Friday, October 16, 2015

Fendojon Part 1: Races and Broad Strokes

Last week (was it last week?) I spoke about some rough ideas I had for a campaign with my 5th Edition group. I'd like to continue that with some more ideas. They may be a little different than some of the things I spoke of last week here on the blog. At one point I had a name I like for this campaign/continent, but then I forgot it. The new name is Fendojon (fend-oh-jon). Like many of the things in my campaign world, the name has meaning. Raise your hand if you remember why Hekinoe is called Hekinoe. Forget? Never knew? It's because the folder I was originally throwing things into on my computer as I was building this campaign world was called Heck If I Know. Moving along.

The history of this little continent gets interesting around what those of us from The Known World would call 8000 DK. At this time, Fendojon would be around late Stone Age/early Bronze Age level societies. It's a relatively small and flat continent almost cut in half by a large mountain range. There are forests and lakes and rivers and so on. The main races of this time are the Humans and the Buillon. At this time there is no magic whatsoever in Fendojon.

At this point I'm going to switch away from the 8000 DK (8000 years since the destruction of Kalesmar) time stamp and switch to the 0 CN (0 years since the coming of the Numen) time stamp. This is because at 0 SK the Sorcerer Kings come to Fendojon. Legends speak of great upheaval across the land, but centered mostly in the northeast of the continent. A decades long summer heat scorches the land into desert and wasteland, the earth cracks, lava surges up from the ground to form sharp edged mountains in the northeast. During this time tribes of Buillon and Humans flee to the southwest through the mountains in the middle of the continent.

With them they bring tales of the nine Numen kings and their iron keeps, their twenty-seven lords and ladies, and their eighteen knights. They collect and share these tales and form a tapestry of words about a mythic time of immortal creatures, mighty iron fortresses, and powers that twist and warp the landscape and elements. The Buillon and the various human tribes settle in the southwest chunk of the continent, expand, and proliferate. Eventually the nine Sorcerer Kings become known: Rakios Blackheart, Sokenvel Oakbow, Vargath Firetusk, Kelliel of the Bloody Grin, Quickhatch,Yellow Eyed Skathis, Blacktooth the Thirsty, Calien the Weeper, and Howling Strigi.

Over several hundred years everything settles the fuck down on Fendojon and the Human and Buillon tribes shape themselves into kingdoms and inch into the iron age while all the craziness settles down in the northwest. Over the next few hundred years the northwest seems to reshape itself into something similar to what it used to look like, mostly flat, forests, planes, rivers, lakes, no crazy volcanic formations, etc. The nine Numen remain remote and unapproachable but their knights, lords, and ladies make their presence known, as does their magic. The magic of the Numen seems to flow out across the landscape. It reshapes it, soaks into plants and animals and people.

It gets really really bad. It's hard to cut down a forest that is encroaching on your village if that forest is the most powerful Druid on the continent. A pack of super big wolves whose howls can shatter the earth with sonic force can't be fought. Anyway. The land ends up getting blanketed in magical energy and it looks like everything but the Buillon and Humans can use it. It gets really hard to survive in this supernaturally fecund continent. Pacts are made. Eighteen of the most powerful human tribal leaders make overtures of fealty and loyalty to the Numen and their agents. They become the Sorcerer Kings and build mighty keeps of iron and stone in the mountains bisecting he continent. With the power of the Numen infusing them, they eventually found ways to confine all this magical energy to the northeastern portion of Fendojon with artifacts called Iron Obelisks. This spikes drew the magical energy of the Numen up into the mountains, decreasing the amount that flowed into the the southwestern portion of the continent.

We fast forward to 2000 CN. The Sorcerer Kings have been long dead, their keeps abandoned and empty. The Numen still remain remote, the lords and ladies less so, and the knights less so. The northeast portion of the continent is a wild place of storms and violently magical energies and creatures.

In the southwest we have four human kingdoms, one major Buillon kingdom. In the inhospitable mountains in between we have ancient keeps full of magic and loot. We've reached Medieval Age technology and whatnot. Humans have developed the ability to interact with and command the magical energy that leaks into the southwest. Buillon have been found to be completely unable to do so. This is about races, so lets discuss races.

Humans in his campaign will all use the variant human from the PHB. They gain a feat, a skill proficiency, and +1 to two different ability scores. I may decide that one of those ability bonus will depend on the nation they are affiliated with. So like the warrior culture nation has one as a +1 Strength bonus, the educated nation has one of them as a +1 to Intelligence, etc. The broad strokes for the nations are a warrior culture nation, a rich merchant nation, a freedom loving border nation back right up against the middle mountains, and a magocracy type nation. The Buillon are going to be Goliaths, but replace their natural athlete, stone's endurance, and mountain born racial traits with advantage on all saving throws vs. magic. They are also completely unable to use magic. Like they can carry and wield magic items that don't require magical ability to use, but they can't ever cast spells or use magical abilities like a Druid's ability to shapeshift. I guess they could take levels in those classes, but it seems like it would be rather on the stupid side to do so.

So that's some rough outlines of the races and a little bit of historical set up for this campaign setting. I'll probably continue with some other stuff on the blog here to help me organize my thoughts. We'll see.

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