View Full Version : Warfall (setting, PEACH, working title)

2009-09-21, 06:15 PM
The glowing, blurred sun was setting in Carendias. The ancient city was still as populous as ever, and even now the wealthy and powerful stirred from the palace to return to their accommodations in the lower ellipses.

Negotiations, thankfully, were over. The ambassadors from K'jinn seemed friendly enough, but cryptic - with reason. Their nation's border was mere tens of miles from that of the goblin empire, Bazak. Their neutrality was not something to break hastily.

The Arlornians were a bit better. Through the past months, they had been reluctant to send help, on the grounds of their sanctimonious peace and prosperity. That opinion started to waver, however, after the rebellion in Sligh, and collapsed outright when the goblins themselves arrived on their shores.

No other nation acted of note, and when the Underclock struck half past five, it was time to resign. The posh ambassadors left first, followed by their bodyguards, followed finally by five rather out-of-place persons: two humans that were quite clearly not from Carendan, a young (though it is rather hard to tell) dwarf with a dim orange beard, an elf twirling a longbow, and a barely visible gnome, fiddling with something in his palm.

The first human, a grey-robed, dark-haired woman who seemed to be a westerner, spoke first.

"We did as you asked, Senator. The K'jinnites would not have stuck their sniveling noses in this city if it were not for us. I believe you menti-"

The middle aged man still sitting at the negotiation table cut across the cleric, in a crisp, to-the-point tone.

"First, the K'jinnites are now our allies, whether they want to be or not. I will not here them insulted in my presence."

He paused, amused at the westerner's glare and grinning at the look of pure schadenfreude on the gnome's face.

"Second, you completed the first task I asked of you. Not everything. Naarob is still undecided. They will be your next target."

The elf then effortlessly caught the longbow in his left palm and interjected.

"If you'll pardon my interruption, Senator Belamus, I had assumed it was common knowledge that Naarob was sending aid and troops to Bazak. Surely you don't mean for us to try an turn them, do you?"

The senator turned towards the elf for the first time, a look of bemusement and mild surprise on his aged face.

"If you truly believe that Naarob is lost to us, Rynalen, then I have an alternative target."

He swiveled to face the gnome in full, savoring the shriveling of his tiny grin as he spoke.

"I believe that some of the orcish... tribes would be susceptive to our message."

The gnome dropped his bauble and gaped at the man, distaste and disgust etched in every vein of his face.

"No. No no no no no. I don't mind going to K'jinn, those guys are practically gnomes themselves. But orcs? No. I am not getting on a ship to head over to their island to play pattycake with some orcish murderer."

"Might I remind you, Glitterwell, of what you have to gain from this venture? And, for that matter, what you have to lose? This is not some minute business deal to cancel over a petty grudge, gnome. I suggest you comply."

The gnome simply sulked.

Some time later, the party of five left the Central Palace to settle into the town. The cleric, elf, and gnome simply returned to the Searing Coals, while the other human and the dwarf veered off into the Arcane District.

"Remind me again, Bordin, why, exactly, we're going into the wizard district?"

The dwarf looked ahead, squinting his eyes forward into the darkening alleyways.

"Simple, m'friend. Ye remember tha' chain we foun' in Sligh, way back when? Ye know, the one with the writin' on it?"

The human frowned, shaking his head.

"No. Not really. Unless you mean that thing we found in..."

"Va'erwell's quar'ers. Aye, lad. Tha's it. Th' thin' was dwarf-made, I kin tell. I so 'appened to 'ave it with me now."

The dwarven bard reached into his pack and retrieved a golden chain with some strange runes scribed on it.

"Those be Terran runes, lad. Language 'o the earth. Don' see it much now. Bet yer glad ye brought me 'long instead o' ol' stick in th' mud Glordin, aren't ye!"

The human grinned slightly, fondly remembering the deep enmity between the dwarf now next to him and his more ardent brother.

"Anyway, I dunnae 'ave the skills t'fin' out wha' this is. Tha's why we're takin' it 'ere."

As he finished speaking, he pointed towards the now-sunless sky, where a wooden billboard of sorts had been erected, with a single phrase on it.

Southeast Arcanum & Curios.

2009-09-21, 06:16 PM

Warfall is the tentative title of a new homebrew campaign setting set in the world of Talar.

In all honesty, Warfall is typical high fantasy. It doesn't have any real "twists" on the genre, and just adds its own flavor to the already-present proverbial mix.

Warfall is not, however, completely light in tone. The central plot element of the world are the growing tensions between the human nations and a goblin empire in the south. Note that the world is structured in such a way as to allow this cold war to be the centerpiece of a campaign or be completely removed from it.

Warfall uses political intrigue as a central theme. Many of the human (and otherwise) nations are unwilling to lend a hand in the war for one reason or another. Beyond that, rebellion is brewing in more than one nation, and has already succeeded in a single example - to less than desirable effect.

Because of this political dichotomy, most races are divided up by which nation they hail from - a choice that impacts racial abilities and stats as much as it does backstory. Do you want to be one of the half-duergar Avadian dwarves, or a joyous but lawful member of the Noranus Domain? Is your elf a member of the Nine Elders Confederacy, or is he part of the Outlying Lands? What Cartel does your gnome belong to?

All of these and more are questions posed by Warfall.


Before the existence of Talar and the Other Planes, all that existed was an endless cloud of rocky dust, stretching on in into infinity in every direction.

Then, Tala and Telen arrived. The divine pair shaped the world to their whims, compacting the infinite dust of the universe into a perfect sphere.

Their three children, Vrad, Rheus, and Thoe, would form the great land masses of the world. Their sweat would become the ocean, and their parents' gaze would fill the earth and sea with life.

For a time, this world was a serene one. But, after a time, an emptiness overtook the gods' hearts and that of their creations. Their world lacked true balance - a carefully maintained equillibrium between Good and Evil.

Tala and Telen resolved to create this balance. After careful consideration, Telen decided he would maintain the world of death, of hate, and of pain. Tala begged him otherwise, telling him that this would change him forever, but her cries were in vain.

Telen took his favored son, Vrad, and created the Dark Realm. Though originally pure in purpose, his own created domain and its endless loneliness began to twist Telen and his son toward a growing darkness.

Meanwhile, Tala took her favorite daughter, Thoe, and created the Bright Land, maintaining all things wholesome and joyous, and nurturing a growing hatred for Telen for not heeding her warnings.

Rheus, however, as oldest of the gods' children, was told to maintain neutrality. For this purpose, he rose four great mountain gods - Linodus, Avadir, Khazun, and Norahild. These four, in time, rose their own great mountains and forged their own people, the dwarves.

The mountain gods, however, had completed their work, and Rheus moved on. Next, he created Dolon, the Sky God, and his two children, Solua and Llaler. The three the gave birth the first humans.

Tala, however, seeking to gain the upper hand in battle against Dark, took some of Dolon's creations and changed them into the Light Elves, beings of grace and purity.

Rheus, understanding his mother's intentions but resenting them, created his own race of elves, the Wood Elves, who showed true neutrality. This time, however, Telen took hold of some of their kin and twisted them into the beastial orcs, crippling their once powerful minds. Rheus, however, freed the orcs from Telen's influence and left them to survive in the world.

Seeking to create a race of true neutrality, Rheus's final effort was in creating the gnomes - creatures of pure curiosity and self-service. However, his attempts once again failed. Tala changed the gnomes into the canopy-dwelling Halflings, creatures of ingenuity but shyness, and Telen twisted them into the vile goblins, creatures of a single mind of pure malice.

Seeking to prevent his parents' feuding desires from intruding on his balanced world, Rheus left the world's surface and created a great shield around the planet, shielding it from direct deific influence.

Tala and Telen, however, were unwilling to sit and do nothing while the world resolved itself. Tala acted first, creating the demiworld of Etheria in orbit around Talar, tucked in its own plane of existence.

In response, Telen created the plane of Pyrmal, a hellish world of fire and shadow. Tala responded by creating another world of good, and the cycle continued for decades, until all the planes of Talar were filled with strange new worlds.

Rheus, in his sorrow of failure, vanished from known existence, though he is still worshipped by some elves. Before vanishing, he reconciled with his siblings, Thoe and Vrad. He bequeathed some of his remaining power to both of them.

To Thoe, he gave power of life, healing, strength, and chaos.

To Vrad, he gave power of protection, destruction, repose, and law.

He created a final deity, The Verdaanht, to watch over nature with true neutrality. He granted it the power of plants, animals, and the earth.

With that, the work of Rheun was complete. Thoe and Vrad had more to do, however.

As a vanguard against efforts to unbalance creation by their parents, the pair created all of dragonkind, and bequeathed upon them great power. This power, separate from that of the gods, came to be known as the Arcane.

Once again, however, the efforts of the siblings to finally claim balance were foiled by the forces of Etheria and Pyrmal. Tala and Telen turned the dragons against Thoe and Vrad, who slew billions of the beasts before calming their kind.

As a self-imposed punishment for their vulnerability to war and violence, the dragons exiled themselves to the far corners of the earth, where they studied the power granted unto them by the gods for many long years.



The most versatile and the most divided, humans live on almost every continent in Talar. They are also, however, unwilling to take a unified side in the current conflict against the goblins of the Bazak Empire. Many of the northern nations have openly declared war on the goblins, but the southern kingdoms are not so easily swayed. Only time will tell if humanity may form a united front against those who would encroach upon their world.

The friendliness and amiability of humans varies wildly with their location. Northern humans, such as those from Arlorn or Carendan, are typically quite friendly, if slightly unwilling enter conflict. Westerners, such as Orfolk or Ojyiar, while typically having their hearts in right place, are deeply distrusting of foreigners and each other alike. Southerners, however, are an entirely different matter. Any of the kingdoms of the south, from K'jinn to Naarob, are less trustworthy - while some are certainly admirable, the southern kingdoms are most certainly a place to watch your back. Humans, however, being a diverse race, cannot be confined to any one archetype, even based on location.

Standing an average 5 1/2 feet tall, humans typically weigh from 125 to 250 pounds. Due to their diverse nature and factional division, many other traits cannot be accurately described, as they vary greatly by nation and lineage. Humans reach adulthood around age 15 and live at most a century, unless extended by magical means, a method used more by humans than by any other race.

Though generally on peaceable terms with most races, humans get on especially well with dwarves, and have slowly established ties with the elves. While they are generally fond of halflings, the two races interact very little. Gnomes, on the other hand, are an enigma to humans. The Orcs of the southern seas are rarely seen by mankind, but when found are generally regarded as beasts and little more.

Humans are an incredibly variable species, but generally do not turn to evil - though there have been a great deal of exceptions over the ages. The northern kingdoms are typically Good, whereas the southern nations lean towards neutrality, and typically no human kingdoms are either specifically Lawful or Chaotic.

Most humans believe in three gods - Dolon the Benevolent, the leader of their pantheon and champion of all that is Good and of Creation, Solua the Stoic, the unwavering goddess of the beating Sun, Nobility, and the overarching Law of the world, and Llaler the Rebellious, the ever-moving god of Travel, the changing Weather, and the inherent Chaos that defines all things.

Human adventurers are not uncommon, but still not the norm by any means. The many nations of the world are varying in their hospitality. The Lawful kingdoms of the north are typically less so, encouraging would-be adventurers to join the military of their respective dominion. The southern kingdoms appreciate adventures' spirit, and are much more likely to accept northern adventurers than any other human from the north lands.

Kingdom of Arlorn
A northern nation on the small continent of Thoerir, the isolationist nation was whipped out of peace by the invasion of the goblins from the south. Though they once controlled three great cities, the Prison-City of Sligh was lost in a rebellion, and the mercantile capital of Melarus has become increasingly resentful of the Kingdom's inaction.
Government: Monarchy
Ruler: King Nanthus Arlorn
Capital: Berene
Alignment: Neutral Good

Following a massive coup by the noble class several decades ago, the Kingdom of Arlorn constructed the Prison-City of Sligh to the north, in the mires near Bristlefen Forest to house the rebels. Eventually, the prison walls were broken, and the city was overtaken. Sligh now seeks new allies to gain revenge on Arlorn, and may have found them in Bazak.
Government: Autocracy
Ruler: High Noble Mevil Vatherwell
Capital: Sligh
Alignment: Lawful Evil

Kingdom of Orfrelok
Located on the far northwestern the super-continent of Rheun, Orfrelok is a large, decentralized nation located in the vast forests of that land. Though allied with Arlorn against the goblins, Orfrelok's scattered nature makes it difficult for the nation to rally truths. In addition, the forests have played home to unnatural beasts for some time, and must be defeated before Orfrelok can fight abroad.
Government: Oligarchy
Rulers: Elder Silva Smavnov, Elder Vlad Zaberin, Elder Ioan Kavivar
Capital: Orfreton
Alignment: Chaotic Good

Ojyiar Province
Ancestors of the Orfolk, the Ojyiar remained in the far northern lands of Yjarion, which borders on the northern ice caps. Tribal and individualistic, the tribal Ojyiar maintain some of the best ties with dwarves of all human nations, specifically the arctic clan of Khazar, who live among them and in the nearby mountains. They are, however, unfriendly of outsiders, especially elves and halflings.
Government: Chiefdom
Ruler: Blood-King Fjarn Vorrnson
Capital: Bjorri
Alignment: Chaotic Neutral

Fendilian Alliance
Easternmost of any human kingdom, the Fendilian Alliance is not, strictly speaking, a human nation. Rather, it is an elvish state composed almost entirely of humans. Settlers from Carendan reached the edge of the elvish woods long ago and began gradually establishing relations with them and their kin. Over many years, this bond has fostered into Fendillian. For obvious reasons, Fendilian is also home to the largest single population of half-elves in the world.
Government: Republic
Ruler: Grand Liason Vewynn Woodroot
Capital: Thylien
Alignment: Chaotic Good

Carendan Empire
Most populous of all the human nations, Carendan dominates the center of Rheun's largest peninsula. Being one of the greatest threats to their power, Carendan was also one of the first nations attacked by the Bazak Empire. Since then, Carendan has served as the capital of effort against the goblins and a neutral point of negotiation among allies of that cause. Carendan is not without flaws, however. Their huge reach and large constructions have raised the eyebrows of many an elf, and their paladin order has become increasingly thinned over the years.
Government: Empire
Ruler: Emperor Daol VI
Capital: Carendias
Alignment: Lawful Good

First of two southern nations, K'jinn is located on the fringes of Vraddas, the vast desert continent in the south - coincidentally also home to the Bazak Empire. Understandingly, K'jinn is unwilling to openly declare war on Bazak for fear of the goblin's wrath. They are, however, willing to covertly aid the war effort, so long as it serves their ends. The K'jinnites get along with the gnomes the best of any human nation, most likely due to their similar mercantile backgrounds.
Government: Trade Coalition
Ruler: Trade Prince Xazad Meruud
Capital: K'zadar
Alignment: Chaotic Neutral

Located in the far northwestern corner of Vraddas, Naarob is nestled in the parched but frozen mountains of the Krangk range. Unlike K'jinn, Naarob has openly declared neutrality in the war. It is, however, common knowledge that they are aiding the Bazak Empire. They have also been attempting to convince the new state of Sligh to declare their "neutrality" as well - a stance greatly enhanced by the arrival of the goblins themselves on the shores of Thoerir.
Government: Dictatorship
Ruler: Reagent Orsac Ledif
Capital: Ledif-Vazin
Alignment: Lawful Evil

Racial Traits
Medium: As Medium creatures, humans have no special bonuses or penalties due to their size.
Human base land speed is 30 feet.
Humans receive one extra feat at 1st level, as well as four extra skill points. They also receive one extra skill point at each additional level.
Automatic Language: Common.
Bonus Languages: Dwarven, Elvish, Undercommon.
Favored Class:
If the human is from Arlorn or Carendan, Paladin or Knight. (with PH2)
If the human is from Orfrelok, Cleric.
If the human is from Ojyiar, Barbarian or Bard.
If the human is from K'jinn or Naarob, Rogue or Sorcerer. (replace Sorcerer with Warlock with PH2)
If the human is from Fendilian, Ranger or Scout. (with PH2)


Plumbing the depths of the earth, the stoic dwarves saw no reason to intervene in the current conflict - this was the human's fight. Though individual dwarves may have harbored a liking for humankind, the only human nation truly allied with the dwarves, Ojyiar, was never attacked. This changed when Thoerir and the dwarven domain of Linodol was attacked. Now the full might of the dwarven people is bent towards defeating the goblin menace.

One word describes dwarves - stoicism. Dwarves pride themselves on it, other races criticize them for it. Dwarves keep their emotions to themselves as a show of inner strength - the earth shows none of the atrocities committed to it by outsiders, and neither do they. Members of other races who can see through their guise of solemnness are hailed as friends of the dwarf people for knowing what lies beneath.

Dwarves reach a maximum of 4 1/2 feet, but this is rare. The average dwarf stands around 3 1/2 feet tall, though their general thickness and stoutness makes up for this lack of height. Dwarven skin takes on a hard, callous texture with age, as opposed to the wrinkles of humans and their kin. The pride of any male (and occasionally female) dwarf is his beard. Dwarven beards often reach their full height when unfurled, meaning that the elaborate braiding of one's beard is considered one of the finest aspects of art for a dwarf.

Because of their long lives, one might assume that dwarves get on well with elves. While there are elements of truth in this, the two races have had many disagreements over the years. In truth, dwarves have the best relations with humans. Though their short lifespan limits the extent of their friendship, humans are most similar to dwarves in culture and mentality, especially those humans of the west. Toward halflings, they feel little more than bemusement, as they do with gnomes. Orcs are fairly unknown the dwarves, inhabiting the southern seas where few of their kind venture.

Dwarves are typically Lawful, especially in cities. On the frontier, however, faraway towns, sometimes even on the surface, attract a more Chaotic variety. Dwarves may be Good or Evil, depending on their clan and domain.

Dwarves have one of the more complex religions in the world, owing mostly to their great adherence to it. Dwarves do not have one chief deity - rather, their upper hierarchy is composed of several gods of varying power - each corresponding to one of the dwarven mountain domains. These are Linodus the Newborn, Khazun the Chilled, Avadir the Deep, and Norahild the Beautiful, corresponding to the domains of Linodol, Khazar, Avad, and Noranus. Each of these four gods has four elemental deities as their servants, each representing Earth, Water, Air, and Fire individually. Finally, most dwarves also worship some of their greatest heroes as demigods.

Dwarven adventurers usually come from one of two molds. The first is a true adventurer, one who has left dwarven society of his own accord to go and explore the world. The second, and slightly more common, is an emissary sent by a dwarven Thane to spread the word of the dwarves and glean information about the outside world.

Linodol Domain
Located in the mountains of the same name on the smaller continent of Thoerir, Linodol is the youngest of the four dwarven domains. Worshipping Linodus, patron of crafts and artifices, the Linodol dwarves are ardent artisans, creating incredible artifacts of power and prestige around the world.
Government: Clandom
Ruler: Thane Borrak Everbeard, Everbeard Clan
Capital: Or Duum
Alignment: Lawful Good

Khazar Domain
Far to the north, in the great ice mountains of Yjarion, the arctic dwarves of Khazar dwell. Isolated from their kin by a frozen sea and desolate, icy wastes, the Khazar maintain connections only with the Ojyiar humans nearby. The Khazar are often considered barbarous by other dwarven nations, having devoted much of their effort toward mere survival instead of blacksmithing and other dwarven crafts.
Government: Clandom
Ruler: Thane Ererl Frosthammer
Capital: Bel Girn
Alignment: Chaotic Good

Avad Domain
Avad, located in the far northeast, even beyond the homeland of the elves, is the most mysterious of any dwarven domain. The Avad are thought to be partially Duergar, or Grey Dwarves. Regardless, the Avad dig deeper than and other dwarf, and have more magical prowess than any other domain. Whether they react to the current conflict remains to be seen.
Government: Clandom
Rulers: Thane Valrim Mistforge
Capital: Val Rak
Alignment: Chaotic Good

Noranus Domain
Originally an expedition from another domain, lost to time, the Noranus dwarves found Mithral in the southern mountains of Rheun. Forging a city there, they quickly became one of the most powerful domains in the world. They are, however, renowned for their greed but oddly strong adherence to law and honor. They also maintain one of the largest armies of any domain.
Government: Clandom
Ruler: Thane Varduk Goldaxe
Capital: Nol Girn
Alignment: Lawful Neutral

Racial Traits
Medium: As Medium creatures, dwarves have no special bonuses or penalties due to their size.
Human base land speed is 20 feet, but encumbrance does not modify this number.
Automatic Language: Common, Dwarven.
Bonus Languages: Giant, Gnome, Terran, Undercommon.
Stonecunning: Dwarves recieve +2 on Search, Spot, Appraise, Craft, and Climb checks related to stone or metal.
+1 racial bonus on attack rolls against reptilian and earth monsters.
+2 racial bonus on saving throws against poision, spells, and spell-like abilities.
Favored Class:
If the dwarf is from Linodol, Fighter or Cleric.
If the dwarf is from Khazar, Ranger or Barbarian.
If the dwarf is from Avad, Wizard or Sorcerer.
If the dwarf is from Noranus, Fighter.


The first race born of the deific conflict that would shape the world, elves were the first race to achieve mastery of magic and the first to cast it out. Born of blessed humans, the Light Elves were a race of magic and grace, but ultimately fragile and unstable. Their more mundane brethren, the Wood Elves, brought about their end long ago through conquest and mingling of bloodlines. Today, the Nine Elders Confederacy is lead by the descendants of that ancient race.

Elves can vary greatly, depending on their bloodline. Some, with Light blood in their veins, are boastful and even megalomaniacal, using magical powerfully and without thought to the consequences. Wood elves, however, are fearful of magic and the consequences it brings to the world, seeking the path of nature. They also lack the immodesty of their ancient cousins, seeking balance in all things.

Elves are a tall race, reaching 7 feet tall on average. The largest of elves reach 8 feet, though is quite uncommon. They also weigh comparatively little for their height, often less than 130 pounds. The defining trait of elves, however, is their longevity, which leaves them appearing eternally young. Even in old age, elves rare grow beards or become wrinkled. Their hair may turn grey, however.

Elves have the most interesting relations with their own kind, having feuded with one another since the world was but a rocky husk. Aside from this, Elves get along best with halflings, who share their love for nature but lack their magical affinity and haughtiness. Among humans, they feel little more than detachment. Dwarves and elves contrast so much that the two rarely coexist, though they have been known to dwell together. Gnomes inspire great distaste in the elves, who see them as little better than dwarves for their materialistic nature. Orcs are deeply despised by elves as a twisted design of a malevolent god.

Elves often reflect a chaotic alignment, refusing to abide by society's laws and restrictions. This is further reflected in their refusal unite with their brethren on a regular basis. Most elves are neutral with good tendencies, though the more unstable Light Elven descendants and their underground-dwelling Drow cousins can be quite evil.

Elves were originally quite dystheistic, casting out the gods as squabbling and corrupt. However, over years of arcane and divine study, the elves discovered the Light blood in their veins granted them lineage that connected them to the great celestials. One elf, a powerful wizard named Corellon Larethian, the only mortal to ever find the remnants of the Pillar of Planes, ascended to godhood by transferring this celestial essence across the planes. Rheus's Shield banished him from the mortal realm forevermore, however, and he now wanders the endless void of Planar Space, granting his blessing upon the elven people.

Elven adventurers usually seek to show other races the superiority of elvenkind, or at the very least to show them elves are just as good as they are. Preferring to work for their own ends, elves are usually leaders of adventuring parties or not in them at all.

Nine Elders Confederacy
Formed out the waring nation-states of the long-gone elvish dynasties, the Nine Elders and their descendants are commonly accepted to be the purest remnant of Light Elf left in the world, showing incredible magical strength.

2009-09-21, 06:17 PM
Final reserve. Post to your heart's content.