The Gods & Men World
Going straightforwardly simple, much like the original game, this one will be set in Europe during Medieval-style times. The Empires of Rome, Egypt, and Persia exist in their own little niches alongside the tribes of Norsemen, Gauls, as well as the other races and societies of the Earth.
My main focus is on Europe and around the Mediterranean Sea, but that's not to say that the other lands don't exist. Like the original G&M concept, any grouping of people can be placed into the gameworld. I just rather would leave that, as well as fleshing out the rest of the Earth, up to the players.
There are only two of the human empires which I consider "ancient" by game standards (meaning they were once great civilizations which now are only found in ancient ruins, tomes, and texts), and they are Babylon and Sumeria.
The Empire of Rome controls the entirety of Italia as well as most of Gaul (France, Switzerland, and Belgium) and Germania (Germany, Netherlands, and Austria), and as far to the East (to include most of modern day Slovenia, Hungary, and Poland).
The Emperor Caesar Augustus sits upon the throne of Rome, as charismatic a leader as he is a skilled military tactician. Rome is the most "modern" of the the known world, boasting breakthroughs in healing and technology (especially warfare-based), as well as being on the cutting edge of philosophy and magical research.
Some of the greatest mages of the world hail from the Empire, including the respected Apollonius, who resides in his personal estate in the Roman island of Corsica. Though he opposes his peoples warmongering ways, Apollonius is a strong defender of his adopted Rome.
Though the Empire is always looking to expand it's borders, one place they were thoroughly defeated was in the once-Roman-ruled Briton (the entire British Isles). Here, under the leadership of a great Briton, the tribes united and cast the Roman's out of their land. To this day, Caesar considers them a rogue state and is planning the retaking of the island under Roman rule.
In Briton, the rule of the first King, Arthur of Camelot, is under way after Arthur, with the help of an assortment of brave knights and the powerful sorcerer, Merlin, routed the occupying Roman forces and drove them from their lands. Now Arthur, dubbed King of the Britons, rules over a new English monarchy, though parts of the Isles have still not acknowledged his rule.
Ireland is still run by tribalism and anarchy, and is where the enemies of Camelot plot in secret the destruction of this fledgling country before it can even begin to grow.
The Land of Egypt is ruled over by the self-titled God-King, Khufu, who proclaims to have the blood of Horus flowing through his veins. Under Khufu's reign, Egypt has created many wondrous monuments, such as the Great Sphinx, and has also added to the expansion of the Empire by conquering the tribes of the Sinai Peninsula and taking the land under Egyptian rule.
Much of the population of the Egyptian Empire rests along the great River Nile, though the deserts are far from barren. Alongside the monsters and other creatures that dwell there, settlements formed close to oasis' where the truly resolute of humanity struggle daily to survive amid their harsh environment.
Bands of raiders and cutthroats, along with dark and sinister cults, also call the wastelands of the Sahara home for there is little in the way of law to keep them from their vile ways.
Stretching from the Eastern banks of the Sinai and modern Turkey, across the deserts of Northern Arabia, and into much of the Middle East and what is now Western India, is the Empire of Persia.
Ruled by Cyrus the Great, Persia is the oldest of the cultures currently in existence. Having been around for thousands of years, Persia has lost some of it's hold on the world to Rome and Egypt (even the Greeks managed to beat back the Persian war machine), but still maintains considerable influence on the world stage.
While a hub for mystics and the like, Persia has slowly become a Mecca for the sciences, where many intellectuals gather to express new ideas and theories without fear of persecution from ignorant clerics and the like (I'm blending a bit of the Middle Eastern Renaissance into G&M's Persia, where, during the European Dark Ages, the Middle East was a bastion for astronomy, mathematics, and the like).
Though Persia's expansionist mentality is currently dormant, the barking of those in positions of power who view the old ways of military conquest and bloodshed as admirable are becoming a growing concern for King Cyrus and his supporters.
Much of what comprised the ancient societies of Sumeria and Babylon can be found in Persia, making the Empire a haven for the curious archeologist and hunter of rare antiquities.
Greece is comprised of many different City-States under their own leadership, but have come to form a semblance of a united nation ruled by a "congress" of councilmen, one appointed from each of the City-States.
The three largest members of what is affectionately called the Aegean Council are Athens, Corinth, and Sparta.
Athens, considered a center of learning and art throughout the world, is home to some of the most famous scholars and mystics in history, such as Aristotle, Archimedes, Herodotus, and Plato. Run by the Aegean Council's chairman, Pericles, Athens also boasts arguably the greatest school of magic in all of Europe, the Athenian School of the Art. Here potential mages from all across the known world seek council and learning under some of the wisest and skilled spell casters of our day.
The School also hosts one of the largest collection of magical arcana in the known world.
Corinth is a naval powerhouse on the Mediterranean and is the largest center of trade in all of Greece. Ruled by King Sisyphus (an Aegean Council member), Corinth is the richest of all the City-States, much in part due to the sea-bound trade routes that brings imports and allows exports of good to and from all across the Mediterranean.
Even merchants from the Far Eastern lands can be found on occasion peddling their strange wares in the large Hermes' Agora, a market large enough to rival the grandest found even in Rome. Greece arguably boasts the greatest seafarers of the known world, and the greatest of them seem to come from Corinth, Jewel of the Aegean.
If Athens is a center for knowledge, and Corinth for trade, then Sparta is where the Greeks have perfected warfare in all it's brutal glory. Still deemed "barbaric" by some of their kinsmen, the Spartans are a culture run by the sword and the principles of survival of the fittest.
Ruled by King Leonidas II (Aegean Council member), grandson of the legendary Leonidas, Sparta is as much feared as it is respected by it's fellow City-States. Leonidas II, while having his grandfather's famous temper, has become known as a man of surprising intelligence to his peers, and his words carry weight with his fellow council members.
Sparta makes up the majority of the Greek Republic's military (dubbed aptly the United Greek Army), even with some of the higher ranking Spartans going abroad to train the troops of other City-States so that they can properly defend themselves (and not get in the way of their Spartan "betters" during warfare).
The great General Lysander, commander of the United Greek Army, hails from Sparta and is known by his enemies from around the world as a terrifyingly cunning, and efficiently brutal, commander.
The Scandinavian Peninsula is comprised of many small kingdoms of what the rest of Europe calls Northmen. More than just the barbarians they're made out to be (though they do their fare share of pillaging and sacking ports all across Europe), the men of the North are experts in agriculture and are seafarers rivaling even the Greeks.
The largest known kingdom in the North is ruled by the Warrior King, Harald Hardrada, said to be descended from the god, Tyr. Harald has a dream of a unified Scandinavia all under his banner, and is beginning to set in motion plans to bring his dream to fruition.
Other kingdoms across Africa and Asia exist, such as the Chinese, Japanese, and other human civilizations, to kingdoms of the Elves, Dwarves, Orcs, and the other various races found across the Earth.
Even rumors of lands far across the ocean persist, with tales of strange peoples, bizarre creatures, and rare and new treasures beyond one's wildest dreams.