Shadow of the Order
Paltrop's "Comprehensive Map of Acara and Her Numerous Lands"
Acara is a world approaching full knowledge of its own borders. Home to many kingdoms and a diverse array of races and cultures, the current age is one of exploration and discovery, though this age is quickly coming to an end as much of the world has now been mapped and studied.
History and Culture
At one point, Acarans were a deeply religious people, worshipping a pantheon of gods on a daily basis, believing their divine order controlled every aspect of their lives. This time period is referred to as "The Age of Shadows" by modern Acaran historians, in that it is seen as a pre-enlightenment period in which people lived in dark shadows of their own supersition.
In contrast, historians refer to the modern era as "The Age of Stars," both to imply growing light in the darkness, and because of an increased scientific fascination with astrology and its relationship to the natural forces of the world. Although it is not outright banned (in most places), worship of the "old gods" is generally looked down upon in most societies as being backwards and superstitious. Science and reason reign supreme, with wizards and scientists picking apart the various aspects of the natural world. Forms of magic that were once attributed to "divinity" are now seen as a simple branch of the arcane, that derives power from something akin to spirit or soul (some scholars say it is actually a branch of psionics). While there are folk who still worship the gods, gone are the days of huge city wards dedicated to temples, or leadership in small townships often falling to clergy.