|The Warwick Anomaly is a steampunk fantasy role playing game that takes place in the late 1930s; almost one hundred years after a dragon named Warwick caused a cosmic event which changed the world and the course of history.|
On October 14th, 1842, a rip in space-time opened in Earth's upper atmosphere releasing a great fiery meteor shower upon the United Kingdom and France. As suddenly as the rip appeared, it disappeared. The only proof of its existence being the meteorites left scattered upon the Earth. The event would come to be known as the Great Fire Storm which left large chunks of landscape torched and buildings destroyed. As people came across the rocks that had fallen, they marvelled to find that at a constant 550°C, they never cooled and glowed a dark amber color. However, for a few people, the Stones, as they would simply be called, were not hot at all. In fact, for some, the Stones were cool to the touch. Though odd, it was initially just written off and the few who were found immune to the heat of the Stones were used to work and handle them. They would come to be called Stonewrights. The Stones became invaluable resources in the production of steam power and overnight they reinvigorated the steam age.
At first, they found their use in industry and transportation but as 1856 came to a close one young woman named Sarah Sheffield, who was a Stonewright for a factory in England, experienced something very unexpected. While sitting in the break room she reached for her tea cup only to find she had already finished it. Not wanting to walk across the room, she wished that the tea kettle would just make its way to her. As soon as the thought crossed her mind, the kettle came zooming in her direction. Startled, she quickly jumped up and the tea kettle crashed to the floor not making it halfway to her. Sarah, afraid of her new abilities, kept them hidden and found she could do so much more than merely move objects but she was just the first. Soon others would begin experiencing very similar powers. As word got out, those who flaunted their abilities were labeled as witches and a few were even burned at the stake while others kept their powers a secret for fear of persecution. The one thing these people all had in common was that they were all Stonewrights.
From the start, the European governments who were able to gain access to Stones were doing their own experiments and they soon discovered their hidden effects on living beings. The countries of the United Kingdom knew they and France possessed the majority of the Stones but so many had fallen that most European countries had at least a few of their own. However, the UK and France had all of the largest Stones including one which fell outside Orléans, France and was said to be over 5 feet in diameter.
Soon, the balance of power in Europe began to shift. As whispers of secret French and English magic wielding soldiers made their way to the other countries of Europe; Germany, Russia and Austria-Hungary formed the League of the Three Emperors to counter the new found power of their neighbors. Many of the facilities housing the larger Stones were locked down to all outside contact and the English woman, Sarah, eventually disappeared completely. There was such an abundance of Stones that many homes had at least a Stone pebble to take care of their household needs but as the governments started confiscating all Stones, people began hiding the ones they had found. The Stonewrights who managed to remain out of the public and government eye slowly began to find one another. They called the power they received from the Stones, "Awen" and began forming secret societies.
In the latter part of the 19th century, the League of the Three Emperors became ever more wary of their adversaries to the west but was cautious to act due to the still mostly unknown might of the Stones. In 1882, King Umberto I of Italy committed his country to joining the League changing its name to the League of the Four Emperors. As tension in Europe came to a head in 1914, the League of the Four Emperors began its assault upon Belgium and France attacking from Italy to the south and Germany to the north. However, the war ended very abruptly as the German and Italian lines came to a screeching halt when faced against small French forces of women and men along the border. The League soldiers began dropping from ranks, some screaming with ears bleeding, others bursting into flames, some having horses thrown on top of them. It was total and utter chaos. As the retreat began, the French forces followed killing every man in uniform seen. Within days, what might have been a world war was put to an end and an armistice was signed.
Now, 25 years later, there's a peaceful tension between the United Kingdom and France. The UK has embraced the Stones and its Stonewrights leading to an era of great prosperity with Winston Churchill leading the country. France has all but closed its borders since its victory and under the new rule of André Maginot the French have as of late taken an aggressive stance against all of its neighbors. There are hints that Hitler's Germany and its Axis allies Italy, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria and Russia are planning revenge and have been hard at work at not repeating the massacre of 1914.