This article is part of 3 Generations After The End, a post-apocalyptic setting suitable for any role-playing system.
They say it is Shedra’s magic that keeps the beasts out of the rolling hills and valleys of Sanctuary, and brings the rains in spring. Sanctuary is, indeed, a strange place. It is more…vibrant than most, more full of life. Life in Sanctuary is peaceful, and her people have full bellies.
The Priestesses of Shedra
Those full bellies come at a price: total obedience to the priestesses of Shedra. Her robed priestesses roam the streets on inscrutable errands. They occasionally commandeer people and supplies. No reason is given, but rarely is a reason asked. That is the price.
Priestesses are chosen from among the populace of Sanctuary. Priestesses will simply show up at a family’s house when the girl reaches about twelve years of age, and take her away. She will be gone for years. Those priestesses who appear in public are always at least sixteen years old, and display the uniformly dispassionate personality of a priestess of Shedra.
Priestesses wear long, grey cloaks that hide black leather-and-cloth armor. Every priestess has a symbol tattooed on her forehead; more complex symbols indicate higher rank within the priesthood.
The Kingdom of Sanctuary
Sanctuary is made up of about two dozen towns and villages, nearly all of them farming communities cobbled together from old-world technology. This is amazing in itself; little of new earth’s soil is capable of farming. Strange, twisted things come from this earth, but it’s edible, and there’s a lot of it.
Tower, the Capital
The only non-farming town is Tower, a massive mining complex in the mountains and Shedra’s home. This is a dark place. Though it employs hundreds of people, the only ones who ever leave are Shedra’s priestesses. Here, Shedra performs powerful magic in the dark passages of the complex she carved from the living rock of the mountain. Moans and screams can sometimes be heard from within.
Who Is Shedra?
The truth: Shedra is a necromancer. She spends most of her time creating undead, for the gray area between life and death fascinates her. She has released so much life energy from her unfortunate test subjects that it has seeped into the lands around her, giving it the strangely powerful life her subjects depend on.
Shedra will undoubtedly become a lich someday. Perhaps she already is, and uses a glamour of beauty to hide her true self.
Shedra is not particularly concerned with the rest of the world, but is smart enough to understand the danger of external threats. Tomas, in particulary, worries her, as her magic does indeed protect against monsters and beasts, but not against sentient people. Tomas could lead an army into Sanctuary, and while he undoubtedly could not kill Shedra herself, he could destroy her lands and priestesses, cutting off Shedra’s supply of experimental subjects.