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Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 2nd Edition Core Rulebook
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Dragon Age: World of Thedas Volume 1View at: Scribd Hosted PDF with Blocked Pages
Dragon Age: World of Thedas Volume 2View at: Scribd Hosted PDF with Blocked Pages
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Thedas is a land constantly in turmoil, each peace merely a breath between storms. The human nations, from the holy empire of Orlais to the independent city-states of the Free Marches, have a long and brutal history of conflict — over land and resources, over slights and insults — going back ages. Even the powerful and monolithic Chantry, founded by the prophet Andraste, struggles to maintain order in the chaotic world.
Even as the nations try to tear themselves apart, powerful forces from without constantly threaten their borders. Beyond their north border lies the Tevinter Imperium, a powerful magocracy fueled by the blood of its slaves, ever in decline but refusing to die. Horrifying as the Imperium is, it serves as the only barrier between the rest of humanity and the armies of the Qunari, religious fanatics who believe that their strictly-ordered society will be spread to all people, by force if necessary.
And throughout all this looms the ever-present threat of the Darkspawn. Corrupt and foul beings, they live their lives underground, eternally scouring the dark places as they search for the archdemons who will rise up and lead them across the surface of the world in the great Blights where endless waves of darkspawn wash over the earth, tainting everything they touch.
The only answer to this threat is the order of Grey Wardens — a brotherhood of soldiers immune to the darkspawn taint sworn to fight the hordes wherever they appear. But the Blights are few, with only a handful in recorded history and hundreds of years in between, so the Wardens' numbers dwindle in the long interim as humanity forgets the horrors of the past.
Even between blights, for most in Thedas life is still bleak and injustice rampant. Elves, once said to possess a kingdom of their own, are now among the most impoverished lower class of most cities, enslaved in some places and in all but name in others. Those few who are not enslaved are labeled outlaws and live in clans in the wilderness. Dwarves in their underground mountain kingdoms, always beset with the Darkspawn, they have seen thaigs dwindle from twelve down to two — Orzammar and Kal-Sharok. Mages, those humans and elves born with magical ability, are taken to the circle towers to live out their days under the watchful eyes of the Chantry's Templar orders, and segregated from the rest of society. Any who escape are hunted and imprisoned... or worse.
Life in Thedas is violent and full of brutality for all except the most wealthy and affluent. For the poor and downtrodden, for those labeled criminal by virtue of birth, and for escaped slaves, there is little chance of escaping oppression. So when a group of city elves and humans living on the scraps of civilization were offered the choice to leave by a man offering decent wage and treatment, it was the chance of a lifetime. To work hard and live decently. To live free.
There were three to begin with, the locals say, two humans and an elf. Three of the most different people one could imagine. One man was a huge, mountain of a man, always wearing armor with a wardog at his side. The second, also a man was dark-skinned, tall and thin, well-dressed and educated. The third, a woman, feral in appearance and marked as one of the Dalish. They were the ones who led the first from the cities in the shadow of famine through the plains and into the mountains. There was a place prepared for them, a curious place. There were fields, but no town; a harvest, but no workers; and no Templars, no nobles, and no hatred.
Some came later, led by stories of a place away from the slaughters, from being pressed into conflict or trodden beneath boot heel. From the cities they came — from Cumberland, Nevarra City and Kirkwall — led by the mark of the fountain through wilderness and forest to an abandoned hilltop far away from city, keep, or village. There a fire burned eternally without fuel and provisions were laid for them. And during a night of the full or new moon, they fell asleep and when they awoke they were in a different place. What else but magic could be responsible?
And in that place Refuge was founded by the toils of all who came. The town hall was their home for the first winter, preceded only by the lumber mill and a few barns. The next year houses began to be built, going first to the tradesmen to create their wares. But during the planting season that next year, a glint of steel could be seen coming from the west. When a full unit of the Orlesian army arrived, led by the Chevalier Ser Alain de Chevin, they realized that their dreams of freedom had been only that — a dream.
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