World of Kulan DM
[v.3.5] Kulan: The Lands of Harqual
This thread is dedicated to the development of my homebrewed D&D v.3.5 campaign world, World of Kulan. (Note that this campaign world will remain dedicated to v.3.5, regardless of whether or not I ever buy the core books for 4E. Thus, v.3.5 fans can always look to this thread for new content for their v.3.5 campaigns.)
Here is where I will design (and redesign) certain campaign elements, as well as a way to give others the chance to help me develop the campaign world (if people so choose). If anything, it is a method of sharing new adventure ideas and concepts.
DM's NOTE: This thread is now dedicated specifically to the continent known as the Lands of Harqual, which has always been the main region for my campaigns.
Updated: February 7, 2008
Other Threads Related to Harqual (Links will be updated)
- Kulan: Year of the Return (749 N.C.)
- World of Kulan Maps
Also, on the first post of that story hour thread you will find other links to various World of Kulan thread here on EN World. (Not all of them are related directly to Harqual.)
Lands of Harqual Overview
Harqual is a land full of conflict. For generations, the diverse races of the continent have been either fighting amongst themselves or battling the constant threat of humanoid invasion. Ogres, orcs, gnolls, and other evil humanoids roam the wild tracts of land between dozens of kingdoms and city-states of humans, elves, dwarves, halflings, gnomes, and rakasta. Twice have the ogres led the humanoid invasions, which became known as the Ogre Wars.
Before that were even darker times. Most of its history, either lost to the ravages of time or in the ancient ziggurats of the Old Sword Imperium, has remained hidden. What the people do remember are what is collectively known as the Black Wars. This dark time saw the rise and fall of petty warlords and kings; brought about by the Divinity War between the North Gods and the Sword Gods.
The North Gods were born by the Lord of the North, Cronn, a pantheon of barbarian gods who, for a time, lived amongst their people. The Sword Gods were born by Hiisi, The Lord of Darkness, a vile and twisted Finnish deity who came to Lands of Harqual to take the essence of Cronn and corrupt the people of the land. The war raged across Harqual, god vs. god and mortal vs. mortal.
Eventually the war spilled over into Outer Planes. Many gods died on each side of the conflict and when the final battle came, the two pantheons clashed on the shores of Lunia, while the rest of the Multiverse watched. Hiisi launched a full assault forcing demons and dark followers to throw themselves against the petitioners and angels loyal to the North Gods.
In the end, the North Gods won and the fiends retreated. Cronn’s noble godson, Jaeger, God of Honor, trapped Hiisi in a dueling circle surrounded by the Finnish Gods, in Ympyrä Ristiriita, or The Challenge. Unable to defeat the powerful greater god, Jaeger sacrificed his essence to the Outer Planes so that Hiisi would remain banished in Carceri, “for as long as my Great Father watches over the lands and people of Harqual”.
The fall of the Sword Gods left the Old Sword Imperium in chaos, which led to the time of the Black Wars.
Now, in current times, the past threatens to tear apart the present. New kingdoms and city-states fight to protect their lands from the dark followers of the remaining Sword Gods as well as the machinations of the evil humanoids. A third ogre war seems inevitable. Worse still the continent suffers under an ancient & forgotten threat.
As Jaeger banished Hiisi, Cronn beseeched Mirella, to banish another enemy from Harqual. This other god, Tu, Lord of the Tabaxi, tried to conquer Harqual as the last battle was being fought on Lunia. The World Goddess banished Tu and his people for a 1,001 years. Time passed the people of Harqual forgot about the tabaxi, even the longest-lived of the elves. They passed into legend and myth, as the races of Harqual fought each other and the humanoids threatening them all.
The 1,001 years are over. The tabaxi have returned and they bring the vengeance of Tu with them. War breaks out in the southern lands. Then, as if Fate was against Harqual, came The Transformation. A cataclysmic event, which causes strange magical fog to roll across the continent, warping land, creatures, and even individuals. Strange new lands, filled with new people and/or entire races, replace tracts of virgin wilderness or the fog warps the current land into new shapes and forms. Nothing is spared.
Chaos ensues. Alliances are broken, old feuds are renewed. No one is safe. Will the ogres come again? Will they align with the tabaxi and conquer all of Harqual?
Not even the gods know.
Artwork by Daniel Schenström
Artwork by Daniel Schenström
Important facts about the campaign world. . .
- 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 Janardûn and Triadora.
- World of Kulan has its own unique cosmology. The cosmology is heavily influenced by both 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 Plane of Twilight. Other new planes include the Plane of Serenity and the Spirelands.
- The old 2e paraelemental planes (Ice, Magma, Ooze, and Smoke) exist in the World of Kulan 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, seperated by the Spirelands and Sigil, The City of Doors. My Sigil has a Lord of Agony instead of a Lady of Pain, and the Faction War never happened. (The epic City of Union exists in my cosmology.)
- 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, Conan, Dark Sun, Dragonlance, Forgotten Realms, Kara-Tur, and Mystara.
- Several D&D modules have also inflenced World of Kulan: B4 Lost City, EX1 Dungeonland, EX2 Land Beyond the Magic Mirror, X1 Isle of Dread, X2 Castle Amber, and The Silver Key (2e) as well as several DUNGEON Magazine modules.
- Several d20 campaign settings, sourcebooks, and adventures have also influenced (or been incorperated into) World of Kulan. This includes (but isn't limited to) A Magical Medieval Society: Western Europe, Beyond Countless Doorways, Bluffside: City on the Edge, City State of the Invincible Overlord, Dave Arneson's Blackmoor, Dry Land: Empires of the Dragon Sands, Freeport: The City of Adventure, Frost & Fur, Gary Gygax's Necropolis, Redhurst: Academy of Magic, Streets of Silver, Tsar Rising, Valus, and White Robes, Black Hearts: Enigma of the Arcanexus.
- Another huge influence has been the input and questions asked about World of Kulan here at EN World, which is a great place for D&D and d20 gamers. Noteable EN Worlders that have influenced World of Kulan include (but are not limited to) BOZ, Conaill, Destan, Dog Moon, GladiusNP, jdavis, Kip the Bold, Lalato, Malessa, NarlethDrider, PirateCat, Reveille, Sepulchrave II, and the Jester.
- Mor's End, The EN World City Project, exists just south of the City of Cauldron (the Shackled City Adventure Path) in the Lands of Harqual.