Terra, as its name suggests, is a world much like our own and similar to earth-like worlds found in other great works of sword and sorcery fiction. Unlike many of those worlds, however, Terra has advanced to an era roughly equivalent to our 19th century. Cannons are the ultimate weapon, especially when carried by large, fast frigates capable of ruling the seas and operating independent of supply for years on end if necessary.
The political scene of Terra is likewise eerily familiar. During a bloody revolution in one of the Continental Kingdoms, a common soldier of unusual charisma and tactical brilliance became a king. In a series of stunning defeats, he defeated the Continental Kingdoms one by one and has now styled himself an emperor. Because of his megalomania and barbaric tyranny, his opponents have taken to calling him the Mad Emperor.
In a typical act of bravado, the Mad Emperor has now begun a new war of expansion on two fronts: on the seas, his fleet attempts to neutralize the â€œwooden wallâ€ of ships protecting the Island Kingdom, the last hold-out of the Continental Kingdoms. And in the east, his army, as yet undefeated, has begun a push into the Frozen Kingdoms.
For the moment, the kingdoms of the Ancient East and the Southern Kingdoms remain neutral, though both are in a state of almost-frantic preparation for a war they know must eventually come. Unknown as yet to any of the major powers, the Island Kingdom sponsored a great voyage of discovery and has discovered a New World in their quest for allies.
What Admiral Hellstrom found there is both an enormous risk and an enormous opportunity. Though several of the tribes are willing to help, they require help in return in bitter wars against the Near Men. This race of cannibalistic savages was driven nearly to extinction in the Old World, in a war that united the Continental and Southern Kingdoms in a fight for survival. In the New World, Hellstrom discovered that the Near Men are much stronger, much more organized and have something approaching civilization.
To combat this menace, the friendly tribes of the New World have developed a new type of magic based on runic tattoos. An alliance has been proposed, where the New World tribes would provide their Tattoo Shaman in return for firearms and the tall ships of the Old World.
In a desperate gamble, the Queen of the Island Kingdom has agreed to this alliance, requiring her to completely do away with the old order, eliminating serfdom and slavery and instituting universal suffrage to create a completely free nation, one with a navy large enough to fight in two worlds at the same time.
While the Queenâ€™s Army fights in the New World, spies stoke the flames of rebellion on the continent and envoys seek to draw the Southern Kingdoms into a new alliance against common enemies. Meanwhile lone explorers seek out uncharted lands in a hope of a discovery as great as that of Admiral Hellstrom and privateers prowl distant seas to return badly needed wealth and captured ships to Her Majesty.
It is a time of discovery. A time of desperate struggle. A time of heroes.