Setting Notes

The Kingdom


The main human region in the known world is known colloquially as the Kingdom. A disparate collection of territories, it's culture and common practices vary across its lands. This is partially because of the vast distances between the many Dukedoms that make up the Kingdom and partially due to the relative youth of the empire. For only 50 years ago these areas were separate, hundreds of small kingdoms and city-states that warred amongst themselves. They were united in a bloody war that lasted for many years, and from the ashes the Kingdom was forged. From Neverwinter on the northern coast far away to the Capital, it is a strong empire, albeit one that is stretched thin. Peasants know little beyond their lands, and most local lords have never visited the Capital, let alone met the king or even their nearest Duke.


Locations


The Capital might have another name, but it's role in the Kingdom has long since overshadowed it. Home to the royal palace and most of the commerce in the Kingdom the Capital is too far away to effect the lives of most ordinary folk, and the King too absent. His council does most of the ruling, and even their reach does little to go beyond the palace walls. The true rulers are the Dukes of the various regions of the Kingdom, largely without interference by the Capital they rule their allotted lands in the way that they see fit.

Neverwinter.jpg
Samir.png

Neverwinter

The city of Neverwinter is a bustling settlement hidden behind high stone walls deep in the forest. More of a fortified town than a city proper, it is ruled by a Duke despite being smaller than the other cities in the Kingdom. It is the north-most dukedom in the Kingdom, and it's borders are often troubled. Nevertheless people make a good life far from the influence of the Capital, trading and farming in the highly fertile soil of the forest. But life in Neverwinter is not without its dangers, Orcs and Goblins from the nearby mountains raid caravans meant for the city, and Neverwinter's outlying towns are often wiped out or forgotten in the deep forest. The town makes most of its money from the nearby ports, trading goods upriver to settlements inland. House Samir rules with a vice grip on economics, and with a plethora of minor noble houses they keep this once-pirate city from falling once more into independence and chaos as much of its outlying regions have already.

Cragmore is one such region, too far from Neverwinter to be properly protected. It is a warren of caves and forests, villages cut from the wilderness barely surviving amongst the wild creatures of the forest. Towns such as Fandolin battle on here, far from the culture and safety of the Kingdom's reach, while others like Thundertree and Conyberry have long since been reclaimed by Cragmore forest.

The Green Heart

con%20Doin.png

Further south than Neverwinter is a region known as the Green Heart, both for its many vast forests and for its importance to the realm. At the northern mountains of the Green Heart lies the Dwarven mining town of Stonehill. Here a dozen Dwarven families make a living selling stone and their services as smiths to the nearby villages. They rarely venture outside their homes, with Dwarven rangers only rarely seen in the forest of the Great Heart and above in the Cragmore region. Stonehill also does trade along the river towards the coast. A vast river runs from the Lake of the Sky westward towards the coast, passing the Elven forest and making its way to Crydee, a port-city situated on the Far Coast. The Crydee Dukedom dominates the Green Heart, spreading from the Great Northern Mountains down to Jonril in the south.

Crydee is a large fortified port city, split by a river that runs out into the sea. It is the capital of the Crydee Dukedom, and the military and financial power in the region. In a large keep the Duke Dorric con Doin rules in his cousins name, the King's own flesh put into power so that a trusted hand could watch over the city. His banner proudly flies over the city, bearing the crown sigil of the King beneath his own house's sigils. Crydee is invaluable to the Kingdom, as a main trading post and its most western city. Duke con Doin's keep dominates the city skyline, as the smog of furnace fires or hearths mix with the salty sea air. The port is bustling with ships, and a good deal of trade moves through Crydee up-river to the rest of the Green Heart and the Kingdom at large. A large white-stoned Temple district is in the centre of the city, and all of the Pantheon of Light are worshipped within. The city has festivals at the change of each season, and music is often heard in the stone-paved streets. The residents of Crydee live a good life, most too far from the dangers of the wilderness and making good coin off the trade that passes through.

Hampton.png

The lands around Crydee are fertile and mostly safe, and many villages and towns have sprung up around the city. From Greystone to the north all through the Green Heart towns like Harf, Greenborough, Middenhop and Lector's Hollow make good lives providing for the many farms in the Green Heart. These are the farming communities that both feed the people of the region and send grain by ship through Crydee and Karse to further off in the Kingdom. Most are kept safe by patrols of Con Doin troops, but the forests of the Green Heart are never truly safe.

Crydee's primary mercantile rival in the region is Karse, south a few days ride on the coast to the south. Set on the delta of the 'golden river', it is situated on the top of a swampland. The 'golden river' is named for the gold found within centuries past, and now resembles more of a brown river. The swampland lends Karse to being a damp place, with buildings build straight into the mud and paved roads barely visible under moss or ferns. The Lord Hampton rules the city, and rumour holds he is still bitter about the King's failure to promote him to Duke after the War. He bears the crocodile as his sigil, and in many ways resembles one himself, while the six pointed star symbolises the six districts of the swamp-city. Karse makes good money through trade up its river, but lives in the financial shadow of Crydee. It is a renowned hub of criminal activity, and more than a few bodies have sunk beneath the mud of the cities labyrinthine walkways.

Tolbert.png

More of a military outpost than a real settlement, Jonril is the last outpost of the Dukedom of Crydee to the south. It is heavily fortified, and its soldiers patrol the region to keep those who live outside of the city of Karse safe from raiders. To its south is the large town of Tulan. Tulan is the Barony of the noble house Tolbert, a Con Doin loyalist who was given the area after The War. It is said that within Tulan the Duke's banner is always flown alongside the red and white of House Tolbert. House Tolbert is notoriously religious, and tends to stay out of the affairs of the rest of the Kingdom as much as possible. It is currently led by the Baroness Tolbert, a young lady who took over after her father and brothers died during a bout of shiver-plague in the town.

The Elven Realm

Within the Green Heart also lies the Elven city of Elvandar, a mere myth to all but those who would brave the dark and magical forests surrounding it. The King has an uneasy peace with the Wood Elves of Elvandar, and blood is often shed on both sides. Most locals know better than to travel into the forest for this very reason, as the Wood Elves see invaders as hostiles, regardless of their intentions. Those who do venture into the Elven forests report trees as tall as castles, and vast pathways built directly into the trees.

Those lucky few who make their way deeper into the Elven forest find it a strange and mysterious place, guarded by magical border pylons and ageless guardians. The Elves themselves are haughty, and the humans who live under the great boughs of the forest are treated as second class citizens. The Elves have a natural connection to the forest, and are a deeply magical people. The Queen is enigmatic and otherworldy, and rules over her lands through the Court of Seasons. Most of the mundane ruling is done by her Lord-Consort, who is captain of the Elven armies and charged with the defence of Elvandar. He keeps the peace of the forest with his four Exarchs, each representing one of the seasons that empower the elven nation. His Exarchs are Summerstrider, Springwarden and Winterhound, and are rumoured to be powerful warriors who wield the power of ancient forest spirits. In the Autumn, forest-sprits do not answer the elves, and the realm is instead guarded by the Autumnwatch.

Beneath Elvandar, an ancient tunnels system, the Roots of the World spans the land. Part real tunnels and part Fey realm, these roots are largely abandoned, roamed by mysterious sprits and beasts that make travel unreliable and unsafe.


Religion and Deities


The Pantheon of Light

Lord%20of%20Light.png

The Father is God of Light, Order, Justice and Truth. He is at the head of the Pantheon of Light. It was he who took the creations of the Old Gods and instilled order, forging reality from the hell-scape of possibility and chance the Old Gods manifested. His Light threw back the darkness of uncertainty and brought Truth to the minds of men. When humanity were created by the Mother to balance the creation of the Elves by the Old Gods the Father took pity on them, watching over them and meting his righteous Justice upon any who would do wrong. He still keeps his eyes on humanity, empowering those who serve him and maintaining Order.

The Father's children embody his own principles. His son Solare the God of Light is presented as a crusading knight with a sun sigil, while his daughter Liara the Goddess of Justice is a robed and winged figure wielding a sword. The God of Order has no name, as it would simply bias him, and oversees all things to maintain balance.

The Lord of Light's brother is Liavoth, God of seas, storms and good fortune. He is said to watch over sailors that pray to him. Niece to the Father and daughter to the God of Seas is Almorus, goddess of luck. Almorus is considered a minor goddess of that group of deities. It is said she is worshipped at vast cathedrals in the Capital, but within the outer coasts she is invoked more at gambling dens and horse races. Some heretics consider her goddess of thieves and charlatans, but this is widely denied by the church.

The Dwarven Ancestors

Many theologians note the similarities between the gods of the Dwarves and those of the Pantheon of Light, some even remarking that the Dwarves may have introduced the early humans to these concepts. For instance similarities have been drawn between the human god Liavoth and the Dwarven Stormlord, god of ocean and weather. Apart from nomenclature the primary difference between the two pantheons is that the Dwarven gods are considered to have once lived, ancestors who passed into heaven and took up their mantles. Some, such as the Urgo the Trickster, are said to have left behind puzzles for his people to solve in order to receive great rewards.

Pagan Gods and the Old Gods

Before the Lord of Light conquered Heaven and forged the universe scripture tells us the realm without light was ruled by Old Gods. Long removed from all but the most forbidden scriptures, the names of these Old Gods are mostly lost to the ages. Some whispers of Nyarly and Nyarlathotep remain, but their worship is all but forgotten. Some, like the Great Old One which is said to be a tentacled beast of pure chaos, have none foolish enough to worship them. Others like The Void are used in necromantic and other foul rituals by those that hide in the darkness.

Some of the Old Gods live on in Pagan worship. Here fey spirits and daemons are worshipped as gods, while some pagan gods are but simpler forms of gods formally worshipped elsewhere. Some of the Gods of the Green Heart live on in secret worship, even after the coming of the Church of Light. In recent years worship of Cimmeria, known as the Dark Lady has sprung up in secret temples around the regions. Some discussion about her relation to the Old God known as the Great Mother has been had in darker circles.

Some of the Old Gods have simply be translated over the years into worship in the new religions. The Sunlord, ancient god of battle, fire and light is one such example, elements of his worship having carried over to the Lord of Light and in particular his son Solare.

In the darkened forests and frozen mountain regions, primitive tribes maintain their worship of ancient Totem spirits. These mighty beings draw power from the natural world, their strength waxing and waning with the seasons and the flux of civilisation. Among the fiercest is the Storm Lion, for whom feats of glory on the hunt or battlefield are acts of worship. Storms and hurricanes - said to be caused by his roars - are taken as signs of his favour.

The Orcs worship Gruumpsh, god of battle and outcasts. Pictured as a one eyed old Orc, Gruumpsh is said to watch over those who would conquer or who are scorned by civilised society. He is generally interested in chaos over order, and revels in the deaths caused by his followers. Due to the nature of Orc worship very little reliable scholarly information is available about Gruumpsh.

The Elven Gods

The Elves are tight lipped about their gods, but many scholars consider the Elven pantheon to consist of over a hundred different gods, daemons and fey spirits. Some known are Elandrin, goddess of the sun, and the Shadow Fox, trickster and god of shadows. Within the Court of Seasons the nobles worship the Oak of Ages, a mystical golden tree said to contain the essence of Elandrin.


Legends and Myths


The Forge of Spells is little but a whispered fantasy in the Cragmore region. Stories say it was built centuries ago by humans, dwarves and gnomes as a way of creating magical items. It's fate is little remembered, lost amongst the chaos caused by the Orc invasion of the area many years later. In recent days a new entrance to the forge has been found within the collapsed caverns and underwater lakes of Wave Echo cave.

It is said that Dragon Cultists have been wandering the Kingdom for some years now, searching for Dragons to worship. They are said to revile other cultures and religions, seeing only the majesty and power of these great creatures.

The Brilliant Circle are wandering Paladins, said to be attached to no arm of the church. They travel the lands bringing down justice upon those who try to avoid the light, and justice for those who aren't able to defend themselves. In recent times stories have arisen of a valiant new leader, a paladin with a hammer of pure light who is trying to take justice to the top of the church itself.

The Underdark is little but a fearsome rumour to most, a tale of a vast underground warren of caves and caverns that lives below the ground. Those who are foolish enough to venture there find it to be a fell and dark place, infested with fearsome beasts and no light. It is said that whole empires of Drow and Dread Dwarves live in the Underdark, but this has never been confirmed. The dwarven vampire paladin Kurgan Oathbreaker is said to have walked the underdark for two millenia, cursed to stay away from dwarven settlements in an age past.


Suran


A strange land accessible from the Kingdom only through portals. First interactions took place during the Portal Incident in Neverwinter. A larger rift was located in the Greet Heart, but was shut by the Wymsbane company.

The people here are shorter and stockier, living hard lives in the desert that seems to dominate the land. They are organised into Clans, and are extremely militarily focused. They live in cities and fortresses carved directly out of the rocks of their world. They seem to be led by black robed wizards known as Great Ones. Due to a lack of metals in their world they use armour and weapons made from stone or plastics, and their primary interest in the Kingdom seems to be raiding for ores.

Some speculation has arisen that Suran exists within the legendary plain of fire, its lack of ore and heat a reflection of its proximity to the mountains of fire.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License