Setting Compiled

The Kingdom


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The main human region in the known world is known colloquially as the Kingdom. A disparate collection of territories, with culture and common practices varying 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 in recent memory 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. The date was reset, and the years after this defined as After Unification.

From Neverwinter on the northern-western coast far away to the Capital, it is a strong empire, albeit one that is stretched thin. The Capital might have another name, but its 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. The King is old, and 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. The Purple Dragon banner of the King may fly above many keeps, but few outer realms even know what the King looks like. 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.


Calendar


Within the Kingdom the year is divided into 10 day long "tendays". Each month has four tendays and 10 months make up the year.

The Calendar is usually measure on years AU or After Unification. This refers to the date at which the King united the desperate kingdoms into one overarching realm.

Months

  1. Deepwinter
  2. The Melting
  3. Greenhelm
  4. Flowering
  5. Summermist
  6. Highsun
  7. Red Fall
  8. Harvest
  9. The Fading
  10. Frostclaw

Noteworthy Dates

Summer Solstice
The day at which the sun is in the sky for the longest

  • 31st of Summermist

Unification Day
When the Kingdom celebrates unification.

  • 12th of Flowering

Historical Events

0 AU Unification of the Kingdom, start of the AU calendar.
10 AU Shaming of noble houses who opposed unification.
14 AU Captain Andre of the Seaweaver claims to have discovered a land across the Sea of Storms.
23 AU Rumours surface that the fabled treasure of Red Kazim had been found.
24 AU The Antecedent Fortune is wrecked off the coast of Karse.
30 AU The Moonshae Isles are reclaimed by the sea, leading to many Sea Elf refugees fleeing to their ships.
32 AU The Portal Wars ravage the Kingdom. Finally ended when a massive portal in the Green Heart is sealed.
33 AU Civil war in Elvandar is broken up by the Wyrmsbane company.
34 AU Death of Duke con Doin of Crydee and his son at the hands of the assassin 'Black Wind'.
35 AU The War of the Green Heart and the sacking of Karse.
38 AU Formation of the Twelve Schools of Magic by the King.
42 AU Refugees begin to appear around the city of Daggerford, claiming to be from a land called Barovia.
47 AU Destruction of Summit Hall and the rise of Bellamy the Heretic.
48 AU The red dragon 'Gregor' awakens in the Sword Mountains. He starts to unite barbarian tribes in his worship.
50 AU Unification 50th Anniversary celebrations are marred by a number of secessionist attacks.
59 AU The King celebrates his 100th nameday.
60 AU The 'Long Road' is flooded and trade north to south disrupted.
61 AU The Dread Pirate Robos begins to raid the shores of the Southern Kingdom.
62 AU The town of Greenest is destroyed by an unknown Blue Dragon
63 AU Flying Castle is spotted above the town of Parnast in the Greypeak mountains.
81 AU A mysterious illness sweeps the land and the Church of Light scrambles to find a cure.
99 AU The King dies under mysterious circumstances and the Kingdom falls into infighting as Dukes and lesser Lords struggle for power.

The Western Kingdom


Locations


The Kingdom is generally split into four areas, with each represented on the King's council by an Arch-Duke. The Western Kingdom contains the Dukedoms of Yartar, Neverwinter, Crydee as well as Leor and many others. It stretches from the Far Coast in the north all the way around the Scimitar Coast and inwards as far as the Dessarin Valley and the border of the High Forest.

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Neverwinter and the North

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 many of the other cities in the Kingdom. It stands at the very top of the Far Coast and is the north-most dukedom of the Western Kingdom. Due to its isolation its borders are often troubled. Despite this 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 Dessarin Valley

The Dessarin Valley is an expanse of grasslands, hills and forests that stretches from the city of Yartar in the north down to the village of Amphail. Located in the centre of the Western Kingdom it is a habitable region, filled with villages, homesteads and towns as well as dozens of farms and smaller settlements. The valley is littered with buildings old and new, with various chapels and manor houses standing near ancient ruins and forgotten outposts.

The history of the valley is mostly based on local myths and legends. It is said that a great dwarven kingdom once stood here, before it was cast down when the giants from the Sword Mountains crusaded through on their way north. Some elements of the dwarven occupation can still be found, with the Vale of Dancing Waters and the dwarven ruins in the Dessarin hills the most obvious examples. Rumours persist of an ancient dwarven city beneath the entire region, but few are brave enough to search the caves and tunnels below ground. After the fall of the dwarves the area was occupied by the Knights of the Silver Horn, a group of paladins and warriors led by the legendary Caradoon brothers; Samular Brightflame, Fenwick Snowcape and Aphail the Just. Much time has passed since these events, but the human settlers first brought here by the Silver Horn still occupy the land.

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In the modern era the Long Road passes through the region, helping trade from the northern city of Neverwinter go south to Crydee or east to Leor. Many dwarves from Mirabar also travel the roads, taking their wares south to sell in Caldara and beyond. Other travel in the region is possible via the many trails, roads and river-ways, although in recent times their safety has been less than assured.

Yartar is the largest city in the valley, and despite much of the political weight of Amphail it is home to the Waterbaron, the lord of the Dessarin region. In 48 AU Waterbaron Iago Thynne keeps a delicate peace between the Black Network and the Brilliant Circle, a paladin group that moved into the city in force some years ago. He rules from his tower astride the dessarin river. Yartar primarily serves trade going downriver or south down the long road, and is renowned for its merchants, bargewrights and wagon makers. There is currently a turf war taking place in the streets of Yartar between the Hand of Yartar, the Black Network affiliate, and a new criminal organisation known as the Kraken Society. Despite this violence this is the prime trading city in the Dessarin region.

Red Larch sits at the centre of the valley, once a town that made its trade off stone from nearby quarries. Much like its neighbouring towns of Beliard, Womford or Tribour it was made up of primarily farmers and shops to assist those merchants travelling the Long Road. The town was led by a council of elders, and is named after the red leaved larch trees that occupied the place where the town was built. In 48 AU it was destroyed by remnants of the Elemental cults that troubled the region and has since been reoccupied by travellers and scavengers.

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Many strange creatures live in the Dessarin Valley. Some, like the Elves of the High Forest, are friendly towards the townsfolk of the valley and have even been known to trade, while others raid the many caravans that travel the region. It is a wild place, untamed and still filled with mysteries. The ancient owners of the land still roam in nomadic tribes, known as the Elk Tribes. Some are peaceful, while others reject the advancements of civilisation. Some like the Uthgardt are fierce and often violent towards those they see as interlopers. The tip of the forest of Elvandar that protrudes into the Dessarin valley is known as the West Forest, and is far enough from Elven influence that the people of Dessarin often use it for hunting and lumber.

The Bargewright Inn covers a hilltop a few miles west of Womford and is a sprawling settlement of wooden buildings surrounded by large stone walls. Bargewright was once a single inn as its name suggests, but after decades of servicing the many travellers and merchants that pass through it has grown into a city sized collection of shops, inns, stables and taverns. The Inn has its own guards, known colloquially as "Swords", and is governed by an elected "Inkeeper" or "Keymaster". Some rumours persist that the Inn is a gathering point for criminals across the valley, and even that it is run by the Black Network itself. But no formal witnesses to this effect have ever come forward.

Summit Hall is a massive fortress built atop a natural rocky outcrop in the valley, a base first created by Samular Caradoon centuries ago. It served for a long time as the base of operations for the Knights Samular, a paladin sect, before it was overtaken by the zealots of the Brilliant Circle. It was their base of operations in the region for many years and the home to Exemplar Silverspear, their leader and rumoured former ally of The Bright One himself. In 47 AU it was sacked by Bellamy the Heretic and his allies, and since that time has been a haunted location that locals fear to enter.

The Green Heart

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Further south than Neverwinter is a region known as the Green Heart, both for its many vast forests and for its importance to the Western Kingdom. It stretches from the Far Coast further inland almost to the Dessarin Valley and south to the Scimitar Coast. 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.

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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 Con Doin's rule in the King's name, the King's own flesh put into power so that a trusted hand could watch over the city. Their banner proudly flies over the city, bearing the crown sigil of the King beneath the own house's sigils. Crydee is invaluable to the Kingdom, as a main trading post and its most western city. Con Doin's keep dominates the city skyline, as the smog of furnace fires or hearths mix with the salty sea air. The port bustles 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. From Unification until 34 AU Dorric con Doin ruled the city but after his death at the hands of the assassin known as the Black Wind his daughter Karlisa con Doin ascended to the rank of Duchess. After the War of the Green Heart the Con Doin family is deeply in debt to the Church of Light, and the Duchess makes few decisions that the Bishop does not approve. 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.

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, 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. Some ruins still exist from the War of the Green Heart, a civil war between Crydee and Karse.

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Crydee's primary mercantile rival in the region was once Karse, a few days ride on the coast to the south. Set on the delta of the 'golden river', it is built on the top of a swampland. The 'golden river' is named for the gold found within centuries past, and now resembles more of a muddy-brown colour. 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 once ruled the city, but he died during the Karse Uprising in 35 AU when The Cataclysm destroyed the city. The ruins of Karse are now a warren of hives and abandoned buildings, filled with criminals and would-be mages using the magical remnants of the Uprising.

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 bannerman 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. From 33 AU onwards it was ruled by the Baroness Tolbert, a lady who took over after her father and brothers died during a bout of shiver-plague in the town during the Portal Wars. She is the technical ruler of Karse after its destruction in 35 AU, although her patrols barely leave her fortified manor in the city.

The Scimitar Coast

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Just south of Tulan and the Far Coast lies the curved landmass known as the Scimitar Coast. On it's west, some miles from the peninsula that links it to the Far Coast lies Leor, a bustling port city famed for it's merchants and marketplaces. Leor is the capital of the Western Kingdom and home of the Arch-Duke Silverhand.

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The capital city of the Scimitar Coast is Leor, a large urban coastal city that is the most important and influential city in the Western Kingdom. The road to Leor is well paved and well patrolled, and with the Long Road to the north and the Trade Way to the East and West much traffic goes through and revolves around the city. Flooding in the late 50s caused the Long Road to be damaged around Leor, but the mayor of Leor funded a restoration projection that meant the road was fully functioning once again by the mid 60s. A few days outside Leor is the town of Daggerford, a trading town where caravans stop on their way to the large trading city. Leor was founded for its outstanding natural deep water harbour, and the city that grew up at this site became the commercial crossroads of the Western Kingdom. The city is set around Melairkyn mountain, named for the Dwarven clan who lived here before humans settled. Duke of Leor Laerel of House Silverhand rules from his keep atop the mountain, his silver moon banners flying on a purple field across the city and indeed the whole of the Scimitar Coast.

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Further to the east is the port city of Ald's Gate and inland the cities of Elturel and Scornubel. Elturel is famous for the holy orb that hovers above the city, illuminating it day and night and warding away undead. It is ruled by Lord Dahlt, a devotee of the Lord of Light and in particular Solaire. Ald's Gate is a metropolis and city-state on the Sword Coast and Western Heartlands border, on the north bank of the river Chionthar about twenty miles east from its mouth on the Sea of Swords. It is located to the south of the great city-state of Leor along the well-traveled Coast Way road. This wealthy port metropolis, whose population, according to many accounts, exceeds that of Leor, is an important merchant city on the Scimitar Coast. Its strong watch and the presence of the powerful Flaming Fists mercenary company keeps the city generally peaceful and safe, while the Council of Four rules over the city.

In the east at the foothills of the Cloud Mountains lies the bountiful farmlands known as Greenfields. Greenfields is a land of rolling green hills and verdant forests, peppered with small towns and villages. The town of Greenest is one such place, built around the Keep of Greenest it has had no need for its large fortress for many years. The people here live peaceful lives, farming outside the town and trading with the nearby villages of Berdusk and Iriabor along the Uldoon Trail.

Elven Realms

Elven genealogy is a largely theoretical study for humans, as no Elf would allow a human to analyse their family line in any detail. Some details however are known. It is believed Elves are split into three main racial groups. The most common by far are the Wood Elves. Dark of skin and wild, these are the Elves that live in the many forests and glades of the Kingdom, seldom interacting with humans but for the occasional hunt. Many Wood Elves are called Wild Elves and live amongst nature in roaming tribes, often led by druids. When Wild Elves come together to form settlements more often and not they are led by High Elves. High Elves are the nobility of the Elvish people, and are divided into the Moon Elves of the High Forest and the Sun Elves of Elvandar. High Elves are typically arrogant and wilful, staying in the depths of their forests or towers and caring little for the affairs of men. The final Elven group are known as Dark Elves. A rumour to most, it is said that Dark Elves live under the very earth itself and reveal themselves only to pillage and destroy. Where the Wild Elves worship forest spirits and the High Elves the Goddess of the Moon or the Tree of Eternity the Dark Elves are said to worship chaos itself. Hundreds are said to be sacrificed on their alters to the old gods hidden below the lands of men.

The High Forest is a massive forest that stretches from the north all the way down to the southern coast. It contains many smaller settlements of Wild Elves all ruled by the Moon Elves who dwell in the centre of the forest. These are the elves of the Moon Goddess who dwell within the mountains of the moon. The moon elves, grey skinned and lithe, are sometimes referred to as "high elves" or "elder elves", but in many cases the lines of Moon and Wild elf are so interbred it is difficult for outsiders to determine these castes. These elves live in the mountains and the high trees of this region, led by their queen who dwells within the High Moore in the city of Evaraska. The edge of her realm to the east is protected by the giant elven statues known as the Twins, who some say magically guard her realm against intruders. One of the few elven settlements known to humans is the Shadowtop Cathedral, an elven outpost on the western edge of the high forest where select humans are welcome to live among the treetops with the elves.

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Within the Green Heart, on the Far coast, is the kingdom of Elvandar. A bastion of the Sun Elves. Decades ago the Elven realm was mere myth to all but those who would brave the dark and magical forests surrounding it, but in recent times the Sun Elves have begun to trade with the people of the Far Coast. The King has an uneasy peace with the Wild 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.

Even more private and brutal than their forest cousins the Sea Elves live off the Scimitar Coast on the Moonshae Isles. Grey of skin and light of hair they are also called Grey Elves or Dusk Elves. The Sea Elves live on these islands in clans based around large and tight nit families. Each clan usually operates a fleet of ships, from simple fishing vessels to piratical raiders. The Sea Elves use these ships to raid the coastline on occasion and to harry any traders attempting to do business in the Sea of Swords. As with most Elven cultures the Sea Elves are ruled by a small contingent of High Elves. The Sea Elf nobility are a strange blend of Moon and Sun Elves and they hoard magic and power amongst their people.

Dwarven Keeps

Stout and broad in build the Dwarves are craftsmen and miners without peer. They excel at working metals and have some of the finest warriors in the land.

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Once the Dwarves are said to have covered most of the world with their Karaks and mines, a vast underground network known as the Deep Roads connecting all of their fortresses and settlements. But after years of ill fortune and war little but ruins remain in the world. What few Dwarves remain are stalwart and private folk, most settlements doing little trade with the humans around them only when necessary. Some like Stonehill in the Sword Mountains have shut their doors to humans entirely, wary of the younger race's impetuousness and rashness. For most people Dwarves are known only as traders and travelling warriors, the grim owners of the thousands of Dwarven ruins that spot the Kingdom. Dwarven steel has long been sought after and it is said nothing can pierce Dwarven made plate armour.

Dwarven culture is heavily based on castes, although there is some upward mobility through the performance of great deeds. Iron Dwarves are the lowest class, usually serving as soldiers or labourers within the great Dwarven Keeps. Many dwarves of the Iron caste join the military to escape their birthright, moving up the ranks through acts of valour and stoicism. By far the most common dwarves are the Silver Dwarves. Silver dwarves can take up almost any position they desire in society, from soldiers to craftsmen. Many travel outside of the Dwarven Holds as traders or merchants. The Gold Dwarves are the highest of the dwarven commoners, master craftsmen and leaders among the dwarves they are the equivalent of nobility in human civilisation. However Platinum Dwarves are the true nobility of dwarvenkind. Houses that have existed for thousands of years hold obscene wealth and power within dwarven society.

Despite this reputation for insularity, after the Portal Wars the realms of Dwarf and man have begun to trade once again, and some few settlements opening their doors to the people of the Kingdom. One such settlement is Mirabar, a dwarven city that opened its doors in 33 AU. A decade later it has a whole district above ground for humans, halflings and many other races. Filling buildings the Dwarves no longer have the numbers to fill or building their own these races trade with the Dwarves below ground and help reintegrate the great city with the world it abandoned. With their red and black axe banner the soldiers and emissaries of Mirabar have been seen across the region, setting up trade delegations with human cities or re-establishing mines. It is said that the High Council of Mirabar even has a human sitting amongst it, although what human could impress the dwarven council is unknown. The Great Forges of Mirabar were boosted in 47 AU when a group of strange bronze clad dwarves arrived from the South. Carrying strange glowing red gems the forges produced like never before, and a new generation of smiths was trained by these immortal bronze ancestors. In the years following the weapons and armour of Mirabar become legendary across the Kingdom and it is rumoured that the King's son himself wears a suit of Mirabaran plate mail.

Some Dwarven cities have always stayed open to trade, if the mortal races desired it. In the Green Heart there is the city of Caldara which is fast becoming a trading hub to rival Crydee. Sitting on rich veins of gold and gems the Caldarans are famed jewellers and tinkerers. Safe beneath their mighty outer fortress, Caldara is less warlike that its neighbour Mirabar and runs banks across the Western Kingdom.


Organisations


The Council of Lords

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A loose collection of noble houses and Lords from across the Scimitar Coast and Green Heart that help to run the region. They are the powerhouse political alliance of the Western Kingdom, including among their number Dukes, nobles and lesser lords who rule everything from cities to small villages and castles. The Council grants protection to small areas and promises peace between the allied groups. Those outside of the Council of Lords see it as an elitist attempt to maintain power, but there is no denying the influence the group has upon the Scimitar Coast and Green Heart regions.

In the period 32 to 50 AU known members include Arch-Duke of Leor Laerel of House Silverhand, Duke Samir of Neverwinter, Riverbaron Thynne of Yartar, Lord Dauner of Amphail, Duchess Karlisa con Doin of Crydee, Lady Tolbert of Tulan, Lord Dahlt of Elturel and Selim Remur the human member of the council of Mirabar.

One of the primary allies of the Council of Lords are the Purple Dragon Knights. Knighted and trained by warriors anointed by the King himself, these knights are natural leaders and travel the land protecting the sanctity of the realm. In Crydee these knights have been more formalised into the Order of the Blue Rose. Founded after the destruction of Karse this order operates in secret to investigate and uncover any daemonic cults that could cause similar damage to the realm. After the corruption in the Church of Light this organisation answers directly to the duke or duchess of Crydee, and it's knights are often skilled in the eldricht arts, having studied at the Crydee college of magic.

The Brilliant Circle

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Before 32 AU the Brilliant Circle were a group of wandering paladins and fanatics most well known for burning witches and causing trouble. After 32 AU they rose into one of the most powerful groups within the Church of Light, led by a legendary figure known simply as the Bright One. The Bright one is said to wield a hammer made of pure light and has gathered the most zealous elements of the Church of Light and wrestled control of the Church. In the years following they purged the corruption from the Church of Light and soon held the clergy in an iron grip of righteousness.

The Brilliant Circle paladins are most often seen riding across the Kingdom serving as judges in local matters of morality and assisting the common folk wherever they can. They hold a series of fortresses across the Kingdom and train new generations of Priests, Knights and Paladins to ever expand their influence. After the destruction of Summit Hall a new aspect of the Brilliant Circle rose to prominence. The Order of the Gauntlet are knights of Torm and reject the fanatical elements of their parent organisation. These knights are easily identifiable by the gold armoured gauntlets they wear.

The Black Network

The Black Network goes by many names, but its influence can be felt all across the Kingdom. In Crydee it is the Cult of Shadows, in Karse the Bladed Guild and in Leor the Thieves Conglomerate. This is because for all their connections the Black Network is a loose arrangement of spies, thieves and assassins ruled by no laws. Rumours persist that the assassin known as The Black Wind rules the Black Network from behind closed doors, but it seems impossible that a single individual could control such a diverse and massive network. They have their fingers in countless pies, and if criminal activity goes down in the Kingdom it is a safe bet the Black Network was involved in some way.

The Colleges of Magic

After the Portal Wars the King decreed that the magic used by the Surani invaders was to be studied and documented. At great expense in 38 AU he established the 12 Colleges of Magic, each led by one of the Great Warlocks of the Kingdom. In the Western Kingdom colleges were established in Crydee and Leor as well as in the famous library of Candlekeep. Soon they were filled by academics and eager students from across the lands. Of course the prime college in the Capital itself where it is rumoured one of the King's grand-children is currently studying. Would-be mages join the college as Initiates, rising through the ranks over a number of years ranging from 5 for excellent students to a record of 20 for those able to pay the fees but unable to pass the tests required to move up the ranks.

Some of the original Warlocks of the kingdom resented the fact that magic was now accessible to the common folk, but there is no denying that by 60 AU the hundreds of trained wizards across the Kingdom make life easier for all with their spells and rituals. The Church of Light has taken greater interest in the Colleges of Magic in the years after 50 AU, when a rogue wizard attempted to disrupt the 50th Anniversary of Unification celebrations in Crydee. They established a group known as the Templars to watch over the wizarding colleges. Superficially for the mages own protection, it is well known that these zealots do not hesitate to put down any wizard they consider to have gone rogue.


Religion and Deities


The Pantheon of Light

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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 Father is married to a goddess known colloquially as The Mother, whose true name is Chauntea, the human goddess of nature, harvest and healing. Her sigil is a red rose set into a golden wheat leaf and she is often worshipped by travelling druids and healers.

The Lord of Light's brother is Liavoth, God of seas, storms and good fortune. Sometimes called the King of Storms he is said to watch over sailors that pray to him. Liavoth's worship takes the form of the calm or stormy sea and each is represented by a different order of priests. Niece to the Father and daughter to the God of Seas is Almorus, goddess of luck. 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. She is a small god compared to some in her family and some consider her goddess of thieves and charlatans, but this is widely denied by the church.

Some knights and paladins worship Torm, son of Solare and lesser god of duty and righteousness. His symbol is a single golden gauntlet and in recent times his worship has been popularised by the Brilliant Circle Paladins.

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. The Dwarven ancestor pantheon is led by Morodan, dwarven smith god of creation and order. He is said to have been the great smith who forged the world itself on his anvil in an age long past. 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. Other known gods include Berronar the god of healing, Dugmaron the god of research and Hanseath the god of war.

The Dwarven gods are not seen as good or evil but all exist with personalities and preferences of their own. So where the Stormlord is firey but fair and far seeing the Kraken god Roknar is vengeful and violent. Roknar is said to be worshipped by pirates and raiders but has become less and less popular as the dwarves turned their focus to diplomacy and trade. 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.

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. Elven Gods are usually complicated beyond comprehension by other races, and it is not uncommon for each to have multiple essences and names.

One of the Elven Gods that has transferred to human worship is that of Curna. Curna is God of knowledge, bards and inspiration and is famously one of the primary gods of the Harpers, a collection of bards and spies across the Western Kingdom. He is named the "Lord of Knowledge" and the "Binder of Knowledge". Curna is worshipped in some mage colleges and private libraries by men, but is still by far mostly worshipped by Elves. His sigil is a silver harp on an otherwise blank scroll.

The Sea Elves worship different gods entirely to their Moon and Wood elven cousins. They engage in the dual worship of Mandalin the Goddess of the Moon and Rior the God of the Sea. These two stand as balances for the other, the healing of the moon keeping the fury of the sea in check.

Gnomish Gods

The gnomes usually worship the gods of the humans. However some ancient gnomish worship carries over. The gods of the gnomes are based around a family of ancient gnomes who have ascended to godhood. A grandmother and grandfather rule the family, with many aunts and uncles who hold lesser thrones of power.

The Fey

Sylvan spirits have always inhabited the ancient forests of the world. While many Fey spirits have become corrupted or integrated into the Elvish Pantheon there are those that resist the process of time. Fionnghuala is one such spirit who is said to influence the minds of those who venture near her forests, speaking terrible secrets into the minds of the unhappy and unfulfilled. Fey spirits often take lordship over woodland beasts and can be worshipped by primitive or barbarian tribes. For example the Sylvanth are sentient trees possessed by Fey spirits while sentient beasts like unicorns and pegasi are the domain of Lurue, Queen of Talking Beasts.

Pagan Gods

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 Beast King, 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. In the hills of the Dessarin valley each barbarian tribe takes on their own totem animal, with Bears, Elk and Wolves common symbols.

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 Bullywugs, strange frog-like dwellers in swamps and mud huts across the Kingdom, worship a strange pantheon of their own gods. First and foremost is Ghaunadaur, god of slime and mould that is rumoured to have been one of the gods worshipped by the ancient and now crumbled Dark Elven Empire. The shamans of the Bullywugs understand very little about formal religion, and their worship is strange and misguided in many ways. They have also been known to worship Leira the goddess of shadows and Ornok the god of consumption.

Old Gods and Dark 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. The Void has many names, The Formless One, The Great Darkness and others not spoken aloud out of fear. When the Void walks among men it takes the name Kelemvor, after one of its champions in an age long since passed. Some say that Dendar the Night Serpent is the source of all nightmares in the world, but luckily few remember this creature of primordial chaos.

Many 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 say the War of Karse was driven by a group of her cultists, but this has not been confirmed. Many scholars suggest her relation to the Old God known as the Great Mother or the pagan goddess of shadows Leira, but few will vocalise these suspicions. The great mother is an old god that few could forget: Tiamet, the evil dragon. Said to be the reason that all dragons are now evil, Tiamet battled with the Lord of Light before time itself began and was imprisoned in a specially constructed jail called the Nine Hells. Some say she was the first true dragon while others insist she was simply a daemon that took this form. Since her imprisonment millennia ago her name has fallen into myth and her true nature has been all but forgotten.

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.


Legends and Myths


The Dragon Cults:
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 Underdark:
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 Dark Elves 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 millennia, cursed to stay away from dwarven settlements in an age past.

The Red Dragon Gregor:
Most adult dragons spend the years slumbering in their fearsome barrows, but since 48 AU one has been active in the Sword Mountains. A red dragon known as 'Gregor' has been seen visiting barbarian clans along the mountains and believed to be the source of the Dragonborn that are being seen in the region in increasing numbers.

The Birth of Teiflings:
Since the destruction of Karse and the Portal Wars there have been a slew of strange occurrences in the region. One of the most bizarre is the birth of a new subrace of humans known simply as "tieflings". Humans imbued with chaotic energy these tieflings show many strange physical defects such as red or black skin and short horns on their foreheads. Some in the Church of Light believe them to be the children of devils.

Traegon the Possessed:
It is said that hundreds of years before Unification a feared and insane warlock attempted to summon a powerful daemon. Only a small group of paladins opposed him, led by a hero known as Traegon. The warlock was slain and the daemon stopped, but it is said that the only way to contain it was for Traegon to bind the creature within his very soul. Rumours persist that Traegon still exists in the Shadowfell, a wandering paladin whose soul contains the essence of a powerful and dark entity.

The Gems of Answering:
Legend speaks of nine stones, granted by the gods to their mortal champions. In recent times, weeping doomsayers warn that they have been forged into a single nightmare artifact with the power to destroy the world. It is protected by a deathless guardian, adrift somewhere beyond time and space.

  • Resorter: Aquamarine gem. Lawful Good.
  • Rebutter: Topaz gem. Neutral Good.
  • Answerer: Emerald gem. Chaotic Good.
  • Concluder: Amethyst gem. Lawful Neutral.
  • Replier: Peridot gem. True Neutral.
  • Last Quip: Tourmaline gem. Chaotic Neutral.
  • Scather: Garnet gem. Lawful Evil.
  • Squelcher: Red spinet gem. Neutral Evil.
  • Back Talker: Jet gem. Chaotic Evil.

The Other Planes


It was long speculated by the Warlocks of the Kingdom that other planes existed, but it was not confirmed until the Portal Wars. When the forces of Suran flooded into the world the world was flooded with magic the likes of which was previously the stuff of legends. The academic study of magic spread across the lands, with colleges of magic being set up in Crydee and Leor. Although small these colleges would begin to gather knowledge and capable spellcasters to begin unravelling the mysteries of the universe.

It is believed that beyond the Material World there are other planes of existence. Some, like the Astral Plane, are believed to be locations of pure thought and energy while others like the Elemental Planes are said to host cities and other material objects.


The Shadowfell

A realm of pure darkness and horror, only the insane survive this grey and black place for any period of time. Even time is wrong here, as if the gods themselves dare not claim their authority in this dark realm.

Barovia

The mists around Daggerford have been known to echo strange screams and the dead have always been restless in the Svalich forests. Only those foolish enough to enter those forests during the witching month know the truth. For within these woods is concealed an entire realm. Barovia was cursed long ago to be hidden from the world, a punishment for the vampire Count von Strahd for his sins.

Barovia is a cursed land filled with sullen people. From the swamps to the highest icey peaks it is infested with dark and fell beasts and the people rarely venture out of the few towns that exist within its mists. The people of the Village of Barovia and Vallaki scratch out a living trying to live through Strahd's rein, while those in Kresk shut themselves away from the world to survive.

Adventurers are naturally drawn to Barovia, for it is a place of ancient and impossible secrets. And with these secrets lies power beyond imagining.


The Realm of Air

Little is known about the Realm of Air but that it is the home of the Air Elementals and the mysterious bird-men known as Aarakocra. The Aarakocra are said to be the servants of beings known as the Wind Dukes and enter the material planes only on missions from these 'dukes'. A swirling mass of storms and winds it is said that those unable to fly in the Realm of Air fall for all of eternity.


The Realm of Fire

The Realm of Fire is believed to be the source of many of the creatures seen in the Kingdom since the Portal Wars. Beings such as the bronze skinned Azer or the flame lizard Salamanders seem to trace their lineage to the Plane of Fire. Wizards studying pyromancy often find ancient texts written in Ignan, the primordial language of the Realm of Fire.

Suran

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A strange land accessible from the Kingdom only through portals. First interactions took place during the Portal Incident in Neverwinter but during 32 AU the entire Kingdom was invaded via portals. A larger rift was located in the Greet Heart, but was shut by the Wyrmsbane company. This is said to have caused all other portals to be dismantled, with many soldiers trapped in Suran stuck there for all time.

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 Plane of Fire, its lack of ore and heat a reflection of its proximity to the Mountains of Flame.

The war with the Surani is considered over for most, the invaders driven off and their portals closed. But the impact the war had on the people of the Kingdom should not be understated.

One sole outpost exists in Suran from this world, an ancient sandstone temple that was rebuilt and occupied by the Wyrmsbane company. It still runs as a Temple of the Light for those Surani who wish to convert, and a method of travelling between it and the other worlds has been suspected.


Other Realms


Tezca

Far across the Sea of Storm a land exists that few have ever visited. Tezca is a land of jungles and mountains, of oceans and wilderness. Few have made the journey and almost none have returned who have.

The Yukitan Empire

The Yukitan Empire is the first port of call for travellers arriving in Tezca. It's Prince Hector rules the peaceful lands. Worship of a pantheon of gods is common, with particular focus on Sadoria the goddess of Knowledge.

The capital of the Yukitan Empire is the Port of Lepas. Set on the Sirena river it is a trading hub and it is not uncommon to see boats from across Tezca in her ports. Stone and wood buildings sit on the hills and mountains surrounding the river mouth.

The Aroyo

A strange people from an unknown location, the Aroyo have been attacking the people of the Yukitan Empire from within the Ozarks, the jungles that border Lepas.


The Thrones of Power

Within the realms of the Gods there are thrones for those that rule each land. The longest serving is Mattar the Dread, lord of death. Depicted as a skeletal man in black robes he lives in balance with Vidall, the mistress of life and light. She is a healer where he represents only the slow passage of time. Also opposed to Matter is Selvage the mistress of nature. She holds massive banquets and convinces the wealthy to live decadently. Also holding a throne is Lathau the trickster, a deceiver who leads men away from the holy path. Some sailors call upon the power of Chuvar the Tempest to bring fair winds, but live in fear of the Den'rabi that she sends to punish those who offend her. Chuvar is the god of all natural disasters and has brought hundreds of hurricanes, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions to destroy any who question her. She is depicted as a beautiful woman in blue robes with white tattoos across her body. The holder of the throne of War is a beast of a woman, nearly ten feet tall in full plate armour. Although her name is lost to the ages her fearsome greatsword is a whispered myth by those who seek out bloodshed.


The Splintering: 101 AU


The Kingdom shattered suddenly, in all but name.

Following a century of almost unprecedented stability, The King vanished without explanation in AU99, at the height of his power. It is apparent that only his iron grip had held together the peace; within months, his generals, senior clerics, merchant lords and nobles were at war to claim his legacy, rapidly unmaking the once-powerful realm.

The Kingdom limped through a period known as the Splintering, in which the mightiest institutions crumbled and the continent descended into near lawlessness. Powerful city-states and baronies divided the spoils, and the common folk suffered on through uncertainty, scarcity and strife. Only fragments of civilisation would emerge.

A Kingdom of Conscience

Founded by a prophet known as the Bright One, the ecclesiocracy known as the Heriurge was formed as a bulwark against a terrible future he had foreseen.

Invested with extraordinary powers by the late King, the Bright One had wielded Brilliant Circle paladins as a brutal weapon against corruption and lawlessness. Eventually uniting the Orders Militant and frenzied citizen-militias, he marched his army of the faithful on Crydee, casting down the squabbling, ineffectual remnants of its power structures. Built on the city’s scorched foundations and the gold of corrupt clerics, the Heirurge is ruled by a Council of wise Elector-Priests, from whom the incorruptible Bright One is elected.

United by the teachings of the First Bright One, the Elector-Priests now debate consolidating worship of the Light Pantheon into single, all-encompassing deity.

The Marrowgheist

Suffering through decades of terror at the hands of a dreaded spectre, the dripping jungles of Tezca were slowly depopulated as it’s clans retreated into superstition and heavily-warded enclaves. The cruel but necessary practice of sacrifice devolved into a culture of death-worship, presided over by painted shamans in secret league with the creature.

Known as the Marrowgheist for its habit of splitting open and devouring bones, the enigmatic phantom has recently taken to haunting and preying on privateer ships from across the sea.

Earthmane

Formerly an empty land under the sway of free-roaming monsters, the northwestern wilderness of the Once-Kingdom is now known as Earthmane. A fledgling barbarian nation has emerged amid it’s icy forests and mountains, named for the ferocious Beast-King who had arisen to cull it’s many dragons and monstrosities and seize their treasurers.

Drawn by rumours of his mounting plunder, ever more savage champions and jealous Orc warlords had sought to challenge him for possession of the hoard. The resultant mass of leaderless tribes coalesced around the Beast-King’s fortress-lair, spreading his worship and dominance through conquest.

The Baneflag

With every provincial duke and merchant grabbing for land and power, the horror of civil war ground down every existing army. The services of large mercenary companies grew increasingly decisive, and soon, the mere appearance of the Imix Bane colours on the horizon would prompt a battlefield surrender. As the city-states and baronies neared bankruptcy, their payments came in the form of titles, gifts of land and political concessions; in two decades, Imix Bane officers ruled the continental southwest in all but name.

Robber-barons, bandits and pirates flourished, the defacto military junta content to continue accruing wealth and power in exchange for their highly in-demand services. Now the most disciplined and best-resourced military in the world, many wonder whether this immense weapon might soon be directed at a foreign target.

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