Hey everyone, I have a homebrew campaign setting. I designed it specifically for my current group. It's got abundant but not generally high magic, and much higher technology than Greyhawke, on a par with Eberron or above. PEACH it, and ask any questions you've got. Anyone that wants to use it can go right ahead.
The elves live in a parliamentary monarchy. The seat of their kingdom is Telrain, where King Leoros sits. Their politics are subtle and long sighted, as befits their long lives and cunning minds. The major cities, of which there are nearly a hundred, all have ruling Houses, with each House getting a vote in the parliament. These cities also have lesser, subsidiary cities and towns for which the Houses speak as well. Among the most powerful of these houses are House Coren, House Ardeth and House Korísis. Recently, the ruling Lord of House Coren was assassinated, and both of his sons fled during the ensuing chaos. Neither of them has been seen since, and the King has ordered a kingdom wide search. The political repercussions could very easily shatter the kingdom, with many Houses already beginning to consider seceding.
The centaurs have, in the last few hundred years, expanded both in numbers and boldness. There is a long, deep-seated hatred between the centaurs and the elves, and neither group affords the other any mercy. The centaurs have recently ramped up their raiding of the elven cities. There are rumors that they've begun quarrying and logging, but no one knows why....
The dwarves are a loose republic of various independent city-states. There is no standard form of government from state to state, and the range is everywhere from near-tyrannical monarchy to pure democracy. Dwarves, being by nature argumentative and stubborn, only ever work together to face a genuine threat to dwarven society. This has not happened in hundreds of years, since the last Great War with the human race. Not too much is known about dwarven politics by the outside races. The only similarity between the dwarven states, other than their mining prowess, is the crystalline caves they clear and maintain, much in the same way other races maintain gardens.
The minotaurs roam the faces of the inner mountain range, in tribes sizing anywhere from 20 to nearly 100. They recognize brute strength alone as a sign of leadership, and when someone can best the current chief in stylized combat, the new chief is recognized. They rarely attack, but will defend themselves and their own to the death from any attack. They have, in general, a wary understanding with the dwarven states, with the dwarves recognizing that tribes are only responsible for their own actions and not those of the other tribes.
The gnomes are an anarchist state inhabiting the asteroids. They have long since discovered the technology necessary to clear out the interior of an asteroid and fill it with breathable air, as well as being able to purify it as necessary. Crime is dealt with by what could almost be called mob justice, and, oddly, crime is at its lowest in the asteroids compared to any of the other nations. The gnomes have the most advanced technology and magic of any of the nations, but, luckily for the other nations, are small in number and stature, as well as being almost universally pacifist.
The humans live on the fringes between the elven plains kingdom and the dwarven-ruled mountains. Their war-like nature long ago turned on them in the last Great War, in which mankind sought to rule the other races. Since then, they have been few in number and are still subject to scorn, derision, and shunning by the other races, with the exception of the gnomes, who are a forgiving people. Recently, humans have been growing a little in power and number, with a few of them even attaining wealth and status. There is no unified human government, and the governments are mostly limited to towns and cities. The exception to this is the dual-city state of Ankh-Morpork, which sits in a series of canyons at the edge of the mountains.
Transportation and technology
The dwarven cities are connected to each other via a steam-powered tram that runs around the inner rim of the disc. It is possible, if you wait long enough, to do a complete circle in it. The gnomes are in possession of airships, which they use between the more distant asteroids, as well as occasional trips to the cities of the world. None of the other races possess the technology to make these ships; however, the elves and centaurs both trade them the special wood required to make them. The elven cities are connected by a series of waygates. These gates, while powerful, have a limit to what they can transport at a time, preventing massive amounts of trade between cities. They can also be closed from either side of the gate, a feature built in long ago to prevent surprise attacks. The magic required to make these gates is now known to only a few elves, and of them, even fewer are willing to share it. The humans get by as they can, either by using the other races' transportation or just by walking.
Technologically, the gnomes are the most advanced. They have extensive knowledge of explosives, bionics, flight, steam power, and automatons. However, they rarely choose to create large items, given their limited space in the asteroids. The dwarves are the next most technologically advanced, but their technology focuses on the large. They are well practiced in making near-impregnable gates, as well as steam powered walkers and other forms of transport. Additionally, their mining technology is unrivaled. The elves have little need or use for technology, however, they recognize that such an important force should not be ignored, and the occasional elf will learn the technological arts from the gnomes or the dwarves. The humans, while not advanced as a race, have produced some of the finest engineers and inventors on the planet.
The only place where all four races come together, with no one race in a clear majority, is in the gnomish city Glimmergaunt. This city sits near the planet's only hot springs, making it both a massive trade hub and destination for relaxing nobles or business tycoons. No one knows what causes the hot springs, but the myth is that that a massive creature of fire slumbers in the earth, heating the water.
The elves and the gnomes are nearly equal in terms of magical ability. The differences in magical practice reflect on their homes; the gnomes require magic that fits in a compact space, whereas the elves have nearly the whole of the plains for their magic. This leads to the more practical magics being used by the gnomes, while the elves focus on the grandiose. The dwarves have little time for what they consider a mysterious and dangerous subject, but dwarf mages are not uncommon. Humans, once again, are outstripped by the other races, but will produce extraordinarily talented mages from time to time. These mages are feared and shunned by almost everyone, as it is remembered that at the time of the Great War, it was mages that led the humans both on and off the battlefield. The centaurs and the minotaurs both practice druidic magic, but not much is known about these druids, other than the fact that many of the tribes are led by them.
None of the races, other than the elves and the centaurs, refuse to trade with each other. At the same time, all of the nations are self-sufficient, and thus do not require trade, if they were to be shut off from any other for whatever reason. The dwarves produce far more in the way of mineral resources than the other races, while the elves produce much in the way of foodstuffs and art. The gnomes trade almost exclusively in technological and magical gadgets that serve nearly any purpose. The humans, while having no resource exclusive to themselves, act as tradesmen, middlemen, and general go-betweens for the other races.
Much of the magic and technology of the planet functions because of the planet's high-intensity magical and magnetic fields. These fields are what give the planet its odd shape, as well as being what hold the asteroids in place. They have also been known to capture stray asteroids, but this is a very rare occurrence. Recently, asteroids have begun falling out of orbit more often. As the only nation on the plains, the elves are practiced at dealing with these, and use a modified reverse gravity spell on them to shove them back into space. More often than not, the asteroid is recaptured by the planet and return to the asteroid field.
Not much is known about the trolls and the edge of the world. The edge is a frozen tundra, ruled by the trolls. Trolls are an odd species; they are living rock. Their brains and nervous systems are silicon based, and, as the temperature of the troll drops, their conductivity and intelligence increase. Likewise, as they heat up, they become dumber and dumber. At the hottest temperatures on the plains, trolls can actually heat up to the point where they become dumb and still, until they cool down once more. This has led to the myth that trolls turn to stone in daylight.
The defining historical event, at least in written history, was the Great War, nearly two hundred years previous in the past.. During this time period, the alignment of power was vastly different than what exists today. The elves were a small, peaceful race, dwelling almost exclusively in the forests, and having little to do with the other races. The dwarves were much as they are now, but the various city states that now make up their republic were separate, and constantly at war with each other and the minotaur. The gnomes lived peacefully almost everywhere on the planet, and are rumored to have created the first waygate, and had yet to inhabit the asteroids. The humans, meanwhile, were separated into five nations across the plains area, each ruled by a powerful mage or group of mages. These nations formed a loose alliance between themselves and the centaurs, whose warlike nature they understood more than the other races. The Great War began when the humans attacked the sole elven city, with their centaur allies at the front of the charge. As the battle began, the humans turned on the centaurs, wiping both the sole elven bastion and the main body of the centaur army out in one decisive battle. The War continued for nearly ten years after that, with rebellions springing up behind conquered lines on an almost daily basis. The War was going badly for the other races, which had formed an alliance against this unexpected threat. The humans had just captured their first dwarven city, and forced many dwarves into slavery. They demanded more steel and other minerals for their war machines, and forced the dwarves to delve deeper and more greedily than they ever had before. A dwarven mining party opened up a mineshaft into what appeared to be a paved hallway, and for the first time, the surface world knew of the drow. They were elf-like in appearance, but darker, and that was where the similarity ended. They were fierce and deadly fighters, to the point where no drow was ever captured alive. The human nations hated the idea of a group outside their control, and channeled resources into amassing their greatest army yet, outfitted with as many war machines as they could devise, with the sole purpose of subjugating the drow. This army descended the mineshaft, flooding into the hallways of the drow. The first few reports indicated the hallways to be empty of even the few drow that had been sighted. After the first few scouts returned, though, no more was ever heard from the invading army. To this day there exists no indication as to what happened to them, and when it became apparent they would not return, the mineshaft in question was filled from the bottom up. Such a loss of manpower and resources was devastating to the human nations, which quickly turned in upon themselves, both politically and militarily. The other races took their opportunity and destroyed the humans, driving them from every last one of their cities, and utterly routing every last one of their armies. After the war, the elves, and their leader in particular, saw the need to fill the void the humans had occupied, lest they grow in power once more. The elves occupied the human cities, and found them to their liking. They also built new cities, the first of which was Telrain. The leader of the elves at that time was King Leoros, who is now far older, and far, far more powerful in the ways of magic. Many of the elves still remember the Great War, as do some of the oldest of dwarves. After the war, the gnomes grouped together, and, after many years of secret, furious, working began their cities in the asteroids, away from what they considered the unnecessary violence of the other races.
Here's the mythology- it's what all the races hold in common. The gods' names are pulled from the d&d mythos, but are NOT the same god. I'm just lazy with names. Different races and groups view the gods in different ways.
Mythology Part 1
In the beginning, there was Earth and Air, and Water between them, and there was Light and Dark, and Fire between them. The world was a lifeless disc, and none walked on its surface. And then the elements sparked to life, intelligence in each one.
Moradin walked first, and was of Earth. He is strong, and steadfast, and does not waver from any cause he has.
Faenya was second, and was of Air. She is powerful and changeable, the most unpredictable of all.
Eldath was third, and was of Water. She is deep, and slow, and wise. She is the most patient of all, and will not cease at any task, no matter what one may think.
Zaaman was fourth, and was of Fire. He is passionate, and deadly, and capable of great things.
Pelor was fifth, and was of Light. She sees all things equally, and does not offer judgement readily.
Nerul was last, and was of Dark. He was different from the others, hidden in his thoughts and conflicted.
These gods, the First Ones, walked the world, and were bored by it. They put out life, but it died, and they were alone again. They shaped the world then, bringing forth mountains and rivers. They sent pieces of themselves, the smaller gods, to different places of the disc, and gave it variance.
They shaped themselves abodes at this time. Moradin sat in the mountains, in his fortress of stone. Faenya made herself an iridescent castle in the clouds. Eldath went to the edge of the world, and there made himself a vast home of ice. Zaaman said he needed no home, and wandered the world in freedom. Pelor made a moving castle, emitting brilliant light, that wandered the rim of the world. Finally, Nerul was left to look for a home, but there was nowhere left to look. He finally sat at the very center of the disc, and wept, for he was different than the others, and did not belong. At this time, Pelor came to him, but Light drives away Darkness, and he had nowhere left to go. He scattered, destroyed beyond hope. The core of the world where he sat was gone, scattered to either side. It was a ring now, with debris on either side, and much the same as it is today. Light cannot exist without darkness, though, and Nerul's power remained in the world.
The gods looked at the world they had made, and tried again for life. This time they combined their powers, two by two, to bring forth intelligence. Of Fire and Water were Humans, ever conflicted, changeable, and brief. Of Earth and Fire were the Dwarves, a solid race, with deep tempers. Of water and Air were the Elves, graceful, and deep in thought and emotion. Of Air and Fire were the Gnomes, a free and passionate race. The Centaurs were of Earth and Air, a steadfast race, but bent on freedom. The Trolls were of Earth and Water, a cold and deadly race. Lastly, the Dragons were of all the gods, the most varied of all the races. Pelor refrained from bringing forth more life, still in grief over the death of her brother. And into each and every race crept a small part of the darkness that was Nerul.
(Lolth and Orthos)
After the races were created, they moved about the world, and stirred the darkness. The darkness noticed them, and was moved. It pulled together, and tried to be Nerul again, but was too conflicted, too changed. At last it settled on two forms, and became Lolth and Orthos. As different as was possible they were. Lolth was hatred incarnate, the darkness that threatens to consume. She remembered the pain that Pelor had caused, and declared her everlasting war. Orthos, though, remembered his love for Pelor, and knew how she had wept. He became the guardian of the dark, and still remains, guiding those who are lost as Nerul once was. He opposes Lolth in all she does, but, as is his nature, loves her as he loves all life.
Orthos revealed his existence to the other gods, but out of love for his sister, knowing that the gods would not permit war to be made upon them, hid her existence from them, as she did.
The nature of these two affects the races more than anything. They are the conflict that all feel inside, between good and evil. Some are born with Orthos in their hearts, some are balanced between the two, and some are born with Lolth inside.
(Lolth and the Drow)
Lolth looked at the world, and saw the races. She saw how their belief made the other gods strong, and lusted after power. She wanted no part of the other gods' works, and at first tried to create her own. This went as the first attempts had gone, but corrupted by Lolth. From her came the first monsters, the first creatures born of horror. Next she stole of the other races, and thus created the Drow. The elves' bodies and lifespan she stole, the passion of the humans, the steadfastness of the dwarves, the cunning of the gnomes, the drive of the centaur, and the deadliness of the trolls. Of dragons she would have no part; too free and changeable were they. Inside the drow she expunged all part of her brother, and left nought but hatred in their souls. And then in the belly of the earth she had her people, and they believed in her.
Mythology Part 2
(Moradin and the Goliaths)
Moradin is a proud god; and proud of all he does. He is especially proud of his mortal children- the dwarves, the centaurs, and the trolls. He is as a proud father- he thinks no ill can come of his children, and worries over them, that they might come to harm.
The drow came to his attention, slowly. He heard whispers, rumors through the earth itself, of evil creatures destroying and corrupting all they could. Moradin has little thought for that which is underground; it is a domain he shares with Zaaman, and Orthos, and Eldath. But he worried for his children, especially the dwarves, as they dwelled underground, and near the source of these rumors. He told them to beware the depths, and they heeded his word, and he told them to arm themselves, and they heeded his word, and he told them to defend themselves, and again they heeded his word. It was not enough for him, though, and he sought another way to protect his children.
It was during this time that he came across a drow. He captured it as a cat might capture a mouse, and examined it. He saw they were lithe, and beguiling, and cunning with poisons and knives. This worried him, for his children were hardy, but ill-equipped to deal with such a thing. He sat, and pondered, and eventually came to a decision. He fashioned a new race, one more his own than any previous. He took from the trolls their stony build and deepness of thought, and from the dwarves he took their hardiness and their sense of kin. He fashioned from these the first Goliaths. They were large, and had a deep sense of purpose, and a way of hearing what was meant instead of what was said. He looked on them and was glad, for they could deal with the drow should the need arise.
(Pelor and Orthos and the Creation of Souls)
Pelor mourned still for the death of Nerul, and was distant from the other gods. Orthos she especially avoided, as he reminded her deeply of Nerul. Orthos came to her one day, and asked what troubled her, and she responded that she could not bear the loss. He comforted her, and tried to help her through her sadness, but he could not. At last he had to stop, or risk losing himself in her troubles. Pelor's ire rose at this, that he thought her beyond saving, and she set out to make sure that none had to endure what she had again, that no loss was permanent. She went first to the humans, for their nature was least foreign to her, and she took an infinitesmal part of herself, and split it amongst them. In each of them it took hold in the heart, and was forever imprinted with their personality and memories. When two humans had a child together, these pieces of Pelor would make a third, equal to the others, and it was the child's. Pelor went next to each of the races in turn, and gave the same gift to them. When the mortal bodies are deceased, these souls come to Pelor's home, circling the world, and mingle, finding their loved ones to join for eternity.
Mythology Part 3
(The Powers of the Gods)
The gods had created the races, and moved to their respective abodes, and for a while, things were peaceful. The races grew and learned and flourished, and they worshipped their creators. After a time, the gods noticed a strange thing. What the mortals believed of the gods soon came to be. Some dwarves believed Eldath to be evil, and she was, and yet some humans worshipped her as the most benevolent god, and she was that, too. This happened to all the gods, and it disturbed and worried them. They believed themselves above the whims of mortals, and knew not what to do.
The dragons were the pentultimate creation of the gods; their most perfect race. They were wise, and cunning, and powerful, and above all, immortal as the gods. They had great power, and the mortals knew of them, and revered them, yet this did not affect the dragons as it did the gods. This intrigued the gods, for they wished to no longer be plagued by the whims of mortals. They went to the oldest of the dragons then, whose name is long forgotten, and is known only as First. They asked him if he knew why this was so, and he answered that the gods were too changeable in nature, too malleable, and not fixed as dragons were. Mere thought was enough to alter the nature of a god, First said. This angered the gods, and they withdrew to counsel.
(The Dragon War)
The gods decided the dragons had some plot afoot; to usurp and destroy the gods for what ends they did not know. They attacked the dragons then, and thus began the Dragon War. The lesser races knew not what happened then, and thought it the end of times. Lakes were boiled and mountains were razed and still the gods and dragons fought on. At last it came to pass that First pinned Zaaman, and held him still, but did not make the final blow. The gods saw this, and understood that there was no plot, that the dragons did not covet their position. They knew First had spoken truth about their nature. He told them then that not only were they malleable, but this weakness came from their power- the ability to shape and change the world was what made them weak to mortals' whims.
(The Withdrawal of the Gods)
At last the gods knew what had to be done. They drew out their power, the raw essence of it, and wrapped the world in it, and made it known to mortals as magic. And they poured their control of the world into six various artifacts, and bestowed one each on all the eldest metallic dragons, and First, who had no color. These artifacts, the Hammer of Moradin, the Blade of Zaaman, the Shield of Faenya, the Eye of Pelor, the Cloak of Orthos, and the Armor of Eldath are said to be the most powerful magics still in this world, and the eldest dragons guard them jealously. They have allowed great warriors to wield them on occasion, the warriors everyone knows from legend, but those days are long gone. None still know where the dragons slumber, or what the artifacts are capable of. With their powers given to the world, and no longer theirs, the gods retired, and now reside with the souls of the dead in Pelor's wandering abode, forever watching the world, but never again to set foot on it. They were content, except for Orthos, as he knew that Lolth yet remained, and had her power, and he knew that none could oppose her now.
Honestly, you really need to make your own names. It breaks immersion to use names from a different setting, and will throw off your characters when you get to plots involving those names (Ankh-Morpork?). Also, while I love Discworld, you have an awful lot of elements form that world in your setting, and I can't help but feel that it would end up only as an inferior clone of that setting (I do love Terry Pratchett far to much for my own good). I am not trying to be plain mean here, I legitimately feel that those problems will keep your world from being a good setting for a game. If you fix those, I will help you fine-tune everything else.
I have returned, and plan on focusing on world-building. Issues are being dealt with.
Originally Posted by MesiDoomstalker
Thread won! I don't think I have the authority to do that but whatever
I agree about the names, it's something I have to work on. I'm lost on the similarities to Discworld, though- I've got a world that's roughly discshaped, and a city I blank-filled as Ankh Morpork. Is there something other than that that I've done without realizing?
Edit- Oh, ****, THAT'S where I lifted the trolls from. *shoots self*