Atlantis: The Second Age is set in Earth, a thousand years before the common era (BCE), in a Heroic Bronze Age where the world’s myths are all too true, and the cataclysm that sunk Atlantis was only partially effective, leaving an advanced civilization that had mastered magic in the center of the Atlantean (Atlantic) Ocean, scrabbling for lost prestige and power.
Players assume the roles of adventurers and heroes in this New Age, set to created myths and legends of their own…
The characters will all be somewhat down on their luck, looking for employment in the Vanir city of Aesgard (in Hyperborea). They will be *interested* in working with a team of competent individuals (if you aim to make a loner, I aim to have the badguys target you first) in *high threat* combat environments. (In this case, it's only high threat generally... it should be a little lower threat than the first adventure, because you'll start with bonus XP.... about 100 points worth).
Nobody will be starting with higher than 0 Renown, so you each will have a reference to a somewhat disreputable mercenary company that is looking for a few hired hands to settle an amber dredging dispute in the forests of Haloga. The general tone of this work is going to be somewhat shady.. the group will be free to do something else / find other employment after obtaining / completing this first contract, but only if *everyone* wants to.
Having an idea for what kind of mercenary you'll be playing is highly encouraged. Making decisions about their morality (for anything more detailed than "flexible") would be a mistake this early in the process (or even before a couple sessions in, honestly).
You character doesn't need to be a combat specialist. But, absolutely, positively, if your character is a feeb in combat, you will be making a new one within a session or two. Everyone knows enough about the combat system (and will know more by the time we gen characters) that there isn't any excuse for getting one-shotted.
To many in the Second Age, the Mountain Elves are simply a legend. However, they do exist in the alpine wilderness of Hyperborea, and some say deep in the Black Mountains of Europa.
The Dwarves of Hyperborea call them Thiazi, and the legends of the Northmen speak of a race of beings descended from the blood of giants and the old gods themselves. They are in fact cousins of the High Elves and Wood elves but all similarities end there. Thiazi culture is much more primitive than the other elven cultures and is centered on religion.
Generally speaking, the Nether race has unfortunately “inherited” the worst traits of both their human and goblin ancestors. Although there are exceptions, most Nethermen are prone to be violent, cruel, and cunning, and have no great liking for any of the other humanoid races. As a race they have little talent for magic, most being skilled as warriors, spies, rogues and assassins. Certain tribes of Nethermen have their own shamans or witch doctors, however.
Though most Nethermen clans are nomadic by nature, some few build permanent villages and settlements in certain wilderness areas. Such villages tend to be small and crudely built, often having stockade or earthenwork walls surrounding them. Those Nethermen who choose to live amongst humans are most often employed as mercenary soldiers, caravan guards and so forth.
The Cimmerians generally live in small communal bands of 10 to 40 individuals. Their villages are simple, each family having a single hut constructed and stretches along the southern coast of wood and roofed with green hides or thatch. Most often, the village will be enclosed in a stockade-type fence made of heavy, wooden posts. Some will also have goat pens and sheds for the drying and curing of hides.
Though they are a fairly primitive folk, the Cimmerians know how to work iron, which they use for tools, axeheads, arrow-heads, and swords. Some say that they learned this skill from the dwarves of the Rhiphaen Mountains, with whom the Cimmerians sometimes trade. As their swords are generally of good to excellent quality, there may well be some truth to this claim.
For the most part, the Cimmerians are a peaceful people who rarely fight amongst themselves. They have no love for the haughty Vanir, however, and will band together to defend against their raiding parties. A particularly savage or damaging attack will sometimes motivate a large band of Cimmerians to launch a counterstrike against a Vanir settlement. As Cimmerian warriors are often somewhat poorly equipped (leather or furs, shields, bows, swords, or axes) such attacks usually take the form of ambushes, night raids, and similar covert actions. In this type of fighting, the forest-bred Cimmerians generally excel.
The Vanir are accomplished shipbuilders and skilled seamen. Their vessels - modeled after the Jotun’s dragon ships - are swift and sturdy, and can hold as many as 100 men. A clan will generally have from 1 to 3 such ships, each outfitted with both oars and sail. The larger ships will sometimes be outfitted with a light catapult, which may be used to hurl flaming missiles or stones.
An aggressive and warlike people, the Vanir revel in battle. They often set sail in their warships in order to raid the coastal villages of Cimmeria, northern Europa, and even Iber and Alba. Such raids are usually swift and savage in nature; the Vanir often put villages to the torch, slay all male occupants, and carry off the women (whom they use as slaves).
Note: This map contains errors