Thursday, July 16, 2009

Once Upon a Time...

...WotC held a setting contest. Yeah, I threw my hat in the ring. I realize now that I didn't have a chance - not original enough, nor what they were looking for (judging from the winner - Eberron). Anyway, here's the entry - the Spirerealms:

Daen-Ral – the Spire Realms

1. Core Ethos Sentence.

Daen-Ral is a world of powerful magic and mighty heroes set against the backdrop of a rich history and varied cultures.

2. Who are the heroes?

Calamor the Undying – Lord High Speaker of the Exiles (elves) who justly rules the secretive race and dabbles in the affairs of the world.

Ahrzan – king of the Dwarvanna (dwarves) of Crystalspur who tenuously holds on to his throne…

Talandan Griffonspire – Baron of the Griffonspire Barony – ally of Calamor, Mercenary leader, member of the Seekers

The Seekers – a shadow group with their own agenda but generally promoting the cause of good (end justifies the means…)

The Knights of the Crescent Moon – protectors of the Southlands – little known for the past 800 years (also keepers of the

Foci – those items which cause the Spires to become functional…see below)

The Sisters of Mercy – a priestesshood of a goddess of Mercy who act as traveling Judges throughout the Midlands. They are far more trusted than government officials and even worshippers of gods of Justice.

3. What do they do?

The Seekers have sought to keep Daen-Ral in peace and isolated from the threat of the Magelands of the Old World (Daen-Ral is a continent only discovered and colonized about 1000 prior to game present – the Old Continent [Baroth] is home of powerful wizards who war against one another). The Knights of the Crescent Moon have lived a very isolationist existence – until recently. The Sisters of Mercy bring order to the villages (though they come into conflict with the Kingsmen in the kingdom of Hamlin and with the Holy Order of Kensath in the Western Republic, both of the latter groups performing the same function but with a lesser degree of trust from the local people).

4. Threats, Conflicts, Villains

The main power, and the main danger, to the world are the eleven Spires. These are natural magic focusing spires of rock that dot the continent, though most of them are “dark” (non-functioning). Those that function are being employed by the Seekers to protect Daen-Ral. The Spires require several artifacts (Foci) to become functional (including the Crowns of Power), most of which are lost or hidden.

The primary evil threat in the world is a Firstfallen Exile named Barash, the Sleeping Demon who resides (legend has it) in Demonspire in the Southern Wastes.

Other conflicts include a political/religious stronghold (the Western Republic) in constant conflict with the other nations of the Midlands (not usually open warfare, but that is always a possibility). The Dwarvanna and the Knights of the Crescent Moon are both very isolationist. The Exiles are not terribly welcoming of others, either, though their capital city (Caranta) is the artistic and economic center of the continent.

5. Nature of Magic

Magic in the world of Daen-Ral is relatively uncommon (downright scarce in the Western Republic for religious reasons). The source of magic on Daen-Ral is Fae (Spirit). Magic using beings (mages, clerics, demons, etc.) draw their power from Fae, either their own or that of some other being. Everything that breathes has Fae. Magic users draw on Fae to cast their spells. Clerics do the same, though they are focusing the Spirit (Fae) of the god they worship (as well as their own). The system is internally consistent yet open-ended allowing various expressions of magic use (such as Runic, for example).

6. What’s new? What’s different?

The races: Exiles are not traditional elves – they are descendants of angelic beings punished by the Creator God for an ancient rebellion. Few of the Firstfallen still live – most of the Exiles are the product of the union of Firstfallen and human beings. Each succeeding generation has a shorter lifespan than the previous one (even if the product of Exile/Exile union)…

Dwarvanna (gnomes and halflings would be sub-races of the Dwarvanna) are much like traditional dwarves.

Note that the Demi-human races and the Humanoid (Godless) races have as mixed and varied cultures as the human races.

There’s the Spires – very powerful and mysterious centers of Fae that, when focused, can become world devastating weapons – but also world-uniting tools of peace.

There’s the religious systems – the Godless (who actually worship demons), the Exiles who have forsaken religion (though some of the Firstfallen are worshipped as gods), the religious conflict of the Western Alliance and the other nations of the Midlands.

There’s the Old World (Baroth or the Magelands) where magical wars rage.

Geography – Southlands (desert and grasslands), Midlands (temperate – the human kingdoms), the Great Caylite Forest (Exiles) in the North, the Frontier (the home of a majority of the Godless) in the East and the Northlands.

Eversnow Mountain – an ancient place with tombs (Whitestone Hall) and Fortresses (Chalias Zhanithee and Dragon’s Deep). Tsorgoth’s River Canyon. The Barrier Mountain Range (and the Great Barrier Crossing).

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