1) an ancient word meaning 'master' or 'overlord'.
2) An alternative view on the universe we live in, with a twist!
The Suzerain universe is the intellectual property (IP) of Savage Mojo. It's a place where we tell stories, build entire worlds, and play with history a bit. It's all places and all times, including the future and all realities that might have been.
The Basics of the Suzerain Universe
The Suzerain universe is a fictional version of our world which varies from reality in a couple of subtle ways. Start with the world we live in, and then let's take a tiny step away from reality.
In Suzerain, at the base of everything is the Pulse of all things, a type of energy that has always existed but we're just not aware of, us people of the real world. In Suzerain though, Pulse allows people to do 'magic'. ESP, shapeshifting into a werewolf, divine miracles. All these things are just unexplained elements of our world, so could be labeled 'magic'. In the middle ages, if you'd brought along a Zippo lighter and lit a cigarette, that would have been seen as magic. If someone brings technology back from the far future, we might see what they do as 'magic' too. But in Suzerain, there's an explanation to it all. And Pulse is the fuel for a lot of what we're calling 'magic' today.
Okay, so 'magic' is a term we don't like to use in this day and age. How's about 'supernatural' or 'paranormal'. Those sit better with you? It's all the same in a new dress.
Taking It to the Next Level
Pulse is an energy that all things contain. Rocks don't have very much. Animals have more. And people... we have lots. Our Pulse signature is our soul. Which brings us to the next stage of Suzerain understanding, the spirit world.
In the Suzerain universe, there's the physical world we know, and then there's a spirit world made of nothing but Pulse. Much of it sits on top of the physical world like a second skin, and if you go there you'll see the Pulse signatures of all those rocks (vaguely) and animals (a bit brighter) and people (glowing very brightly).
All of this would be academic, except that there are beings who exist without a physical body, some as intelligent as animals, others as intelligent as people. These are spirits, and in Suzerain you'll find shamans who can interact with spirits, or even move to the spirit world for a while, leaving their body behind like so much excess baggage. The existence of occasional spirits adds an interesting angle to the Suzerain universe.
But the spirit world stretches off beyond our physical world and in the farthest reaches you'll find a barrier called the Veil. That leads to the next interesting part of the Suzerain universe.
A Divine Place
Some spirits live in a place beyond the Veil, outside of the normal flow of time. The Maelstrom is a place of pure energy, with no matter at all. Yet a few spirits have become so powerful that they can create a realm for themselves. These spirits are so powerful that they're the gods and goddesses of mankind. The gods of ancient Greece are here, living on Mount Olympus. The gods of ancient Egypt, the Norse gods, the gods of all ages are here.
They once interacted with the physical world, but now there's an agreement to stay on their side of the Veil - ever since Zeus and that ridiculous incident with the shower of gold. Instead, if they want to exert influence on the mortal realms, they recruit Heroes to their cause.
And that's really it. Apart from Pulse, and the spirit world that goes with it, and the spirits that live in it, and the gods that are the most powerful spirits... apart from that, the Suzerain universe is exactly like our own.
It's just that the existence of Pulse naturally leads to some interesting effects and events in the world, past, present and future. And the Suzerain universe covers all time periods, so there's a lot of it!