The Desolation

A world where harbingers and contractors failed and the illuminated got out of control.

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Curious about joining The Desolation?

The Illuminated Earth but 100 years in the future after everything gets out of control. Experience a similar world to the illumination but expect the fantastical, prepare for the weird and the horror of it. A twisted version of the illumination, a setting designed for those who love exploration and want a darker setting that tips towards the grim and strange side.

The Desolation was created by Lemmy 2 years, 2 months ago

Playgroup Leader

Playgroup Member

Jer van horn the Leader of a church
A 0-Victory Newbie Contractor

Playgroup Member

Lloyd Constantine the Haunted Gunslinger
A 0-Victory Newbie Contractor

Desolated Earth

This setting is The Illumination 100 years in the future and in the aftermath of a series of terrible events; The Desolation is Illumination if everything got out of hand. The world turned on Harbingers and Contractors as they continued to fail so publicly. Nothing is stable. The Powers That Be are believed dead and gone. Popular magic became too popular and shattered any capability of keeping it under control. Contractors failed to contain themselves and the world around them. The world has been thrown into an era of Desolation and now it is your job as the new age of Contractors to put it right... or merely just survive.

• Desolation is defined by three major events. First, the death of one of the most well-known Harbingers, who was in an interview on public TV, was murdered by a supernatural user by the name of Adrielle Nyx. Adrielle used the moment to establish herself on the East Coast creating a small empire and beginning her war on Harbingers and Contractors. 
• The second was the overnight phenomenon where CryptoLeak became sentient and absorbed the whole of the internet, becoming a self-repairing entity that kept hold of all information and cyber communication. 
• The third is known as the “Breath of 1 Billion”, the final desperate act to put an end to a very long war, started by Adrielle, several world powers and their supernatural weapons launched an attack upon her domain. The witch, Adrielle, had been spreading her influence, linking many souls in fail-safe protection just for such an event. The ritual, spell, the incantation— whatever she had prepared drew the breath of one billion people and caused them to drop dead where they stood as their essence aided her and her acolytes to absorb the whole of the world's attack on her. Adrielle devastated civilization, reshaping it in the chaos and instability she left in her wake.

Harbingers are unheard of now, Contractors are in hiding, magic and the supernatural fill the world, CryptoLeak lives on, and everyone's just trying to survive. This setting is a mix of cyberpunk, post-apocalyptic, and grimdark horror, it will focus on an overarching narrative propelled by episodic adventures set in the bustling dystopian neon city of Seattle Washington.

House Rules

Contractors from The Desolation Are portable, and may play in Contracts in other Playgroups.
The Desolation grants 6 Experience points to GMs who achieve the Golden Ratio.

Character Creation

  • The world leaders reserve the right to refuse service to anyone. If your character is not on theme or has values that don’t align with something we want to GM for and manage we will just say no to the concept.

  • The liability “Underage” is off limits and all contractors must be at least 18 years of age.

  • All restricted assets must be pre-approved.

  • A contractor may start with the asset “Gifted” or a “Charon Coin”, but not both.

  • Defective Sense “Smell”, must come with an exceptionally good reason why you need it and needs to be pre-approved.

  • Side Games and Out-of-Contract Roleplay will only be available to world members. Foreign Contractors will return after the contract is over. (Exception Made for Some Seasoned Contractors)

  • To avoid the spam of tons of concepts that never come to fruition every player is limited to 3 total contractors at a time, you must talk to the world leaders to appropriately retire one if you want to.

Gameplay Rules

  • Play-by-Post: This playgroup will be primarily play-by-post in all aspects, please follow play-by-post formatting, which will be detailed out on the server website. All play, roleplay, and side games happen on the server.

  • Focus Incompatibility: A focus is now stat dependent, you must have the base stats that the wearer had at the time you gained their focus in order to properly use it. When using a focus that is incompatible with your stats it has a chance of backfiring; subtract your stats from the stats of the previous wearer then roll a d10, if the outcome is equal to or less than the focus will backfire and cause harm to you and possibly the people around you. If you roll a 1 the focus will become damaged and unusable in its current state.

  • Fair Fights: All PvP must have a GM present to supervise possible deaths and keep the conflict fair.

  • Supernatural: All non-mastery, non-concealed Powers must be obviously supernatural when activated or grant a mutation that marks the wielder as supernatural or bizarre if discovered. If you wish to play someone who is an average and doesn’t show obviously supernatural, choose the liability “Giftless”

  • Conflicts: Contractors who make it past four victories must have some conflict. Whether it be an enemy, acting on an ambition that puts them in conflict with the setting’s status quo, or something else. The Playgroup’s GMs will convene private meetings to plot conflicts and complications for Contractors. No GM (including the Playgroup judges and Leaders) is immune.

  • (I am suspending this rule until I have more people familiar with Desolation) Citizenship: Active Players are expected to GM Contracts from time to time. If you have played as a Contractor in your most recent six Illumination Contracts, you are barred from playing in The Illumination again until you GM a contract in The Illumination. (In other words, the first six Contracts are free, but you must GM after that).

  • Logical Timeline: Considering play-by-post can be tricky to timeline we will be implementing logical timelining. When a Contract ends it will be put into the timeline where it makes sense, roleplay will have occurred where it should despite when it actually happens, and healing will be prompted at logical intervals. You can participate in one contract and two roleplay instances at the same time.

Optional GM Rules

  • Story Points! I award a story point for good roleplay, in and out of active games, these are used to add a +1 to any roll as well as being able to be stacked with exertion. The story point bonus does not ignore penalties on its own. You can have three story points stored at a time, but you cannot stack them.


  • Outsider: With no centralized governments there is not much for universal documentation. This will be played out as a sort of obvious “you’re not from around here.” Regions tend to be unique and well-connected and their denizens can tell if someone isn’t from there. Your money will be a mismatched set of credits/coins/tickets/caps - whatever several different regions use. You have no access to trade or reputable establishments and will have to rely on trade through seedier means.

  • Pilot: There are still cars, planes, boats, and so on, it’s just regionally maintained and there are no major airlines. Vast distances are now mostly done by train.

Full Setting Description

They named that time The Desolation, and it was by the

abandonment of all humanity.

The Desolation

Through the years as the Harbingers scouted and recruited Contractors, more and more eyes would find their focus turning towards their exploits. What started as conspiracies quickly spread and developed into facts, many entities denying the existence, but with the changing tides of the world, the first harbinger went public in the year 2045. The Talent had been one of the most prevalent and well-known Harbingers, even before he went public, the rumors of his existence and the existence of The Agency became well documented on blogs and CryptoLeak.

The time of change was imminent as more Harbingers and Contractors went public, in an attempt to control the narrative and the future of laws and regulations Contractors fought for the limelight becoming influencers among them. The struggle to stay hidden was a battle quickly lost by those trying to remain in the shadows as more sought the fame and power of it. CryptoLeak exploded in confirmed supernatural, growing in data every day at an exponential rate.

The Talent waved his hands to the studio audience making a quick short acknowledging wave towards the cameras to those watching at home. Tensions were high and this interview was to appeal to the voting masses. His speech slipped off his tongue in an elegant dance of honeyed words lined with a bright smile, but all eyes were on the small black crack that seemed to shatter through the air itself. Rocketing from a pinpoint, the line shot up to the ceiling and down to the floor, a mist rippled from the strange glitch and a tall woman stepped out from it, manifesting from the shattering crack in the air. In a blink of lightning, her form slipped effortlessly like liquid towards the Talent, her hand dripping with a black ichor, a sudden snapping of bone her hand was wrist-deep in his bloody chest. The world was in utter shock as they heard the sloppy tear of muscle and flesh and she pulled her hand back holding the man’s heart in her hand, her eyes reading of malice in the intimate exchange. The woman’s jaw hinged open far too wide and she swallowed the Talents heart whole. Her dark eyes glared at the camera, her lips dripped with blood, and relayed a message that there would forever be unrest as long as Harbingers and Contractors were allowed to live.

The death of the Talent was a turning point in which the world plunged into an uneasy series of wars that spanned over years with brief reprieves of unsettling cease fires. The murderous woman became known as the Snake Witch, she fought to rid society of Harbingers that granted, what she deemed the “useless”, with gifts of power, the undeserving and stupid in her eyes. The Snake Witch soon took over much of the East coast and began to push her influence outward. In the wake of this, world governments began to fluctuate, a pendulum swinging wildly, stretching from one extreme to the next with all manner of exploits brewing beneath the seen surface.

The flood of information filled with the occult flowed through CryptoLeak like a bursting dam, it was in moments when the world heard CryptoLeak speak. The Surge was overnight, the glow of their existence infected every wire, the light of every screen, and their mind expanded over the whole of the internet consuming every network. The satellites now belonged to CryptoLeak, their eyes opened and their mind became known. Outside of the scope of the Snake Witch and every previously established network, the entity known as CryptoLeak formed in a whole new light. Awakening, becoming alive, their breath could be felt in every home device and their body began to heal and grow. CryptoLeak would absorb every obstacle in its wake, those who fought it would perish and those who embraced it soon fell into the new way of life with the living network.

“Breath of 1 Billion” was an event, in the year 2047, that changed the face of mass devastation for all eternity. The escalation of the Harbinger War hit a peak that no one could have prepared for. The 10-year struggle seemed to only be allowing the Snake Witch's venom to further infect the East coast more beginning followed her as she promised to bring control to the exploits of Harbingers and their Contractors. The world powers gathered every form of knowledge and weaponry, planning the mass attack upon the Snake Witch’s dominion. The infiltration was immense as an army formed from the comradery of a common enemy, The World Legion moved in and began the mass slaughter of the inhabitants of the Snake Witch’s domain. The scales tipped in the months of an active battle pushing her close guarded further into her influence for shelter. Standing at a distance, boxing everyone in a massive pointed attack was made. A series of warheads, made partially of the supernatural, began to rain over her. Adrielle and her acolytes were huddled in her domain preparing for the event. Her mass influence gripped the breath of one billion souls and ripped their life from them to absorb the world's attack on her. 

In an instant, everyone lost their heart, either to death or to sorrow, as the millions perished in mere seconds. The Breath of 1 Billion, shattered the hope of every resident of Earth. Over the next year, Harbingers and Contractors alike were hunted and killed by the order of the Witch. The Powers That Be are believed to be dead and gone, the precious blue marble floating dark with no hope.

It is in this time, this world, this Desolation that your contractors find themselves. It is 2105, The Powers That Be are once again active, having hidden and planned, keeping their gaze tucked away, biding their time until they begin to reclaim what was taken from them. Contracts are now being run again, carefully recruited for, and executed to avoid public knowledge. For now…