1879: Deep Mysteries 3: The Fourth World
In which we trot out the third, and last, bit of exploration of the Deep Mysteries of the game world. Read at your own peril.
Yes, there are immortal elves in the world of 1879. No, you will not see most of them immediately. Not everyone survived the end of the Fourth World. Which ones are still around, and what they’re up to, is being left partly to the Gamemaster to determine. A few will show up in the core game and later sourcebooks, but their influence will not be all that significant. Their plans were made around an Awakening in 2012, that will not happen because of the Grosvenor Experiment. The mana cycle has been massively disrupted, which has left the immortals’ plans in disarray. Very few of them will be able to reorganize quickly enough to have any effect on the course of history before the end of the century. Those that do, like Mr. Fairchild of the Knights of the Grail, are likely to adjust their plans to work with the immediately available resources, and will take positions of power within the existing structures rather than trying to carve out their own domains. Much of how this plays out is being left up to the individual Gamemaster.
Dragons will eventually appear, but will awaken sporadically, as the mana level around their lairs rises to sufficient heights to sustain them. This means that dragons whose lairs are located close to nodes or major population centers will awaken before those whose lairs are in remote or low-mana locations. A few future products will introduce dragons into the world of 1879, but, like the immortal elves, they will have to fall back on contingency plans and improvisation to secure power bases and have any effect on civilization. Not all dragons will appear. Some have died during the Fifth World, and dragons very rarely die of natural causes. The ones that do appear may have very different agendas than might be expected.
As far as other survivals from the Fourth World, only time will tell. What effect will the abrupt advance of the mana cycle have on wildlife? Where are the obsidimen and the windlings? Will the invae, or worse, the Horrors, put in an appearance? For now, this all remains the decision of the Gamemaster and players in each campaign. Eventually, the metaplot of 1879 will reveal the canonical answers to some of these questions, but whether or not these answers are used in any particular game is up to the people playing that game. We provide rules and source material. Whether or not you use them is your choice.