- 1 Gahal
- 2 Galeria
- 3 Tribal Regions
- 4 Wilderness of Galeria
Gahal is a planet that is mainly covered by water. It has two large land masses that stretch between the two poles, aptly named the Eastern and Western Pillars. Their landscapes are vibrant and lush, with extreme seasons that allow for nature to burgeon without limit. Gahal is orbited by two moons: a pale blue moon by the name of Saldrus, and an equally large, deep yellow moon by the name of Khaiv. Each moon is visible for 10 consecutive days out of 20 days per month, and the full moon of Saldrus informs the beginning of a new month. Khaiv’s full moon is on the 11th of each month.
In present day, its history is written in two Eras, the Era of Prosperity, the Era of Hope, and a transitionary period between them known as the Revoclysm. It is understood that intelligent life has existed on Gahal for a couple million years, though the dawn of the Era of Prosperity is defined by the introduction of conscious magical use by intelligent life. It is unknown when exactly this happened, and thus unknown how long exactly the Era of Prosperity lasted, but people agree it to be at least 50,000 years. During the Era of Prosperity, the intelligent beings of Gahal had both magical affinity and magical prowess, with different factions boasting different natural talents. With little reason for conflict, cooperation between factions resulted in never-before-seen technological and societal advancements.
The end of the Era of Prosperity marks the beginning of the Revoclysm. On the first day of the Revoclysm, the Gods showed themselves and spoke to all beings on the planet. None of the retellings of the encounter agree on what was said, likely due to the ten thousand plus years that have passed since then. During the encounter, the ability for Gahall life to consciously manipulate magic was stripped away to nothing, leaving infrastructures defunct and civilizations in shambles. The details of what happened directly afterwards are unknown, but everyone understands it was a monumental tragedy. Additionally, after the first day, magical anomalies in the environment began to appear. These explosions of raw magical energy and random magical effects became to be known as Calamities. They appear frequently, always cause extreme havoc, and have a strong tendency to appear near civilizations, yielding devastating results to any organized settlements. With life already crippled by magic deprivation, nothing was ready for a hazard this relentless. The result is that little to no written record has survived from that time. The Revoclysm lasted fifteen years, and by the end of it, a tenth of the intelligent life population remained. All the races that had previously cooperated were now at war with one-another, despite the severe losses on all sides. The beginning of the Era of Hope marks the end of the fall of sentient life. The Era was ushered in 14,930 years ago due to the discovery of two major classes of items. The first are known as Vestiges and the second are known as The Balance. Vestiges remove the only major obstacle to creating an organized civilization like a settlement or city. They stop the appearance of Calamities in an area around them. Their strengths vary wildly and while one Vestige might cover a small city, another might only cover a small village. In the present day, little is known to the public about what Vestiges actually look like, given how coveted they are. Through counting rumors and surviving settlements, it is estimated that there are slightly less than 200 Vestiges in the present day. It is unknown how many were originally discovered. The second class of Era-defining items are The Balance. They are relics of the Gods that grant their wielders unbridled magical power. They were supposedly given to Gahal as a means of balancing out the revocation of magic, hence their name. Their wielders are known as The Grand. The Grand are the only life capable of casting arcane magic. There are exactly 14 of these relics, each one bearing the name of a God and granting powers appropriate for that God. See the Balance section for detailed informations about the present day Grand. The new-found ability to settle gave the surviving life a chance to stabilize. Although now they had an even more important resource to wage war over. At this point, a race to form allegiances begun, with most choosing to cooperate and rebuild society. The presence of Calamities has introduced an abundance of new environmental events, and life, to Gahal. This includes new races whose allegiances are often still not known. They are called the Unclassified Races. Some time during the early days of the Era of Hope, the stability of resettling allowed time for research. Through this research, and the efforts of the Grand, the discovery of divine magic occurred.
Because of this, we implore you to respect the noninvolvement edict.
Nobody was able to interact with arcane magic except for the Grand, but they were able to perform divine magic if they devoted themselves to one of the Gods that appeared in the Revoclysm. Often, this involved studying underneath the corresponding Grand for that God, resulting in a large Church structure with 14 orders. The ability for common people to access divine magic had a profound effect on the stability of the broken civilizations, and the Church’s religion came to be known as the Truth. The Truth’s control of almost all settlements from an early stage was a profound success, and they became unquestionable. Their unquestionable status was supported by the actual appearance of the Gods. There was nothing to question. The city that was home to the Truth’s base of operations became a bastion of hope: Cradle, in the continent of Galeria.
[] In the present day, the majority of land on the two Pillars is not habitable. Named continents denote connected areas of habitable land, where civilizations are forced to live. Galeria is one such continent, and houses the largest remaining civilization of Humans, in the city of Cradle. Galeria also boasts a long history of a wide variety of other thriving races. Many legends and myths either relate to or speak of landmarks in Galeria. Whether this is a product of a localized civilization, or if Galeria was in fact a legendary location in the past, is unclear. The majority of the Balance are found there, and it has a high density of Vestiges. It is evident that Galeria is special in some regard. This fact also explains the current dominance of the Truth in present society. There are few civilizations that are not controlled by the Truth. Those that are not, are considered at war with the Truth and thus, at war with Civilized society. The Truth does not control the wilderness.
The wilderness is anything that is outside the area of a Vestige, usually anything outside of any city walls. In the wilderness, numerous bands of raiders and nomadic tribes struggle to survive. Some tribes have embraced the relentless dangers of wilderness and choose to live as nomads. Other tribes covet the safety of a city Vestige, and coordinate to siege cities. Then they turn on each other when the city runs out of supplies. Eventually, some people are driven out of the city and back into the wild, where they must fend, and perhaps return more powerful in order to retake their home.
In Galeria, there is a constant battle between civilization and wilderness. Furthermore, there is conflict between the civilizations and within the wilderness themselves.
Cradle is the hub of modern civilizations. Despite humans being the dominant race in Cradle, all races are represented in some capacity. Including the likes of Elves and Orcs. The three cities that make up Cradle are the home to the Church of Truth, and the throne of the King.
Grand King Emmet Reeve is a Grand, and the King of Cradle. He is a human of 199 years of age, and has been King for 150 years. The previous King also lived to be unnaturally old, causing rumors of a curse or blessing that is bound to the throne.
As the previous King’s General, Sir Reeve united a divided Church and pushed back the ever-advancing Elves in a series of wars dubbed the Campaign of Unified Truth. Despite resulting in the death of an Undine, and the creation of the Bridge of Lost Souls, the wars were extreme successes. Upon his return to Cradle, he overthrew the King.
Since Grand King Reeve’s reign, he has significantly expanded both Cradle, and the influence of Truth. This was achieved by focusing on controlling as many Vestiges as possible. Cradle would negotiate with external settlements, providing open trade, and troops to protect and help expand. In exchange, the settlements avowed themselves to Cradle and the Truth, becoming dependent territories.
Londailin & Halnora
Londailin is the Elven capital. It lies in the jungle North of the Windfjör; its exact whereabouts unknown.
The Elves have waged war on civilization since the Revoclysm. While they are no longer magical in nature, they have retained their heightened senses, large builds, and long life spans. They make for formidable warriors, and the death of an Elf is an extremely rare sight.
During a period of strife between the orders of Truth, the Elves managed to kill a Grand and seize the Balance of Cowardice. The newfound advantage allowed them to consistently press the front.
Eventually, King Reeve’s offensive with a unified church routed the Elven efforts and killed thousands. In the process, the Elves awakened a new strength of the Balance of Cowardice. The result is the Bridge of Lost Souls. What was previously a stretch of land holy to the Elves, was now a defiled battlefield of eternal damnation.
Halnora is the Elven fortress at the vanguard of the Bridge, and it has been unmoving for hundreds of years. There are some things that Cradle can’t conquer.
Nestle consists of three individual settlements: Falk Bay, Hope, and Tief. In an unprecedented act of cooperation between settlements, the three cities settled in the same region at the same time. Together, they cleared the area of any threatening tribes or bandits. The strategic locations allowed each settlement to compliment the other, and their cooperation allowed the region to thrive. Because of this resilient stability, the cities chose to not avow themselves to the Truth. This was especially concerning to Cradle because for three new settlements to show up at the same time, there must be Vestiges to support them. The Truth had a few of their small raid parties thwarted by the troops of Falk Bay, and so never mounted a large-scale assault.
Things became slightly complicated a year ago, when Tief was struck by a Calamity that caused every living being in the city to be fused with a demon. The Truth teaches that any intelligently-controlled, non-divine magic is pure sin and punishable by death. Tieflings were by extension, inherently illegal. The Truth made an attempt to sack Tief, but the Tiefguard expelled them handedly; it was clear an extended siege would leave both sides with significant casualties.
Mayor Edmund constantly negotiates a delicate truce. Tief needs the Truth’s aide in the wake of the Calamity, and they need to not be designated a Calamity Containment Zone, which would cut off all access & trade. In exchange for avowing Tief to the Truth, they are granted their requests. Now, Tieflings are deemed illegal, and their activity beyond Tief is logged.
Since then, Tief has used its neutral standing to become a magical haven. They have been experimenting with new magics, resulting in intrigued parties finding a forum of like-minded individuals.
Very recently, Tief’s Mayor Edmund went missing.
Zir, the City of Shifting Sands
Zir is the name of the desert tundras between the Elfwode and the Orclands. Zir is also the name of the magical city within these steppes: the City of Shifting Sands. The city switches its location in Zir every few days. How this happens is only explained by its namesake, and there are no witness accounts of the process. The city was previously controlled by Elves, and used as an outpost and barrier to the Orclands. In recent history, there are rumors of an Orcish warlord that usurped Zir by uniting the scattered Orcish tribes. It used to be known that Zir was accepting to the half-races; it provided a sanctuary from the Truth. But if indeed Orcs have sacked this enigmatic city, any outcome is possible.
Celn is the city of rebels. When Cradle attempted to siege Celn, a local vicious gnome named Zipner united the local raiders to reinforce their defenses. Their assistance has thwarted every one of Cradle’s attempts. The raiders herald Zip as a raucous leader worth following, temporarily. Celn avows itself to the Truth of Valor and Indifference, not the Truth as a whole. It is also a lawless city, open for all to enter. The rowdy, unfiltered nature of its position makes Celn a dangerous place for the right people.
One of Cradle’s earliest and most successful expansions is Sanct. It is a fishing city that also provides a strategic military position in the bay. It also stands near a bountiful forest. Sanct is a city of productive hunting, fishing, and maritime patrolling (and pirating). Its operations and trade are run by a local monarchy, currently still the first family to reign. Queen Rea is becoming old and has not yet had any sons or daughters, causing concern among traders.
The dwarves of Lo’Gohldrum are a proud people of tradition and faith. They have always avowed themselves to the Truth, until recent times. An unknown artifact was discovered in their mines, and a civil war started between the dwarves. The dissenting dwarves believed the Truth to not be what it is. They were exiled and fled. Their whereabout have not been confirmed. Bragi Goldhammer is the General, and leader, of Lo’Gohldrum. His brother, Doldram Goldhammer, was a key influence in the uprising. Bragi wishes to search for his brother, but affairs of the mountain keep him rooted.
Fangseer is a large city far from the reaches of Cradle’s influence. Not that they haven’t tried. The city boasts a sizable economy based on trading down the Windfjör, and is known for its welcoming attitude towards the half-races. Despite their leadership switching as often as the new moon, one thing has remained constant: their open hostility towards the Truth. They have never aggressed, but have viciously defended when necessary. Recently, Fangseer scouting parties have been sighted to the West of Sheer, well outside of Fangseer territory. The rumors about their army increasing in size are now to be taken seriously.
Tazara is the home of the Tengu. The exact location of Tazara is unknown, because it is inaccessible to regular humans. The half-bird, half-humans live in the peaks and cliffs of Thornspire Coast. It is assumed that they possess at least a few Vestiges, but they do not avow themselves to the Truth or deal with Cradle in any way. Often, they clash over hunting grounds and potential farmland. The biggest source of conflict is over a piece of land considered holy to many. The Kravu Nor as it is known to the Tengu.
Zaani is the homeland of the Undine. The Undine are a mystical folk that live underwater, somewhere off the coast. Their main city lies in complete isolation from the rest of the world, and little is known about the Undine except for them being extremely spiritual. The Sadi Hoora is a location of utmost spiritual importance, or was… They see the Tengu as iconoclasts. The Undine never show themselves on the surface, and only one Undine usually does so at a time. This Undine is known as the Tharhoora, Undine for Destiny, Journey, Travel. The Tharhoora that interacts with the surface has, in the past, always been a key influence on history. Because Undine live to be 500 years or older, witnessing an Undine is extremely rare and meeting one is considered a legendary blessing of good luck.
Valoria, Valdurum, and Valdorn are all open plains of farmable land. The majority of the Revoclysm survivors roamed these valley pastures for their hunting and gathering. The tribes that roam here are heavy on heritage and tradition, and equally heavy on warfare and aggression. The Sprawling Hills and the Sprawling Steppes are large swaths of non-farmable land abundant with aggressive wildlife. Just as with the Val- regions, roaming tribes have lived and hunted here since ancient times. The Steppe regions differ in that they are much more aggressive and competent. Some tribes are known to ride dinosaurs into battle. Recently, Celn has somehow managed to coordinate a lot of the Steppe tribes into a forceful army.
Titania is a vast valley floor rich with farmland and inhabited by, yep, you guessed it: Titans. While there are only a few Titans, they stand hundreds of feet tall and are a force to be reckoned with. They meander the valley floor and attack others seemingly at random. There are nomadic tribes that worship certain Titans, and they follow the Titan around. They frequently come into conflict with anyone traveling through, or at the edge of, the valley.
Wilderness of Galeria
A massive, dangerous, active volcano. Its eruptions shake the entire region. It is not a Calamity Containment Zone.
A Calamity Containment Zone. It is a giant font of energy that is heavily locked down by the Truth. What goes on there, no one knows. The only thing for sure is that it's unadulterated, arcane magic.
A natural boundary between the West and East of Gahal. Sheer is the Northern tip of the Boundless Range, and the Eastern side of it is one massive, vertical cliff. The cliffs of Sheer overlook the Drahobashi forest.
Ancient language for The Dragon’s Grave. The beasts that roam the Drahobashi are particularly magical in nature, and shun any interaction. Disturbing their seclusion is not a tale oft told. Because you die.
The Northern tip of the Dark Wode. The creatures that roam here are the ones not strong enough for the depths of the Wode. Alas, even these weak creatures stand far above humans, and the like, in the food chain. Dinosaurs. Lots and lots of dinosaurs. The beasts thrive in this damp jungle, and those that don't, they go to thrive in the surrounding plains.
The Windfjör is the fjord, or river, or lake that winds its way through Gahal. Its steep cliffs, narrow passages, and rapidly changing weather make it a treacherous terrain to traverse. Despite this, it is the quickest method of trading large goods between the Eastern and Western Gahal. Daring merchants have made these rapid waters their home, and made it their common trading route.
Control of the Windfjör is as lucrative as it is dangerous.
When Gohldrum’s lava met the bog between it and the Onidihso, everyone expected it to be the end of Gohldrum’s effects on the environment. They couldn't be more wrong. The lava mixed with the bog, and over hundreds of years, magical beings began to grow there. You see, this interaction gave birth to the Smoldering Ents. Beings made of charred wood, bubbling lava, and rotten swamp. The Smoldering Marsh is not a contested territory, for it doesn't yield anything of value. It is an environmental obstacle to trade between the East and West. The Truth has attempted to build roads through it, to no avail. The closest settlement is Barren Stead, which avows itself to the Truth and is one of the main travel hubs out of the East.
Titan’s Gate and Titan’s Passage are the two main ways to access Titania. The Dwarves of Lo’Gohldrum revere the mountains that make up Titan’s Gate, worshiping them each as a hand of the Creator, a fictitious God that created the other Gods. The abundance of ogres in the Gromporials and the Titan Range makes it hard to defend any territory for a reasonable amount of time. The defensive around Morum has been impressively steady, but not cheap.
Ancient traditions, ancient folklores, ancient magicks. The Drift are an ever-traveling civilization of people lead by explorers of ancient ruins and arcane mathematicians capable of navigating around Calamities reliably, though not completely without error. They worship and study magicks and relics from before the Revoclysm. Some relics have enabled The Drift to tap into unknown magicks. The Truth finds this extremely disturbing and considers The Drift to be unavowed. They are treated with caution, and fear. But the entertainment and trade that they bring is invaluable to settlements. They are record-keepers and story-tellers, spreading their enchanting fables of the Era of Prosperity across Gahal. Consist of a wide variety of races, allowing any to join The Drift should they be able to pull their weight.