From the website:
Welcome to the Swords of Cydoria, a setting for Basic Roleplaying. Swords of Cydoria is set on the fantasy world of Uruta. Whether Uruta is our own Earth in the far future, a mirror of Earth in a parallel universe, or a strangely-familiar alien world on the far side of the galaxy is unclear. Uruta is a savage barbaric world of flashing swords, mutant beasts, daring heroes, diabolical cults, ancient ruins, mysterious forces, and powerful artifacts. Against this backdrop of swords and sorcery is told a story of contact with alien worlds, the introduction of science-fiction technology, and the struggle for freedom against oppression.
Swords of Cydoria offers many opportunities for intrigue and adventure. Using the rules presented for this setting, players may create brooding barbarians, dashing adventurers, desperate freedom fighters, cunning aero-ship pilots, and much more.
Swords of Cydoria takes place on the continent of Markania on the mysterious world known as Uruta.
The continent of Markania is a land of extremes, with frigid tundra covering the northern third, poisonous jungles and swamps blanketing the southern third. The middle is characterized by regions of exploding volcanoes, baking deserts, vast plains, inland gulfs, towering peaks, floating mountains, and dense forests. The deserts are home to ravenous sand squid and giant wasps. Dragonflies the size of horses dart over the dark jungles of deadly plants and poisonous miasma. Massive four-armed mutant apes occupy cliff-side caves overlooking a fetid swamp. Monstrous saurians haunt the ancient ruins of lost cities deep in the vinechoked forests.
Civilization is centered in the city-states of Cydoria, most of which are ruled by the Vrildarian Empire. The Empire conquered the city-states twelve years ago using advanced technology supplied by the Rhakadian League, aliens from the planet Malus.
During the War of Unification, the Empire was opposed by the Coalition of Timan, an alliance equipped with advanced technology of their own supplied by the Phanosian Alliance, enemies of the Rhakadians. The Coalition was eventually abandoned by their Phanosian allies and ultimately lost the war. Afterwards, the cities of the Coalition were occupied and its population enslaved. Many Coalition prisoners were shipped to prison camps in the deserts of Arus.
Life for the civilized people of Cydoria is roughly equivalent to that of ancient Rome or China, with areas of relative technical sophistication in cities such as Norukar. Barbarians, of course, live a much more primitive existence. People wield swords and wear armor of leather and steel. They tame strange animals as mounts and food. In recent years, contact with aliens has introduced sorcerous wonders such as electric lights and motors, broadcast power, energy weapons, and motorized vehicles.
The Vrildarian Empire maintains power over the empire through its monopoly on access to alien technology. Such wonders are available only to a select few members of the nobility and the punishment for unauthorized use of technology is severe. The sentence for carrying or using a laser pistol, for example, is the amputation of a hand. Despite this, smugglers from other worlds are able to slip past the Rhakadian orbital blockade and gain entry through the Oudh, the magical force field that protects Uruta from alien invasion, to sell their wares on the black market.
The invention of the aero-ship, flying vehicles powered by propeller-driven engines, has opened up the Markanian interior for colonization and settlement. Cydorian pioneers and refugees from the War of Unification have streamed west to establish a new life on the frontier.
Into this land stride mighty adventurers, be they resolute soldiers of the Demetrian resistance, cunning members of the crew of the Tonbo, crafty artifact hunters exploring an ancient ruin, mystical warriors of the Adhara, deadly assassins of the Katari, devious rogues of the Hidden Hand, notorious sky-pirates of the Dazumi, or simple townsfolk on the Markanian frontier. They fight for freedom, riches, and fame against the tyranny of those who would oppress them.