Five years ago, the elves landed on our world in their gleaming starships. Almost everyone left with them, but we, whether by accident, principle, or plain stubbornness, remained. Now our world is full of strange magic and the even stranger experience of starting fresh in a mostly empty world. 

The past

Five years ago

The elves came from the sky in bright, silvery ships. They approached the people of this world, humans and goblins alike, and informed us that they had come to liberate us from the poverty and misery of our single planet. They would take us to the stars, after a few years spent restocking their fleet. All they needed from us were some minerals we weren’t even using; uranium, lithium, a few other things nobody had ever heard of.

Before then

Our world was, according to the elves, a bog-standard medieval backwater. Primitive industry, disorganized governments, routinely violent. Lovely art, though. We lived, we farmed, we built some small cities, we fought amongst ourselves. It honestly wasn’t all that bad, whatever the elves thought, and those of us with the means to study history knew that we lived better than our ancestors. Oh sure, if the locals had a few more centuries they’d probably have an industrial revolution, and then pollution, world wars, all the awfulness we left behind ages ago. Far better to skip all that and join an actual civilization without having to build it yourself.

Six months ago

The last of the elfships leave. That was our last chance to go, and while nearly everyone took it, for some reason you and I stayed behind. For many of us it was pure accident. The elves were on a schedule, they had new worlds to see and new people to meet, and they weren’t trying all that terribly hard to gather up every single last person. For some of us, we did not want to leave. The elves were strange and terrible, and our world is lovely even if not luxurious like the elfships. Nobody was forced to go, and the elves did not ravage our world.

Most people estimate only one in one hundred people stayed. With whole communities gone, those of us who remained had to quickly set out to find each other.

Five months ago

Magic arrived in our world. We speculated that when the elves left, they had taken more than people and metals with them. They had taken some horrid curse, and in its absence the earth burgeoned with life and power. Crops grew as they never had before. A strange new vitality grew in every person, allowing ordinary people to recover from dangerous wounds and emboldening both heroes and villains now that incidental violence was rarely fatal. Never-before-seen beasts and spirits were spotted in the wilds.

Would-be prophets, scholars, and mystics dived into every arcane phenomenon they could. A consensus slowly emerged, derived from visions and study. What the elves had stolen, in addition to our people, was our apocalypse. In some shadow of the future of our world, we managed to annihilate ourselves, taking most of the world with us. Terrible weapons killed most of humanity, with other forms of death following behind. This future could no longer occur after the elves had left with the “uranium” and other strange metals they harvested from our world.

Our world has been yanked away from this apocalyptic shadow, and the tension of that distance expresses itself as magic. For many of us, this explanation is just a new system for explaining the weirdness of our changed world. 

Some of us, though, claim to hear in the newly prolific crops, the profound stillness of the groves, or the roars of the new beasts the voice of an ascendant planet. They claim that our earth, freed of its apocalypse, lives as it never has before, and the living world has a will of its own. There must be something to what they say, for these devotees and their new cults wield some measure of control over the magic, which they use for good and ill in the service of what they claim the living earth desires. Given the divergent goals of these devotees, some wonder if there is more than one new will empowering them.

Others are drawn to deeper understanding of our world’s shadow. No sane person could wish to restore the apocalypse, but the awesome power of the tension between our world and its fate is undeniable. Using arcane experiments, some adepts have discovered methods of prodding the shadow to manifest unnatural phenomena.


After some searching, you have found a small community occupying the remains of a village. Food is plentiful, with so much developed farmland for so few remaining people, but you are a small group in a big world. The countries and cultures of the old world have shattered, and you must carve out a new space for yourself in a world made strange and wild by magic. Your community’s biggest priority is to explore its surroundings and determine what threats and resources might be nearby. 


Magical beasts are empowered by the same vitality that benefits humans. Since no beasts left with the elves, ordinary predators now substantially outnumber people. Even worse, extraordinary beasts with mutated anatomy and magical powers have been observed. You will likely have to take a hand in stabilizing the ecosystem into a form where people can survive. Magical beasts are not evil, but they are neither sentient nor domesticable. You hunt them to ensure your own survival, although in some cases you might deter their threat without violence.

Demons are manifestations of the apocalypse. Their future was erased when the elves left with the materials of apocalypse, and they express their frustration by bringing about destruction on a smaller scale. Demons are nonsentient and exist only to destroy.

People aren’t always nice or reasonable. Bandits, cultists, and would-be warlords have set up communities like yours and you are likely to crash. People are often willing to fight, knowing that magical vitality will often let everyone walk away alive, but they can be reasoned with or frightened off. Only the most evil people would consider killing another person. Knocking them unconscious and taking their stuff is generally sufficient to set back a gang or a cult and deter their future crimes.

Elf automata are tools of the elves used to extract this planet’s resources. Broken tools get left behind, and malicious people have found ways to direct these tools as weapons. These walking machines are nonsentient and can be scrapped for resources.


The world is sparse and lonely. Most people don’t settle down into big, permanent communities. If that’s what they wanted, they probably would have left for space with the elves. Give it a couple of years and things might change, but for now most people are living by themselves or with small groups. Most people stay close to home, but the bravest take advantage of the freedom of a mostly-empty world to wander, explore, and seek out trouble before trouble finds them.

Among the brave, word gets passed around of informal gatherings planned for well-known landmarks. This is an opportunity to socialize, trade goods and stories, and to be of service. Those in need of help know to seek out these gatherings in the hope that the gathered folk, thinking themselves heroes and emboldened by camaraderie, will volunteer to tackle whatever has reared its ugly head.

Some assumptions that are generally true for PCs:


Crow Canyon

IRL: Crow Canyon Gardens, San Ramon.

This canyon was formerly a game preserve for the nearby Crow Castle. The castle was largely ruined in a debauched “going away party” the night before the elves departed, but the stores were well protected, which attracted a number of people to the area. A number of people have set up small vegetable gardens here as a backup food source, as the canyon is relatively well protected by geography.

Player-Created Lore

Solitude’s planet is large, and humans and goblins come from many places and nations. Similarly, the fleet of the elfships is enormous and elves have crafted a dizzying array of identities and cultures for themselves. As a player, you are free to design a background for your PC that includes places, cultural practices, and people no other PC in the game has ever heard of.

But, perhaps you’d like to share a background with other PCs in the game. If so, you can consult the links below containing information other players have written for their own PCs. Any lore linked below is fair game to incorporate into your PC’s background--or you can ignore it entirely by having your PC come from somewhere different.

If you’d like to contribute material to this section, reach out to me on Discord.

Arthin: a nearby kingdom

Elfship Scykat: a deep exploration & reconnaissance ship