Setting Lore.   Posted by Dungeonmaster.Group: 0
 GM, 2 posts
Wed 27 Sep 2017
at 23:36
Setting Lore
Let's try this again with a map that's not flipped, shall we?:

The following is information your characters would know:

Capital city of the Elvish kingdom of the west, also called Avenrho.

“Capital” of the High Church of Tah, also known as the Bethite Church.

This island is all that remains of the Urdish Imperium. When the first Urdish colonists arrived on Corvis, they encountered the natives, who called themselves Covari. The Urdish dominated the Covari with their superior technology and tactics, but by the time the empire fell, the two populations had thoroughly mixed.

Demonfrost Mountains
This steep mountain range is always snowcapped, and numerous glaciers wend their way down the rocky slopes. No one lives here save for wild men and cold-resistant monsters.

A fortress established by a nephew of the current Duke of Slateholm, Baron Rathwynn Morgan. The Baron has been very effective in fighting back incursions by humanoids and rebuilding some of the infrastructure the Imperium had established, but a few years ago he placed the his son Halden in charge of the fortress and retired to Slateholm.

Capital of the Urdish Imperium and largest city in the Northlands. A walled city with a second walled "city" inside it, where only the Emperor, nobility, servants and bureaucrats may live and work.

Pirate Island
Exactly what it says on the tin, mate.

Ravenstone, Free City of
A former Urdish colony, which became a “free city” when the Empire fell. Known primarily as a place that is dark, dirty and corrupt, full of slave markets and outgoing slave ships headed for Corvis.

Slateholm, Free City of
Slateholm was founded as an Urdish colony on the site of an ancient, possibly nonhuman settlement. An excellent seaport and site of the largest cathedral of the Church of Tah, Reformed. Ownership of slaves is strictly forbidden in the city. The city is ruled by a descendant of an Urdish governor who proclaimed himself a Duke upon the fall of the empire. Though the city is well-governed, the family has long claimed (and been completely unable to enforce) rule of a large portion of the Northlands as the "Duchy of Helsung."

Sunset Islands
The Islands of Sunset are the ancestral lands of the Elves of the North. The Elf Queen rules the kingdom from her castle in Avenrho. Few non-Elves are ever allowed within the capital, as the northern elves are somewhat xenophobic after bad experiences with the Urds and many other unsavory humans. Contact with brother elves on the mainland has been sparse in recent decades.

Urdish Imperium
The Empire was founded far to the East and endured for many centuries. A substantial colony on the island of Corvis as well as several smaller colonies nearby were established shortly before the Empire itself fell. The governor of the primary colony on Corvis, Thalus Dane, promptly declared himself the new Urdish Emperor. Thalus Dane's descendants still rule an empire of one island, where the people live as they always have...under the strict domination of the Emperor.

The prosperity of Urd is due to their superior farming techniques, in combination with their rich emerald mines. Some say the "emerald barons" who control the mines are even richer than the Emperor himself...though such is not said in the Emperor's hearing.

Due to this mining and agricultural base, Urd is the primary consumer of slaves in the Northlands, as well as all sorts of luxury goods. Some pirates are recognized as "traders" by the Urdish port authorities (in return for substantial bribes).

This message was last edited by the GM at 15:22, Sat 30 Sept 2017.

 GM, 32 posts
Thu 19 Oct 2017
at 16:28
Setting Lore
Religion in the Northlands

In the Northlands there are many who worship the spirits of Nature. This religion is followed mostly by "savage" or "tribal" cultures. A few barbarian clans may have Druids among their numbers. Most Druids are male, but a few tribes do have female Druids.

The Hundred Gods
Before the arrival of the Urdish colonists, most of the more civilized people in the Northlands worshiped one or another of several pantheons of gods. Faced with discrimination (and worse) from the colonists, these various religions joined together, and the combination of all those pantheons became the Hundred Gods.

Because of this, the various gods' domains overlap more than a little bit. Whatever anyone's personal convictions are, there is probably a god that fits them perfectly. Most priests who follow a single god are welcomed by worshippers and clergy of The Hundred simply because they are not aligned with either Church of Tah. Priests of the Hundred will have a silver disc engraved around the edge with at least twelve runes or symbols of gods to whom he or she is devoted.

The High Church of Tah (aka The Bethite Church)
The Church of Tah is a monotheistic church, which came to the Western Lands along with the Urdish colonists. When the Empire of Urd fell and Thalus Dane declared himself Emperor, High Priest Zamos in the city of Beth declared himself the new Patriarch. After a period of unrest and chaos, Zamos was able to solidify his control.

The so-called Bethite Church claims to follow a set of orderly and generally virtuous beliefs... but it is obvious to any outside observer that this is just not so. Many Bethite Priests take bribes in return for granting special blessings and dispensations, and despite vows of celibacy are well known for their orgies and other, darker pursuits. These priests are also well known for the large quantities of gold, silver, and precious stones they adorn themselves and their temples with. Of course, not all Bethite priests are bad; possibly less than one in ten are so corrupted. But those who are tend to be among the hierarchy.

The Bethite holy symbol is a circle, bisected by a vertical bar that extends below the circle to form a stem or handle. The holy symbols carried are always gold plated or even made of solid gold. The Bethite church never accepts women as priests.

The Church of Tah, Reformed
The Reformed Church of Tah arose in the other former Urdish colonies in response to the increasing corruption within the Bethite sect. Each former colony (as well as other centers of civilization where the Reformers have established missions) has its own hierarchy of priests. All are sworn to celibacy and poverty, and their oaths are carefully monitored in almost all cases by the local Hierarchs.

Because of their missionary zeal, it is common to see a Reformer priest at large, wearing his plain robes, simple rope belt, sandals, and wooden holy symbol. The Reformer holy symbol is identical to the Bethite symbol, but is always carved in wood. Like the Bethites, a Reformer must have a proper holy symbol in hand to call upon Tah.

Unlike the Bethites, the Reformers do accept women as well as men as priests, though very few women have so far attained the position of Hierarch.

Evil Cults and their clerics
Some Clerics worship evil powers. Among the Druids and the Priests of the Hundred, it's not unheard of for a cleric to become misguided and believe they should commit what others clearly see are atrocities (human sacrifice, gathering undead, etc.) in order to accomplish the aims of their gods. In most cases, these heretics act within the rituals and beliefs of their faith for the most part; they believe causing suffering or death for any personal reason, such as sadism or the love of power, is an affront to the gods or spirits.

Tahists believe that only Tah is truly a god. Their beliefs include a being, usually called Shaitah, who was once a servant of Tah but turned to evil. Shaitah's goal is to tempt mortals away from belief in Tah; thus, Tahists believe that Druids and followers of the Hundred Gods have been deceived by Shaitah, and they try hard to convert such Clerics.

But there are those heretical Clerics, sometimes former followers of Tah, who have turned to the worship of Shaitah. They claim (heretically, according to the Churches of Tah) that Shaitah is a god, coequal with Tah, and they wish to help Shaitah win the eternal battle.

In rare cases, active priests of Tah have been found to be secret followers of Shaitah. This is more common in the Bethite sect than the Reformed sect.
 GM, 45 posts
Mon 30 Oct 2017
at 22:35
Setting Lore
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