Welcome to the introduction page for The 4th Race setting guide. A world of ancient histories, dark secrets and terrifying creatures. This is very much a work in progress and only a few articles have been put on World Anvil, there is a bunch of stuff written for the setting but I’m taking my time organizing it and making it easier to read! This page should give you a brief taste of the setting in general and what you might expect to find in the following articles and links.
Thanks for reading!
The 4th Race setting is built upon real scientific principles, thousands, millions or even billions of years are taken into account and characters, locations and events have a detailed explanation for their existence. There are no creator gods or all powerful beings that shaped the universe in ancient times. Mountains and rivers are not created by wayward spirits or dragons lying deep within the earth, they formed from moving tectonic plates and weather patterns. Even the creatures and species described within these pages did not pop into existence as an afterthought for a cruel demons pleasure, but evolved over millions of years. In short, this setting is firmly based in our own scientific understanding of our world and universe as a whole. On a more familiar level this means that most of the storytelling and adventures in the game focus down on the characters themselves, and conflicts explore complex human relationships.
Adeventure in the Unknown
While this guide can explain almost anything within the setting, the people living in the world don't have access to this knowledge. For them the world is full of evil spirits, gods, demons and mystical forces they can never hope to understand. Two similar cultures, that exist side by side, might have very different and opposing beliefs about how they think the world works. Much of the world is unknown, and much larger than you might expect. In terms of scale the world in which this setting takes place on is significantly bigger than our own earth. And while the gravity is similar this means there is lot more space to explore. Often things are left vague and unclear for a reason, sometimes there is no answer and no satisfying conclusion.
Magic exists in this setting, but it's incredibly rare and almost no one truly understands it. Magic is one of the only things in this setting that can never be fully explained and accounts for almost all of the strange and random elements that take place within. It is chaotic force that has a tendency to destroy its users in random and unexplainable ways. Those that claim to wield magic are often frauds or charlatans, claiming to cure a sickness or exploit the common people for their own ends. Mages, wizards, warlocks and witches are all just names with little real meaning, anyone with a real connection to magic is harnessing it in the same way as anyone else.
Schemes & Plots
Powerful beings exist in the world, in some cases they walk the streets, travels the roads and live among normal people. Some cultures worship them as gods, but they gain nothing from the belief of others. These beings take various forms and have widely different goals and motivations. They often oppose one another in long and complex games that involve those sworn to them and anyone unlucky enough to attract their attention. These plots may take many centuries to play out with no clear winners or losers. Some have no interest in the world and are rarely seen, preferring to stay out of the affairs of others.
The setting and the world of Calera is incredibly ancient, dark secrets from ages long since passed linger in the earth. Three sentient intelligent races evolved, gained mastery over the planet and died out millions of years ago. The legacy they left behind is hidden from all but the most observant, and those that do unearth ancient mysteries often wish they hadn't.
While the world itself is incredibly old, the peoples and cultures currently inhabiting the world are not. Many of them have just begun their journey to civilization and the cities and large population centers are newly founded, thus dungeons and ancient ruins are a rarity.