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View Full Version : Prospera, my original homebrew world



atomicpenguin
2013-03-05, 04:23 PM
This is a homebrew campaign that I just started running. Its not the most original setting out there and there are some parts that are not-so-subtly stolen from other sources, but it was kind of a rush job for a friend who really wanted to be a player for a change. Thought I'd post a synopsis for posterity. I have also drafted separate pantheons (based mostly on DnD 4th's pantheon) for each playable race.

Prospera: an original fantasy campaign

Geography: Prospera is a "nation" in the sense that it is a large part of a continent that is naturally separated from the rest of the land mass. It is a large tract of land, containing multiple biomes within it, but on the whole the climate is similar to the southern United States. Summers are warm and winters, while they can be cold, will rarely see snowfall and only in small amounts. The northernmost parts of Prospera will typically see some snow, though it is rare to see it in small amounts unless you are higher in the mountains. Prospera is surrounded to the East, South, and West with ocean and the Northern border is effectively walled off from the rest of the continent by a mountain range that travels from the Western border to the Eastern one.

History: The story of Prospera actually doesn't begin in Prospera. Rather, it begins to the North of the mountains with a race know as the Elden. The Elden were a race gifted with the ability to use arcane magic. Every Elden child is born with the aptitude to use at least basic arcane magic. Because of this, the Elden society flourished and the Elden overcame many problems by using magic to make such problems non-issues. This society developed into a thriving Magocracy/Kingdom, with the Elden king ruling over all of the Elden.
However, magic, which developed in many ways like science does for us, was not constrained by morals. It was simply something that no one had ever thought necessary. And, in time, a child was born by the name of Vysyrs the Mad. The official story is that Vysyrs was a bad egg and the story is frequently told with added elements, such as that Vysyrs was born under a blood moon or that animals fled from him. However, if you get an Olken very drunk and away from any Edlen ears, he might tell you that, in truth, Vysyrs was no more evil than the average Elden. Rather, he simply is the byproduct of a society that emphasizes progress without morality. Regardless of his motives, Vysyrs was a master of arcane magic and eventually attempted to create a ritual that would allow the caster to become immortal. This ritual was a masterwork of arcane design and scientific application, but it required the power of a god to properly fuel it. And so Vysyrs called upon the Raven Queen (Dnd 4th's death goddess) and asked her to free him from death. But the Raven Queen cares only for making sure that the cycle of life and death remains pure and untouched and so she spurned him. Not to be disheartened, Vysyrs then turned to Vecna (Dnd's god of secrets, evil and magic), who was more than happy to grant Vysyrs this boon.
And through this ritual, Vysyrs became the first vampire. Vampires in this world behave similarly to how vampire typically do. They are hurt by fire, radiant power, and sunlight and must drink the blood of mortals to live. They are deathless, powerful, and heal quickly. As well, through a minor effort of will, a vampire that has bitten a mortal can turn said mortal into a vampire. This does not work on animals; only mortal races. As well, these vampires are little more than animals, knowing only how to feed, kill, and turn mortals into more vampires. By this point, Vysyrs had decided to conquer the Elden kingdom and thus he needed more intelligent minds to run his army of vampires. So Vysyrs created a ritual that could make vampires like him, still capable of thinking and planning. And Vysyrs used this ritual to create his thirteen generals.
The war that ensued as vast and bloody in a way that no one had ever seen before and, to their credit, the Elden fought back valiantly. But the fact was that their enemy was not only undying, but their ranks swelled every time an Elden soldier fell in battle. And so it was inevitable that the Elden would flee. The move to the south began with scouts and refugees, but eventually became a full retreat through the mountains and into Prospera, with many leaving their homes and many possessions behind.
Eventually, the displaced Elden encountered the Olken, the race of men that had lived in Prospera for centuries. Without the aptitude for arcane magic that the Elden had, the Olken had to learn how to work with the land and thus they progressed from a tribal society to a thriving agrarian democracy. Their lives were simple and static, rarely changing with the turn of the seasons, and the Olken preferred it this way. And when the two races met, there were some misunderstandings, which lead to minor skirmishes. But eventually the races calmed down and peace talks began. At these talks, it was decided that the Olken would ally themselves with the Elden and strengthen their ranks with the strongest Olken warriors. And so the war continued.
This new chapter in the war was fought largely in the mountains. Sometimes the vampires would push into Prospera and sometimes the Elden would push back into their homeland, but for the most part the battles were contained to the mountains themselves. During this period, the Elden were attempting to reconstruct their society. However, having seen what magic could do, most Elden were too scared to use the arcane magic that was their birthright. And so these Elden relied heavily on the knowledge of the Olken to fill the gaps that magic had left.
Meanwhile, the war was long and hard and it was apparent that, without some sort of miracle, the Elden and Olken would eventually lose and be destroyed. That miracle came on what is now known in the Elden calendar as the Day of Tehlu. On this day, in every city and town in Prospera, a new race of beings appeared in a flash of light. This race, known as the Celestials, came into being fully formed as adults. Celestials have no recollection of their birth or anything before the original Day of Tehlu and were all born with the same thought instinctually known in their minds: that the Celestials were cerated by the god Tehlu to do Tehlu's bidding. This was considered odd since no one, not even the Celestials themselves, had heard of a "Tehlu" before this point and no one had seen evidence of his existence, unlike the other gods of Prospera who make themselves known. Regardless, the Celestials found out about the war and, seeing that the other side was clearly evil, decided to ally themselves with the Olken and Elden forces.
The Celestials provided the necessary push that the Elden forces needed. The Celestials were clearly designed for combat and together they pushed the vampires far beyond the mountains. Then, through a combination of the most advanced arcane learnings of the Elden and the sheer divine power of the Celestials, a mighty ritual was performed that created a magical barrier that to this day runs along the mountain range. This barrier is higher than any point currently reachable and runs all the way across the land and into the ocean on either side. Several ships have been sent to determine where the barrier ends and if it is possible to travel North, but none have returned to present their findings. And thus the war ended.
Now in peacetime, there were a great many questions that the Elden needed to answer now that Prospera was their home. The Celestials made their problems simple: they saw no reason to swear fealty to anyone but Tehlu and thus asked for their own lands on which to build their cities. They asked to remain independent from the other races and generally to be left to their own devices. In return, the Celestials would remain allies of the Olken and Elden and come to help them should the need ever arise. To these terms, the Elden king agreed.
As for the Olken, their society had long since become merged with the Elden society. In the beginning, their leaders shared power under this alliance. But as the war drew on, it became more and more simple to grant power to the Elden crown and, by the end of the war, all Olken swore fealty to the Elden king and were subject to his laws. In present time, all that remains of the Olken presence in politics is the Olken council, a council under the Elden king's domain whose sole purpose is to keep the king aware of Olken customs and practices in order to prevent cultural misunderstandings.
As well, arcane magic was a question to be answered. While many were afraid of using magic during the war, after the war ended many eventually decided that they wanted to use magic again. Bowing to public opinion, the Elden king decided that magic would only be practiced by a council of magical researchers and no one else. However, eventually the Elden people wanted their magic back and the Elden king made it legal for all citizens to use magic, though he also drafted a list of forbidden magical practices known as the Black Magic Accords. This list, which was once quite long, was shortened over time due to the wills of the people and in its present state is very short, containing amongst its few entries necromancy and attempting to become immortal. As well, several players in Elden politics wish for these practices to be removed as well and, while they do not have the power to bring this about yet, their influence is growing.
The Olken were considered equals back in the days of the war. However, as the Olken lost more and more political power to the Elden and the Elden slowly regained their magic, the public opinion changed. Nowadays, Olken are compared to a horse from a farm. The horse is important and can do many tasks that a man cannot, but is the horse considered equal to the farmer? For this reason, many Elden openly discriminate against Olken and, while this sort of practice is still condemned by Elden law, many Elden guards will turn a blind eye to this sort of behavior. As well, it was eventually decided by the Elden that the ignorant Olken could not be trusted with arcane magic, citing concerns that an Olken in his ignorance might accidentally become the next Vysyrs the Mad. Thus, Olken are not allowed to practice magic by Elden Law.
Lastly, five of Vysyrs' generals were trapped on the Prospera side of the wall. These generals still carried a fervor for Vysyrs and his cause that can only be called zealotry, but without military support they were quickly found and put down. However, rumors abound that vampires still exist in Prospera, secretly stealing people away and subjugating them into Vysyrs' army. In present day, these concerns are considered the fodder of children's stories and the paranoid.

Politics: The Olken political system began with simple tribal leaders. However, as time wore on and the Olken sought to unite under one governing body, they created a form of representative democracy. At the head would be the matriarch, who concerns herself with harvests, celebrations, and other peacetime matters, and the patriarch, who concerns himself with defending the Olken from beasts and monsters and keeping the peace amongst the villages. Every Olken village was run by a lordling of sorts who would represent his/her village in a form of congress, where issues would be fully debated by lordlings before the matriarch and patriarch would together make a decision. Matriarchs and Patriarchs would serve until death, whereupon the lordlings would elect a replacement by majority vote. As well, while the apparent gender roles for the matriarch and patriarch were commonly followed, it was also not unheard of to have a male Matriarch or a female Patriarch. Also, the Matriarch and Patriarch were rarely a couple, each having their own spouses.
However, the Olken political system slowly dissolved after coming into contact with the Elden. While the system still exists, the matriarch and patriarch are little more than figureheads now. Instead, all Elden and Olken submit to the Elden king. The Elden king comes from a line of magic users that was considered to be the greatest in all the land and the title of king is passed down to the firstborn son of the last king. However, if the firstborn son is found to be deficient in magical ability, the title is passed to the next in line. There are Lords and such within the political system that have the king's ear, but ultimately the system is a monarchy and the king has final say over everything.
The Celestials have a very loose system of government, consisting only of a council of Celestials whose job is to maintain the independent Celestial communities. Problems between Celestials rarely come up and for this reason no one has ever seen the need for a powerful government or judicial system

The Races:
The Olken are the native race of Prospera. They are a largely agrarian race that specialize in farming and hunting. They are very well-versed in how to work with the land and this expertise comes out in their crops, which are typically large and bountiful. The Olken are a wise race more than an intelligent one and Olken are comfortable with routine and tradition. The Olken are also a stoic race and tend to respond to problems by shouldering the hardship and working through it until the problem is gone.
The Elden are not natives, but after over a millennium they also consider Prospera to be their home, which no one but the most Elden-hating Olken contests. Their society is adept in magic and thus the Elden typically solve their problems with magic. As a result, the Elden typically devote themselves to academic pursuits, artistic trades, and other high forms of culture. The Elden are not typically accustomed to hard labor and shy away from such jobs.
The Celestials are by far the most complex race in Prospera. As a race, the Celestials are very logical and appear to not have any emotions. This is actually untrue. Celestials possess emotions, but their logical outlook causes these emotions to be very physically restrained (think Dr. Manhattan). As well, all Celestials have wings and can fly. All Celetials are also immortal, in that they do not age or get sick (at least with any known disease). Celestials can still die, but only from wounds. Celestials also require little food or water to survive. Because of this, Celestial occupations usually include soldiers, philosophers, or logicians.

atomicpenguin
2013-03-05, 04:24 PM
I also created a mythological origin story for the Olken known as the Eddas Prospera.