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Thread: Terra Chronos

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    Orc in the Playground
    Citrakayah's Avatar

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    Oct 2014

    Default Terra Chronos

    Our world is ancient, and the universe itself is far older. It is pure folly to believe that the current age is the first one, that we are the dawn of intelligent life. Ancient civilizations have risen and fallen over the eons... and incredibly ancient creatures and organizations remain, some dating back to the dawn of time itself.

    In the face of such facts, it is easy to give up, to assume that we are powerless. Our civilizations are squalling infants compared to the ancient titans. "Surely we cannot deal on equal terms to them!" one might say.

    That is also pure folly.

    Terra Chronos is a campaign setting I am currently developing for a Pathfinder campaign I'm running. It takes place on an alternate Earth, albeit one with very significant changes (for instance, the collapse of a massive caldera in southern Africa resulted in an area completely cut-off from the rest of the planet, and there are also Turtles of Unusual Size.).

    The biggest difference, though, is the presence of various archetypes of reality. These Archetypes each represent part of the universe: light, darkness, thievery, assassination, and mallard ducks are all examples. Personalities vary greatly (Light and Darkness partnered together to rule a kingdom in Australia a few hundred years back), but all Archetypes desire to have what they are exist. If, for example, all mallards died, and any particularly important mental images of mallards that people had were forgotten and wiped from the records, the Archetype of Mallards would become mortal. If you can then kill Mallard, mallards aren't coming back. Ever.

    Unfortunately for the universe, when (some of, since Archetypes of species obviously didn't exist before the species did) the Archetypes, at the beginning of time, inhabited one city, they engaged in a civil war, since they had competing ideas of what the universe's fundamental building blocks and forces should be. The losers were sealed away, and probability itself was altered to keep them from escaping. They, nor what they represent, are no longer present in the universe.

    Because of this, the Archetypes that were sealed away have a powerful grudge. No longer do they wish to merely take part in the shaping of the universe--they wish to destroy their enemies. This would have fatal consequences--or worse--for every single living being in the universe.

    Of the remaining Archetypes, some concern themselves with alignments and some do not. Those that do not are generally only interested in promoting themselves; Hydrogen merely wants there to be more hydrogen. Despite what these Archetypes might say, they do have alignments... which are usually neutral at best.

    There was very nearly another civil war, until all parties made a pact: They would not use their full power directly, to avoid causing unacceptable collateral damage. Instead, they would use low-powered avatars, and work through intermediaries. The only exception was in the case of attack by Outside; in this case all would join forces and use their full abilities to fight against the invaders.

    The focus of the campaign (which the players don't really know yet) is preventing seven of the archetypes of reality from bringing other planets swinging past Earth in the hopes that they'll make Earth more like the planet in question. They will do this by using one of seven orbs (air, fire, earth, metal, water, ice, and plant), each of which corresponds to a continent (North America, Australia, Africa, Europe, Asia, Antarctica, and South America respectively), and a planet (I am going to try to avoid using magic in the design of the planets, and creating my own plausible alien life; I've already gotten a decent amount done on the plant planet, which I'm calling Rix).

    Eventually, the PCs will have traveled across the globe.

    Unfortunately, this is my first campaign, which means I'm inexperienced. Therefore, I'm creating this thread to receive feedback, and any assistance that anyone wishes to provide.

    The campaign is starting in Australia, so that's where my worldbuilding is starting.

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    Orc in the Playground
    Citrakayah's Avatar

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    Oct 2014

    Default Re: Terra Chronos


    Australia, or, as everyone in the world calls it, the Dreamlands, is a fairly unusual continent. Not only does it share the unusual flora, fauna, and geographical features of our world, but it is widely considered one of the most confusing continents to unprepared outsiders due to the presence of Dreamtime.*

    Civilizations in the area are mostly human-dominated... but due to the nature of Australia, a great many other species can be found in isolated groups. The other major species in the area are seedlings.


    Dreamtime is a sort of spirit world demiplane, where dreams span multiple realities and times. Past, present, and future blur together, which means that one can encounter beings from thousands of years in the future and dinosaurs in the same small area. Unfortunately for any would-be time travelers, it's basically impossible to tell what is from the future and what is from another reality's future, and it's even harder to travel anyplace beyond your own world. Even getting to other places in your own world is difficult. The dreams of Dreamtime are wild and chaotic, and predicting them is impossible no matter how complex your divining methods are, because the very act of divining disturbs Dreamtime. Instead, navigation relies on intuition--one must follow their sense of déjà vu.

    The dreams and songs of all creatures, past, present, and future, have combined in Dreamtime. But Dreamtime resonates most strongly in Australia, which has led to it being called the Dreamlands. There is a reason for this--Australia is from Dreamtime.

    A few million years after the extinction of the dinosaurs, a region of Dreamtime experienced an unprecedented event. Iku-Roa, a dreaming god, slept fitfully, and his sleeping mind was thrust into Dreamtime by an immense psychic disturbance of unknown cause. As his spirit-form thrashed in confusion, his reality-warping powers brought the area around him into its present location. However, even the powers of a god cannot fully remove the dreamlike quality of Australia. Because of that, not only is a section of Dreamtime a reflection of Australia, Australia is influenced by Dreamtime.

    Australia still experiences "fuzzy time." Changes made in the right way are applied retroactively, but everyone's original memories are kept in addition to the new memories. That being said, the original memories are more like the memories of watching a movie than anything else--they don't quite seem genuine.

    This doesn't happen often--only gods can do it--but it is impossible to alter the past in any other sort of way.

    [expansion of Dreamtime]

    Notes and Concepts:
    1. For the most part, Australia is devoid of fae. However, the legends of the mimi could prove to be an interesting addition, and I'd like to add them.
    2. Arrows. Arrowheads like these and these are pretty cool, and I would like to have specific rocks, when knapped and infused with magic, be both unbreakable and have specific effects. Opal, I have decided, should be sacred to the Rainbow Serpent--it is his shed scales.

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