Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Eerath - The Known World

My setting needed an actual name aside from "Eastwylde" which is really just one swathe of a certain region in the larger world.  It has already also seen a short-lived Maze of the Blue Medusa campaign which for one session spilled into some kind of demiplane closely resembling the War-Gardens of  A Red and Pleasant Land in a moment of uninspired desperation from Y.T.  The Blue Medusa campaign explicitly placed the Isle of Eliator in my world's southern hemisphere along with a Neo-Saurian Empire and mercantile nation of Catfolk.  There have been a few references in the Eastwylde campaign to Yoon-Suin as a distant land of tea, drugs, and magic items that don't fit very well into Pathfinder's rubric of price-by-bonus. 

[Other stuff I've used: I adapted several critters from Veins of the Earth namely the Alkalion and Trilobyte Knight to dwell in the great hollow tunnels and chasms that yawn beneath the lime and sandstone buttresses of the Eastwylde's bluffs, but my players rarely and furtively probe underground.  Arnold K's Wizlocks were also carefully placed on the map but were bypassed unencountered]

Meanwhile I've been sort of half-assedly flirting with detailing further parts of the setting, always with an eye to keeping it dungeon-centric.  The focus should be on dungeons (where 'dungeon' can be any kind of labrynthine large complex filled with peril and reward) and rumors of dungeons. The most ambitious of these putative campaigns would center on The Seclusium of Cyrelle the Chaotic, which was generated using Vince Baker's Wizard-Dungeon Generator Thing.  From a mismash of randomly generated qualities Cyrelle became one of the most powerful wizards and putative supervillains of my setting writ large. 

So like, the world itself needs a name.  I'm going with Eerath, totally ripped off from an old 90s Excalibur comic. 

Eerath is a setting written for Pathfinder and takes most of its rules for granted.  There are some differences, however: Clerics don't serve deities but rather an innumerable assortment of Saints, some widely worshiped and others intensely local.  This lets them select any combination of Domains as long as the player can come up with a saint to justify it (Charm + War, for example, or Liberation + Law, etc etc).   Firearms are so profuse that they are treated as Simple Weapons and downgraded in price to less than one-tenth the rulebooks' listings.   Hypothetically (it hasn't come up yet) the setting uses the listed assortments of Demon Princes and Archdevils from D&D3.5 as subdivine powers.  A few racial options from  D&D 3.5 might find a place in the setting including Eberron's Warforged (referred to simply as The Forged, one example has already appeared in the Eastwylde campaign as a minor NPC); also from 3.5's Races of Destiny: the Shara-Kim or 'civilized orcs' (you may have noticed by now I'm kind of a fan of musclemen with tusks: I want there to be as many varieties as possible), and a human subrace called Illumians (with apologies to Joseph Manola who specifically called these guys out as emblematic of annoying race bloat--I always liked them in particular, albeit both Illumians and Shara-Kim have had their origins simplified in my settings to emphasize what makes them interesting in the first place).  And 3.5's more humanlike catfolk as a contrast to the beast-headed version from Pathfinder.

+2 charisma, because everybody likes catgirls.  No you don't get a choice you like catgirls.
Celestial or angelic hierarchy I'm not so sure on.  Angels certainly exist and probably ought to have some kind of opposite hierarchy opposed to the infernal; IRL whether or not a saint is of angelic or human origin isn't super-important but perhaps in my setting there would be 'Angel Cults,' rather more esoteric than the everyday saints of this and that, whose devotees would perhaps be better represented by the Summoner or Oracle classes.  I say not so sure because normally I'd just use the hierarchy proposed in Book of Exalted Deeds and not think about it further.... [Sidebar: A lot of DMs make the mistake of overthinking/overdeveloping the high-level Exalted/Infernal hierarchies of their settings, coming up with political machinations in hell which never figure into the actual campaign in any way.  I'm the opposite: I have so little concern over the 'cosmic level' of my setting I'm happy to just pull stuff from a book whole hog or let my players say it's whatever they want since it never in practice makes any difference.] ...but I found this website called https://www.angelarium.net/ which has beautiful fully realized illustrations of a bunch of esoteric angels I had never heard of ("Chazaquiel, Angel of Fog?"  okay). I won't post 'em, just go see the pretty pictures yourself.  If Angel Cults make an impact on this game at all, this amazing artwork and the imaginative forms of its angels needs to be used. 

Eerath: Fast Facts--> Major area of concern is the western half of Allegonde, a subcontinent fairly analogous to Europe c. 1485 - 1550. 
--> "Fixed Starting Point Area," the locus by which the rest of the world is measured, is the Kingdom of Pellegrine, loosely analogous to England in early Tudor times, except with some profound differences that ought to make its society totally unrecognizable like fiat currency and an artificially-constructed capital city. 
--> Other key places: Ibexia, which long ago was the heartland of the setting's Roman Empire analogue.  Dasan: enormous crumbling empire to the south which has fought eight "Dynastic Wars," and is the origin area of the Warforged and other "magitech" (or "magepunk" w/e) type stuff.  Think Medieval Sicily with a strong Byzantine/Arabian influence but with crazy crystal technology ~100yrs in advance of the rest of the setting and you got it.  Ibexia might be part of Dasan.  The North: the generic Skyrimmy Fantasy Vikingland place I had to include because my players love that shit.  Ugh.  Don't expect these guys to matter ever.  Arroede (pronounced "arrow-WEED.")  Spain analogue.  The major military empire of the period, controls some kind of Vicereality of Mexico-equivalent. 
--> Halfling Republic.  Exists to the west of Pellegrine.  Buccolic Shirelands surrounding a massive industrial-nightmare city that produces most of the world's clothing(?).
--> I like Van names ("Van Natta," "Van Wormer," etc.) so there's probably a Netherlands (United Republics era?) analogue somewhere lateral to Pellegrine.  Possible name: The Coastlands, the Coastal Principalities, the Coast Princes;
-->Fantasy Germany roughly split into three territories: The Empire of Night which is a Holy Roman Analogue ruled by a dynasty of vampires (this was a player's idea, I would never willingly use vampires other than as parody), The Order State who are constantly fighting the Vampires (so they're probably a lot more altruistic than the real Teutonic Knights), and lands of free humans which includes The River Princedoms (yes thanks Warhammer), the Hill Baronies.
-->Fantasy France analogue enormous and ideally much more diverse than Fantasy France Analogues tend to be.  Celtic/Breton area built on legendary locations such as The Lost City of Ys and The Enchanted Forest of Brocéliande and so-on is of outsize importance and headquarters of the World's International Ruling Body over Wizardry.  IRL Bretony was a beleaguered region constantly hammered by a state of low-grade warfare between its chieftains and the French but here it is probably the most civilized part of the setting with a few areas of High Magical Danger. 

Breton costumes like this only go back to 18c but easily adaptable & stylish if like me you love buttons

-->Area of Provencal influence; possibly an area of heavy religious dissent?  since my Cult of the Saints is modeled on the Early Church moreso than Medieval, possibly take some inspiration from Arianism, give them a more 'mystical' bent which emphasizes Divine Immanence, ignores/dismisses the army of saints and angels popular elsewhere.....?   Anycase a broad land of spicy food, wandering minstrels and backwards-looking barons. 

--->Further Abroad: East Asia Analogue made first contact with Allegonde about 100yrs ago, have tepidly been sending merchants and missionaries by sea hence wide-ranging existence of Monk class and monasteries, plus other classes such as Samurai and Wu Jen.  Fiat currency of 'fake' coins adopted by Pellegrine while entrusting bullion to the Royal Bank (Chartered Companies must be a thing in the setting even though ~50yrs too early) was first suggested by an immigrant named Quan-Xiu, reproduced in western languages as Kwanshoo.  He is now venerated by bankers and proto-capitalists as St. Kwanshoo the God of Finance.  You can find busts of him in every counting-house and chancery court. 

No comments:

Post a Comment