A Brave New World
Welcome to Earth, one very much unlike your own. One in which the Western Roman Empire never fell to the barbarian incursions, or to the military in-fighting. As a matter of fact, the Roman Empire still exists in the lands you know as Italy and Spain. To the North is the Carolingian Empire, founded by Charlemagne, which spans the length of Europe from the English Channel to the Carpathian Mountains, the width from the Alps to the Scandinavian tribal lands. Brittany is just coming out of civil war, stronger and under the rule of the Tudors, though harried by Vikings, who still inhabit the cold North and now employ gun powder and steam ships to pillage the unprotected.
The European peninsula is filled with iron tracks criss-crossing the countryside, factories in cities spitting out black smog, and mines riddling the mountains. Magic has been smothered in iron and pollution, and the gods have been all but forgotten. Shipping conglomerates and the disillusioned alike, seek a new land to revive coffers and spirits. Some send more ships and people to the exotic locales in India and the Orient. However, eventually, eyes turn to the unknown West.
It is 2354 AUC (ab urbe condita), figured as AD 1601 by the Christian Byzantine Empire. Steam power has made trains, dirigibles, clockwork machines, and steamships possible. The New World is barely touched, each Empire holding a small portion of the eastern seaboard. Enterprising settlers have pushed inland to build fortified cities and outposts, laying the track as they go to stay connected to the civilized world.
The shipping interests have found many new foods, spices, and materials to ship back to the masses in Europe. Those that still worship the old gods mutter about the presence of magic and monsters, disturbed and excited by the prospect. Many are uneasy around the dark-skinned natives, especially given their lack of surprise at the European influx on their shores. The Eastern tribes were helpful and accepting, but retreated into the woodlands of the Appalachian foothills when the Europeans began to gobble up land, making war noises. The superstitious muttered about dark forests, and the British muttered about the old stories of Sidhe, not many willing to risk following the natives. Those who did take the risk either never came back or came back stark-raving mad about monsters and beautiful demons.
Fortified towns and outposts that reside outside the coastal cities have come to an understanding: if the Europeans do not get too inquisitive, the Natives are downright friendly, though there are stories from those who have crossed the river called Mississippi. They say that the plains on the other side are filled with blood thirsty savages that can run like the wind and command the earth to their bidding.
So if you are looking for a new adventure, a place that may still hold magic and monsters, maybe even the gods, then there is a lot of land to cover in the New World…