RPG Hell (will I ever come up with a real name) is the story of a young man named Vitrail Alkester who's told he's the Chosen One(TM) and must save the world!! Which he accomplishes by recruiting a bunch of blatantly villainous criminals using the power of his endearing optimism!!!!!! But that's not what this post is about. This is about the setting itself!
RPG Hell takes place on the planet of Holann, an isolated planet unaware of other life in the universe much like Earth. Due to its location in a particularly desolate part of the universe, it's been untouched by other civilizations. This perhaps is for the best, as Holann has a rare abnormality: for some reason, its core radiates soul energy in abundance, absorbing latent soul energy in the universe (a concept I'll go into in some other post, probably about Entirety theory and its structure) and pulsing it outward into the planet. This creates pools and streams of soul energy underground in Hell, springs of soul energy on the surface, and a constant influx of monsters and fae being formed.
Holann is pretty Earth-like, having a similar sun, a moon, a variety of biomes, and animal species that almost entirely match Earth's because creativity is hard fuck you!!! I'm still working out the geography cuz I wanna try making a map to define different areas more, but there are a lot of different places and races and whatnot and I'll talk about that in another post. There are five categories of sentient species on Holann:
- Humans: Normal human beings that are basically identical to Earth humans. The only differences are hair and eye colors having more variety, magic usage being relatively common, and slower physical aging. There are a number of different races just like on Earth, though overall Holann humans are more united than Earth humans. Humans and their races, culture, etc. will be elaborated on in their own post.
- Demons: Refers to the sapient beings that originate from Hell: Dragons, Devils, and Imps. Despite technically being three different species, they're all referred to as demons and seldom refer to themselves as anything other than demons. They have a tumultuous relationship with humans, at times coexisting with them but oftentimes terrorizing them. They feed on souls, making them naturally conflict with other Holann species. They'll also be elaborated on in their own post.
- Fae: Small beings made of pure soul energy, simply appearing out of soul pools and the plant life that grows by them. They tend to be very small, rarely growing beyond 1'0". There are three different varieties of fae: Imps (fae residing in Hell,) Fairies (fae residing on the surface,) and High Fae (fae of advanced age who live in isolated communities,) though often all of them are just called fairies. They are preyed upon by demons and monsters and also have a poor history with humans: they tend to either not be taken seriously due to their size, abducted and sold as pets, killed or subjugated for use as magic batteries, or used for research and testing. Because of the wrongs they've suffered, they actively avoid other beings and form colonies in isolated places. They'll also get their own post!
- Monsters: Beings created from non-sentient entities, such as objects, rocks, plants, etc. Due to the abnormal soul flow on Holann, these entities sometimes collect so much soul energy that they are brought to life and subsequently evolve into monsters, especially in areas close to soul pools, streams, and springs. Monsters ravenously crave soul energy to stabilize themselves, hunting any other being with a soul and prompting the organization of monster hunters. If they consume enough souls they begin to grow sapient and human-like, absorbing knowledge and emotions from their victims. These "advanced monsters" are controversial figures: eventually in terms of personality and mental function they become indistinguishable from humans and therefore it's immoral to slay them, but they only got that way by devouring the souls of countless humans... Maybe they'll get their own post because this is getting kinda long?? who knows
- Animals: Normal animals. Yeah. It's rare for them to become corrupted by soul energy, but still possible should they be fed sufficient amounts of soul energy - this mostly happens with animals who exist in or around large sources of soul energy as it quenches thirst just as water does.
The origins of various species are a mystery, as Holann's unorthodox structure (Hell being not far below the surface and the core of the planet being made of soul energy, essentially maintaining everything via magic) isn't conducive to creating a decent fossil record. As far as anyone is aware, all beings have existed since the dawn of time... however long that is. It's assumed fae and monsters existed first due to the soul flow always being present, with humans perhaps being evolved fae or monsters from an unknown object. It's suggested that then animals evolved from monsters and demons are actually soul-corrupted humans - something assumed to be impossible. There have been legends of corrupted humans, but all treated as myths.
Records such as ancient art and writing seem to indicate that all species cooperated with each other on and off - there were even some humans who lived in Hell, and interbreeding - while not exactly commonplace - wasn't unheard of. But as they do in modern times, they had long periods of conflict and war - mostly over the inherently predatory nature of demons toward humans and fae. As of RPG Hell demons have been banished from the surface and unwelcome to society for a bit over a century. This followed a devastating war between demons and humans, initiated by demons in an attempt to subjugate humans and gain control over the entirety of the planet. The humans managed to fight them back into Hell, with prominent demon war leaders either being slain or withdrawing for various reasons. Since then most passageways to and from Hell have either been closed up or heavily guarded, with demon-slaying considered a noble profession to keep humanity safe. Fae remain estranged from humans, but since the war humans have attempted to patch up relations.
Due to magic being a fact of life (though not something everyone has) and constant conflicts with demons halting progress, technology has evolved differently than on Earth. Televisions, for example, have only started becoming commonplace. Phones aren't that common, either. Automobiles are uncommon and lack the support of a road system. Additionally, since fossil fuels aren't really a thing due to the aforementioned structure of the planet, electronics are instead powered by solar, wind, or soul energy. It's more convenient to use magic to communicate or transport, whether it's one's own magic, the magic of a professional magic-user, or magic from various soul energy-fueled facilities. Because of this, magic users often have a higher place in society and tend to be wealthier than those without magic. The power imbalance isn't too severe, though, but there are of course exceptions everywhere. That's for the human post, though! Technology is extremely rare among non-humans, with non-humans relying exclusively on magic for their needs.
Much of Holann's history is poorly recorded with most knowledge being passed through word of mouth. Only the past thousand years or so have proper record-keeping. Furthermore, much of ancient recorded knowledge is contained deep in Hell, left by all sorts of species discussing all sorts of things. Historians are desperate to get to this information, but due to how dangerous Hell is and how uncooperative demons tend to be with humans (much preferring to devour their souls and make a nice side from their flesh) this information is generally considered lost to time. This causes conflict for our "heroes:" supposedly the great evil Vitrail must slay arises every thousand years, but records from that time are extremely spotty and no one really knows what Seven Obligatory Plot Coupons the group is supposed to be collecting to stop it...
And, uhh... that's it! Everything else either fits into a species discussion post (which covers both physiology and sociology) or a future geography post, so yeah!!