Aularia

The setting of Sacred Grounds LARP is the world of Aularia. Long ago, a wild event called "The Incursion" introduced magic into the world and essentially tore apart much of the surface, remaking landmasses and cities into something unrecognizable. Much of the population was killed and the few that remain were forever changed. What is known is that the elves once dominated the world during this pre-Incursion era, and humans and dwarves were also civilized but not nearly as powerful as they are today. The Incursion not only altered some of the existing denizens of Aularia, but it also made it possible for visitors from other planes to show up on their doorstep... some of them never having left, while others still trying to find ways back in after being beaten away by those that call Aularia home.

Thousands of years later, the world has gone through many changes, but the mark that the Incursion has left still plays an everyday role in Aularian life.

Aularia has just come out of the Age of Humanity, a period of time in which humans have risen to become the dominant race of the world. Imperialism has reared its head in the north, as either military action or the threat of it has caused five nations to coalesce into one under the rule of the Daltanic Empire. As a result of this growing threat, the city-states in the Aularian continent's true heartland formed the Gethanar Confederacy to unify and protect one another from any potential Daltanic threat.

Caught between these two nations are the holy cities of En's Hand, nations that claim strong links to each of the deities of the human pantheon, as well as Aular City, where humans experienced their rebirth after the Incursion. Many Seraphim live here, sometimes fully devoted to the Church of En, but other times following the ideals of pure justice and good.

To the east, the Mag'duar Dwarves toil away on their agricultural plots or in their mountain mines, not really taking much time to bother anyone except for trade purposes. In the sea, Jorhaul'duar Dwarves, once nearly rulers of all the known world, continue to seek out answers to ancient questions through their own, often violent, means.

Southward, Bara'kaa Runeblades of Sholbara watch their borders warily from their desert homes, wondering if outsiders will ever again invade in the name of holy and righteous war. Beneath them, another human nation, Capriana, where social progress has seen the fostering of art, philosophy, and even new technology that has raised the eyebrows of much of the world and put them on edge. Here, Vaniiri work along side humans and still hold the ever-diminishing power of the crown, while Orcs put their unmatched craftsmanship to good use making Varii notes.

West, the island of Tone'pep Lo is home to the Totemics, men and women with animal traits that follow a tribal lifestyle. Fae, migrants from another plane, have strung themselves across the world. Their agenda remaining mysterious to outsiders. Everywhere, where nature sprouts, the Wild Elves work in tandem with the spirit world to keep out the dangers of outsiders.

In recent history, exploration beyond the main continent has taken off. Islands in the southwest began revealing themselves to mortal eyes. Capriana was the first to gain a foothold in these new lands on the island of Casoria several decades ago. More recently, Gethanar took the island known as Landriga and Daltanica named its own patch Reinsburg. Vae'teer is home to conflict between Jorhaul and Wild Elves. Other islands have appeared, but their dangers have left them unclaimed. But one island has made the largest ripples in world politics: Lucania, claimed by Capriana and named after the Princess herself.

As Capriana explored the island, they soon learned that it had massive deposits of everything, from Mithril to Vulcanium and to Ilium itself. Plants and trees seemed to grow here that only grew in specific parts of the rest of the world. Lucania was rich in much of the material that was rare in the rest of the world, and Capriana, unwilling to allow war to start over this land, instead came up with the concept of the Sacred Grounds Treaty. This treaty would allow all nations that signed it to participate in resource cultivation here, but also required that al participant nations to halt al military action against one another. As Gethanar, Mag'duar, and Sholbara signed the treaty, Daltanica saw no other option but to delay its military campaign in favor of sharing the wealth with these other nations.

Truce, the first multinational city, began construction only a few short years ago on Lucania's east end. Plans for Banner Rest, a much smaller settlement in the west, began to take shape with the first boats leaving in the 12th year of the new and unnamed Age (often referred to as simply, the "New Age").
Despite all of the conflict in the world, Sacred Grounds events strive for a mood that promotes cooperation over solitude. Threats exist in the world that are far larger than the threat that various nations and cultures clashing pose to one another. There are no true alignments. You may strive to be good or evil, but more likely you are somewhere in between and trying to survive alongside close friends and family. Politics and intrigue are rarely played openly, with most plots whispered in private tavern rooms. After all, the people around you could be your only hope when a horrifying attack leaves you bleeding out in the middle of a field. You only survive if you work together. Whether that results in genuine admiration for one another or not is up to you. Characters at Sacred Grounds are thrust into situations where reliance on one another to survive and prosper is necessary, and much of the game system itself promotes this attitude. Does this mean that everyone has to be a hero? No, but others around you may take notice of your less-than cooperative actions and you might find yourself playing Fours with the Agent of Kakapos more than you might like.

Of further importance to the mood of the game is that Banner Rest is a colonial settlement, but it is set in a world that has genre-blended Medieval, Age of Exploration, Fantasy, and even Victorian Steampunk. Banner Rest is a town where philosophies, cultures, and religions that do not normally encounter one another in the rest of the world may find themselves in abundance. The undertone of politicking and maneuvering against one another may exist, even if on the surface the laws promote general acceptance.

Baner Rest is also a town that requires various components to survive. It needs sword-arms and spell-slingers, but it also needs smiths, alchemists, cooks, doctors, and gatherers of various types. The game economy should not be taken for granted; having people in town that can perform such tasks and being able to pay them to do it can be just as important to keeping your character in fighting shape as earning experience points (XP).

Finally, various themes exist, written into the very lore that we hope to promote as part of the game through the characters that exist in it and the plots that come about. While there are certainly many more themes, some more ethereal than others. Here are some that you may want to keep in mind: The conflict of magic and technology, the ripple effect that Lucania has on the larger world, the conflict of various religions and which of them may be "right," economic growth, survival, challenge, adventure, and the strength of community.

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