For over one and a half thousand years, the city of Arelis has sat empty on the edge of the Canyon of Ghosts, at the heart of the Glass Desert. Once the Arelan Empire stretched all over the continent of Bayetz, with fortresses and trading posts from the Roof of the World to the Shores of the Shattered Sea, its civilization influencing all who came before it - it wasn't the first civilization on Bayetz, but in its day, it was the greatest.
But as with all empires, it fell - to rebellion on the fringes, which reduced the trade that fueled their empire. To the desert growing even drier and hotter than before, shrinking oases and reducing food - and to internat strife, as battles between rival nobles and priest-kings undermined the empire. Eventually, all communication between Arelis and what was left of her outer holdings ceased - and all visits to the city found it empty, the gates closed, home only to traps, ancient wards, constructs and the hostile monsters of the Glass Desert - sand drakes, glass scarabs and worse.
Civilization was set back across the continent with that fall, but in time, it came back - and today, the mightiest realm on Bayetz is the Kingdom of Kantrias, which sits at the forefront of the industrial revolution overtaking the continent. Many expeditions to Arelis, now darkly known as the Kingdom of the Empty Throne, have been launched, few survived and none came back with the survivors entirely sane. But they all travelled overland, alone - the new expedition has arrived on steam airships, with the economic might of a whole nation behind it - and the city will be resettled and reclaimed, a colony of the Kingdom of Kantrias.
Dare you come to Arelis? Dare you strike out and claim your destiny here, on the edge of civilization in the heart of a baking desert, surrounded by hostile tribes and ancient magics? Are you seeking history, profit or escape? Will Arelis be your new home, or your grave?
Do you dare to come, to the Kingdom of the Empty Throne?
Opening Arelis is a Pathfinder Campaign for 4-5 players set in a homebrew world designed by myself and several friends years ago that I have adapted for use with Pathfinder. Journey to a world of ancient kingdoms and rising empires, a world of occult mystery, powerful magicks and new clockwork and steam-based technologies. A world where rank upon rank of mustketmen stand shoulder to shoulder and fire massed volleys at charging centaurs, a world where airships and their crews do battle with rocs and their riders. A world of high ideals and low scheming, where everyone has an agenda and nothing is quite what it seems. Journey to the continent of Bayetz and the city of Arelis, and discover the lost mysteries of the Kingdom of the Empty Throne!