I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones. –Albert Einstein
The Dark Age is a dark fantasy roleplay with an odd twist: the setting is during a nuclear winter; long after the bombs have fallen. Over the hundreds of years since modern civilization has been wiped out, the remnants of mankind now reside in pockets of tillable land and temperate climates; while most of the world has been transformed into a frozen wasteland. Due to the destruction of modern technology and knowledge, humanity has reverted to a more base state: living in feudal societies based around agriculture.
Of course, life can never be peaceful; due to dangers on all sides of these settlements. Bandits roam the wastelands, preying on merchants or travelers moving from one city-state to another; wars are fought between different governing bodies over territory rights; and horrible creatures mutated from the wastes attack. These dangers have led to a call for mercenaries to deal with these threats.
Still, the most powerful bodies in this world are the churches: there is the Papacy of Pacifica; which holds its power in the western city-states; and the Holy Evangelical Church, which holds its power in the eastern city-states. Both religious bodies are at odds with one another, with each in an arms race to find "magical artifacts" in the wastelands. The churches employ Wardens, or "Witch Hunters" to locate artifacts and hunt down heretics as well as alleged "mutants" who possess strange powers. These artifacts are ancient technologies that are used by church ordained Magisters.
There are seven city-states, each lying on the southern side of the continent of Alora, spanning east to west. They are:
Benora: The western-most city state; Benora is a mainly agrarian community beset on three sides by desert. The city has an oasis at its center; and has one of the largest marketplaces in the entire continent of Alora. Their military might resides in their horsemen and archers; however their martial prowess is much weaker than other city-states. The Papal Office of the Papacy of Pacifica is located here. Benora is also known as the Desert Gem.
Khaal: Less a city-state and more a huge fortress, Khaal resides east of Benora, at the edge of the desert and the frozen wastes. The main “castle” that the rest of the city is built around is actually a giant satellite facility. A huge dish sits atop the structure; creating an odd industrial view of the city. Due to the cold weather, the city resides inside the complex; with additions jutting out the sides. Countless smokestacks emerge from the rooftops; due to this city’s main contribution: smithing. Khaal is known as the Iron Fortress.
Invar: The city-state on Invar is located on a river basin; Invar is known for its fertile land and its beautiful foliage, however the city is constantly plagued with sickness due to the hot and muggy climate and swamplands bordering it. Invar hires out its defenses, keeping a mercenary guard; since mercenaries are easily replaced once they come down with swamp fever. Invar has a huge garden surrounding it’s manor house; and is known as the Garden City.
Mara: The central city-state, and also the center of commerce between the other six city-states. Mara is also home to the central church, where the “Holy Father” of the Holy Evangelical Church resides. Mara is known for its huge market, its bustling industry and the large difference between wealth and poverty in the city. The richest people in Alora live in Mara, as do the poorest. Mara is known as the Grand City.
Korris: The most militaristic city-state; Korris is home to the majority of the mercenary factions, as well as a military academy. Korris is built on rocky, barren land, and the only export of the city is soldiers. The harsh environment has better preparation on soldiers than other city states, where life is tailored around safety and comfort. Korris is known as the Blade City.
Porrum: The newest established city-state, Porrum is located on the coast; and is primarily based around fishing and hunting. Porrum is also the first port city, and has been able to service Korris, Mara and Invar with its ships. Porrum has the weakest military, but due to its relative age and lack of resources save fish, Porrum is mainly ignored by the larger city states.
That is the basic world of The Dark Age. I can easily and happily expound on other aspects of the world, such as a deeper look at the technology available to people, the inner-workings of the religious groups, and communities located in the north, aka the wastelands.
So, anyone interested?