Duskworld is defined by a few key characteristics:
- We’re going for a gothic horror setting here, so naturally a palpable fear permeates the land, largely for reasons detailed below, but suffice it to say that things aren’t pretty.
- Duskworld is beset by the undead. Animated cadavers shuffle mindlessly in packs, seeking to devour the flesh of the living, and between a pervasive necromantic presence and the diligent pursuits of some rather creative individuals, an undisturbed corpse is a rare blessing.
- The incorporeal spirits of the dead take many forms. They can be harmless, even protective spirits who haunt the living out of a sense of duty, fealty, responsibility, or love. Or they can be specters of revenge and cruelty, appeased only by mortal offerings.
- It’s a lonely life, being alive. Given that the usual difficulties faced by inhabitants of the “Standard Fantasy Setting” are already rather daunting, adding “undead-” to everything creates an even darker points-of-light. Beyond the continental shelf of Nordvia upon which you find yourselves, little to nothing is known about the world.
- Divine might has failed, or so many claim. Following the catastrophic collapse of an ancient theocracy, the “civilized” regions of Nordvia are presently governed by a council of Druids, in turn overseen by the dragon empress Auriastra . Their power is contested by opportunistic Merchant Houses and of course the various irate churches, making it difficult for them to even simply keep their people safe.