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Fallen Empire

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>This is the home of my GURPS (Fourth Edition) fantasy realm. The Fallen Empire campaign is set 20 years after the Great Remen Empire was destroyed by an unknown cataclysm. A few survivors and refugees managed to escape to the various Borderlands on the fringes of the former lands of the empire. This is where we begin, in a small Borderland known as the Barony of Laesmoor.

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The Remen Empire is so named after its founder and first Emperor Remus. The great warrior Remus, son of Mars, tamed the great Dragon Ozymandias. Together the duo conquered the world as far as the eye could see. Which is quite a distance when that eye is flying high over the capitol city. Although he called himself only Warlord and was never crowned emperor, his son upon hearing of his death, accended the throne and proclaimed; "Swear feality now to me, the second Emperor of Remen!" Remus' funeral pyre was lit aflame by the breath of the great dragon himself. The dragon then announced that he was weary of the world and would now sleep. He ordered engineers to seal the entrance to his cave near the capitol city. Romus son of Remus begged the dragon to stay with him. As the engineers were working he pleaded with the ancient wyrm, asking; "What will the Empire do without you to protect us?" The tales say Ozymandias replied; "Rely on the strength of the Legions."


The Empire was completely surrounded by smaller countries called the "Borderlands." These Borderlands were vassals of the Empire, and served to keep the orc raiders and other various creatures out of the lands of the Empire. The Empire would send money to the lord of these lands twice a year. These funds were used to stop the incursions and strengthen the economy. It was great deal for all. The subsidies meant the Borderlands taxes were lower, which encouraged people to move there, and merchants to trade there. Most of the money given to them returned to the economy of the Empire through merchants, and they secured their borders without having to constantly send out the Legions.


The realm of the Fallen Empire is not medieval. The society is nearly as sophisticated as today's modern society. They just don't have the hard technology. For example people are well aware that washing your hands keeps you from getting sick. They have advanced medicine. Herbalists don't sell snake oil, they make aspirin tablets from the bark of willow trees. Medics and priests often carry bandages made of a special kind of moss. There are no peasants (indentured servants of the lord) as such, every man is born free. Many farmers own the land they work, or are saving up to buy it from the landowner. Women, while protected in this society, are not property. They can't be married without their consent, and once they are adults they do not need anyone's permission to do anything.

That being said, it is still a Tech Level 3 society that is in danger. Women are actively discouraged from joining the army. And the idea of suing anyone because you were sexually harrased would simply lead to blank stares and a lack of comprehension. The population isn't enormous and many women still die in childbirth, so tradition still leads many to accept that women are to be protected, not out leading calvary charges.

Slavery does exist but is uncommon. Occasionally orcs are captured. They are forced to build roads and walls, generally aren't treated well, and don't often survive long in captivity. If someone is found guilty of a criminal offense against a person (maiming someone, trying to kill them, stealing a horse) the offender (and sometimes his family) is often sold into slavery to repay the victim. Ususally the buying is the Barony, who then puts the new slave to work building roads and walls. And occasionally a family will sell a child into slavery. Because they need the money, and because it gives them one less mouth to feed.

The Cataclysm

Twenty years ago a sudden storm of flame came in the middle of the night. It lasted only minutes, but when it was done the Empire was no more. What few survivors that reached the Borderlands told tales of demons slaughtering people by the dozens, and walking pillars of fire that left nothing but destruction in their wake. No one is really sure what happened, but this much is certain, few who venture into the lands of the Empire ever return. The few who have come back are never the same. Changed by the horrors they've seen, often maimed by the things they've encountered.


Though Elves and Dwarves are known to exist in the world of the Fallen Empire the characters will all be human.

The Dwarves who live in the mountains of the world are a calm and hardy folk. But seldom do they venture forth from their caves. The entrances of their underground strongholds are near impossible to find, and are impossible to enter unless opened from within.

The Elves also live their lives separate from all but their own kind. A mysterious and highly magical folk, they are the protectors of the great woods of the world. Because of them no woodsman may fell a tree without planting another. It is rumored that although powerful in magic they began to fear the strength of the Empire, and that they are the ones who brought the cataclysm down upon the Empire.


The characters will begin with 125 points. They may have no more than 50 points of disadvantages, and are required to buy at least one "Good Guy" disadvantage. No cinematic advantages are allowed, and all leveled advantages must remain at realistic levels. Status higher than level one is not allowed, neither is any wealth higher than comfortable. After all, if you're rich or of high status why would you be out risking your life adventuring?

Mana Damper and Mana Enhancer are not allowed for any race, and humans are limited to a maximum of four levels of Nightvision.


Psionic powers are unknown in the realm of the Fallen Empire. Mages are fairly common, but magical items are not. Wielders of magic are divided into three types:

  • Mages - Fairly common, around one person in a thousand has the talent for magery.
  • Necromancers - Rare and outlawed. Something about raising the dead upsets people.
  • Priests - Uncommon. The gods don't give the gift to many.



Priests are few and far between out in the Borderlands. Most of the priests lived in the great temples in Capitol, or one of the other large cities. The few priests that do remain are usually village priests capable of healing the sick or helping the crops. They have nothing like the earthshaking powers of the great priests of the Empire.


Only one plane is known to touch the world of the Fallen Empire, The Veil. It is a dark, mysterious plane, where all things insubstantial dwell. It parallels the world and allows a skilled traveller to travel much farther than normal. They say that a skilled wizard in The Veil can step back from the world, going deeper into The Veil. From there a wizard is supposed to be able to traveller to other planes.

  • The Veil


While Zombies, Ghouls, and Demons are known to exist; most opponents will either be men or orcs. There are also rumors of Wargs, Basilisks, and while a Dragon hasn't been seen in generations no one doubts the stories of Remus and Ozymandias.

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The material presented here is my original creation, intended for use with the GURPS system from Steve Jackson Games. This material is not official and is not endorsed by Steve Jackson Games. GURPS is a registered trademark of Steve Jackson Games. All rights are reserved by SJ Games. This material is used here in accordance with the SJ Games online policy.



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