The sky, it seems, would pour down stinking pitch, But that the sea, mounting to th' welkin's cheek, Dashes the fire out. Oh, I have suffered With those that I saw suffer : A brave vessel -- Who had, no doubt, some noble creature in her -- Dashed all to pieces! O, the cry did knock Against my very heart -- poor souls, they perished.--William Shakespeare, The Tempest, I, ii
Human culture is rich with myth. Legends of supernatural creatures -- dwarves, faeries, dragons, ogres -- are familiar to almost everybody in our world. The beauty of our world is that every culture has its own stories, its own fantastic creatures. Just as elves and dwarves battled in wind-torn Scandinavia beside valkyries, loup-garou -- werewolves -- stared hungrily at French villagers, mischievous leprechauns toyed with the men in Ireland, and crafty djinn roamed the hot sands of Arabia. Each of these myths is unique and rich with possibility. Medusa and Hercules are just as real to the people of the 20th century as Aristotle or Plato. These mythological legends are the most vibrant parts of our past.
GURPS Requiem simply poses the question, what if these creatures really did exist? What if elves really did dance in European forests, and fierce goblins peer from the caves of Japan? After all, if people from centuries ago really believed in these creatures, why shouldn't we? What we know of the past is nothing compared to what the people of the time knew, isn't it? Of course, surely if these unicorns and minotaurs still existed, we'd see them today.
But they did exist in our past. Creatures with magical souls roamed the world. That is, until magic was no more. It didn't just disappear or fade away; magic was purposely stolen from our earth. Ripped away from the world and hoarded by a few people who thought that they alone should wield it.
And these myths and legends died, unable to live in world without magic. The elves died helplessly in their old halls, the valkyries fought a huge battle from which there were no survivors. Each and every magical being in the world died, and would remain dead for over a thousand years.
But now, for reasons not quite understood, this entire segment of history -- a segment that has been long dead -- is slowly being reborn. In fact, it is consciously being brought back into the world by those who once annihilated these people.
Everything we once thought imaginary is slowly being reborn. Elves are born to human parents, gargoyles start to shift on cathedral steeples, an ancient sword in a museum starts to glow with preternatural light. Most people don't notice -- these changes are subtle and not immediately apparent. But those that do notice see that the world is changing. And while the signs of this new world are still weak, ordinary people cannot be persuaded to look beyond their ordinary lives.
This is the world of GURPS Requiem. Players take on the role of the Majestati, people ripped from the annals of myth and lore and placed in the streets of the 20th century. Only the Majestati see the world changing, though they may not understand why.
The Majestati often do not look different from humanity, after all, Earth is still an non-magical world. They do not stand out in a crowd. Only occasionally do they manage to tap their inner magical being -- and every time they do, become their true, nonhuman self. Their abilities slowly grow, their behavior departs from human behavior, and they look like the men and women who dance in the pages of myth. The Majestati do not know why they are here or what the future holds for them. But now, have no doubt, they are reality.