Welcome to

The Augural Strand

It’s been several hundred years since the Cataclysm, and the people of the Augural Strand have forged a new world in its wake. Out of the ruin, eight nations have emerged, bringing with them wonderful stories, troubling secrets and much more to be discovered.

The Cataclysm

We are the descendants of those who survived.

Even now, there are a precious few who can recall those final days of the Cataclysm nearly 600 years ago, though none living who could recall its start. 

So much of our past—the history of our world—was swallowed in the roiling elements as the land and seas and air raged. Continents, rent apart into scattered masses of stone and soil, hanging untethered in space like ice in a glass. Swarms of raindrops hunting madly, punching pinholes through whatever met their path like buckshot through flesh. Flame, lumbering in herds, stopping only to graze upon whomsoever they claimed as their hapless tinder before lumbering on.

Our world ended over and over again until, at long last, Kad was reborn.  

The World of Kad

The Cataclysm was not a battle won. 
It was a lesson learned. 

You see, there’s a reason we still don’t set out into the wilderness alone. It’s the same reason sailors don’t venture far into open waters and why miners won’t touch the Mountain Barrows. We may have built our homes here, but this world ain’t ours.

No one knows for sure how many there are, how long they’ve been here, where they came from. Hell, if no one told you, you might not even know they exist. But for those of us who were around during the Cataclysm, they’re all too real.

They’re mountains and waterfalls, oceans and wildfires. Like the spirits that live in our own bodies, they’re the spirits that live in all of the energy and matter that makes up the material world. The life that is woven into the fabric of our universe.

The druids call ’em Kadoa, which means the Ones of Kad. Without them, there’s no world to live on, so, to the druids, our world and the old elemental titans are all one in the same.

Most folks, however, call ’em Tectonics.

The Nature of Magic

They speak in streams and storms,
in flame and frost,
in sea’s tide and season’s turn.
They speak in magic.

You know those sounds—almost like words—that you hear in the summer breeze? The ever-so-subtle shifting of branches in a quiet forest? The pools of water that gather in the strangest of places? It’s all a part of a primal language. The language of the natural world.

There are some who’ve learned to “speak” that primal language, who have figured out the syllables, the strange recipes, the sacred movements. These casters use that language to guide the Tectonics, to shepherd them into moving and bending and changing. Casters can even manipulate their own or others’ spirits—what some would call the Soul—to soothe wounds, inflict harm or transform the body.

What sets casters apart is how they wield this influence. For druids, spellcasting is a cooperative dance, a give and take with the spiritual energy of the universe. For sorcerers, it’s a rare and unexpected gift. Then there are those who seize control of the elements, drawing strength from distant worlds, from the Gods of the Outer Planes. Clerics, paladins, warlocks, they use this power to control the Tectonics, to manipulate time and space, bend reality to their—or their patron’s—will. Many use this strength for the greater good. Some are not so gracious.

What you’ve got to know, kid, is this: Magic may be all around us, but it sure ain’t free and I’m not just talking about spell components. You can only bend the Tectonics so much before they snap.

Most of the time, the old titans hardly seem to notice us. Sling a fireball or two, and the Tectonics will carry on as if nothing’s changed. Most Tectonics are ancient, enormous forces of unquantifiable power; what may be catastrophic for us is little more than a nuisance to them.

But everything’s got its limits. And let me tell you, they don’t give no warnings when you’ve crossed the line.

The Era of Artifice

Nowadays, for better or worse, most folk don’t bother picking up a spellbook for themselves.
Why learn the spell when you can buy the gadget?

The invention of the Alchemical Engine changed everything. You got locomotives tearing across the region, airships soaring the skies alongside the birds and Aarakocra. Even Fellnoble, the “city of lights,” is lit up using power from those enchanted turbines.

Part metal, part magic, the Alchemical Engine turns matter into pure elemental energy. That energy, in turn, keeps spells running far longer than any one caster could on their own. They call it “elemental transmutation,” but some would say that’s sugarcoating it.

It’s the smoke that gives it away, the curdled smog of alchemy as the engine eats away at the Tectonics around it, cannibalizing them for the magic inside. It ain’t pretty, and that’s why you want an artificer with both the know-how and the finesse to do it just right. It only takes a spark of that juice to light up a town—or just as easily blast one to bits.

Most of the time, it’s the little gizmos that get you through the day, like those “Runes” that the kids are always on, texting this and posting that. The artificers up there at Runeiverse Inc. in the Ampere Alliance, they’re something else.

Travel across the Augural Strand, and you’ll see that no two people feel the same way about artifice. Some folks have embraced it all the way, roads lined with light and machines that build machines to plow our fields. Others, like the folk of the forest, don’t want no part of it.

At the end of the day, it’s your life, kid.
The choices are yours, and so are the consequences.
All I can say is this:
Make it worth the story.