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By Mike McArtor
Additional Contributos: Sean McNeil
Ann K. McArtor, Sean McNeil
Rachelle Abellar, Tammy Vince Cruz
Royal Archivist Publishing Inc.
Creative Director: Mike McArtor
Managing Editor: Sean McNeil
Technical Lead: Rommel Degracia
Story Lead: Ann K. McArtor
Art Director: Dora Wang
One of the mysteries built into the Ingressa is what happened to Cetera Mundus. We plan on never giving a definitive answer so gamemasters and other storytellers can create their own reasons and not have their hard work invalidated by our canonical explanation. This document does provide a few ideas, but note that we do not officially endorse any of them.
In addition to determining what happened to the other continents on Cetera Mundus, you also need to answer the questions “When did it happen?” and “Why was Shonos spared?” The only clue we provide to the former is that the Tarrasque rediscovery expedition (the third one) set out roughly three centuries ago.
This document is part of an ongoing series of resources that explores the Gloriana Rediscovery Expedition and the storytelling possibilities thereof.The series consists of the following documents:
If you find yourself inspired by this or any other story primer we release to tell a story (in any medium!), we’d love to hear about it in the forums!
The current rediscovery expedition, headed by the immense and powerful airship SAS Gloriana, is the fourth such attempt at uncovering the secrets of the planet’s mysterious apocalypse. All three previous expeditions disappeared without a trace. Prior to the Gloriana rediscovery expedition, the massive frigate Terrasque led an even larger sea-based expedition around three centuries ago.
The third in an ongoing series of campaign resources, this document provides additional ideas and information to gamemasters interested in running your own Rediscovery campaign. The information provided herein will make more sense if you have read the previous two documents, Shonos and Rediscovery.
Shortly after the veil concealing Shonos lifted, something happened to the rest of the planet that wiped out the populations of all known sapients not on the island-nation. Whatever caused the apocalypse might have doomed the first three expeditions and could menace this newest one.
Disease: Some documents suggest the apocalypse began on Astelmeia and spread from there to Olriso and the other continents, much in the way world-spanning pandemics engulf entire populations. Does the disease still exist? If no one is left alive to carry it, how can it threaten the expedition? Perhaps Olriso is not as depopulated as Shonos assumes.
Ineffable Horror: Unspeakable beings of cosmic power and unknowable intent exist in the universe and they occasionally interact with humans. Perhaps some discovery or ritual on Olriso brought attention to Cetera Mundus and caused one of these unspeakable monstrosities to destroy most of the sapient beings on the planet. In the face of such overwhelming power, it’s no surprise only a few scattered survivors remained (most of whom live on Shonos). For this scenario you need to answer why the ineffable horror destroyed most sapient beings and whether it will come back to finish the job (or even if it’s still here!).
Plants: Most people in the Ingressa know about the aggressive plant life on Sanctuary, but there is no reason to believe the post-Burst explosion of growth on that world is unique. The apocalypse of Cetera Mundus occurred some time before the Burst, so any plantpocalypse that occurred here predates that of Sanctuary. Perhaps the two events are connected in some way, since the previous rediscovery expedition to Olriso occurred during the Burst as well.
Sapient Invasion: Roughly 2,000 years ago the Allied Races invaded Cetera Mundus and nearly drove its native Cyclopes to extinction. In this scenario, another sapient species (or alliance of sapients) returned the favor, usurping the usurpers.
War: Even the most devastating wars rarely claim a significant percentage of any population. Any war large enough to destroy all the civilizations on several continents surely would have been felt by Shonos, in the form of news and an influx of refugees at the very least. A massive war contained to Olriso and Astelmeia might have been the catalyst for some additional form of destruction that ultimately all-but eradicated the Allied Races on Cetera Mundus, but a war by itself does not well explain the apocalypse.
Zombies: If you want to run a survival horror game you can blame the apocalypse on the living dead. Of course, you have several questions to answer if you choose to unleash zombies on Cetera Mundus: Fast or slow? How do new zombies form? Do any even still exist after all this time?
The Multifaceted Apocalypse: There’s certainly no reason you can’t combine several of these ideas in one campaign. Aggressive plants that animate their victims as zombies or an invasion of sapient settlers carrying a disease deadly to the Allied Races could both make for fascinating stories, for example.
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