Inspirations: Crusades, Black Plague, Dark Souls, Mask of the Red Death
Play this Setting if: You want to explore the morality of martyrdom, in suffering for the betterment of others. The Plaguelands is a setting about sickness and healers, the faithful and the faithless, the safety in numbers, and the dangers of the unknown.
The Plaguelands is a world of faith and affliction. The people cling to baronies surrounding an inland sea, known as the Great Lake. These baronies are guided by a religion that worships the Sacred Blood. This blood is essential to protecting the people from the ravages of the Plague, as the Plague is almost unavoidable. The Sacred Blood emanates spontaneously from those who brush closely with death. The few who are protected call themselves Blessed. The Unblessed are the rare and unfortunate few who succumb to the Plague, but do not immediately perish. Instead the Plague slowly rots the Unblessed bodies, eventually melting their flesh and bones, but not before deadening their nerves and driving them mad.
The Plaguelands practice a form of magic known as the Mercies of the Sacred Blood. Practitioners are commonly called Martyrs. Primarily, this magic is used by the Blessed to protect themselves from the Plague. It takes an understanding of the blood to protect the people and the farmlands, making those who practices the Mercies indispensable for the baronies. The Mercies can also be used to draw powerful magics by causing suffering within the soul of the Martyrs. This suffering can be used to heal others or smite foes of the Martyr.
Characters from the Plaguelands tend to dress in early Medieval era clothing. Tunics, breeches, and simple dresses are common. The colors white and red have a religious significance to the people of the Sacred Blood. Conversely, the Unblessed who find themselves out of the baronies tend to wear ramshackle clothing and piecemeal armor. They salvage whatever they can find in the brutal badlands outside of the baronies.