In the year of 1851, the fourteenth year of our good Queen’s Reign, The Great Exhibition commenced introducing the world to the wonders of the modern age. The power of the incandescent gas-powered steamware to repair damaged bodies and in some cases improve them. The amazement of aether charge to power devices of light and music. The world saw the future laid out before it and it was bright and generous and wonderful and so full of amazement that all men could only stand and hope to see it.
In the year of 1887, the fiftieth year of our good Queen’s Reign, The Shadows have moved and the world has changed. The aether that a few strange people could barely touch in the days of the The Great Exhibition has become the power of shadows and far more common. Creatures and strange things have crept from the edges of our world, our minds, and our nightmares. The steamware of the past have become stronger and faster than meat and are the tools of many a myriad mad man. The rise of the East India Trading Company has opened the doorway for many massive Companies that stride above nations and men as if they were ants. The New World fairs no better, wracked by a bitter war of strange powers between the United States and the Native Nations. The lands of the east begin to throw off the shackles of western powers and their eyes turn to making themselves into world powers. The Dragons have returned, wrapped tightly in the power of shadow, they whisper prophecies of what may come to be while pushing men about like chess pieces.
In this time of gas light and flickering shadows a man or woman may earn their sterling and schillings by using what skills they have in the service of the governments, the companies, and the organizations that strive and struggle to control the shadows. Popularized by the news, mythologized by whispered stories in flickering lamp light, made legends by their deeds. Be what few can, be what even fewer survive, be a Shadowrunner.