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The Author.DubiousTactics

Atlyria, The Sunken Continent

Prepare for revanchism and revolution as a continent in crisis reawakens.


In the apocalyptic final days of the Age of Forgotten Legends, a human tribe was spirited away by its gods to Atlyria, an uninhabited and isolated continent. Harnessing technologies beyond compare, the Atlyrians launched a crusade against their new world’s many magic-dependent civilizations until they suddenly disappeared, withdrawing back to their homeland overnight. Years passed with no sign of the invaders until a blinding light enveloped Atlyria, the sign of an unimaginably powerful explosion. Worldwide disaster ensued as great waves destroyed ports around the world, fire rained from the sky, and the sun dimmed for a decade.

When the dust finally settled, Altyria was changed almost beyond recognition. A completely uninhabited land of archipelagos, shallow seas, and broken mountain ranges beckoned, and colonists flowed in by the thousands, seeking their fortunes.

Explore a world below the surface, where temples to slumbering gods, research facilities, and even entire cities hum with potential life. Brave deadly traps and even deadlier foes to uncover the vast wealth of the ancient world. As your party travels from the depths of Atlyria’s ocean trenches to the summit of its highest mountains, uncover the true nature of the once great Atlyrian Empire and its fateful moment of destruction. Stake your claim on Atlyria, The Sunken Continent – and protect it from the dark forces trying to tear it apart.

Notable Features

In Atlyria, technology and fantasy collide. While the Atlyrians were world-renowned for their unrivaled engineering prowess and the automata that built their empire, the civilizations that arose in their wake wield powerful magic.

Atlyria is a world where great danger reaps greater rewards. The Atlyrian Empire pillaged the world for a century before disappearing, and within its ruins, the stolen treasures of the entire ancient world can be found.

On the sunken continent, your choices matter. Your party can choose whether to shackle sleeping gods, tip the balance of power between three warring nations, or stop a cult of necromancers from destroying everything in its path.

Lovers of lore will be interested in the rich but tumultuous history of the Atlyrian Empire, whose indomitable legions left a legacy of devastation and wonder in their wake. Learn about the otherworldly origins of the Atlyrian people… and the sinister power responsible for their destruction.


Atlyria Banner
Atlyria sinks during the AetherstormAtlyria sinks during the Aetherstorm. [1]
The Fall and Rediscovery of the Atlyrian Empire

The Atlyrians were beautiful beyond belief

The Atlyrians were engineers beyond understanding

The Atlyrians were cruel beyond imagination

Opening lines of The Lost Continent,

by G.A. Falswin

In the apocalyptic final days of the Age of Forgotten Legends, a human tribe was spirited away by its gods to Atlyria, an uninhabited and isolated continent. As they worked to rebuild their shattered civilization, they were driven by a belief that their celestial heritage and the physical changes they had experienced during their exodus made them a chosen people entirely distinct from other humans. Terming themselves the “Luxin” race, they would build a continent-spanning civilization known as the Atlyrian Empire.

Harnessing technologies beyond compare and regarding arcane magic as blasphemy of the highest order, the Atlyrians launched a crusade against the world’s many magic-dependent civilizations. Atlyrian legions emerged from the seas, descended out of the skies, and even burrowed through the earth to pillage underground cities. The world buckled as nations began to break down under a century of regular attacks.

Suddenly the raids stopped and the Atlyrians abandoned their colonies overnight, their soldiers and war machines disappearing back to their homeland without explanation. Years passed with no sign of the invaders until a blinding light enveloped Atlyria, the sign of an unimaginably powerful explosion. Worldwide disaster ensued as great waves destroyed ports around the world, fire rained from the sky, and the sun dimmed for a decade.

While the catastrophe’s cause remains a mystery, the flaming debris raining from the sky worldwide led to the event becoming known as the “Aetherstorm.” In the decades-long environmental disaster it created, civilizations that had barely recovered from the Atlyrians’ predations collapsed worldwide and Atlyria became shrouded by a perpetual storm. As the world slowly rebuilt, Atlyria remained an enigma, hidden from mundane and magical attempts to uncover its secrets. That is, until 200 years ago, when the hurricane covering Atlyria suddenly dissipated and a collection of rival nations moved in to pick clean the Atlyrian Empire’s bones.

The continent they found was changed almost beyond recognition. No longer a coherent continental landmass, Atlyria had partially sunk, with only its hills and mountains remaining above the waves. A completely uninhabited land of archipelagos, shallow seas, and broken mountain ranges beckoned, and colonists flowed in by the thousands seeking their fortunes.

Seneschal automatonA seneschal automaton examines a broken piece of Atlyrian technology. [2]
The Legacy of the Atlyrian Empire
Atlyrian Automata

Possibly the Atlyrians’ greatest invention, automata are non-sentient constructs built around living organic cores which were used in a huge variety of civilian and military roles. Automata tilled fields, raised buildings, fought gladiators and served as the empire's shock troops. Extremely variable in design, automata range from dog sized pack hunters with sonic screams, to twelve-armed horrors with a propensity for dismembering intruders, to gargantuan colossi designed to level cities.

After the Aetherstorm killed their creators, tens of thousands of automata remained within buried ruins across Atlyria. Thanks to the Atlyrians’ artifice, most automata that survived the Aetherstorm remain fully functional to this day. Some stand completely stationary at their posts, while others slavishly follow their final orders, grinding grooves into the floor as they pace the same patrol for thousands of years.

The Technology Of A Fallen Empire

As the colonization of Atlyria continues, the Atlyrian Empire’s wondrous machines have become a curiosity the world over as scholars attempt to rediscover the scientific principles that drive them. While researchers are nowhere near recreating even their most basic devices, they understand that the Atlyrians based their technology on creating permanent rifts to other planes to continuously extract energy or materials. These rifts could be massive enough to power entire cities, or small enough to be contained within portable devices and weapons.

While small machines have been found above ground, Atlyrian technology becomes gargantuan in scale beneath the surface. While these engines mostly sit idle, some work towards purposes that elude even the most thorough scholars, occasionally manifesting active effects across the surface of Atlyria itself.

The Lost Gods Of Atlyria

The Atlyrians worshiped a pantheon of seven deities that seem to be unique to their civilization. Devotion to the gods was central to almost every aspect of the Atlyrian Empire, and altars and other dedications in their honor can be found scattered throughout Atlyrian ruins. Despite their prominence in Atlyria, these gods have never been seen since the Aethersorm. While some scholars believe that they died in the Aetherstorm, others believe that the deaths of an entire pantheon would have enormous aftereffects that would be clearly felt today. Many cults and scholars have become fixated on the idea that these lost gods of Atlyria are merely sleeping, awaiting a force strong enough to end their eternal slumber.

Map of AtlyriaA map of present day Atlyria. [3]
Modern Atlyria

While many attempts have been made to explore and colonize Atlyria, three nations’ proximity and strength has led to their domination of the sunken continent:

  • Galaren, a fading republic reeling after a devastating war.
  • Zamar, a cosmopolitan empire trapped in service to a ravenous god.
  • Lotharia, a merchant oligarchy struggling with internal religious strife.

While there are independent enclaves, almost all settlements in Atlyria can be divided into one of these six regions:

Key Locations

Nova Galaren

Galaren offered land, the tools needed to cultivate it, and free passage to any citizens who would immigrate to its colony, self-selecting independently minded settlers willing to take risks. As a result, Nova Galaren’s capitol of Haven was the first city founded in modern Atlyria and today, Nova Galaren is its most populous nation, sporting a much more individualistic culture than its collectivist mother country. In the aftermath of the Thunder War, Galaren has increased taxes and control over the previously autonomous Nova Galaren, resulting in a rising crisis that threatens to escalate into a revolution.

Zama’s Land

Zamar’s first colony, Zama’s Land was established as the emperor of Zamar’s personal property, where political prisoners who couldn’t officially be executed were dumped. For ten years, these prisoners toiled before seizing their freedom in a bloody uprising. Though Zamar has attempted to retake the colony several times, all efforts have been met with cataclysmic failure. Rumors persist that both the initial revolt and the defeat of subsequent invasions were enabled by the Atlyrian Empire’s automata rising in the prisoners’ defense.

New Zamar

New Zamar is in many ways alike to its homeland, but with its extremes laid bare. Its capital is the most cosmopolitan city in Atlyria, with a huge class of talented scholars, artisans and smiths. Meanwhile, in Adelene’s Sound, thousands of enslaved miners toil relentlessly under merciless wardens, extracting precious metals and gems to feed the ravenous Zamarian state. To deal with dragon and pirate attacks on its ships, vast Zamarian treasure fleets under heavy military guard assemble to cross the smoke and fog-choked Sea of Fire.

The Orichalcum Collective

These scattered mining outposts represent Lotharia’s only major colonial push in Atlyria, but under the West Atlyria Company’s absolute control, the wealth they generate outshines even the mines of Adelene’s Sound. Within this territory, Lotharia’s perpetually squabbling merchant lords have put aside their differences to monopolize the extraction of orichalcum, a green metal with wondrous physical and arcane properties found nowhere else in the world.

The Outlaw Isles

The Outlaw Isles are a scattering of independent ports famous for the disreputable characters they host. While these are most famously the pirates that prey on Zamarian ships in the Sea of Fire, there are also a multitude of cults, as well as a necromancer cabal settled in a cursed Atlyrian city. The largest of these ports is Dragon’s Watch, a city ruled by the ancient and powerful dragon Angharad the Traveler. In exchange for an anchorage immune to Zamarian reprisals, pirates gladly pay a tithe of their loot to Angharad’s increasingly vast horde. A thriving settlement has developed around these buccaneers, and against her better judgment, Angharad has begun to see the boisterous city outside her lair as an extension of her horde.

The Dawnbreaker Federation

A vastly less coherent entity than its name suggests, the Dawnbreaker Federation is in reality nothing more than a mutual defense pact signed by dozens of settlements around the exceptionally shallow Dawnbreaker Sea. These settlements are eclectic to the extreme, ranging from tiny swamp outposts to Firth, an underwater metropolis where merfolk have established an expansionist city-state with an eye towards becoming Atlyria’s underwater hegemon.

Thunder WarGalaren’s fleet advances on New Zamar during the Thunder War. [4]
The Thunder War

The most recent event to reshape Atlyria was the Thunder War, a conflict between Zamar and Galaren which exploded just one year ago. Zamar’s land forces attacked during a massive thunderstorm, catching Galaren flatfooted and naming the conflict. A long siege of Galaren’s capitol and national suffering looked inevitable, only for word to arrive of the incredible situation across the sea in Atlyria.

Half of Galaren’s fleet had been training in Atlyria and though it could not defend its homeland, it was perfectly positioned to attack Zamar’s colonies. A call for volunteers from Nova Galaren brought hordes of recruits eager to strike at their country’s perpetual foe and emancipate those it held in bondage. Catching New Zamar unawares, they smashed its defending fleet and conquered its outlying settlements before laying siege to its capital. Just as Nova Galaren’s colonial militias began organizing to take the city, news of a ceasefire suddenly arrived.

Both Galaren and Zamar realized they held a knife to each other’s throats, as without the continuous flow of wealth from its colonies, the shaky Zamarian state would collapse under its debts, even if it managed to take full control of Galaren. Despite the damage wrought on both sides, a white peace was signed as the two powers returned to their prewar borders. The colonial militias were furious to be stopped before liberating the city’s enslaved population and then outraged when the peace terms were disseminated. From the volunteers’ perspectives, their sacrifices had merely been used to balance the ledger against their motherland’s incompetence. 

Mitichon the DevourerA flotilla comes under attack by Mitichon the Devourer, one of the Storm Beasts. [5]
Other Notable Aspects of Atlyria

Reality Made Thin

The Aetherstorm’s impact didn’t merely stop at the physical, as even reality itself became scarred by its devastation. So much energy was released that it punched through the fabric of reality, briefly causing pieces of nearby worlds to overlap at the detonation’s hypocenter. While such an unnatural breach collapsed in seconds as the explosion expanded, such a cataclysmic wound could never fully heal. This weakness in reality has had enormous physical, cultural and ecological impacts across modern Atlyria.

A flight over Atlyria’s forests and grasslands provides clear evidence of this weakness, with vibrant red and blue trees, onyx black grasses and shimmering iridescent bushes poking out from an otherwise green landscape. These standouts are examples of the many species from other worlds that have naturalized and thrived in Atlyria. Entire industries have sprung up around exploiting the exceptionally valuable mundane and arcane properties of these interplanar immigrants.

Atlyria's Living Ruins

When the Aetherstorm sank Atlyria, it buried many temples, research facilities, and even entire cities. While some ruins are dark and broken places, others are alive with active power and show signs of rebuilding in the intervening millennia. Ruin delvers report encountering multitudes of bizarre traps, which remain functional and sometimes show signs of repair, suggesting that something is actively maintaining them to guard against intruders. Uncontained rifts of elemental power, invisible exsanguinating fields, and force whips designed to decapitate intruders are just a few of the traps delvers regularly encounter.

Despite the dangers, adventurers are drawn to these ruins for the vast wealth they contain. The Atlyrians pillaged the world for a century before the Aetherstorm, and within their ruins, the stolen treasures of the entire ancient world can be found. Ruin delvers have emerged carrying lost dwarven sagas, living elven statues, and artifacts from the Age of Forgotten Legends.

The Storm Beasts

Eight leviathans only seen when a tempest rages across the ocean’s surface, the Storm Beasts have prompted fear and fascination since the colonization of Atlyria began. Ranging from a massive sea serpent with centipede-like legs to a castle-sized sphere of flesh covered in hundreds of eyes and propelled by numerous flagella, the Storm Beasts are as diverse as they are misunderstood. Though most colonists consider them merely a physical hazard for ships and coastal settlements, those who study the arcane and esoteric arts understand that their influence is far wider and more insidious than their simple capacity for physical destruction.

CharactersFrom left to right: Amelia Aravina, Cassandra Raatan, Zilmis Uhmolath, Tamasha Sulio and Tajel the Chainbreaker. [6]

Potential Player Characters

Amelia Aravina

Archetype: Scholar

Race: Gorgon

A research assistant at Haven’s Charbonat College, Amelia’s nature as a gorgon tends to cause suspicion amongst those she meets. Still, her politeness and obvious competence as a researcher tend to win over those who know her. Amelia’s job sees her delving into Atlyrian ruins to recover lost knowledge and technology, a role in which she is given a great deal of independence. While she enjoys her position, she hopes her discoveries will bring enough prestige to see her promoted to a full professorship, despite the facility’s reluctance to give such a position to a gorgon like her.

Tamasha Sulio

Archetype: Warrior

Race: Luxin

An apprentice of Zamar’s Crimson Knights, Tamasha Sulio has worked her entire life to overcome the shadow of her Luxin ancestry. Belonging to a knightly order dedicated to protecting Zamar’s common folk, Tamasha struggles with serving an empire whose nobility seems to see them as nothing but a resource to be exploited. To assuage her conscience, Tamasha has thrown herself into tackling ever-greater threats to the common folk of Atlyria, hoping to one day find a solution to this seemingly impossible contradiction.


Archetype: Technologist

Race: Avesecra

Dawn is a member of the albatross-like Avesecra race who exhibited an intense curiosity about the world around him from the moment he hatched. Becoming fascinated by the Atlyrian technology he was exposed to during his aerie’s migrations, Dawn eventually stole several Atlyrian devices, a crime his clan eventually became aware of. Fleeing into a self-imposed exile before a judgment could be handed down, Dawn seeks some discovery or treasure that would buy forgiveness from his clan.

Marcel Marvolo

Archetype: Mage

Race: Halfling

As an orphan in Galaren’s overcrowded capital, Marcel managed to secure a scholarship to study magic at the University of Meridia. With a single-minded determination to not squander the life changing opportunity he had been given, Marcel excelled in the arcane arts and graduated at the top of his class. Seeing that Galaren is a very crowded place for wizards and fascinated by reports about unique and bizarre magical phenomena to be found in Atlyria, he set out to the sunken continent in search of adventure. Marcel hopes to make a name for himself through swashbuckling tales and magical discoveries.

Illana Vale

Archetype: Agent

Race: Human

Born in Zamar, Illana Vale came face-to-face with the horrific proclivities of her nation’s nobility when she was nearly sacrificed in a ritual to the dark god Thar’Xian. Escaping to Galaren, she drew the attention of the Mariners, Galaren’s intelligence service. Recruited and trained to be a field agent in Atlyria, Illana has grown increasingly uneasy with the echoes of Zamar that she sees in Galaren’s attitude towards its colonies. She hopes that her work in Atlyria can help calm the situation in the colonies, lest Galaren go to war with its children.

Other Notable People

Cassandra Raatan

Haven’s Amethyst Crown is an exclusive social club owned by a Luxin named Cassandra Raatan, who is known for her vast knowledge of historical trivia and her signature dark gray toga. While generally regarded as just a charming and somewhat eccentric woman of great wealth, for an exclusive clientele, she is known as the greatest information broker in all Atlyria, with access to secrets from across the continent. What even those in this inner circle don’t suspect is that Cassandra is working towards her own agenda, one which has been in motion since before the colonization of Atlyria began.

Jakob Mathys

As a child, Jakob Mathys was identified as an intellectual prodigy and given over to the best arcane tutors the reclusive nation of Zama’s Land could offer. During his education, Jakob took strongly to his country’s anti-Zamarian indoctrination, which allowed his instructors to overlook the troubling signs of an utterly amoral and manipulative mind. Though these traits are typical in criminals being sent to the gallows, they identified him as a promising candidate for his nation’s foreign intelligence service.

Today Jakob lives undercover in New Termessos, acting as a rare friendly face around the typically stern and serious Zamarian bureaucracy. In his true role, he reports on Zamarian troop movements, blackmails officials, and occasionally assassinates those who threaten Zama’s Land. Though loyal to his homeland, Jakob has also been working towards his own agenda, which threatens to reshape the very fabric of Atlyria.

Tajel the Chainbreaker

A pirate captain whose meteoric rise to prominence was enabled by the Thunder War’s chaotic aftermath, Tajel received her moniker by deliberately seeking out and freeing as many of those held in bondage as possible through attacks on Zamar’s ships within the Sea of Fire. Her formerly enslaved crew operate a captured Zamarian frigate renamed the Empress, whose history is decidedly murky. Rumors that she obtained her ship by single handedly slaughtering its Zamarian crew, or that her rise was enabled by a creature that lives on her ship’s hull, remain unsubstantiated.

Zilmis Uhmolath

As a hatchling, the lophiite Zilmis Uhmolath was taken in by the necromancers of Corpse Bight, who found his enthusiasm and cheerful nature a marked contrast from their normally dour brethren. As an apprentice, Zilmis was a mediocre reanimator, but he excelled at changing Atlyrian automata into undead puppets by corrupting their biological cores. Zilmas developed what was previously only a technique for use on smaller automata until he set his sights on the most grandiose target imaginable, a destroyed colossus automaton on Corpse Bight’s outskirts. After years of experimentation, the surviving organic core twitched and shuddered, becoming bloated with necromantic energy as the undead colossus unsteadily rose to its feet. With his masterpiece ambulating, Zilmas bid farewell to Corpse Bight and set out to find new test subjects.

Colossus automatonAn adventuring party discovers a partially reactivated colossus automaton. [7]
Treasures of Atlyria

Technological Wonders Of The Atlyrian Empire

The Atlyrian Empire produced a great variety of portable technological devices used for military and civilian purposes. At its core, each device has a component known as a planar siphon, which can draw energy and material from other worlds to power the device. Most famous among these devices are the weapons wielded by the Atlyrian legions during their crusades, which helped them smash much larger armies. Shields capable of negating magical attacks or emitting concussive blasts, bows that launch bolts of electrical energy, and armor capable of teleporting its wearer out of danger are just a few Atlyrian devices recovered by adventurers delving into their ruins.

Living Relics

As more and more expeditions have returned from Atlyrian ruins, a particular artifact class has confused scholars of the Atlyrian Empire. Rather than technological devices, these are biological organs that can grant unique abilities to their wielders while subtly influencing their behavior. Though most scholars assume these artifacts are variations of the biological cores used in automata, others have pointed out that there is next to no resemblance between the two, and that the Atlyrian legions were never recorded using them. Among ruin delvers, these items are called "living relics.” Rumors persist about living relics powerful enough to entirely dominate the minds of anyone attempting to wield them.

Treasures Of The Forgotten Gods

While their taboo against arcane magic resulted in the Atlyrians creating no enchanted items, they readily used magical items bequeathed by their gods. Most famously, each god had a legendary weapon that they gave to the Atlyrian held highest in their favor. Though most scholars believe them lost in the Aetherstorm, these treasures have been a constant draw for adventurers across Atlyria.

Statue of ZephraJakob Mathys examines a statue of Zephra, a lost Atlyrian goddess. [8]
Plot Lines

Beginning with a simple investigation into a crime spree in Nova Galaren’s capital of Haven, over the course of three quests, the party becomes drawn into efforts to reawaken the Atlyrian pantheon from its millennia long slumber by those who would use the power of these sleeping gods for their own ends. As information about the true nature of the Atlyrian Empire’s destruction is uncovered, the stakes are raised and the dangers escalate. After secrets and deceptions are revealed, the first of the Atlyrian gods is awakened, and the party becomes the only thing standing between a fanatic’s hatred and the destruction of an entire nation.

1. Revolutionaries, Cultists And Charlatans

Guards and the Guarded

The head of Haven’s City Watch has a problem with a group called the Navigators, who are committing serious crimes around Haven, as well as agitating for Nova Galaren’s independence. Concerned that a direct investigation by the City Watch might give a false impression of a crackdown on dissent in Haven, he contacts the party to act as outside investigators.

Traitors and Revolutionaries

A search sees the party contact a member of the Navigators, who invites them to meet her leader and “see if they have the stomach to save Nova Galaren.” They are taken to a warehouse next to the Amethyst Crown, a high-end social club, only to enter a hidden passageway dug into the club’s basement, which turns out to be a small Atlyrian ruin converted into storage space. 

Within the basement, hooded figures holding unlit lamps stand in reverence before a statue of a winged woman wearing a stola and raising a lamp in one hand. Disconcertingly, there appears to be a slow drip of blood coming from the statue’s lamp. Their leader steps forward in greeting, explaining that the “lady of light” has given them an opportunity to free their homeland from Galarenian tyranny. He is pleased to see new recruits, but warns that they must prove their loyalty with a traitor’s blood. While he has been speaking, pained moans can be heard from a large crate in the room.

Asking why they want to join, the leader listens to the party’s cover story before nodding and saying, “Now the lady of light will confirm you speak truly.” For a moment, the statue’s lamp and eyes all flash blue before he angrily shouts, “Spies and traitors!” and the cult members draw weapons and advance.

A Fake Cult to a Dead God

After the cult’s defeat, opening the crate reveals a scrawny man covered in bruises who cowers before realizing his ordeal is over. Relieved at surviving he explains that he’s the cult’s founder, though he just started the group to meet friends and seem more important before being usurped by his second-in-command. He has no idea why the statue began to glow, as it’s just a prop he found in the Amethyst Crown’s basement. He only used it because it looked mysterious enough to make it seem like his cult had an ancient lineage, instead of being wholly invented by a charlatan.

Follow-up research reveals that the “lady of light” is really a statue of one of the Atlyrian Empire’s gods known by scholars as Zephra the Messenger. More confusingly, despite the displayed powers, the god is generally assumed to have died in the Aetherstorm, as no evidence for her survival has been uncovered since.

IxigothFishermen wander too close to an ixigoth’s nest. [9]

2. Thieves in the Abyss

An Unexpected Invitation

Cassandra Rataan, the proprietress of the Amethyst Crown, invites the party to her study, a room filled with artifacts from the Atlyrian Empire. She has uncovered the location of one of the living caves known as “flesh caverns” found in Atlyria’s ocean trenches and proposes a difficult-but-lucrative job: she wants the party to infiltrate the cavern and recover as many skepsaad (a type of living relic) as possible. She promises a reward for returning with at least one, and a bonus for each additional skepsaad recovered.

A Taboo Broken

After descending into the dark depths of Atlyria’s ocean, the party encounters a friendly lophiite, who directs them to the cavern they’re seeking. However, he warns that his people avoid these places, as they hold the remains of the gods who once enslaved the lophiites and are guarded by their thralls. Outside the cavern, the party finds a millennia old battlefield where dozens of automata lie twisted and shattered, including a colossus automaton torn in half at the waist. From outside, the cavern’s entrance resembles a massive, fleshy tumor covered in giant tube worms suddenly rising out of the otherwise featureless benthic plain.

Upon entering, it is immediately apparent that the lophiite’s warning was well justified. Inside are multitudes of horrifying creatures that react violently to outsiders, and even the cavern’s very walls are alive and hostile, attempting to reach out and harm those who stay in one place for too long. Eventually, the party enters a chamber where around a dozen living relics are found, including five skepsaad, as well as an enraged ixigoth acting as their guard. Anyone who handles a skepsaad experiences visions of life from the Atlyrian Empire’s height, including market scenes, gladiatorial games, and a visit to Atlyria’s central forum. Disconcertingly, these memories show an empire that was deeply fearful of attacks and infiltration by a mysterious foe powerful enough to threaten the strongest force the world has ever seen. Most intriguing, in one memory, a painting of a Luxin woman who exactly resembles Cassandra can be seen.

A Woman Out of Time

Upon the party’s return, Cassandra is thrilled at how many skepsaad the party members have recovered. If the painting is mentioned, Cassandra cooly reminds them that a condition of their hiring was discretion. After all, she doesn’t want any salacious rumors spreading based on what amounts to a memory of a coincidence. She politely but strongly hints at severe consequences if such rumors were to spread.

As long as the party doesn’t attempt to use what they saw against her, Cassandra thanks them for their service and promises more work in the future if they maintain discretion about the job. If enough trust can be built, in time Cassandra may reveal her true nature, as well as the purpose for the strange job she sent them on.

Controlling ZephraJakob Mathys attempts to bring the Atlyrian god Zephra under his direct control. [10]

3. A God in Shackles

A Mysterious Visitor 

While out in Haven, the party encounters Jakob Mathys, a cheerful man who has come to present an intriguing offer. He’s identified a previously unexplored Atlyrian temple and offers to give the party information on how to enter and loot it if they’ll activate a device of obviously Atlyrian origin that he provides in the temple’s inner sanctum. He explains that the device will map the temple as it once was as part of a project researching Atlyrian technology.

A Suspicious Series of Devices

Upon activating the device, the party is transported to the realm of the Atlyrian god Zephra, whose herald, Litzen, is initially shocked by his first visitors in millennia, and then ecstatic when Zephra’s unconscious form begins to briefly stir. He begs the party to plant more devices to help reawaken Zephra, who has been trapped in a deep sleep since the fall of Atlyria. Jakob is ready to provide access to more devices and temples, however, it gradually becomes apparent that his intentions are impure, to say the least.

In addition to gradually awakening Zephra, Jakob’s devices are enforcing a hypnotic conditioning that will force her to obey his commands. He intends to use her power to first destroy New Termessos, then all of New Zamar, if possible. While this would kill thousands of innocents, he sees this as an acceptable sacrifice to drive Zamar out of Atlyria. Depending on the party’s actions, they may have some or all of this figured out when Jakob asks them to plant the final device in Zephra’s temple on top of Atlyria’s tallest mountain east of New Termessos.

Jakob Mathys Plays his Final Card

If the party plants the final device: Once Zephra fully awakens, it becomes clear that she is not fully under her own power. Her herald is horrified and becomes hostile, attacking the party unless calmed down. However, Jakob’s control is tenuous, and he requires some time to actually direct the god’s behavior, creating an opportunity to thwart his plans. If the party fails to stop Jakob, Zephra summons a hurricane of such power that it wipes New Termessos off the map before she can shake Jakob’s control.

If the party refuses to plant the final device: Jakob is disappointed but insinuates that he is fully capable of planting the final device before teleporting away. The party will need to chase after the powerful mage to reach the final temple for a climactic confrontation in Zephra’s realm, possibly with her herald’s assistance. If Jakob is killed after the final device activates, Zephra awakens, but with Jakob dead, her conditioning is moot and she can act of her own free will.

Assuming Jakob is stopped before he can force Zephra to destroy New Termessos, the deity is enormously grateful both for being awakened and being freed from Jakob’s influence. Despite the Atlyrian Empire’s fearsome reputation, she is a kindly god, averse to violence and horrified at what she was almost compelled to do. Though Zephra is greatly diminished after her long slumber, she is able to grant the party several boons, including her legendary weapon, the Tonitrus Wings.

Searching Jakob’s body reveals extensive research notes on how to awaken a member of the Atlyrian pantheon. Recent notes reveal the devices which awakened Zephra came from an anonymous benefactor. Jakob’s suspicions, however, led him to investigate until he uncovered his benefactor’s identity… Cassandra Rataan.

Sidequests and Potential Future Arcs

While these three quests could make up the entirety of the tale, it’s also possible that they might only be the first arc in the Sleeping Gods Saga, which sees the rest of the Atlyrian pantheon awakened, or in one case, resurrected, while the ancient and alien forces responsible for the Atlyrian Empire’s death begin to reassert their power over modern Atlyria.

Outside of the three main quests, there is the potential for a multitude of side quests where the party can help solve problems and uncover mysteries across Atlyria. Some of these include:

The Breaker of Cities: The necromancer Zilmis Umohlath has recently succeeded in corrupting the organic core of his magnum opus, a colossus automaton. He has taken his undead pet on a joyride, destroying small towns around the Dawnbreaker Federation. The party must race to level the playing field against an automaton built to flatten entire cities before they can confront the deranged necromancer.

The Church of the Lady Ascendant: Angharad the Traveller, the draconic dictator of Dragon’s Watch, has a problem: a cult purporting to worship her as a living god has committed a series of thefts across her city. While she has no issues being worshiped, “stealing from another’s horde” is an intolerable crime, and the party is recruited to track down and stop the mysterious thieves.

Infiltration and Emancipation: Tajel the Chainbreaker is looking for outside help with a plan to raid one of Zamar’s mines in Adelene’s Sound and emancipate its miners. She needs the party to infiltrate the Zamarian sea fort that guards the sound’s eastern entrance and sabotage the harbor chain that controls access so her ship can slip in and out before a response can be mustered.

Imagery Credits

[Banner Image] Art commissioned from Alexey Chernik. Contact him for commissions at [email protected]  

[1] Stock Art by Liu Zishang.

[2] Art commissioned from Alexey Chernik. Contact him for commissions at [email protected]  

[3] Map of Atlyria by Author.

[4] Stock Art by Liu Zishang.

[5]Stock art by Dimart Graphics.

[6] Art commissioned from mattrdl. Contact him for commissions at [email protected]

[7] Stock Art by SimpleB.

[8] Stock Art by Liu Zishang.

[9] Dagon by Enmanuel "Lema" Martinez.

[10] Stock Art by Liu Zishang.

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