- A Guide to Utopia: The Age of Darkness -

An Introduction

Welcome to Utopia, a world where reality and dreams come together, a world where the lowliest of peasants can become the world's greatest heroes. A world unlike any other that you may have experienced now stands before you. Any peasant can become Lord of their own province, but only the greatest can survive. Being a leader in the world of Utopia will challenge your every skill and demand your careful attention. Without diplomacy and tact, you will never rise to the respect the people demand of you. You must decide when to be ruthless and when to be compassionate. Will you run an empire of might or magic? Perhaps one of cunning and betrayal? Alas, it is almost impossible to do them all. Every decision, every challenge will be yours and yours alone. Are you ready to be a Lord or Lady here in Utopia? If so, continue onwards...

Your Guide to Utopia

This guide will help you understand the basics and is integrated into the game to serve as a reference as you play. To make your life simpler, I have broken down all of this information into chapters in this Guide. Read as you wish, or learn as you go. Much of this information will be provided as necessary by your scribes, squires, and advisors within Utopia. This book is my gift to you as you enter this new world. Use it as a reference, but remember that your instincts and abilities should ultimately be your guiding force.

As Lord or Lady of your lands, you will make the decisions that affect your people's daily lives. You will draft them into your service, send them off to war, decide when and what spells to cast, what to build, and how your population will live. As you enter the world, you will become more familiar with its workings. This will take time - do not be discouraged if you feel confused or overwhelmed.

The Basics

I see you are ready for the challenge, my friend. We will see how long you last. It is my duty to provide you with a background of this world which you wish to enter.

First, as you enter Utopia, you will find that time moves much faster than on Earth. That which you know as an "Hour", is a full Utopian Day here. Your day? A month. And yes, this means there are 24 days in a month. Each Utopian year contains 7 months. Be aware of this as your friends and advisors do not know of this Earth world, and they will generally keep time in Utopian standards.

It will also be important to understand how islands, kingdoms, and provinces are noted. The province "Utopia (3:4)" is named Utopia, a member of Kingdom #3, on Island #4. This notation allows you to keep easy track of the various lands around the world. You will also find that interacting with provinces on islands close by will prove far easier and quicker than venturing out to islands far away. The Utopian World consists of 40 islands, organized in a sort of sphere -- so that Islands #1 and #40 are as close as Islands #1 and #2.

Getting Started

The first thing to do to join Utopia is to Create a Province. Once signed up, the Utopian Lords will assign you a small plot of land in a kingdom of their choice. Several natives of the kingdom will come to live under your rule, giving you a peasant population from which to start.

The kingdom you reside in is very important in Utopia - teamwork is a fundamental aspect of the game. Your goal is to grow to be the most powerful kingdom, and your province is only a small part of that. As more provinces join your kingdom, it will be important for you to work with the and not against them. You can learn more about your kingdom in the Politics section of this Guide.

The Concept of Time

Possibly most important of all, you must understand that this world does not stop for you. I know that you must sleep, eat, and attend to other duties, but the people of Utopia will continue about their business, regardless of your leadership. That means your province will grow while you are away. Be sure to consult often with your Council of Elders -- your advisors -- to keep up with all that is happening within your lands.