On a gentle spring evening, without warning or apparent source, chaos descends upon the once thriving world of Arkose. A coastal town is silently crushed, leaving piles of dust where people once stood. A pestilence infects the land. It cares not whom it reduces into a blubbering, raving lunatic. The infected spend their final days trying to escape from the clutches of their own shadows. There is no apparent cure. The Gadgeteer race seems to disappear. Hysteria reigns supreme. Doors are shut tight and towns turn hostile to strangers. Barriers of all kinds, some quite lethal, spring-up as towns fight off deranged strangers and the growing hoard of bizarre creatures that are somehow connected with the disease. It's as if some immense, demonic nightclub just shut its doors at 2 am, spewing its inebriated, bloodthirsty, vicious patrons out into the world all at once.
A small band of orphans stumble along seeking help and answers. They are assisted by numerous characters, and confront hoards of vicious and conniving adversaries. They wander and explore sweeping landscapes, ranging from fantastic flying cities to haunted villages and mysterious ruins. They must overcome challenging puzzles, complete difficult mini-quests and meet a slew of quirky beings as they try to solve the mystery of Shadow Madness.