- Exploration as you remember it: you can play Archaelund your own way. Take your party of adventurers through a vast open world and explore as you wish, find awesome secrets and run into unexpected trouble, get involved in conflicts or just pursue your own goals and discover what lies beyond the horizon.
- Unique dual perspective: just as the best classics did, you’ll be able to explore the world of Archaelund in immersive first-person, wondering what lies behind each corner of the dungeon. When combat starts, the view seamlessly changes to top-down perspective, and you’ll issue orders to your party, placing them over a battle grid to face your enemies in a deeply strategic turn-based combat.
- Deep and engaging character progression: a career-based system will have your characters start out as street ruffians, squires, hunters or even beggars; later on you can move into new career, including advanced ones like Knight, Loreseeker, Assassin or Battlemage. A character might leave behind its humble origins, but those days might bring in unique talents to your advantage!
- Deadly battles with a focus on strategy: a non-inflationist, bounded system will ensure that every battle matters, and every opponent is scary. When your characters advance in levels, you’ll gain new tactical options to defeat your enemies, not just increased numbers.
- An expansive world, handcrafted in detail: Archaelund is big enough to lose yourself in; yet everywhere you go you’ll meet people to talk to, unique quests to complete, mysteries to solve and, of course, battles to fight and treasures to loot.
Background: the Fall and the Exile
The Andorian Empire united the whole human race under the same proud banner for millenia, until a magical cataclysm brought the Horrors from another world. The Empire and most of the human race was annihilated in just a few days; only a few hundred ships could escape to the savage island of Varannar, a distant imperial colony beyond the western ocean. The refugees endured the hardships and tried to rebuild their old civilization, but never again stood united under the Imperial banner.
The newly founded Exiled Kingdoms bore the scars of the Fall, each of them in a different way. Varsilia, the mightiest and noblest of the Kingdoms, became grotesquely obsessed over Imperial history and preserving its traditions. Ilmarans turned into fanatical zealots of a new faith, while in Thuram, the remnants of the Imperial Wizards established a magocracy that disregards all matters except the arcane, and quickly declined into endogamy. On the west, the Kingdom of Mercia had emerged from the surviving Imperial Legions, establishing a nightmarish rule based on slavery and arbitrary discipline.
The four Kingdoms held irreconcilable views and ambitions, and locked together in a small and hostile land as they were, they often plotted against each other or even clashed openly in the battlefield. It seemed as if a perpetual cycle of war, famine and misery would become mankind’s unavoidable fate.
Archaelund, mankind’s new frontier
The future of the Kingdoms, however, brightened up generations later when a sea route to the old continent of Andoria was discovered, and it was proved that the Horrors were no more. Most of the old continent appeared to be an uninhabitable wasteland, but finally a vast and fertile coastal region was found: Archaelund.
For the first time in a long time humanity left aside the old grudges and obsessions and looked up to the future. Expeditions were arranged, and thousands of colonists, soldiers, adventurers and rogues embarked to Archaelund. The promises of land, riches and Imperial relics excited the imagination and ambition of thousands, from mere farmers to noble second-sons.
The re-colonization of Archaelund went on but the Exiles had to face many obstacles they had not foreseen. The Horrors may be no more, but they left behind a scarred world where eldritch energies and warped monsters roam the lands, and imperial ruins are often an unpredictable arcane hazard. Conflict between the Kingdoms is still very alive, and to make things worse, a subterranean race called the Geldryn (once slaves to the Andorian Empire) now aspires to inherit the surface world, and raise against the Exiles with increasing might.
Despite all the dangers, Archaelund is still a land of adventure and opportunity. Just like many others before, your party of adventurers has finally saved up enough money to embark and sail East. The Silver Star has crossed the Andor Sea for two weeks, when you catch the first glimpse of the ancient land of your ancestors, unimpressed by its mundane visage. Little you suspect that, very soon, you’re going to get involved in a plot that traces back to the terror of the final days of the Empire, and now threatens to destroy the remnants of civilization...