D&D 5E What makes your homebrew setting special?

S

Sunseeker

Guest
Not what I was expecting, I thought you were going to say like Krull, or Hawk the Slayer, the cheesy fantasy movies of the time.

They inspire certain general themes, but there's very little to take from them that will stand out among the other general fantasy elements.
 

log in or register to remove this ad

pming

Legend
Hiya!

And you can get your players to run in a world like this without turning into murderhobos? o_O I wish I had your group.

Yes. Because there is almost no gain and lots of loss if they were to do that. Sure, they could murder a whole town...but the amount of XP they would get would be negligible. As in, minuscule. As in probably a hundred or less per PC. Hell, once they hit level 3 or 4, they'd get ZERO XP from it (in 1e the amount of XP a creature is worth is modified up or down based on the PC power level vs. the creature). They might pick up a few hundred gold...maybe...for a whole town (say, 300 people). Meanwhile, they would be labeled as psychopathic. Pretty much a shoot on site type of thing. On top of that, there are a few NPC's that would be equal or higher level than them...and those NPC's would have tools, assets and access to equipment that the PC's wouldn't.

Basically, PC's killing NPC's willie nillie would be self-defeating. Besides, if it REALLY got bad, the Gods of Good would step in. There is a saving throw that every PC has to make every week or so. Failure means they slip into the effects of the "Spell of Contentment". Modifiers for various things do apply (like if you are doing nothing in town but 'normal stuff'...it's no adjustment; if you are in a dungeon, fighting for your life against evil, you get a bonus; if you are in a town and killing townsfolk for no real reason...in other words, being Evil...there is a penalty). Eventually the penalty would be so large that the PC would fail. When they do, they feel great regret, throw themselves at the mercy of the court, and spend the next month, months, year or years trying to repent.

So, in a nutshell...going on "murder hobo against commoners" is a self-defeating measure. You might as well be playing Call of Cthulhu where everyone decides to gather the human sacrifices in order to summon a Great Old One so that they can "be granted limitless power!" (re: get eaten alive and/or go insane; make a new character ;) ).

Besides that...my players like doing the 'adventuring thing' more than doing a-hole stuff for no reason other than to try and get off by playing out there sick-o fantasies. I have played with, er, lets say "slightly disturbed" people. They always leave my game in short order because, well, consequences for actions is kind of big in my campaigns. :)

^_^

Paul L. Ming
 

steeldragons

Steeliest of the dragons
Epic
Steeldragons' World of Orea: Realms & Nations, Part II (since part I was interrupted by real life and such. grr.)

Working our way north, up the western coast of the Orean continent, directly north of Mostrial, across the D'Drathas river sits...

Shistalir (or, more properly, ShiStaliir), a great ancient forest of a size, nearly, to rival Mistwood. Within its shaded halls lie the last remaining citadel of elfindom from the age before Men, Avanthar. The fabled city of crystal and woven forest was built by the last great king of the age has never been -so it is claimed- seen by mortal eyes. The magic and beauty said to be contained therein is like to rival the divine palaces of the gods, or so it is said. The city and surrounding forest are home of the original race of [immortal] elves of the same name, the ShiStaliiri, literally translated from elvish as "Those of the Blood of the Stars." The borders are strictly patrolled and jealously guarded. Even the men of Mostrial are reticent to go anywhere near it, nowadays. Every so often, the foolish men to the north of the wood (the southern reaches of Grinlia) encroach a bit too near or try to test the elves' strength, believing every so many years a "star" elf goes unseen, that they are all dead or have disappeared into myth with their magic...or were only ever myth. This last occurred, roughly 3 hundred years ago during what is known in the Chronicles as "The Battle of Lost Lords"...those would have been the human nobility/lords that were lost. The remnants of Grinlia's nobility and rulers in their southern lands have not been so foolish since.

Also of note, in the surroundings of ShiStaliir, just north of Mostrial's borders, are the ancient mountain fortress of Nor Tereth and the Aeiri Kros. In ancient times Nor Tereth was a bastion for the lords of elves, dwarves, and men, a shared construction and garrison which each of those peoples supplied and manned, on whom any of the three kingdoms of the day could call. It has long since fallen into ruin -as the alliance between the three peoples- since before the Godswar. Over the years various evils have taken up residence and claimed Nor Tereth as their own. None know, today, what centuries of dangers...or riches might be found there. Between ShiStaliir's eastern reach and the sloping foothills of the Daegun mountains -high within which Nor Tereth is nestled- lies a desolate plateau of dust and rock where innumerable wars have been fought. It was named -as most things in this area of the world- by the elves as the Aeiri Kros, "the Plain of Tears." It is an entirely unpleasant place, cursed by the countless dead -of good and evil- who have fallen there over millennia. It is days across and many days more north-to-south where nothing grows, next to no water, nowadays filled with roving scavengers and monsters, and the occasional pack of Grorn beastmen. Travel -on foot or beast- through "the Kros" is not recommended by man or dwarf or, even if you ever saw one outside of ShiStaliir these days, an elf.

Grinlia, the Great Kingdom, a.k.a. the Kingdom of Light, a.k.a. the Shining Kingdom, is Orea's largest sprawling [primarily] human monarchy, by far, consuming nearly a third of the continent in the west and north. Comparatively speaking to the rest of the known world, it is also the youngest established nation. Its creation as a singular political entity didn't occur until the wake of the defeat of the Scourge War, with the rise of one of that era's legendary "Heroes of the Thorn," Elibon L'lorn, receiver of the Starsword, the Great Unifier, first High-king of the collected realms of Grinlia, just shy of 300 years ago.

Continuing our way up the western coast, we begin with Grinlia's southern realm, sandwiched between ShiStaliir and the southern coast of the Arm of Tyris (the roughly Mediterranean sized sea that divides Grinlia's northern and southern realms). Grinlia's southern realm is practically an autonomous region encapsulated within the monarchy as the Grand Duchy of Denil. The Grand Duke of Denil -the 15th generation of his family to hold the title- is essentially looked upon as the steward and defender of the region, while the Grinlian throne's crown heir resides in the region's largest, most bustling cities, sometimes referred to as Andril's sister city, Brightmoon, "the Jewel of the West." It is one of the only ancient cities to have survived -at least partially- the ravages of the Godswar and the great flooding that created the Arm of Tyris. Brightmoon is a center of learning, culture, trade, egalitarian and independent thought, one of Grinlia's most shining beacons of the rise of the western kingdom...and while the great moon goddess, Arinane, is the patron goddess of the city and credited with saving the city from the ravages of the Godswar and ensuing tumult, temples to most of Orea's good and neutral deities can be found there, as well as multiple institutions of both academic and arkanademic learning, Brightmoon is notably a bit more secular than northern areas of the kingdom have become. Within the Grand Duke's realms are the Earldoms of Tram and Trisliam, the Viscounty of Gneket, and the great towered fortress (and county of the same name) of Whitehold standing watch over the pass between the eastern edge of the Onyx Hills and the southern beginnings of the Dragonreach mountains.

Stretching across a good portion of Denil's southern territory are the Onyx Hills. This long by narrow series of rocky and wooded hills and dales are home to multiple gnomish communities and mines of fine metals, marble, and granite happy to work their crafts for the continuing protection of the human nobles. Also contained somewhere within its fog-filled vales is at least one known community of the ShiCynallae, literally in elvish "Those of the Blood of the Clouds" or less kindly "Those of Clouded Blood." They are called by the gnomes and men (any non-elf, really), "Mist Elves" and while most are reclusive to the point of xenophobic, they are not evil, in fact very "laid back," and most desire to simply enjoy life and nature. Tales tell of their aiding both gnomes and humans of Denil in times of extreme need appear throughout Denil's history. The way to their hidden mist-shrouded vale is not known nor found on any map. If it has a name, none but its residents know it. It is simply called the "Elf Valley" and even the gnomes, who claim the elves' magic moves their modest tree-top town from place to place, do not know the way. Also of note, though not considered "within" or "beholden to" the Grand Duchy, though it sits within view of Whitehold, is the lone peak of Allannan. High above the clouds, within the peak's summit, sits the aerie-palace of the lord (or lady) of all the winged zepharim. Every third midsummer's solstice all zephari, from across Orea, are bound to return to their ancestral home, to share tales of their travels, what they've seen and discovered, and (ultimately and ideally, for most) to mate.

...more later.
 

Wiseblood

Adventurer
The BBE deity is the shadow of the the earth that is cast upon the moon. When the moon is new he is there when it is full he walks the earth forcing lycanthropes to commit hienous acts. He also causes human children born on these nights to be shifters.

Overlord ruling a vast empire has forced migration among the races to dehomogenize the populace and reduce resistance to him. Magic being a mighty weapon he set about killing subversive (ie just about any) magic users and hunting the elves.

Elves are often imprisoned or killed.

Halflings, tired of being sappers in his conscripted forces become informants and spies on the elves. Elves found out and there is much animosity.

Magic users have gone underground and much magical knowledge is lost or hidden.

Technology has flourished firearms were developed by the hobgoblins. Airships by the mountain dwelling goliaths.

Most gods are revered not worshiped and sacrifices are made to appease them and avoid their wrath especially destructive ones like gods of storms.
 

steeldragons

Steeliest of the dragons
Epic
Steeldragons' World of Orea: Realms & Nations, Part III (all of this was already written out in a blog here, btw. But then, at some point or crash the blogs all disappeared. :( )

Aside: Hoping to knock these out now and be able to move to stuff like persons and organizations of interest. Mythic places, more thorough religious write ups, various species' societies, etc... /aside.

Grinlia (part II, it's a big place), crossing the Arm of Tyris to the northern realms of the Great Kingdom, one is most likely to head straight to Aberol, fortified citadel of the King/Queen, the royal seat, atop a promontory. Sloping down toward the shoreline, the city is cram packed with artisans and merchants, noble townhomes, and inns/taverns of all social strata giving way to the "wharf town"-port part of the city. Sloping down away from the citadel inland are lavish palaces, estates, gardens orchards and vinyards of Grinlian noble families from across the realms. Aberol is noted throughout Grinlia, at least, if not farther, for its spectacular array of foodstuffs and skilled chefs, the amazing skill and feats of the Queen's cavaliers - the Starsword Knights, and of course, its current sovereign, the much beloved and beneficent widowed queen, Baradith. It is the "capitol" of the Grinlian realms and sits within the otherwise quite rural Duchy of West Embrar with the only other major population centers being the relatively large town of Bellpoint (on the western coast at the maw of the Arm of Tyris, where it meets the Ossaeal ["OH-say-all"] ocean) and the somewhat amazing-though-remote small city of Towerton.

The latter most notable, and fabled across many realms, due its floating chunk of earth and rock atop which sits the town's namesake, the tower of "the Wizard of Towerton." Originally the area's only resident, in the troubling times since the Godswar, the then-resident wizard used an ancient artifact of great power to lift his tower (and surrounding personal land) some hundreds of feet into the air to escape an invading army (some tales say it was the Zealotry, some say it was goblins or orcs, one even supposed it was a disgruntled tribe of centaurs come all the way up from the Kiari Hills...which would, naturally, be ridiculous). Many farmers, timberworkers and other borderland types flocked to the shadow of the wizard's tower for their own safety at various points of trouble throughout the years, and a permanent settlement/community was bound to arise over centuries. So nowadays, the Wizard of Towerton (currently the tenth to hold the title, a mage of some considerable power named Urellon, among the top ten of the current world) is the titular ruler of Towerton, being awarded a the surrounding lands as a county by the crown some centuries past, though a town council makes most decisions with the wizard rarely taking a personal interest in the city's administration.

Also of note one day's ride from Aberol, set in the lush plains betwixt the rivers Tyrilith and Whiteway, is "the White City" of Sanctum, also called the "Shining City" for the constant layers of whitewash applied to the city's walls and towers, causing it to gleam in the sunlight on the small hillock where it sits. The religious seat for the three major religions and temples, Astar, Celradorn, and Gilea, though orders, temples, and organizations of varying size to all of Orea's deities of good and most deities of neutrality are to be found behind its gleaming parapets. The city, technically under the authority of the crown, is essentially ruled as a sovereign state by the head cleric of the Astaran Church, the Cleris Suprima, and a council of top-ranking clerics of the Astaran, Gilean, and Celradite temples, and a secondary body of high-priests from all other temples that wield very little political power.

Aberol and Sanctum are viewed by those within the kingdom and across the known world as the very font and beacon of "Good/Order/Justice" on Orea. As with all places of espoused goodness, the forces and agents of evil are ever-lurking, scheming, tempting, and corrupting to bring it low.

The other realms and areas of note considered within the hold of the Grinlian crown, briefly as a full elaboration would take up far more space and time than we have here, are:
The Duchy of Embrar: called "East Embrar" by Westembrarians, a point of some contention as the house and territory of the Duke of Embrar is one of Grinlia's oldest and most noble houses...i.e. they were the Embrars before there was a "Grinlia" or "West Embrar." Along the inner eastern coastline of the Arm of Tyris, at the mouth of the great Tyrilith river that runs down from the Skyface Sea, Embrar houses north Grinlia's second most populated city, next to Aberol, and third in the whole of the western realms, behind Brightmoon, the shipping and trading hub of Bluside. Trade in all manner of goods and services is abundant, with the duchy itself providing great amounts of grains, cattle and sheep, timber, metals and stone. Yes, Embrar is, perhaps, the wealthiest noble house in the whole of Grinlia. The Duke's preferred past time is hunting. His estates, gardens, and hunting grounds are prized throughout the Grinlian realms and beyond. Invitations to travel with or visit or hunt with the Duke Embrar (and subsequently any of his close relations) are much sought after and his halls are often used as a center of...discreet...diplomacy -out of Sanctum's more imperious sight.

Also within east Embrar, and another claim to its fame, skirts the northern edges of the Dragonreach mountains in ancient boughs, the second of Mistwood's druid holds, Starglen whence, it is sung, the druids of the Ancient Order of Mistwood revealed the legendary Gift of Doron, the Starsword, to the adventuring warrior/mercenary, Elibon L'Lorn, to become one of the great Heroes of the Thorn, fighting back and defeating the forces of the Scourge, Aishapra, and unifying the disparate realms and peoples of Grinlia into the great single kingdom it is today.

Embrar is, perhaps, less known for the spreading rumors of the Duke's vassal, Seraina, the Countess Karlith, currently ruling the earldom of that name. The region of Karlith has always been somewhat harsh and rocky terrain, good for mining ore and precious stones in the roots and slopes of the Dragonreach mountains. In the past decade (or so) it has acquired something of a reputation for ever stranger goings-on in its villages. Many travelers and merchants share tales of unnatural creatures, moving through the hills and hamlets, slaying with abandon. Entire populations disappear without trace -leaving behind meals and fires, untended animals, as if swept up by the hands of the gods. Even, some tell, demons and devils prancing through the woods. A pallid shadow lays across the land. Some say the whole of the county is infested with lycanthropy. Some even say the Countess, herself, is a queen of werewolves...or worse.

The Duchy of O'Douhn: an expansive northern territory, mostly wooded (covered in the ancient O'Douhn forest) and green, famously home to the organization called "The O'Douhn Rangers" who patrol the northern reaches of the kingdom, loyally, for the crown, sussing out and fighting evil wherever it is found; also home to several tribes of Kantiiri elves and a few Miralostae; some large daelvar communities skirt the edges of the southern wood where they meet the Kiari Hills. Several centaur tribes call the western O'Douhn Wood and Kiari Hills their ancestral home territories. Of course, to its north, O'Douhn is guarded by the massive Naradun range, housing the ancestral realm of the king of all Naradun dwarves, the legendary Forges of Boromdal, and the mythic Giras Thor -"the greatest of all dwarven craft"- which bars and guards the entrance to the Underworld, stopping the endless evils therein from ascending to destroy the world.

The Archbarony D'Ensior: composed of the baronies of D'Evon, D'Arongil, Farreach, and ruled over by the Archbaron of D'Ensior (proper) is the kingdom's most northern and remote realms, surrounding the north edges of the Skyface Sea and abutting the expansive plains and tundra of the Gorunduun barbarian clans extending to the east in the shadows of the Worldcrest Peaks. Viewed by O'Douhn and Resahd as villains and potential traitors (who conversely vilify the O'Douhn rangers as spies and outlaws), but accepted if not hailed by the southern duchies as the crown's loyal defenders against any "invading barbarian hordes," the Archbaron does, indeed have designs on the usurping the throne and the majority of his underling-lords are similarly greedy, corruptible, if not outwardly criminal (as the Baron D'Arongil's "privateers" who "patrol" the Skyface as their own waters, often coming into conflict with Resahd's own ships or Embrarian merchant vessels).

Also, technically within D'Ensior's borders, but not held nor claimed is the ages-old cursed land and -originally ShiStaliiri elfin-made- stronghold of Nor Tyrilith. The land is eschewed by all living and mortal creatures, even the wicked agents of the Archbaron, as overrun with undead, dark magic, and unspeakable horrors.

The Duchy of Resahd: along the eastern coast of the Skyface Sea, at the northern edges of the Dragonreach range, and abutting the wide open spaces of the Orean Plains is Grinlia's smallest territory ruled by the deceased high-king's sister who married the Duke, the much beloved Princess Annaline, Duchess of Resahd, now also a widow and one of the Queen Baradith's truest allies and most trusted confidantes. She rules the edges of the kingdom with the grace and compassion and prosperity espoused by all the realm, renowned across the kingdom and to its allies, as just and beautiful. To D'Ensior they are an unwanted rival and meddlesome political opponent. Most notable element, other than its wondrous duchess, of the realm of Resahd is the ancient battlefield and ruined fortress of Bastion at the duchy's south eastern edge, and long-cursed former druidhold now called "the Bloodwood." Both places the sites of gruesome conflicts and horrible losses during the Scourge War, for both the allied forces of Grinlia and the Miralostae, and the orc and troll armies of the demonic warlord.
 
Last edited:

Sadras

Legend
I suppose the only feature that I could label as 'special' would be like [MENTION=6801845]Oofta[/MENTION], in that I have a long history of interlocking and interweaving campaigns which take place in the same setting sometimes crossing timelines, sometimes a little before sometimes a little after with the effects of a campaign being felt -it also allows for old PCs becoming NPCs and for me to weave cute plot twists due to this merging of campaign history.
The rest of it is all vanilla...
 


Doc_Klueless

Doors and Corners
My homebrew is special because it's... it's...

Well, it wouldn't be special to others, really.

It's special to me because I know all the lore. I'm not worried about past lore, books of lore, etc., etc. that the players may know. On top of that, because I'm the Creator of the setting, I can easily let the players be co-creators. I can easily incorporate whatever comes out of their mouth into the setting.

Does any of that make sense?
 


steeldragons

Steeliest of the dragons
Epic
I am enjoying your posts, thank you for telling us about it.

Well, thank you for the thread to spark all of this up again. hahaha.

Let's see what I can pull out of ye olde Steeldragons' Bag o' Orean Stuff for you today...Where were we? hmmm. Let's really try to get political geography out of the way and then move on to some more fun things (like past and present adventuring locales, Big Bads, and campaign/adventuring companies. ;)

Steelddragons' World of Orea: Regions & Nations (hopefully the final installment thereof), PART IV (is it?)

MOVING ON from the sprawling seat of just young human kingdom of Grinlia, we shift east into the inhospitable north [at least the most northerly any humans have ever explored or settled. ;) ].

Gorundu:
Similarly sized -at least for rough square miles- to the Arm of Tyris, this region is called by most learned of the realms by its indigenous name, the Gorundu. Endless tracks of wilds, icy moors, wooded and rocky hills, and rolling and sloping tundra that sprawls from the eastern edges of Grinlia's Barony of Farreach, nearly half the continent across to the Emerald Sea in the east. From the jagged, ice-capped and impassable, Worldcrest mountains in the north to the very edges of the elfin realm of Miralosta along most of its south. It is also the ancestral home to roughly a dozen or so (currently remaining) clans of the rugged light haired and eyes northmen, collectively called the "Gorunduun." Known through most of the civilized west and south as "barbarians." Each clan is bound and hold some mythologic tie to a totem animal that defines the barbarian and his/her clan's specific culture. At last tally, the most commonly known barbarian clans included: the Lion ("Luun"), the Bear ("G'Ruun"), the Stag ("Kabu"), the Eagle ("Z'chee"), the Wolf ("Wuul"), and the Dragon/Serpent ("Ch'ruun"). Other clans heard of in tales or through interactions with these larger/more commonly encountered clans include the Fox, Raven, Whale-Seal (two small clans on the verge of extinction who allied forces and families many decades ago, so are now considered a single clan), Bull/Ox, and the much-rumored in fearful whisper (apparently more feared than even the marauding Dragon clan) clan of the Blood Vole.

Aside from the barbarians who have mostly given up their raiding and pillaging ways for a more stable-farming and trade-based existence (though still feared across the known realms for their prowess and ferocity in battle -and rightly so) the Gorundu in a harsh and unforgiving landscape. Home to a number of natural predators, including the giant Wul'ruun ("dragon-" or "demon-wolves"), sabre-toothed lions, brown bears and white bears, and the deadly "killer ice worms," the Gorundu's sheer massive area conceals any number of cold-based monstrosities. Among its more commonly found foes are hordes of blue orcs from the lower Worldcrest, the occasional pack of [vaguely more than wolf-pack mentality/intelligence] white dragons, ice trolls and hags, and frost giants. The eastern coast, along the green-iced flows and bergs that make up the Emerald Sea, also plays home to a plethora of arctic aquatic threats.

Among the Gorundu's less deadly inhabitants, if the legends are to be believed, are the helpful but elusive "ice dwarves," the Korokun, and small tribes of wild-but-kind Kantiiri adapted to the terrain, commonly (and disdainfully by the barbarians) called "snow elves." The hills surrounding an ancient mile-long mound crowned by a circular monolithic structure, the Solumen Stones, is a sacred holding for the druids of Mistwood and considered holy ground -no fighting/bloodshed by honorable warriors- to all Grounduun clans (though the barbarians rely on their individual clan shamans for their rites and rituals, and do not follow the druidic religion). Assistance and rest may be found, though is rarely "offered," there. Of no concern to the sorcery-averse barbarians, but still fabled across the realms and for some reason enough (if not the only reason) to traverse these death-trap wilds, is a locale of unmatched mythical power. High in the Worldcrest mountains, in a hidden valley at the very pinnacle of the world, is rumored to be the last bastion of the great wyrms of ancient days, protective and helpful, the last [and only] font of true dragon magic, the Tower of Wyr.

R'Hath: the Mage-lands of the east, behind their wall of the treacherous and warded Zarchan Mountains, across the Emerald Sea from Gorundu, the penninsula "empire" was carved out, planned and protected by an originating "Founding Five" of the most powerful magic-users of that age from across the world, to escape persecution from the then-empowered servants of the newly triumphant deities [the current pantheon], the Zealotry. From these founders; Alkari the Wanderer, the sorceress Krallia of Tanku, Serion the Green, Zarcha Tam (of Thel), and the Archmage Nator, five provinces (named for each founder) were shaped in their founder's respective vision. Magic-using persons and creatures from across the realms emigrated to R'Hath to form the most magical (and magically adept) of all of Orea's realms. To this day, nearly every aspiring mage from across the known world will make a pilgrimage to R'Hath, at least once in the lifetime, to further their Craft. In R'Hath are to be found the collected and ever-expanding knowledge of the world of Orea with sages, specialists, and archivists on every topic from Astral Projection to Zooplanar Morphology, schools and mentors of all manner of wizarding styles on any and all sorcerous topics.

But foremost, R'Hath is the home to the sacred (to R'Hathi mages) Halls of Arkanademia, the nine schools of categories of arcane magic -eight specialties and the "typical/normal generalist" mage who studies and practices all. The latter, within R'Hath is a fading trend, with individuals striving to prove their expertise in ever more narrow terms. General mages are still found and taught in the traditional master/apprentice relationship. Outside of R'Hath, in fact, this is almost universally the case. Specialists, in nearly all cases, from all across the realms must at some point make their way to R'Hath and pass entry and graduate with their respective colored stole for their respective school of specialty.

Unsurprisingly, R'Hath is home to a variety of magical creatures and beings not to be found indigenous to any other realm of Orea, along with notable populations of all magic-using species (elves, gnomes, zepharim, etc...) that might be somewhat scarce in other parts of the world. One of the realm's greatest claims to fame is the temple-academy of the goddess of magic, the Witch-Priests of Manat, readily identified wherever they go by the five-pointed star tattooed in blue across the eyes and face, like a mask. Viewed with respect, and perhaps a bit fear, by other spell-casters, the Witch-pirests are among Orea's only thaumaturgists capable of wielding both the cosmic energies of Arcane magic and the godly essences of Divine magic. R'hath also is home to the worldwide mage's guild organization, the Fellowship of Alkari. It's primary administrative center found in the province of Serion in Flin, the "City of Scrolls." The Fellowship boasts guild-towers and facilities (for members only, of course) in several of Orea's greater cities, including Brightmoon and Aberol in Grinlia, nearly every city through the Freelands, and Talas Isthian. Obviously, Orea's mages' guild is not to be found in any of the island kingdoms as the study and practice of arcane sorcery is still forbidden there, to this day. The third largest of Mistwood's druidic holdings, Moonglade, is found buffering the provinces of Krallia and Zarcha, along the realm's southwestern coast on Whitegull Bay.

The endless tiers of hierarchy among the wizard-families and magic-using nobles are enough to make the most learned sage's head spin. Families are ever-vying for prominence and favor in the eyes of their respective provincial/regional rulers, the Primagi (pl.), and within the court of their Magus Imperius, Dalum Suth, Emperor of R'Hath, the presumed [debatable] most powerful magic-worker in Orea. Courtly intrigue abounds, mysteries to be solved, and long forgotten secrets to be found...with magics of all kinds to make it that much more difficult and deadly.

Alright, this is already taking too long...

Tanku (a.k.a. "the United Island Kingdoms of Tanku"): a large series of islands in the southeastern waters of the Irionic Ocean and South Sea. Innumerable smaller islands are allied with the three major independent kingdoms of Olba, Dalramii, Umduppo, and the largest and most powerful, Tanku (proper). These are the remains of the formerly vast empire of the dark-skinned Tanku that made war against the vile and wicked pale-skinned Selurians in what the Histories term "the Thousand Years War" that culminated in the catastrophe of the Godswar, the destruction and reshaping of the known realms. So, now, the devoted and [decimated but] victorious Tankuuns maintain these few hundreds of miles island realms, mostly sub-tropical to tropical paradises. Think, like, a combo of African tribes/cultures mixed with Indonesian and Polynesian cultures...with more advanced/sophisticated sailing ships and bustling marine trade. The Tankuun are fabled to be able to speak to and "hear" the waters over which they now hold dominance. All reverence and devotion are granted the Gods of Men, but of particular importance to their culture are Tyris (not surpirsingly), Irion, and Astar. The study or practice of arcane magic is strictly forbidden - viewed as inherently evil and demon-worship, as the Selurians are historically reputed to be exceptionally wicked sorcerers and alchemists - under pain of death.

Thel, a.k.a. Thelitia, the Desert Empire, a.k.a. the Lost Sands of Thel: where the cataclysm of the Godswar was wrought worst was the once verdant province in what was then the eastern region of the Selurian Empire, called Thole. Their great cities and war machines blasted into into dust and ash, leaving a broken scarred land of razor-sharp peaks, surrounded by a "fallout" desert of ever-shifting sands and nearly uncontrollable magic. The native tribes of the region, who call themselves the Thel, suffered greatly at the hands of the Selurians and Tankuuns, used as mercenaries and/or slaves by both sides of the conflict. Following the Godswar, what little the Thel possessed that was their own (or had been earned or stolen from their oppressors) was annihilated. In the Lost Age that followed the Godswar, a prophecy of the Thel was fulfilled and an emissary of the Sky King (an aspect of Astar), whom the Thel call "Arsha," came to the mortal plane and led the Thel to an oasis of magic and bounty. This immortal emissary is called -in Thelic- "the Shadarsha." That oasis became the beacon for all Thel peoples. The tiered garden-city of Ararshan (and its famed gladiatorial arenas) grew around the massive pyramid palace of the Shadarsha [still alleged to be the original immortal divine being, in residence] to become the literal and spiritual center of the Thel people, their empire of sorcerer-emirs, gladiator slave-trade, and traveling merchants (and slavers). Outside of the few commercial centers around the edges of the sea of deserts encompassing most of the center of the Orean continent, the dunes themselves are home to all manner of bizarre and fantastic creatures, lost Selurian ruins and artifacts, packs of savage demon-worshiping Grorn beastmen, and much much worse. Magic within the desert is unpredictable and dangerous for all except those of Thel heritage, those trained in the Thelish ways of sorcery (which is practically never done/shared with a non-Thel).

Daenfrii: independent realm roughly the size of Great Britain, the Vale of the Dragonmage, the Heir of Wyr, magical defender of the world. For 15 generations, almost 300 years (the first appearing during the Scourge Wars), the family of the original Dragonmage claimed this land as their own at the end of the Scourge War. Given the then Dragonmage, Keth, close friendship to the newfounded King of Grinlia, Elibon, this territory was freely granted and has never been earnestly threatened or disputed from without, though does fall -from time to time- under external magical or extraplanar threat given the centuries of magical enemies and supernatural beings the Dragonmage, in their very duty, has come into conflict with and tasked to thwart/defeat. Daenfrii abuts the Zarchan Mountains in the east and Miralosta in the west, grazing the Gorundu at its north and the river D'Evand to its south, giving way to the great Feldmere swamp and the Laklans, beyond. A realm of fertile valleys and gently rolling hills is a land of pastoral and sylvan beauty, and no small amount of magic. The current Dragonmage-apparent (and his warrior brother) began, some years ago, an organization of determined and singularly talented adventurers to seek out and report (and theoretically, defeat!) any grave/growing evils or magical anomalies that might arise. This group has grown and spread in both size and reputation across many of Orea's lands, with chapters and agents in many, as champions of Good and heroes of the highest caliber. They are known as "The Steel Dragons." ;)
 
Last edited:

I've written a campaign one-sheet for those that drop in. The short version is here.

Campaign Premise

The World of the Everflow is an episodic campaign designed for drop-in play that will most often join a regular group, but that can also play independent sessions, while exploring a world where every thinking person has an animal companion that is both tool and beloved.

Background

Twenty-one years ago the land of Kin (the people of love) had no magic. Then the Awakening happened. Borders changed as Kingdoms applied these new powers. Quests to discover how it happened, why it happened and what could be done to stop it or further it started. Adventurers young and old left their homes hopeful that they could apply these new, small spells and make names for themselves.

Kin is different now. Still bonded with beasts the people meet strangers with suspicion of odd powers. No one knows what else to expect. What more will happen to the world? Are more legends real?

Races were originally limited to human, halfling and a variant goliath (I would use the actual one now if I was starting over). There is one goblin PC, and the three goblinoid races are sexually tri-morphic living in a society of gritty steampunk ruled by guild-families. The fey races are now open to play as they have been discovered. In this case fey races are elf, dwarf, gnome. Dragons are not playable, but are fully integrated into that fey/magic society.

Various PC endgames involve growth out of their backgrounds. The escaped slave will become the leader of a lost tribe that rides rocs. The cleric will lead his faith out of its dogmatic orthodox leadership into a more personal relationship with Quar, one that isn't supported by mercantilism. The barbarian/pit-fighter desires a pluralistic nation, so he's founding it, even if he isn't smart enough to run it (he's making his smarter party members do the mental work).

Only one animal companion has died. It came back as a skeleton, an offering from The Necromancer, but then the group killed the Necromancer, so that didn't work out. In Tier 1 play the companions were every where, but now the group attempts to hide them from danger.
 

steeldragons

Steeliest of the dragons
Epic
Steeldragons' World of Orea: Regions & Nations, Non-Human.

Let's knock out the major non-human species' geography and realms of influence and then move on...

"PC Races" in Orea can be looked upon (and chosen) in a rather simple Common/Uncommon/Rare breakdown. A general rule of thumb/thought would be to consider them in terms that roughly align with:
"Basic/BECM D&D" [Common] to "full AD&Dish list" [Uncommon] to "AD&D + some [1e's] Unearthed Arcana + supplemental/third party work" [Rare].

Common . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Uncommon . . . . . . . . . . . . .Rare
Human, Freelander [default] . . . . . . . . . .Human, Thel . . . . . . . . . . . Dwarf, Naradun [northern]
Human, Mostralian . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Human, R'Hathi . . . . . . . . . .Elf, Kantiiri
Human, Grinlian . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Human, Gorunduun . . . . . . . Elf, ShiCynallae
Human, Tankuun . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Satyr . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Zepharim (Orean winged folk)
Elf, Miralostae[default] . . . . . . . . . . . . . Half-Elf . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Jerali (Orean feline-folk, Thundercatsian minus the tech)
Dwarf, Daegun [southern, default] . . . . .Centaur . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .[rare exception: Lizardman]
Daelvar . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Gnome . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . [rare exception: Ossan, Orean self-controlled werebear shapeshifters]
.................................................................................................[rare exception: Elf, ShiStaliiri]

So, that in mind...

Miralosta/The Miralostae Elves: Literally, from the [Orean] elvish, "Those who Watch/Follow the Moon." Sometimes colloquially referred to as "the Watchers" or "Sentinel Elves" by humans. These most commonly encountered elvish people are the diaspora who left their homeland -defying their king- in the troubling times of the Scourge Wars to assist the fight against the forces of the Demon Godson, Aishapra. Like their ancient ancestors, the small nation of elves moved throughout the realms, trailing/leaving small communities in a number of areas in its wake before finding and settling in the great northern wood which they dubbed with their ruling/leader's house name, the Miralosta. The centuries have seen them become much more..."human." They are still elves, of course. Concerned with the preservation of nature, the arts, magic, excellence and precision in all they do, including training with arms and battle (they were, of course, a nation born in and grown out of War). But they also share a curiousity for exploration, outgoing/interested in the world around them, and have largely eschewed the strict house-caste system of their ShiStaliiri culture/roots, making them more relatable than either their haughty and superior ShiStaliiri kin or reclusive less-civilized cousins, the Kantiiri. The realm of Miralostae sits north of the Orean Plains, south of Gorundu, sandwiched by Daenfrii to the east, and northern Resahd/southern-eastern D'Ensior on its west. In the three centuries since its claim/founding, the elves of this "center//home" for all Miralostae elves has seen the rise of its capital city/fortress of their ruling king and queen and three impressive fortified "cities" in the eastern, southern and western principalities of the realm each ruled by one of the senior/most powerful houses' patriarchs and/or matriarchs with the princely title of "Regent."

The Miralostae are probably most renowned for their battleskill and capacity to mix the use of magic -second nature to most of them- with their skilled use of weapons. The high-flying Syplari Kii ("Hawk Blades" or "Hawk Guard"), astride intelligent giant hawk mounts, and mysterious order of the Sorarynae ("Golden Stags," a very discerning order of paladins), along with roving bands of Syar's ranger-priests, keep the wooded realm more than secured from would-be invaders.

The Miralostae still have caste-houses in their society, one's "Eres'ka," based on one's function/role within the society as a whole, much as the ShiStaliiri. The original split of the high elvish peoples, called by elves "the Mournful Parting," was led by the House of the Moon and several other less royal houses allied with it. They are simply much more relaxed about the eres'ka into which one is born, not letting it define one or one's interactions with individuals of other houses. In their original homeland, the interactions between houses now contained within the Miralostae nation would have been unthinkable.

Since the Mournful Parting and the fledgling nation-army's movements through the realms in pursuit of the defeat of Aishapra, small enclaves or individual families of elves that would, now, be considered "Miralostae" since their separation and subsequent exile from ShiStaliir, can be found in most realms: Ef'thriel and Larassal in the Freelands, the O'Douhn Forest in Grinlia, all through R'Hath, any of the Ancient Order of Mistwood's sacred woods, and even a few -often quite small- communities, if not individuals, in Orea's larger metropolitan centers.

ShiStaliir/The ShiStaliiri ["Those of the Blood of the Stars," Orea's take on "grey" elves] have been touched upon elsewhere, and inhabit a huge swathe of forests in the continent's southwest. But they are really not for PC consumption and only peripherally touched upon, more as historic reference points than in-game interactions or plot devices. It should be noted, the Shistaliiri possess vast riches and a wealth of magic, including several sacred items/treasures of their ancient past which feed and fuel the magic and protection of their kind and their realm. As one of -they would say "the"- original elvish race, ShiStaliiri are immortal, but can be slain. The Miralostae, it should be noted, are NO LONGER immortal, since their exile from ShiStaliir, though they are in possession of one of the great elvish treasures, a crystal orb called the Eye of Arinane.

The Daegun Mountains/Daegun ["Southern"] Dwarves: the southern peaks and mountain valleys of the Daegun mountains, separately the Freelands from the Aeiri Kros and points west, fall under the sceptre of one of Orea's greatest dwarvish realm, led by their king, Ortho Goldshield III. The center of the Daegun kingdom is their fortified city and great hall of Dundiran. The dwarves of the Daegun came prospecting to these mountains from the north some millennia ago and for a time leading to and during the Godswar, the dwarves of Daegun were all but unknown to the humans of their neighboring states. In the chaos that ensued, however, with the presentation of the Gifts of Doron to the lords of elves, men, and dwarves, the Daegun reentered the world above and beyond their stony halls and became one of Orea's greatest forces of good. Their natural skill as warriors, senses of duty and honor, and the strength of their convictions to their deities of Law and Order saw the dwarves of Daegun in the heart of many great tales and songs of battles won and evils thwarted. Like the Miralostae, the Daegun differ from the forebears of their ancestral home of Naradun -said to be the birthplace of all dwarf kind by the elder god, Oor- in their tolerance and willingness to interact with non-dwarf peoples and even sometimes, find honor with and appreciation for them and their specific talents. Today, the dwarves of Daegun are to be found living, mostly, throughout the Freelands if not in their own ancestral clan homes within and upon the mountains. But dwarvish traders, merchants, skilled artisans, masons and miners can be found nearly anywhere throughout the realms in the pursuit of trade, work,... and of course payment.

The Naradun Mountains/Naradun ["Northern"] dwarves: Providing the northern barrier between Grinlia's Duchy of O'Douhn and "the Forbidden[or Forboding] North" sits one of the Orea's most ancient mountain range. It is a matter for the sages where it was once a part of the Worldcrest range or the Worldcrest a part of it, but it is stated as incontrovertible by any of the wise [and every dwarf!], that Naradun was the birthplace of the dwarvish people. Carved and sculpted from the roots of the mountain itself by the Elder God, Oor, "The Rocks of Oor," they were called. Oor used iron for their veins, granite for their sinew, adamantine for their will, platinum for their honor. Gold, silver, copper was woven into the most fine braided beards. These were the first dwarves, the Rocks of Oor, progenitors of the Naradun dwarves. They are haughty and superior though do engage in some trade with and mining for the crown of Grinlia, and maintain a traditionally dwarvish toughness, skill in battle, and particularly strong sense and adherence to "honor" (of one's self, one's clan, and by extension one's entire people). The Daegun view the Naradun as exhaustingly vain and vapid, overly concerned with etiquette and "rules," while the Naradun think of the Daegun as "bumpkins," rubes, and fickle oath-breakers. The lords of Naradun make their homes in palatial stone strongholds, endlessly burning forges, and vast feasting halls that make up the great dwarvish city of Boromdal. In truth, the glory and honor of the origins of the Naradun is much faded as the precious stones and metals have been all but exhausted from the ever-deepening mines. The battles and wars fought by their great-grandfathers against the endless waves of encroaching evils are all but gone. The giants and dragons, armies of ogres and goblins, once their formidable enemies, have been wiped out, even beyond their formal borders, for some centuries. So, the Naradun drink and feast, sing their songs and tell their tales of [former] greatness, craft their golden wares and conduct their trades. Rarely seeking or interested in what goes on beyond their mountain home. But always, ALWAYS, the Naradun see to the guarding and keeping of the Giras Thor -"greatest craft of dwarves"- and the sworn duty of the kings of Naradun. A great fortified gate and labyrinthine defenses of mammoth proportions devised by the ancients (dwarf and ShiStaliiri, though a Naradun will rarely mention the elves) to lock away the evil monsters and demons that infested the ancient world (as the elves tell it, the Giras Thor was created to banish and imprison the ShiDaeiri -elves of wickedness and darkness), should they ever again attempt to rise up from their shadowy chasm, seeking to consume/conquer the world for the forces of evil.
 
Last edited:

fobia

Villager
I'm still in the very early stage of collecting concepts and ideas for my homebrew to be.
A lot of interesting things in this thread, I'll certainly steal some of them.

But my first and foremost concern right now is to build a realistic economy, where trade is an important factor and prices and fees range according to supply and demand.
Most of my friends I play with and DM for are really into the Forgotten Realms, but they hate the "economy".
Maybe because money has become so important in our world, that the immersion is breaking, when prices and fees don't make any sense.
Also for some reason a lot of them are interested in mundane ways to get their coins.

This is a tough nut for me to crack so far. If anybody has tips for literature on this topic, I'd appreciate a PM.

PS: Oh, and also no Dragonborns or dozens of sentient beast races. And certainly not dozens of elf subraces. ;-)
 

MechaPilot

Explorer
It depends on which setting, because I have two of them: Tenesia and Wildwood.



Tenesia

Tenesia's primary theme is that of difference. Elves, Dwarves, Merfolk, Ophiliths (medusas), Slimes, etc. are immortal races created by the gods: Humans and Goblins evolved from apes and lizards (respectively). The immortal races are frequently called the "blessed" or "chosen" races. By contrast, the word Human comes from the elf word "Haluman" which means a creature without a soul, and it's used to describe Humans, Goblins, Golems, and mindless Undead. Goblin comes from the elf word "Golba" meaning vicious, mean, and nasty. Tenesia has no Hobbits, Orcs, or Dragonborn, and it uses my own variant of human.

Tenesia's chosen races are heavily tied to different things. Elves are true fey, and when they die they can't be raised from the dead, their souls return to nature and can't be separated back out. Dwarves are elemental creatures of flame or stone who take on more rocky or fiery appearance with age. Merfolk are creatures of music, and their language is written using both an alphabet and musical notation.

Tenesia's dragons are not highly-intelligent spellcasters. They're brutal beasts who hate magic (because it can harm them while non-magical weapons do half or no damage). They can't speak humanoid languages, and they're prone to hibernating for decades or centuries, before violently destroying and devouring those humanoids who have "invaded" their territory. While they aren't as intelligent as typical dragons, they're quite cunning. When attacking a town they'll target temples and smithing facilities first.

Tenesia has ley lines and ley line nexuses where magic is enhanced. These energies are the life of the land itself, and if they're removed or dampened, the land begins to die. Magic also benefits from blood sacrifices, and being cast during important astronomical events like eclipses and full and new moons.

Resurrection is difficult in Tenesia, assuming you can be raised. The gods' power depends on the number of souls they hold, so they jealously compete for souls and wrenching one away from them is very difficult. You have to give a soul to get a soul, so raising the dead require humanoid sacrifice.

The gods have a pact that prevents them from directly interfering, so they rely heavily on mortal agents. This pact against direct intervention also makes them dependent on religions created by mortals, so they tolerate different races and cultures having different religious and picturing them in different ways.

Tenesia includes a type of mage called a crystal mage. They lack the arcane recovery feature, but they can create spell crystals that store spell points (Tenesia uses spell points instead of slots. Yes, that's mandatory) or that have spells inscribed into them allowing you to cast a spell as if you had it memorized while holding the crystal. in days past, crystal mages created spell crystals to power great machines called crystal-magic war beasts. Imagine a mechanical tiger that can be ridden and has a bank of spell crystals in front of the saddle allowing the rider to cast those spells through the beast, or on the beast and itself.

Tenesia has a type of mage called a blight mage. Their magic is corrosive and deadly. It kills plants and small animals, and harms larger life forms. Blight mages all develop an incurable illness like consumption or epilepsy that they have to deal with for their entire lives.

Tenesia has a kind of paladin called an inquisitor, more colloquially called a mage-slayer. They come from a time where arcane magic was demonized thanks to the actions of sorcerers who ripped the ley lines from the land and used that power to exile the gods and become emperors of vast nations. The mage-slayers have paladin abilities specifically designed to combat and resist arcane magic.

Tenesia also breaks one of the cardinal rules and has a kind of wizard who is a healer. They're called "Medicians" and they have access to all the healing, curing, and resurrecting spells clerics have. However, they also swear a vow not to kill. All their offensive spells are incapable of killing simply by inflicting damage. If a Medician does manage to kill with her magic, she must atone for it or else have to spend double the spell points to cast a healing, curing, or resurrecting spell.

Tenesia makes no distinction between D&D's angels, demons, and devils. All of them work for Gods of whatever alignment. In Tenesia, if such a being serves your god, it's an angel. If it serves a god hostile to your own, it's a devil. If it has no form and can possess people, it's a demon.

In Tenesia, an arcane caster who has at least one spell point left can fly on a broom. A cleric with at least one spell point left gets an ability dependent on their chosen deity (such as being able to walk on water).

Tenesia has no kobolds or orcs. The role of kobolds is filled by Gelks. They use kobold stats, but they look like Gollum from the animated Hobbit movie. Orcs are typically replaced with Human thugs.


Wildwood

Wildwood is a primeval world where nature is an overdeity who abhors civilization. Literacy is almost nonexistent, so wizards have no spellbooks. Weapons and armors are made of wood, stone or bone. Metal weapons are considered to have the same quality as magic weapons (another common form of armor is warpaint that's ritually empowered to provide protection). When a civilization grows too large, nature itself afflicts them with diseases, disasters, and with dragons (who exist solely as ancient embodiments of nature's wrath).

Animals in Wildwood are larger and more cunning than in other worlds. All animals use dire animal stats (regular animal stats are used for baby animals). Animals have their own languages (canine, feline, etc.), these languages can be learned as exotic languages.

Wildwood has no global pantheon of gods. Archfey are worshiped as deities along with the deities of other worlds (whose power is diminished on Wildwood), and local geographic features (like mountains, volcanoes, lakes, etc) have spirits of their own and are often venerated as deities.

Glass is extremely rare. Most potions are held in waterskins, clay vials, or come as gooey pellets that are eaten instead of drunk. Scrolls are virtually nonexistent.
 
Last edited:

Magistus71

Explorer
I've written a campaign one-sheet for those that drop in. The short version is here.



Races were originally limited to human, halfling and a variant goliath (I would use the actual one now if I was starting over). There is one goblin PC, and the three goblinoid races are sexually tri-morphic living in a society of gritty steampunk ruled by guild-families. The fey races are now open to play as they have been discovered. In this case fey races are elf, dwarf, gnome. Dragons are not playable, but are fully integrated into that fey/magic society.

Various PC endgames involve growth out of their backgrounds. The escaped slave will become the leader of a lost tribe that rides rocs. The cleric will lead his faith out of its dogmatic orthodox leadership into a more personal relationship with Quar, one that isn't supported by mercantilism. The barbarian/pit-fighter desires a pluralistic nation, so he's founding it, even if he isn't smart enough to run it (he's making his smarter party members do the mental work).

Only one animal companion has died. It came back as a skeleton, an offering from The Necromancer, but then the group killed the Necromancer, so that didn't work out. In Tier 1 play the companions were every where, but now the group attempts to hide them from danger.

I did something like your campaign sheet when I started my current game. Though as it's kind of a points of light type of world it really didn't give much world background, but more so on the area the campaign opened on, and the players have yet to move on from there.
 

steeldragons

Steeliest of the dragons
Epic
And a gracious good morning to you all. Hopefully, today, we will dispense with the remaining notes on the major non-human civilizations and cultures. I'm sure there is great disappointment that I shall be traveling for the holiday beginning tomorrow and, thus, further posts on the World of Orea will have to wait or be spotty for the coming week or so.

But for today...HALFLINGS!

Steeldragons' World of Orea: Regions & Nations, Non-Humans, Part II.

The Daelvar: Halflings in the world of Orea are [politely] referred to by themselves, humans, and most others as, "daelvar" or "the dalefolk." The elfin term for them is "vaaria" ("people of the hills," iirc). They are the hair-footed country-dwelling, food/drink/smoke/creature comfort-loving original versions of the species, though generally a bit more fit and capable of some muscle -a la Jeff Dee's original images for them- than the paunchy pot-bellied folk of Bilbo Baggins. Having no interest in nations or "kingdoms" of their own, they are perfectly content to live within the geo-political regions of others, or upon their fringe, and happily trade and deal with other races (they are impressively good farmers, orchard tenders, herders of sheep, cooks, and distillers of alcoholic beverages -especially known for the quality of their various fruit-flavored and rich golden brandies and quality -even for a dwarf!-ales, daelvar vintners are rather rare, but they do exist and are often viewed as a bit odd by other daelvar (wine-making being a bit finicky and taking just too bloody long to get a drink in. If you want a good wine, call the elves). Their carpentry, leather-working, and weaving/fabrics are also quite nice and valued by other races. The daelvar of Orea also possess something of curiosity streak, a kind of "lust" for experiencing life and exploring that other traditional versions of the halfling race lack. A subtle difference, but one that makes the spread of the species and their locations across much of the known world more legitimate.

Where the daelvar came from is anyone's guess. It is known from the Histories, that their first mention comes from those brief incomplete records of the Lost Age, following the Godswar. So, as far as anyone is concerned in the current day, daelvar have just always been around/part of the landscape...like everyone else. For the daelvar, themselves, they are the creation of the their mother goddess, Faerantha, a protecting and nurturing nature-based deity. It is said Faerantha -desiring children of her own like her sisters Gaela and Jepsebelle- dug the first daelvar out of the side of the only rolling green hills (where daelvar communities are most commonly found) that were left in the world, molded them from the loamy soil and grass and roots, and then gave them life.

The primary holding of daelvar in the east is to be found in the series of towns and villages occupying the Hollow Hills in the Freelands, near the western borders of the lands of Hawkview, buffering the region from the eastern edges of the Lost Sands (where the daelvar never dare to tread, even for trade). Somewhat not-so-originally collectively named "the Free Hollows," there are roughly a half dozen small towns of daelvar, some with individuals or small numbers of non-daelvar residents (mostly satyrs and gnomes), with individual homesteads, farms, pasture, and orchards between/connecting them. It is a realm of general peace and pastoral tranquility (the occasional ogre or goblin incursion is swiftly met and dealt with, larger threats often involve the calling for aid from the lord of Hawkview). Just about every daelvar in the Freelands can trace roots -if not existing family- back to the Free Hollows.

In the west, daelvar populations are primarily limited to the western Kiari Hills and southern reaches of the O'Douhn forest where they enjoy a history of friendliness and cooperation with the centaurs and elves who make their homes there. Goldendale and Heatherheathe are the two largest communities and the only ones ever really referred to by those in Grinilia who are aware of the daelvar's homeland and don't just view them as the diminutive helpful "brownies" of human folklore (at which most western daelvar have learned not to take offense. True Brownies, of course, are a fae-relative of the daelvar and extraordinarily rare to find in the material/mortal world, though the mortal daelvar know nothing about that). Though individual daelvar or familiy groups might be found in just about any of Grinlia's larger population centers, with small daelvar ghettos to be found in Aberol and Bluside.

There are smaller communities to be found in the northeast (though outside of R'Hath! Sorcery being a decidedly odd -if not inherently "evil"-and un-daelvarish thing to pursue) along the river D'Evand (though none, known anyway, within the borders of the Miralostae) and in the wooded hills and dales of the prosperous Laklans. And that about does it for permanent or known congregations. Elsewhere, daelvar encountered will be individuals or small clans/family units eking out a living or pursuing some kind of thrill or excitement (often "riches" which is the root of all luxury and creature comforts) in some form or another among the bigfolk.

The Gnomes: Gnomes in Orea are an...odd bunch. Their sense of humor and general perspectives and attitudes toward things other species would find dangerous or outlandish, gnomes think is just great and fine or funny. They are uncannily skilled in the working of soft metals and cutting of gemstones. Like the daelvar, their woodworking and leather-work are also valued, and they are particularly prized for cobbling and clothes-making (all of the "greatest" fashion designers of the largest cities are gnomish). They have the race's traditional flare for illusion magic. Their primary known communities are found in the Onyx Hills of southern Grinlia, in feudal allegiance to the Grand Duke of Denil. Wandering traders and merchants are to be found -and to be wary of- in most areas where serious trade happens. In the east, there gnomes known to live in relative seclusion in the hills of the Laklans and among the foothills of the Zarchan Mountains. Many gnomes can be found throughout R'Hath and are all but ubiquitous in the halls of the Sanctema Phantasma (the Arkanademia's school of Illusion Magic). In nearly all areas where gnomes establish a permanent settlement, called a Warren, its location is a fervently guarded secret by its inhabitants, hidden for their own protection from the goblins, kobolds, and larger foes and predators that can often be found in the terrain gnomes prefer. There is little else to tell about gnomes. They are, as I said, an odd and magical bunch who do not generally involve themselves in the goings on of the worlds of Men and Elves...though do enjoy a drink with daelvar or dwarves, and especially enjoy the company of satyrs.

The Satyrs: Satyrs in Orea are as one would generally expect (minus a good deal of the R- or X-rated stuff satyrs for which are known). Both male and female exist and have various shapes of goat or ram horns atop their heads. Caprine ("Goat-like") legs and haunches. Shapely and generally fairly attractive human torsos and heads. They rarely achieve more than 5' in height, though might count as much as an additional foot with their horns. Men commonly wear some form of facial hair -scruff, goatee, mutton chops, a close or carefully braided beard, etc...- though rarely the lengthy unkempt things of dwarves. Male and female hair is usually wavy or curly, coming in all shapes of brown, black, russets/reds, and the rare sandy blond, matching the color of the coarse curly hair of their haunches. Eyes are overwhelmingly brown or black with rarities of grey and green. They love drinking copiously, loving/lusting over someone or the other nearly all of the time, humor, songs, and of course, dancing and making music. Weaving magic through music is practically second nature to them.

Satyrs in Orea were created in the ancient past by the Elder God of animals, the wilds (and masculine fertility/virility) Pehn before he went all mad evil corrupted. In short, when the Godswar and worldly destruction that would bring was imminent, the elder goddess Llyndra the Green (Pehn's lover/wife) discorporated herself to form the extradimensional realm now called Faerie. Some satyrs took Llyndra's invitation and offer of protection and left Orea's mortal world. Those satyrs became the beings known to students of the lands of the Fae as "fauns." Those who remained in the world twisted by Pehn's madness or the corruptive influences of Karos or Djarthoon, became the mountain goat- or ibix-headed mountain-dwellers, the evil "aegyr" or "aegor." The rest, who maintained their traditions and love of the physical natural world, and a fire to defend it and those of this world, are the Satyr's of today's Orea.

Not so numerous nor interested (nor Lawful) as to develop nations or kingdoms of their own, small farming and herding villages of family groupings (nearly all interrelated) of Satyrs can be found in several out of the way (of humans, at least) rolling hills and fields, in woodland glades or at the edges of untouched forests, where they can grow their vinyards and tend their caprine herds in relative peace. There are many in the woods of Miralosta and O'Douhn, scattered among the Laklans and Daenfrii, and some in the more untouched regions of Resahd. Individuals can often be found -for business or pleasure- in the company of daelvar and gnomes (and the rare dwarf), whose company and lust for drinking and entertainment they very much enjoy, or in close proximity to centaurs and elves (who are generally a bit too stuffy and tight-assed to associate with casually or for satyrs' tastes, but are usually quite beautiful and excellent chaps to have around for trade or if war/battle becomes necessary). Humans are a funny lot and satyrs can be very fond of them -members of both genders can often be quite comely to the satyr's eye, can be great drinking or gambling chums, handy -and goodly sized- to have around for a fight, or humans might be too serious and stuffy (like elves and centaurs). Satyrs are not fond of overtly pious or religious types of humans, at all (making them all but unseen in the more populated lands of Grinlia).

The Centaurs: the Centaur tribes of Orea are becoming ever more scarce as the realms of humans, elves, and others (but mostly humans) continue to expand and chip away at the centaurs traditional tribal lands and natural resources therein. They claim large tracts of woods, hills, and plains across northern Grinlia, Miarlosta, and the sprawling grasslands of the Orean Plains (where it is rumored zebra-striped centaurs have been seen, though only from afar as they are far more reclusive than the western centaurs). There are also numbers to be found in the south, mostly secured within and defenders of the sacred groves of Mistwood, but small bands or individuals have been encountered in Larassal (where one small clan produces a most exotic and highly-prized wine), and Mostrial's eastern marches, the Calidwyn Hills, and even in Balwood. They are greatly valued as allies of the crown in Grinlia, viewed moreso as equals by the Miralostae, but tend to prefer their own company and council. A stoic and proud people of ancient nobility and much loss from their carefree days as one of the first child-races of the elder gods (Pehn's first people, specifically).

The Orean tribes of centaurs are modeled on, it may be obvious, Native American cultures mixed with a smattering of tribal Celts/Gauls. Shamanic practices and ritual tattooing are common. A reverence and inter-connectivity with the natural world (and nature magic), as well as a strict sense of honor and fairness, impressive physical strength (and size), battle and weapons skills (particularly bows, javelins, and spears/lances). Small bands of centaurs defeating/routing far superior forces is a recurring story seen throughout the Histories. Though unusual in these days, centaurs (often in their younger years) are sometimes struck by a desire to wander/explore and experience the greater world and get to know Orea's diverse peoples. It's almost instinctual, but has been largely lost over the past several centuries when stable-permanent (guarded, if not hidden) territories and settlements have become the norm for the centaur's own preservation of their traditions and protection (other than among the more "wild" and dangerous centaurs of the open Orean plains and the desert borderlands who still roam freely among and fiercely defend their territories).

The Zepharim: have been touched on elsewhere. Their primary -and far largest- community is to be found at the freestanding mountain just south fo the Dragonreach range and sitting just outside the Denillin territory of Whitehold, Allannan Peak. They are tall (usually topping 6' by a few inches for males, 6' for females), attractive males and females with feathered wings and feathers mixed in with their hair, giving them the appearance of wearing feathered caps or headdresses (depending on the style they keep). Their garments are usually quite scant or free-flowing, with specially forged chainmail armor -similar to elfin chain- that allows full use of their wings while not weighing them down -though most prefer light armors anyway).

Older than the elves, the zepharim were originally servants and messengers of the elder gods, the observers and collectors of all information in Orea, Sorilore's original created race. For some transgression long lost to time and myth, a group of zepharim were exiled from the home of the gods and locked into a mortal existence (when they had been immortal and capable of freely moving between worlds). Even the zepharim have lost this knowledge, and any concern for it, celebrating their existence and enjoying life, though still with an ever-piquing curiosity and desire to observe and record significant goings on around the world. Tp this end, even in their ever-dwindling numbers (as males and females only mate every few years and otherwise often keep to the company of their own gender), individual or small groups of zephari might be found in just about any climate or terrain, and/or engaging in all manner of adventure and exploration...though they are loathe to go underground or stay indoors for too long, prone to fits of acute claustrophobia inherent to their species.

They maintain certain minor magical abilities from their immortal heritage, including light generation and turning invisible, and the greatest and eldest among them are rumored to be able to call up storms and control the weather. But their enhanced vision, dense[r than human] skin, and resistance to the cold or their preferred lofty mountain aeries, and for many an affinity for magic-use, make them fine adventurers and warriors -though the females of the species often outclass the males for sheer combat and weapons skill, think winged-amazons. While males are more prone -though not exclusively so- toward roguish (moreso rangers, than thieves) or magical pursuits.

Those hit all of the major PC races allowed in my campaigns. Monstrous races are typically reserved for monstrous things, like being "bad guys" and villains and, well, monsters.

Monstrous Humanoids
Orcs are more mountainous and underground foes, collected into kingdoms of varying size and strength. They are villainous pillagers, cruel slavers, and savage warriors led by ever-changing warlord-kings. No "noble savage hero" types to be found among them. They are inherently evil creatures spawned by the corrupting chaos of Karos. If they could organize they would be a serious threat to many realms. Green, Black/grey, and Blue varieties exist in various locations and climates and various sub-races sometimes interact and interbreed (which sometimes results in unusual mutated offspring rather than just an orc). OH! And they are the porcine-looking originals. As we all know, Orcs of any color are fecund and will interbreed with just about anything -though human, goblin, and ogre crossbreeds are the most common.

The goblinoid trio (gob's, hob's, and bugbears) are found more spread out, just about anywhere evil is to be found or goods (and slaves) are available for stealing. Hobgoblins, naturally, more organized and thus dangerous, have amassed large numbers and are attempting to amass an "empire" of goblinoids, orcs, and giantkin within the broken evil lands of Thole. This would-be empire of warlords and evil spellcasters of a variety of species commands most of Thole, into the Black Waves (razor sharp peaks of obsidian, frozen in bending layers, like giant waves of shining black glass that encompasses much of the northern perimeter of Thole), and the Gorge of Gorgadon along the eastern side of the Dragonreach mountains separating those peaks from the Lost Sands of Thel. Even beginning to elicit the aid of the bestial packs of Grorn inhabiting the western desert and desolate tracts of the gorge.

Kobolds -the original little scaly rat-tailed dog-men, but their true-to-folklore color, various shades of Blue!- are an infesting scourge for just about any mining operation and almost exclusively found underground with no known centralized location or coherent leader beyond a group's particular chieftain.

The reptilian races are the remnants of a once high-civilization -before its fall to the rising Selurian Empire- of degenerate vile evil human snake-/reptile-demon worshipers to engaged in all manner of alchemy and evil sorceries to mutilate their gods-granted forms. Brought low by their enemies and any semblance of civilized society further decimated by the Godswar, the primitive Froglins, tribal (though no longer inherently evil) Lizardmen, and subterranean Troglodytes are all that remain of the original people of Land of Duus. Their noble and priestly class, referred in the single account of them that remains as "Medusae," have fallen into the realm of nearly forgotten legend. Their once fabled giant war-lizards have devolved into the much smaller (rare to the point of possible extinction), yet no less dangerous, six-legged lizards now called in the bestiaries of the learned by their Old Selurian name, Basilisks.
 
Last edited:

aramis erak

Legend
For mine, it's the gods.. here's a sampler.
  • Doutain Mou, God of Knowledge and Hyperactivity
  • Arnold Schvornhammer, God of Strength.
  • Barg, The Bearman, God of Hunting
  • Barb, Barg's Wife, goddes of Hearth & Home
  • Noradth, God of War. (His symbol is a flaming mushroom)
  • Snuffy the Smith God, patron of Smiths and Distillers.
 

schnee

First Post
The campaign world has a few interesting characteristics:

The Planes overlap and bleed into the world.
Lush fey-inhabited forests have direct paths to the Feywild, the Underdark has dank caves with access to the Shadowfell, mountains above the cloud layer have portals to different Celestial realms, volcanos have portals to the Plane of Fire, etcetera. Those create the same sort of environmental weirdness as an Ancient Dragon, and bring creatures with it. So, that explains the existence of bizarre creatures that couldn't exist given the ecology of the area, martials can access other planes of existence without spellcaster chaperones, and we can have a much more pervasive 'high fantasy' feel.

The campaign world is shaped like a Moebius Strip.
There are places where the sea ends in a literal waterfall into nothingness, where falling down it dumps you into a completely different part of the world via a waterfall from the sky, and you could have also traveled there overland via a direct path. We're doing this to open up some truly fantastic settings, like literal sky cities, escaping pirate ships via falling off into an abyss and ending up in another sea, things like that. We're also blowing up the idea of the universe being like ours, with spheres and whatnot. Why have it be mundane?

It uses the OD&D world concept of strongly themed regions.
This is tied to character tiers - so the places where things are the most 'Tolkein' are lower CR, and as they get further into the world, they discover regions that are quite different. There's a literal 'Dinosaur Island'. There's a place called the 'Broken Lands' were gravity is strange and chunks of land float in nothingness. It has a desert of glass where the sand has been repeatedly melted flat by the Fire Material Plane breaking through. Forget having a 'Desert' area that just feels like the near past Middle East; we're going to make it closer to the City of Brass instead.

This is driven by us DMs being big fans of old high fantasy and weird stuff that breaks assumptions, like Dying Earth, the Elric series, and Chronicles of Amber. D&D used to be a bizarre kitchen sink, so we're bringing back OD&D and amping it up.

I can't wait to run them through a converted Expedition to the Barrier Peaks.
 

TwoSix

Unserious gamer
My campaign setting is special because it combines heavy doses of political intrigue with a lot of BDSM oriented subclasses. I call it Fifty Shades of Fey.
 


An Advertisement

Advertisement4

Top