Infinite worlds lie on the Grand Stairs – here, we get Empyrea in the second installment of the Gossamer Worlds-series in a 9-page pdf, of which 1 page is the front cover, 1 page the editorial, leaving 7 pages – so what is this place all about?
If you’re a comic-book-nerd, think New Genesis. If that doesn’t ring any bells – think an idealistic, enlightened greco-roman-style planet of essentially superhumans – guided by a benevolent allfather who is only slowly coming to grips with the existence of the Grand Stair, the people of Empyrea essentially live in bliss and, via positive eugenics, can be indeed considered superb beings. If you’re like me, this makes you shudder somewhat, though the ruler seems indeed to be a mostly benevolent influence. Overall, though, the otherwise very elysian society remains ignorant of the Grand Stairs…at least for now.
Editing and formatting are top-notch, I didn’t notice any glitches. Layout adheres to Rite Publishing’s purple-bordered two-column full-color standard and the thematically-fitting stock-art by Thomas Cole is great. The pdf comes with bookmarks, in spite of its brevity.
Matt Banach’s in-character prose once again is glorious and Empyrea comes alive from the pages of this supplement – the writing is awesome and the world per se compelling and full of potential. That being said, the world as such feels slightly less unique than Brokeworld, has no per se unique characteristic regarding its influence on magic/characters. It makes for a great, compelling backdrop, but it feels a tad bit less original than Brokeworld. It makes for a great place to visit, but verdict-wise, this installment of gossamer worlds clocks in at 4 stars for me – a good supplement, but not 100% as unique as its predecessor.