View Full Version : World ideas

Somber Requiem
2008-10-14, 09:48 AM
I'm starting a 4e campaign with some of my friends in a world of my own making and hope to bounce some ideas off folks here. I love feedback... what sounds like it works and what sounds like it doesn't.

The overview of the world is that it is comprised of four continents. Aurrian, the land of gold, once dominated by the merciless dwarven empire, has since become a land of cities both thriving and ruined. Silvara, the land of silver, was for millenia the height of elven magic and culture; until a succession war turned into a brutal struggle where elven magic was turned against fellow elves. Irrynn, the land of iron, once the proud homeland of the dragonkind, has since fallen to the technological and industrial might of the Irrynian Empire. Finally, Ossius, land of stone, remains a largely primitive land seperated between desert wastes ruled by debauched sultanates and mercilessly untamed jungle and desert. Through out the land, strange structures of an even earlier age jut from mountain tops and ocean floors, but who made these structures and their function is as yet unknown.

Somber Requiem
2008-10-14, 07:25 PM

Making a wall for a human. It's honest work, or so they say; ordering around human serfs and constantly fixing the hundred little mistakes. Gotta resist the urge to snap. They're humans. If a wall stands a hundred years they consider it outstanding. A dwarf's not content unless it's going to be around a millenia from now. But a lot can change. Maybe the humans know something we don't.

It's been fifty years. Fifty years since the Goldenspires erupted and decimated the dwarven domain. I was barely out of my childhood when we felt the first quake shiver through the mountainhome. Just a tremble. A few seconds. We laughed about it, joked about the spirits of the mountains and toasted the gods and gave the slaves a little break before setting them back to work. Then Goldencrown erupted. One eruption and fifty thousand dwarves and slaves died in a catastrophic wave of fire and ash. We weren't laughing then. The next day Ironcrown and Stonecrown blew within an hour of each other. Three eruptions that split the dwarven domain in two. All our walls and works were useless when the very mountains we made our home from filled with lava and creatures of fire.

We looked to our Thanes for leadership. Our mistake. With the High Thane dead, our clans were more interested in settling scores and trying to take a throne now buried in a sea of magma. Surely the eruptions were over with. Surely three were all that we'd experiance. Then Grimcrown blew. The explosion was so great I heard that chunks of the mountain can be found a thousand miles away. Finally the Borsakyr clan decided enough was enough. They abandoned their fortresses and citidels to move our people north. Two days it seemed like we'd be the laughing stock of the other clans. Then Icecrown erupted. After that everyone was leaving the mountains.

Course that didn't mean it was exactly easy. For millenia dwarves were the rulers of Aurria. We had the most gold and the grandest cities and weren't shy about it. Humans worked as slaves both above and underground. With the Goldenspires on fire, some humans didn't waste time getting their pay back. What fire and collapse didn't kill swords and axes did. We finally found some humans willing to make a deal. Tyrians, they offered to take us in and give us some protection... in exchange for half our wealth and knowledge of stonecrafting. Well gold's of no use to the dead, so we took their offer. Fortunately humans have such short lives and even shorter memories.

We don't have that luxury. I can still remember the gilded halls of Icecrown. The halls and towers and shafts that plunged down to veins of riches and wonders. I can still smell the fires and taste the mead and wonder just what remains in those blasted halls. Making a castle wall for some human duke feels like a sham when I remembered what we once built. Some day I'll go back and dare the fire and the dead. Some day.

But right now I've got a wall to finish building.

-Redgard Hardhands of Clan Borsakyr.

2008-10-14, 07:51 PM
Evocatively written.
Were the reasons for the eruptions ever discovered?
I assume that if the area is ever rebuilt that divinations/earth & fire elementals will be used to give warning if it is going to happen again?

Somber Requiem
2008-10-14, 07:59 PM
Aurria is typically refered to as the land of gold. While it's debatable whether or not Aurria is wealthier than other lands it is indisputably more cosmopolitan and political than the other landmasses. Located in the south eastern hemisphere, Aurria possesses the most diverse cities and races in the four realms. It's northern climates are wet and hot, becoming cooler the further southwest one travels. The southern regions are seasonally dry and cold. Aurria's most predominant geological feature is the Goldenspires. Once this impressive mountain range ran two third the length of the continent. Today it is a volcanic wasteland with several continously erupting volcanos.

Aurrian civilization began with the establishment of the Zithyrri, a depraved series of city states ruled by fiendish overlords. Eventually the threat of Zithyrri expansion prompted the dwarves of the Goldspires to unite in a confederation of Thanes. Dwarven organization successfully stamped the Zithyrri into extinction, and their ruins can be found in the far southern reaches of Aurrian.

Dwarven organization gave rise to the Dwarven domain. Working together, Dwarves used their knowledge of stonework and organized labor to create elaborate roads, fortifications, mines, and cities. Despite a relatively small population compared to their neighbors, Dwarves were able to control a great deal of the surrounding territory. Dwarves frequently purchased slave labor from human tribes, working them both above and under ground. During this time, many human civilizations formed and fell either to violent neighbors or to Dwarven campaigns. Despite this, the human kingdoms of Tyria, Chalea, and Theria arose and worked uneasily with their powerful dwarven neighbors.

The eruption of the goldenspires triggered a fundamental shift in the power structure of the continent. Dwarven refugees fleeing the continent recieved harsh welcome from the humans who saw dwarves as greedy and evil usurpers. Only the people of Tyria saw the advantages in protecting the refugees. With Tyrian power rising, Chalean cities also grudgingly allowed dwarves to occupy their cities as well. Only Theria rejected dwarven refugees and frequently carry out vendettas against the Dwarven people.

The dwarven exodus was not the only shift. On the far western end of Aurria, human and dwarven refugees discovered the buried remains of Zithyrri city. Excavation awakened many undead spirits, who agreed to allow the refugees to remain in the city. Ashengarde has risen as a civilization of both the living and the dead. Necromancy has become an accepted, even valued, magical practice.

Though humans and dwarves are the predominate races on Aurria, they are not the sole occupants. Several members of the beast races were exported from Ossieus by the Prelates and Sultanates. Ratatoski can be found in every city in Aurria, and Lupinari frequent the wilderness areas of western and southern Aurria. Halflings occupying the Sharrizan isles off the northern coast developed a culture of learning and sophistication. Though frequently dismissed as 'the little folk' halflings are the most technologically developed race outside the Irryians. Airships, firearms, and clockwork soldiers are all traits of halfling civilization.

Somber Requiem
2008-10-14, 08:02 PM
No. Many dwarves have theories ranging from a Zithyrri overfiend opening a gate to the hells to one of the clans attempting a coup of the leadership. Some dwarves believe a halfling mining machine ran amok and is responsible for the eruption. Most dwarves are pragmatic though, and are more concerned with making the most of now rather than hunting for proof of what really happened.

Somber Requiem
2008-10-16, 10:49 AM
Tyria, the coin realm. Land of deals. The silver palm. These are all used to decribe the kingdom that has arguably prospered the most in the wake of the dwarven exodus. Located in fertile land to the north of the Goldenspires, Tyria has existed for millenia as both a monarchy and as a tribal group frequently exploited by their dwarven neighbors. Despite their long and difficult history with the dwarven domain, Tyria was the first human nation to open their borders to dwarven refugees and negotiated laws that guarenteed dwarven protection. In return, Tyria recieved not only material wealth but stone masons and metalsmiths without equal.

Unlike other kingdoms, where birth establishes social rights, Tyria operates as a plutocracy; wealthy individuals recieve greater rights and privilages than the poor. This has produced a nation that heavily favors trade at the best of times and underhanded deals at the worst. A popular saying in Tyria is 'Everything's price'. Though Tyrians are by no means a pious people, they have particular demoninations worshiping the Spites of Greed, and Envy and the Blessings of Generousity and Courage. Many other races consider Tyrians to be debauched, but in truth Tyrians are often reserved about flaunting their wealth. The more you have the more others can take. Tyrians are, in general, open to all races provided they have the coin to share.

While officially a monarchy, Tyria is a defacto oligarchy with rule split amid the dozens of trade guilds that operate in the cities of Tyria. The majority of trade decisions are made by the Coin Council, who purchase their seats with sizable 'taxes' to the nation's coffers. Tyria, despite its troubled relationships with other kingdoms, aggressively trades with all nations possible. Every year a seat on the coin council becomes available, so there is a constant bidding for who gets to occupy that seat. Current notable members are the dwarven clanleader Harrokar Bernsdotter, the succubus Thel'zyria, and the gold dragon Glimmerscale.

Fighters, Rogues, and Wisards are all common classes in Tyria. Most military classes serve as either guildblades or mercenaries. Clerics, Paladins, and Rangers are relatively uncommon.

Tyris- the captial of Tyria is centrally located in the kingdom, sitting atop six major paved highways. It is a city of constant activity and construction. Old buildings are constantly being demolished or renovated to provide grander manors and palaces. This has created a virtual undercity inhabited by the poor and destitute desperate to remain free from debtors prisons or slavery. The outlying regions are filled to the brim with warehouses and stockyards as goods are constantly arriving and leaving the city.

Three Ports- once three smaller towns located on the northern coast, Three ports has become a sprawling metropolis and the largest city of Aurria. Ships from all countries can be found here, and the waterfront is a seething mix of all races. Shanties and underground warrens can be found through out the city, where lax building codes have created tangled sections of town that are frequent fire hazards. A full third of the city is afloat, built on derlict vessels that have been perminently moored in the harbor. Every year the city council breaks up and sinks these floating wrecks, but every year they return.

Arbriel- the city of Bells serves as Tyria's spiritual center. Seperating itself from the hustle and bustle of Three Ports and the Captial, Arbriel serves as a testimony to architecture. Built on a narrow bluff, city builders have constructed upwards rather than outwards, aided by dwarven stonemasons. Temples to all Spites and Blessings can be found here, and many of these temples have supernatural intriques against their neighbors. While glorious and inspiring during the day, Abriel turns dark and forboding in the night.

Mudcrown- Build inside the largest mountain available in the generally flat terrain, Mudcrown is the largest dwarven settlement in Tyria. While crude and ungainly by dwarven standards, humans find the stone walls and battlements to be formidable; even intimidating. Mudcrown has also become Tyria's greatest source of iron and ironworks play an important role in day to day works. While largely populated by dwarves, there is also a sizable human population of workers and apprentices.

Somber Requiem
2008-10-19, 12:44 AM
Hmm... what to think of next... let insomnia decide...



Humanity in the four lands has always possessed a troubled past. While Dwarves and Elves claim clear divine patrons, humanity has always been divided and fractious even on their claims of generation. It is widely believed that humans arose in the northern plains and forests of Aurria and from there spread to the other three continents. Elvenkind and dwarves frequently claim humanity to be a mutation or off shoot of the other.

In reality, Humanity decends from the ancient Ithari, who created the world of the four kingdoms. Why the Ithari disappeared is unknown, but the humans who remained on the surface of the world have produced civilization after civilization. Humans originating in Aurria are predominately pale in the south, darkening the further north one travels, with hair ranging from blondes and browns to reds. The humans who make their homes in the northern reaches of Silvara are known for Albinism. Humans of Irrynia are typically grey skinned, pale, or yellow skined with strange, mottled, or exotic hair colors due to the corruptive influences of Irrynian Arcanology. The humans of Osseius are dark skined, ranging from black skinned jungle and mountain dwellers to the chestnut hues of the sultanate.

Humans worship the entire width of Blessings and Spites, as well as shamanistic faiths, ancestor and undead worship, and a host of philosophical systems.


Dwarves trace their origins back to the Blessing of Honor and the Spite of Greed. In their mythology, the two forces joined to create a people who could organize and control the physical realm of Aurria. The dwarven people developed a clanish hierarchical society where organization and duty were the surest means towards respect and wealth. What the dwarves could not wrest with physical skill and prowess they took through military coordination. The unification of the dwarves to counteract the Zithyrri closed the chapter of one era of domination and opened another. Through superior transportation and fortification the dwarves transformed an entire mountain range into an integrated series of fortresses that easily countered any attack.

The Dwarven Dominion failed with the eruption of the Goldenspires. The loss of the hierarchical head of the clans lead to critical time being lost. Rather than evacuate their mountain strongholds, the Dwarven Clan leaders concentrated themselves in their mountains, only to be destroyed in the next round of eruptions. When evacuation finally occured, those who fled north found sanctuary within the human nation of Tyria. Those who fled south subjugated and conquered the human kingdom of Baeren and established the Domain of the Gray Shore, or Graeshalien.

Dwarves frequently cling to traditionalism. The Exodus, however, has shaken many of these conservative notions to the core. Younger dwarves are adopting more dynamic human outlooks. Still, dwarves plan for the long term and always towards their own personal gain, and many who make the human lands their home feel it is only a matter of time before they are the ones in power, shaping human kingdoms with the same firm hand that shape stone as well.

2008-10-19, 04:09 PM
Well it's not polished, but the writing you have is evocative and the ideas are interesting. I'm following this. :)

Somber Requiem
2008-10-19, 11:32 PM
I'm pulling it together as we go. ATM the party is LvL 2 in Tyris, so I posted that. I like feedback though to PEACH to your heart's content.

More Races


The graceful ones. The lords arcane. The masters of wood. For millenia elvenkind has engendered fear and awe in the other races. Born of a mingling of the Blessing of Wisdom and the Spite of Pride, Elvenkind frequently claim themselves the originators of magic. While this is not precisely accurate, few races have utilized magic as the elven race. Elvenkind held themselves aloof from the concerns of lesser, more primitive races. Tribes of humans and Lupinari were tolerated in the northernmost territories, and occasionally other races were magically summoned for experimentation and amusement.

While vain and self obsessed, the elves were not flawless. One arcane ritual gone horribly awry drew down a curse from Llollith, the Spite of Lust upon the city of Arcanith. Elves valiantly fought back the horrors wrought by the curse, finally sealing the curse away within a magical ward. The elves touched by the curse were known as Dark Elves. Despite this and other set backs, the elves lived in an immortal dream of their own making.

All this ended when, during a conjunction of the Spites of Lust, Pride, and Wrath, the royal family of Eladrin were slain to a member, or else disappeared without a trace. Who was responsible, or how the most potent wards in creation had failed, shook the elven people to their core. It was not long until ambition began to stir in the hearts of various family leaders.

It began with squabling. Then duels. Then full on espionage. Then tension between the eladrin houses continued to mount more and more as they directed their elven followers against elves of other cities, or other houses, or other family members. There was no formal declaration of war; no faction against faction. The violence simply grew to greater and greater porportions. Arcane talents were harnessed to craft horrible weapons of slaughter, and the voices of clerics of Wisdom were drowned out in the hateful roar of ambition, mourning, and revenge. Magic was crafted into sentient assassination spells. Other races, then elves, were mutated into more efficient killing machines.

Today, Silvara is a haunted land. Elven metropolises lay empty, slowly falling to the forest, filled with half mad magical spells, killing curses, and blood thirsty monsters. The grandeur of ages gone by has become a delusion that has captured many of the eladrin, and revenge is all that many elves possess. Dozens of rival factions still vie for control of a throne rendered all but worthless. The spirits of the dead still linger where they were slain, desperate for one more act of vengence against the living. And in the shadows, things without name watch relentlessly.


Since time immortal the Eladrin have been the rulers of elvenkind. Centuries of select breeding has resulted in inate powers of teleportation, and rumors of other more powerful abilities have manifested in advanced members of the race.

Abilities are as per the PHB.

Heroic tier feat:

Cantrip [Eladrin]: The eladrin with this feat is capable of producing any wizard prestidigitation effect at will as per the Wizard Prestidigitation arcane ability. This is a racial ability.

Paragon Tier Feat:

Levitation; Eladrin (Prerequistite Cantrip) : The eladrin is capable of producing an effect identical to the Level 6 wizard power of the same name. This is a daily racial ability.

Epic Tier Feat:

Fly; Eladrin (Prerequistite Cantrip, Levitation) : The eladrin is capable of producing an effect identical to the Level 16 wizard power of the same name. This is a daily racial ability.


While it was the eladrin who were responsible for the fall of elven civilization, it is the common elf who has suffered most from their hubris. Elves who resisted the call to violence frequently found themselves targets of intrigue and violence. Neutrality was impossible, and thousands of elves would eventually flee to escape the escalating violence. Those who remained would find only sorrow and lust for vengence burning inside them. Families were slaughtered or seperated, and there isn't an elf alive who hasn't lost a loved one to violence. Peaceful traditions are luxuries practiced outside the elven homeland.

Racial stats as the PHB

Cursed Elves

Known as the cursed ones, the Broken, or Dark Elves, cursed elves are common elves who are the recipient of magical injuries, dangerous experimentation, or from the curse of Llollith. Cursed elves have skin that is ebony, mottled blue, or brilliant red. Many possess arcane scars and glyphs glowing on their skin. Cursed elves are individualistic, and few band together into larger groups. One notable exception are the Drow, who all decend from the curse of Llollith and are noted for their stark ebony skin marked with glowing red glyphs and stark ivory hair. The obvious supernatural appearance of many cursed elves makes socialization difficult, and a reputation for insanity, debauchery, and supernatural corruption rarely helps.

Racial Traits:
Average height: 4'6"-6', 100lb-180 lbs.
Ability scores: +2 dex, +2 to int, wis, or con.
Size: Medium Speed: 7 squares Vision: Low light

Languages: Common, Elven
Skill Bonuses: +2 Endurance, +2 Stealth
Fae Origin: Despite magical corruption, Cursed Elves are considered fae for the purpose of effects that relate to creature origin.
Curses: select two below at character creation. These can not be changed at any time.

Claws: Fingers form claws that serve as light blades. Claws inflict 1d4 damage and serve as off hand. -2 penalty to thievery checks. -1 penalty to attack roles with weapons other than claws.

Darkfire (daily Racial, minor action): Target 3, Cha vrs reflex. Target is outlined in an aura of ghostly fire. Target recieves a -2 to AC and reflex until the end of the casters next turn.

Darksight: Gains darkvision, suffers a -1 penalty to attack rolls and perception checks in light brighter than a standard torch.

Electric bolt (daily racial, standard action: Range 5, target one creature. Dex vrs Reflex. Target takes 1d6+con electrical damage.) Suffers a -1 AC to attacks made by metal weapons.

Hollow bones: +2 to acrobatics checks, +1 movement. Bludgeoning vulnerability: 2.

Maddening scream (daily racial, standard action) Con vrs Will. Target suffers 1d4+con sonic damage. Secondary effect: Cha vrs will. Target is shaken until the end of the caster's next round.

Pheramones: +2 bluff, +2 diplomacy. -2 intimidate.

Shadow shroud (daily racial, minor action): Close burst 3, all targets within burst gain complete concealment. Effect lasts until the end of casters next turn. Radiant vulnerability: 2.

Scaly hide: +2 to AC, -1 to reflex.

Troll blood (daily racial, minor action): Target gains fast healing 1 until the end of the encounter. Fire vulnerability: 2.

Venomous bite (daily racial, standard action): melee action, Str vrs Fort. Deal 1d6+ str damage. Secondary effect. Con vrs fort. Target takes -2 to attack and damage rolls till the end of the characters next turn. -2 to diplomacy and bluff checks.

Half Elves

Half elves are rare in the world. Elven pride seldom allow for dalliances with humans to occur. Still, when they do, the result is regarded as an oddity to humans and an abomination to elves. Half Elves are typically regarded, at best, with pity for their short lifespans and at worst as insults and a mongrelization of the elven bloodline. Humans frequently allow dislike for elves to color their relationships with half elves, making the half elf unwanted in either world.

As in the PHB