“It seems to me that there are only two options in this city. Either you look right at all the ugliness and risk it breaking you or you look away and never know the truth. The thing that will really...
“It seems to me that there are only two options in this city. Either you look right at all the ugliness and risk it breaking you or you look away and never know the truth. The thing that will really gnaw at your brain is when you start to wonder if you ever had a choice. Maybe we were all supposed to look. Maybe we were never meant to.”
Aeternum, the eternal city, is a place of strife and mystery. It is a metropolis that spans the entirety of known existence; its buildings, parks and streets stretch from horizon to horizon without end. Within Aeternum the souls of the dead do not lie still. When a human dies, their soul will rise from their body as a green ghost of their former selves. After the briefest pause, that soul will either ascend into the sky or crawl down beneath the ground. The people of the infinite city live their lives under the shadow of a disturbing revelation; the vast majority of souls do not ascend.
Many try to live by rules which will deter the descent of their souls, but no clear path has ever been found. Traumatised by the implication of their fate, most citizens of Aeternum choose to ignore the notion of souls altogether in an attempt to maintain their sanity. Despite their self-denial, the city is at a breaking point, caught between two mighty forces and their own weaknesses.
With no resources of their own the people live by the whims of Celestials, immortal beings of golden light who follow their own private agendas. Many do not see the Celestials as saviours, they cast them as jailors. Worse still are the vile Fiends, bestial creatures of nightmarish design, born from the evils of mankind. Fiends seduce, corrupt and destroy all that they influence. More troubling than the existence of these two great powers is the knowledge that the Fiends come from below, where most souls go, and the Celestials come from above.
The people of Aeternum are mere bystanders. The Tethered, an order of undying champions, have stepped forward to guide and protect humanity. The task of the Tethered is not a simple one. When night falls and the city’s gaslights spring to life, the worst elements of man and Fiend alike are laid bare. The struggle is endless for the Tethered. The people of Aeternum are eager to look away from their woes, and gratitude for the Tethered’s task is rare. Still, the Order pursues its goals relentlessly.
Features of Aeternum's rules:
* Based on the Fragged Empire rule system: medium crunch, 3d6, classless, etc... * Simplified rules that are suitable for both long and short games. * All PCs are immortal: PC deaths and TPKs are to be expected. GMs are encouraged to not hold back. * Thematic Natures in place of Races: Beast, Deranged, Martyr, Pious, Shrewd or Thaumaturge. * Thematic Stances in place of Outfits: Aggressive, Avoidance, Block, Endure or Out Wit. * New Drive Complication system: PCs are rewarded for pursuing their characters' goals and acting in accordance to their personality. * New Suspense Roll system where passing a Skill Roll may come with a cost (perceiving and understanding too much may be detrimental to your sanity). * New Combat Momentum system: characters will build momentum points as they fight, and may spend them to boost their damage. * New NPC types: including Power Groups and Immense NPCs. * Simplified Healing system: ongoing Attribute damage plays a less significant role. * Expanded Theatre of the Mind Combat Rules: giving the GM more options and choices.