Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen is an open world, high fantasy, massively multiplayer online role-playing game developed by Visionary Realms, which is a development studio founded by MMO veterans including former EverQuest architect, Brad McQuaid. The vision of the team is to create a MMO focused on challenging, group-based experiences in an expansive, evolving world full of exploration. Many tenets of the game harken back to early games of the genre, rather than attempting to please a mass-market audience by making progression extremely easy. Visionary Realms understands that this game is not for everyone, but believes there is a core audience of MMO players out there who desire a challenge that is truly rewarding.
- Content is King.
- In-game economies should be built upon delaying and minimizing item value deflation.
- Gameplay that focuses on rich combat and group mechanics.
- True challenge creates the most truly rewarding experience.
- Social bonds between players are a result (in part) to designed downtime.
- For players to feel immersed in a massive world, it must be populated with intelligent inhabitants.
- The sense of accomplishment earned from a shared experience is always greater than one earned alone.
Terminus is a world created by an amalgamation of mortal and planar shards that collided after what was left over from an all but dead universe many centuries ago. Many of the deities and demigods that ruled those ancient worlds have remained, which resulted in a tumultuous landscape of politics, religions, and cultures between the many races of Terminus.
The Celestial Era
A time when only one deity existed throughout the universe. Known simply as Nexus, her followers spread her influence throughout countless worlds and civilizations over the course of many millennia. It was a time of peace and prosperity. That is until the Myraxys arrived.
The Dark Era
A force of corruption, known as Myraxys, began to spread across the universe from the darkest reaches of space. Over the centuries, Myraxys took over entire worlds and, despite the power of Nexus, was on the verge of consuming even Terminus. As a last resort, Nexus unleashed what would become known as Terminus Arcana, which extinguished all life within the universe, thus eliminating the plague of Myraxys.
The Lost Era
Even Nexus was nearly eliminated by Terminus Arcana. After an unknown amount of time, she eventually regained her power. She was able to gather fragments of the shattered worlds and planes in an effort to create new life. These were the first planar collisions that began to make Terminus what it is today.
The Cataclysmic Era
Hundreds and thousands of fragments of distant worlds were colliding together to form the new surface of Terminus. In an attempt to save survivors, Nexus made herself known to them and used what powers she had left to help them thrive in this strange new world. But, with so many races from countless worlds now living side-by-side with limited resources, war was inevitable.
The Martial Era
Eventually, the collisions ceased. Soon after, war ran rampant throughout Terminus as civilizations and gods themselves fought for survival. The various pantheons of humans successfully formed alliances among themselves and thrived. The reptilian race of Vrilaksa sought refuge underground. The dwarves' mighty fortresses allowed them to defend the lands they rode in on. The ogres fought amongst themselves thanks to the greed and stubbornness of their various gods. The most notable war, known as Dragon March, was a result of the dragon-riding, god-king Oranthel leading his legion of undead in a nearly successful attempt to exterminate the elven civilizations.
The Pantheon Era
After an era ravaged by war, the Pantheon Era was one primarily consisting of the various pantheons establishing the borders forged by the previous wars and investing in the growth and prosperity of their people. Some of the deities regained enough power to create planar palaces and fortresses away from the terrestrial realm.
The Risen Era
After several hundred years had passed since the planar collisions, they began once again. Nexus returned to Terminus along with an army of legendary heroes who were thought lost for eternity after the first clashes of worlds. They became known as "Fallen Heroes" among the various pantheons already existing on and within Terminus. This is the current era of the Terminus timeline.
- Home World: Roa
- Terminus Home: Su'Roa
- Pantheon: Aoeyn
Archai are a tall race of people who were created by an ancient race known as Aoeyn from the crystalline planet of Roa. The Aoeyn were destroyed by the followers of an evil deity known simply as The Celestial Lord, then the Archai were reconstructed as a slave race, which became the Archai. Though enslaved, the new race discovered the ability to bond themselves with their environment. At a young age, each Archai goes through a ceremony known as "The True Birth" where their bodies graft with one of the four primary elements (earth, fire, wind, water) or even metals or minerals. This fusion is represented by markings on their bodies that remain for the rest of their lives. This power allowed them to wage a war that freed them from slavery.
On Terminus, the Archai founded Su'Roa ("Little Home") on a small island of diverse geology. Though they are viewed by many as stoic warriors, the Archai quite enjoy songs and look for any excuse for a celebration.
Archai can be Druids, Monks, Shaman, Warriors, or Wizards.
- Mana drain debuffs are less effective
- Immune to endurance drain debuffs
- Innate buff to elemental attunement (earth, fire, wind, or water)
- Bonus to environmental Acclimation skill based on elemental attunement
- Home World: Strontia
- Terminus Home: Strontian Mountains
- Pantheon: The Holy Strata
- Language: Stront
Dwarves are a race of people who are small in stature, yet produce some of the mightiest warriors ever seen. Their underground culture is largely based upon mining, engineering, smithing, and other crafting. The dwarves' society is segregated into many separate sects and clans they contribute to the betterment of the race in different ways. Those who choose to leave the tunnels beneath the Strontian Mountains enter the world of Terminus equipped with some of the most finely crafted weapons and armor in the world, which makes them fearsome despite their size.
When the dwarves arrived on Terminus, they were still underground and the world was wracked with earthquakes. Their Pantheon, the Holy Strata, intervened and used the last of their divine power to stabilize the region the dwarves were in, which later became known as the Strontian Mountains. The dwarves' king, Udo Ironstorm, immediately commissioned temples that served as tombs for their fallen Pantheon with the hope that one day they would return. In the years that followed, the dwarves built a series of massive towers known as the North Watch to defend themselves from the ogres to the north. Later, the woodland elves came to the dwarves after discovering a portion of Strontia that must have been separated from the dwarves upon colliding into Terminus. It was this lonely mountain from which trolls had been introduced to the new world. The dwarves formed an alliance with the elves in order to drive the trolls out, eventually to the swamps in the south. Since then, the dwarves also formed an alliance with the humans of Celestia, which led to a thriving trade market.
- Home World: Mythantya
- Terminus Home: The Falmyrys
- Pantheon: Ryn'Etryas
- Language: Etryan
Elves are a spiritual race of people that prefer to live among nature in the woodlands of Terminus. They are considered to be the oldest race in the universe, and as such they have evolved into the most graceful, elegant people. While being the most evolved race, many still choose to live simple lives in the wilderness as master craftsmen in woodworking, smithing, and more. There are others, though, who have opted to adventure beyond the forest as scouts, rangers, other professions.
Two types of elves have existed since before the planar collisions that brought them to Terminus; the Fal'Etryan (Wood Elves) and the Do'Etryan (Dark Elves). While the wood elves inhabit the treetops of the forest, the dark elves thrive in the "root realm" beneath the forest floor. After arriving on Terminus, their civil war continued until the dragons of Kaul'Odun invaded from the south, seeing the opportunity to claim the lands of the warring elves. In the eleventh hour, when defeat was imminent, the elvish Pantheon known as Ryn'Etryas arrived and battled the dragon god into retreating. The result led to a treaty between the two factions of elves. Without constant war, their society thrived, yet they remained reclusive and wary of other races. Slowly, the elves formed trade alliances with several other civilizations.
- Home World: Aruska
- Terminus Home: Skyfen Mountains
- Pantheon: Trove Lords
- Language: Arcana
Gnomes are a small race of people living underground that are wholly devoted to all things magical. Not only are they masters of casting all variations of magic, they believe it to be the foundation of life and the universe itself. There are many who believe the gnomes are slightly insane, but are still willing to deal with them due to the gnomes' uniquely crafted, magically imbued items and trinkets.
The gnomes' home world of Aruska was a realm without gods. After arriving on Terminus, the gnomes continued to live underground, unbeknownst to all the other races. Their devotion to magic led to the discovery of the Plane of Arcana and the creation of their own pantheon. It was dwarven miners who first discovered one of the gnomish cities. The dwarves referred to it as a treasure trove due to the magical and mechanical wonders they found there. The gnomes accepted this description and began referring to their new pantheon as the Trove Lords. Soon, their greed led them to the surface of Terminus in search of magical relics from all the other races. The gnomes were able to steal many of these items in secret due to abilities such as teleportation. This angered the Ethosians, a tribe of humans who are equally adept in the ways of magic. When the Ethosians discovered a trove beneath Celestius, a war erupted. This led to the gnomes abandoning all known troves and escaping to still unknown locations. Not even those gnomes who were left behind know where their brothers and sisters have gone, and now reside on the surface often as nomadic crafters, merchants, and casters for hire.
- Home World: Dohmchanta
- Terminus Home: The Blackwoods
- Pantheon: Ryn'Etryas
- Language: Dohma
Halflings are a humble, resourceful, short race of people who are typically content with never leaving the hills, fields, and woods they call home. Their farmers grow many unique crops, and their crafters draw traders and merchants from all other realms. Many other races see these characteristics of halflings and underestimate their abilities when it comes to combat. Over the years, halflings have become experts in dexterity and agility, which makes them masters of stealth.
The halflings came to Terminus upon a fragment of their peaceful, garden-like home world of Dohmchanta. There they lived mostly quiet lives and worshipped a deity known as Cailloc, the Mother of All, whom none had ever actually seen. After crashing into Terminus, their goddess revealed herself to them as a vengeful witch who was furious following the loss of her realm. Using the last of what would remain of her power as a god, she banished all the halflings from what was left of Dohmchanta, keeping it for herself. The surviving halflings were refugees scattered in a dangerous, unfamiliar world. They eventually settled in a wooded area of Celestius known as the Blackwoods where they were later discovered by the Wood Elves of Falmyrys. The two races formed a strong bond thanks to their shared love of nature and crafting. Having lost their deity, the halflings soon adopted the Elvish pantheon of Ryn'Etryas. After some time, the divine circle that makes up the pantheon of Ryn'Etryas accepted a halfling hero into their ranks. Whether Cailloc still lives and where the remains of Dohmchanta are located continue to be a mystery to the halflings.
- Home World: Daera
- Terminus Home: Kingsreach, Plains of Triundia, Desert of A'Moka
- Pantheon: Trinariad
- Language: Triundan
Humans on Terminus consist of four different tribes, and together they are one of the most populous races in the world. From the continent of Celestius, humans were the quickest to adapt to their new surroundings after arriving on Terminus. Their versatility has allowed them to thrive in various ways as well as settle many areas outside their own regions.
Briggaens are a feudal tribe of humans who landed on the western coast of Celestius. Right next door to them are Maratans, a militant empire that had been at war with the Briggaens on Daera for many years. Their war continued on Terminus with the direct help of their gods until the arrival of the Platocians, an erudite tribe of humans whose shard crashed into the ocean forcing the surviving refugees to seek shelter among the Briggaens. The Platocian god Ulenicus successfully formed a treaty between the tribes, thus becoming the Kingdom of Triundia. The Maratan god Oranthel rejected this treaty and continued to wreak havoc upon Briggaen lands, which led to his exile from the pantheon of gods. He now continues his mission with a smattering of followers as a mortal god-king.
The Ethosians, a mystical tribe of humans, reside far away from the others in the heart of the deserts of Celestius. Oranthel sought to join forces with them but was denied, and instead aligned himself with a powerful dragon god known as Kaul'Odun. Oranthel's Maratan soldiers were supplemented with undead revenants and drakes as they attacked the capital of Triundia. Even so, Oranthel was unsuccessful again. Since then, the Triundan empire has thrived and spread to new lands. Meanwhile, Ethosians have kept secluded in their desert lands.
- Origin World: Gruundark
- Terminus Home: Icehammer Steppes
- Pantheon: The Shattered Maul
- Language: Gruun
Ogres are a nomadic, anarchistic race of powerful behemoths. At about twice the size of a human, ogres easily instill fear and dread into almost any foe, which includes any type of creature including themselves. While they have no respect for any other race, clans of ogres are often at war with each other, which inhibits their ability to become a dominant population on Terminus. This is a result of the civil war within their own pantheon of gods, The Shattered Maul. Some ogres have become tired of the civil wars and migrated south seeking lives as mercenaries. Due to the shrinking population, the ogre gods descended from deity status and now rule warring clans as mortal god-kings. A deity once thought lost, Djrodn the Plunder God, has recently returned and promises to unite the ogres under one empire that will conquer Terminus.
Clerics are armored priests who are devoted to spreading the word of their chosen deity. Aside from this, they are committed to helping keep their allies alive, or reviving them when necessary, in the wilds of Terminus. Clerics wear full plate armor whenever possible, and typically wield a combination of a blunt weapon (hammer, mace, morning star, etc.) and shield. Occasionally, they can be seen wielding two-handed warhammers. However, some clerics choose to don themselves in robes, opting for the increased mobility and chance to focus their divine efforts more towards casting spells. The most powerful clerics can even summon a knight from the astral plane of their god to fight beside them.
- Battle Cleric - Plate Armor, Melee Combat
- Curate - Cloth Armor, Faith, Magic
Crusaders are noble knights who are able to wield the divine power of their chosen gods. They use their bravery and faith to defend their allies on the front lines of battle. The more they prove their devotion to their god and/or king, the more powerful a crusader becomes. Crusaders are born leaders and are an inspiration to those that accompany them. While the majority of their combat skill involves a sword and shield, crusaders also have command over faith-based, restoration spells similar to clerics. Aside from the classic sword and shield combination, some opt for lances or even axes. Occasionally, a crusader can even be found dual wielding shields in an effort to better protect his/her friends. They are especially effective when dispatching undead.
- Cavalier - Strength, Melee Combat
- Paladin - Faith, Magic
Dark Knights are the epitome of evil. These unholy warriors instill fear in even the most devout heroes of Terminus. Having studied the forbidden Tome of Myraxys, these knights of shadow have traded their own souls in favor of immense power. Dark Knights almost always wear full plate armor, and typically wield two-handed swords or a longsword and shield combination. They have a limited knowledge of necromancy that allows them to summon minions, disappear into shadows, and sap the health from their enemies. While Dark Knights are certainly evil, they are not chaotic, for they live by a strict code set forth by their chosen gods. Their primary goal is to spread fear throughout the world of Terminus by any means necessary.
- Void Master - Control over shadows.
- Dread Lord - Command the dead through necromancy.
Enchanters are able to control the minds of others as well as use magical illusions to hide among their enemies in plain sight. While they are extremely limited in terms of melee combat, enchanters thrive by enhancing their allies' mental acuity and deftness, while simultaneously sieving the will from the minds of their enemies. When surrounded by numerous foes, an enchanter is able to stun or mesmerize them, effectively locking them in place while the enchanter's allies pick them apart. In the mean time, the enchanter is able to siphon the stunned one's own power for his/her own use. Some enchanters prefer to charm their enemies and use them against other foes. By making them into pets, an adept enchanter can command a small army in battle. Even the mightiest warriors can be rendered helpless by a powerful enchanter.
- Beguiler - Mesmerizing and stuns.
- Phantasmist - Charming.
Rogues are masters of both blades and deception. By becoming one with the shadows, they are able to sneak past enemies unnoticed, pickpocket from vendors, sense and disarm deadly traps, and more. As skillful as rogues are with stealth, they are equally as deadly with blades. Lurking in the dark, some rogues are the most lethal assassins in all of Terminus. Some mix their own poisons to further enhance the damage they deal. There are some rogues who have instead chosen to focus on the planar energies that emanate from Terminus. By doing so, they have learned how to manifest ethereal weapons and even throw magical projectiles. With the ability to shift back and forth between different planes of existence, these rogues can attack the very essence of reality, which adversely affect enemies' skills, defenses, and abilities.
- Assassin - Poison and blades.
- Planestalker - Magic and shifting between planes of existence.
Nexus, The Lost Goddess
According to the Astral Tome, Nexus is believed to have existed longer than any other being in the universe. More specifically, she was once the only inhabitant of Terminus but single-handedly saved the souls of both mortals and gods alike after the first planar collisions. She is the omnipotent heart of the universe and ruled as such for an unfathomable length of time. That was until the dark gods of Myraxys entered the fray from the void, which led to the War Before Ages. As a last resort, she unleashed what has become known as Terminus Arcana, which shattered nearly all of existence. From the rubble, Nexus selected certain civilizations and brought them to Terminus so that it could be reborn.
Development on Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen began in late 2013 with a small team of MMO veterans formed by Brad McQuaid. McQuaid, known as "Aradune" among players, was one of the original designers that created EverQuest. He left Sony Online Entertainment in 2001 at the height of EverQuest's popularity to start his own company, Sigil Games, and develop the ill-fated Vanguard: Saga of Heroes. Ironically, SOE ended up publishing Vanguard in 2007 after Microsoft Studios bailed on the project. McQuaid stayed on with SOE and even returned to the EverQuest team helping with the game's annual expansions. In September 2013, he once again left to start his own project.
Almost immediately, McQuaid began teasing his new project through his Twitter account. His new studio, known as Visionary Realms, launched a Kickstarter funding effort on January 13, 2014. Unfortunately, the Kickstarter campaign was not successful. Despite this, Visionary Realms continued to work on the game and began their own pledge system that allowed fans to donate on a monthly basis or in lump sums for different levels of rewards.
On November 18, 2019, Brad McQuaid died at his home. He was 50 years old. No details of the cause of death were released publicly.
The game has been playable by the public a few times such as at PAX East 2018. In 2019, Visionary Realms began running "Pre-Alpha Shakeout" tests with a very limited number of players. These tests continued periodically throughout 2020.
As with any game of this size, it has gone through many design changes over the years. Several playable races and classes that were originally announced have since been removed and/or replaced. Visionary Realms has said that some may return based on time and funding.
These are the ones that are no longer definitely in the game.
- Origin World: Terminus
- Terminus Home: The Dead Ridges
- Pantheon: Myraxian
- Language: Chatter
After crashing into Terminus, some renounced their gods for forsaking them and lived the rest of their lives as atheists. The faithless have no access to the afterlife and are cursed with walking the surface of Terminus as spirits for eternity. When the god-king Oranthel needed more soldiers, he enslaved legions of undead with the magic of Myraxys. With the aid of deathly powerful Myraxian magic, the undead became more than just a minor nuisance. Being undead, they fought as warriors without fear while instilling fear in many of their foes. With the god-king defeated by the Triundan Empire in the Dragon March, the revenants were free to wander Terminus again. While most revenants continue to be evil horrors that terrorize the living, there are a small percentage that have been born again in their undeath. Together, they seek to lay the foundation of an undead city near the volcanoes in the far east.
- Home World: Terminus
- Terminus Home: None
- Pantheon: Nexus
- Language: Arcana
Also known as The Bound, the T'Jinn are an inorganic race of sentient magic. Some believe they are the result of the powerful magic that brought these worlds together combining the spirits of the people who originally called Terminus home. Over the centuries, left untouched near the core of Terminus, the combination of magic and these spirits created crystals known as Sparks, which each contained a T'Jinn. It is not clear who discovered the Sparks first, but both the gnomes and Ethosians used their knowledge of the arcane to enslave the T'Jinn. They spent many years in service of these other races until Nexus intervened and freed her ancient followers. Now, though there are not many, the T'Jinn seek to find and release more of their kin from these sparks and establish a society of their own.
- Home World: Vril
- Terminus Home: Lost Lake
- Pantheon: ?
- Language: Vril
Vrilaska are a reptilian race of people whose marshlands were one of the first to collide with Terminus. From the the wetlands they call the Spirit Marsh, they worship their ancestors as much as their gods. The Vrilaska were once thought extinct by the other races of Terminus after a massive quake seemingly engulfed the Spirit Marsh, so little is known about them and their culture. But, after the second wave of collisions, rumors began making the rounds that the lizards had somehow returned. It is said the Vrilaska now prey on all who cross their path from aboard pirate ships hidden in the mists of the Lost Lake and beyond.