The king’s heirs are incompetent, corrupt, or dead. The sons of aristocrats hunt condemned men for sport, while their fathers scheme with each other behind closed doors. Smallfolk fight each other like beasts over a crust of stale bread or a dropped coin on the street. Degenerate creations of dark magic roam the forests of the frontier. And the Bronze Horde lie in wait beyond the mountains to enslave, pillage, and burn.
The player characters are Vessels - imbued with the divine power of kings and gods.
The problem is that this power flows into them from something external. The kingdom built cairns and towers around the land to concentrate this divine force, and tied it to the administrative and governmental structure of the region. In other words, your magic powers derive quite literally from the local ruler’s mandate, or lack thereof.
Not just the ruler either. The common people also can influence this flow of power. Since the Vessels were intended as defenders of humanity, this is a built-in fail-safe. A Vessel who loses the trust of the people loses his or her power.
So what’s the catch? If you go to a town and it turns against you - be it open rebellion against the king, or because a con man convinced a bunch of people that you’re here to pillage and rape - the power departs, or may even turn against you. Some Vessels might actually kill themselves trying to use their powers against angry muggles.
So on the frontier, there’s motivation to act in secret, to conceal your status as Vessel and just go about figuring out what the status is. The more solid your mandate, the more openly you can act.
The other thing is that each Vessel channels that power in ways unique to them. Sympathetic and gentle characters get healing and shielding. Angry warriors get destruction. No two Vessel abilities are strictly alike. That said, situations have a power all their own. A town full of rage and vengeance will imbue Vessels with destructive powers, for example.
The game has a set of soundtracks on 8tracks.com: