Abraxas is a lost continent from before the beginning of recorded history, which is destined to give rise to myths of sunken lands like Atlantis and Mu. Here advanced technology coexists with magic, primordial animals stalk the jungles, incredible civilizations flourish, and Mankind must share the planet with alien races from other worlds and planes of reality.
The scan of Russ's map here hardly does justice to the almost luminous original, which is over a metre tall. The map shows how the inhabitants of Abraxas envisage their land. Its actual coastline, if you were to look down on it from space, would be recognizable enough to modern eyes to break the suspension of disbelief, which is why we keep it from the players. If we ever publish Abraxas as an RPG, however, that version of the map might find its way into the referee's book.
There are five great city-states of Abraxas: Vertis, Utesh, Tamo Anchan, Eibon and Argistillum. The wide plazas and towering palaces of the cities indicate high refinement, in some cases even decadence. Nobles are carried in carved sedan chairs by their slaves to watch the death-duels in the arena. Fortunes are gambled and lost at great feasts. Assassination and intrigue decide who holds power.
The cities are connected by the Vadem causeways designed by the great wizards of the still more distant past. On payment of a toll, the causeways allow rapid transit from one city gate to the next.
Other relics of old science-sorcery still remain, lighting the streets with glowing posts at night or enabling the very rich to glide over the forest in sky-yachts when they care to go hunting. Some actinic lances survive from ancient times - weapons capable of hurling blasts of electric energy. But few now know how to recharge them, nor how to make the causeways function when they grow dim. What was once technology is now becoming, through ignorance and secrecy, a magic art.
Each city has its own character. When Abraxas finally sinks (many millennia yet in the future though that is) some of its people will escape to create the civilizations of our own ancient history. Thus the city of Tamo Anchan shows similarities with Maya and Olmec culture; the descendents of Eibon will become the Carthaginians and the Etruscans; Argistillum's survivors are fated to found Babylon; Vertis gives rise to the halcyon image of Greece and Troy; Utesh's beliefs and customs will live on in Ancient Egypt.
For millennia the city-states of Abraxas have enjoyed peace, but now they are under attack by the Ulembi, ruthless aliens who come from a dying star cluster beyond the Coal Sack and are capable of psionically broadcasting their physical forms through outer space. The cities must put aside their rivalry and send champions to meet the menace before it is too late.
And that's where you come in...