Centuries ago, the good people of the Commonwealth took ownership over the lands of the Pale by conquest and divine right. In the ensuing time, life has been good both for the people of the Commonwealth and the locals, with both seeing great strides in the cause of civilisation.
Unfortunately, there are still those who foment rebellion and revolt, and they hide away from the safety of the civilised towns and cities, deep within the countryside.
Dealing with them has become a nuisance, not least because the further one strays from the towns the more superstitious and foolish the locals become.
They speak of faeries and old gods as if these things could exist, as if the witches could not be put to the pyre, as is the sacred stone circles could not be demolished, as if the small folk really do come in the dark of night to snatch away children.
That all said, the country does indeed become truly wild not far from the walls of civilisation, and the tax collectors and travelling judges have begun to complain of all manner of strange occurrences, and a certain number of them show a common theme.
Something really must be done.
Beyond the Pale is a system-neutral (currently) setting.
Players take on either the roles of ‘civilised’ invader-folk in a country they don’t own, trying to conquer the things that go bump in the night, or the roles of locals, breaking bread with the faerie kings under the ground, trying to overthrow the invaders after centuries of oppression.
The further away from the Pale, the area held fast by the invaders, the less the world resembles real life and the more magical events are allowed to occur.
The furthest point from the Pale, Tír na nÓg, is the home of the disparate faerie courts, the old gods, wizards and witches, and of course, the rebellion.