Four hundred years after the fall of civilization, humanity flourishes.
Bands of hunter-gatherers roam the wilds. Villages cultivate forest gardens. Over the centuries, they have nursed the world back from the horrors of mass extinction, coaxed the lands they dwell in slowly, surely, into abundance, and created for themselves a paradise. From one world, ten thousand unique traditions and families have emerged, as varied as the lands they dwell in.
The work of creation never ends, though. The ancestors did not just walk the earth in times of myth and legend. The people of the Fifth World must walk in their footsteps and continue their work. Without constant care and attention, the web of relationships that keeps the world alive will fray and break — just as it nearly did in the ancient past. You must balance the conflicting demands of your kin, human or otherwise. You must keep the world alive.
This responsibility falls to you, because you carry the legacy of your ancestors with you. You have inherited their strength, their power, and their wisdom. You can speak to animals and sing magic and recite the sacred, secret stories whispered by the trees. Your feet sink in the soil, the air fills your lungs, and you can hear the endless chorus of a more-than-human world that you belong to. This responsibility falls to you, as it does to all your kin, for you live in the Fifth World.
The Fifth World presents an open source shared universe — a vision of the sort of future humanity could yet create for itself, and the rest of the world. Currently, Jason Godesky is working on a tabletop roleplaying game to help players explore the Fifth World. If you would like to follow the latest developments on this project, join us on Google+.