The Fallenlands

Knightfall

World of Kulan DM
Introduction
The Fallenlands came about as result of needing an exotic locale for my players to explore for an ancient artifact. I didn’t want them to simply traverse Harqual, find the artifact, and bring it back. I wanted it to be a quest and a half. The end result was an adventure I entitled “Journey to the Fallenlands”.

Little did I know at the time, how much the Fallenlands would be like two of my favorite D&D campaign settings rolled into one, slightly altered, concept. You see, for the most part, the Fallenlands is a desert continent. From the Mountains of NarsKasis to the edge of the Ong Jungle, it is basically a huge homage to Dark Sun and Al-Qadim.

The Fallenlands is a hot, humid land where the genies known as the Jann rule huge, impenetrable, stone cities. It is a land where tribes of Kenku, Throkr, and other strange humanoids, such as the Sahne, vie for dominance of the desert wastes. It is home to the City of Cyrad, where isolated, pale-skinned humans struggle to survive against the environment and each other. It is the homeland of a race of noble, vulture-headed humanoids, called the Nagpa, older than any race on Kulan with life spans that even outstretch the Shoyir Elves of Janardûn.

This is the Fallenlands!

DM's Note: Now, some of you that have played Mystara probably perked an eyebrow up when you read "race of noble, vulture-headed humanoids, called the Nagpa" above. The reason for this is that the Nagpas of Kulan are not the cursed humans of Mystara. They are an race that evolved independently on Kulan for thousands of years and once ruled all of the Fallenlands. They would still be its rulers if one of their leaders, in ages past, hadn't struck a deal with the devil so to speak.


The History of the Fallenlands
Very little is known about the history of the Fallenlands beyond the knowledge gathered and hidden by the nagpas. For while they are a good and noble race they do have one secret, which they protect from the other races of the continent. Partly out of pride, but mostly out of shame. Linked is the story of The Five Treasures of the Geniekind, which tells of the Fallenlands distant past.

The continent once known as Margoth-Nal, by the telling of this story has a history spanning back thousands of years. Most who have heard it beyond the Great Library of Knowledge in the City of Craloona believe the story to be an exaggeration of the Fallenlands history. The trouble is so few non-nagpas have heard the story beyond the jann, and neither of those two races are willing to go into more detail about the Fallenlands past.

Most believe the Age of the Nagpa began only over 2,000 years ago not 3,000 to 4,000 years ago, as the nagpas would have others believe. However, nagpas are an extremely long-lived race and it isn’t inconceivable that the story tells the truth.

It is for certain that the Age of the Nagpa lasted nearly 1,000 years before the first of the invading armies arrived on the eastern shores of Margoth-Nal. These armies came from the continent of Kanpur, which lies closest to the Fallenlands, across the Far Sea. They landed southeastern coast and quickly spread into the Ong Jungle and the lands surrounding the Shield. [A 500-foot high cliff face, which separates Decamwa (called the Endless Sands by the jann) from the Verdant Lands of the southeast].

Age of Fire
Most mark the Age of Fire from the beginning of the war with the invading humanoids not after the geniekind became involved. It is believed the story of the Ma-Haukuai traveling to the Elemental Planes is a huge exaggeration of the true events surrounding the involvement of the efreet in the Ages War, as it was called. The humanoids from Kanpur were not so much invading the Fallenlands, as they were fleeing the conflicts raging across southern Kanpur at the time. These conflicts stretched across many southern lands of Kanpur including Khemit and Zakhara, as well as the region later known as the Dark Continent. It was also these conflicts which led to the downfall of the region now known as the Ruined Kingdoms.

But enough about Kanpur, that’s for another section.

The Age of Fire is believed to have lasted nearly 200 years, as the Ages War raged across the Fallenlands consuming the great nagpa civilization. The efreet came to exact vengeance on the humanoids and they allied with the nagpa to do so. Allies of opportunity, it is said. The nagpas would have been better off fighting the humanoids on their own. The efreet betrayed the nagpas and their allies after defeating the bulk of the humanoids.

They also betrayed themselves to the dark forces of the Outer Planes. They compacted with powerful demons, using them to subjugate the races of the Fallenlands. This was the beginning of the end of their lives, as members of the races of the geniekind. They became the Ragahd and looked to spread their dark power across all of Kulan. This transformation did not go unnoticed by the Sultan of the Efreet and he swore vengeance on those who had betrayed him. It is not certain how the other races of the geniekind became involved but most point to the story and the pleadings of Ma-Haukuai.

The Age of Fire ended with the destruction of more of the once great land of Margoth-Nal, that name now not used by any except the nagpas. The Ragahd fought for every acre of the continent before fleeing to the Lower Planes. Now, they exist as a race of elemental demons, mainly in the Abyss although they can be found living amongst the denizens of Limbo and Pandemonium as well.

Age of Isolation
It was just before the beginning of the Age of Isolation that a group of humans arrived on the Fallenlands to explore the land for the glory of Khemit. These people soon found themselves trapped on a harsh, wind swept continent, cutoff from their homeland, and surrounded by hostile humanoids. These humans found and retreated into a deep crevasse in the earth, which is now known as Shapneka. Here they found an abandoned city underground built by an unknown race claiming it as their own. They renamed it the City of Cyrad, in honor of the man who had led them to relative safety in Shapneka.

Their society quickly degenerated as old stories of Khemit were lost and the cyradi people began worshipping the gods of the lost race who had built the city. An ancient evil was uncovered and the cyradi soon fell into madness. Now, they exist mainly in a dreamlike state, while the followers of the Fiend Worm work them to death.

The Age of Isolation began nearly 1,000 years ago around the time human barbarians first began appearing in the Northlands of Harqual, give or take a few centuries. Exact dates from this time period are not known, as the Fallenlands became next to impossible to reach by sea or by air. A huge, never ending storm appeared around the Fallenlands from its northern shores to beyond the tip of the Ong Peninsula. The most powerful of these storms thundered in the western ocean beyond the Fallenlands, which would become known as the Black Storm Sea to those living on Harqual. (Called the Endless Water by the nagpas.)

The Age of Isolation brought the rise of the jann as a major power across the Fallenlands. Their great stone cities rose out of the ashes of the remains of the once proud nagpa civilization and the mark of destruction left by the Ragahd. The jann were left to guard the Fallenlands and the locations of the Five Treasures of the Geniekind, but they have become more concerned with the former than the later. The jann are every watchful over the other races of the Fallenlands but not to protect them but to protect the world from them. The jann begrudgingly respect the nagpas and the nomadic sahne. However, they have little tolerance for the other races.

Surprisingly, while the jann are the dominant power of the Fallenlands they are not its masters. The harsh land is the master and it takes a heavy toil on those who do not respect its power. No more so is this evident then the region of the Fallenlands known as the Volcanic Lands. This highly unstable region has, until recently, in ages past been a scorched, black magma-filled region near the center of the Fallenlands. It was here where the conquering efreet built the great city known as Lafar, or City of Fire.

The city still stands to this day and was the hiding places of the artifact known as the Bow of Wind. Now, that artifact has disappeared along with its guardian. It is said that a group of adventurers, from another land, entered Lafar to claim the artifact but came out with nothing for their efforts. The adventurers soon disappeared from the lands of the Fallenlands. Stranger still the powerful storms protecting the Fallenlands have faded and the lands around Lafar have become more inert. It is believed that the adventurers somehow broke the magical ward placed to keep the Ragahd from returning to Kulan. Whether or not they also took the Bow of Wind and lied about finding it remains to be seen.

A New Age Begins
The Age of Isolation has ceased for the continent known as the Fallenlands. The seas are now open to the rest of the world and many have taken notice. In the east, explorers from Khemit and Zakhara have begun to slowly traverse across the Far Sea to the southern lands of the Ong Peninsula. While, to the north of Khemit, the great cities of Bluffside and Parma have sent their own expeditions to the New Land of the West, as they call it. Conflicts amongst these new invaders and the locales of the Fallenlands are bound to happen sooner or later.

Far to the south past the Wakuna Sea lies Merria home to numerous seafaring kingdoms and even more pirates. Long prevented from expanding their reach by the storms protecting the Fallenlands, now the southern shores of the lost continent are open to them. No longer are Humans, Rakasta, and other notable races unknown in the ports of call of the Fallenlands, although they are still quite rare.

And in their stone cities, the jann watch and wait for the eventual return of the Ragahd to the Fallenlands and they wonder if anything can be done to stop the elemental demons.


Gazetteer of the Fallenlands
This section will have its own page.

Geography of the Fallenlands
Endless Sands ("Decamwa")
The Verdant Lands
Volcanic Lands
Other Geographical Features
The Surrounding Islands


Non-Player Characters of the Fallenlands
NPCs by Region
Sources


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