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Q: Why is the setting called The Fourth World?
A: This is the Fourth Cycle, as the gods see it. Three times before they have made mortal races for their own amusement, each Cycle having its own races and civilisations rising and falling.
Q: What happened in the other three cycles?
A: The gods make mortals imperfectly. In previous ages, some races grew into hubris and cruelty, orchestrating not only their own downfall but the downfall of their neighbors as well. Some grew prideful and indolent, and their decaying societies fell apart around them. Few survive in any form in the modern age.
Q: There are five races in the Fourth World?
A: There are five made by the gods. Other exist aside from them, some having existed in some form before even the gods themselves. Of the races the gods have populated this Cycle with – humanity, made first, are the most numerous in almost all the worlds. The elves, made second, were made immortal in body yet fragile in mind. Naga, made third, are reclusive and secretive to a fault. Rakshasa, made fourth, were made as competitors to the more entrenched races already spreading across the worlds. Last are the Cantesavra, made to be superior to all others.
Q: There are races that the gods didn’t make?
A: There are, but their stories come at another time.
Q: How is magic seen and used in the Fourth World?
A: Magic is commonly seen as magical, but not supernatural. While impressive, people know it exists and won’t take it as an act of god. Most magic users are born with the ability, but there are ways that magic can be learned. A Shaper conjuring illusions for entertainment in a small town will be as well received as a troupe of acrobats. A Warlock who disappears into thin air will be assumed to have used magic, and not just having ceased to exist.
Q: How many worlds are there?
A: Out of known populated worlds? Each Cycle has seen a dozen or so worlds rise to prominence. In full total? Few if any know. Perhaps the immortal dragons, but rarely to they divulge anything. Some of the worlds aren’t even linked by the Helions.
Q: Who built the Helions?
A: Ah, but that would be telling. Suffice to say that while the makers of the Helion may be almost entirely unknown to the mortals of the Fourth World, they are not gone.
Q: Who controls the Helions, or polices them?
A: That depends on the region in which the device is located. Few groups have the resources or motivation to police the Helions over many worlds.
Q: Are the Helions the only way to move between worlds?
A: They are the most useful, but far from the only way.
Q: How common is travel across worlds?
A: That depends on the world, as some see more travel than others. Generally, it isn’t so common as to have friends and family across multiple worlds, although merchants and guilds may do business across many worlds. Spices and trade move across the more populated and ell-known worlds as markets demand rare goods from distant lands.
Q: How developed are the various worlds?
A: Some worlds have a level of development equivalent to our own feudal periods. Most know how to work iron and sometimes steel, most have large stone and wooden structure, and some have plumbing. Other worlds have seen less development, who populace lives as scattered nomads or as early civilisations.
Q: Any instances of adventurers looting everything in sight?
A: In more civilised regions, this is known as banditry and punished appropriately. In wilder regions, one might make a fortune be charting hostile lands and “liberating” all sorts of things, although their owners might be displeased…