A Monster for Every Season: Summer 2
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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Pixie in the Playground

    Join Date
    Aug 2021

    Default The world of Meridiania a homebrewed setting with a decade long evolution

    Hello there!, new member here, thought I'd both ask advise and post some of the really expansive stuff I've been creating ever since I said the fateful words:

    "If nobody wants to DM, I suppose I could do it. Though it will be the first time."
    So... a decade later and I think I haven't DMed for a total of about three months during this period. But I do enjoy it.

    Since the start I built by own custom world, slowly, piece by piece. It started in 4E, but it jumped to 5E some years ago, and I've probably had well over two dozen PCs shape it with their shenanigans.

    So, with the Covid quarantine, I got more free time than I was used to for the past three years and I started thinking of how by world ended up the way it did - from an in-universe historical view that is. Of course that spawned several months of writing.

    Ever since the beginning I always thought that a whole world was big enough for many more things than most source books have. So my approach was basically "everything and the kitchen sink". There are regions of the world borrowing from Dark Suns, the Sword Coast is on a subtropical subcontinent, the largest empire in the world has a lot of Eberron inspired arcanotech, etc.

    I would really like to eventually put out an actual source book, though I have little notion on how I would go about doing it.

    For now though, and for anyone interested, here is the EXTREMELY abbreviated timeline of the last three thousand years of this world that I've created.

    Also link to a map right at the end of this timeline, just for reference, you know, in case anyone is bonkers enough to read through!

    Timeline: link 1 link 2 (pdf)
    World map (massive)

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Ogre in the Playground

    Join Date
    Mar 2015

    Default Re: The world of Meridiania a homebrewed setting with a decade long evolution

    I haven't had time to read through much, just wanted to say this is an impressive amount of content. Well done!

    Regarding putting together a sourcebook, the only thing I can think is to abstract out some of your timeline. Put some room for interpretation in there, unless a specific event or fact is really important to lock down.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Pixie in the Playground

    Join Date
    Aug 2021

    Default Re: The world of Meridiania a homebrewed setting with a decade long evolution

    Quote Originally Posted by EggKookoo View Post
    I haven't had time to read through much, just wanted to say this is an impressive amount of content. Well done!

    Regarding putting together a sourcebook, the only thing I can think is to abstract out some of your timeline. Put some room for interpretation in there, unless a specific event or fact is really important to lock down.
    Thank you! Though I am currently laughing as I'm about to explain. While I was writing this, my latest group got a tradition going of reading through and reacting to the latest additions to the document. A near universal question was for more details! To which I replied exactly as you wrote! If I put everything in, then there is no room for interpretation!

    I obviously agree this is an unwieldy document that couldn't possibly go in a source book as is.

    So, I'll just put up for now a couple of lore pieces from in-universe perspectives that I wrote over the years for my players' benefit.

    About druids:
    The Disciples of the Old Faith
    Reference sources on the Ancient Druidic Traditions
    by Decius Valerius Scipio, Curator of the Imperial Library of Argenta
    The fifth of Starfall, five hundred forty five of the Imperial Age

    Under the auspices of his Imperial Majesty Gniuso Festiusin Musylva, his lordship
    Galerius Firminus, senator of the people of Aselalia Praant, has commissioned this work, as
    a guide to imperial envoys in their dealings with the primal traditions and practices of
    several cultures of the world.

    A major part of the research is based upon the writings of captain Gaius Caepio
    during his years of captivity in the hands of the Hrodgeir rebels. As such this document
    begins with his account, specifically his conversation on the subject with Borthomar
    Giantsbane, a druid of great influence in that rebellion.

    “[...] and though the rebels agreed that I was an imperial observer on the situation
    unfolding for the past years in Hrodgeir they refused to release me. Instead I was brought
    blindfolded into a northern camp hidden inside the wooded valleys of the Glittertind
    mountain range, though I never managed to fathom my exact locations. My wounds
    treated I was left for the most part to my own devices, with the occasional visit from one
    rebel chief or another asking questions pertaining the involvement of our empire to the
    Hrodgeir leadership; questions that I refused to answer on account of my principles.
    After almost a week I was given the freedom of the camp, but no more. I quickly
    realized that it served as a hospital for the various rebel groups and was guarded by bears
    and wolves and strange diminutive creatures, the size and shape of halflings, but with
    elvish features on their oversized heads, and wild orange hair obviously dyed and kept
    pointing at the sky, with excessive use of animal fat. These fur wearing, battleaxe
    wielding barbarians all answered to the leader of this camp, a mul by the name
    It was with him that I managed to build a friendship over the years, though his wild
    ways were off-putting at first. And though he seemed as wild and barbaric as his
    diminutive cohorts, he was in fact a well travelled man that had trekked across the world
    and even in the Feywild, in search of balance, before the affairs closer at home put an end
    to his journeys.
    Once he warmed up to me he talked at length of his adventures in far off places, and
    the reasons he was set on this path at a young age, as a means to control the curse of
    lycanthropy he was afflicted with. Of particular interest were his descriptions of the Old
    Faith and the way the various Druidic circles communicate and congregate over long
    periods of time and great distances.

    According to Borthomar, the Old Faith has a very rich oral tradition, but little of it
    is written down, but rather passed from master to initiate. Their history spans millennia,
    and the Druidic circles claim to be older than the organized worship of the divines. Whether
    this is true or not I cannot say; their practices though seem to indicate their origin long
    before civilisation took hold in the hearts of men.
    The Druidic circles are varied, each focusing on some specific aspect of the
    relationship of nature and thinking people, yet all sharing a common goal of maintaining
    balance in the world. Yet, this isn't a creed like that of our own church of Bahamut, but
    rather a set of ideals that promote the coexistence with nature. It is hard to completely
    grasp what each circle is exactly about; it certainly is something that is inherited from
    master to initiate, but the teachings of each are so esoteric that only people fully immersed
    their whole lives in them would comprehend.

    Borthomar found his master a druid belonging to the circle of the Shepherd in the
    Feywild at a young age as he was seeking ways to control his curse. He was chosen as an
    initiate along with several other, and it is my understanding that this was normal,
    though only very few would succeed in mastering their druidcraft. It is possible that other
    master might choose their initiates differently; that is something that is more than
    possible, considering the isolation of druids.

    Yet, for all their separatism and isolation, there are several traditions and meetings
    that have carried down across millennia to this day. There are four yearly celebrations,
    Imbolc on the day of Winter's Solstice, Beltane on the day of the Spring Equinox,
    Lughnasadh on the day of the Summer Solstice, and Samhain on the day of the Autumn
    Equinox. If possible, druids that leave in relative closeness together gather upon these days
    along with their initiates, or if they have some standing with the local community lead
    the locals in ritual celebrations.

    There is however a gathering every seven years; preparations for the event start well
    over a year in advance, with animal messengers sent out to inform fellow druids of the
    location it would be held. Those that can attend do so and that often means traveling for
    months to attend. It is a week long ritual of renewal and meditation that gathers
    hundreds, if not thousands of druids. The gathering, Ceilidh as is known, is a massive event
    for druidic circles, as it is the main way that the dispersed druids keep in touch with one
    another and learn of the concerns of other druids. It is also a time where new initiates are
    chosen and often time initiates are exchanged.

    Borthomar also talked at length the two Ceilidhs he attended, one as an initiate and
    one as a druid during his time in the Feywild. When asked about the location he refused to
    answer, only saying that it was not the same and it never is, nor that it is always in the
    Feywild. He then went ahead to talk about his adventures with Havoc company and the
    liberation of Tal en'Sul [...]”

    About piracy:
    Excerpt from Bloody Waters
    “Bloody Waters: Piracy in Middle Ocean & the Sea of Bones”,
    by Plato Puglisi, published 560 IA

    […] The chaos prevalent in these affairs came to an end with the
    rise of captain Shil Yargo, who with the monetary support of House
    Dreygu of Deliverance, took control of several disparate pirate groups
    and in the year 512 IA defeated Swordhorn's Raiders, capturing the
    flagship of the raiding and slaving fleet and expelling them from the
    island. And though order was established, piracy went on, this time
    under the near exclusive control of Shil Yargo, who brutally
    punished those that broke his rules or didn't pay their tithes to him.

    His chance to further establish himself came later that year,
    with the Rysnen empire's invasion of Giant's Peninsula. Though the
    details of the agreement remain shrouded in mystery, Shil Yargo and
    his crews gained pardons for past offences, in return for their services
    in the war. Though the blockade of occupied Stormreach proved of
    little worth and was broken easily, Shil Yargo utilised the open ended
    Letters of Marque he received to continue attacking ships under
    banner of the golden phoenix for a decade, establishing himself as a
    pirate king.

    However, this golden decade came to an abrupt halt when the
    empire, tired of the loss of trade in the region, sent a small flotilla to
    deal with the situation, a flotilla commanded by none other than
    inarguably the best military commander in the world at the time;
    Lucresia Imscari. And the mere fact that Shil Yargo managed to
    maintain his life and control of his pirate fief for all the decades past
    that crisis is a testament to his sharp mind and even sharper skinning
    blades. [...]

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