World Background

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World Background

Post  Malazek on Sat Mar 12, 2016 9:36 am

I created a quick and simple campaign world for the initial playtesting. I will expand upon this world as the playtest progresses.
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Re: World Background

Post  Malazek on Sat Mar 12, 2016 9:41 am

THE MAP

Each hex represents 32 miles. Symbols and icons are not "to scale."

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Re: World Background

Post  Malazek on Sat Mar 12, 2016 10:12 am

Places of interest ...

The Bitter North
The "Bitter North" usually refers to the northern taiga lands that stand between the Wyrmstail Mountains and the Gray Peaks, but the term can also be used to refer to everything north of the map. The taiga lands themselves are home a number of primitive barbarian tribes. Some of the tribes identify themselves as descendents of specific animal gods.

Buckfield
Buckfield is the largest city on the map. According to local legend, the founder of the city stumbled across an impressive white stag in the field where the city was built. The oldest and wealthiest parts of the city are walled, but the outskirts are not. Trade vessels travel between Buckfield and Zargos on a daily basis.

Burnt Sea
The northern sea is commonly referred to as "the Burnt Sea," because of fiery naval battle that occurred there hundreds of years ago. The participants of that battle were not from the lands shown on the map, but rather from foreign lands to the distant west.

Corindell
Corindell has stood for many centuries and is the only an Elven settlement that still remains. It stands aside the Dellwine and is host to the Great White Oak. There are no roads in or out of Corindell.

The Dellwine is the name of the river, the valley, and the forest that surround Corindell. The trees of the Delwine are bright and colorful, seemingly in a perpetual state of autumn.

The Dead Swamp
The Dead Swamp is very much alive. All manner of strange plants and animals call the swamp home. It takes its name, however, from the large number of dead trees that still stand upon its murky waters. (Truth be told, the swamp was once a great forest and the largest trees are mere relics of its passing). Several tribes of lizard-kin call the swamp home, but there are rumors of a tribe of Goblins moving in on their territory.

Dockin
Dockin is the only fishing village on the east coast and the only settlement that has avoided the "curse" of the Wretched Coast. Many speculate that it was just too far north to be affected.

Durankhal
Durankhal is the ancestral home of the Dwarves. At one time, Dwarves possessed many such settlements, but most have since fallen into the hands of dragons or other foul creatures. Although its population is small, Durankhal is the largest settlement on the map, as it occupies an entire mountain.

The Eastern Sea
Simply put, the Eastern Sea is the ocean to the east. It is home to vast variety of sea creatures.

The Eastwood
Ironically, the Eastwood is west of the other forests on the map. That's because it was named by the nomads of the Gulmarian Steppes. The people of Twin Towns simply borrowed the name. The forest itself serves as a natural barrier between the nomads and the townsfolk. 

The Gray Peaks
Stretching far to the northeast, the Gray Peaks separate the Bitter North from the Drift. A staggering number of Dwarven Ruins can be found among the Gray Peaks, most of which are occupied by dragons or goblins.

The Great South Sea
The southern ocean is called "the Great South Sea" because it stretches further to the south than any have traveled. Some speculate that the edge of the world lies at the far end, while others believe the sea goes on forever. Regardless, it is home to all manner of sea creatures, both great and small. 

The Gulmarian Steppes
A vast scrubland stretches to the west of the map, occupied by nomadic horse tribes known as the "Gulmars." The Gulmars are unparalleled as riders and mounted warriors. 

River Rhune
The Rhune River is the longest river on the map. Actually, the source of the river lies even further to the north.

The Sands of Wrath
An arid and inhospitable desert stands at the center of the map. The desert is relatively new and doesn't exist on any older maps. According to local belief, Grannise (the sun goddess) smote the earth, angered by the wickedness of the people in Zargos. The sands of the desert are constantly shifting, making it impossible to maintain any sort of road. Worse yet, a tribe of goblins has set up in the desert, eager to prey on weary travelers.

The Silver Sea
The Silver Sea is not silver in color. The name alludes the sheer number of coins that pass over it's water, carried by merchant vessels travelling between Zargos and Buckfield.

The Slumbering Forest
The largest and oldest forest on the map is known as "the Slumbering Forest." Local legend claims that the many trees of the forest are sleeping, but will someday rouse from the slumber. When that day comes, the trees will see what mankind has done to their numbers and will seek vengeance upon the race of man.

The Drift
The "Drift" is the stretch of land between the Gray Peaks and the north-eastern shore. Many eons ago, tribes of Goblins were driven to those lands by a combined force of Dwarves and Elves. Although tribes of Goblins often "escape" the Drift, the Elves of Corindell manage to hunt down most of them.

Twin Towns
The two small towns to the southwest are collectively known as "Twin Towns." (Residents of the towns refer to them "Northlawn" and "Southlawn," but those names are rarely used by anyone else). Together, both towns form a tight-knit community, led by a council comprised of elders from both settlements.

Vjolkad
The term "Vjolkad" is often used to refer to the stretch of land between the Wyrmstail Mountains and the Burnt Sea. More accurately, however, Vjolkad was the name of massive city that once stood there (the ruins of which can still be found). In its heyday, before the rise of mankind, Vjolkad was a city of giants; one among many in their once vast empire. The regions surrounding Vjolkad are still occupied by giants and their lesser kin.

Wretched Coast
The eastern coast is commonly referred to as "the Wretched Coast," mainly due to the number of villages that have perished there. Indeed, south of Dockin, no settlements have survived for very long. The cause of their demise remains a mystery. Nowadays, it is not uncommon for pirate crews to take up residence in the many ruins that dot the coastline.

The Wyrmstail Mountains
The western mountain range is so-named because the shape of the mountains resembles the tail of some massive dragon. The mountains themselves are home to a variety of great and terrible monsters.

Zargos
Zargos is the second largest city on the map and easily the oldest human settlement in the region. Its main road was once a well-traveled trade route, but has since been swallowed up by the Sands of Wrath. Now, its is primarily reached by sea (though a smaller road still connects Zargos to Twin Towns). Strange and mysterious buildings still stand throughout the ancient city.


Last edited by Malazek on Tue Mar 15, 2016 11:00 am; edited 4 times in total
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Re: World Background

Post  Malazek on Sun Mar 13, 2016 10:55 am

Like the world above, we'll keep religion fairly simple. There are no "clerics," per se, but there are priests -- most of whom worship all of the gods and do not cast spells. On rare occasions, the gods might grant spell-like miracles to their chosen "champions," but it's rare. A brief list of the pantheon for this campaign is presented below.

Wodana. "Mother of the Gods." Wodana is a complex goddess with many facets. She is the wife of Danor and the mother of Tarana, Grannise, Sethlana, and Emar. She is credited with the invention of language and writing, as well as the introduction of both fire and magic to the race of men. In her role as the guardian of righteous souls, she also serves as a psychopomp who leads the dead into the heavens. Wodana sometimes visits the mortal realm, in the guise of an elderly woman.

Tarana. "The Storm Queen." Tarana is the eldest daughter of Wodana and Danor. Next to her mother, she is perhaps the most popular god among their mortal followers. Farmers, sailors, travelers, and warriors all pray to her for good weather. Stories of her exploits focus on her great strength and unusual hijinks, as well as her hatred for giants and goblins. In battle, she carries a series of javelins and a magical hammer.

Grannise. "The Vengeful." Grannise is the goddess of the sun and the second eldest daughter of Wodana and Danor. She is credited with teaching agriculture to mankind and was once regarded as the patron of the City of Zargos. Her former patronage, however, has become ironic; it was she who smote the earth around Zargos, creating the Sands of Wrath that now isolate the once great city.
 
Sethlana. "Mistress of the Mountain." The youngest daughter of Wodana and Danor, Sethlana is the patron of artists and craftsmen. It is said that she forged the entire Dwarven race from the "guts" of a mountain -- a mountain in which she now dwells. With the rise of mankind, she sent the dwarves forth to teach craftsmanship and and artistry to mortal men and women. The Dwarves also claim that she is attended to by a council of "Earth Lords," comprised entirely of the best Dwarven craftsmen of legend.

Danor. Danor is the husband of Wodana and the father of Tarana, Grannise, and Sethlana (but not Emar). He is the god of all the seas and oceans of the world. He is sometimes portrayed as a rather oafish figure. At other times, however, he is portrayed a god of many skills. He is the patron of all fishermen and (along with Tarana) all sailors.

Emar. "The Horse Lord." Emar is the son of Wodana and the legendary stallion, Roskur. It is customary to pray to Emar before embarking on a ride of any sort. Those who fail to do so often meet with terrible accidents. As a result, he is viewed as the patron of all riders, from courier to cavalier, as well as anyone who uses horse as a beast of burden. In the far west, he is considered the progenitor of all Gulmars and is known alternately as "Ghul-Emar" or "Mar-Ghul."
 
Rigan. "The Dawn Lord." One of the few gods that is not directly related to Wodana, Rigan has been worshipped since ancient times. He is the god of the dawn, forests, rivers, and lakes. He is the patron of hunters, boatmen, and performers. Among the Elves, he is credited with the invention of both poetry and archery. In the far north, the he is referred to as "The Bear, the Wolf, and the Elk" and is believed to have sired all of those animals (making him the progenitor of all the northern barbarian tribes). The Ancient texts refer to him as "Regithule, the Fairy King" and focus primarily on the battles between him and his half-brother, Balgoroth.

Balgoroth. "The Dark One." Balgoroth is an evil god and the half-brother of both Rigan and Wodana. Righteous men and women do not pray to Balgoroth, as his name brings only suffering. Older stories of Balgoroth describe him as the king of dark faeries, but more recent tales portray him as an ally of demons and goblins. Perhaps both are true.



Demi-gods. In their affairs with mortals, the gods and goddess above have produced many "half-mortal" children. Although they are too numerous to list here, most of them are well known to mortal storytellers.
 
The Old Gods. Before the new gods, the people of the world worshiped an astounding number of nature gods (now referred to as "the old gods.") The old gods and goddesses were typically associated with specific aspects of nature (such as this stream, that tree, or those rocks). Because their aspects were so limited, they held much less influence in the world than the new gods do ... even less, now that they have been eclipsed. Nonetheless, remote villages and hamlets still venerate some of the old gods, treating them more-or-less as family gods. Priests of the old gods are known as "druids," but they are far less common in today's world than they once were. The greatest and most powerful of the old gods was "Rhune," who was associated with the river of the same name.

The Ancient Gods. Before the old gods, the people of the Ancient world worshipped chthonic and primordial deities, older than the world itself. With the collapse of the Ancient empire, however, familiarity with these great and terrible entities fell into obscurity. Nonetheless, records of such beings can still be found in old tomes and forbidden grimoires. 
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