Anubia resembles your world, a parallel dimension were some things are recognizable while others are different. When a catastrophe known as “THE MAUL OF ANUBIS” stroke your/our planet your/our temporal line shattered into several parallel ones, and while your world exists on a line with little magic and a strong power of technology, Anubia exists in a very different one where magic is still abundant, time flows differently and Shadow Lords have not won yet (yes, a couple of them won in your world and now you see only what they want you to see).
Magic permeates anything in Anubia, because THE VEIL that separates REALITY and the world of dreams known as the SHADOW has been torn to pieces by the “Maul of Anubis”. This affects the “Cosmic laws” of this temporal line: magic is possible if you have the right training, gift or just a powerful will, while demons and other creatures can enter the material world from holes in the Veil. This also means that whoever controls magic, have a strong enough will, or maybe just the faith of thousands of “believers”, can change reality: history gets changed, people forgotten and physical laws modified and rewritten.
In some points where the Veil is completely thorn, reality mixes with the Shadow and dreams become real, placing people in a completely chaotic “reality” were things changes so fast that they loose meaning until even their self gets lost. All this makes for a very hard world to live if you don’t control magic or are protected by it in some way. This was what Anubia was headed for after the big catastrophe.
This status of things on one hand helps the Shadow Lords because their powers are increased, on the other hand hinders them because a lot of other people have the power to oppose and fight them! That’s why these tyrants of reality fight so fiercely here, because everyone, even a simple mortal, have the potential to become a Shadow Lord itself if he knows how and finds the power to impose his/her own will on reality (and maybe kick away the power of another Lord in the meanwhile).
Among all other powers, the EMPIRE OF ROMA AETERNA rules Anubia, much like the Roman Empire did in your own reality. Only, this Empire had to develop in an harsher magic world, surrounded by all kinds of demons and dangers, but finally found his secret weapon in the CHURCH OF THE DIVINE ORDER and its CALEPHS. This magic stones that resemble transparent crystals of various shapes and sizes have several powers, but the most important one is that they can strengthen the Veil and sew up its holes: under their cover reality is stabilized and can’t be warped so easily even by mages and demons can’t enter, thus civilizations can grow and prosper and the Shadow Lords have a harder time changing reality. This makes the Empire a prime target for their plots and attacks… this and the fact that the Church of the Divine Order has been created by the plots of the Archangel Raziel. He/she is an Elohim who that saw the catastrophe and the thorn Veil, saw the Shadow Lords plotting and decided to impose a new order and save humanity from chaos… but in doing this he/she also became just another Shadow Lord, another Tyrant that controls reality and shapes it to its own vision.
However, whitout Raziel’s Calephs reality is barely kept stable by the will and oral traditions of local communities, guided by SHAMANS who pass stories and magic knowledge to their disciples but have to wrestle every day of their existence with demons and reality-changing events operated by mages, immortals and Shadow Lords (or sometime just by the collective nightmares of a tribe). Thus is so that life in the Empire and other lands protected by the Calephs is stable and more like what you are used to call “reality”, while outside of their grasp life is chaotic and magic, ever changing and very, very dangerous.
Scarcity of metals
The chaotic energies of the Shadow weaken and warp the physical properties of materials, especially metallic ones. This, together with the difficulties of keeping a mine functioning outside Veil’s protection and the fact that Calephs’ power weakens underground (and the Abyss loves dark and underground places), makes for a serious scarcity of metallic materials in modern Anubia. For this reason industrialization in this world is slower, big metallic ships and weapons are costlier and even supplying bullets for the guns of whole armies is costly. While this don’t stops technology nor makes armies do away with guns, it makes things very different from our own world: melee fighting is still present on battlefields while guns, powerful war Titans and personal armors are revered and costly and used parsimoniously to reach important objectives. The Empire and other places protected by the Veil obviously have more access to metals and this makes their armies more powerful and their technology more advanced.
While magic is possible in Anubia and was widely used by Atlanteans, it’s also watched with suspicion and controlled both by Church and Malek (kings) because it weakens and even tears the Veil: while during Atlantis times the Veil steadily healed his own wounds, the modern Veil is very weak and damaged and only the power of the Calephs keep it together, thus magic is very dangerous if not properly controlled. So, there is magic and magic-users but they keep their workings hidden and secret unless they are “sanctioned” by Church of Empire and under their strict control and supervision.
To be continued…. you will find more information about Anubia in Shadow Lords Core Book.