talkgroup

D&D Campaign Setting Lore

#1

Making this thread as a compilation of some ideas I’ve had for the setting I plan to use for our D&D online game. Please reply with any neat ideas you have! We’ll stitch them together somehow.

Basics:

A Crude Map

The setting of the game is the former territory of the lost Hyrcanian Empire. That is: coastal Tund, which includes the wealthy but precarious city states of Sirion, Arambys, Gargano and Opsikion.

To the west is Varkana, the former heart of Hyrcania, with its ancient capital, Zadrakarta, which means “yellow city” in Old Hyrcanian. You probably have never met anyone from there. They don’t seem to travel much.

Most know the Dragonborn, who are almost never seen, were the honor guard and sacred soldiers of Hyrcania. They were crafted by magical artifice long ago. Though the common people trust them because of the legends of their deeds, they are barred from Tund and Kush and bounty hunters seek any report of them.

To the south is Kush.

To the north, just off the Arambene Peninsula, lies the vast Isle of Kommagene, where ancient Hyrcania built the colony city Tylos. The heart of the massive isle is still largely untouched by civilization, full of swamps, jungle and forest, and high mountains.

Between the Arambene Peninsula and the Isle of Kommagene is Liar’s Bay.

On the north side of the Isle of Kommagene are a few smaller cities and villages, which broke away from Tylos in a bid for independence. Tylos has too much to worry about to wrangle these trade competitors. Malat is the biggest city on Kommagene’s north coast.

Somewhere in Liar’s Bay, no-one knows where, is the hidden Pirate Republic.

To the north, somewhere past pirate-haunted Liar’s Bay in the deeper Sea, lie the Jeweled Cities, island trade nations. Some of them are: Beryl, Corundum, Opal, Cymophane, Tourmaline, Carnelian, Chrysoprase, Heliotrope, Citrine and Hylophane.

Somewhere to the northeast across the sea is the Kingdom of Anga. They say gods like Indra, Varuna, Vayu, Agni and Kuvera came from here. Vanaras live somewhere here. There are more impossible kingdoms beyond Anga, somewhere up there, amidst Rakshasa-haunted jungles and the lost Naga kingdoms.

Somewhere to the south is The Empire. It is ruled by the Coral Empress from the fabulous, gargantuan and impossibly old capital of Bis’en. There has always been an Empress on the Alabaster Throne. She goes nowhere without her Deathless Guard. It has been long since the Empire turned its Legions and its dauntless Myrmidons outward to annex new land, but some reports say they marshal again. The Imperials worship strangely familiar yet foreign gods like Mithras and Cybele.

#2

Races

The Dragonborn were the sacred soldiers of old Hyrcania, made by magic and now fated for destruction wherever they may be found.

Elves and Gnomes come from somewhere else. Help me figure out where they fit in. Some say the Elves are the children of the Rhbus, but the dwarves revere those heavenly craftsmen.

Dwarves are Babylonian. They build massive ziggurats. Others build fastnesses deep under the earth, where Kuvera bid them go, who the dwarves and some humans call Kothar-wa-Khasis

Tieflings, they say, are the earthly progeny of Rakshasas. They are nomads, wandering the world in gypsy bands. Most distrust them, but they know many secrets.

Nobody’s ever seen a Half-Elf.

Halflings are Vanara.Vanara are amusing, childish, mildly irritating, badgering, hyperactive, adventurous, bluntly honest, loyal, courageous, and kind. Some of them are assholes or evil. Some really powerful Vanara can do incredible things: jump so far they can basically fly, can be incredibly strong, can stretch their tails to ridiculous lengths and do cool things with them.

Half-Orcs may be the forgotten children of the Yakshas.

Lore: The Elves and their Ships
#3

Flavor

Nearly everybody around you is a varied shade of brown.

Adapting the concept of a 4e Points of Light setting, with ancient forgotten empires - giant, Rakshasa, dwarven, elven or otherwise. Monster or danger haunted wilderness surrounds all existing cities and villages, whose existences are always precarious, threatened from within and without. Civilization clings to the narrow pathways that lead from settlement to settlement, which are always in danger of being severed by threats from this world or others. Think Conan-style sword and sorcery minus the racism.

Tund is a melange of Greek, Persian and North African influences.

The Kingdom of Anga is more akin to mythological India. There are other places beyond.

The Empire is as if the Roman Empire and its need for domination placed it in Persia. Or you can think of it as a more aggressive Sassanid Empire.

No decisions made about the Jeweled Cities, which I originally imagined as kind of Venetian, kind of like the Free Cities from A Song of Ice and Fire, or the Pirate Republic. They are multiethnic, as are most places, but the Jeweled Cities more than most.

Kush I want to kind of be like ancient Nubia, but no decisions made.

Varkana, the heart of the former ancient Hyrcania - who even knows what lurks there.

#4

Free Companies

Here are some free companies you’ve heard about in Tund and Kommagene, and a little something you may or may not know about them:

  • The Forsaken Remnants of a betrayed mercenary company.
  • The Broken Lances
  • Mirza Theolene’s Men Seems like she’s always hiring. In the last city you were in, paid touts were hyping up a couple of openings for the chance to join up for gold and glory.
  • Redraven’s Men
  • The Ashen Brotherhood
  • Societatis Umbra
  • The Esoteric and Most Momentous Society of Seekers After True Thaumaturgical Mysteries
  • The Halma-Khet Horse barbarians from beyond the Trackless Wastes. They say they serve the True Khan.
  • The Gallant Comrades Were they the ones that liberated Holuth from its dark overlord and found the Eye of Khabral? But that was decades ago…
  • The Progeny of Lorbis Vul
  • Sisters of Ynis Nagahl The goddess these women follow is a she-bear holding aloft an axe and a human head.
  • The Quintumvirate
  • The Demon’s Children
  • Lothomund & Sons A family endeavor.
  • The Bright Banners When the Alabaster Empress led the invasion of Khosar, the Bright Banners were there with her. Then they just rode over to the city of Shokan, took it the fuck over and ran it like their personal playground.
  • The Company of the Blue Rose
  • Sithssilakk

If you read A Song of Ice and Fire, think Vargo Hoat and his Brave Companions, the Second Sons, or the Golden Company. If you read The Black Company series, the mythology of free companies is worked deep into the lore of the series, but they basically work as a mercenary army.

If you want to read about some historical analogues, check out these Wikipedia pages:



Italy was basically free company paradise, with each little city-state, commune or principality hiring as many mercenaries as they could pay to do their fighting for them. Wealthy condottieri could end up as de-facto noblemen and rule cities - usually if you have noble blood already to make that something everybody could accept. Sometimes dukes and princes would go adventuring to make money.

split this topic #5

2 posts were merged into an existing topic: Lore: The Elves and their Ships

#7

If we come up with a campaign or setting name, I can create a sub-category for it. That way we can subscribe to that, and receive all messages posted there.

Also @malatesta, you can link directly to an image and it will embed in the post, and in the background the site will pull it over and host it locally. Or you can upload directly. :slight_smile:

split this topic #8

3 posts were split to a new topic: Player Agreement (Rules and Safety)

#9

What about deities? I am thinking of a support NPC who is a cleric, but is really a kind of field medic. Not super religious.

If that is weird then it can be standard cleric. Either way, it’s a human lady cleric named Sage.