Memory Fading

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A (relatively) consistently updated encyclopedia of all the
information needed to play in a Memory Fading campaign setting.

Contents

Theme

Hope is a Luxury
Alsa Eru has a long history of violence and despair in which there have been many bloody disputes over territories, expansion, succession, and betrayal. About five hundred years ago, one of the largest genocides in the planet's bleak history took place, in which a nation tried its best to completely eradicate from the land the peaceful and indigenous sydhi. There have been constant attempted incursions from Balorand, and a few have almost succeeded. There has been a magical dark age brought about by humans' stubbornness, which has in turn created the terrible fadings all over the continent and planet. Recently, a great, sweeping war of subjugation and conquest was fought by Jaerom Arudor against the rest of the people of the lands in an attempt to bring all of Alsa Eru under one rule. This failed, and there is still much bitterness between the United Kingdoms of Arudor and neighboring nations because of it. It has been a long age since a hero has risen, and it always seems to be a minuscule amount of time between raids and invasions from Balorand, the Holds, or even the sea. The governments seem less concerned with the peoples' welfare than with the size of their pocketbook. The sky is getting darker, the days are getting colder, the fadings are getting larger.

Tone

Laugh at Fate, Live for Yourself, and Fancy Not the Gods' Whims
All too often in the past, people have given up on themselves, raised their arms to the heavens, and asked for some all-powerful being to spare them and their family, only to have to come back to the reality that they are seemingly all alone. The gods may be watching, but they are not acting, and they have no fate in store for these poor people, and have no cause other than their own existence. Past beliefs consisted of the hope and faith that the gods all had a plan, and that the people of Ord had a purpose. Modern belief consists of people believing they are their own gods, and that they have a choice in the way their life turns out. If a peasant is to rule a kingdom some day, he doesn't wait for the gods to lift him up high, he goes out and becomes a king. If an evil overlord is to be struck down, those cowering beneath him do not sit idly by, waiting for an angelic hero - they take matters into their own hands and live or die as they confront the tyrant. If the world is to change, and light is to be restored, it is useless to wait for the gods. Those who want change must hope that they have the skills and the luck to do the changing. The dice are rolling, and the gods watch on.

Conflicts

The most prominent conflict is that of the Historical Grudges. There are a few grudges that run extremely deep in Memory Fading mythology. Firstly is that of the sydhi's conflict with humans. Hundreds of years ago, the humans of a great empire chased all the sydhi out of the land, after a terrible and bloody war. The sydhi left the lands and traveled west, but not before cursing the land and all the descendants of those humans. Though the humans of Alsa Eru generally harbor no ill wills in particular against the sydhi, their memory is not nearly as long as the fey-folk, who still hold a definite grudge against humans. The second historical grudge that plays an important role is that between the drumen and the trakloks. Several important myths and religions claim that drumen and trakloks are descended from the same common stock, and both races find this offensive. It was the initiative of the trakloks that started the Great Cleansing a few dozen years ago, though it didn't take long for humans and other races to be swept into the struggle. While the hatred does not have as much motive as that between sydhi and humans, it is a much more bitter animosity, and confrontations between the two very rarely end without bloodshed.

Magic and Technology

Magic

Magic is very different from standard D&D in Memory Fading. First of all, each type of magic has a very specific caster; there is no all-encompassing wizard that can do a little bit of everything. Secondly, magic is not as common as in other settings. Much of magic is feared, especially since it is often linked to the fadings, and is oft-remembered as a major force used by sydhi and other fey-folk. There are several different types of magic, each with its own inherent strengths and weaknesses: runic magic, shadow magic, pact magic, and elemental magic. None are particularly stronger than another, and all are viewed by most common folks to be in some way associated with the darker beings in the universe.

Technology

Technology is somewhat on the rise, but not in such a way that the setting could be considered steampunk. For instance, there are certain cities in the United Kingdoms of Arudor that now have flashrails linking them. There are also certain clans of sirish who have been seen using some form of firearm, though reports vary widely from source to source. The trakloks of Duarmenstor have been sailing steam-powered ships for several decades now, but they are very tight-lipped about the technology. All across Faeros, windmills are used to grind grain and pump water, and several other kingdoms are taking up the use of these devices to increase their water flow.

Religion and Cosmogony

Religion in Memory Fading is based on beliefs and philosophies found in the "real world." The existence of the gods, God, or araels is heavily debated amongst the people. Are there actually benevolent (and vile) deities in the Heavens (and Hells) who watch over our lives? Did we just name the natural occurrences of the world and universe to make ourselves feel as though there was someone to look out for us? The religions, legends, and mythologies of Memory Fading are steeped in both reality and fiction, with the actual truth settling somewhere in between.

However, one thing is certain - the gods, if they exist, do not answer prayers in the form of spells. The cleric class does not exist, nor does the paladin, and the druid has been changed to a master of the elemental forces.

Death and the afterlife have taken on a different spin as well, which will be explored more in each of the individual religions' posts.

Mechanics and Gameplay

Dungeons and Dragons is the basis for the gameplay, but new systems are being devised by several people working together. Therefore, no mechanics will be listed until the system is more fully fleshed out.