There was once a Golden Age of man…

But it ended in fire and death.

Three hundred years ago, humanity plunged into a war that shattered civilization, ending the lives of billions. On the pyroclastic altar of so much human life lost, reality itself cracked, exposing the world to alien energies the likes of which had not been seen in thousands of years or more. For a time, it seemed this alien holocaust would wipe the remnants of humankind from their fragile globe.

But humanity survived.

In villages and hidden enclaves, in bunkers and fortresses, and in the ruins of the golden age, humanity ensured. Mutation, deprivation, and the beings that slithered forth from the cracks in reality took their toll. The human will to persevere proved too strong to be snuffed out, and humanity gradually began to crawl out of its holes and look around at a world so drastically altered that it was alien even to its native sons and daughters.

But they were not alone.

Humankind is no longer the sole inhabitant of Earth. In addition to the monsters, mutants, and horrors, there are now hundreds—maybe thousands—of races of refugees, wanderers, and travelers from other worlds, other times, other dimensions. These other-dimensional beings have their own agendas for Earth, ranging from peaceful coexistence to dreadful conquest. Some are just people with strange looks and cultures, while others are incredibly powerful, almost god-like.

But humankind is not powerless.

The power of the Rifts—magic, as it was called in ancient times—has been harnessed. Some mutations have proven beneficial, and psychic powers are common. The technology of the golden age is being rediscovered. Physical and mental enhancements are possible, turning an ordinary person into something more than human. The promise of power can be all too alluring for those with none of it.

But no one promised that power would be easy.

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