Among the chilly winds of the Southern Pole, there exists a fantastic oddity of this world: The Falling Isle. This volcanic island chain produces its own climate of tropical heat, the wind current it creates billows the cold air back north with the ash of its five volcanoes. The islands grows to fame through these southern trade winds – yet grew to infamy from what dwells upon it. Under the shade of ash that engulfs the skyline is the Vine, flora so dense and ever-present it forms mountains across the landscape. This resilient bark-covered weed grows to the width of the mightiest of trees and buds unique and exotic herbs having infinite alchemical use. Roaming clans descend on the island as merchant lords spread trade from the Isle across the earth: the roaming, seafaring nomads lay down foundation for a mercantile nation, the Grand Republic. Natives flock from their mountain holdings, building port colonies that soon flood with Republic business. The clans found new noble houses with their own merchant lords, and forge the island’s great center of trade, Clearwater Port.
Massive wealth surges throughout the two nations, but brings out of balance the old structure of power – the pirate lords of the Northern Shores, “the Whitesails” of the ashen winds. Their naval superiority on their ancestral waters contests even the sea-faring Empire. These lords hold sway through shadowy networks of rebels and spies that infiltrate every affair of the island. From the Underground, they sow discord across the shores and threaten to spark a rebellion from within the wooded deep. Encroaching wilds allow black markets to thrive within the entanglement of the mysterious Vine, as Syndicates of crime and intrigue draw strength from the Republic. Whitesail alchemists distill powerful essence from these wilds, using ancient knowledge to make the jungles ever more deadly. Colonies corrupt as noble clans are turned against the Republic through dogma and coin. Whitesail envoys spread tales of the Republic’s weakness among the courts of the world, gaining the interest of a powerful theocracy, the Empire. This nation’s throne comes into the hands of a zealous God-queen, who has declared the Vine and all associated with it as heretical. Their sights are set on the island’s bedlam and they seek to fan these flames to erode the merchants’ power. The Republic, surrounded by adversaries, is set to lose everything to the looming threat of a bloody coop.
Clouds of ash linger over the shore, casting figurative shades of doom over the colonies, pumping ever stronger from the mountains. The wilds erupt from fertile ash-land with greater ferocity every day. Clans panic as the frontier is consumed by the Vine, collapsing the ground from under them into the massive chasms hidden by the canopy of entanglement. As tensions mount, ports swell with traffic as the isle’s plight brings adventurers, mercenaries, and bounty hunters from across the world. You are summoned, either by fortune or fate, to the ports of Clearwater. A feeling of looming danger hangs over these claustrophobic streets, as an era of prosperity falls into the bleak unknown.