[i]"The Church owns my soul, the Guild owns my wares, the Sages own my blood, and the Lords own my lands. I only have my hands, and my wits, and my blade to pay my debts."[/i]
- Adventurer's Creed.
[b]The Old World is a place where men and women hope not to break free, but the die Even. On the eve of an Age there are a thousand whispered hopes of a land across the Sea, something New, something Grand, and up rise the Adventurers. Kings wage war on thrones atop a society where every man is bought and sold from cradle to grave. You carry your pike, your wand, your holy relics into the Unknown hoping to come out as a Freeman, and make your way through society.[/b]
Prataferro is a High Fantasy setting where every man, woman, and child is born a slave. Debts are accrued by every living creature (Flesh Price) until their twentieth birthday, upon which the Interest begins to grow...
In the Forgotten Age it is said a man earned his keep from the sweat of his brow and his hands, and owed no Flesh Price, and lords protected their people as they made love, raised children, waged war. They died to the claws of the Darkness, the creatures who roamed the places between their small homesteads. Claw and flame and maw destroyed flesh; children were given to the Dark creatures to protect the land, and they grew fat on their bizarre powers.
Then the Collectors came. It is said they rose from the seas; still others claim they are inscrutable creatures of the Stars, of the secret places between the worlds. Ugly creatures, with flesh that was immune to club or arrow, whose eyes were faceted gems, whose lips bore the poison of opportunity.
The Choice was given to the Great King, whose true name has been lost to legend. The Collectors offered a choice: The power to reshape the land, to raise the dead, to call servitors from soil and sky. They offered the power of the Arts . . . For a price.
[i]From this day forth each man shall owe a debt, a debt that he must repay. If one should die they shall toil beneath you, Great King, and your children, and theirs... All shall pay their Price in this Collection, or plunge your world into the Darkness.[/i]
The Great King made the Choice, to save his people, to protect them from the Darkness.
And so began the Grand Collection.
Mankind learned the power of iron, of steel and lead and gold. Men awoke from sleep on that day with the power to bend others to their will, to fly like birds, to burn the fields with flame and lightning. It has been so long... So long that no man alive knows of the Price bartered. The world that is known has paid the Price for hundreds of generations, and all toil beneath it. Those who attempt to escape through the embrace of death are bound to their Debtors, raised to do battle in the wars of the Kings and Powers of the land.
Those lucky enough to be Freed can build great fortunes, and lose them in an instant. Men can pay the Churches to bring them back from the dead... As soon as their accounts gain the interest needed. Those who Adventure have decided to forget the toils of the field and gain favor in a society built around the ancient bargain.
Each Player Character is created at 1st level with no coinage. In fact, the character has already gained a Flesh Price. These Prices vary depending on your Caste, and the Training you gained before your 20th year. You may also purchase equipment, learn spells (see Spellcasting Debt), and other requirements upon Character Creation.
Debt has an annual interest rate of 10%, compounded once per 'living season' (spring, summer, fall). The Debt is to be repaid to the Character's Debtor, the individual who has purchased their Debt from their family/lord/Church, and a minimum rate per season is established. If at any time the minimum rate is not met the Character suffers penalties related to their Debtor.