Knightfall's WORLD OF KULAN D&D Campaign

Knightfall

World of Kulan DM
Introduction
I have never reached this point ever in my years of gaming and had never had the ambition. But then I read "The Wyrm’s Turn" in DRAGON Magazine #244:

"Like most folks, I imagine many more campaigns than I’ll ever actually run - especially the latest version of my house campaign ...which is, of course, my ‘next’ favorite. On that note, write me a short letter describing your own house campaign - whether you’ve actually run it or have just dreamed it so far. We’ll print the most interesting in D-mail, where everyone can see what you’ve imagined."
— Dave Gross​

This made me think about one of my own campaigns, Kulan, and how far it has come. And yet I have never truly understood what drives me to keep it going. It doesn’t have much history or been played to every corner of the maps I’ve drawn and redrawn. I’ve only shared it with three people who aren’t the most avid gamers ever known (now more like eleven). In fact, it is not even my first campaign world. That distinction will always go to Malecade (Time of Ages).

It’s really a combination of many things:
  • Personal Fulfillment: Too leave a personal legacy, no matter how obscure it might be. Too leave something behind for others to enjoy. Even if it is only some distant relative sorting through old boxes after I’m gone.
  • My Pain: The fact is that the game has had more impact on my soul than anyone else could ever know. In the years of my youth it gave me a way to channel the painful emotions of adolescence and doubt. It strengthened me and gave me hope for the future.
  • My Imagination: Ever since I was little, my mind would wander to things out of place in our world. Studying pictures of the myths & legends of other times in history such as Stonehenge and ancient Aztec ruins, as if in a dream. Seeing them come to life in my mind and losing myself to the fantasy of whatever I’m looking at. I didn’t pay attention in school very much unless it was Social Studies. It is a powerful gift to imagine something that is beyond reality such as magic and dragons. To feel the wings beating in my mind carrying me higher than one should dare to go. I have always wanted to fly!
  • My Heart: This is hard to put into words but all my campaigns have been a expression of my deepest love for family, friends, and other more passionate hopes & dreams. I guess you could call me the doomed romantic. I can never feel something halfway...it’s all or nothing. And usually, that is what brings about my downfall in the end. I have cared very deeply about many wonderful women in this world; most never knew. All because I could never find the courage to express it. Shauna, Carla, Jennifer, and Susan.
The Basics
World of Kulan is, well, unique in many ways. It is the one great accomplishment of my life as a world builder. It lives through the characters my friends and I have created. Yet, it is still in its infancy, as a campaign, and if you asked me to describe the world in 100 words or less, I couldn't do it. I'm not even sure that would want to even try. Such limitations never serve the expansion of imagination as they bind a stereotypical mindset to a campaign that is hard to let go of once in place.

Kulan is traditional Dungeons and Dragons, yet never conforms to one type of tradition. It can be exotic, if one knows where to tread. It can be ancient or decadent depending on where one searches for the past. It can be lost, in a sea of uncharted islands, or frozen, in northern barbarian lands. It can be powerful psionic knights of the republic or it can be the wild, yet proud, humanoids of the humid savannas. It can be scorched deserts, lost to rest of the world for ages, or exotic lands ruled by khans, caliphs, or tzars. Anything is possible, yet nothing is written in stone.

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SIDEBAR: The World in a Nutshell
The World of Kulan is the merging of many different ideas and flashes of insight. The original continent I designed for World of Kulan was only an old coastline drawn in pencil on several pages of scrap paper that was meant for my Sons of Asgard campaign setting. This coastline became what is now the Lands of Harqual and would be only vaguely similar to the original coastline if compared today (not that I have the original sketch anymore).

Important Facts

  • The Balance is key on World of Kulan. Dragons are aligned to the Balance and have very different alignments (at least partially neutral). The World Goddess, Mirella, holds sway over the Balance.
  • No native Drow! The drow never developed on World of Kulan and, thus, the elven subrace is almost unheard of in the world and throughout Kulanspace. (Morlocks are to World of Kulan what drow are to other worlds.)
  • Gnomes are rare across the World of Kulan. Humans are native to every continent/region except Triadora. Elves and the Rakasta are native to every continent/region except the Fallenlands and Triadora. Dwarves are native to every continent/region except the Fallenlands, Merria, and Triadora. Halflings are native to every continent/region except Janardun and Triadora.
  • World of Kulan uses a unique cosmology known as the Mirrored Cosmology. Said cosmology is heavily influenced by Planescape and Spelljammer. There isn't an Astral Plane, a Plane of Shadows, a Positive Energy Plane, or a Negative Energy Plane, but there is a unique plane known as the Shadowstar Sea. Other new planes include the Plane of Serenity and the Spokelands.
  • The old 2e Paraelemental Planes (Ice, Magma, Ooze, and Smoke) exist in the Mirrored Cosmology. Other planes in the cosmology include the Elemental Planes, Ethereal Plane, Far Realm, Plane of Faerie, Plane of Mirrors, Spirit World, and Temporal Energy Plane.
  • The Outlands are split into an Upper Outlands and a Lower Outlands, separated by the Spokelands and Sigil, The City of Doors. My Sigil has a Master of Agony instead of a Lady of Pain, and the Faction War never happened. (The epic City of Union exists in my cosmology as well.)
  • The Upper Planes and the Lower Planes are roughly the same, although there are some key differences. The Upper Planes can only be reached through the Upper Outlands, while the Lower Planes can only be reached through the Lower Outlands, or through permanent magical portals in planar and/or material plane cities/towns. Such portals are very rare on Kulan, while they are common in Sigil and other planar cities and gate towns.
  • The world, as a whole, has been influenced by Al-Qadim, Birthright, Dark Sun, Dragonlance, Forgotten Realms, Kara-Tur, Mystara, Spelljammer, and Thunder Rift.
  • Several D&D Modules have influenced (or will influence) the design of Kulan: B4 The Lost City, B5 Horror on the Hill, B6 The Veiled Society, B7 Rahasia, B10 Night's Dark Terror, C1 The Hidden Shrine of Tamoachan, C2 The Ghost Tower of Inverness, Dragon Mountain [boxed set] (AD&D 2E), T1-4 Temple of Elemental Evil, S1 Tomb of Horrors, S2 White Plume Mountain, X1 Isle of Dread, X2 Castle Amber, X12 Skarda's Mirror, and The Silver Key (AD&D 2E), as well as many DUNGEON Magazine modules [including the Shackled City Adventure Path [hardcover] (D&D 3E)].
  • Several D20/OGL campaign settings, sourcebooks, and adventures have also influenced (or been incorporated into) World of Kulan. This includes (but isn't limited to) the following: A Magical Medieval Society: Western Europe; Beyond Countless Doorways; Bluffside: City on the Edge; City State of the Invincible Overlord; Complete Book of Eldritch Might, the; Dave Arneson's Blackmoor; Dry Land: Empires of the Dragon Sands; Frost & Fur; Gary Gygax's Necropolis; PENUMBRA Crime & Punishment; Pirate's Guide to Freeport, the; Redhurst: Academy of Magic; Streets of Silver; Tsar Rising; and Valus; as well as the adventure White Robes, Black Hearts: Enigma of the Arcanexus, which I co-wrote with Darrin Drader and Tony Bounds.
  • Another huge influence has been the input and questions asked about World of Kulan here at EN World. Notable EN Worlders that have influenced World of Kulan include (but are not limited to) Blackrat, BOZ, Conaill, DarrinDrader, Destan, Dog Moon, Hand of Evil, JohnnFour, Kip the Bold, Lalato, Malessa, PirateCat, Sepulchrave II, Shemeska, steeldragons, and the Jester.
  • The world has also been influenced by the members of a messageboard known as The Piazza. Notable members of The Piazza that have influenced World of Kulan include (but are not limited to) Azaghal, Big Mac, Chimpman, dfryer36, Havard, and Angel.
  • Mor's End, The EN World City Project, exists just south of the City of Cauldron (the Shackled City Adventure Path) on the continent of Harqual.


Campaigns – Older
The Classic AD&D 2E Campaign: The Companions
(in the 1990s)
The adventures of Bactra Redwind, Dabuk Tigerstorm, Cheng-Dû (throkr), Crelias (lizardfolk, deceased), Firewalker (nagpa), Hegron of the Barrens, Jeddar Silversun, and Sir Mojo Rising across the Lands of Harqual and the Fallenlands.

Noteable NPCs included Dvalin Thunderstone, Garth Tigerstorm, Hougwarth Medinton (vonakyndra), Johna (rakasta), Kellin One-Eye (ogre), Mesik Tindertwig, Rikin Stonefossil, Salisan Marg (reef giant), Teal Redwind, Thessa Simmial, Trynii of Foxellian, and Zeppapian (nagpa).

The Burning Plague D&D 3E Adventure (2005)
The adventures of Blacktaros, Firak, Ionesco Valdeshar, Soja (kitt), and Toryn Stonecutter in, under, and around Duvik's Pass.

Noteable NPCs included Devilo Winterwolf, Drand Rhomus (the avenger), Jax Vaine (the invisible bad guy, deceased), Miles (the mayor's head guard), Minkil (kobold), Mistress Lily Samual (head priestess of Bast), Stefan Doverspeak (the villian, escaped), and the Voluptuaries (priestesses of Bast).

The Order of the Silver Hand D&D 3E Campaign (2006-2007)
Will have its own page.

Campaigns – Current
Aerie of the Crow God D&D v.3.5E PbP Campaign
(2009-2019 [Ongoing])
In-Character Thread
Out-of-Character Thread

Crisis in Bluffside D&D v.3.5 PbP Campaign (Ongoing; New to EN World)
In-Character Thread
Out-of-Character Thread

Adventures and Stories
Adventure Index
Fiction and Story Hours

Character Options
Races
Classes and Prestige Classes
— List of Classes
— List of Prestige Classes
Skills and Feats
— Languages by Region
Equipment
Spells and Magic
Psionics

Cosmology and Other Related Worlds
The Farspace Reality
— Allorspace
— Fane's Star
— Kalespace
Kulanspace
— Tristar
Mirrored Cosmology
Maran
— Sio
Deities
Deities by Region
World Gods
New Domains

Monsters
Monster Compilation I
Monster Compilation II
Monster Compilation III
Other Monsters
Monster Lists
Monsters by Region
Sources

Regions
There are five continents and eight island groups on Kulan. Harqual is the most detailed region of the world, and it is where every Kulan campaign has begun (so far). The continent known as the Fallenlands and the Wakuna Islands have also seen some gaming action as part of the old AD&D 2E campaign.

Continents
The Fallenlands
Lands of Harqual
Janardûn: The Psionic Lands
Kanpur: The Ancient Lands
Triadora: Land of Empires

Major Island Groups
Merria
Ryaith
Isles of Valossa
Wakuna Islands

Minor Island Groups
Gwyrdhyn
Islands of the Frozen North
Isles of Valus
Vol Isles

The Seas of Kulan
Major Seas
Minor Seas
Under the Waves

The Underdark
Below the Surface
The Stonegates
The Underearth


Campaign Suggestions
 
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Knightfall

World of Kulan DM
Added my homebrewed Farspace Reality for Spelljammer. Will try to complete the Minor Island Groups subsection of the Regions section by Friday. (Okay, this didn't happen. I got distracted by my adventure index.)
 
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