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My new campaign World: Anexxia

Dave G

First Post
This is an idea I've been kicking around for a very long time, when I was asked to take over DMing for a group which was falling apart, I decided it was past time to blow the dust off and bring this place to life. Here's the campaign guide I gave to the players. I'd love to hear your thoughts:

Welcome to Anexxia

Overview


In ages past, the Masters gave the power of magic to the peoples of Anexxia through the form of a mysterious artifact known as the Crystal of Creation. 500 years ago, the dark god Kor attempted to steal the magical energy from the Crystal. In doing so he inadvertently became a conduit, releasing the magic in a torrent of uncontrollable energy into the land. The very land itself was shattered and changed by the blast. Mountains rising up to impassable heights, a blasted landscape, the chaos crater of Kor’s Folly and more changed the maps forever.

Magic, when held in check by the Crystal, was stable and wondrous, but it flooded the land and peoples of Anexxia with raw unshaped power. Innate ability to summon arcane and divine magic became increasingly more common. The magic changed the environment, through strange and sometimes deadly mutations in the plants, animals and peoples who live there. New ‘subspecies’ of people began to emerge; giving resurgence to old myths of elves and sylvan spirits in magic forests; dwarves and gnomes from tunnels in the hearts of the Broken Mountains; and the halflings were always there, weren’t they? Weren’t they? Not all the changes were welcome, for the monsters of legend and myth came back as well, and thus the Chaos Wars began.

There are parts of the land with no magic, and others where it is so saturated that even the most minor of trickeries can destroy a village. It is rarely completely safe to cast a spell or miracle, and those who can do it without fear are some of the most feared individuals of all. However, the magical emanations have been pushed back from most major population centers and the number of mutations has gradually tapered off from the efforts of several organizations of druids, clerics, wizards and sorcerers, most notably the Knights of Destiny and the Council of Mages.

Weather was also changed by the sudden influx of energy. Unpredictable maelstroms, fueled by magic and chaos, sweep across the land, seemingly at random, tearing down buildings and ravaging people … eventually these storms came to be known as Destiny Storms. Someone caught up in one who survives, is more likely to come out with an awakened sense of destiny or ambition, whether for good or for evil.
 

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Dave G

First Post
The Story

Masters

As told by Evaliér, leader of the Praesidium Fatum, upon his awakening after the re-establishment of the Council of Mages.
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“There are many things you must know, now in the aftermath of Kor’s Folly. I am Evaliér of the Praesidium Fatum, and I serve the Masters, the Council of Mages, and the land of Anexxia. The order of my loyalty is absolute. The Masters are the creators of all things. They made this world an eon ago but knew the danger of the powers they left you, and that you would need help if someone attempted to steal the Crystal of Creation. The Praesidium Fatum are its guardians, and we have failed.”
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The Crystal of Creation, was an ancient artifact which was the source of all magic in the realm. It was hidden in a strange stone tower, in the middle of a remote desert in southern Anexxia. Wizards and priests of the realm who had mastered their crafts, had hunted down the whereabouts of the crystal using the best of their magical skills and experiences. Their most powerful spells and divinations were unable to tell them anything about the Crystal save for the fact that it was older than anything else on the planet, and it held a vast reserve of raw magic that it slowly released into the heart of the planet . Slowly, it was, until the day that the avatar of Kor, the dark god of sorcery walked in through the towers defenses and tried to steal that power for his own dark aims.

Kor almost succeeded, the ritual he cast created a tiny hole in the Crystal, and he began siphoning off the magic that came blazing out and absorbing it. The first to notice was Heironeous, who felt the reserves of his own power ebbing away. He cast his gaze from his home on Celestia towards Anexxia and saw through the sandstorms and chaos that Kor was making his move. He immediately sent minions forth to warn the pantheon and sent his essence hurtling towards the scene. What Kor had failed to realize in his arrogance was the lattice of the Crystal was made of woven strands of magic. They were so tightly wound together to regulated the release of the power, that when the ritual made it’s pinhole prick into the Crystal, it began to unravel. Kor quickly realized something had gone wrong and he had to get the power out fast, so he cast an energy drain spell.

To Heironeous, whose celestial form was tearing through the cosmos on its way to the scene, it was as if Kor’s spirit were suddenly a mosquito who’d punctured a vein. He couldn’t stop taking in the power, even as he began to unravel himself. Within an instant, it was over. He exploded in a sphere of devastation that blew through all of the adjacent planes and the land of Anexxia itself for several hundred miles. It is widely accepted that both Kor and Heironeous were destroyed in the blast of pure chaos and magic, but Heironeous was caught in the shockwave and barely managed to manifest an avatar just outside of the immediate blast devastation. He was not immediately killed, but he was dying.

Praesidium Fatum
No one had ever heard of the Masters until the Praesidium Fatum were awakened. Their role in this is still shrouded in mystery, but thankfully for the surviving peoples of Anexxia, they were on the same side. The Praesidium Fatum are speculated to be many things, golems, constructs, or some sort of weird figurines of wondrous power are some of the most far-fetched speculations. They had existed apparently as a varied series of 300 statues of obsidian warriors of great size, which were scattered across Anexxia. They stand between eight and nine feet tall and have large feathery wings. They are completely black, even their blood, and although they are both masculine and feminine, they are hairless and smooth as the stone they resemble. All of them are incredible specimens of anatomy in the human style, although they wear simple loincloths, the bracers on their arms and legs, and little else. All Praesidium Fatum wield great-weapons of enormous size.

The statues are thought to be magical portals to some homeland of the Praesidium, but when they become active, they step off the base and leap into action. When they return to the base, they strike a statuesque pose and become immobile. They will not allow themselves to be moved, but appear without witnesses in places of importance. There are always nine attending the Council of Mages, with a new one appearing when one is sent on a mission or directive for the good of the kingdom. Many have fallen in battle since Kor’s folly caused the land to need them so much, but the pedestal of the Praesidium Fatum who has fallen always finds a new statue standing upon it one month later.

When particularly dire and dangerous creatures or swarms of them are spawned from the chaos, the civilized forces waging battle will often see one or more Praesidium Fatum appear on the scene. They fight these creatures with fury that chills the blood of their allies, which had just had hope kindled by their appearance moments before. They also flock to scenes of tragedy caused by the Destiny storms, clearing debris and searching for survivors.

They do have emotions, although to put them in normal frame of reference would be an error. Many of them terribly lament the tragedy of Kor’s Folly and constantly strive to find a way to make up for their failure. They are distant from civilized peoples for the most part, however, there are stories of them accompanying adventurers on important quests and observing sacred ceremonies and rituals. In addition there are those who seem to make friends of sorts with leaders and powerful personas of the realm, although seemingly ageless, they often outlive their friendships.
 

Dave G

First Post
The Land of Anexxia

Prior to the catastrophe, the land of Anexxia had been a large continent with a mountainous and rocky north ranging across temperate zones to an equatorial desert and tropical rainforest to the south. The geography of the lands were shattered and twisted in the explosion caused by Kor’s Folly. The most obvious of these changes is the enormous crater left by the explosion, which destroyed most of the southern part of the continent. The whole land shifted to the north and the resulting earthquakes leveled most man-made structures for a hundred miles, and even damaged cities further north.

The tectonic plates of the continent fractured far to the north, grinding and shoving the mountains upon themselves, creating a natural barrier from the rest of the lands. The Broken Mountains now rose higher than the clouds, and some say have pierced the sky itself. Many have tried to cross them, only to disappear or return in failure. There also seems to be an increase in volcanic activity in the newly expanded mountain range, the largest is known as Dhurak’s Forge. Expeditions have been mounted to travel east to see if there is a way around the range. So far all they have found is trouble, in rediscovering a barbaric civilization that threatens Anexxia to the east.

The crater from Kor’s Folly was filled with water as the ocean rushed in to fill the void. But the raw magic still streams out from the center of the crater, and Chaos Bay is so-called because of the storms which lash the land fueled by the power that continues to radiate from the epicenter. The ocean levels began dropping, changing the ecology of the land. It also changed the society which survived, finding themselves living on cliffs and rocks instead of beaches.

In the south, where the edge of the desert and broken land had been before, the land was stripped of most of its vegetation and animal life for miles. Many of those that managed to survive the devastation were mutated into fantastical and sometimes horrible new forms. The more twisted ones did not survive for long, but some have evolved into their own species. And there is much still unknown about the ecology of this area, and rugged individuals eke out a living in the barren wilderness. They fight off the creatures and the elements to nurse a small holding or community to self sufficiency.

The large forests and plains that made up the center of Anexxia have been transformed as well. Much of the topsoil in the so-called breadbasket of the land was blown away in the first chaos storms to wash ashore. The farmlands that survived were isolated from one another by the formation of new ridges and valleys in the landscape. If not for the loss of life from the initial tragedy, there would have surely been famine in the years that followed. The change in the oceans and the land caused much of the forest to die, and those that survived were further north. One such forest is known as the forest of miracles, as it grew up so thick and lush that it gave refuge for many creatures, there are some parts of the forest that are magical themselves, often with guardians to keep evil from despoiling these places. It is wilder and more dangerous than normal forests as well, no one goes far into the forest lightly or unprepared. Another strange forest has grown up further north still abutted against the foothills and the edge of the mountains, it has different types of magic there, and is the home of a large grove of Ironwood trees, having wood as strong as iron.

The fracture of the continent caused a new river and lake system to form in Anexxia. Known in the common tongue as Split Lake and the Split river, it is a major avenue of travel and shipping in the land. Since it connects to the ocean near the northern mountains, it is a very saline system until it passes the eastern edge of the Forest of Miracles where the plants and trees there have thrived on the brackish water. The water that flows south from the Forest is clean and pure for most of the year unless the Lake is flooded via a Destiny Storm or a strong spring melting of the mountain snows.

The center of Chaos Bay is in perpetual storm, there is a hurricane that spins around the crater like some child’s top spinning in a bowl. The water level has dropped considerably, but there are strange fogs that blow in and wrap the coast of the bay with their tendrils. The civilized peoples there must remain ever-vigilant, for magical beasts, aberrations, demons, devils and the undead try to climb their way from the crater to assault the land. When the hurricane’s chaotic trajectory brings it close to land, the people have learned to expect the worst. Even though their buildings are heavily buttressed and fortified, the storm surges and tremendous winds cause damage that make lesser mortals flee to the north. In addition to the strange weather the storm in the Bay seems also to be the source of the Destiny Storms that sweep across the land.

Weather and Climate

The southern lands are warmer, the closer to Chaos Bay, you get, and for around half the year are semi-arid. There are pockets of more temperate land between these and the forests and foothills to the north, where the temperature starts cooling off dramatically. There have been reports in recent years from the outposts on the edge of civilization, as far into the Broken Mountains as they can survive, of tremendous glaciers crumbling everything in their path on their inexorable march southward. While the first century after the cataclysm saw a tremendous cooling of the planet as the dust and debris from the explosion filtered their way out, the lands have warmed up to much closer to pre-Folly days. Still in all this time, the march of the glaciers is something new to civilized experience, and some speculate that the climate still is changing for the world as a whole.

Destiny Storms
These might appear at first examination to be nothing more than spectacularly strong storm systems that flow north from Chaos Bay to sweep across the landscape of Anexxia. But there’s something more to them than that. For four to six months of the year, these storms come bearing magic and raining chaos. They typically have lightning storms which lash man-made and natural structures, sometimes changing the landscape as a result. Tornadoes, torrential downpours—sometimes including apocalyptic icons such as magical frogs and locusts, and in the colder part of the season, strange blizzards have been known to blanket even the southern lands with snow and ice.

Those who are caught up in a Destiny Storm, large or small, and who survive have a good chance of coming out of them changed in some fashion. In addition to the mutations which have emerged in the civilized peoples, many survivors are surprised to find themselves reborn with a new outlook on life. Some of these are the most noteworthy adventurers Anexxia has ever seen, while others go home and dedicate their lives to the people, becoming civil servants or enlisting in military service. There are also some who slink away from the storms and into the shadows, their hearts are darker ones, and their resulting destinies often lay in opposition to the civilized folks of the land.
 

Dave G

First Post
Mutation

As has been previously mentioned, the humans who lived in Anexxia prior to Kor’s Folly have undergone many amazing changes and mutations since the cataclysm. While many are simply cosmetic changes such as skin color or the growth of scales or extra appendages, there are more extreme mutations found living in society. Some of them are functional and give the people strange abilities such as the ability to cling to walls and ceilings, or gills which allow them to breathe underwater. Many of the more mutated folks also have drawbacks that have made them change how they live in the world.

Perhaps even more noteworthy is the fact that mutations seem often to be passed to one’s offspring. These family lines have, in the generations since the magic flooded the land, started sorting themselves out into several sub-races of humans, sometimes called demihumans. While the legends and fairy tales of the ancient past told stories of elves, dwarves, gnomes, and halflings… no one seriously believed they ever existed. Now with so many people being changed in the land it seemed like they were coming out of the ground.

In addition, many of those who changed so drastically from what used to be considered a “normal human,” found themselves drawn together and new communities of the races began to crop up. The Forest of Miracles is the homeland of several varieties of elves, along with creatures that have come to be called fairies, sprites, and pixies. The Broken Mountains and hills to the north seemed to be a gathering place of those who called themselves dwarves and gnomes, and they laid down roots that stretch deep into the earth, in fact there are places there no outsider is allowed to enter. The halflings seem to be nomadic but have settled on the eastern edge of the civilized lands in a place known simply as the Shire.

Even after the sub-races began to gather together, mutations still hit them as well as the humans, no one seemed to be entirely immune. Those who seemed to resist the mutation became insular and kept to themselves, often moving off to form enclaves of other so-called Purebloods, and for some reason holding themselves as superior to those whom mutations had affected. This bigotry is frowned upon heavily by the religions and governments of the civilized peoples, and as such they end up just as ostracized from the outside as they intended to become from within.

That the nature of mutations followed the schematic laid down in legend, folklore and literature to become these mythic and fantastical creatures has been the subject of much debate, leaving some scholars to speculate that the paradigm of ones mutations is shaped somehow by the collective mind. Some simply speculated that the races had existed in history, but the flood of magic just encouraged those traits to reemerge. These debates became rather quickly abandoned as the other creatures began to surface in sub-races all their own.

Monsters
The largest sub-races to emerge as monstrous humanoids became quickly dubbed goblinkind. They were twisted creatures, many with an evil demeanor who meant only ill-will to the civilized lands. In their time on Anexxia they have branched into many off-shoots such as orcs, goblins, and hobgoblins. In addition whole races of ogres and giants emerged, and it’s been two centuries since the first dragon was seen, and people still look to the skies nervously when they mention it. Chaos had its way with these creatures, some of them make no sense in an ecological standpoint, and thankfully most of them have been dealt with before they find a way to survive and breed. Unfortunately goblinkind breeds fast, and when they gather together an army with a semi-intelligent leader, the threat they pose to Anexxia is a severe one indeed.

In some places it seems the veil between the planes themselves have worn thin, as demons, devils and creatures known as elementals have become more common. It is unknown if some vile magical power is summoning them, or if they are the spawn of pure chaos itself. Fortunately not all of the extraplanar creatures that rarely appear in the land are evil, and the good ones quickly find themselves with long-time adversaries ready to oppose their every move.

What may be worse yet, is the effect that mutations are having on the sub-races of monsters. When they emerge from a chaos storm with chitinous skin, they are tougher to kill, and the more twisted they become from their subspecies, the worse they get in demeanor. The idiots might live longer because they’ve got bigger muscles, but the smart half-orc who gains telepathy or the power of suggestion can build an army the likes of which people have never seen.

Madmen and monsters, dark shamans and evil geniuses lead their shock troops out undercover of the Destiny storms, to pillage the people and places already stricken by the storm. They become so mutated themselves, already legends of a few evil foes who can bestow mutations on their followers have come to light. The tales say their armies are on the move.

Quite frankly, the Chaos breeds so many stupid kobolds and shambling zombies to muck up their plans, and the heroes, have become proactive in stopping organized monster armies. Rumors of them having gone to ground in new caves uncovered in a recent earthquake have some officials concerned. Monsters with a stable base are much harder to wipe out.
 

Dave G

First Post
People and Places

Anexxia, world of heroes. Never has there been such an unflagging need for heroes than this land. There are many tragedies of those who tried in vain, or those who gave their life to save the town, or their home, or family. The good peoples of Anexxia came together out of a sheer simple need to survive. There is strength in numbers.

The birth of the Anexxian Magocracy is credited by many as being the rebirth of civilization in the aftermath of Kor’s Folly. There is certainly an argument in place for that, as the awakening of the Praesidium Fatum did most certainly change the odds in the civilized people’s favor. Their flight was so quick that they could make it safely through the skies with little fear. Their prowess on the ground and in combat is almost like the tales of titans you might have heard of in the history books. 300 enormously powerful special forces troops to go into the aftermath of the explosion. They set about finding the few survivors, pulling them all to one spot on the edge of the cliff over Chaos Bay.

That is where General Vanadium, chosen of Heironeous came to be, joining in with the lay clergy in tending to wounds and helping out as best he could. He was drawn to one man, who to Vanadium’s eyes simply glowed. He was tall, with auburn hair and when his eyes opened, the amber hue made a leap come to the general’s chest. This was the barely-living embodiment of Heironeous, his God, lain low before him. The exquisitely wrought chain mail was crusted in mud and filth and blood, and his chest barely rose as he gurgled for breath.

Vanadium had been in the presence of the avatar of his lord, once before, on the day he was Chosen. Vanadium and his troops laid ambush for a raiding party of the barbarians who had ridden chase on his own scouts, who were baiting the trap. He mentally checked over his plans, passed the word to his lieutenants and rode to the front of the lines. Silently he raised his longsword high, and with a swift motion, he sent his troops to charge on the savages cresting the hill in front of him. As the cavalry thundered across the field, the archers on the flanks loosed flights of arrows into the strange men and their shaggy horses. Taking out almost a third of the raiding party before the forces closed. As Vanadium charged into the startled barbarian pursuers, he saw the one in the black furs who wore the scimitar and the gold helmet. This was their leader.

He stood in his stirrups and Shouted “For Heironeous! For Valor! For Justice!

He spurred his charger deftly through the lines, his longsword striking with precision as he cut down foes on his way through. From the clear blue sky, just as Vanadium reared back to strike the raiding party leader, lightning struck. Time was frozen and silence was upon the battlefield. Somehow the general had complete view and understanding of the battle. He could somehow see the archers rising from cover with short swords in hand to finish the barbarian savages rising from their dying mounts, snapping off arrows jutting from shoulders and thighs and drawing wicked looking swords and axes to join their few remaining fellows under assault from the elite cavalry from the general’s guard. He could see the scouts closing across the rear of the raiders, some looking for clear shots with crossbows, others moving in with dirks and daggers for the quick and dirty kill. He had planned it perfectly.

Suddenly, he became aware of another figure on the battlefield. A tall glowing man in exquisite chainmail, with long auburn hair, and carried a long sword. He moved smoothly across the frozen tableau until he stood between Vanadium and the barbarian chieftain.

“You have done everything I ever wanted a follower to do, but one thing. Become my chosen one, lead my churches martial arm.” He reached up with his longsword to tap Vanadium’s own sword, still frozen in mid-swing.

A jolt of energy flooded the general and his sword started moving a full second before the rest of the battle did. Before the chieftain could even find his voice to scream, Vanadium’s sword was through his throat. He had planned it perfectly.

Three barbarians survived the initial attack to break away from combat and make their escape. When some of his men seemed eager to pursue, the general waved them off, saying that the tales they’d carry would do more damage to the barbarians than the loss of those three lives.

And for a time he was right.

Vanadium knelt down and laid his hands upon the injured avatar of his chosen lord. With the entire fabric of his being he prayed. It felt to him as if the earth shook, the crude tent was buffeted with a savage, biting wind, and a peal of thunder rocked across the horizon as lightning flashed between a dying god and the fiercest believer he had. Maybe it was because of all the magical energy in the air, or maybe Vanadium’s belief was just strong enough, that a paladin could give himself completely to the god, who even in dying was giving his love completely to his chosen one.

The divine spark leapt into Vanadium, lifting him several feet into the air a wave of pure white permeated around him. His field plate was silvery and shining, his holy sword glowed on his back, even in its sheath. Thunder rolled again as Vanadium’s eyes snapped open and the white energy settled across the injured in the encampment, those who prayed over them. All those who were still alive, though gravely injured, began to recover. By the next morning, Vanadium’s followers started picking up the pieces of Anexxia.

Believers flocked to the god on earth, in the tumultuous times that followed the cataclysm, and the rebuilding that occurred, Vanadium found himself coming into his godhood. He simply continued running everything as if he were the General of the Realm. He found he could see the bigger picture and since the government had been destroyed people just kept coming to him for answers. Meanwhile, the first horrors started trying to claw their way from the depths of the crater. The animated corpses of those who’d just been slain and worse crawled out of Chaos Bay. Vanadium led charge after charge into their masses driving them back until that wave collapsed and he had time to rest himself.

It was three long months later when he followed a vision he had in his dreams to a collapsed tower. This had been the private tower of arch-wizard Miltrom, the leader of Anexxia’s Council of Mages. He ordered his men to start attacking the rubble as if this were a search and rescue operation, and from the lowest sub-basement, they found Delroon, Miltrom’s assistant and heir apparent to take his seat on the Council upon his demise.

Delroon and Vanadium sat down together and planned the future of Anexxia. Delroon had been privileged to accompany Miltrom on his last trip to the Crystal of Creation, and his mentor had shared some valuable insights to him. The Council’s task, as it had been handed down for centuries, was described as “controlling the magic of Anexxia.” In reality that’s what they were training to do, and now more than ever, they needed those controls in place. Vanadium’s divinity was not lost on Delroon, who was a worshipper of Boccob, because in his wisdom, he saw that Anexxia’s future and Vanadium’s future were inexorably intertwined. When he appealed to the Wizard to rebuild the Council so that they could take over the governing of the land from the General’s hands, it would free it to begin seeing to the defenses and protection of the survivors. Delroon knew his time to rule had come.

Over the next three years, Delroon set about filling the nine seats on the Council. It was an arduous search, for many of the best mages of the land had been slain. In the meantime, he set about organizing the government and bringing civilization back from the brink of anarchy. It was during this time that the Chaos war hit the defenders the hardest. It was an epic battle between Vanadium and his elite Knights of Destiny against a giant metal chaos creature that had lumbered from Chaos Bay, leaving a trail of dead and dying as it reached the top of the cliff near the encampment. Vanadium and his Knights fought such a furious battle. A sorcerer lost control of a ice spell that momentarily coated the creature and many knights in a casing of ice. Vanadium burst free and struck the death blow, shattering the creature into huge chunks of metal. Vanadium called all his leaders together, along with Delroon and the other Council members.

“This is the sight of the new capital, so we will never forget what we lost, and remain ever vigilant against the chaos and evil that assails us. This New Town will be a fortress of my might, and the resting place of Heironeous, who made me what I am today, so that I might save you all. This creature is made of harder stuff than the iron and steel of our weapons, we must find a way to make our walls from this, and stand strong against Kor’s Folly.”

Thus, Newtown was born. Shortly after, Delroon swore in the ninth member of the council, and the Praesidium Fatum were awakened. The Council took over running the land and its recovery. Vanadium left the prime material plane to find his home in Celestia, his following grown strong enough to survive the separation as he took his seat in the leadership of the pantheon. The church of the Shining One is in charge of the military of Anexxia to this day, no one doubts his origins or all he’s done for the land. His order of Paladins and mighty clerics is call the Knights of Destiny, and he also sponsors a monastic order known as Shining Fists, which has spread into the land finding their battles where they are needed the most.

In the wilder lands to the north, they were a little more removed from Chaos Bay and the almost never ending attack on civilization, problems came from a different direction. Seeing Vanadium’s attention was needed to the south, Engar, lord of Nature, called upon his Wardens, the rangers, wild warriors of the forests, and druids to mobilize and search the lands for eruptions of chaos. In addition he sent rangers to watch the eastern frontier in case the savages chose to attack Anexxia in their time of weakness. The Wardens built four fortresses across the border of the land, keeping them garrisoned was difficult at first, because of the population of able bodied soldiers being needed elsewhere. But Engar sent an emissary to the Council asking them for logistical help to form another arm of service, The Marshalls. The Marshalls were chosen, one in ten from every military unit in the land. They came to the Fort called Midway and relieved the Wardens in their patrols, leaving them to tackle the corruption of chaos in more active sorties, hunting out cells of creatures who were building their strength and eliminating them before they could assault the Anexxians.

In the centuries to follow, the Council of Wizards began building a city at Fort Midway, and soon from the outlying reaches the citizens who found their land to poor to farm any longer flocked to, Seeking assistance. Delroon and the Council had seen the need for this, and hired the people for little more than food and a safe place to rest to work on rebuilding the empire. Roads were built between Midway and Timberton, the town on the edge of the Forest of Miracles. Many were hired to help thin out some of the more chaotic growth near the edges of the Forest, under careful supervision of Wardens and Marshalls of Engar. The lumber was strong yet flexible, and began traveling south towards the construction of Midway, and as the road was built, even to the edge of Chaos Bay where Newtown had begun to thrive.

One valley in between the capital and Midway was a settling spot for some of the rugged frontier peoples in the region. There was a hole in the magic there, and even the Destiny Storms seemed to hurl themselves against the valley without causing too much damage. So they took a chance and dug a well, built a trading post, and hired a smith to work horses needing shoeing. Chance has grown to a small oasis in the badlands. Many who came there, from great distances, just wanted its shelter from the storms. Others came because of the mining, the gold rush expanded the town into a small city, and the location was a natural stopping point on any travels between Newtown and Midway.

The birth of the Elven community in the Forest of Miracles happened about the same time that Dwarves from the north came floating down the Split River in a flotilla of barges filled with metal and ironworks, finely forged arms and pieces to make suits of armor. They sold axe heads, ploughshares, arrowheads, and swords to Timberton. Midway was an even bigger reward for the dwarves of Dhurak, as they were able to send some of their best metalworkers to Newtown and finish turning the remains of the giant metal chaos creature into the armor plating for the craters-edge wall of the capitol.

Trade began to thrive, each town offering something or someone that the other would need, and the dwarvish barges were in high demand. The halflings had absentmindedly settled to the east, and the Shire was a quiet pastoral place. Not that they weren’t industrious in their own cheerful way. No one else would make a narrow cobblestone road between themselves and Midway. It was so inviting they often felt like they lived in a museum when the Wardens and Marshalls came through on their way to the nearby fort. They had visitors of other kinds, and of course their young often had wanderlust and went out to find their own path in Anexxia.

To the north, between Timberton and Dhurak tradesmen built a permanent camp for all travelers coming from the Forest of Miracles, Split Lake or the Broken Mountains. Merchant’s Rest is also the one town in Anexxia where the use of magic is forbidden to the extreme of forceful expulsion from the town if caught using it. It is in one of the highest charged wild magic zones, and even though the Destiny storm are always interesting, the Wardens and Council of Mages have made great headway in getting the magic under control again. Merchant’s rest is a bit of the black market center of Anexxia, further removed from the watchful eye of the Shining Fists and the Knights of Destiny, and also far enough from the rigorous dwarvish plutocracy to get away with some shadier dealings. Not all of those who strive for Anexxia walk in the light, and they are all too often allies in the fight against the chaos.

There are many small towns scattered in the more hospitable pockets of Anexxia, than are described here and that are on the map. Often a town or fortress is only discovered when they must send out a call for help against some new threat to their survival. Wardens carry maps of their sections of the land and make careful notations which are carried back to the cartographers in Newtown every time they return to their home base. The Council has many students in its Academy Arcane, which is not just a school to train wizards and sorcerers. Delroon’s vision was that Vanadium was right about vigilance, but that knowledge was his sword in that readiness, many crafts, professions and trades are taught at the Academy and they have Annex Arcanes in Midway and Timberton, and are in talks to build a small school on the border of the wild magic zone at Merchant’s Rest.

The future of Anexxia

The last hundred years have seen a downswing in the cycle of chaos, allowing the descendents of the survivors to begin living with a little less fear of their lives being destroyed at random. However, five years ago, a large raiding party of savages snuck past the garrison of Shire Fort and attacked the halflings under the fury of the season’s first Destiny Storm. The Shire was nearly wiped from the map and only a handful of the most stubborn halflings refuse to move to Midway or beyond, vowing to defend their home until the end. Every Summer since, larger and larger savage raiding parties are chasing the Destiny Storms and seeking their power, while falling upon the civilized folks they find in their way and grinding them underfoot. Engar is redeploying his servants and calling on Vanadium to send a legion to their aid.

Last month in Newtown a specter flowed from Chaos Bay and sang a song of worship which chilled all who heard it to the bone. It was a song of worship to Kor.
 

Dave G

First Post
Here's a map I whipped up using some unorthodox methodology.

AnexxiaMap1.jpg


I've got a lot of overland travel to DM coming up as the PCs first adventure takes them from Midway to north of Merchant's Rest.

I guess the next things I need to develop are my cities, leadership, etc.

Whew, I typed most of that stuff above in one sitting, I guess this world was ready to be born, whether I wanted to be in labor or not! ;)
 


Nellisir

Adventurer
The map is pretty cool. The rest...is one giant blob of text. Hard for me to read; I like small, easily-digestable bits.
 


Nellisir

Adventurer
I'm a funny beast. I like concise, evocative descriptions of campaign areas. Skimming through your posts, I see a lot of story and a fair amount of "once upon a time it was like this, but now it's not". Story and backstory, in other words.

Now, a LOT of people are fond of describing an area through story. There's nothing inherently wrong with it. Done right, it can be evocative, interesting, and effective. But (nature of the beast), it's not concise, and it tends to spread information out over a greater area and intermingle it with stuff not directly relevant. For instance, it's hard for me to get a impression of the overall area in current times if each region also describes how it used to be and how it changed. Instead of a simple "Anexxia looks like this", you have to parse out "Anexxia looks like this" from "Annexxia used to look like this" and "then this happened in Anexxia".

And to further confuse the issue, I'm not advocating lack of detail or description.

Everyone has their own tastes, however. I know alot of people love story in their descriptions. I'm just explaining my own preference, not trying to tell you it's better or more valid.

Cheers!
 

Dave G

First Post
Ah, I understand. Well it's my first actual written campaign world. I'm sure there's a lot I could improve upon. But thanks for taking the time. :)
 

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