The River Styx
Description: The land has long since dried up, so that there is no water anywhere, not even in the ocean.
Except for the river Styx.
Named after the famed river of the dead, it for some reason remains as wet as ever. And as dangerous. No one who has fallen into that river has come back out, it is said. Nobody knows why it remains dry, but the people are far from complaining. As the land is so dry that it is only made up of deep chasms, the folk fashioned boats that could last. Soon, everyone was on one of the boats, and they went onto the river. Soon, though, they were attacks by sharks and dolphins; not the unintelligent attacks of hungry animals, but cold, calculated ones. The humans drove them off, but they were divided. Soon, as they were only human, they began fighting among themselves. The 'kingdom' that used to exist is now more than five hundred 'kingdoms'. The folk remain at peace, and are not openly hostile...
Society knitted together by hierarchical social obligations. Ex: Middle ages Europe, pre-European Japan. "I am a serf of Lord Feigen"
The society is in the midst of a dramatic flowering of new ideas and institutions. Ex: 16th century Italy, Weimar Germany
Gunpowder, printing press, fully-rigged ships, hot air balloons, black-powder musket, cannon, sailing warship
Renaissance/Colonial (TL 4)
Travel, Do-gooding, searching for wealth and excitement
Social maneuvering, diplomacy, coalition building
Endangered characters facing overwhelming circumstances
Imperfect characters in an imperfect world
Creatures with powers or abilities beyond those of typical animals; Unicorns, Tribbles, etc.