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Author Topic: World Lore  (Read 2038 times)

Balgin Stondraeg

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World Lore
« on: May 20, 2007, 12:36:05 AM »

Glossary Of terms

Accord, the great
: A binding agreement between all Gods that saw them retreat from the planes of the mortal races that they had fashioned and cease in direct interference with their creations. The Gods still indirectly manipulate affairs in the world by having their minions guide the hands of mortals, often testing the terms of the Accord to their limit. One of the instrumental aspects of the Accord is that a God cannot arbitrarily destroy the major creation of another God. They must 'work around' that which they wish to oppose using their talents for creation.

Aedrinia: A famous Elven woman who has become part of Human folklore. She is involved in a number of epic stories, some true, some gross exaggerations of the real tales. She is supposed to have sailed to the Holy Glade in ages past and dwells in peace.

Dorvin: Small island north of Guardian that supports a rural community with a simple lifestyle.

Drechanon: A large kingdom on the west coastline of the Greater Inner Sea. It shares borders with Sard, Elkia and the Northlands. It is a heavily forested region and was once part of the Elven Kingdoms before the Twilight Years. Some isolated groups of Elves and Half Elves exist in small communities in the deeper woods, away from the settlements of Men.

Drechanon's main export is lumber and it has established a thriving industry along its river and lake system that is the main network of transportation. Barges and riverboats outnumber carts and carriages in Drechanon. There are few major roadways, other than those in the south, built by the Sardellan Empire, when it invaded Drechanon 700 years ago. The country is rich and it is well known that the influential Guilds rule in Drechanon and not the petty Kings. It has been this way since the merchants banded together to hire mercenaries to oust the Sardellan forces during the decline of the Empire. Ever since then, the royal and noble families have had to accept the senior guildsmen having equal status in the land, since they pay the mercenary armies that serve Drechanon. A wise Elkian general once said, "The key to conquering Drechanon is to buy her army and set it loose upon its former owner".

The capitol city is Medhera, a large port at the mouth of the Drissada River.

Elkia: One of two Kingdoms that once founded the mighty Sardellan Empire, Elkia is a theocracy ruled by the Lord Protector. This is a position usually appointed from within the annual council of the Divine Trinity (the Churches of Ormocea, Esmia and Siritar) who effectively dominate religious and political affairs in Elkia. They are a benevolent regime who tolerate most other religions also having established churches throughout their country.

Elkia prides itself on the quality of the goods it produces. Its architecture, its craftsmanship in steel, glass and pottery and its fine wines and cheeses are all examples of its excellence. The best swords in the world can be found in the weapon-shops of Denhaven, where the master-smiths forge the finest steel from the best raw materials that can be found.

The country is constantly on the defense against its rival, Sard, and numerous border skirmishes take place in the north, near the border with Drechanon. The capital is Denhaven, that is situated on the shores of the Lesser Inner Sea. It is a city of opulence, with a rich military history. Its fortifications are legendary, its walls being over 40' in height and being constructed so that four men can walk abreast upon her battlements.

Esmia: (The Goddess of Unfettered Tears, The Lady of Unrelenting Compassion, She Who Weeps Silver Tears). Esmia is the principal deity associated with the healing arts and has a strong following throughout the world, particularly amongst the poorer classes. Esmian temples usually have a hospice attached to the chapel and the services of Esmian healers is charged according to the means of those who seek their services.

Esmia is depicted as a middle-aged woman of a loving demeanor, often seen cradling a child or tending a sick farmer.

The Church of Esmia is split into two Orders, the Silver Tear (which concentrates on the healing arts) and the Relenting Hand (a martial order of monks who act as guardians of the Church). The religion preaches pacifism, however the nature of the world in times gone by resulted in the rise of the Relenting Hand as defenders of the faith.

The clerical robes consist of a simple white, sleeveless robe. Senior members of the Church (male and female) shave their heads and wear a white cloth skull-cap. The holy symbol of the Church is a teardrop. The holy water of the church heals 1d4 points of damage and radiates a pale blue light in the presence of Undead.

It is considered unlucky to bring harm to an Esmian.

Goblinkind: A collective term for the humanoid races that have banded together against the Elves. They include orcs, goblins, trolls, bugbears, gnolls and the like)

Great Inner Sea: A large area of sea, surrounded by four realms of Men and the last remaining Elven Kingdom. In the south, it has one narrow point of access to the open seas via the Passage of Thungar. A great amount of merchant traffic flows back and forth across the Greater Inner Sea.

Gurthor: (The Dweller in the Fathomless Deep, The Sea-Lord, The King of the Six Seas). Gurthor is often seen as a humanoid figure with a head resembling that of a great octopus. His other incarnation is that of a massive black whale.

He is a God worshipped by sailors of all cultures and the greatest temples to Gurthor are always found in port cities. The clergy generate most of their income from the powerful maritime guilds and ship-builders, who pay handsomely for blessings upon each voyage and at the launchings of each new vessel. Clerics wear a distinctive deep blue or green robe, reminiscent of the sea and their regalia consists of many assorted sea-creatures, their holy symbol being a scallop shell.

Many sailors of the Greater Inner Sea wear Gurthor's Token about one leg. This is a length of cord, strung with some shells and blessed by the Church. If a sailor falls overboard, the token is supposed to tell the denizens of the sea that the unfortunate is one of Gurthor's protected followers.

Harsemia: The exotic desert land of the south that once had an Empire that rivalled Sardell. Their customs and beliefs are often at odds with northerners. They are great traders and deal in spice, oils, gold and unusual foods.

High Lords: A collective title for the Gods (Human).

Holy Glade: The Elven afterlife. Being blessed with long-life, the Elves were provided with the knowledge of how to reach the afterlife from the physical world. In this way, if they grew weary of life, they could sail to the Holy Glade, ahead of their time.

Keljac: An ancient desert tribe of Harsemia who reject the 'soft life style' of those who live in more fertile lands. They are fierce warriors and skilled in many forgotten arts.

Leezeria: The last remaining Kingdom of the Elves, jealously guarded against intrusion by Men, in the west, and Goblinkind, in the east. A beautiful land of endless forests and sweeping mountains that has remained relatively untouched throughout the ages.

Medhera: The capital city of Drechanon. It is a seaport based on the western shores of the Greater Inner Sea.

Merdathian Maelstrom: A never-ending cyclone that sweeps the great southern oceans, appearing and disappearing with no rhyme or reason. At its heart is the portal to the Unending Sea and thereby lies the path to Holy Glade, the Elven afterlife, where Elves dwell in both physical and spiritual forms.

Ormocea: The Arbitrator of the Gods, God of Law. Ormocea was elevated to the position of 'arbitrator' to resolve the disputes between the Gods that arose in the primal era of experimentation that predates the Twilight Years. The Gods surrendered the secrets of their powers to Ormocea so that he could make the Great Accord, a set of principles to which they would be bound to forever after.

Pale Lady: A Human name for Sirrith.

Phelltar: (The Maker, The Mother of Mortals, The Faceless Goddess). Phelltar is one of the few gods actively worshipped by Men and Elves. The Goddess adopts a featureless female humanoid form. Her skin is like quicksilver and reflects the face of everyone who looks upon her. Thus, the Phelltarian saying, "To gaze upon the face of the Maker is to look into your own soul".

Phelltar is attributed with being the most adept of the Gods at creation and, at the pinnacle of his craft, he made the races of Men and the Elves (the latter, being a more perfect form of the former). Jealousy of Phelltar's skills in making the lesser races, led to the Great Schism of the High Lords, a civil war of the Gods. During this war, Phelltar's Rune of Making was stolen for a time, and many 'imitations' of Phelltar's craft were made by other Gods.

But for ages untold Phelltar has been revered amongst Men and Elves as their creator. Two distinct orders arose, being the Human and Elven chapters of the religion, but both draw their philosophy from the same doctrine - a creed that says how you define your life is a reflection of what you can expect in the afterlife.

The worship of Phelltar is, by far the most popular, amongst those countries that border the Greater Inner Sea. Clerics of the Phelltar wear no distinctive robe of office except their holy symbol (a small rectangular mirror or piece of polished steel) and the holy rune of Phelltar tattooed upon their brow.

*Port Lyrie: A human port based on the western extremity of Leezeria. The Elves allow the human population to dwell here and it acts as their main point of contact and trade with mankind.

Redemption: The second chance for the lesser races. A period in history when the dark ages following the Passing of the Gods ended with the discovery of the Books of Law. Before this, the world was plunged into an unmeasured age of barbarism.

Rune of Making: A powerful creative force that can be used to define the shape of sentient life. The Goddess Phelltar was the master of the Rune and created Humans. She later made the more perfect and durable Elves before the Rune was stolen and its secrets given to other divine beings less skilled that Phelltar.

Sard: A country to the west of Elkia, once part of the founding kingdoms of the Sardellan Empire. It has beautiful but rugged landscape and is rich in mineral resources. Most known metals and gems can be found throughout its mountainous regions.

After the collapse of the Empire, Sard returned to a form of feudalism, whereby land was held by the powerful noble houses and the Church of Trezkillian. There was no monarch but a council formed from representatives of the great houses who appointed a Chancellor from their ranks as ruler. The capital of Sard is Gablehead, a picturesque city built on the lower reaches of Mount Hardain.

Sarkoshian Ocean: The great southern ocean, swept by many storms and the home of many perils. The legendary Merdathian Maelstrom periodically forms here and there across these waters.

Seven Wells, The: Part of a process mastered by some of the more adept of the Gods when they need to draw power that will be used in their most potent creations; notably those that will be more resilient to other Gods. Divine Power is broken into seven major components of creativity - the four base elements of fire, earth, air, water, combined with the tools of spirit, shadow and construct.

Usually Divine Power is channeled using a blend of some or all of these. By breaking down this power into its seven primal forces, a God can interact with these raw building blocks at a more primordial level, devising creations that are far more stronger than anything made by their normal means of channeling power. The process of constructing the Seven Wells is lengthy and tiresome (even to Gods) and has not been used since Twilight Years.

Siritar: Son of the God Ormocea, the Champion of the Just Sword. Siritar is a warrior deity; one of the Holy Trinity.

Sirrith: (Goddess of the Undead, The Pale Lady, Queen of Death). Appearing as a gaunt woman with long black hair and a skull crowned with ram's horns, Sirrith is a outcast from the world, imprisoned in her realm of Shadowland for her part in stealing the Rune of Making.

She hated Phelltar for making the lesser races and detests the Elves most of all. Her prison of Shadowland lies in the Undending Sea as a trap to lure Elves seeking the serenity of the Holy Glade, the Elven afterlife.

Her priesthood is a clandestine cult that is barely tolerated, at best, in most civilized regions. They are known to defile graveyards to obtain recently dead corpses that they instill with a basic life force so they serve the Church. Clerics of Sirrith wear their priestly costumes only at their secret ceremonies. They consist of a hooded robe divided black and white down the center and a skull-mask. Their holy symbol is a miniature upside-down man.

Blood has special significance in the religion. It contains the life force that feeds the power of Sirrith.

Shadow, The: A Human term for the forces that give life to the Undead, the antithesis of that which promotes life amongst the mortal races.

Starlit Sea: A major body of water said to be located in the Holy Glade, the Elven afterlife.

Sweetgourd: Squash like vegetable native to Guardian Island.

Tarimth: (The Lost God, The Emperor of the Stars, The Seer of Heaven). Tarimth is husband to Phelltar and is principally worshipped by the Elves, although there is some limited Human followings in Drechanon. He is depicted as a tall Elven figure and has three aspects - the patron of the arts, the creator of the stars and the heavenly seer.

Seeing the Elves driven almost to extinction, Tarimth broke the Accord of the High Lords that barred the Gods from direct intervention in the affairs of the world. In saving his Children, he was punished never to look upon the world again and was cast into the outer Void. Here he made the stars and it is through these that he sends messages to his true followers.

The clergy of Tarimth are devoted to the art of astrology and they perceive the readings that they make in the night sky to be the word of Tarimth, the Lost God, whom they believe will one day find his way back to the world. Clerics dress in dark blue or black with glittering stones sewn into the shoulders and breasts of their attire (often is the shape of the major constellations. The holy symbol is a black disk with wings.

Tarimthol-Irl: Ancient city of the Elves. This is the only major permanent settlement in Leezeria other than the Elven fortifications in the east. It is a walled city that still makes great use of the forest that it encompasses.

The city has only ever come under threat once in its long history. According to the Elven scholar, Fardenmir, in the year 3814 (Elven Calendar), the city came under siege by Goblinkind armies led by a dark sorcerer from the east. The Goblikind were repulsed after two weeks of bitter fighting but little is mentioned about the fate of their leader. The Elvenking Pelentine was slain at the battle.                          

Tempest: A city state based on a small cluster of islands in the middle of the Greater Inner Sea. Its important location has made it the center of commerce between the ports on the Greater Inner Sea.

The Northlands: A cold northern land of tundra, populated by migratory tribes of fearsome nomads. These people use longboats to raid shipping in the Greater Inner Sea. They worshipped Dragons in ages past and decorate their bodies, weapons and boats in draconic symbols.

Theydori: (The Keeper of Hidden Knowledge, He Who Understands All, The Sage of Sages). The religion of Theydori is devoted to the collection, restoration and archive of ancient arcane, artistic and historical knowledge, lost when the Gods declared that the greater part of such knowledge should be removed from the lesser races.

Theydori, whose task it was to collect the forbidden knowledge from the physical world, is said to have left clues and riddles to his followers, scattered throughout their lands. In this way, Theydori hoped that his Church would grow wise in their understanding of the Hidden Knowledge and would use it only as directed by the doctrines and philosophies of his teachings.
Theydori is not usually represented in the murals of the Church. He is an enigma represented by a casket containing the answers to the dilemmas of the mortal races and a Scroll that holds all the questions yet to be asked. Theydori's three mortal daughters, who gave the world written languages and mathematics, are usually depicted instead.

Clerical dress consists of a maroon robe, trimmed in gray leather. An ornamental skull-cap of hardened leather is worn by senior priests. The holy symbol of the church is a black cube on which a hand (palm outwards) is depicted.

Tween-World: Human term for the gaps in existence between one plane and the next. Tween-worlds are spatial conduits that join two points in space and time. They tend to take on varying forms, usually adopting something that looks like the geography of the two points that they connect. For example, the Unending Sea is a tween-world connecting the Merdathian Maelstrom to the Starlit Sea in the Holy Glade, hence the Tween-world takes on the form of a vast ocean.

Twilight Years: The time when the Gods began to remove themselves from the world but still communicated regularly with the lesser races.

Unending Sea: The 'tween-world' that separates the physical plane of existence from the Elven paradise of the Holy Glade. It appears as a vast endless Ocean under a twilight sky.

*Uushai: An ancient race that the Gods are supposed to have left as custodians of the world, when they departed. There is evidence of their existence in many ancient ruins but nobody knows what happened to them.

Void: A term for the nothingness that is located outside of planar existence.
« Last Edit: March 30, 2012, 06:25:21 PM by Balgin Stondraeg »

Balgin Stondraeg

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Re: World Lore
« Reply #1 on: May 20, 2007, 01:15:34 AM »

Gods & Domains

Esmia Healing, Good, Law
Ormocea Good, Law, Protection
Phelltar Air, Knowledge, Luck
Theydori Knowledge, Trickery, Magic Travel

That's just from one of the appendices to the first half of the adventure (yes, it's a two parter). If there's any gods in the glossary not on that list then I'm happy to assign them domains. I'm also willing to expand upon the current ones a bit if need be.

Balgin Stondraeg

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Re: World Lore
« Reply #2 on: May 27, 2007, 11:41:40 PM »

Name changes made today:

Char Endl has become The Northlands.
Llan has become Drechanon (Dre as in dreg, ch as in loch and anon as in annon).
Quorrul has become Medhera (med as in medic, he as in head and ra as in camera)

Port Lyrie still needs a change.
« Last Edit: May 27, 2007, 11:46:01 PM by Balgin Stondraeg »

Balgin Stondraeg

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Re: World Lore
« Reply #3 on: August 21, 2007, 05:06:25 PM »


Y'sira has become Harsemia (Har Sem Eea)
« Last Edit: September 24, 2007, 06:09:05 PM by Balgin Stondraeg »