Three Judges, can't enter Soulrest without immediately being expelled.
  • Battle Trophy: The body parts of victims of a Grand Hunt may go up as trophies on a hunter's wall.
  • Bazaar of the Bizarre:
    • Rare pipeweeds, oddments out of the Ruinscape, foodstuffs, garments, fabrics, spices, spirits, drugs,... if people want it, it can be found and bought in the markets of Corso. Nearly anything can be bought and sold, with no luxury too exotic or fantastic for one of its shops.
    • The goods on sale in the Mehergan market district show a clear bias toward the oddities brought in from Ruinscape salvagers and traders.
  • Becoming the Mask: A couple of songs popular in Nightland taverns suggest the new gods aren't new at all, but the old gods who found such perfect disguises in which to hide that they themselves forgot who they were.
  • Benevolent Precursors: Before the Fall, Cavazel was known for the divine beneficence that kept the weather warm, the crops bountiful and the borders safe from threat. After the Fall, it became famous for how thoroughly it was annihilated.
  • Betrayal Insurance: All agents of the King of Nod in the Afterworld carry a parasitical dream cyst. If they do not undertake the tasks given to them, the cyst will hatch into a clutch of worms that will feast on their mind.
  • Big Boo's Haunt:
    • When the citizens of Ceriss revolted, Cerissia cursed them into undeath, creating a horrid city of wraiths, ghosts and vampires.
    • The treeless Ghost Moor northwest of the Nightland is haunted by the ghosts of soldiers who fell in a legendary battle.
  • Big Eater: Baron Uttama cares about little more than eating, and to feed his voracious appetite, he keeps a staff of twenty cooks working around the clock to produce ever-more tempting recipes.
  • Bigger on the Inside: The interior of the Furnace is far larger than the exterior. Anytime explorers set out to fully map the interior, they end up turning back when their supplies run low before they can complete the task.
  • Blade Below the Shoulder: Elf knights have two obsidian claws where hands should be.
  • Blob Monster:
    • Faerie rings are gelatinous, amorphous oozes with no real shape.
    • The neveri is a floating blob that oozes pus, fluids and the odour of a thousand graves, and constantly extrudes new sections of skin, mouths, eyes, spines, claws and tentacles.
  • Boomerang Comeback: Once thrown, the Spear of Zenia returns to the wielder, ready to be used again.
  • Born Under the Sail: The Empire of the Sea is akin to a country, albeit a fluid one, which claims a territory spread across a dozen islands dotting the Sea of Shadows. These islands are merely places where ships sometimes put ashore for repair and resupply; the centre of the community and life is on board the ships themselves.
  • Breaking Out the Boss: Sthenic, a priestess of the long-dead God of Monsters Typhon, is gathering cyphers to prepare a massive ritual to resurrect him.
  • Breath Weapon: A golden bull can breathe forth divine flames.
  • Brought Down to Badass: The King of Nod, real name Rapheus, was formerly the god of sleep until he divested himself of his divinity to survive the Fall, turning himself into a mere level 10 creature with no divine shifts.
  • Call a Rabbit a "Smeerp": They are not T. rex, they are thunder beasts.
  • Canis Major: The Night Beast is a gargantuan two-headed wolf from the Third Deep.
  • Cannibal Tribe: The Qataraji tribe of Scarred are cannibals who hunt other Scarred and anyone else for food, eating everything but the skin.
  • Cave Mouth: The entrance to the Vault of Lost Treasures resembles a gargantuan skull.
  • Cessation of Existence: Souls consumed by the Hellmaw are erased forever from existence.
  • City on the Water: Every month, a sizable number of the Empire of the Sea's ships gather and moor together to create the floating Empire City.
  • Clingy Costume: Crow Face always wears an unremovable mask that gives him his name.
  • Collector of the Strange:
    • The collection of Baron Uttama includes just about anything imaginable, from living people and animals, to famous jewelry, works of art, and even a few relics of dead gods.
    • Delfual Ciud, curator of the Museum of Inquisition, is a collector of ancient devices of torture.
  • Colony Drop: Dring the Fall, Elanehtar dropped out of the sky and smashed into the world, shattering into hundreds of millions of cyphers and utterly obliterating the kingdom of Cavazel. Nod would also have crashed if the god of sleep Rapheus hadn't divested himself of his divinity. He fears that if he should reclaim that spark, Nod will finish its Fall, and him with it.
  • Compelling Voice: An empusa usually prepares a meal by first mentally dominating a target within immediate range with a psychic whisper. The empusa usually commands the target to follow her to a discreet location, and to react to her bites as if they were kisses.
  • Cool Chair: Ironjaw, leader of the Shwalg nefar tribe, sits on a throne piled from the skulls of his vanquished enemies.
  • Cool Hat: Ku Reashak is recognisable for his fancy hats featuring colourful feathers.
  • Crapsack World: Life is cheap in the Afterworld. An insidious ethos took root, especially in a region called the Nightland. Many there think nothing of financially ruining, kidnapping, torturing, enslaving, crippling, or killing someone of lesser means as an idle amusement, as part of a game, or to make some quick coin. Murder, rape, theft, assault and other crimes are tolerated in most places. The average person in the Afterworld has a hard life, beset by horrific events, and one that ends without hope in a better life after death.
  • Creepy High-Pitched Voice: When explaining about his collection of torture devices, Delfual Ciud uses a sing-song voice at odds with the gruesome nature of his topic.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: Each self-selected victim of the ritual of Necromigration is nailed with cursed iron spikes onto a pole and endures excruciating pain as they slowly expire over the course of one day before rising as a reanimated.
  • Dark Secret: Lurusan doesn't want anyone to know the truth of how his uncontrollable anger so overpowered him that he murdered everyone he once considered a friend. If questioned about it, he laughs it off but becomes less friendly and tries to subtly direct his questioners to visit the Lair of the Gorgon, though he doesn't warn them about it.
  • Deity of Human Origin: The PCs and some NPCs have discovered latent divine powers within themselves that turned them from normal people to gods. That spark will continue to grow and expand if the character embraces it and their awakening godhood.
  • Dem Bones: Bone Reach is overrun with skeletons of humans who died screaming in the Fall and had their bones animated by curses born in the Eye of Elanehtar.
  • Detect Evil: The All-Soul lays bare all evil intentions of every creature for miles.
  • Dream Land: The unwary dreamer in the Nightland might find their dream taking place on the moon of Nod and risk their dreams being invaded by nightmares, and whatever happens to one's dream or psychic construct on Nod happens to the dreamer itself. Especially unlucky dreamers are sometimes physically pulled into the land of sleep and become trapped there, never to wake.
  • Dream Weaver: Aspirants to the Guild of Sleep learn lucid dreaming, where the dreamer takes control of their dream and directs events according to their own desires.
  • Dying Curse: When Zenia slew the Goblin God, his death curse targeted all Elanehtar. Most nefar believe that curse eventually led to the Fall.
  • Emotion Suppression: A hole in the world in one of Hornscar's many buried vaults leads to a place devoid of colour and emotion, where all hate, sorrow, joy and happiness are laid to rest.
  • Enemy Civil War: The active katheer in the First Deep simultaneously resist intruders and work toward freeing a portion of the katheer in stasis, while killing other katheer on sight. Apparently a rivalry existed before they were sealed into the First Deep and extends to the present.
  • Enemy Mine: The Lords of Hell fight tooth and nail against each other, though sometimes they broker brief ceasefires to ally against the Hellmaw.
  • Ethnic God: Tarans worshipped a single patron god of their species called Lelana, the Grandmother of the Skies.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Nulumriel secretly desires more than anything else the return of her son Thamul, missing some 200 years. Despite all the magic the dragon has brought to bear, she's found nothing.
  • Evil Is Not a Toy: When the Rakshasa Queen released the Hellmaw, she thought it would come under her control. She was wrong, and barely escaped with her existence.
  • Evil Tower of Ominousness:
    • Nulumriel's Tower of Reconciliation rises over 900 metres in height and dominates the Corso skyline.
    • Many have dreamed of a stone tower floating above the land at the centre of the Eye of Elanehtar. Given that nightmarish dream, sages warn that the vision might be from the King of Nod, and represent nothing more than a trap.
  • The Exile: Jasith went into exile upon being deposed from the throne of Somorrah, and some still whisper he will return.
  • Extra Eyes: Zarama is a Scarred with three eyes.
  • Extreme Omnivore: The creations of Baron Uttama's cooks are as often mouthwatering as they are disquieting and stomach-churning. It doesn't matter to the baron, who'll literally eat anything.
  • Eyeless Face: Tarans are eyeless and sense by vibration, scent and smell.
  • Fallen Angel: Seraphs of sin are virtues who have become corrupted by personal despair or by direct malign influence. Freed from all ethical bonds, sins are almost as crazed as ravers.
  • Fallen Hero: Shanndra and Ustranad came to Soulrest together and successfully found the All-Soul, an artefact that lays bare the evil intentions of creatures and grants souls agency and free will. However, Ustranad also claimed Skysplitter, which infused him with malice, a hellish demeanour and an urge to claim power for himself. His soul was corrupted, and he split from Shanndra and claimed his own realm.
  • Fantastic Light Source:
    • Farms lit by tiny magical suns are scattered about the Nightland. These suns are each separate works of magical art, commissioned from either a sorcerers' guild or a dragon.
    • When activated, the Lantern of Avi creates an apparent sun that provides full daylight in an area 1 mile in diameter centred on the lantern for one hour. If used in the Nightland, it's as if Nod fades away for the duration.
  • The Federation: The Hundred Captains control the Empire of the Sea, each with at least two or three ships under their control. Each time Empire City forms, many of them or their envoys gather to discuss policy.
  • Fetus Terrible: When the Night Beast rouses, horses, hounds, wolves and people spontaneously and horrifically birth squirming, two-head nightfall wolves that savage their parent (who doesn't have to be female).
  • Fish People: The Captain of the Carrack inn in Corso is affected by a curse slowly turning him into a fish.
  • Floating Continent:
    • The Lost Hold floats above the cliffs overlooking the Eye of Elanehtar.
    • The Cerulean Peaks are a range of floating mountains said to have been raised by Zenia ten thousand years before the Fall.
  • Flying Dutchman: A ship cursed by the god Samiel before the Fall still roams the Sea of Shadows. If this Ship of Lost Souls catches up with another vessel, that vessel and its crew are never seen again. Survivors describe grasping shadows that stalk the decks, screams that echo up from the holds, and otherworldly nightmares with teeth for eyes that greet those who think they've made it to safety. The Empire of the Sea occasionally tries to chase down and sink it, but all efforts have ended disastrously.
  • Flying Weapon: In the Gate of Dream, animate weapons fly through darkened corridors.
  • Food Chain of Evil: The neveri absorbs souls, undead, ravers, erinyes and other foolhardy denizens of Soulrest, growing bigger every day.
  • Food Chains: After taking the first delicious bite or sip from the Feast Neverending, one is cursed to eternally eat unless released by the King of Nod.
  • Forced Sleep:
    • An explorer from the surface who breathes in the spores of the Second Deep risks falling into an induced slumber and being colonised by fungal rhizomes.
    • Those that would take fatal damage from the Lyre of Slumber instead fall into a magical slumber that lasts indefinitely.
  • Fungus Humongous: Towering fungus spires 9 metres tall and higher fill much of the Second Deep.
  • Gender Bender: The god of magic Verecocho sometimes appeared as a woman, other times a man.
  • Genius Loci:
    • Castle Farran can spontaneously generate tiny humanoid creatures with yellow skin. These boggins manage castle upkeep, singing in an unknown language, and also rise in defence of any residents.
    • Since the Fall cracked its containment, the Second Deep has grown from ancient spores and come alive. Those who risk breathing the air in the Bountiful Basin can commune with the intelligence of the Second Deep. The intelligence doesn't usually answer questions about itself or other Deeps, but it is surprisingly cognisant of events on the surface.
  • Genuine Human Hide: The Qataraji Cannibal Tribe do not eat skins, saving them for grisly clothing.
  • Ghost City:
    • Blocky, strangely uniform rock formations, seemingly carved instead of natural, are found in the Aravan Range and referred to as Dead Cities by travellers. According to one popular tale, they were indeed ancient cities that turned from the gods of Elanehtar.
    • The once-great city-state of Sambhar lies in ruins and has become home, over the decades, to dangerous creatures: goblins, dragons and ravers.
  • Giant Flyer: Rocs are massive predatory raptors whose outspread wings darken the sky like a storm cloud.
  • Giant Spider:
    • Isaleran's fungal fields are under constant threat by giant spiders, which apparently desire mushrooms more than life.
    • The Spider Wood is infested with spiders of all kinds, including giant spiders.
  • God Is Dead: The gods are dead. Zenia, Balakar, Thordin, Aren, Verecocho, Mudarak, Avi, Samiel, all the other gods, and their many avatars died when Elanehtar disintegrated, and grim time descended upon the Afterworld.
  • A God Is You: Gods of the Fall's central concept is that the PCs aren't just powerful adventurers: they are also divine.
  • Go Mad from the Isolation: Some katheer are completely insane, possibly driven mad by long periods of stasis.
  • The Good Kingdom: Somorrah has mostly overcome the desperation and decline that defines the rest of the Afterworld. Slavery is illegal, indulgences and their collection have been outlawed, torture is not a sport, and the underclass are usually not viewed merely as resources.
  • Great Big Library of Everything: The Library of Memory's shelves are so high that their tops scrape the clouds, and are lined with books both common and rare beyond the price of kingdoms.
  • Hard Light: Wandering geometric shapes of solid light are not unusual in the Mage District of Corso.
  • Healing Factor: Trolls enjoy a magical metabolism that causes them to regain health even in the middle of a fight.
  • Healing Spring: The waters of the Pool of Life in Hornscar and Fountain Park in Somorrah sometimes heal those with illnesses.
  • Hell: Souls that end up in Soulrest after a brutal life in the Afterworld face the possibility of immortal enslavement by one of the various Lords of Hell who sprang up when the gods who once judged the dead disappeared, or worse, being consumed and destroyed by the Hellmaw.
  • Hell Gate: If anyone ascends the Stairs of Oblivion from the bottom step to the top during the dark of the moon (the moon called Door, not Nod), they're transported to Soulrest.
  • Hit So Hard, the Calendar Felt It: To the people of the Afterworld, the history that matters began just forty-two years ago; the years are numbered sequentially forward from After the Fall. The present day of the setting is 42 AF.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: According to the Stolen hypothesis, the Annihilation Seed was stolen from another reality's pantheon by the First Gods for its vast storehouse of divine energy. Unfortunately, it came with a retributive curse strong enough to bring down the gods, over and over and over again.
  • Home Field Advantage: Naiads are water spirits who gain three extra levels when standing or submerged in water.
  • Horned Humanoid: The relic called Skysplitter, shaped like two demonic horns, is fused to Ustranad's head.
  • Humanoid Abomination: Zekadids might look just like human-sized humanoid slugs, but their true nature and goals are meant to be mystifying and defy complete understanding.
  • Human Resources: The Lords of Hell who fight for control over Soulrest view spirits as a resource to be harvested and commanded.
  • Human Sacrifice: It's rumoured that Zesther sacrificed a slave to a dead god in the Third Deep to get his lyre.
  • Hunting the Most Dangerous Game: The quarry of a Cryseran Grand Hunt is a selection of criminals, slaves purchased for their supposed strengths in eluding capture, and sometimes volunteers. If a quarry can survive or elude the hunters for a full twenty-four hours, they are released.
  • Hyperactive Metabolism: When the Hellmaw bites, it absorbs both the victim's flesh and soul, instantly healing it.
  • I Don't Like the Sound of That Place: Several trails lead across the Kraken mountains in various locations, with encouraging names like Road of Skulls, Path of Jackals and Dead God's Trail.
  • I Fell for Hours: One who passes through the Gate of Jade without sacrificing a cypher becomes unmoored from Nod's gravity and fall toward the world, crashing with lethal velocity in the Nightland after three minutes.
  • I Have Your Wife: Neer Skal is not a slave, but his children remain in bondage, and his employer, the Kasmandar Slave Company, hides their location from Neer to keep him as a 'willing' employee.
  • Illegal Religion: Nulumriel and her Knights of Reconciliation seek to stamp out all vestiges of divine worship, both old and new.
  • Inn of No Return:
    • If visitors to Ekambar's Guild House seem like they have interesting treasures or secrets, they may be waylaid in the middle of their rest, imprisoned, questioned, and eventually slain.
    • A faerie ring might create an inn staffed by happy and alluring people, and sometimes visitors and travellers who stay there are never seen again.
  • Kaiju: The Hellmaw is 20 metres long with a wingspan twice that. It rampages through Soulrest, consuming souls at its leisure.
  • Kill the God: Creatures called Godkillers drift through the Aether. Extremely little is known about them other than their name and level, which is 14, the highest of all NPCs and monsters described in the setting book (even Nulumriel and the Hellmaw only go up to level 13).
  • King of the Homeless: The lord of the slum wards of Low Corso is a sleen named Fenn, who thousands of undercity residents obey, and who all the street gangs revere. He has no actual official authority, and is considered to be just another beggar by residents of High Corso.
  • Klingon Promotion: The title Lord of Swords, leader of the Order of Souls, previously belonged to a woman named Mardala until her successor killed her in a ritual challenge.
  • Kryptonite Factor: Successfully negotiating with a night horror in the House of Horror provides a token effective against the creature the night horror replicates.
  • Land of One City: A dozen city-states are shrouded within the Nightland.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia:
    • A shop in the Central Market called Spotless Soul offers a service described as memory tailoring. Those who wish to forget something can ask the owner, Oruvan Sal, to wipe it away.
    • Those who bathe in the Pool of Life and are washed away sometimes return, as if washed up in a storm, days later at the edge of the pool. They have no memory of what happened, or even of who they once were.
    • Janomites take the precaution of using charms to wipe the memory of the secret doors and tunnels connecting it from the outside world from their minds when they leave Lost Valley. Explorers rely on watchers from the cliffs to let them back in when they return.
  • Last Chance Hit Point: If a reanimated is subject to an attack that would reduce its health to 0, the attack is only fatal if the number rolled by the attack was an even number; otherwise, the reanimated's health is reduced to 1.
  • Layered Metropolis: Corso is composed of two main sections. On the raised portion, known as High Corso, nobles keep palatial fortresses near the city centre, around the Tower of Reconciliation. The undercity, called Low Corso, is composed of cellars, basements, and the dark spaces under High Corso. It's a shabby, disease-ridden place, inhabited by those with no hope and no coin.
  • Leaking Can of Evil:
    • According to the Prison hypothesis, the Annihilation Seed is a prison where the First Gods interred their most rebellious siblings, whose hatred and resentment caused the first and subsequent Falls. The imprisoned grow stronger with each such Fall, and they drew so much strength from the most recent one that the seal that separated the Deeps shattered and they may soon break free into a world with only a few gods to defend it.
    • According to the Anathema hypothesis, the Annihilation Seed is an anomalous piece of rogue matter captured by the First Gods, who deciphered its anathemic nature to all life. They buried it, but its presence was still so vile that it has caused Fall after Fall.
    • Some hypothesise the Vault of Lithostros keeps the eponymous vampire lord within, and when the vault door swings open, Lithostros escapes for a brief time, wreaking havoc, with the evidence being the bones of slaughtered humans, tarans, sleen and nefar.
  • Lightning Gun: Zenia's Spear can be used to make a long-range lightning attack
  • Living Statue: Colossi, gargantuan animate statues, are the most common creatures found in the Third Deep.
  • Loan Shark: Anyone can take a loan from the Society of Moneylenders in Iron City, but the interests are predatory, especially for those deemed to be bad credit risks. If a client fails to make a repayment on time, a contract is put out on the their life that any bounty hunter can collect.
  • Long-Lived: A sleen's natural lifespan is 500 years.
  • The Lost Woods:
    • The Dead Wood is dominated by splintered, dead trunks, a cemetery for the great trees that formerly thrived here. Travelling in small groups through the Dead Wood, even if along the main road, is dangerous. The ghosts of the trees, as locals call them, walk the woods, along with several bandit groups who know the secret of avoiding their attention.
    • The Ghost Wood remains green and alive in Nod's shadow and grows back within a few months even when clear cut. Every logger who cuts trees in the Ghost Wood suffers from voices, nightmares and feelings of dread before dying within thirty days of chopping the first tree. Needless to say, loggers no longer work the Ghost Wood.
  • Mage Tower:
    • Nulumriel inhabits the zenith of the Tower of Reconciliation. Magic is how she reaches her high abode, but other ways exist.
    • The Tower of Verecocho is all that remains of a grand temple built by the god of magic, who used to walk its many corridors, helping priests and sorcerers.
    • Bibliomancers out of Corso inhabit Stormlook, a tower inscribed with glowing runes to keep out the curses and ravers generated by the Eye of Elanehtar.
  • Magic Knight: Each Knight of Reconciliation is a master of weapons and sorcery.
  • Magma Man: The Fire King claims to have the ability to produce a lava-spitting volcano.
  • Make It Look Like an Accident: According to an old servitor of Baron Uttama named Rathamo, the accident in the market that killed his wife Geyata was not random.
  • Master of Illusion: A faerie ring hides itself in an enticing magical illusion to lure victims. If its true nature is discovered, it may try to spin another illusion that evokes the prey's illusory (but in their mind successful) escape.
  • Master Poisoner: Aladurra crafts deadly poisons that often cause additional deleterious side effects (such as intense pain before death).
  • Mega-Corp: The Kasmandar Slave Company is the most prominent slaver organisation, with ownership stakes in several other guilds. If you're dealing with a slaver, odds are it's either directly with a representative of the Kasmandar, or with a guild connected to it.
  • Mind Rape: Anyone or anything caught in the Delirium risks dying of mental trauma as their brain is assaulted by visions too extreme to be described. Survivors are never the same: they're mentally damaged, often with a psychosis that turns them into murderers, simpletons or lunatics.
  • Mind over Matter:
    • Kronetus has control over rude matter and energy with the slightest thought.
    • Zekadids can generate a telekinetic effect able to manipulate objects, break ropes, open or close doors, push creatures, and so on.
  • Mordor:
    • Before the Fall, Corso and Cryserech once fought openly on the Plain of Gurudan. Each city was led by a divine patron, whose curses and divine blasts caused the entire plain to sink. The resulting Gurudan Marsh remains tainted with lingering curses, diseases and mad seraphs.
    • The Ruinscape, where Elanehtar fell into the earth, is a folded, cracked, tortured mess infested with all manner of monsters, brigands and cursed terrain.
  • Mother of a Thousand Young: Even though Typhon is dead, the god's residual power still spawns monsters every few hours.
  • Multiple Head Case: The rocs of the Krakens and the Cerulean Peaks, the nightfall wolves and the Night Beast have two heads each.
  • Murder, Inc.: The assassins' guild called the Tranquil takes contracts to end the existence of other intelligent creatures.
  • Museum of the Strange and Unusual: Over a hundred devices of torture make up the exhibits of the Museum of Inquisition.
  • Mushroom Man: Elf knights are animate, vaguely humanoid masses of fungus.
  • Mutants: The Scarred, surviving citizens of Hornscar, were horrifically changed by the Fall.
  • My Species Doth Protest Too Much: Nefar are often slain on sight out in the Verge by travelling humans, sleen or tarans and vice versa, but some have embraced civilisation and become citizens of Somorrah.
  • Mystery Meat: If payment is offered, the Captain of the Carrack will produce the Red Menu, on which specialty cuts of non-fish flesh are served, about which the less asked, the better.
  • Nature Spirit: Naiads are a kind of water spirit who can sometimes be seen frolicking amid pools like dolphins at play.
  • Nay-Theist: Atheism holds most of the world in sway. Where it doesn't, Reconciliators arrive to stamp out all vestiges of divine worship, both old and new. The average Afterworld NPC reacts to news of new gods by laughing it off and going on with their day, and even if PCs demonstrate divine abilities, a disbeliever's first reaction is to assume a trick.
  • The Necrocracy: The majority of Cryserech's citizens are neither alive nor dead. They are the reanimated, and their spirits remain bound to their magically preserved corpses.
  • Non-Human Head: The Librarian of the Library of Memory and the seven guardians of the Tower of Wishes have the human bodies, but the heads of various beasts and birds (a water buffalo in the Librarian's case).
  • Non-Human Undead: Ravers are born from the corpses of dead gods.
  • No-Sell: The inhabitants of the Southlands have successfully fought off any incursions or attempts to kidnap them, and they might enjoy a natural immunity to magic.
  • Not Himself: Those who knew Baron Uttama before or who grew up on stories of the his grace, humour and compassion find only the wreck of a once-great man. These days the only thing he cares about is food and his collections.
  • Not-So-Omniscient Council of Bickering: The Hundred Captains of the Empire of the Sea are a contentious lot, and not much ever comes of their discussions about the empire's policy.
  • Odd Job Gods: A character is free to make up or pick anything they want as their dominion: god of Storms, of the Sea, of Magic, of Poetry, or even of Divination.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: No one knows the King of Nod's real name or true identity as Rapheus, former god of sleep who survived the Fall by divesting his divinity.
  • Our Angels Are Different: There are no traditional angels in the Afterworld. Seraphs of virtue, who made up the Battle Hosts of Elanehtar, were angelic beings, but they are robots animated by divine grace, not living creatures.
  • Our Demons Are Different: When particularly evil humans came to Soulrest, Samiel returned them to life as rakshasas. Their desires are rooted in gluttony, lust and hunger for power, though they have only been able to pursue them after Samiel died.
  • Our Dragons Are Different: The traditional, leathery-winged, fire-breathing dragons do not exist in the Afterworld, except in the Third Deep. The typical Afterworld dragons are people who have hoarded and gathered so much sorcerous power that they rival city-states in personal power. Dragons barter in souls, longevity, artefacts and magic, and for the most part, have lost their humanity in the process.
  • Our Elves Are Better: The term 'elf' is lost to antiquity in the Afterworld, but is related to visions associated with exposure to fungal spores. The Afterworld isn't home to traditional elves, but one of the animate fungal creatures in the Second Deep is called the elf knight.
  • Our Giants Are Bigger: Giants, wearing lightning, cloud and animate earth, stride through the Third Deep, enraged at their entrapment.
  • Our Ghouls Are Creepier: After the Delirium descended on the city of Athsayor, its inhabitants were transformed into ghouls and retreated underground. They tear intruders limb from limb and consume them while still alive, while preparing for something they refer to as The Great Dying.
  • Our Goblins Are Different: Goblins are a child-sized, wicked, grasping and perversely resourceful nefar race.
  • Our Gryphons Are Different: Griffons are wild predators with the head, wings, forelimbs and talons of an eagle, and the torso, hind legs (but not feet) and tail of a lion. They are wild animals, and those found as chicks might be trained as mounts.
  • Our Ogres Are Hungrier: The ogre is a sadistic, 2 metres tall, man-eating nefar race. Stupid and cruel, ogres don't like conversation, even with their own kind.
  • Our Orcs Are Different: Orcs are a nefar race who live in scattered tribes across the Verge and kill intruders. No two orcs look exactly alike, but all have stooped backs, crooked legs and a mean, ugly, shambolic facade.
  • Our Vampires Are Different: Vampires are undead creatures of the night that rise from their graves to drink blood and are weakened by UV light. The very nature and essence of the vampire is evil and anti-life, even as they revel in their own endless existence.
  • Our Zombies Are Different: The reanimated of Cryserech are intelligent, free-willed spirits remain bound to their magically preserved corpses. They do not need to sleep, eat, drink or breathe, although many still do for pleasure. Because they are magically animated, they retain vestiges of their former physiology, which means drugs, food and alcohol can still affect them.
  • Panacea: One who sacrifices a cypher before passing through the Gate of Jade is completely healed of all injuries, diseases and curses when they step through on the other side.
  • Perpetual Storm: A continent-sized, never-ending tornado spins in the Eye of Elanehtar, spawning curses and sheltering ravers.
  • Pirate: The Empire of the Sea harries trade vessels that put out of coastal communities along the Nightland's southern coast.
  • Please Select New City Name: The ruined city of Hornscar was called Takaranu before the Fall.
  • Poisonous Person: The claws of a rakshasa are tipped with venom.
  • Powered by a Forsaken Child: Some suggest bower suns are powered by seraphs that are slowly sucked dry of their vitality, and die when the lamp finally goes out.
  • Power Parasite: Nulumriel absorbs secrets and abilities from victims directly via a painful magical transference. She gains these qualities for a few days, but the victim is rendered into a pile of smoking ash.
  • Power Tattoo: Tattoos move and writhe on Aladurra's skin as a result of a curse, and she wears a body-covering black suit to keep them from escaping.
  • Praetorian Guard: Queen Etain is protected by a group of towering taran Queen's Guard.
  • Private Military Contractors: The Red Wands offer their services as war mages for those able to pay their exorbitant fees.
  • Propaganda Machine: Nulumriel's disinformation campaigns are one of her more successful schemes to undermine Somorrah, a city that doesn't recognise her proclamation as empress of the Nightland. The most famous of these is led by a writer named Zathamus, who, despite his insidious rhetoric, has never actually visited Somorrah.
  • The Prophecy: The Book of Fate contains a record of the Seven Prophecies that were made before the Fall by Sudhara, god of Destiny. Before the Fall, the predictions didn’t seem to have any significance. After the Fall, with the rise of the player characters and other gods, the Seven Prophecies may have found their proper time, and their proper agent: the PCs. Players might regard the Seven Prophecies as overarching, high-minded goals to strive for, or perhaps even as character prompts.
  • Punch-Clock Villain: Reconciliators generally hold that their organisation provides leadership in a time of unrest, does good works, culls evil, and protects the Afterworld from false gods. Many Reconciliators actually do a lot to protect the average person from evil, if they are not hunting those who gainsay Nulumriel's rule and enforcing her laws (which more or less boil down to 'laws are for people who pay').
  • Puppeteer Parasite: The neveri sometimes implants portions of itself in victims to control them, rather than absorbing them.
  • Ragnarök Proofing: After the Fall, the Tower of Verecocho remains, a testament to its incredible durability.
  • Random Transportation: The endpoint for the Gate of Horn shifts randomly around Soulrest, making it the safest way to enter, because no Lord of Hell is likely to be waiting to collect visitors.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Queen Etain sincerely labours to keep Somorrah a place where citizens of all economic means and levels of power can pursue lives devoid of fear and oppression.
  • Recursive Precursors: Numerous clues, like the progressively older and completely different (from each other) ruins in the Five Deeps, the ruins in the Verge that predated the Divine Age, hint that the recent Fall was not the first such catastrophe suffered by the world.
  • La Résistance: Secretly, Farran heads a resistance movement against Nulumriel. She believes in the values that many of the dead gods once stood for. Using her castle and small fleet, she hides and ships out refugees, freed slaves and other victims. She's established several cells around Corso to help her with her cause.
  • Resurrective Immortality:
    • Naimish is not reanimated, but whenever he's killed, he tends to reform within days.
    • Souls killed in Soulrest come back to 'life' after ten hours, even if the remains are burned. One way to keep a soul from re-manifesting is to completely consume the remains, like the Hellmaw does.
    • If a seraph is completely destroyed, the scraps of its form slowly reassemble over the course of three days, unless the scraps are melted down or dispersed.
  • Right-Hand Attack Dog:
    • Nulumriel doesn't go anywhere without her many pet tigers.
    • Lady Kalana never goes anywhere without her gargantuan reanimated owl-hound.
  • Sense Freak: Many reanimated exist in constant states of excess, hoping that by overstimulating their dead flesh, something of the feeling they once enjoyed will return. This explains Cryserech's reputation among the other dark metropolises of the Nightland as a place of massive excesses and debaucheries.
  • Shoot the Messenger: When Nulumriel sent an envoy to deal with the Fire King, he sent the envoy's burned head back in a box.
  • Sibling Murder: The god Cerissia was put down by her siblings two centuries ago for trying to steal the dominion of magic from Verecocho.
  • Slave Liberation: The fulfilment of the Prophecy of Liberation:
    The enslavement of the innocent to the will of others will be abolished. Those who are kept shall be made free. Shackled minds will discover the hidden truth.
  • Slave Mooks: Lord Tinallos' soldiers were slaves, converted to reanimated against their will.
  • Slept Through the Apocalypse: At least one member of the Guild of Sleep has slept past the Fall.
  • Slippy-Slidey Ice World: The Gate of Winter delivers travellers to any location, but not directly. First, they are teleported to an icy glacier realm in the Aether and have to cross 100 kilometres in a blizzard, while also being harried by ice elementals, and find a second icy arch so they're teleported to the desired location.
  • Small, Secluded World: The Lost Valley is closed off from the surrounding Verge by nearly impassible cliff walls. The residents are, for the most part, unaware of the Fall and say that their god Faeton still lives. The nefar of the Verge leave them alone, mostly because their existence is considered to be only a story.
  • Snake People:
    • Sleen are slender humanoids with cobra heads and tails, sinuous bodies covered in mottled scales, and forked tongues.
    • Katheer are intelligent creatures somewhat akin to sleen, but are about twice as large, and in place of legs, each katheer's lower body divides into dozens of roiling snake tails.
    • A gorgon's upper body is humanoid save for its awful face and mane of snakes instead of hair, while its lower body is that of a coiling serpent.
  • The Social Darwinist: The orcs and goblins of the Shwalg tribe care about only one thing: strength. They are merciless to both enemies and those within their own tribe who are judged weak.
  • Sorcerous Overlord: The dragon Nulumriel, self-declared empress of the Nightland, enforces her claim with savage determination, insidious diplomacy and mastery over terrifying enchantments.
  • Soul Jar: Those killed by Samiel's Knife have their souls drawn into the blade until three days pass or they answer three of the wielder's questions.
  • Spell Book: Bibliomancers draw their magic from books they carry.
  • Spider People: Spider-centaurs (half humanoid, half spider creatures) reside in the Spider Wood. These creatures seemed willing to deal with humans, but the humans' sleen companions were instantly seized and devoured.
  • The Spook: Willer is a creature of a type not normally seen and doesn't know whence he came. As far as he knows, he woke about twenty years ago on the banks of the Winter River, and was taken in by the caretakers of Adilabad. A group of salvagers from the Ruinscape recently noted that they found petrified bodies similar to his in the Deeps.
  • Stock Ness Monster: Sometimes, divers rouse the monster dwelling in Koryban Lake. Its appearance varies according to the teller: sometimes it is a beautiful water nymph, other times a scaled, fishlike monstrosity. Those taken to its lair awaken three days later with no memory of the missing time.
  • Subspace or Hyperspace: The Aether is the interstitial space that separates the Afterworld from other realms and dimensions. It once connected the world, Elanehtar and Nod, and still serves as a bridge to Soulrest.
  • Supernatural Fear Inducer:
    • Anyone who continues to move closer to the Annihilation Seed feels a mounting dread. If they cannot overcome it, they'll either kill themselves or flee.
    • A night horror can attack all creatures within short range with a psychic display so horrible to freeze them in place and deal damage.
  • Supervillain Lair: The Rakshasa Queen rules a grim fortress built of bones and ice that rests in the northern half of what appears to be a twisted reflection of Corso.
  • Taken for Granite: Unless the gorgon's visage is hooded, anyone within short range who sees the gorgon's face is gradually turned into stone.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: Artemissa, forewoman of the Iron City Mint, secretly despises the seraphs in her employ, but recognises their value: living workers would quickly die from the heat of the foundries.
  • Telepathy: Zekadids may transmit a sense of overwhelming alienness and a vast, ancient passage of time to other creatures. In a fight, they can use their psychic siphon attack to learn of the plans and goals of enemies.
  • Thieves' Guild: The thieves' guild known as the Hidden Hand makes its headquarters in the catacombs beneath Mehergan. It thrives in Mehergan because Baron Uttama can't be troubled to shut it down or demand indulgences, and its leader Massimo knows that his guild will continue flying beneath the baron's notice as long as nothing of value is stolen from him.
  • Time Machine: Infusing the Sword of Yesterday with divine shifts allows the wielder and up to three willing characters can travel to a specified point in time, within a decade of the present per divine shift per person.
  • To Serve Man: Empusa hunger for the flesh of humans and tarans.
  • Transferable Memory:
    • The memories and experiences of the dead in the Second Deep are siphoned out and fed into the fungal intelligence.
    • Those browsing the Library of Memory in Nod risk becoming so wrapped up in research that their mind empties and their body dies. All that the browser once knew becomes recorded in a book titled with their name.
  • True Sight: Nightfall wolves can see invisible creatures, ignore illusions, and attack out-of-phase, immaterial creatures and ghosts normally.
  • Truly Single Parent: Typhon's residual power is all that is needed to spawn monsters in the Third Deep.
  • Twin Telepathy: When together, the twin rulers of Hornscar Amel and Mosuf can act as one being and gain three divine shifts.
  • Total Eclipse of the Plot: The Nightland suffers from a lingering curse of twilight: a second moon (called Nod) appeared after the Fall, springing into the sky to exactly track and blot out the sun.
  • Unnecessarily Large Interior: The Order of Reconciliation Cathedral stretches at least 300 metres upward into the central core of the hollow tower.
  • Urban Segregation: Nobles of Corso live in fortresses in the raised portion known as High Corso, while the lower classes inhabit the slum wards of Low Corso.
  • The Usurper: King Jasith became ruler of Somorrah upon overthrowing the previous ruler during the Fall, and was in turn overthrown by Queen Etain 30 years later.
  • Vestigial Empire: Nemoro was once far more influential, but bickering between royal families led to so much internecine fighting that much of the populace fled as refugees. Now Nemoro suffers from low population, lack of dependable power structures, and the remaining noble families, each holed up in their own fortress-palaces, have a tendency to lapse into vicious conflicts.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting:
    • Once per day a rakshasa can change its shape, usually to that of a normal animal, but sometimes to that of a human-animal hybrid.
    • Night horrors can take the apparent likeness of any creature, living or dead, up to three times the size of a human.
  • War Elephants: A group of mushroom growers ride elderly war elephants, patrolling the main road through the Dead Wood and bordering fungi fields. Many once served as mounts of Corso's cavalry before the Fall.
  • Warrior Monk: The cenobites of Uroch Chapterhouse study philosophical sutras and martial arts.
  • Was Once a Man:
    • Namitra, a former noble of the Nightland, was transformed into a terrifying entity with many floating heads, and her court became pale creatures with many mouths.
    • The faceless are remnants of people permanently pulled into Nod, who now wander endlessly through the changing dreamscapes.
  • Weather-Control Machine: The wearer of the Cloak of Balakar can calm the winds or create a windstorm that lasts a minute once per day.
  • Weather Manipulation: Rich sea captains employ sorcerers or powerful spells to summon winds or ward off storms.
  • Weird Weather: The Delirium can take several forms, but usually appears as a violet mist or thunderhead underlit by lightning.
  • When Trees Attack: The bleak trees of the Dead Wood seem to gain enough strength from darkness to uproot themselves and stalk strangers.
  • Wizarding School: The Bleak Cave is a subterranean complex where students learn foul magic from the seraph of sin Manumet.
  • Wretched Hive: Corso is a place where depravity is almost always visible. Those who anger the wrong noble can expect reprisals, harassment or even lifelong enslavement. Slavery, public sacrifice and torture, considered illegal and immoral before the Fall, are now permitted, if the appropriate indulgence is paid: not paying the fee becomes the only unlawful behaviour.
  • Year Inside, Hour Outside: Time moves much slower in the centre of Nod than in the Afterworld.
  • You Killed My Father: Lord Jalendru, son of a previous victim of a Grand Hunt, is especially fierce in his devotion to the sport. He secretly looks forward to the day when he can hunt the hunter that brought his father down, Lady Kalana.
  • Younger Than They Look: The ten-year-old Kronetus has grown rapidly and has the apparent age of a thirty-year-old human.
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