Cosmology and Geography.   Posted by DM.Group: 0
DM
 GM, 15 posts
Thu 14 Jun 2018
at 22:21
Cosmology and Geography
While Earth is used as a pattern, full D&D e rules apply, NOT historical or legendary patterns. Egyptians have only one soul,and when they make a Mummy, it's a D&D mummy. Many Eastern Spirit Folk are probably just exotic Fey,etc.

But, before that. let's deal with Iconic Monsters and nomenclature:

Iconic monsters are different in Fantasy Earth than in canon D&D realms. Some don't exist (especially if they depend on an Underdark), some share names.

As an example of name sharing: "Troll" the most over used monster name by the germanic peoples.
-To the Vikings, trolls are what they call those odd humanoids that live on the fringes of their lands. You call them orcs.
-To the Danes, trolls are those cute little gnomish things they find here and there.
-In the Black Forest, troll is what they call ogres and hill giants, big hulking brutes that like to fill their cook pots with travelers.
-And, in the Carpathians, trolls are those gangly green things that won't die until you burn them, even if hacked apart.

Add to that the lack of a known Underdark, which removes many critters and subraces. Probably:  Nidavellir is as big as Midgard. Druegar may well exist somewhere there, after all.

It's safest to assume you don't know much about them, as you may well NOT. After all, a Gold Dragon is an Oriental Dragon. You'd never have heard of one. And Red Dragons would have come to you in stories about Firebreathing dragons. Scale color probably did not come up.

So please don't assume you know what something is by it's name. Or talk about critters that may not even exist as though your character is an expert on them. Check with the DM first. In a private line or post. Assuming you know what a critter is could open you up for a big surprise.
DM
 GM, 16 posts
Thu 14 Jun 2018
at 22:22
Geography
The Known World consists of all three continents: Europe, Asia, and Africa. Rumor exists of a new continent far to the west, which some Danes (or was it Vikings?) have managed to colonize by following the edges of the Ice Cap (navigation is done mainly by sight).



The British Isles:

Erin: Feudal, and on the cusp between Barbarian and Civilized. The Sons and Daughters of Erin are NOT part of the British controlled parts of the Isles. They worship the Celtic Deities, or the Druidic faith.

The northern most parts of Erin are Ireland, fully civilized and with Irish Lords  and Knights that pay homage to London. The Southern parts are a bit more wild, but not entirely uncivilized. Usually.

Moving east to the other main island, we have Scotland, Wales, and England. Knights in plate, jousting, downtrodden peasants, the whole package. They worship the New God, mostly. To be fair, there are more than a few peasants that are Druidic, and maybe the occasional Scotsman or Irishman that still cleaves to the Celt Deities, as well.



Northern Europe:
On the mainland, to the North, are the Vikings, Danes, and Fins.

Vikingland is to the north of Daneland, and both are coastal. Both worship the Norse Deities, with some New God worship amongst the Danes.

The Vikings are under-civilized, like to take to their ships and go a-viking for plunder and genetic dispersion. It should be noted, however, that they ARE improving...somewhat. Their armor tops out at Scale Mail.
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The Danes are civilized enough to have actual Knights, and have a warm enough climate that they can farm enough to survive winters without needing to pillage.
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And to the east of both countries lies Finland. The Fins are primitive, but not barbaric. Armor choices tend to match that of druids, but, mostly, by necessity. In fact, it is said that Fins are a magical people, and each one knows at least some magic. This is true. At the very least, they use the Variant Human and take Magic Initiate Druid as their feat. Rangers, Sorcerers (Tempest only) and Druids (Moon, Arctic, or Forest only) are an exception, and need not take the variant. They produce no wizards, clerics, or bards. They don't feel the need to pursue Warlockery. Paladins, while rare, do exist, and are unfailingly Green. They, too, need not take the variant race.



Western, Central, and Eastern Europe:

France is much like Britain, but French, which means, amongst other things, no Celt or Druid worship.

Germany and other parts of central Europe continue in the Knightly vein, and mix Norse and New religions. The farther east one goes, however, the more things tend to go bump in the night. In France and Britain, the problems are the people, but in Eastern Europe on into Rus, Monsters rule the Night. Central Europe is the place where things tend to change from the one to the other. And, yes, that means that sometimes people turn into monsters.



Southern Europe, northern Africa, and the Mediterranean:

More civilized, at least in their opinion, and not feeling the need for heavier armors, especially as so much of their economy is dependent on shipping. Light armor, chain shirts, and the occasional breastplate are the rule.

Spain is mostly New God, and still tends to medium armors over light, for the nobility and their troops.

Greece worships their deities.

Rome worships the Greek Deities with a name change. There is a small town near the capital where worshipers of the New God congregate.

Araby, which is basically a group of countries north of the African Jungle, excluding Egypt, follows an Al Qadim pattern, worshiping a mix of Greek and Egyptian Deities. Armor tends to avoid mail, save for nobles' guards in cities.

Egypt and the Nile Valley tend to light armor, and their own Deities. They also display an unprecedented fondness for Necromancy. Every setting needs an Evil Empire. Egypt is this setting's evil empire.


Deepest Darkest Africa:

The Jungle. Not much is known about it. Feel free to go change that.



Asia:

There are three main countries in Asia:

India: a subcontinent all it's own, largely unknown jungles, but the nearest bits follow the Mediterranean pattern, above, with their own, unknown, deities.

Cathay: East of the Rus are the Mongol Hordes, east of them, Cathay, possibly the largest single country in the world. They have their own deities, unknown to the West

Nippon: The land of the Rising Sun, another island kingdom, this one on the far side of Cathay. They have their own deities, unknown to the West.



Atlantis:

West of the Mediterranean Sea, and a ways into the Atlantic Ocean. Hard to find, as it is out of sight of any other lands.

The people of Atlantis are in the Mediterranean mold, but tend towards more knowledge intensive pursuits. Their Fighters are Eldritch Knights, they produce Wizards rather than Sorcerers (usually), and the RARE Warlock is invariably Tome Pact. They tend towards lighter armors, but you never know.
DM
 GM, 17 posts
Thu 14 Jun 2018
at 22:29
Geography Part 2: Off the Edge of the World
Recent information has surfaced of a marginally successful trip West looking for either the edge of the World, or the mythic western continent.

They found not one, but 2 mythic continents, one north of the other.

The Northern Western continent is full of primitive humans barbaric and nomadic to the north, getting more settled the farther one travels to the south. Mostly. Things are atypical around the Viking colony far to the north, in no small part because of the Viking presence.

The farthest southern people build cities, are almost bronze age and like to sacrifice the hearts of humans to their gods.

There is a narrow finger of land connecting the North to the South, but it is a no man's land that is said to be impassible.

The Southern Continent is short on mammals and birds, but has plenty of amphibians and reptiles. And civilizations to rival Europe, for whatever that is worth.

This message had punctuation tweaked by the GM at 00:32, Mon 14 Oct 2019.

DM
 GM, 18 posts
Thu 14 Jun 2018
at 22:35
Cosmolgy
The gods in use:
From the Player's Handbook: Celtic, Egyptian, Greek, and Norse, plus a small selection of Non human gods.

Also, purely for the Knights, and, maybe, the occasional Roman: The New God.

The New God domain choices: Light or Life.



There ARE other planes, and even some afterlives, but there may not be as many as the Deities promise.



Olympus and Yggdrasil are actual places that can be traveled to, and traveled on. It's not, however, recommended: the Deities don't like it when mere mortals come knocking.

That being said, Yggdrasil connects 9 planes:
Asgard: Home of the Norse pantheon, afterlife for their most loyal followers.
Vanaheim: Home of the Norse Elf Pantheon, afterlife for their most loyal followers.
 In addition to Freya and Freyr, the Vanir include most of the Non Human Deities related to elves.
Alfheim: Home of one the Norse race of Elves: The Light elves. This may be part of Faerie, or it may be another plane entirely. No one is sure.
Midgard: Earth.
Jotunheim: Home of the Giants that don't live elsewhere.
Svartalfheim: Home of the other race of Norse Elves, the Dark Elves. This may or may not be part of the Shadowfell. Again, no one knows.
Nidavellir: Home of the dwarves.
Nifleim: Somewhere under Yggsdrasil, just past that really big dragon, is Helheim, where the rest of the dead are.
Muspelheim: Home of the Fire Giants

Olympus connects Greece to their gods (at the very top) and to their afterlife, through caverns deep into the earth.



Other planes:

There is an Etherial and an Astral Plane, as spells have proven. There is thought to be a plane of darkness that shadow magic draws from, but this is unproven, as yet. Still, it is likely, and it seems to leak through in Eastern Europe.

And, of course, there is Faerie. Faerie is the home of all things fey, not just elves, and seems to have it's own countries and geographic areas as evidenced by the varied nature of the fey that come through and where they do so. In Europe, it's elves and gnomes to the west, gradually changing to hags and such once one has gotten to the lands of the Rus. To the south, it's dryads and satyrs.

The elementally aspected creatures of similar mien in Araby may be fey, as well, or they may be something different. Atlantean scholars disagree.



There is no known Underdark. However, see the 9 Norse worlds, above. There certainly is no Lloth. There are Underground nations, however: Dwarves and Dokalfar. But, of course, they are not on Midgard.
DM
 GM, 19 posts
Thu 14 Jun 2018
at 22:36
Languages
Common languages vary by location and populace. It's rare, indeed, for anyone to learn Pygmy (Halfling) outside of Africa, for instance.

Vikingland:
Alfar(Elf), Dwarf, and Troll(Orc) are all reasonably common, Giantish less so. Anything else would require a fair bit of travel to learn. Real travel, not just a season or two of going a-Viking in a longboat.

Western Europe, Eastern and the British Isles:
Sylvan, the common tongue of the Fey is the most commonly known. Sidhe(Elf) is also possible in the British isles, but much less common the mainland. In the East, Elfish is unknown. As are Elves.

Southern Europe:
Sylvan, mostly, with some Water dialects of Primordial known towards the coasts.

Araby:
Primordial is the most common second language. Genies and elementals replace Fey and Europe is left behind.

Egypt:
The Undead of the Necropolis tend to speak Abyssal, for reasons only they know, which makes this the most common second language of the evil Empire.

Other languages:
Pygmy(Halfling) is rare
Draconic is only known where Dragons are, which mostly means the Far East (although there are rare ones elsewhere, such as the one chewing on Yggdrasil's roots)

Abyssal, Infernal, and Celestial are all religious tongues, and may be learned by scholars working in such areas, but aren't commonly spoken anywhere (with the exception of Abyssal and Egypt).
DM
 GM, 20 posts
Thu 14 Jun 2018
at 22:38
The (Not Quite) Seven Seas
While there is a fair bit of water encircling the known world, much of the Eastern bits, land and water both, are largely unknown.

From the standpoint of the part of the world that considers Atlantis it's center (metaphorically, as it's the western most part of the Known World) there are two bodies of water The Inner Sea, and the Outer Ocean, in common parlance. The Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean for the more formal types.

Of course, in areas far enough north, they just know of The Ocean. In areas far enough south it's The Big Water or The Endless Water.
DM
 GM, 90 posts
Sat 11 Jan 2020
at 23:34
The British Isles
True Druids, those who carry the actual name, are Moon circle. They are the magically active senior most protectors of the land (well, from the human standpoint, anyhow). They are the makers of the Henges and Standing Stones and other such areas about the islands.

But they aren't the only ones. There are "lesser" groups, if only in authority and oversight. Druids of the Land are, by their nature, concerned with narrower areas than all of the parent island.

I have used names form myth of the land druids that don't always match exactly with the domain and nature of the druids, but are close enough that one can see where myth and legend might have changed things. And it might give a hint as to common attitudes amongst members of the various sub cults.

Selkies: Coastal Druids: They tend to hold off on shapeshifting, especially in public, until they can take swimming shapes then they restrict themselves to pinnipeds. This is custom, not a requirement.

Fear Gorta: Grasslands. Treat them well and they help stave off hunger. Otherwise they keep Erin's Isle that magical Emerald Green.

Grogoch: Mountains. Often hermits or Folk Heroes (more or less Fey Guardians) to mountain communities. Well, those respectful of Nature.

Ballybogs: Bog (Swamp). Again, often hermits.

The Gardeners: Forest. They maintain the old growth forests, occasionally going so far as to expand them. Second only to True Druids, and about equal to True Bards



True Bards are College of Lore and are exclusively Druidical, as the Druids are the ones that train them.

Their Library/College is somewhere in Ireland, and is also the main meeting hall for Senior Druids to conclave when necessary. True Bards are considered lesser Druids, and rank at lest equal to Land druids.

Other bards are generally either Valor, if wealthy and rural, or Blades if City born and wealthy. The sheer expense of an education that teaches all that even a non-Lore bard knows in magic and skill pretty much necessitates a wealthy background. In Cities this would be Noble or the Merchant variant of Guild Artisan, in rural areas, it's mostly just Nobles.

This message was last edited by the GM at 23:47, Sat 11 Jan 2020.