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Suzerain Realms - More Starfall



Now, let's talk about the reason we Awakened are interested in the Starfall realm.

Shaintar

If there's high fantasy and epic high fantasy, then the continent of Shaintar is the very definition of epic high fantasy. You can't walk into a tavern without having to muscle your way past a troll-slayer or two. Every junior officer in every backwater garrison seems to have stopped a demonic incursion or an undead uprising. Each bit of goodness and chivalry is evenly matched by the evil of Flame and Darkness.

If Shaintar sounds larger than life, well it is. It's genuinely epic and just walking around feels like an amazing adventure. The exotic and new rub shoulders with the familiar and comforting in a way you just have to experience. When you first arrive you feel right at home, but you could spend years in Shaintar and still be surprised daily by some new and wondrous detail of the realm.

Shaintar's where the first Tempest portal opened and it risks destroying that delicate balance. Now it's Flame and Darkness and Tempest, and the forces of the Southern Kingdoms have their work cut out for them. Hint: they might need some help.

Austeria

It turns out that Austeria is also a land of Starfall. If you were paying attention, you'll remember that I said Austeria's part of the 23rd century in the mortal realms, and that's true too. I was born in Austeria and even when my Telesma showed me the universe I assumed Austeria fitted squarely in the mortal realms. A twisted, super-magical piece of the mortal realms to be sure, but that's understandable since it was the epicenter of the worst destructive act of the Pulse War.

Apparently, unleashing a super-volcano is enough to blast the spirit signature of an entire continent into the realm of high fantasy. No wonder there are dragons in that part of Earth. Starfall. Both.

Unlike Shaintar, Austeria's about survival. In the First Age it was surviving the rage of Austra, the fire goddess. In the Second Age, it's surviving the invasion of seven Warlocks and their Wild-tainted armies. The Third Age is about picking up the relics of the past to make a decent future. I hear that's better, but I've never visited.

When I go back it's to the Second Age I grew up in, not to reminisce but because the Tempest managed to convince Tahn, one of the Warlocks, to sign up as a servitor - and that's bad news for everyone.

Open Warfare

There's no way to cross between the lands of Starfall. At least, there wasn't until the Tempest burrowed in. Now the Veil has been pierced, two things have happened. First, Tempest forces have appeared in Shaintar and that's freaking out the residents. Second, a few heroes have forced their own portals through and gone to help the locals, but that's freaking out the residents as well. No surprise, really. If someone had turned your cosmology upside down and shaken it like a snow-globe, you'd take some time to readjust too. Unfortunately, Shaintar didn't have time to adjust, since the Tempest built a fully fledged army there. It was repulsed, but nobody's under any illusion - the Tempest isn't going to leave Shaintar alone.

On its own, that would have been bad. Add in Austeria where, somehow, the Tempest has made contact and turned a Warlock into a servitor, and it's open warfare on two fronts. I mentioned being a spy, a guerrilla fighter and an assassin. Go to Starfall and you can add soldier to that list.

If you like your high fantasy to have immaculate white castles flying pretty pennants and perfect nobles riding nauseatingly pristine horses on warm summer afternoons, then I'm sure there's a land of Starfall for you. We haven't made contact with the other lands yet, but I'm sure it's there. If you want that fantasy land to keep its white castles immaculate and its nobles unbloodied then the battle lines are drawn in Shaintar and Austeria. That's where the universe might end.


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