- Character Creation
- Saving Throws
- Effort, Influence, and Dominion
Humanity is slowly climbing back from the destruction wrought hundreds of years ago when the Dieni, who ruled humanity, clashed with the expanding Illyrian Empire in the lands to the north. The Dieni Empire was utterly destroyed. The Dieni ceased to exist as a race in the aftermath. The Illyrian Empire was devastated and retreated to their island in the center of the Cyllian Sea and only recently have started to venture out into the world again. Rumors persist that a small group of Dieni escaped far to the east but nothing has been heard from them in the years since.
Humanity had been enslaved to the Dieni when the conflict started. The end of the conflict freed humanity, but the price was high as most humans were destroyed as a consequence of the war. The terrible magics unleashed by both sides left much of the Western Continent a barren wasteland with wrecked humanity clinging to survival. Only pockets of humanity survived. In fact, most of the Western Continent still remains barren and uninhabitable by humans. Along the western shore of the Cyllian Sea and along rivers and other small enclaves cities and even small kingdoms have survived. Three hundred years ago, a mass migration of people moved across the Cyllian Sea to the lush lands of the Eastern Continent. Those kingdoms now thrive, though they are hemmed in by mountains and hostile forest to the south.
The setting is largely Classical in technology. Equipment is both bronze and iron. The muscle cuirass and Corinthian helm are the equipment of heavy infantry, usually armed with spear and short sword. The curved bow is the height of ranged weapon technology.
Dytika (Western Continent)
This was the home of the Dieni Empire when they ruled and much of that civilization was destroyed by the cataclysmic war with the Illyrian Empire. The once fertile plains of the central continent are now barren wastes, the Blasted Lands, inhabited by only pockets of humanity surrounding oases that managed to retain their fertility. Much of the land is ravaged by magically enhanced storms and pockets of magical radiation that warp and corrupt many of the wastes. Vagabonds and other nomads wastes surviving off what they can, frequently off each other and oasis's they can conquer. The wastes are filled with many terrors warped by magical radiation.
To the north of the Blasted Lands lies the Brupek Empire that is said to have existed since before the Diene arrived in this dimension and continues to survive today. The Eternal Emperor sits at the center of the empire, maintaining the lands of the people in exchange for their worship. The Brupek negotiated with the more powerful Diene and Illyrians and managed to avoid the direct conflict and redirect most of the backlash around themselves. During that time, several groups of humans rebelled against their distracted masters and have been client kingdoms ever since, paying taxes to the empire, while mixing an adaptation of their customs and those humans traditional customs.
Surrounding the Brupek Empire are a number of other smaller human civilizations who have found land they can survive on and have manged with some success since. These tend to be small city states and confederations of cities, rather than true nations.
To the north are the Northern Wastes, inhabited by hardy barbarians and all manner of fierce creatures.
South of the Blasted Lands lies Garhattan, an open land of rugged, rolling hills. It remained independent of empires and sets along the major trade route out of the Cyllian Sea to the Southern Islands. The cape is dominated by two ancient city states, each with their own god, in the east and south. While the western part of this land is controlled by a powerful Amazon queen.
Anatoli (Eastern Continent)
Four kingdoms have recently been established in the fertile lands on the western seaboard of this land. They had been uninhabited for centuries, and at one time it was thought forever. Expeditions brought colonists to this land after wars had decimated the west. These kingdoms are larger than any in the west, except the Brupek Empire and are largely established along feudal principles. Trade flourishes with the west with shipments in grain in exchange for manufactured items.
South of these kingdoms is the massive Grindalspar forest, rumored to be the home of elves, sprites, spirits, and all other manner of horrible creatures. What is know is that no human has ever returned from this forest. The large Grindal river acts as a natural barrier across from human occupied lands. In fact, the largest city in the east lies on the high ground to the north of the mouth of the river.
The Grindalspar ends at the Anatoli Kraggs which act as a natural east-west barrier to the high plains to the east for most of the continent, but turn toward the southwest to barricade Grindalspar to the south. Further south, like the Eastern Principalities, dozens of city states that control shipping and trade from the Cyllian Sea to the unknown lands of the east. These principalities are the richest lands in in the east but completely dependent on trade as many have outgrown their ability to supply their own food needs.
East of the Anatoli Kraggs are the massive highland, shortgrass plains, the Ajzerian Plains. The horse nomads that occupy these lands are considered uncivilized by many others, but are also greatly feared.
This great sea lies between the Dytika and Anatoli continents. It is deep with fierce storms that crop up at times, while remaining calm and easily traversed at other times. Shipping and communication east-to-west require vessels capable of days out at sea beyond land, while shipping along the coasts is done with shallow draft vessels that make landfall on a daily basis. One large island sets in the center of this sea, Illyria, the center of the Illyrian Empire at one time, and all that remains now. Only recently have ships from Illyria reappeared on the Cyllian Sea, trading in ports on both continents and collecting taxes or pirating merchants on the seas. Little is known of this island as visitors are strictly quarantined in a seafront quarter in the only port on the island.
To the south of the Cyllian Sea is just ocean as far as anyone knows. Running east west through it is the Notos Archipelago, made up of thousands of islands, with hundreds of them permanently settled by humans. Most islands are independent, with smaller primitive fishing clans managing some, while large city states control others and exert control through surrounding islands.
The gods spoke the world into being with their words and symbols; the runes/words of power. These runes exist throughout multiple dimensions, beyond comprehension of mortal. However, some individuals can learn fractions of the runes that allow them access to a small fraction of the power of those runes. This is the magic of the world. Some heroic mortals are born with a fraction of a rune embedded into their being, while others may be warped by stray magical energy and embody some aspect of that afterward. Mortal sorcerers spend a lifetime gaining command over a handful of snippets of runes they can use to create magical affects. These heroic mortals and sorcerers are extremely rare through creation, only occurring one in a thousand.
Many a town will have an individual who can manage a minor spell or two, but can never progress beyond that. That is the experience most people have of magic. It is mysterious, scary, but sometimes useful. They also know through the stories that it destroyed the world in the past, so they are rightfully fearful of it. Throughout the world, there are powerful people who have the ability to manage many powerful spells and work them to their advantage. These may be reclusive sorcerers, powerful priests, or even minor godlings if they can garner the worship of enough people.
The world lies at the juxtaposition of the elemental planes. At one time, it was the fault line between these planes. Then the gods took an interest in the existence of multiple forms of matter and used them as material to craft the worlds. They crafted the animals and people of the world, but then they fought over them. The fight ended with many compromises, most of which affect humanity to this day rather than the gods.
The old gods, or greater gods, have many interests and only occasionally have an active interest in the world now. They have many worlds to catch their interest, all inhabited by different beings. They have their own realms to rule over. They possess phenomenal powers that some humans can tap into, but generally they are appeased with hopes that their interest remains elsewhere. Their power exists completely outside of the ability of humans to affect it.
The new gods, or lesser gods, exist only on this plane and have a direct interest in the world and the lives of their followers. They depend on active worship of their followers to sustain themselves. Without, they lose their divinity and will become mortal. As such, they can be bargained with to gain power from them in exchange for worship. Many priests of these gods have access to many powers, with the trust that they will bring more worship to the god.
The greater gods are known throughout the world, though their names and details known or accepted about them may well change. They existed before the worlds were created and exist completely outside of them. It is possible to gain access to portions of these gods powers, but as they have no impetus to deal with mortals it can be very difficult.
These are left only as a reference for myself. Everyone else can ignore these.