A long long time ago the human race found Tekumel and terraformed it to be passably comfortable for humans. Still on the hot side but tolerable. The non-humans that were previously there were forced onto reservations. Other space faring races set up outposts and the world was exploited, then turned into a resort and crossroads for trade.
For some unknown reason Tekumel's system was ripped from "normal" space and became trapped in it's own pocket universe. This destroyed all that had been established on the world. The survivors slowly struggled back to civilization. Unfortunately all the easily exploitable resources had already been removed. The technology that had existed before was lost to the survivors.
However, a new resource was discovered. Maybe because of the stress of the pocket universe, maybe for another reason. People found that a new, apparently unlimited, power source was available. Energy from "Between the Planes" could be drawn from and used for many purposes. At the same time other planes of existence were discovered. Not only could devices be created to use this new power, but the mind could also be trained to channel it. Powerful beings from these planes have even been contacted. There are some beings so powerful that they are now worshiped as Gods.
Tens of thousands of years have passed and the world has progressed to a mostly stable condition. There are still wars and conflicts, but most progress has ground to a halt.
Players will arrive in the southern part of the empire of Tsolyanu. Tsolyanu is the current dominant empire in this part of the world. It's neighbors are restless and Yan Kor, to the north, is moving troops towards the border.
Even within the empire there are conflicts. Wars provide opportunities for Clans to stand out and be recognized. Even the lowest Clan can gain recognition and increase it's standing in the empire. Inter clan competition, while not usually open attacks, can be bitter and vicious. In these times taking risks can gain great rewards or great failures. As a member of a clan, it's fate effects you. It is wise for all members to perform well and guard the clan from being discredited or causing failure.
There are four major political parties in Tsolyanu. The Military Party which has been discredited by their arch rivals the Royalist Party. The Royalist Party is made up of descendants from the ancient royal families and often works with the Priestly Party though for different interests. The Priestly Party which is divided between Stability and Change though they share a common interest in expanding the power of the temples. The fourth party is that of the Imperialists, governed by the High Precepts of the Omnipotent Azure Legion. This party is composed of the nobles, officials, and courtiers at the Court of Avanthar. These are the Emperor's staunchest loyalists.
The characters awake in this strange hot world, with no memory and new bodies. Their identity plaques(chops) indicate their names, lineage, and a clan that no one has heard of.