The World of Steel Dragons – Part 1
As a guy who specializes in creating storyworlds, I’ve found Steel Dragons to be a blast to work on. It’s been a fun challenge to take all the cool stuff that everyone already knows and loves (Samurai! Airships!) and integrate it with new, unique features (Lotus Pearls! Smart-Steel!) to create a world that’s exciting and original, but still accessible.
If you’ve been following my world-building exploits for a while, you know that there are four aspects to a storyworld: setting, characters, conflict, and tone. Today, I’d like to talk a little bit about the Steel Dragons setting.
Central to the Steel Dragons setting are the Broken Lands. This vast, dangerous wilderness was once the domain of the Steel Lotus Empire, but the Empire fell centuries ago in a great cataclysm, and the land is now a realm of monsters, barbarians, and isolated settlements.
While a few heroes in Steel Dragons are born and raised in the Broken Lands, most come from the Outer Provinces. When the cataclysm struck, these provinces were the regions that were spared. In the centuries since then, these backwater fiefdoms have grown into powers in their own right. And now the Daiymo who rule these lands have turned their ambitious eyes to the Broken Lands once more.
Since the Empire fell, the Broken Lands have been a place for treasure-hunters and thrill-seekers. Brave adventurers could find riches in ruined palaces or the lairs of great beasts. Explorers willing to risk their lives could return to civilization with fortunes in exotic lotus pearls or scavenged steam machinery. Monster-slayers could collect countless bounties stalking deadly mutant creatures.
But now the Broken Lands offer even a greater source of wealth: smart-steel! This substance, necessary to build the best steam-powered machines, has recently been discovered in large supplies where the Empire once stood. The steady drip of adventurers making their way into Broken Lands has turned into a stream of settlers, pilgrims, steel-mad prospectors, and more. They dream of riches, but the wilderness is treacherous, and does not give up its treasure easily.
Here on the frontier between civilization and the unknown, between safety and untold danger, is where the players enter the game. They are explorers, protectors, and agents of order in a land of chaos. They are heroes in the world of Steel Dragons.
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