We all know that the RQG default setting is the Hero Wars, but it is worth remembering that term is likely anachronistic- I think the first use of the phrase is as an alternative to the Battle of Heroes in 1628. Think how big of a deal it is to have the Red Emperor, Jar-eel, Harrek, Gunda, Beat-Pot, Argrath, Jaldon, and more all contending with each other on the field.
With that begins a quarter-century or so of struggle between Sartar and the Lunar Empire. Armies and heroes fight both physically and spiritually, and fortunes swing back and forth. There are occasional long pauses that deceive people into believing the conflict is over. But it restarts at least three or four times.
During this period the setting changes. What was true in 1625 might be false 20 or 30 years later. New cults will appear. Some old cults will change or even die out. A lot happens and much of this is decided by your individual campaigns.
Now before anyone starts whinging about metaplots or other such complaints, remember that this has been the foundation of the setting since before RQ was even a concept. In fact, RQ was created for this – it is an unfortunate trick of history that it took fifty real years to get there!
Now this is radically different from the seemingly endless and unstoppable Lunar Occupation we saw in RQ2 and RQ3. Time (and the setting itself) just kind of froze into an endless 1621 (pre- the fall of Whitewall) re loop.
Anyone paying attention knows the basic contours of 1625-1628. Soon enough there will be guidelines for the whole Hero Wars period. I can’t wait to see what you all do with it!
One thing I try to do in my games is start introducing these NPCs early. Let the players develop relationships – positive and negative towards them. And then just throw them in! Like using Lancelot in Pendragon or Nyarlahotep in Call of Cthulhu. Don’t keep them offstage – have them walk on stage and say hi.