From the Introduction
The world began as nothing but ocean before the Origins raised up a million colourful islands, anything larger than a few dozen miles being swallowed back down by the envious deep. Some of these immaterial beings chose to take a physical form and live in the varied lands they had created, eventually settling into the forms of men and beasts. Our ancestors.
The Origins that did not take physical form paid a great cost. They were left unable to affect their world directly, relying upon influencing men with words and knowledge. Their teachings led to our understanding of elemental balance, the formation of the thousand Legendary Styles and the universal code of combat that define our world today.
You are a great man or woman. An errant trained in both the noble art of combat and in contests of body and mind, both skillful and social. Drifting from one island to another for your own reasons, you have your own philosophy on life and the power to enforce it.