Well on the off chance that my group decides to move to 4E (unlikely at this point since everysingle one of them has said they don't want to, but minds could change between now and then) I will need to make a new setting (What info they have given us suggests my current setting just won't work, too many things are missing and too many things are incompatable with what I created)
The idea I am toying with now is this.
The world was divided between 4 great kingdoms, each pushing against each other for territory. Naturally they went to war and the world was plunged into chaos. Then one of the kingdoms (and it remains unknown which) unleashed a devastating magic. Some say they called a star down from the heavens to destroy one of the other three kingdoms. Regardless of what happened the world was shattered beyond recognition. 2 generations have passed and the world is now made of hundreds of small islands. Small kingdoms have grown up and exploration of the shattered world has begun. Strange stories of monsters and ships of black iron abound as small island kingdoms begin to rebuild lost empires.
Dose anyone else have the Seeds of their howmade 4E settings ready? If so lets hear them.
It is a pretty long backstory if I wrote it out completely so shall just do it point-form in chronological order (there are also things predating this, lost to the passing of time) The Beginning:
-Unknown beings, perhaps the once True Gods created the Worlds. These massive constructs blanket much of the multi-dimensional space within the centre of the universe. -Inside these Worlds life was held in stasis; the wind frozen, the animals still, the clouds never shifting. -Each of these Worlds were maintained and left in stasis by a "god-machine". -On one such World the barriers surrounding it broke, 6 Demiurge, or Angels as we would call them entered this World. They had for eons tried to master the art of World building in the Astral Sea; creating the towers hulks of stone and metal called Dominions. The Creation of Life and the City:
-The Angels wandered the land, each step they took undoing the precious balance that kept the World in stasis. -They soon found themselves wishing more of this World, they called upon the god-machine to grant them servants. Their prayers were answered; the beasts of the land were given the ability to speak and think but their animalistic nature did not wain. They became Prodigium; monsters. -Once more the called out to the god-machine. This time their prayers were answered kindly, the god-machine brought into being the Caelestis, the First-Children. -With their Caelestis, the Angels began to construct their City. It towered above the mountains and the oceans of the World, it grew mightier and mightier with the passing of time.
The Destruction of Reality and the Birth of the Pandoran:
-It is believed that the god-machine its abilities wanning began to experience malfunctions, one of these malfunctions would cost the Angels dearly. -The Caelestis one night heard in their mind a message from the god-machine. "No Light can Exist Which is Too Bright", the Caelestis took up the message. -The City ran knee deep in blood as the Caelestis rebelled the City cracked and shuddered and began to fall covering the World in ruins. -Out of this chaos, reality too fell creating in its place monstrosities; the Pandoran. -The Angels fled to die in the corners of the World.
The Way of Things:
-As the Caelestis wandered amongst the ruins of their city the Pandorans struck fearing anything created by the god-machine. -New cities began to arise out of the ruins, cities ruled by the Pandoran. Soon the Caelestis began to change, many found themselves grow older quicker or become less sensitive to the world around them. These were the first Humans or Ortus as the Caelestis call them. -Other races began to spawn from the very Flux of reality that spawned the Pandoran. Humans soon found themselves giving birth to Nefas, humans that weren't Human. -Pandorans rule over much of the World; commanding legions of Caelestis, Humans and Nefas under their banner. -Some Caelestis who remember try to resist in the backwaters of the World.
Qashmallim the Servants of the God-Machine:
-The god-machine as time passed began to construct for itself its own servants to bring the World back into its original form. These servants are the Qashmallim. -The Qashmallim spread across the World, their goals singular and precise. They lay and wait or wander and search for those that their goals require to meet. -Over time some Qashmallim grew corrupted by the Flux, created two orders of Qashmallim.
The Elipdos: Those that serve the god-machine and are commanded to bring about order and reality.
The Lilithium: Those corrupted by the Flux and only serve themselves and wish to maintain the World as is.
-Some Caelestis saw blindly the Lilithium as the servants of the god-machine and grew corrupt and tainted, becoming the twisted and debauched Atratus. Who live underground in the Subterraneus.
The Passage of Reality:
There are those that for whatever reason or quirk of fate are different then normal men. These people are those that have the ability, knowingly or unknowingly to change the Reality of this World with each step they take.
Most do not reach this, having taking a "mis-step" in fate and leading them off this path.
Some however, like the PCs are not so fortunate, they are the agents of change. Both those that wish it and don't seek their attention and powers, it is up to the PCs to decide which path they take.
I am actually starting differently than normal. I am attempting to design it like the "Greenbriar" articles in Dungeon.
Basically I am trying to design the starting town and a few surrounding places and I will branch out from there as need be. It is a totally different approach and I haven't done much yet. Only time will tell how it works out.
In the beginning there were the gods, and the gods did what they wished. The two brothers, Mathyrus and Obimorte, were always quarreling, and in their latest scuff, their excess magic combined, mixing together, and creating the world. This world, which we call Otia, developed life from the radiating arcane magics. Animals, magic beasts, and even some unintelligent aberration rose and roamed the world.
That's when the mother goddess, Iterna, found Otia and took it into her arms. She created many races and creatures, but the elves were her most prize possession.
Over the decades, the other gods took notice of Iterna's new children and their world. This is how many of the other races were created. However, most notably, the humans had yet to be brought into the world, but Betris, the goddess of balance and equality, created a race that would become known as the Immortals.
Time passed again, and the Immortal gain greater and greater power. It seemed that the longer they lived, the greater they become. Soon enough, their empires reached across all of Otia and their very existence threatened the authority of the gods as they made ventures into the chaotic elemental plane, reaching their empire even further.
The gods then held their divine courts and decided that the Immortals must be destroyed. Thus, a genocide had begun. The Immortals began to live in fear and everyday millions of them died. Their empires shrunk and whithered until only a handful of Immortals remained.
These Immortals fled to the planes, where they hid for centuries, running from the gods as the world of Otia rebuilt itself. Betris returned and created another race to replace her lost children, they were the humans.
Then the Immortals stroke. They created a hole in the planes that allowed them into Grimel's, the god of vile magic and undeath, sanctuary. Her the Immortal Jakiv lured him from his safety and the remaining Immortals struck him done, killing him.
Grimel's life faded and his body fell to the earth from the heavens, leaving areas of enormous magical radiation. In these places the creatures became perverse, more so than they were before and several aberrations were created, but one creature stood out above all. The Illithids were born.
A century of horror then occurred as the rest of the mortals races were enslaved and their brains devoured. But, as the terror reached its climax, portals opened to Otia from another plane. Out poured the army of the Daelkyr, created by the savage god Izon to be his personal army. It seemed that in the gods' focus on destroying the remaining Immortals, they had left their evilest of all siblings to his own devices, and boy was that a mistake.
Now the Mind Flayers and the Daelkyr waged war on each other. The Daelkyr demanded the extinction of all races not created by Izon and the Illithids simply couldn't allow their superior race to be destroyed, and nether could they allow there mortal slaves, which were their source of food and reproduction, to be destroyed.
Half a century of even greater horrors ensued as war raged between the two horrible races. Eventually, however, the Mind Flayers were able to win, locking the Daelkyr away deep in the earth. Unfortunately, the war had decimated the Illithids, leaving only a small number left. Thus, a new age of restoration for all the beings of Otia begun.
Since then, many empires have risen and fallen, but no event so tragic as genocide or the interplanar conflict has occurred, and those events that had happened were forgotten from the world.
All the creatures of the world know now is that Otia is rich with magic, with many pockets of Wild Magic, which cause the mutation of normal creatures into aberrations and the like, and that there are two divine factions, the Ancients and the Immortals, and they are at war with each other. __________________________________
I liked the idea of having a lot of aberrations in my campaign world, and am even in the process of working on a 0 LA aberration template for PCs tainted by Wild Magic areas (but I'll have to edit it when 4e comes out). You'll also notice that I included the Daelkyr from eberron...well...I like 'em. I combine a lot of different campaign settings into this one.
I plan on taking all the (16-20+) PCs and running them through a series of apocolyptic games in the next couple months before 4th edition. The world will be destroyed with the PCs spending there last moments of time gathering the magic and ingrediants to construct a series of magical shields to save as much of the worlds population as possible. The shields will last for a couple thousand years before dropping to give enough time for even the longest lived of races to pass through a few generations. The population of the world will exit to find that monsters and some of the more evil of races have prospered while they where in hideing since the disaster had ended before the projected times.
The world is now shrouded in darkness but for the few groups of people saved by the PCs back in 3.5 . As a side effect there seems to be a new race of Dragonkin the remnents of the once mighty dragons that stories once told of mutated and weakend down to mere humanish form by the disaster.
I Like how this lets me carry on the previous history created by the PCs in the world. While giving a reasonable reason why none of the old PCs are around anymore to much time has passed. It offers an interesting place to have the Dragonkin apear from, and I will probley just have tieflings be humans that where left out of the shelters and tainted by the evil that the world has now become. It does a reasonable job of shifting my current Law and Order world into the new Point of Light concept the game is built on now.
PS. I am a terrible speller and bad at grammer so apoligies here in advance
Also known as Elfin kin, The Eladrin, Elves, and Drow were once one race. Some of their history is detailed in the Tome of the Sovereign, depicting their involvement in the Fall. The rest is spun from legends pass around the evening fire. Today, the three races are quite distinct from one another, with variants spread around the world.
Tribes of the South The high society of the Second Empire is home to the Eladrin. They pursue “noble” affairs with their long lives, typically delving into long studies of magic
Tribes of the North Across the northern reaches of Valtoria live tribes of the proud and savage Nordic Elves. Typically of blond or red hair and pale skin, these people are willing to brave the icy waters of the Nordic Sea for trade or conquest. They are also a curious people, willing to explore places that no one else would dare to tread.
Tribes of the Forest In the deep forests of middle Valtoria live the highly elusive forest elves. While intrigued by the more interesting aspects of the shorter-lived humans, they tend to lack interest in higher learning and find mechanics to be abrasive.
Tribes of the West From a region known on the mainland as the Cursed Isles come the drow. While most drow live in small tribal villages, some have taken to the sea as pirates or emigrated from their homeland to the continent in search of a better life.
The Savage Races Since the defeat of the Hoards of the East several hundred years before, goblinoids west side of the undying lands have lost much of their original culture. With the exception of the young mountain nation of Theurghime, they have integrated themselves into the lower echelon of human society.
Goblins have discovered that they have a bit of a technical knack, with a dangerous lack of concern involving their personal safety when working with machinery, chemicals, or just about anything. Bugbears are little more than brutes, and serve as hired muscle. Hobgoblins have proven themselves to be quite nefarious, and equally as intelligent as their human counter-parts.
The roles these races play in human society are very similar to the roles they played before their defeat. Hobgoblins are masterminds and excellent warriors, bugbears are subservient muscle heads, and goblins do the dirty work, ignorant of the fact that they are being kicked around by everyone.
Orcs In contrast, Orcs are more or less antique farm equipment. They work the land as unskilled peasants, typically within the reaches of the Second Empire.
Dragonborn Another race of the Cursed Isles is the dragonborn. These lesser kin of dragons have their reputations “saved” due to the racial conflicts they have with drow and teiflings.
Teiflings A race of devilish appearance from the Cursed Isles, in the far past they were once human. When the continent that the Cursed Isles were once a part of vanished in cataclysmic destruction, the humans left in these lands were forever twisted into their current forms.
The Little People Dwarves, Halflings, and Gnomes are spread around the realms of Valtoria. Gnomes are uncommon, due to the fact that they often forget to think things through. It doesn’t turn out to be a very good survival trait. Halfling gypsies roam about largely in the safety of the Second Empire. Their race is rarely found in the cooler climates.
Most of the dwarves around Valtoria are involved with corporate affairs. They are business men, with companies that span many nations. You won’t find shaggy, unkempt beards on these dwarfs. Often shopkeepers and business owners, a dwarf is always on the lookout for a good deal or investment. If one finds the right dwarf, almost any undertaking can receive investment, so long as the possible reward is high.
The Big Folk Giant folk are rare, but clans still live in the wilds of Aderant and Corverant. Some of these Big Folk have moved in with the more tolerant areas of human society, with their skills in construction fetching a hefty price.
The Mechanicals The last war between Aderant and Corverant ended with the collapse of Corverant as a charismatic warforge by the name of Crucible led his people in a revolt. Without the warforge, Corverant had no army to fight or secure their people, leaving them open to attack from raiders, monsters, and enemy forces.
Crucible, known also as the Lord of Blades, has fortified a new stronghold in northern Corverant. His people built their new home on the ruins of a stronghold of the First Empire.
The warforge as a race are located either in or around Corverant or in Aderant. In Aderant, the warforge are still seen as property – both by them and their owners. The scale of the usage of warforge in Aderant is not nearly as massive as what Corverant used. More common is the use of Iron Giants. They are typically powered by bound fire elements and steam engines and are typically used for heavy labor. While not as common outside of Aderant, these construct are finding themselves further and further abroad.
Races of Shadow Shifters come from the Undying Lands, while Changelings largely appear within the Second Empire. The origins of both seem linked to ancient and forbidden experiments.
Theurghime This is a small goblinoid nation tucked away between Aderrant and the Second Empire nestled within the Western Mountains. It was founded when many of remnants of the Goblinoid Hoard were chased out of the broken remains of the Second Empire.
Theurghime’s government is set up much like the tribal system sported by the original hoard with a blending of traditions picked up from nearby kingdoms. At it’s head is the Khan, a hobgoblin in charge of keeping and maintaining order. With the tribes shattered, he considered not only king but head of the family.
The poor soil of Theurghime makes for lousy farming, yet grasses grow in the mountainous terrain that are excellent for raising livestock.
Hobgobins maintain a strong sense of identity and tradition, despite changing from a nomadic society to a settled society. They are craftsmen, warriors, and breeders. In nearby societies it is not unusual for a hob to be hired to run a noble’s stables or as an organizer of guardsmen. Dwarfs enjoy hiring them as they make honest, intelligent employees and excellent foremen.
Goblins are highly curious and lacking in a decent sense of self-preservation. This has attracted them to the study of the mechanical, the magical, and the alchemical. Typically goblins are found in ghettos, whether human or hob, if only because they have lousy personal hygiene. They have an overall lack of concern towards each other. Combined with the fact other races more or less kick them around (something that doesn’t apparently bother them), it’s not uncommon for a dead goblin to turn up with nobody to care about it.
The Cursed Isles Several sizable islands lie to the west of Valtoria. This lawless region is filled with wild magic and strange creatures. The races of the cursed isles are somewhat varied. Native to this land are the Tieflings, Dragonborn, and Drow. Other races that live here are often criminals fleeing from more civilized lands. As such, it is a dangerous place.
Rumor has it that there are great ruins in these isles from a civilization apart from the First and Second Empires. Folklore persists that the Cursed Isles were once a much greater land, destroyed in a cataclysm that sank it beneath the waves.
Today, Dragonborn and Tieflings can be found in Aderrant as well as a few other nations. While there are certainly stigmas against there races, Aderrant’s general racial tolerance allows them to live their lives in relative peace.
Corverant The northern-most nation on the continent, Corverant is much smaller than it used to be. Much of it’s army was once composed of (“nazi”Warforged, who walked off the battlefield at the behest of the charismatic Crucible, the Lord of Blades.
Aderrant Between everything is the nation of Aderrant. To the west and across the sea lies the Cursed Isles. To the north lies its formal rival Corverant and untamed wilderness. To the east lie the undying lands. To the southeast lies Theurghime and several other smaller nations divide it from the remainder of the Second Empire to the southeast.
Aderrant is a nation of commerce, inter-racial environments, and technological achievement. With the collapse of much of Corverant, its formal rival, it has been left as the most technologically advanced nation in Valtoria.
The First Empire The most ancient ruins around Valtoria belong to the First Empire, a nation that spanned the continent in eons past. Little is remembered about this empire, other than if one is lucky, ancient and advanced magical and technological wonders can be found in places that have remained untouched for millennia.
The Second Empire This nation once spanned the length and breath of Valtoria, only to be largely sundered by the arrival of the goblinoid hoard. After the event that created the Undying Lands, many of the current nations of Valtoria declared independence and set up their own kingdoms.
The Undying Lands When the armies of the Second Empire clashed against the goblinoid hoards, they were crushed. The sheer amount of death caused the Shadowfell to manifest itself that day, with the recently slain brought back to life. Flanked by the now undead army whose living selves had fallen, the hoard was destroyed. After this great battle, the manifested zone remained. Now, undead lords rule this nation that bridges the realm of life and death.
Now I need to refine this a bit, detail the Church of the Sovereign, and work out a Creation/Fall story...