Empyrea

The Penultimate Destination setting is chiefly centered around the lands of Empyrea, floating in the Great Void. No one is exactly certain what the Great Void is, with theories ranging from a gap in spacetime between worlds, to an unformed world that seeks out something to define itself with. In the end, the only thing that matters is this: people and things tend to slip between the 'cracks' of their own worlds and fall into the Great Void, and getting out is difficult. Getting out to where you want to go is much, much more difficult.

Early History

The earliest arrivals had the greatest influence, as the formless Void manifest objects and even land and water from the subconscious desires and needs of those around it, but newer arrivals find their influence, individually, lessened by the presence of so many others. The First Three formed the land of Empyrea, the three siblings arriving to immediately create a sprawling landscape from their desires. The siblings were close, so some common elements helped to form the land into a somewhat cohesive whole.

No one remembers their names, but according to tales the three could not reach an agreement on how the land and newcomers would be treated. Instead of a unified whole, they formed an uneasy accord, with each retreating to their own section of Empyrea to establish its rules as they desired. In time these rules became altered and grew, most now possessing a labyrinthine set of laws that few can fully comprehend. The spirit of the Three is intact, however.

Regions

The three founding Regions consist of Apos, the central region which maintains a nominally 'normal' existence, which is connected to Diony, the City of Splendor, which is a much more public and hedonistic place. Finally, the vast wilderness areas are largely dominated by Cerel, holding the bulk of natural land, farmland, and rural areas.

Despite being in a Great Void, Empyrea largely looks like a normal world, though many feel something is slightly 'off' due to the lack of curvature of the land. The stars are often different as well.

Cosmology

When going about day to day affairs, Empyrea seems much like any other world. It has gravity, air, a sun and a moon in the sky, and stars at night, and even has magnetic north. For the
average person on the street, the stars in the sky may be unfamiliar but the world goes on as it did anywhere else.

This falls apart when reaching the boundaries of Empyrea. Empyrea is not a sphere floating
in space, but a slightly convex disc floating in the Void. The boundaries fluctuate somewhat, but
approaching the edge the ground is more broken, physics is more off and wild, and eventually the
frayed edges of the disc break off into the raw chaos of the Void.

The Sun is much closer than that of a standard planet, but it is a small fiery ball in the
sky maintained through unknown means. The moon is also close by, and is a small and barren sphere. Past the influence of Empyrea itself, the Void becomes inhospitable, much like actual space could be. The Void sometimes has regions of air within it, or local gravity, but can mostly be navigated like space. It is not uncommon to find small landmasses like tinier versions of Empyrea floating in the Void, and spacefarers often make a living finding exotics in these little islands to bring back to Empyrea. These islands are sometimes stars, and other times the stars are minor suns for said islands. Other times, the stars are giant shining gems in the sky, or just points of light. Physics do not seem to be standardized.

The Void

The Void, or Great Void to some, is the source of everything but the people themselves. Formless chaos tends to react to sapient thought, solidifying and making a liveable area. While the number of sapients has increased to an amount that no single person can easily form their thoughts into something of use, the Void still has a dramatic effect on the lives of some.

The most common effect is how the Void will often enforce local laws that adjust a person's body, outlook, or both. Some are less affected than others, but it is not uncommon for aging to slow, stop, reverse, or accelerate when exposed to the Void.

It is also not too strange for localized time distortions to become a problem. Some may spend a week in their home to find only one day has passed outside, while another time they may go to sleep one night and find that for everyone else, weeks have passed. This is not all that common, else it would be hard to hold down a job, but the phenomenon is known to most who have been in Empyrea for any length of time.

Currency

Apos and Diony technically have their own coinage, but they are essentially interchangeable for most services. Cerel has no official coinage, and largely operates on barter, but some living there may accept coinage from the other two realms.

Obtaining income is up to each individual, and is usually done by taking up a day job of some sort, or by selling off materials that they arrived into Empyrea with. Making enough for a decent apartment and living expenses is not particularly difficult, and Apos and Diony both offer starter loans at reasonable rates to get new arrivals on their feet. Diony's interest terms tend to be better, but failure to pay can result in enslavement, while Apos offers a more standard loan agreement.

Very little is outright free in Empyrea, but basic housing, food, and clothing is usually affordable. With the extensive magic and high technology available, basic necessities are cheap to produce and still turn a profit. Handmade materials and exotic luxuries are the main source of high
ticket items.

Nobles, by virtue of owning land that they can tax to a small degree, rarely have day jobs. Citizens may also have stockpiled money, so having an IC job is not required if the player desires. This system is in place so that players may have their characters be homeless and desperate, or wealthy and extravagant, as they desire.

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