Aquoria: The Edge of the Knife
Background: The Enclave Of The Swordbinder
Thousands of people from every race and class mill about just outside the Anythist fortress of the Swordbinder. These are the refugees of a war against the Godseekers, fought for the freedom of the planet Aquoria. Once grateful just to be alive, as our story opens and the players begin their adventure- the Swordbinder’s Enclave teeters between order and chaos. Food is scarce and often fought over; and safety is less and less certain as the desperate and degenerate band together and roam the rutted paths that pass for streets.
Every night, firelight brightens the hundred campsites and around nearly every fire bards sing songs and tell stories of the war. Their voices and instruments boom as the silent assembly listens to how love turned back darkness and death. At the heart of the tale is the Swordbinder, a human girl named Ceryn. Ceryn was born to wield weapons of great power against a perhaps greater threat, the Godseekers. The weapons of the Swordbinder are well known to anyone born on Aquoria; seven great swords, each possessing powers born of mystic forging.
The spell used to forge the swords gave them powerful magics, but bound their use to girls born of a single family. Anyone else who tried to wield the swords would be killed, driven insane, or have the blade blown from their hands, sometimes along with their hands. There is a very popular song in the camps that tells of Ceryn being shown her destiny to fight and die and fleeing, only to find herself shipwrecked on an island-sized turtle swimming across the Fell Sea. There she stayed till she was rescued by a party of adventurers carrying the first sword.
Everyone has their favorite part of the tale that follows; how the group of adventurers find the remainder of the swords, fighting the Godseekers and their minions at every turn. How members of the party fall and rise and make mistakes but come through in the end. Every bard has a version of how Warren, the wizard of the party, made a deal with something distant and dark to find a way to allow each of them to wield a sword; so that in the end Ceryn didn’t have to wield them all and die. There is hardly a dry eye when Loquellis the loquacious sings his ballad of Ceryn slipping away from her friends to face the Godseekers alone; how the swords began to push her out of reality with paradox and discord so she can use seven swords at once. He tells the tale of her nearly dying; then the music changes as she is saved by Ranzig, the ranger who had led the party Ceryn had joined and fallen in love with her along the way.
The wizard’s item doesn’t keep the final quest for the Godseekers from being long and bloody. The battles raged across the continent for more than a month. Cities were destroyed, forests burned, many lives lost, and many more were made refugees. The ending came on the plains west of Bridgeport, where a ritual is enacted to banish the Godseekers. The seven members of the party faced off with all four of the Godseekers at once, slaying then containing them outside reality.
On the eve of the battle, the party used the power of the swords to raise a place of safety in the southwestern foothills. Refugees for 500 miles in every direction followed the words of the old song and gathered at the Swordbinder’s fortress in hopes of finding safety and building a community. At first there is shock and jubilation that the world has been saved, but as food runs low and tempers flare the atmosphere is tense and fearful. It is into this world rebuilding from war, a world where nothing is certain, that the players begin their adventures.