The Empire has been grabbing children from villages all over their realm. These children are all gifted in some way, having special gifts not normally reserved for mere humans. It's into this nightmarish world that you find yourself in Heterodoxy, a new RPG zine that's up on Kickstarter now.
From the campaign:
For generations now, the great Empire has invaded our forests and hills. Mighty chiefs have fallen, and there has been no pause to the bloodshed that slaughters our mothers and fathers. But our villages remain, our fields and farms, orchards and smoke-houses, aeries and coops. They need our grain and animals; only our bodies are destroyed.
Whispers say the Heretic was once High Priest of the Empire, wealthy and untouchable, a commander of temples and armies. They must have done something to cross the emperor, for now the Heretic lives in exile among us, teaching strange rites and blasphemous ideas nothing like our own rituals nor the dogma of their home.
The Heretic wandered for a number of years before settling in the Forest. They reached out to acquire gifted children from all the tribes and peoples who struggle against the Empire, procuring children with strong Daemons to raise as weapons--to raise as Witches.
Further details of the setting and story will be developed during play (see "How to Play" below). Whatever the genre or setting details, the Empire takes the form of an off-screen Romanesque monolith. Whether iron age, medieval, cyberpunk, or pulp sci-fi, the Empire agents will incorporate elements of a Romanesque aesthetic: plumed helms, straps and sandals, breastplates with embossed nipples, decadence even on the battlefield, slatted skirts, chariots, etc. Beyond the soldiers, auxiliaries, and machines of war, the Empire of your game exists as whispers and ghost stories.
The campaign's around halfway to its goal with 13 days left to go.