The barony of Zheit knows no war. Racism has dwindled in Zheit after many centuries of more-or-less peaceable association between its peoples. Monster attacks become more infrequent as monsters are either assimilated into the culture or edged out further and further from a stable and settled civilization. Magic and science advance hand in hand, moving steadily forward and steadily improving the quality of life for the barony’s subjects. Summers in Zheit are not so hot that one cannot find relief in the shade, nor winters so cold that one cannot find warmth beside a fire. The gods of Zheit are content to wage their wars in distant worlds, leaving the mortals to sort out their own affairs. The rulers of Zheit tend more towards honesty and generosity than they do corruption and self-indulgence. The people of Zheit are not particularly wealthy, but neither are they poor. If they do not enjoy beef and wine for dinner every night, at least they never want for bread and beer. Their lives are not easy, but neither are they unendurable.

Zheit is no paradise. It is simply a quiet barony, part of the contented kingdom of Kolis, on the calm world of Dauma. Zheit is inhabited, as everywhere else, by people with problems, people who are not spared their fair portion of pain. Then again, in this turbulent multiverse, there are many who might wish to be granted entrance to such a vision of an earthly Heaven.

And yet this paradise, so moderate as such things go, is troubled. Rumors persist that the walls between the worlds wear thin, and that the ailments of other worlds can come spilling into Zheit at any moment. Most troubling at all is the idea, however impossible and yet impossible to entirely discount, is that Zheit is not real at all. That it is no more than a reflection of another, truer world. That Zheit, as real as it might seem to its inhabitants, has no true sights save the shadows cast by distant objects in front of strange fires, and has no true sounds save the echoes of music coming from distant rooms. That Zheit and all of Kolis and all of Dauma are no more than dreams dreamt by one who will soon awaken, and whose awakening will mean the dispelling of Zheit and all of its simple pleasures and subtle beauties.

A group of heroes sets out to seek the truth behind and beyond the dream, knowing full well that finding that truth might well mean the end of all they know.

Echoes and Shadows

Apcollinsworth Mikey Ensis vellethehunter cousy falor42 phaelinx chevchelios