View Full Version : World Homebrew Design - The Children's War

2013-05-15, 02:44 PM
If you are a member of the Searching for Mercy game, go away. This is spoilers!

So, this is a campain world I have been working on for a long time - it was originally supposed to be a book, but I couldn't make it work, and I eventually decided it made a more interesting game, anyways. I am copying these notes out of a hand-written notebook, so it may take me a while to get it all copied, but here's the basic outline:

The world of Fidel was never intended to exist. Indeed, in this universe, life was never intended to begin - and when it did, it all too often shattered, swiftly, like a crumpling pane of glass. In the beginning, there was chaos, and there was order, and nothing else, and they existed apart for a timeless infinity.

But then, in a single point, chaos and order touched - gently, ever so briefly - but where they touched, they mixed, and change was brought to the void, and that change was time.

With time arose life - the first gods, abstract concepts of what was to come, beings of madness and crushing, despairing sanity, and these creatures fought over this perfect, first world, and in their fighting destroyed it and themselves.

Where the chaos and order were now mixed and muddied by destruction and pain and greed, a second world formed, but it was imperfect, and no life bloomed across its surface. It was a dead world, and the things that did exist within it were aberrations, beasts lost within their own minds, torn between twin drives to order and to chaos.

But some beings remained from that first, more perfect, world, beings of pure order and pure chaos, and they saw fit to end this monsterous world, and wipe clean all but a handful of the abominations that it had brought into existence.

The third world was an accident. Aeons passed, and in time the swirls and eddies of order and chaos once more mingled, mixing in the ruins of the second. In time, this last, greatest world formed, part chaos, part order, and part madness. Life once again arose, weakened and diluted but also stablized by the mixing of order and chaos, and in time the third world was populated by animals and mortal creatures of all sorts.

The aberrations, too, existed in this world, forced by their own natures to hide in the wild places of the land – places of savage, unpredictable magic and brutal vitality.

And the first beings, that handful of surviving Gods, found places in this world as well, folding themselves into the planes that surrounded it. They divided themselves, lawful and chaotic, and when the creatures of the world below – fragile, mortal things, to know such concepts! – created ideas of Good and Evil, they divided themselves in this way as well.

Millennia passed in relative harmony, the balance preserved by mutual self-preservation, if nothing else.

And then, one day, that shattered, and there was war.

No one knew why it started. But the balance was upset, and soon an all-out war waged between the old gods.

The mortals prayed, of course, but their prayers only fueled the god’s rages. The planar entities were dragged into battle, and soon it was a four-way war, Good against Evil, Order against Chaos.

The world strained to breaking, but in the end, perhaps it’s prayers were heard…

They burned in the sky like fire, the equal of any gods. Two beings, incarnations of pure Chaos and Order – the Phoenix and the Kirin. It was they who brought an end to the Godsfall War, drenched as it was in the blood of those selfsame gods. In the end, they lighted on the barren ground, and poured their existences into the world itself, sustaining and repairing what the gods had destroyed.

Together, it is said that they left alive not one god in a hundred; the scattered gods that rule Fidel now being those mighty enough to survive or crafty enough to hide.

So, too, did the war ravage the planes, leaving what is now the Planar Chasm rent across the Hardorn Plain; the very rift through which the gods did battle.

But at least the war was over, and the world once more began to heal itself. The mortal races grew and spread, mingling with the gods and the planar beings, learning to control the bits and pieces of Order and Chaos within themselves. The first mages appeared, and magic spread like flashfire across the world. Cities followed, and civilization and soon enough strife followed those.

Where the gods had first laid tracks, now mortals followed the path to war.

If anything good were to be said for it, they were the last and the best at it. They perfected fighting, honed it and mastered it over a thousand years of intermittent war. Humanity divided itself by ten, and ten again, over and over until the land itself was stained with blood and tears. Generations lived and died, never knowing peace.

And then, one day, a new army arose, an army too young to fight, barely old enough to raise arms, for the last and most brutal war - The Children’s War.

Those who were there say it began with a bard. He was young, to wander the world, but many children did – parents dead, burned from their homes by invading armies. He was beautiful, they say – long brown hair and dark, warm eyes, and a smile that made you hope he was smiling for you.

At his side walked a fighter, when he entered the town that day. Over her shoulder, she carried a scythe, the handle stained with blood. He called himself Liliander, and his companion was Arram.

He stayed in town for only two nights, but when he left, the children of that town followed, with no reason to stay, and nowhere to go.

By the time they reached a thousand, they were hardened dogs of war. No race or creed bound them, save their hatred. They hated the war, hated the gods…

Arram led them to battle, and they loved her.

On the battlefield, she was their God, their leader, their savior. The wounded prayed to her for salvation; the tired, for the strength to go on fighting. With Liliander at her side, she led the Children’s army across the continent, gathering the powerful to her side – the other Heroes of the Children's War.

And then, Liliander died.

A lucky, mortal wound. A single shot, through the heart, and then Arram was screaming and the world was alight in pain and a dragon’s fire.

Those veterans who were there do not speak to outsiders of what happened that day on the Issin See. They speak quietly of it together, sometimes, but it is for them only; a sacred, secret memory better forgotten and yet unforgettable, burned into flesh and memory.

After that battle, she was Arram no more. From that day forth, her soldiers called her their Arrada’ankaar, their judge-defender.

It was four more years until the war ended. It ended in fire and in pain. There was no mercy, no kindness, save that of a swift death. Only twenty years of war…

Those who had been with her from the very start, her most loyal and beloved, rallied to their Arrada’ankaar and left with her to form the citadel of Kyrellnhalk. The rest scattered, returning to long-destroyed villages and beginning, once more, to rebuild…

Thirty years after the end of the Mortal Wars, the scars of the Children's War still crisscross the land. Many who are now adults fought as children, and the memories of their actions and the war have driven some to madness, while others emerged into peacetime seemingly unchanged by the war. The Arranclancy have withdrawn from the world almost entirely - a few walk the earth on missions given to them by the Arada'ancaar, but for the most part, they dwell entirely within the citadel at Tenebris, content to ignore the outside world. The Abaratii, once feared soldiers and mercenaries, now fly the skies as guardians, defending the peoples of Fidel and aiding in the long recovery, and the other mortal races have taken steps to reclaim their own ancestral lands and rebuild their ruined homelands.

Many of the races still dwell together, though - the world is a mixed place, with many cities being as much elven as they are dwarvish, remnants of the mixed and everchanging alliances of the Mortal's War. It seems that peace might last, this time - but mortals are not the only ones with a hand in play at this table, even with the gods gone.

2013-05-17, 11:51 AM
The Arranclancy

The Kirin.

The Phoenix.

The Raven-Haired Man.

Riishaad Iilandrasi ne Kyuuroth

Virill Iilandrasi ne Aidenja.

Naii Uueshiitadema ne Uurs.

Liir Uueshiitadema.

Thomai Brand.


Laakim Rever.

Residents of the Howe
The Temple of the Phoenix
High Priestess Nydia.

Priestess Caydidae Jorruneil.

The Temple of the Kirin
High Priest Yorell.

Priest Thurge.

Trainee Thanat Jorruneil.

The City Guard

The GuardCaptain Liir Uueshiitadema

Vice-Captain Brigid Skaal.

Guardswoman Lee Omman.

Guardsman Herrun Balor.

The Mage’s GuardCaptain Naii Uueshiitadema

Vice-Captain Aldein Revaunt.

Outside CharactersBrede VolkThe Ffjolknir Glacier.

Heiman StreyThe Ffjolknir Wurm.

2013-05-17, 11:53 AM
Locations - Up Soon!

2013-05-17, 11:54 AM
Plot - Up Soon!

2013-05-17, 11:55 AM

Terrain Map

Political Map

Political Map (With Cities)

Terrain Map (With Cities)

Regional Maps
NorthwestComing Soon!

NortheastComing Soon!

SouthwestComing Soon!

SoutheastComing Soon!

2013-05-17, 11:56 AM
The Abbarati
The Abbarati - a band of feared and respected aerial fighters - are one of the largest armies still intact after the end of the Mortal Wars. Although they formed independently about 570 years before the Wars ended, they allied with, and were mostly absorbed into, the Children's Army, only resolving back into a separate fighting force once the Children's Army split up.

It is said that the first Abbarati Rider saved a hatchling gryphon orphaned by a group of soldiers, who later chose to fight by his side, although whether or not this is true is a matter of some debate. Nevertheless, gryphons comprise the main body of the Rider's aerial forces. The gryphons are considered amongst the Riders as equals, and they are as intelligent as any man. A rider may fight on gryphonback, or with a sword and shield alongside his mount on the ground. Within their ranks are archers, mages, and fighters, and, although the most common mounts are gryphons, there are those who fight alongside drakes, chimera, or Pegasus. Although they are of varying intellegence, at least by human standards, no particular species is concidered lesser amongst the Abbarati - although some groups, like the Dracoballistae, are exclusive to certain species or types.

Riders themselves also show a lot of variance - any of the humanoid races may be accepted into their ranks, either as a rider or support labor, and even some outsiders find a home amongst the Riders. Even some who do not form flying pairs - typically creatures too small to carry riders, but intelligent enough to fight in battle and capable of flight, such as smaller pseudodragons or winged humanoids - are occasionally found fighting alongside wings, often carrying arrows or supplies Rider-to-Rider by flitting easily amongst the larger pairs.

The Abbarati follows a loose hierarchy - there are a handful of leaders who are chosen to govern the Abbarati as a whole, and from there, the Riders divide into self-sufficient Hunts - groups of between ten and five hundred Riders and their partners, plus support crews who maintain barracks and shelter for these teams, and who are lead by a single person, to whom the others swear allegiance. These hunts may act on there own; they are usually spread out widely across the continent, and when one becomes too large or experiences a disagreement too major to be easily dealt with, they split, with one side dividing off and forming a second, separate hunt. The way these hunts are arranged differs, too - some are comprised of carefully selected elites from other groups, and operate in dangerous regions; others act as training grounds for younger members to test their mettle. A few are even composed entirely of one type of unit - the Black Hunt, for example, only accepts and trains archers, whereas other Hunts exist for mages, healers, and supporting fliers.

Types of Mount within the Abbarati

Although Gryphons are the standard, many species fly as mounts in the Abbarati. Their motivations and capabilities vary as widely as those of the Riders; some are intelligent partners and teammates, some powerful mages and casters in their own rights, and some merely mounts, treated kindly but with no more intelligent than any other animal. The process by which partnerships are formed varies amongst species; while Gryphons are typically partnered at a young age with a Rider trainee, Dragons are far more selective in their companions, and a Pegasus may simply be trained and ridden like most other horses, although most are ridden by one exclusive Rider.

Below are some of the most common mounts ridden amongst the Abbarati.

Gyphons are the most common mount in the Abbarati, as well as what most people envision when they think of an Abbarati Rider. Most gryphons who fly with the Abbarati were brought up by Abbarati parents - in many cases, it is a proud tradition passed down through the generations. A handful of these chicks choose to leave the Hunts to live amongst wild gryphons in their ancestral lands in the mountains, but most prefer to remain amongst the Riders and other Abbarati gryphons.

Gryphons are intelligent and independent - they are as smart as humans, and, more importantly, they think like humans, making them good partners for most of the mortal races. There is as wide a spread of personalities, hobbies and talents as any other race, and a pair may encounter many challenges as they attempt to form a cohesive team - although most teams warm to each other after the first two or three near-death experiences, it is not rare to see two partners argue over their differences, and some teams seem to be almost constantly fighting, to the amusement of their fellow Riders.

Gryphons perform a wide range of roles within the Abbarati. Their agility in the sky makes them good partners for lancers, who need to swoop in close to prey; when this is combined with their keen senses, it is little surprise that Gryphons are trackers without peer. Specially trained teams of Gryphons and Riders can fly at night, and these teams are renown for the dogged determination with which their prey is pursues, staying on the wind sometimes for days at a time. Gryphons are also occasionally mounts for clerics; they fiercely defend their vulnerable Riders as the Rider heals the injured. Mages also often pair with Gryphons; the gryphons managing flight while the caster prepares and casts spells.

When a gryphon reaches maturity at five to six years of age, they are partnered with a Rider trainee, who is usually around thirteen. The pair train together for three years, in total - the first spent in more formal training, to learn basic weapons skills and how to fly as a pair, and the second and third spent training with a Hunt - usually one located in a relatively safe area or based in a city - before being assigned to a long-term Hunt. There, they are still regarded as junior members and given additional, specialized training, but they have all the rights and responsibilities of a full Hunter.

Sadly, Gryphons are not as long-lived as even humans, and they may die many years before their Riders. A Gryphon's life-span is about forty years, although old age means little to them - few retire unless injured, although gryphons reaching thirty will often be rotated to training duties, with or without their partners. Although it is hard loosing a long-term partner, many teams having been trained together and having worked as a team for upwards of thirty years, most long-lived Riders do partner again. In human riders this is rare, due to the fact that a fifty or sixty year old is beginning to reach the end of their own lifespan; they typically partner an older gryphon who's Rider has died. Other, longer lived races, like the elves, may choose to partner and train a new Gryphon; others find companions amongst adult members of other species that seek to enter the Hunts - a Rider with thirty years experience is a far more suited companion to a dragon than a newly minted trainee, after all. It is not atypical for their to be a mourning period of several years between the loss of an old companion and partnering with a new one - most Riders who lose their Gryphons spend a few years on ground crews or as trainers before returning to the skies.

When a Gryphon looses a Rider, it is typically in combat. Few choose to find new Riders at this point; instead, most continue to fly with their Hunts - intelligent as they are, Gryphons do not require a Rider's direction to take part in even the most elaborate maneuvers, and flying is typically left entirely to the Gryphon even when a Rider is present. Their beaks and talons make even an unridden Gryphon dangerous, and they are typically more heavily-armored, no longer needing to carry a heavy Rider. Other Gryphons volunteer for roles carrying non-Hunt persons, such as dignitaries, diplomats, and Arran'clancy. The very experienced may choose to train young Gryphons, rather than continue active service - these Gryphons commonly partner with humans who have lost their Gryphon companions.

Specialty Hunts
Although most of the Hunts within the Abbarati are comprised of a mixture of different styles of fighter, a few have spun off into units comprised of only one or two different styles. Primary amongst these are the White Hunt, comprised of healer-mages and other non-combative magic users, and mounted primarily on Pegasii; the Red Hunt, made up of mages who invoke magical attacks too dangerous to use around allies or non-mages; and the Black Hunt, a group of mounted archers and balistae units who are dedicated to anti-flier and anti-fortification long-ranged attacks.

The Black Hunt

The Black Hunt - as a group, it's fighters are looser-knit than most of the closed companies, due to the rapid changes in the ranks as archers move from company to company. It is a stopping ground for archers who have left their old companies, as well as a training ground for new archers, and it is one of the largest companies, with over three-hundred fighting units on the wing. However, those who have found a permanant home in the Black Hunt - usually fighters too old to fight, or injured to badly to return to battle - are well-respected amongst all the Abbarati for the roll they play in training and managing the allocation of archers througout the ranks. They are reknown for producing some of the finest archers in the world - and, when the need arises, they are often the Abbaratii's chosen ambassadors to the elves and the dwarves, with whom they trade for wood and horn for bows and arrows and flint and metalworked arrowheads.

Two types of unit comprise the bulk of the Black Hunt - the more common are simple archers, although they may wield any number of strange or exotic bows, including crossbows. Many different mounts are common amongst these fliers; a fair percentage ride pegasii or gryphons, but the most common are hippogryphs, whose large size and steady flight lend themselves well to carrying archers into battle. A handful also ride small pseudodragons, but these are less common amongst standard archers.

Instead, they usually are members of the other, better known group - the Dracoballistae. This group of all-dracontypic teams flies into battle carrying mounted ballistae - huge crossbows, manned by a team of two riders. It is challenging and grueling work - the ballistae alone usually weighs over eight-hundred pounds, and the dragon must also carry riders and the heavy, steel-tipped bolts used for the bow - but these anti-ground units are one of the most dangerous - and terrifying - things to see in the sky before a battle. Their bolts rip through men, horses, and wooden barricades alike; when accompanied by the mages of the Red Hunt, with whom they occasionally fly, they are an unstoppable anti-fortification force, to dangerous to attack from land or by air.

Fighters of the Dracoballistae are not all dragons, though - Pseudodragons, wyvern, and even chimera all may join this group, with size being the main factor. The human half of the team must meet strict requirements too - they must be able to load and shoot a full-sized ballistae while riding on a dragon and taking enemy fire, after all, and the training underwent is harsh. However, members of the Dracoballistae never leave the group - in essence, they form a seperate Hunt of their own, managed by the Black Hunt. There are less than thirty members within the Dracoballistae, however - it is not a life offered to many, and a still tinier portion of those who might choose it accept.

A Group of Dracoballistae

The White Hunt
The White Hunt is without a doubt the most popular and best-received group in the Abbarati, by both allies and Riders alike. Only casters may join the White Hunt, be they Clerics, Paladins, or even the occasional Druid, and Riders of the White Hunt serve almost exclusively as healers. Although they are one of the smaller of the dedicated Hunts, they are far-reaching - most Abbarati healers are White Riders who have chosen to ride with, and serve, that Hunt, and it is rare that you find a outpost of the Riders that does not have at least one White Rider. Because of this, and because of the prevalence of scrying and communication spells amongst Divine casters, White Riders also serve as the messengers of the Abbarati, transporting news and messages from far-flung outposts faster than even a gryphon could fly. These are collected by the main organizational structure of the White Hunt, located in Tell's Howe, and relayed to the handful of larger White Hunt groups across the continent, who then dispatch Riders in response. A large-scale catastrophe could potentially see as many as fifty White Riders, mustered within only hours of occurrence, thanks to this network, as well as providing the ability to coordinate fighting troops if there is the need.

Because they are so spread out, White Riders may only rarely see other members of their own Hunt, although they hold an informal meeting each year in Morran's Reach, the unofficial home of the White Hunt and the permanent home of the Red, which is fairly widely attended. Despite this distance, members of the White Hunt are tightly interconnected; although strong connections form between them and their adoptive Hunts, it is often difficult for those who have devoted themselves to healing the wounded to relate to combat troops.

Although the White Hunt is composed mainly of Clerics, Paladins and Druids often find there way to them as well. Paladins typically stay in the larger bases, ready to provide sturdy combat healers when called upon, and also to deal with the undead, whereas druids are typically found in the most savage, wild places, both healing the Riders' companions and dealing with wild magics.

The typical mount for clerics are pegasii, whose nimbleness and small size provide the ability to dart between larger fliers, and who are more agile on the ground than most other species. Others occasionally ride hippogryffs, although there are no restrictions on which mounts may join the White Hunt. Paladins often partner with Gryphons or Dragons, whose larger sizes and natural armor make them ideal teammates when entering dense fighting or attempting a dangerous combat landing, as well as making them capable of carrying the heavier, armored warriors. Conversely, Druids may be accompanied by any of a variety of species, as well as an assortment of flighted companions - it is not atypical to see a druid riding on the back of a roc or other large bird, surrounded by small pseudodragons or a flock of crows, or perhaps riding on the back of their own giant owl familiar.

The White Hunt is a counterpart to the Red, although the two rarely interact as a whole; there is a strong rivalry between the two groups, and many of the main events of the annual meetings in Morran's Reach are flying competitions between the two caster groups.
The Red Hunt

The Red Hunt are the most feared of the Abbarati - the few and the powerful. Like the White Hunt, they accept only magic users amongst there ranks, but the mages and sorcerers who find kinship here are no mere healers. The Red Hunt is comprised of those too dangerous to fight alongside other Riders - they are the earth-scorchers, the mountain-destroyers, and the army-slayers. When a Red Rider rides to battle, they ride alone, and anyone with any sense flees before them.

Few amongst the Red Hunt are alike; however, despite the vast variations in abilities, histories, and cultures, they are bound by a certain sense of comraudery and the same drive to seek and claim power. They are close, sharing magical secrets between each other that are jealously guarded from outsiders; and despite the usual rivalries between magic users, they find common ground in being outsiders, feared and distrusted even by other Abbarati.

No longer needed for battle since the end of the Mortal Wars, the Red Hunt found itself purposeless; in the years since, they have devoted themselves to the deeper arcanas, weaving together the magics of wizards, sorcerers, and elementals. Their base, Morran's Reach, sits on the rim of the Planar Chasm, protected from the wild energies within by layer upon layer of arcane ward; the most experienced and powerful of the Red Hunt's magicians monitor and study the flows and eddies of the Chasm, attempting to understand it's madness and channel its' power. Some few, driven to the brink of madness by the monotony of life during peacetime, even enter the Chasm, daring it's savage unpredictability to seek challenges in other planes; the prepared and the luck may even return.

Many races become members of the Red Hunt - few humans or even elves have the raw ability to manipulate magic to reach the level of power requires, so most find there places in other Hunts, working as battle-mages or casters. However, the handful that make it are supremely talented and extraordinarily dedicated - it would be impossible to reach such levels without it. Most Riders of the Red Hunt are instead Outsiders, whose familiarity with the planes serves them well both in terms of magic ability and the ability to perform their modern roll as guardians and researchers of the Chasm. A scattered handful are Undead - Lich or other necromantic abominations created of necromancers seeking immortality.

Riders of the Red Hunt have the greatest variation in companions - although many form close partnerships with older dragons, who share their desire for arcane knowledge, others prefer more esoteric mounts - reanimated wyverns are common amongst necromancers, for example, who rather than seeking out a companion desire only a mount to ride; others will cobble together bizarre flesh-gollums or ensnare Djinni into service. The vice-captain of the Red Hunt, a powerful artificer, wrot for himself a monstrous steel-and-brass drake, edging it with arcane runes imbuing it with flight and sinking magic deep within the metal that composes it's body. Others master wilder creatures emerging from other planes - unlike most other areas of the Abbarati, where a close bond between mount and Rider is a virtue, in the Red Hunt, not all mounts are voluntary comrades.

Morran's Reach is unique amongst the various bases of the Abbarati in that no one lives there who is not a Rider - the magic is too dangerous and too unpredictable to employ non-mages. Instead, most roles are fulfilled by one of three groups - undead servants raised to maintain the buildings and grounds, elementals or other extraplanar beings bound into service as servants, and the handful of people talented and brazen enough to be taken on as apprentices by a particular Rider.

Although they are very different, the Riders of the Red Hunt share a close relationship with those of the White, who use Morran's Reach as a second home. They are fiercely competitive, and enjoy tests of skill pitting one group against the other, but there is a keen sense of comraudery between the two caster groups. Despite the fact that their magics are opposed, the Red and White Riders will occasionally come together to work on larger projects, and a guard of five devout paladins and two clerics are on permanent standby in Morran's Reach to heal injuries encountered while experimenting and handle any unruly undead.

2013-05-17, 11:57 AM
The Planes
The Plane of Elemental Law
The Plane of Elemental Law was the original plane – the first plane to have existed. It has existed since the beginning of forever – a hostile place that assimilates everything to enter within its borders, a land of endless, impossible emptiness, unchanging and unshifting.
The Plane of Elemental Law is inescapably hostile to all life – it stops the very life processes that allow life to continue, ripping and tearing at the very matter of the creature that has been unlucky enough to enter the Plane until it is gone, assimilated into the Plane itself. The Kirin is said to live here, but this is erroneous; it would be more precise to say that the Kirin is the Plane, extending slender fingers of its power into the other realms.

The Absolute
The Absolute is a vast, empty field of interplanar space, an abyss of light that seperates the Plane of Elemental Law from the less-pure planes. It is as hostile as the true Plane of Law, but not as powerful – time flows at a steady but greatly-slowed rate, and the assimilation wreaked on beings that enter the Plane moves more slowly as well – it might take hours or even days for a creature to be lost beyond rescue in the Absolute.
No creature lives in the absolute, though some of the powerful beings of law that inhabit the Aeshiel may travel through the plane, their natures protecting them from the assimilative powers that would otherwise unmake them.

The Aeshiel
The Celestial Realms/The Daemonic Realms
The Plane of Elemental Light
The Plane of Elemental Earth
The Plane of Elemental Water
The Slip of Time
The Ethereal Plane
The Slip of Time
Prime Material Plane (The Plane of Elemental Time)
The Slip of Time
The Plane of Mirrors
The Slip of Time
The Plane of Elemental Air
The Plane of Elemental Fire
The Plane of Elemental Darkness
The Astrid Realms/The Demonic Realms
The Penumbra
The Uncertain Place
The Plane of Elemental Chaos

2013-08-04, 10:22 PM
Added Maps-Char List-Plot Summary-Abbaratii