History of the world
The Elves say that the world was made by the Dragons(Specifically a green one named Maexneeninya), who in their loneliness and benevolence create their favored children(the Elves) and their mistakes(the Lizardfolk, aka the Ptobal). Humans, dwarves, halflings, orcs etc. came from the life emanations of these dragons as unintended wild creations. The Dragons created other children, bred purely for the protection of the world from beings called “Fiends”. The Elves, however, were made for companionship. The Green dragon Maexeeninya taught her Elf children art, science and language, and were kept safe on the Plateau, which the Elves called Elara-Kon(“Land of Elves”).
When Maexeeninya left to fight her nemesis Aphmelurrkonendos(the Red Dragon), the elves ventured off of the plateau despite her warnings against leaving their given home. Those brave few that left encountered humans, and they tried to nurture them as they were nurtured by their Dragon Mother. When Maexeeninya did not return, more elves became too curious to resist leaving the plateau to meet the humans. Time wore on, the humans became more cultured, and Maexeeninya returned to her nightmare: her children the Elves were wandering out into the dangerous world. In a fit of motherly rage, she conjured a barrier to keep the Elves in Elara-Kon, their plateau home. Any Elves caught outside the plateau were stranded, and in a further blast of rage, Maexeeninya took the draconic gifts from their bodies, leaving them soft and vulnerable to their mother’s magic breath.
The Orphans, as the exiled Elves started to call themselves, had harder and harder times of controlling the humans. They bred like wildfire, and were very industrious when motivated by curiosity or gain. The humans did not want to be treated as pets, however beloved. One night, things came to a head and a band of humans dragged a family of Elves out of their tower. The males were killed and the females were raped to death before they were repelled, and hid among like-minded humans.
As the Orphans held council about how to capture and punish the responsible humans, a lone woman entered the Chamber under Orphan guard. Her name was Ria. She appealed to the council’s wisdom, and warned them that this was just the beginning. She said the humans were not pets, and they would tolerate it no longer. She advised them to leave peacefully. After a skirmish two days later, the Council decided that the Orphans had failed in their nurturing of humans and unanimously voted to leave. The Orphans were sent off with provisions and polite goodbyes, as well as Ria’s hastily scrawled letter of thanks for giving the humans the gift of culture. A few enlightened Orphans remained with the humans, vowing to be equals in all things and calling themselves the Honored. The Orphans set off South-East, into the swampy forest that dominates the Southlands. They could not go west, because the humans had spread their civilization south into the swamp and west into the golden plains.
An age passed, and Maexeeninya never returned to the Elves of Elara-Kon. One day, the barrier faded away, and the Elves cautiously sent scouts south into human lands, north to the shore, east to the coast and west to the Neral Mountain Field. The humans, seeing these green scaly elves that their cultural history had forgotten, were enthralled by their appearance. After seeing their strength, powers, and gift for sorcery, the humans knew them to be demigods and worshipped them. The Elves were cautious now though, because they remembered the first elves who strayed out of Elara-Kon, and what had happened to them. None of them moved off of their Plateau, and they only spoke to the humans through ambassadors and appointed “holy men”.
The Present: Races and Peoples
ELVES: The Elves of Elara-Kon have a pleasant relationship with the humans below their plateau, recieving religious tribute and trade in return for nothing more than compassionate, approving noises. Some of the Honored whisper in their homes that the original elves are slipping into decadence.
The Honored Elves that persist to this day have done so by virtue of selected breeding to keep what’s left of their ancient bloodline pure. Each of the Honored were given rank, prestige and land by virtue of their “deific ancestry”. They reside in the human lands, and the Honored Houses have much power and influence.
The Orphan Elves were never seen or heard from again once they left the human lands.
HUMANS: ~60% of all humans are part of the Nation Elara-Kon-Mah(Land of Elves: Sons of). These humans are known as Bronzemen for their past use of bronze. Once steel and Iron were discovered, bronze became more of a symbol identity to the Bronzemen, and is relegated to use in standards and other decoration. The Bronzemen recently had to split their realm into two Provinces(led by Honored of course), Carthera(the south half) and Threece(the north half). This split was necessary to “facilitate proper infrastructure management”. The Bronzemen are very proud that they needed to do this and see it as a milestone in their glorious history of growth and mastery.
The other ~40% of humans moved west, and are known as the Mahki-Fuhrush(Magic Men in the Dangerous Plains). They left because they were exiled for saying the Elves were not Demigods. Many of the Honored followed these intellectual humans, and once their nation was founded, they delved into the study of magic. Presently, they keep to themselves and trade with the dwarves of the Ridge of Sorrow to the south. Thus, the Mahki Fuhrush are very well equipped, as are the dwarves of Sorrow Ridge. The Fuhrush are currently in a luke-warm war with the Mogol dwarves to the north; true battles are rare. Most clashes are between a squad of Fuhrush and a Mogol raiding party on snow elk.
BARBARIC RACES: The Orcs say that the world was created by the castings of a cannibalistic battle between the gods, and the Dragons were the vultures of the Astral that settled down to feast. The rest of the barbaric races agree with this, since is puts down the Dragons, Elves and Humans: three things they all agree to hate. Little in known of the Barbaric races’ origins, but they have been pushing northward and claiming new land since the beginning of time. The first clash between humans and the barbarians happened in the Bright Valley, and since that time the barbarians have slowly pushed the humans back as it became unfeasible to keep supplying Bronzemen towns under siege. The southernmost human settlement is called Rothyra, and is more garrison than town. Orcs, goblins, trolls, ogres, bugbears, gnolls and kobolds fall under the umbrella of the Barbaric Races. They are rarely politically unified, even by race.
DWARVES: The dwarves say that they were stones before the Brown Dragon gave them life. When the dwarves were blinded by the sun and chilled by snow and rain, the Brown Dragon gave his life to cover them with his protection. Thus the Ridge of Sorrow was created, and it has been the home of the dwarves ever since. Besides forays against the Barbaric races and some small cooperation with the Bronzemen and the Mahki-Fuhrush, the dwarves keep to themselves, and very few leave their Kingdom. They are led by King Endrin, though he is currently off on a foray. Crying is a statement of respect and passion for the dwarves, and is a popular form of expression among them. Dwarves cry often and with little provocation by human standards.
At an un-recorded point in history, a great number of dwarves struck out from the Ridge of Sorrow, moving north and settling in the harsh cold deserts. These dwarves became known as the Mogol, and is was not uncommon for them to steal into Bronzemen towns and carry off women to make their wives. Presently the raids have stopped due to Bronzemen military might, so the Mogol have been watching and waiting. They have been braver at the border with Mahki-Fuhrush, where there is a weaker military presence. By the time reinforcements get to these villages the battle is often concluded, and more often than not the Mogol win.
1/2LINGS AND GNOMES: 1/2lings and gnomes are islanders in the east of the known world, off the coast in the Amber Sea. To travel there means to pass through the barbarian infested swamp and sail the Amber Sea for two days. Their joint nation, called Gibble(their word for “laugh”), was founded when the two races first met on an island. After a brief and bloody war, they stopped fighting and joined together. The celebration feast was full of jokes and skits, and the two finally realized where their common ground lay: humor. This inspired their nation’s title. The two races are mostly content to fish their waters and live by the sea. The few that trade with the Bronzemen are adventuresome folks, much less complacent than the average Gibbler.
LIZARDFOLK: The lizardfolk existed under the tribal name Ptobal, meaning “Chosen”. Little is known about their civilization because it fell almost five hundred years ago. The current theory posed by researchers is that the Ptobal fell due to a combination of attacks by the Barbaric Races and political strife. Their ruins dot the swamp, which apparently used to be their realm, and show a tendency to cunning use of architecture which has inspired Bronzemen “inventions” such as the aqueduct, modern irrigation techniques and the island garden(The Gibble paid handsomely in goods for that technology). Presently, the Ptobal are a poor excuse for a remnant of their once glorious civilization. Their tribes are nomadic and warlike, and they see the barbarians as their blood enemy.
The role of Dragons Dragons play a special role in Kamelara. First, one must understand that each true dragon is unique; there is only one of them. They are also ageless as far as the Elves of Elara-Kon know, and theirs is the oldest known reckoning about such things. Some legends say that they are the source of magic, others that they are chosen servants of the gods. The whereabouts of the dragons is unknown, and only through rare sightings has there been any guess at how many remain. It is postulated that there is only the Green dragon Maexeeninya and the Red dragon Aphmelurrkonendos. It is also known that these dragons are at war. The children of the dragons are at large in the swamp, but have been pushed from civilization. Among the known dragonspawn are the feldrakes, harrowblades, firebelchers, and the tribal Arcaniss. These dragonspawn have no special emnity for one another.
Religion: Dragons are worshiped as gods by the Elves, but curiously that belief didn’t pass on to anyone else. The commonly worshiped gods are Pelor, Farlangdn, Boccob, and Imperius(LG crusader type). Garl Glittergold is worshiped to a lesser extent, but his clerics have never been very powerful, and occasionally a priest of Garl will turn mad. In southern Carthera at the swamp’s border, Pelor and Farlangdn are the most popular gods. There are roadside shrines to Farlangdn near every gate to every settlement here, and the Church of Pelor has a Sun Fane in every settlement as well. Temples to Boccob here are humble affairs, nothing like the Libraries farther north. The church of Imperius has been trying to gain a foothold in southern Carthera for decades, but have only succeded in leading the occasional foray against the barbarians. There is also a Cult of the Brown Dragon, a group of dwarves who have devoted their lives to protecting others like their Brown Dragon protected them. They are small, but gaining support in dwarven lands and in southern Carthera.
SPECIAL RULES ALL SPECIAL RULES ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE FOLLOWING GROUP DISCUSSION
ALIGNMENTS: Only outsiders have alignments. PCs should choose one to inspire their character’s actions, but that’s it. Therefore, alignment dependent spells will only work on outsiders(There may be a few declared exceptions).
SPELLS: The following spells and others to be declared in the future may not be chosen by PCs:
Prying Eyes, Greater
Resurrection spells (all)
Scrying & Greater Scrying
Word of Recall
Only one Spiritual Weapon may be active at a time.
Permanency can be used on any spell that the DM approves.
CLASSES: Only humans can be monks.
ROLE PLAYING: “say the words”: I will use this rule WITHOUT EXCEPTION. When you roll a social skill check, I will expect you to literally say what you want the NPC to hear. The roll will modify how the NPC interprets and responds to your words. Functionally, this will only force people to Role Play(RP). You still deserve to succeed if it’s possible and you roll well.
XP: I’d rather do away with it. 1 XP = 5 gold for the purposes of item creation and special spells. As a loose framework, I will have the PCs level up every 6 or 7 encounters. This will eliminate a lot of number crunching and be one less thing to keep track of, which is great for me.
RACIAL ABILITIES: The following changes will be made to the races due to my world’s cultural considerations and the DM’s preferences:
Dwarves: No +1 on attacks against orcs and goblinoids No +4 AC against Giant type creatures
Elves: No racial weapon proficiencies
Gnomes: No +1 on attacks against Kobolds and goblinoids No +4 AC against Giant type creatures The speak with animals spell-like ability now applies to ALL animals +2 to Profession(sailor) checks and profession(fisherman) checks
1/2 Elves: +2 CHA, -2 STR +2 bonus to all Wisdom-related skills +1 to will saves
1/2-lings: No +2 bonus on saves vs. fear No +1 to attack rolls with slings and thrown weapons No +2 bonus on jump checks +2 to Profession(sailor) checks and profession(fisherman) checks
1/2 Orcs and Humans: +1 to attacks vs. orcs & goblinoids +4 dodge AC against giant type creatures THIS BONUS ONLY APPLIES IF YOU ARE FROM LOWER CARTHERA PROVINCE
IF I LIMIT SOMETHING YOU ARE ALREADY COMMITTED TO, I WILL WORK WITH YOU TO RE-DO YOUR CHOICES AT NO COST TO YOU OR YOUR PC.