Campaign of the Month: January 2008
A Deadly Affair
The Setting and History
The world’s true Creation Story is just here for player background. It factors into the reasoning for many of the decisions regarding cosmology, resurrection, and the races native to this world.
On the Origin of Elves
The Story of the Elves is quite a bit different from most Dungeons and Dragons style games. These elves were once warlike conquerors from another plane who enslaved their whole world. In the end, they paid dearly for it and the survivors fled to this world. Some still keep their old traditions, while others have repented and are more culturally similar to ‘standard’ elves.
The history of this world is intentionally left a little open, so that players may freely create portions of the history to enhance their character’s back story or character concept. What follows is essentially an outline (using the calender common to the countries of Archos and the Troll Kingdoms).
- -10,000 to -5,000 – the Old World. Little survives from this time but a few ancient tombs or mounds of rubble in the distant wilderness. According to legend, the Troll Lich Antiri was born during this age.
- -5,000 – the Cataclysm of the Old World reduces civilization to dust and ashes. Few records remain from this age, so the cause is a mystery, and often the subject of religious beliefs (i.e. the world was “punished for its wickedness”)
- -4,500 – The New World begins with the re-appearance of the written word.
- -1,000 – The Lich Antiri single-handedly conquers over a dozen kingdoms to forge his own empire.
- -800 – the human kingdom of Leistos is the first kingdom of the New World to make widespread use of iron. Fielding large armies equipped with superior iron equipment, they easily conquer their neighbors. Non-humans are considered second-class at best, and even conquered humans can only own land after serving in the legions of Leistos. Only two nations withstands their assaults – Antiri’s empire and the Kingdom of Arkuz, which is protected by formidable natural borders.
- -100 – the oppressed races in Leistos launch a number of rebellions, all brutally put down.
- -20 – a band of adventurers infiltrate Antiri’s keep and destroy the Lich Emperor. The Emperor of Leistos perceives this as an opportunity to expand his reign, and launches an invasion of the Troll lands. Legions are called from across the kingdom, but the physically powerful Trolls make progress slow at best.
- -5 – with most of the Imperial Legions tied up in the war against the fractured Troll Kingdoms, uprisings overwhelm distant parts of the empire. A sect of Gnomish Arcanists enter the cities at the heart of the empire by posing as slaves. Once there, they open great portals to the Dreaming, using their magic to call up creatures from the nightmares of the population. With the Legions and their War Wizards away, the cities are helpless against the nightmares.
- 0 – the empire of Leistos officially falls with the death of the last emperor. A period of chaos consumes the continent as both Leistos and the Troll Empire fall apart.
- 500 – most of the land of the modern kingdom of Archos is consolidated into one nation through a combination of wars, arranged marriages, and political alliances.
- 700 – the elven moon appears over the world. The arrival causes huge tidal fluctuations and volcanic eruptions. Widespread panic ensues, but dies down as it eventually becomes clear that no apocalypse is forthcoming.
- 790 – elves descend to the world and establish tentative contact while forging their own nations from the wilderness.
- 997 – the Pit’hai, ancient enemies of the elves, appear in the Dreaming. Korun seeks to cross over his army into the Material Plane and destroy the elves once and for all (then everyone else, most likely). A separatist sect of the living Pit’Hai, tired of war, make contact with the Waking World and are slowly crossed over by gnomish wizards. Korun and his Army of the Dead are eventually scattered to distant corners of the Dreaming by an unlikely alliance of gnomes, elves, trolls, humans, dwarves, and the assistance of Strakfane the Ancient.
- 1046 – the game begins as King Denar Telloran approaches his 100th birthday.